Thursday, June 28, 2007

game on 6/27

This is the latest game played between myself (now 0-3 at Rhodesian games) and my stalwart opponent Chris H. This scenario is based on an incident occurring in Zambia in 1979 between an SAS recon patrol and a ZIPRA base camp.
To this point we have been using David Manley's excellent set of free rules fire force. But because we are going to be doing a lot of vehicle heavy games in the future I wanted to try a new set of rules that added that in. For this scenario we used the arc of fire rules set I found in a local game store. A of F is still a 1 figure =1 man skirmish system.

The Advance

The SAS move carefully forward, as they attempt to spot the guerrillas. they try to utilise mutual support and bases of fire to advance on the suspected enemy positions This part of the game utilized a fair amount of wasted time drawing cards and shuffling decks.

The firefight

Contact! as the stick stumbles through out of the thick foliage they come across a line of trenches full manned and waiting for them. A heavy fire fight ensures resulting in 3 KIA for the Rhodesians in exchange for 1 wounded ZIPRA. Now that they have been spotted, the Guerrillas engage at long range with 2 other sticks resulting in 4 more SAS knocked out in exchange for 2 wounded terrs.

The airstrike

The fire team leader of the destroyed stick calls for close air support by Hawker Hunters loitering above the battle. The projected line of the bombs is anticipated as being right over the target.

The fiasco

Here is the actual pattern of the ordnance. 1 set of bombs lands between the 1st and 2nd trench lines wounding a number of Zipra. The 2nd bomb goes horriblely short catching the FO in the open and resulting in a friendly fire KIA.

AA fire

As the Hunter streaks past, the 14.5 mm AA gun opens fire. The maneuvering jet is able to avoid the rounds and flies for home.

post mortem

This is the end game. The 14.5mm gun opens fire on the fire team across the valley inflicting a single casualty and resulting in the SAS pulling back out of range of the withering fire of the ZIPRA forces. The end result is a decisive ZIPRA win vs the Best of the Rhodesian army. 9 SAS casualties (1 self inflicted ) vs 1 Zipra.

In summation both of us disliked this rules set on a couple of points. 1st, if we understood the rules correctly, both sides shoot the same without regard for troop quality. It is like saying the BEF in 1914 shoots the same as Conscripted Russians in world war one. 2nd the card system was cumbersome at best with the side on defense having to keep turning cards until something interesting happens. The air rules were all so underdeveloped and we just had to wing( pun intended) most of that. With some tweaking they could be useful but I think I will keep looking for a set of rules.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Selous Scouts part 1

The Selous Scouts were a Regiment size unit that had a two fold mission. 1st it was a counter terr unit that operated with captured terrorist as part of the unit. 2ND mission was in an external role. In the external role Selous scouts often used vehicles painted to look like Mozambique army to infiltrate many kilometers deep into Mozambique. Bristling with weapons including 50 cal and rocket launchers . The operations were generally wildly successful in destroying guerrilla camps and disrupting Zanla operations. The scouts would dress in typical zanla/frelimo uniforms and carry communist weapons. Being a multiracial unit white members would were a dark camo face paint to hide their skin color.

These unimogs and men are both liberation miniatures. The standing figure is from their multipurpose range and is excellent for portraying white troops in soviet style equipment with out appearing too uniform. The 50 cal is one I had lying around from a previous buy. These are a work in progress since I am going to be adding more weapons to each truck. Syr hobbs does not carry the liberation range vehicles but Duane is happy to order them on a special order basis.

Sunday, June 17, 2007


My idea in starting this blog was two fold. To motivate me to keep painting and to provide resources for someone wanting to simulate this period. With the latter point in mind here is a run down on where I have got my supply of figures.

Figures : All are 20mm and all are Liberation miniatures. I really like their figures proportions and they have a very large selection of figures, weapons and vehicles. I hope that they continue to expand their range as it still needs to cover certain important types of figures and vehicles. The company is in the UK at The US distributor is Duane is very helpful on special orders and ships quickly. He does not carry the full line of miniatures so make sure to look on rhmodels if you don't see what your looking for.

Models: all aircraft and most vehicles have come from ebay. Patience and looking for a good deal have manage to keep my costs down and provided me with out of production types of models. Now to find a cheap airfix Canberra!

Books: Books are a problem. Besides Osprey most titles are out of print and are fairly expensive. I have found the titles I have reviewed on ebay and amazon. Look on used books sites and in used book stores. patience will once again work to your advantage and make the good deal all the better.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Eland 90

The Rhodesian armoured car Regt Consisted of a variety of home and foreign built armoured vehicles. The heavy firepower was provided by the Elands. This is the south African provided AML-90 AC's. Equipped with a 90 mm gun it was capable of dealing with any armoured forces that were current in southern Africa.

This model is by ACE. it was kind of a pain to put together. molded in white plastic with a fair amount of flash it was sometimes difficult to determine were the flash started and pieces seem to not fit that great. however it did go together quickly and once painted most of the faults seem to be lost. I chose to paint this model in a single color. I have seen pictures that indicate both with aand without a camo pattern were used.


The Soviet Union provided massive aid to each of the Front line states bordering Rhodesia as well as ZAPU. The Chinese providing aid to ZANU. While Conventional warfare was limited mostly to External operations ZAPU did build mechanised forces planning for a conventional invasion sometimes in 1980-81.
Mozambique was provided with T-34/85 and T-54's. So while their were no direct tank battles in the conflict the potential existed for them. Including an encounter between Mozambique tanks and eland armoured cars that ended when Rhodesian Artillery drove the tanks away prior to contact.
This T-34/85 is from armourfast 1/72 range. The box includes 2 easy to put together models.
As the T34's provided to Mozambique were over 20 years old by the time they arrived I tried make them dirty and rusty to show hard use and little maintenance. The models went together easy and as there are about 7 parts per tank very fast.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

BTR 152

Mozambique following independence received massive Soviet aid. Included in the transition from guerrilla force to conventional army were a mechanized and tank force. Mozambique BTR 152's engaged with Rhodesian forces on at least 1 occasion.

These models are by ICM. they went together well but included massive amounts of detail I chose to leave off. A lot of it was interior details that really can't be seen anyway. Painting wise, I have no idea what color Mozambique chose to paint their vehicles. There is some evidence that they utilized a tan scheme. Standard soviet green is always applicable as that was the original color of the vehicles. I choose to do both colors as Mozambique in the 1970's does not strike me as the most organized of countries. The figure is an extra liberation figure I had lying around.

Sunday, June 3, 2007


The Percival Provost was used by most Commonwealth nations as a basic trainer throughout the 1950-1960's. In Rhodesian service it was used by 4 squadron which was the COIN squadron as well as 6 squadron as basic training aircraft. The Provost's in 4 squadron were modified with hard points on the wings for caring ordnance as well as 30 cal MGs.

This model was the matchbox 1/72 provost. it went together very well. It does come in red and white plastic so a priming coat might be a good idea. I did not and hope the red doesn't show through after a few games. I went ahead and added a liberation miniatures helo pilot to the cockpit. The supplied pilot was perfectly useful but I have to admit this really adds something to the model. One of my favorite aircraft both in terms of building and looks.