Brant Guillory, 8 March 2021
As we explained in our introduction to this short series we’re kind of making notes as we go. While I’m settling into the game a little better, it’s still somewhat a mixture of “this is what happened” and “what was I thinking” but I’m trying to get a little more predictive and analytical as I go.
We are up to turn 9, which is 1974, and we have multiple elections this time around
Rhodesian Herald phase
Turn 9, plus a die roll of 1, gives us a 10 on the events, again (we had this same list back in turn 7)
- Soldier of Fortune – I have 4 handshake markers, plus the 3 the event tells me and that would boost my population by 7, but it is already maxed
- Watergate Scandal – flips the US to Democrat and raises the terror level by 1. I just realized that we’ve had the Watergate scandal happen twice now. I guess Nixon broke in again?
- Communist Subversion – raises the terror level another 1, up to 3
- Special Branch – this would let me pay a dollar to remove terr unit from the map, but there aren’t any out there right now
- Sanctions – Sanctions marker is still in place, it doesn’t really bother me
- Radio / TV – I get to raise my popularity from +4 to +5. This is also the first time I’m able to use the ability to move a troopie from the force pool to Salisbury for free. For some reason, this ability is only triggered if Portugal is in charge of Mozambique, but either way, it lets me take the troopie and the force pool with the lowest SP and move it to Salisbury. Right now the only troopie in the first pool is an SP4 Selous Scouts unit. Holding off on recruiting this unit for the last 2 turns paid off and getting me a big hitter for dirt cheap.
At the end of all that, the terror level has gone up 2, the popularity level’s gone up 1, and I got a free unit out of the deal.
We actually have an election in South Africa, and roll a 3 on the d6 so there is no change.
There are no British or Rhodesian elections this turn, and the Fico government is not in charge and Mozambique yet to check for collapse there.
Time to collect some cash, and quite frankly just like the last few turns, it’s pretty irrelevant as I am already at $14 of a possible max $16, and will peg out just from my free money from South Africa or my $4 from population.
The spending is pretty simple this time around. I need to refuel the RhAF for a $1.
Looking at our policy for this turn though, it is a liberal policy. We could use the optional compromise rule, but if we do it will completely tank the RF popularity, and the policy itself is already likely to do that. It’s not going to be an easy sell, but ultimately we need to pass this policy on its own and deal with the consequences.
Policy Review phase
And that policy is the Land Tenure Amendment to our previous Land Tenure Agreement. This is going to kick our ass either way.
Truthfully, this is the first real heavy tipping point that we’ve seen in either direction so far this game. The results of taking no action on it will completely turn the local population against the government. If we do take action on it, we keep the locals on our side but kill our popularity, lose a bunch of population, and split the party.
That said, we are maxed out on a lot of our metrics that would take a hit as a result of taking action on this, so we are better prepared to weather this storm than perhaps at any other time during this game. So we’re going to go with it.
Because it is a liberal policy, and our current House of Assembly is not quite a full RF house, we have to roll a 4 or better. But because we had earlier passed the Liberal Constitution, we get +1 to that die roll and that makes things slightly easier. Then again, with the RF party split from this policy, we have to subtract 1 from the die roll, so we are right back where we started
We rolled a 4!
That passes by the skin of our teeth, and now we need to deal with all of the fallout.
The first thing we do is flip the policy to its amended side. We also lose 1d6 population and 1d6 RF popularity. We rolled a 3 for the former and a 2 for the latter. That drops our population from 16 to 13, and our popularity from +5 to +3.
The first thing we need to do is reconstitute our forces.
- We flip our South African police in Matebeleland, and our 2 Portuguese units in Mozambique back to their front sides
- We then recall our 3 overseas used units – The RLI, The SAS, and Selous Scouts 1 – and place them all in Salisbury.
- None of our other units need to be recalled, as they are all face up and in handshake areas
- However, we’ve now got 4 units to rearm so that’s going to drop our money in $15 to $11
Time to deploy some troopies
- We are going to send both Selous Scouts units to Portuguese territories – one each to Tete and Mozambique.
- The RLI heads to Matebeleland.
- The SAS goes to Victoria.
