Brant Guillory, 21 February 2021
We’re slowly working our way through the solo game of the Rhodesian civil war of the 60’s and 70’s with The White Tribe from Ben Madison and White Dog Games.
Rhodesian Herald phase
For this year’s headlines, we rolled a 2 plus turn number (5) equals 7.
Our events are
- ZANU factionalism – Mugabe is not in the leadership box so we roll a d6 and manage to eliminate all of the current ZANU units on the map. Yay us!
- Coup rumors in Tanzania – Roll a 2d6 and nowhere close to an actual coup in Tanzania. Really, you have to roll box cars for that coup to happen so it’s not going to be very common
- Cabora Bassa Dam – The dam changes hands again so Portugal is back in charge in Tete
- Rampages – Pfumo re Vanhu forces would go back to the force pool if they were on the map at all.
- Sanctions – Marker is already on the map, so I am already eating this one
- Radio / TV – no effect, since our popularity track is maxed and all of our troopies from the force pool are on the map somewhere
click images to enlarge
We have a very busy election year, with both South Africa and Rhodesia holding them in this phase, plus a US congressional election to come later in the turn
- We roll a die for the South African elections, and roll a 3 so there is no change in their government and it stays red for us.
- There are no British elections this turn, those are coming up next turn
- The Rhodesian elections are a little busier, however. The first thing we do is move the current election marker five turns out, putting it into 1975.
We roll a 2d6, add our popularity, and decline to spend $2 for advertising from government coffers which costs us a -2 penalty. We rolled an 8, added 5 (popularity), subtracted 2 for the penalty, came up with a net of 11 and that exceeds the highest possible value on the House of Assembly results, so we stay maxed out.
- The Portuguese are still in charge in Mozambique.
Time to collect our income.
We pick up $3 from South Africa plus $1 from our ALCORA alliance. We also add $3 from other markers on the map. We pick up $3 from our population on the turn record track, $1 from the sanctions marker, and we decline to try any sort of sanction busting since we’ve already maxed out our income for the turn.
We don’t need to shore up morale or squeeze Zambia, and with our popularity still maxed, public spending seems like a waste of time.
Policy Review phase
We have already pulled other policies ahead, and will decline grab the one for next turn, since it isn’t all that painful.
However, and the interest of kicking over the anthill in this game a little bit, we’re going to reach further into the future and grab a tougher policy that should have happened this year anyway: Proclaim Republic.
This one will cost us $4 to pull to 1970 from where it was placed during setup. Honestly, this is the year it should have taken place had the policies not been shuffled in their sequence.
In the interest of being a glutton for punishment, we are going to aim for a more liberal constitution, knowing that it might piss off half the country. But we’re pretty high on most of our current indicators so maybe we can mitigate the damage, and it’s worth a lot of points at the end of the game.
- Trying for the more liberal constitution, we lose 1D6 of both our popularity and population. We rolled a 5 for population and a 1 for popularity, so a whole lot of people left town and the ones who stayed behind didn’t mind.
- Our population drops from 16 to 11 and we flip our marker to the red down arrow.
- Our popularity only drops from +5 to +4. We still have to resolve the party split.
- However, we rolled a 6 to pass this constitution, and that was about the best possible outcome we could get.
- Since we have now proclaimed the Republic of Rhodesia, we place the flag in the marker in the middle of the map next to Salisbury.
That was a $4 spend, which drops us to $12, but wasn’t the worst thing that could have happened to us.
Time to move troopies to Salisbury, except that almost everyone is face up, and in a handshake region. We do need to recover Grey’s Scouts from Tete. We are going to leave them there this turn, rather than pay the $1 for them. We have more than enough troops on the map already.
For our foreign troops, there are two units in Mozambique that we need to flip back over.
- We’re not going to chance any cross border raids this turn, and we are going to move ahead to deploying the terr units.
- With a terror level of three, we roll three dice and roll a 3, 4, and 5. That puts two units into Mozambique and one into Tete.
- The two Portuguese units in Mozambique will pair off with the two units we just placed there, while the one from Tete will move into Mashonaland, where it will get stuck to one battalion of the Rhodesian African Rifles.
