Saturday, November 5, 2016

AAR24: The Mugabian Surprise

Before cleaning up my table to make more room for more casting, I played the first ground battle of the second strategic turn of the Uwandan invasion of Mugabia.  The battle took place on the southern fringe of Objective B-21.  Below is a map of the central border region between the countries of Uwanda (left) and Mugabia (right) with the black line being the border.

"I like this young Mugabian" thought Major Beriev of the Mugabian officer hurriedly readying his troops before him; "I believe the fire burns within him." The Major had been teaching the ways of proper leadership, and the ways of war.  The student would soon have opportunity to apply his lessons.

The Mugabian captain  had the fortune of commanding the only unit in a position to respond to the President's order for immediate counter-attack.  His troops made up a composite force intended to be  a ready reserve to counter any Uwandan attack at A59 and/or B-11, and by chance, located at Objective B32 to the south of Objective B21, where Uwanda's first ground attack came.

Re-purposed, his unit was on the road to reinforce objective B21, not knowing that the war had already arrived there.  While in route, he began receiving reports of the events at B-21 and he adjusted his advance as best he could to avoid the Uwandan air attacks that were being reported.  Though it slowed his pace, his unit still moved quickly, having left what little armor it possessed at B-32. 

As he neared B-21, friendly aircraft flew overhead, and he could see smoke rising in the distance,  He deployed a portion of his infantry company to act as reconnaissance, as he had no dedicated element of this type. 

The Captain listened to the Russian advisor that was attached to his unit, a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. Though he would likely be reprimanded for it, Captain Smythe lead one of the recce elements, and soon found his force in an excellent situation.  The Uwandan forces at B21 were forming up to advance on Objective B32, but had not moved out yet.

Below are views of Objective B21 and Uwandan Force 4 as first encountered by the Mugabian attacking force:

Southerly view of the battlefield, showing disposition of Uwanda forces.
Damaged and abandoned vehicles from the earlier battle
 are still in place, some still smoldering.

View looking east, Uwanda possesses the town to the north.

View looking west, Mugabia attacks from the south (left) edge.

The Mugabian attacking force consisted of :
1x HQ with 1x BTR152, 1z GAZ69
1x Mech Infantry Company with 10x BTR152
4x 85mm gun w/GAZ66
2x ZU23/2 w/truck
4x 120mm mortar w/truck, 1x GAZ69

Uwanda Force 4 consisted of :
1x HQ with 1x M3 halftrack, 1x Jeep
2x Centurion (attached from Force 1)
8x Firefly
13x M3 halftrack with infantry company
3x Saladin
4x Ferret

Uwandan Occupation Force at Objective B21:
1x ZU23/2
2x Inf sections (deployed along the south edge of town)

The Mugabian captain had his infantry platoons fan out across the southern approach to B21, and managed to moved two of his 85mm guns into position to the southwest of the town.  He also had four 120mm mortars deployed off-board ready to fire a mix of high explosive and smoke. 

A Mugabian infantry platoon and two 85mm guns move
 into position to the southwest of the town.
The Mugabian Captain and infantry on the rise directly south of town.
Mugabian infantry platoon advancing up the road from the southeast.
Very slowly the Mugabian infantry, bristling with RPGs, advanced into choice positions against the Uwandans.  Minutes ticked by, the Mugabians continued to advance, with the order to return fire if the Uwandans started shooting.  The Uwandans did not (for 32 very cautious, exceedingly slow, and utterly eventless turns, the absolutely blind Uwandans couldn't see squat). 

Uwandan infantry advance through the trees southwest of town...

... and up the road from the southeast.

Finally, the Captain, concerned that somehow he was walking into a trap, gave the order to fire.  The Uwandans were caught completely flat-footed.  Still, the range was just great enough that the RPGs were not as effective as hoped with 6 of 8 missing entirely on the first volley.  But the 85mm guns hit, as did the mortars, and a number of Uwandan infantry and a couple of armored cars were damaged or destroyed.

First hits on the unsuspecting Uwandans. 

In those first seconds, flustered Uwandan infantry fired at ghosts, hitting only one Mugabian soldier, before a second volley of RPGs could be fired, a captured ZU23 and another armored car exploded, then a Uwandan halftrack, automatic weapons fire broke out all along the southern flank of the town.  Tanks and armored cars attempted to get out of each others way, and find the enemy among the chaos.

The Uwandan commander immediately called for air support, believing he was being attacked by a much larger force, but air support was not possible at the moment.  His artillery was moving to follow his force advancing towards B32.  His infantry and armor were on their own for the time being, and insufficient information was being reported to get any idea of what was really happening.

Mugabian infantry continued to advance particularly from the southeast and southwest, with RPGs being fired as fast as possible.

Mugabian infantry advance up the tree-line west of town, eventually
engaging the tail of the Uwanda infantry company on the east-west road.
Infantry advancing through the buildings southeast of town.
In time the Mugabians began to run out of rockets for their RPGs, while the Uwandans started to get an idea of what they were up against, and the tide began to turn.

Uwanda's armor begins to inflict casualties on the Mugabian infantry.

The Mugabian commander understood the changing situation and instructed his forces to withdraw, but caught up in their success, they were slow to respond.  While continuing to inflict some damage, they  had over-extended, began to receive heavy fire, and were rapidly losing their ability to threaten the Uwandan armor.

The turning point, Uwanda gains control.
To the southwest, both 85mm guns were destroyed, and a few infantry casualties were taken, but the infantry platoon withdrew, mostly intact.  To the southeast, the Mugabians were not lucky.  Saladins and Fireflies cast withering machinegun and cannon fire, rapidly inflicting many casualties on the second platoon.  They withdrew as best they could, but were forced to leave their wounded comrades behind.

Second platoon suffers heavy casualties.

Major Beriev stood behind the young Mugabian Officer, nodding his approval as the Muagbian showed his insight, issuing the correct orders, at the correct time.  "This one shows promise" Beriev thought, "We can make a true leader of men from this one".

Despite the infantry losses, this wasa  battle well fought by the Mugabians.  Significant casualties were inflicted on the Uwandan force, and their planned  attack would fall behind schedule.  Mugabia would have a little more time to reinforce their positions elsewhere. And a Soviet advisor would issue a very favorable report.

The Uwandans advance was hampered primarily by the slow speed of the Centurions, which allowed this Mugabian force to have the jump on them.  About the time this battle took place, Uwanda temporarily lost control of the sky, and had no artillery support.  If Mugabian had any significant close air capability, Uwanda could have been in a world of hurt, but losses were still significant, and reorganization would be needed before the attack on Objective B32 took place.



3x Firefly
2x Saladin
3x Ferret
3x M3 1/2t
1x ZU23/2


2x  85mm
26 KIA

Captured by Uwanda

2 POW wounded

I will be taking a little break from the Uwanda/Mubagia War to get some other things done, but plan to come back to this in about a month.


  1. Irish,

    Great stuff, a fun read. Love the spoiling attack scenario and it tying in with the previous fight. But 32 failed spotting rolls!!??


    1. Dude, it was worse than that. Some turns there were multiple rolls. Maybe we can both take dice rolling classes somewhere. Glad you liked the write-up, thanks.

  2. Irishserb:
    Outstanding battle report! I love your terrain and buildings. The battle was a bloody one but the Uwandan loss of vehicles was decisive. Thanks for posting this.
    CHeers and good gaming.
    Rod Robertson.
    PS? Are you back in business selling minis yet?