We have to place 3 terr units on the map and roll a 2, 2, and 3. That puts 2 units in Botswana and 1 in Mozambique
- While the unit in Mozambique does not try to cross the border because of Portuguese rule, both of the terr’s in Botswana cross into Matebeleland.
- Because that territory is already on the fist side, there’s no possibility of the local population pushing them out.
That means we have 2 fights on our hands in Matebeleland, and 1 fight in Mozambique.
- We are going to go ahead and commit the RhAF to the reinforce the South African police, since they have the worst odds of any of the units in the fight.
- In Mozambique, we roll the 2 on the attack strength 4 line which gives us a DR and eliminates that unit
- In Matebeleland, we roll the RLI on a strength 3 line, and roll a 5 for a DR result that pushes that unit back to Botswana.
- The police, with the RhAF reinforcement rolls on the strength 4 line and rolls a 6 to eliminate the defender altogether. We move the RhAF to Salisbury and flip all of our combatants to their used sides
We do still have a unit in Tete that did not get into the fight at all.
Just realized that 1 of the actions I was supposed to have taken as a part of the Land Tenure Amendment was to flip either the US or UK from red to green and then lower the terror level by 1. That would have meant one fewer terr on the map, but there’s no way to know for sure which one wouldn’t have appeared, so I’m going to flip the marker, lower the terror level, and just leave the combat as it was and drive on from there rather than try to replay the earlier phase of the turn.
We do have a US congressional election this turn. We roll a 4, so the government does not change.
With no terr units still in Rhodesia, there’s no terrorism or intimidation. I’m not going to try to move the fist in Matebeleland into the protected villages, is there is still too much time left in the game to take a chance on it flipping back to permanently negative.
I have not yet passed either of the policies that allow me to conduct any of the other actions this turn.
~~ end of the turn ~~
Rhodesian Herald phase
We are up to turn 10, plus 2 on the die roll gives us a 12 for the Rhodesian Herald, and here comes the fun.
- Coup in Portugal – with our coup in Portugal, the Portuguese are leaving Africa. See below for the effects.
- Coup rumors in Tanzania – we roll 2D6, and roll a 9 and there is no effect
- Tan-Zam railway – we flip our Port of Biera marker to the railway side and lose any ability to squeeze the Zambian leader to cut down on terrorist action in his country
- Communist subversion – just like last turn, this increases the terror level by 1, from 3 to 4.
- $4 gift – here’s a free $4 from anti-communist crusaders around the world, taking us from $11 to $15
Both of our Portugal ‘control’ markers flip and go into our force pool as Renamo units. This also takes $2 off the board for our income.
The coup also costs us the ALCORA policy, and both Portuguese military units. We also raise our terror level from 2 to 3.
We have no elections this turn at all
We are going to end up collecting less money this turn, but we were still going to max out given that we only have 1 step up left to go.
We need to spend a dollar to refuel the RhAF.
We are going to try something different this turn and go ahead and spend some money on flipping 1 of the local black leaders to our side, since the game is getting fairly far along and there’s a decent chance of keeping them on our side.
- To buy off the bishop, we have to spend $5 and beat a die roll of 3 or better.
- We lower our treasury from $16 to $11, and a roll a 1. While we didn’t corrupt him into collaborating with us, we did get our money back as the talks never got off the ground.
- This is a slightly ambiguous point in the rules, because having Kissinger on the map adds 1 to the die roll. What’s not clear is if our 1 automatically adjusts to a 2 where we lose our money and do not succeed on collaborating with Muzorewa, or if the unadjusted die roll of 1 stands on its own as the talks never getting off the ground.
Policy Review phase
Here we have another challenge, because the semi-random placement of the policies resulted in the Quenet commission hitting the turn chart 2 turns before we are even allowed to play it.
There is no penalty for inaction, so I guess we just let it sit there until 1977 and then have to pull it from a previously unplayed spot.
- We have our Selous Scouts to recall from Tete and Mozambique, and the RLI from Matebeleland.
- We are going to move the Renamo units in the force pool to Mozambique
We need to pay $3 to rearm our units in Salisbury, and we are going to immediately send them abroad. We send 1 unit of Selous Scouts to Botswana, 1 to Mozambique, and the RLI to Tete.
