Brant Guillory, 22 March 2021
As we explained in our introduction to this short series we’re kind of making notes as we go. This is getting a little more detailed, too, either because I’m understanding it more, or there’s more going on, or I just thought the earlier turns weren’t detailed enough…
I had taken a break for a bit from this one because I was getting a little burned out on it. I’m going to power through and finish it though so here we go
It’s 1977, and your author has now started kindergarten.
Rhodesian Herald phase
Turn 12 plus a roll of 5 gives us a 17 on the Herald.
It gives us a series of events as follows
- Coup in Portugal! – already happened. No effect
- Drought – this one is going to hurt because there are a few fists in the country right now, so I have to flip my population marker to the red side and reduce it by two
- ZANU Factionalism – I only have one ZANU unit on the map right now, so it goes away
- Rampages – The units that trigger this aren’t in the game at the moment
- British Election – let’s hold an election! Honestly, this could help us since the British government is currently held by the Labour party. This will remove the British election marker from the turn track altogether since we can’t move out five turns from where we are. We roll a 6, and the Tories win which allows me to lower the terror level by one.
- Radio / TV – my RF popularity is maxed, and with no Portuguese government in Mozambique I don’t get the free troopie
- Outrage – this one’s going to suck. I have a whole bunch of units overseas, and that’s going to max the terror level and undo the British Tory election that we just had. That maxes the terror level back to 7, because it was only down at 6 and I had three units abroad.
As a result of that event taking the terror level “past” 7, I have to roll to put to terror units on the map, and roll a 1 and 4. That puts one in Zambia and one (back) in Mozambique
We have a Rhodesian election this turn. Unfortunately, I am broke and don’t earn any money until the next phase of the turn. We would have advanced the Rhodesian election marker five turns, but that would take us past the end of the game.
We roll 2D6 and roll double-5s. That gives us a total of 10, plus our RF + 5, and then subtract 2 because we’re broke and weren’t able to pay to advertise out of the government money. Still, that’s a 13 and gets our House of Assembly results maxed out.
Our commercial phase isn’t going to be great. We get our $3 from South Africa, and we get $2 from face-up black boxes on the map. We only get $2 from our population because it just took a hit thanks to the drought. We do get $4 from global trade though because there are no sanctions on us at the moment.
Fortunately, there are no terrs left in the country that cause me to need to prop up shaky morale. We are also skipping the public spending, but do need to refuel and upgrade the RhAF, which is going to cost us $2.
There is no chance we are blowing our remaining $9 on any sort of collaboration attempts or political compromises
Policy Review phase
Our policy this turn is the Pfumo re Vanhu, which shows up about 2 years early based on our semi random event distribution, but puts armed black militias into play on the side of the Rhodesian government.
That is, if we can pass the policy
Then again, do we even want to try to pass this policy?
If we take no action on it, our population will go up 1d6, and we’ve got room for it to grow. Also, if we take no action on it, the terror level goes up to but it is already maxed out and can’t go up anymore, but I would have to roll to add to terr units right away.
If we do act on it, it won’t hurt our population, but will hurt our popularity. We do get two free military units out of it though, and we can hope that we don’t roll for any rampages after this. Given how late in the game it is, there are only two possible die rolls that could bring about the rampages going forward. So it may be worth it to take the popularity hit while we are still maxed out, but get two free units on the map at a time when there’s likely to be a lot of terrs continuing to spawn because of the high terror level.
We roll a 2, +1 for our earlier liberal constitution policy, which just passes it but not by much. RF popularity drops 1d6, and we roll a 1 so it’s barely down. We do get our two free, but insanely weak, units added to the force pool. Our population marker doesn’t move.
We have a lot of units to take care of here.
- We have three units overseas that have to come back to Salisbury, including several of our biggest hitters
- We have two used units in handshake areas that we get to flip back for free, but we also have two used units in areas with a fist that are now forced to redeploy the Salisbury also, giving us five units that we need to refit to deploy.
- We are going to spend $1 to move a Renamo unit back to Mozambique.
- And we are going to spend $3 to rearm our three biggest hitters that are currently in Salisbury, leaving the two RAR battalions sitting there.
