Brant Guillory, 28 February 2021
As we explained in our introduction to this short series we’re kind of making notes as we go, so it’s a mixture of “this is what happened” and “what was I thinking” with the caveat that the latter is rarely going to be particular coherent, or even competent.
Rhodesian Herald phase
Back to our random events!
Rolled a 3, plus 7 for the turn, gives us a 10
Our random events are
- Soldier of Fortune – won’t affect us because our population is already maxed out
- Watergate Scandal – this is a new one, but it does cause the US Republicans to flip to Democrats and raises the terror level by 1 (now at 2).
- Communist Subversion – raises our terror level by an additional 1 as Russia and China increase their support for the terrorists. Terror level now at 3.
- Special Branch – I get to spend $1 to pay for an external opt to remove a terr unit from the map, so I’m going to pay to remove the one from Botswana
- Sanctions – sanctions marker is already in place, it doesn’t really bother me
- Radio / TV – popularity is already maxed, so no real effect
click images to enlarge
There are no elections anywhere except the US, and that is resolved later in the turn.
Even with the flip of the US to the Democrats, we are still going to max our income from $14 back to $16 just based on the free $3 we get each month from South Africa.
But for the record, if we didn’t max out at $16, we would have had $28 to work with.
We are obviously not going to try sanctions busting, don’t need to adjust any shaky morale, and the rest of the spending is irrelevant except for refueling the RhAF.
We’re on turn seven, and money hasn’t been an issue yet. It would have been nice if there was a way to bank some for future usage, but we can live with it for now.
Policy Review phase
Our policy this turn is “Law & Order”
Inaction will kill our popularity. Action will raise it incredibly high, but really to no effect for us.
This allows us to establish “protected villages,” which were similar to the “strategic hamlets” that the US tried in Vietnam. While it moves the black population in the countryside into villages that allow the government to more easily protect them from the terr’s, the villages can very easily be characterized as “concentration camps” that were primarily designed to keep the black population in coordinated locations rather than to protect them.
While we can enact the policy so that we don’t take the popularity hit, and gain the Selous Scouts units on the map, we don’t have to actually use the protected villages during the course of the game. So we can activate the policy and then ignore its worst effects.
Because it is a conservative bill, we only need a roll of 2 or better to pass it. And well, dammiit, if we didn’t roll a 1.
The failure to pass the bill immediately triggers a bunch of additional actions.
- The government dissolves and we have to hold an immediate Rhodesian election.
- We move the Rhodesian election marker out five turns to 1977.
- We are going to go ahead and pay the $2 for advertising during the election to make sure we don’t tank it.
- Good thing we did too, since we rolled a combined 3 on 2D6. We add the +5 from our current RF popularity, and that gives us an 8 on the results. The down arrow on the House of Assembly chart moves our popularity from +5 to +4 after the election.
We now try to pass the policy again, and hope we don’t roll another 1 and have to go through another election. This time, we roll a 5 and that safely passes the bill, so the “Law & Order” policy is now in effect.
We add the two Selous Scouts units to the force pool, and move out of the policy review phase, thank goodness
It’s going to cost $4 each to raise those Selous Scouts units, so I am only putting one on the map this turn.
As a part of the refit at the beginning of each turn, I also need to bring Grey’s Scouts back from Mozambique. The (thus far completely useless) Portuguese units in Mozambique both flip back to their active sides.
With a terror level of 3, we are going to take a chance and send some units outside the country to try to knock out some enemy units. Part of the math here is also looking ahead at the next several turns of the Rhodesian Herald. Next turn, we will roll anything between 9 and 15 (turn 8+1d6), and only two of those outcomes include the Outrage event. We like those odds for sending some units over the border to eliminate some terr’s on their home turf.
We are going to send the Selous Scouts to Tete, and Grey’s Scouts back to Mozambique. The latter costs us $1.
It’s time to roll for the terr’s: 4, 4, & 6.
That puts two of them into Mozambique, and one into Tete. It’s a good thing we sent some units outside the country.
Because Portugal is still in charge on the Eastern side of our map, none of the terr’s will cross the border. Even so, we have three fights on our hands, just in Mozambique
All three are rolling on the attack strength 2 line, and hoping for a 2 or better.
Of course, we roll a 1, 2, and 3!
Fortunately we had not committed the RhAF, or there would have been some damage to them as well.
As it is, all six units (ours/terr’s) are used but none of them are eliminated.
We’re hoping for better luck in Tete, where the Selous Scouts are facing off with an attack strength 4 against a single terr, and roll a 4 which knocks him off the map.
We are also going to grab the SAS and the RhAF to launch a fireforce mission into Mozambique to try to eliminate one of the terr’s there.
Usually, these are launched inside Rhodesia’s borders, and a DR result converts to a DE, indicating that the terr was killed outright without getting a chance to run away first. Since we are conducting this mission into Mozambique, a DR would be a DE anyway.
With a strength of 5, every roll is going to kill the terr, but on a roll of 1, the RhAF would be damaged as well.
We finally get a high roll, with a 5. That eliminates the terr and we return the RhAF to Salisbury while flipping the SAS to their used side.