- We roll the handshake check for Mashonaland and roll a 6, which destroys the terr unit before the RAR ever needs to get into the fight.
(note, after this turn was done, I realized that because the Portuguese are back in charge in Tete, the terr unit there should’ve never crossed the border, but since it was destroyed without a fight, no harm/no foul)
That leaves us two fights in Mozambique to resolve
Both are being rolled on the strength 2 line, and we roll a 2 and a 3, both of which failed like the Portuguese attacking line in the Euro Cup in ’04.
We now have two used Portuguese units in Mozambique, and two surviving terr’s.
We also have a ZAPU unit in Botswana that moves into Matebeleland. We roll a 4 for the handshake and that forces him to move back to Botswana.
Again, we are going to forgo using a fireforce raid for the moment
We have a US congressional election this turn, and roll a 4. That flips the Democrats to Republicans and lowers our terror level by one.
None of the other steps in the cosmopolitics phase apply at this point.
~~ end of the turn ~~
Rhodesian Herald phase
At the start of turn 6, the events are going to get a little wacky. We roll a 5, plus the turn number, gives us an 11 on the Rhodesian Herald
Our events are
- Tory conference – The UK is still a Labour government so this doesn’t matter
- Sino Soviet split – we drop our terror level by 1, which brings it down to the minimum
- British election, which was going to happen this turn anyway – we move this turn’s election marker out five turns to 1976, and roll a d6. A roll of one gives us a Labour when, and that has really no effect on what’s currently on the map.
- Soldier of Fortune – we pick up 8 population from our 5 handshake markers plus the 3 the rule book tells us to add, and we are back to maxed out with the Green arrow facing up
- Operation Senekal – apparently, the South Africans are getting a little frisky about moving public opinion in the US and UK. This gives us the option to flip one of the two from red to green, and since the US is already green, we will take this opportunity to ignore the recent British election and flip Labour to Tory, which would also lower the terror level by one if it wasn’t already down to one.
- Outrage – Good thing we didn’t deploy anybody out of the country! The outrage action would have completely undone all of the goodwill we just built up with the US and UK governments
No elections in South Africa or Rhodesia, and Portugal still owns Mozambique. We would have had a British election, but it got resolved as a part of our Rhodesian herald events and therefore pushed from ‘71 to ‘76. This phase ends up being a big ol’ shrug, and we move on
We are going to rack up a ton of money on our commercial phase, but the best we can do is max out at $16, so we’re going to do that. Had we realized we were going to be picking up an extra $4 from US and UK government flips, we would have gone ahead and spent the money to redeploy Grey’s Scouts last turn.
Policy Review phase
Our policy this turn is Spirit Mediums.
We are going to take no action on it because we don’t need to flip any fists to handshakes. Taking no action raises our popularity back to the max.
We still have no troopies to raise, but we are going to spend the $1 to rearm Grey’s Scouts and get them on the map. We are deploying them to Mozambique to go help fight the terr’s there.
- With a terror level of one, we only put one unit on the map, and we roll a 6 to drop a fresh terr in Tete.
- None of those terr’s can cross the border because of Portuguese rule, but we now have three units in Mozambique to fight the two ZANU terr’s.
- We decide to pair off the two Portuguese units with one of them, and have Grey’s Scouts, reinforced with the RhAF, take on the other. This gives us two fights, each with an attack strength of 4, which are pretty good odds for us.
- We roll a 4 on the Rhodesian attack, which causes a DR result and eliminates the unit because it is already abroad and has nowhere to retreat.
- We roll a 1 for our seemingly incompetent Portuguese allies, which causes the attack to fail.
We flip all of our units to used and move the RhAF to Salisbury.
It’s 1971, so pretty much nothing happened on the political front here.
~~ end of the turn ~~
We are all the way up to turn six, and there has been no appreciable terrorist presence in Rhodesia itself. Moreover, because we’ve managed to keep the terror level so low, there’s been virtually no build up in the Portuguese colonies waiting to swarm over the borders. So far, everybody in the country is still cooperating with our rule, and the resistance leaders that might otherwise trouble us are all still behind bars. That’s probably going to change before too long, but we are about 1/3 of the way through the game, and still not significantly bothered by what’s going on at this point.
Are we doing something wrong? Hmmmm….
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