- We send the RLI to Botswana, one unit of the Selous Scouts to Zambia, and the other two Mashonaland.
- We are also going to internally redeploy one BSAP unit from Victoria to Matebeleland.
We’re hoping that the Corsan in Mashonaland will help slow up anything coming out of Tete, because we are not sending anybody abroad there.
Time to roll for our terr deployments, and we’re rolling seven dice: 3, 3, 5, 5, 5, 6, 6. Not deploying anyone to Tete turned out to be a really bad bet.
- Our first battle is in Zambia where the Selous Scouts Roll a 4 to eliminate a ZAPU unit
- Our next battle is in Botswana, where the RLI roll a 6 to eliminate another one
- We have a pair of fights in Mozambique with Renamo units pairing off with terrs. We roll a 4 and a 6, so we eliminate one terr, and the other two units are stuck there together
Time to start moving the terrs that are left.
- The one in Zambia rolls a 2 and moves into Matebeleland, where we already have a fist in place, so the locals won’t help us any
- The two in Mozambique roll a 2 and a 3, moving one into Mashonaland and one into Manicaland. Check for the handshake roll in Manicaland and roll a 6 which eliminates him. The one in Mashonaland is going to run into the corsan, rolls a 6 which eliminates him. Nice to know the obstacle belt worked.
- That just leaves the five units from Tete heading into Mashonaland.
- Rolling for the Corsan there, we roll 5, 5, 4, 4, and 1. So we eliminate two, two slip through, and the one eliminates the Corsan and lets that unit through also.
Now for the rest of the shooting
- I’m using an SAP unit against the ZAPU in Matebeleland. rolling a 4 with a strength of 2 forces that unit to retreat back to Zambia.
- In Mashonaland, I have a Selous Scouts unit paired off with one terr, and roll a 6 which eliminates the terr.
- With no other ground combat in place, I’m going to pick up my remaining RAR battalion and conduct a fireforce raid in Mashonaland to try and eliminate another of the terrs there, and I roll a 2 on the strength 4 line, which eliminates him.
At the end of all this, I’ve lost my corsan and have one terr left in country, but I’ve also used several units and haven’t been able to flip any fists back to handshakes. I’m also hurting for money which means the refit next turn is going to suck.
I do not have a US election this turn, but there are some other actions, such as the intimidation by the ZANU unit remaining inside our borders.
Even with two fists on the map, I’m not sure I want to try and flip one to a handshake using the protected villages.
There is a Corsan construction phase as a part of this, but it is focused on flipping markers that are under construction to their complete side, and there does not appear to be anything in the rules that specifies that you are able to continue to construct corsans in subsequent turns after the policy is adopted, nor how you would go about doing so. One would think that you could construct these things on subsequent turns after the policy was adopted, but nothing in the rules specifies how to do so.
At the end of this turn, we have a maxed terror level, and three unfriendly foreign governments in the US, UK, and South Africa. We’ve used five units, only four of which we will need to pay to refit, but still have a few units sitting in Salisbury. Fortunately, we’re starting about $5 ahead of where we did last time, and it looks like our income is going to be pretty close to what we brought in last time.
~~ end of the turn ~~
How high will the pucker factor get this turn?
Rhodesian Herald phase
Turn 13, plus a day roll of two gives us a 15.
Our headlines this turn are
- Coup/FICO! – no effect, because the Portuguese are already out of Mozambique
- SA Shake Up – I have a change of government down south, and a roll of three flips the government for us which allows us to lower the terror level by 1, to 6
- Commonwealth Conference – doesn’t matter because the Tories are not in power in Britain
- Communist Subversion – f’n’ terror level goes right back up to seven
- Tribalism – we’re rolling a d6, and roll a 6 which allows us to flip fist markers in both Victoria and Matebeleland back to handshakes as local tribes reopen some talks with us. It only affects the latter, as the former was still a handshake
- Radio/TV – I get to about my popularity back up to +5, but without the Portuguese in Mozambique, I don’t get the free unit out of the force pool
The only elections this turn are US elections handled in the Cosmopolitics phase
We are going to collect a decent amount of money this turn, starting with a total of $5 from South Africa. We also get $4 from global trade, plus $2 from other markers on the map And all of that manages to max us out at $16 for the turn, without even counting the $2 we would get from our population. Definitely an improvement over last turn.