There aren’t a lot of outrage events left that we could roll for events at this point, so we are going to get more bold about sending units out of the country.
- We have to put 4 terr’s units on the map, and roll a 1, 3, 4, and 5.
- That puts 1 in Zambia, 2 in Mozambique, and 1 in Tete.
Fortunately, we’ve got some forces abroad to do something about this.
- Before we do that though, the Renamo units get to each pair off with a ZANU terr, and they have a specific conflict table.
- We roll a 3 and a 4, so 1 Renamo unit goes back to the force pool, and the other is stuck along with the ZANU unit.
Before the other ZANU can move out of Mozambique, he’s caught by the Selous Scouts, and held in place. Ditto the ZAPU unit in Botswana, and the RLI pairs off with the unit in Tete.
The only terr unit that gets to cross a border is the one coming from Zambia.
We rolled a 4 and that sends him into Matebeleland, where he is met by the SAP.
- In Botswana, we are rolling with an attack strength of 4 and a die roll of 4 eliminates that unit.
- In Tete, we are rolling with an attack strength of 3, and a die roll of 2 means the attack fails.
- in Mozambique, we are rolling with an attack strength of 4 again and a die roll of 1 means that attack fails also.
- Finally, in Matebeleland, we will reinforce the SAP with the RhAF, for a total attack strength of 4, and roll a 6 which eliminates the unit.
We move the RHAF to Salisbury, and flip all of our other units to their used sides
So there are still 3 terr’s on the map, but they are not crossing the border just yet.
It is 1975, so there are no elections of any sort. We have no terr’s inside the country so there is no terrorism or intimidation going on, and we are skipping the protected villages again
Things are starting to get a little dicier as we are using more units abroad, which will cost more money. There are also more terr’s starting to stick on the map, which will hurt us if they start crossing the border instead of getting killed abroad.
~~ end of the turn ~~
Rhodesian Herald phase
Turn number 11, plus a 5 on the die gives us a 16 for our events.
The Rhodesian Herald’s headlines this year are
- Coup in Portugal – doesn’t matter, already did it
- Communist Subversion – terror level goes up 1, now at 5
- Atrocity – Another random table to determine what happened and whose fault it was.
- We now roll 2 dice and get a 1 and a 6.
- The 6 tells us white farmers were targeted and our population is reduced by 1 and is now a 12.
- Our low die tells us it’s Mugabe’s fault and our terror level goes up by 1, and is now at 6.
- There’s going to be a lot of shooting this turn.
- Jesse Helms – everyone’s favorite reactionary North Carolinian who looked like an albino pufferfish, but we rolled a 6 and he & some other hardline Republican senators were able to remove sanctions from our country, giving us a higher income.
- Rampages – if the Pfumo re Vanhu units had been on the map, then we would have needed to remove them
- Special Branch – I’m going to go ahead and spend a dollar to remove a terr from the map, as I’m sitting on $14 right now and will max out easily during the next phase of the turn. The rules don’t explicitly say that you can only use this once per turn, but the inference is that it’s just a single use. We drop our money from $14 to $13, and remove 1 of the units from Mozambique
We have a British election this turn, and so we roll a die and come up with a 3 which hands the government over from the Tories to Labour. The terror level is now all the way up to 7. We move the British elections marker all the way out to 1981.
We are going to Max our income again, and so move that up to $16 and it’s time to spend some money.
There are no terr’s in country that we need to shore up morale, and we can no longer put pressure on Zambia for anything because the railway has been completed.
We are going to spend 4 for public spending to flip our population marker from the red ‘down’ arrow to the green ‘up’ arrow but we are not going to try to boost our +3 popularity any higher.
We do have to spend 1 to refuel the RhAF.
We are going to try again to buy off Muzorewa. It costs us $5 and drops our income from $11 to $6 and we rolled a 5, + 1 for Kissinger gets us a 6, and he is now collaborating with us.
Policy Review phase
Our policy this time around is the Corsan policy, that tried to build a whole lot of obstacles along the Mozambique border to slow the terror coming in.
We only need a 2 or higher to pass it, and roll a 3. The effects are +2 on our popularity, and we get to spend $2 to place 1 marker along the map.