We have a US election this year, and a roll of 5 indicates a Republican win. We flip the US government marker back to Republican and that lowers the terror level by 1; it currently sits at 2.
None of the other actions in the cosmopolitics phase affect us at this moment
~~ end of the turn ~~
We are all the way up to 1973, and your author just turned 1 year old.
Rhodesian Herald phase
Let’s find out if our out-of-country gamble paid off or not.
We roll a 5, which we add to the turn (8) for a total of 13
Our events are
- Soldier of Fortune – our population is maxed, so again no effect here
- Factions Feud in Zambia – no ZAPU units on the map to eliminate
- Sino-Soviet split – drops the terror level back to 1
- Floods in Mozambique – this is a new one that allows us to send aid to Mozambique in return for some good publicity and the ability to lower the terror level. Since it’s already a one, we are going to save the $2
- War in Angola – another new one that could have a variety of different effects on our conflict, ranging from Cuban intervention to CIA intervention
We roll a 5, which flips South Africa’s government. That’s actually good for us because it would lower the terror level, but also bumps up our income another $2
No elections anywhere and no additional checks we need to make yet.
Time to rack up the cash, and again we are going to max out at $16 from a start of $9.
If we actually counted everything we could get, we would go from $9 to $23.
We do pay the $1 to refuel and rearm the RhAF.
Not sure why this happens during the commercial phase instead of the Chimurenga phase when all of the other military units are refitted, but the RhAF has to be paid for before you make any decisions on policies.
Policy Review phase
We have no policy this turn because we had pulled it ahead earlier in the game. We are not going to pull anything from the future and try to deal with it this turn.
We have a bunch to do here because of all of the action last turn.
- We are not going to pay to raise the other Selous Scouts because we need to save our cash to refit units that were used last turn.
- While we do not need to redeploy anyone from inside our border, we have three units that went abroad to rearm, at the cost of $1 each.
Looking ahead beyond next turn, we still have, at the most, two Outrage options on the Rhodesian Herald events. More importantly, three of the next six outcomes involve a coup in Portugal that removes their rule from Mozambique and Tete. So this might be a needed chance to go heavy on eliminating the terr’s in those countries.
- We are sending the Selous Scouts into Mozambique, and the SAS into Tete.
- While we are going to leave Grey’s Scouts in the Midlands, we are going to send the RLI into Mozambique also, and get our heavier hitters across the border to ensure we get rid of those terr’s
We are only rolling one die to deploy a terr, and a 1 places one in Zambia, where he will end up crossing the border this time.
A roll of 2 indicates that unit moves from Zambia into Matebeleland. Because we have a handshake marker there, we have to roll to see how the locals react.
A roll of 1 indicates that he survives, and the locals flip the handshake to a fist. Ugh. It was bound to happen sooner or later.
We now need to arrange all of our forces for combat.
- In Matebeleland, we have one of our South African police units to pair up with the ZAPU unit that slipped through there. We are going to reinforce that one with RhAF.
- In Tete, we have an SAS unit paired off with the only terr on the ground there.
- In Mozambique, we are going to reinforce each of our Rhodesian units with a local Portuguese one to create some serious numerical overmatch
The dice fall as follows
- Matebeleland: Roll a 5 with an attack strength of 4 eliminates that unit outright and returns the RhAF to Salisbury with no damage.
- Tete: rolled a 5 with an attack strength of 3 which would normally cause that unit to retreat. Since we are outside Rhodesia, it is eliminated instead.
- Mozambique: The first attack is a 2, rolled on an attack strength of 5 which gives us a DR, and again eliminates that unit. The second attack is rolling on an attack strength of 6, and there is no possible result for which that unit survives, so we’re going to skip the die roll. The only drama would be whether or not the RhAF was damaged in the attack, but since they aren’t present, the roll is irrelevant.
We now have four Rhodesian units flipped to their used sides, plus the two Portuguese units in Mozambique
But we also have no terr’s anywhere on the map.
There’s nothing happening in this phase in this turn
~~ end of the turn ~~
So the die rolls were not kind to us this time around, and that did cause us to invest some serious cash to make some things happen. We are going to have to refit a whole lot of units next turn, but right now our income sources are darn near maxed out on the map.
Two things start showing up with more frequency from here on out though. The chance of Portugal losing control of Mozambique & Tete goes way up. Additionally, there are more events that look to hurt us politically on the international front, and that will raise the terror level quite a bit.
Over the next few turns, we are likely to see more terr’s spawning on the east side of the map and immediately rolling into Rhodesia and because we are now halfway through the game, we are going to run out of runway to make too many adjustments as things start to go bad quickly
Then again, I’ve been waiting for bad things to happen for several turns now and thus far they have not, so maybe we are just getting lucky.
So far, we have avoided the coup in Portugal, which could have started showing up as early as turn six.
The other thing that has made a huge difference is that the semi-random placement of the policies resulted in the Detente policy from 1974 moving all the way out to 1980. This ensures that some of the more problematic African leaders like Mugabe have stayed in prison instead of getting onto the map where they can cause all sorts of headaches by raising the terror level and local support.
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