We do need to shore up shaky morale because of a ZANU unit in Mashonaland.
We need to refuel the RhAF for $1.
And that’s pretty much it at the moment.
Policy Review phase
Our policy this turn is another one being pulled chronologically forward as the African advancement policy would not have appeared until 1980.
If we pass this one, it’s going to cost us a bunch of money for upkeep. But, it’s important for the points we need at the end of the game, and we’re still popular enough to sustain some of the hits. What we don’t need though, is a bunch of terrs spawning because the terror level goes up 1d6 through in action
Here’s the trade-off though, if we do pass this then it is worth three points at the end of the game, and the upkeep cost is likely to preclude us from trying to score any additional collaborators from among those leaders in prison.
But, if we do pass this, there’s also an RF party split that we have to fight.
Honestly, as historically repugnant as it may seem to take money away from possibly developing the black African workforce, given the limited resources we have and the amount of military units we are going to need to refit over the next two turns, especially to fight off all of the terrs about to spawn, I’m just not sure we have the money to spend on this one.
Ultimately, we’re going to skip this one and take the hit. We roll 1d6 to increase the terror level, and roll a 3, which immediately spawns three new terrs (because we’re already maxed out at 7). We roll 1, 1, 2 and put a bunch of ZAPU units on the west side of the country
We have a bunch of units to refit because we have a bunch of used units both overseas and in provinces with fists on them.
- In total, we have six units we have to refit, and we’re going to need them all. Refitting them takes our treasury from $15 down to $9, and we get them deployed with both Selous Scouts units in Mashonaland and the RLI reinforcing other units already in Matebeleland, given how many units just spawned on that side of the country.
- We have three battalions of the RAR and are going to put one in each of our Eastern provinces, which puts a total of three units into Mashonaland.
- We are not deploying anyone outside of the country this turn.
We do have to roll 7 days to deploy terrs this turn: 1, 1, 2, 2, 5, 6, 6
- Zambia is getting very crowded
- In fact, we have actually rolled for more ZAPU units then we have an accounter mix. When this happens, we add a ZANU unit in Tete instead.
- Huh, funny, he can keep the other three company that we just deployed there also.
- The north side of our map is getting really busy
Because no terrs deployed to Mozambique, neither of the Renamo units coming to play.
Time to start moving terrs.
- Everyone from Tete goes into Mashonaland, which puts five of them in there against only three of my units.
- The two from Botswana both go into Matebeleland, but because we now have a handshake there, we need to check their infiltration status. We roll a four and a five which repulses one back to Botswana and eliminates the other
- Of the ones coming from Zambia, we have five to deploy. We roll 1, 3, 4, 5, 6 and that puts three of them into Matebeleland and two into Mashonaland
- Again, rolling for their infiltration status in Matebeleland, we roll 6, 3, 2. That eliminates one, sends one back to Zambia, and one slips through but does not affect our handshake.
Ultimately, we’ve got a whole lot of people that could fight back around the country. The problem is that they’re around the country, instead of being focused in the provinces where we need them.
- Matebeleland Is the easy one to do first, where the RLI will take on the one remaining ZAPU unit. Attacking with a strength 3, we roll the 3, and force him to retreat back to Zambia
- In Mashonaland, we have each of the Scouts, plus one RAR unit pair off with one terr each. The Scouts roll a 4 and a 6 which cause a retreat and an elimination. The RAR rolls a 1 which is a failed attack
- We are going to follow up with a fireforce raid using the RhAF and the SAS to combine for five factors against one ZANU unit and roll a six to kill him
We now used five total units, but also have 4 terrs left in Mashonaland, plus a handful around our borders
It’s 1978, so there is a US congressional election, and the Democrats win. That has no appreciable effect on anything happening to us at the moment.
We are going to take a very big chance here, and pay the $1 to flip our fist Mashonaland to a handshake and move to a protected village and hope that we can maintain them through the next turn so that it doesn’t go permanently to a fist.