We are placing it in Mashonaland, under construction.
Our treasury is all the way down to $4 at the moment. We also add the Guard Force unit to our force pool.
This is going to get busy
Because we have so many units already out there, we are not raising the Guard Force. We do need to rearm a bunch of units though, and have 3 units in Salisbury. We redeploy our other Renamo unit back to Mozambique, and flip the SAP in Matebeleland back to its active side
The total to rearm is $3, dropping our treasury down to a single dollar left. We now get to deploy our units.
As you can expect, we are sending several of them out of the country.
- The scouts are going to Tete and Botswana, and the RLI to Mozambique.
- We are also moving the SAS to Matebeleland.
- We can move troopies around the map as much as we want without much cost.
We now have to deploy the terr’s, and we are rolling 7 of them total: 1, 2, 3, 3, 4, 4, 4.
- We sent a unit abroad into Tete and then no terr’s deployed there.
- We end up with 1 in Zambia, 1 in Botswana, and 5 in Mozambique.
It’s going to get busy there.
Before anybody starts moving, we do have conflict between the Renamo units, and a pair of terr’s. We roll a 5 and a 1, which takes 1 of each off the map and back to the force pool.
Now some of the terr’s get to move, but not before I get to stick a few of them first.
- The 1 in Botswana is stuck to a unit of Selous Scouts
- Same thing with the 1 in Tete
- Of the 4 terr’s in Mozambique, the RLI pin 1 of them down, but the other 3 get through. The 1 ZAPU unit in Zambia Will also slip across the border.
- A roll of 5 in Zambia moves that unit into Mashonaland
- Of the 3 in Mozambique, we roll a 1, 5, and 6. That puts 1 into Mashonaland, and the other 2 into Victoria, where we only have a single unit waiting.
It would have been nice to have had that corsan built already instead of just being under construction
We now need to check handshake effects
- Starting with Victoria because that is the easiest one, we rolled a 2, so the terr stays on the map but the handshake does not flip to a fist.
- Moving up to Mashonaland, we have 3 dice to roll.
- The first one is a 6 which eliminates the terr outright. The second one is a 2 so that unit stays there but does not affect our handshake marker. The third is also a 2.
Going into individual combat, here’s what our map looks like
- We will start in Botswana, rolling 1 die with an attack strength of 4, and we roll the 1 so the attack fails.
- Moving to Victoria, we are rolling 1 die with an attack strength of 2 and we roll a 3 so that attack fails also.
- In Mozambique we have an attack strength of 3 and we rolled a 3 for a DR which eliminates that unit because it is abroad
- In Tete, we have an attack strength of the 4 and roll the 5, so he is eliminated
- On our first fight in Mashonaland, The RAR have a strength of 2 and roll a 4 to force the ZAPU unit back to Zambia
- Our second fight is also a strength of 2, and a roll of 2 so the attack fails and that ZANU unit stays there.
- We are going to fly a fireforce mission with the RhAF and the SAS into Victoria to try and eliminate the ZANU unit there. With a strength of 5, even our roll of 1 eliminates that unit, but the RhAF was damaged in the process and flips to its weaker side when moving back to Salisbury.
We now have 1 terr still in the country, 3 around the borders but still on the map, and 7 used units that we will need to rearm plus some damage to the RHAF we need to repair.
It’s 1976 and that means a US political election. We roll a 6 which gives a Republican win. We follow that up with a roll of 3 which leaves Kissinger in place on the map instead of bringing Ronald Reagan into the game.
For terrorism and intimidation, there is no point leaving the unit in Mashonaland on the ground to continue to raise the terror level since it is already maxed. Instead we will remove it and flip the handshake marker to a fist, which would be a more likely outcome anyway
We are not going to employ the protected villages yet, but we will spend our last dollar to complete the Corsan in Mashonaland.
~~ end of the turn ~~
Well, after managing to keep a lid on things for 10 turns, turn 11 got very interesting and we’ve now got some serious fiscal challenges on our hands. We are going to have to refit a whole lot of our military, and we have a couple of fists out there where the local population is no longer cooperating with the central government. We also have a very high terror level and that’s going to spawn a lot more units over the next 2 turns unless we can bring that down
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