This might totally come back to bite us in the ass.
~~ end of the turn ~~
Life really sucks at this point
We are into turn 14, and might get smoked here because there’s a good chance the Lancaster House Agreement comes up, but we have not yet held the Quenet Commission event. In addition, we have probably waited too long to start adding our collaborators which would impact the day roll for the establishment of the Republic of Zimbabwe Rhodesia.
Rhodesian Herald phase
Turn 14 plus a die role of four gives us the following events
- Lancaster House – won’t go into effect because we haven’t activated the Republic of ZR
- Atrocity – Our high roll of 6 tells us white farmers were targeted and reduces our population by one. Our low die of 3 tells us the one responsible is Chitepo, who is not currently collaborating with us and is already in Zambia so it doesn’t affect us too much
- Communist Subversion – we can’t raise the terror level so we deploy a random terr with a die roll of 4, into Mozambique
- Tribalism – no effect as both of the affected provinces are already on their handshake sides
- Outrage – no effect as we did not deploy anyone outside the country
- Tan-Zam Railway – already in place
There is literally nothing to check this turn
We have $13 added to our treasury, but we’re already at $8. So we max out. We do need to adjust shaky morale in one province and that cost us $1. We also need to refuel the RhAF for another $1
And now we need to try to buy off some leaders. The easiest one to try to get is Sithole, who cost us $3 and only a die roll of 4 or better. We roll a 5 and add him to the collaborator box.
Policy Review phase
We’re going to have to fight a party splits here because this year’s event is Integration, and inaction flips every handshake to a fist.
So we have to fight a party split this turn for this event. Moreover, taking action on this is going to prevent us from taking action on the Quinet Commission, because we can only try one policy / turn.
We roll a 6 and manage to pass this thing with the only die roll we could possibly succeed with.
We have five units to rearm in Salisbury which knocks our treasury from $12 down to $7. In addition, we are going to go ahead and spend $1 to raise the Guard Force unit
- We are going to move one Renamo unit from Mozambique to Tete
- We are deploying four units to Mashonaland and we are also moving both of the SAP units there.
- We are going to move Grey’s Scouts to Matebeleland.
- That leaves us a pair of Selous Scouts to go ahead and deploy elsewhere and we were considering sending them out of the country, but the only way we don’t roll an Outrage event starting next turn is to roll a 1, and we are not going to count on that
- We send one of them to Matebeleland, and the other to Manicaland and hope that too many guys don’t cross the border for Mozambique into Victoria.
With seven terrs to be rolled, the dice tower spits out 2, 3, 4, 4, 5, 5, 6.
- That’s one in Botswana, and three each in Mozambique and Tete
The Renamo forces each grab one and we roll a 2 and a 4, which sends our Renamo unit from Tete back to the force pool, and sticks the other two together in Mozambique
- Units from Botswana cross into Matebeleland, and roll a 4 and a 5 on the infiltration table that repulses one and eliminates the other
- The two from Zambia both cross and both roll 3s and sends them into Matebeleland. Again, the infiltration table gives us a 2 and a 6 so one slips through and one is eliminated
- Everyone from Tete crosses into Mashonaland and we have to roll four dice on the infiltration table. We were all three 1s and a 5, so one of them is eliminated but the others flip our handshake back to a fist and it is now permanent, because of the chance we took last turn with the protected villages, and yes, it did bite us in the ass.
I have six of my units in Mashonaland to fight against seven terrs, so we will pair them off one each, and probably use a fireforce raid to hit the 7th
Without going into a blow by blow die roll list, the end result is four eliminated, two pushed back, and one still there.
We also still have the fight in Matebeleland, where the Selous Scouts eliminate the one ZAPU unit there.
We need to roll to place one additional unit on the map because of our one remaining tear inside the country and we roll a 5 and place him in Tete.
~~ end of the turn ~~
The problem at this point isn’t so much keeping the enemy units at bay, but that I’ve neglected a couple of key political moments where I now have an older policy I have to bring forward, and potentially try to get another collaborator on my side, both of which will be expensive. Moreover, not taking action on next turn’s policy is going to hurt in a couple of different places, most notably the financials.
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