Steel Panthers Main Battle Tank: Rhodesia Bush War

Started by greengiant, July 11, 2022, 12:03:21 PM

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greengiant

Scenario Details

Game: winSPMBT
Year: 1970
Turn Length: 27 turns
Visibility: 37 (I think, going off memory here) - if you've not played the SP games, the way this works is your units total vision equals their stated vision in their stats + the set vision for the scenario.
Engagement Type: Meeting (not really, you'll see)
Requisition Points: 3000 each
Forces: Rhodesia vs Insurgents
Players: Greengiant (west start) and Pete (east start - also not sure if he has an account here; my first time playing him)
House Rules: Unfortunately none

Notes: I've never played Pete before; he said this is one of his first games on MBT. That being said he seems to be very interested in war history and created this scenario to mimic some of the skirmishes that took place during the Bush War. So I'll definitely have tech superiority here with the only 'armour' I'm likely to encounter being technicals for getting the insurgents around. What works against me here is that while Pete chose a meeting engagement, the majority of the objective are all within his side, meaning he will most likely make a bee-line for the towns on his side containing clumps of objective points and force me to attack, except I have the same points as him (usually an attacking scenario requires more points to the attacker). I don't mind too much though as he is apparently a newbie and as such I didn't stipulate any club rules used regularly at theblitz.club.

I've picked my forces and deployed, but I forgot to take a snap after deployment; the following pic shows pre-deployment (that's why all my units are clumped on the left).  I'll certainly be taking more detailed snaps for the next post as well as some zoomed in shots to provide more clarity.



So you can see the white squares within my deployment zone only contain one objective each; the triangle would be neutral ground and the circles are the clumps of multiple objectives on his side.

Forces:

  • x3 regular infantry companies, and one SAS company. SAS are the Rhodesian Special Air Service infantry, commandos, and all badass to the bone.
  • x3 armoured car platoons using the Eland 90 (the only armour available to Rhodesian forces
  • about 20 or so Bedford trucks
  • x2 air sorties, a line and coin bomber
  • a few 25 pounders (x2 batteries I think
  • x2 FOO

And that's it. I haven't purchased any supply dumps and I'm hoping that doesn't bite me in the rear come late game. For interest sake, this is what Rhodesia generally used for anti armour at the time, the Energa Grenade.



For what I'll be facing it is most likely over kill as rifles will be turning their technicals into swiss cheese.

The Plan
The majority of the ordinary rifle platoons will assault along the southern edge of the map using the two roads. The center of the map is dominated by massive hills that scream 'shoot me, shoot me now!' so I'll mostly be avoiding it. The southern forces will strike first in the hopes of giving the impression that the majority of my forces are there. Once engaged and once I've drawn in enough of the enemy my northern forces consisting of the SAS company, 2 of the Eland platoons and a single rifle squad borrowed from the south will hit the clumps of objectives in the north.

Mortars, bombing runs and the 25 pounders will ensure my men take minimal losses when assaulting towns.

I thought about playing around with specialised ad-hoc companies but honestly, Rhodesia's pickings are so slim that I don't really see the point.



Aaaand that's it for now, more to come on my first AAR.  Cheers!



Jarhead0331

Awesome! Please encourage "Pete" to join our forum and post here as well.
Grogheads Uber Alles
Semper Grog
"No beast is more alpha than JH." Gusington, 10/23/18


JasonPratt

Not in the same thread, of course.  ^-^

Looking forward to the AAR! (DAR?)
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

greengiant

Quote from: Jarhead0331 on July 11, 2022, 01:17:48 PM
Awesome! Please encourage "Pete" to join our forum and post here as well.

Will do.

Quote from: JasonPratt on July 11, 2022, 02:11:47 PM
Not in the same thread, of course.  ^-^

Looking forward to the AAR! (DAR?)

Thinking about it yes, you are right this isn't an AAR in the strictest sense; do you think it should be moved to a different section on the forums? And yes hehe, definitely not in the same thread.

al_infierno

A War of a Madman's Making - a text-based war planning and political survival RPG

It makes no difference what men think of war, said the judge.  War endures.  As well ask men what they think of stone.  War was always here.  Before man was, war waited for him.  The ultimate trade awaiting its ultimate practitioner.  That is the way it was and will be.  That way and not some other way.
- Cormac McCarthy, Blood Meridian


If they made nothing but WWII games, I'd be perfectly content.  Hypothetical matchups from alternate history 1980s, asymmetrical US-bashes-some-3rd world guerillas, or minor wars between Upper Bumblescum and outer Kaboomistan hold no appeal for me.
- Silent Disapproval Robot


I guess it's sort of nice that the word "tactical" seems to refer to some kind of seriousness during your moments of mental clarity.
- MengJiao

JasonPratt

ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Dammit Carl!


greengiant

#7
Alright, here we go. Today I'll be sharing more information on the deployment, the plan, and a bit of history. Because history.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rhodesian_Bush_War 

Will tell you quite a bit about this war.

So, back to the skirmish!

Here's an updated map with lots of squigglies post deployment phase (and, an edited in clean grid map for clarities sake)





So, let's get them squigglies out of the way first.

The giant central circle are the hills I mentioned; these are real monsters almost a hundred meters high at it's summit which is why I will be avoiding them like the plague. Because they all have rather large plateaus, there is no way for someone to employ pop-up tactics here so either you just don't care and go for it, or you use scouts. I will, however, be using one of the lower plateaus to advance my northern forces instead of skirting right along the northern edge of the map. Remember, the south needs to make contact first and (hopefully) draw some forces from either Pete's central reserves (assuming he has any) or even better, getting him to commit some of his northern forces to the south. Since it's been a while (Hey, I needed an excuse) since I played this game I forgot to purchase a few key elements for my force. In  my first post I said I purchased x2 FOO units. I didn't. I also didn't nab a scout plane which would have been gold considering my enemy is most likely carting his troops around on crummy technicals. Sigh. Siiiigh.

The green circles are my forces; from north to south it would be my SAS company with the x2 Eland armoured car groups and one rifle squad reserve along with some Bedford trucks. Next is my arty on one of the lower plateaus and finally my southern forces consisting of my HQ, Lt. Kol. Kotze, x3 rifle companies (minus a single platoon assisting the north).

Speaking of which, our rifle platoon borrowed from the south will need to be reassigned now. It's something I could have done before hand during the requisition phase, but.. yeah. Anyways, this should help a bit with their moral, otherwise they're going to pining for their captain the entire skirmish.

All the pink circles are me highlighting enemy and currently neutral objectives which is why you see mostly white squares in the central circles and red squares in the far eastern circles since those are points he started with as his and vice versa, the green squares (all 2 or 3 of them) are already mine; I'll provide better close-ups once the battle takes us there (if it takes us there).

I've also gridded the map so call-outs to certain areas will make more sense to readers. And finally those pink arrows give you a rough idea of what I talked about in my OP and further elaborated on above. In a perfect world the battle would end in sectors B6, C6 and D6 with my southern and northern forces locking down the remnants of the insurgents before I mortar and arty them into oblivion and all taken objectives lie safely behind my two main forces.

A close-up of my northern forces before they move out; all huddled under some trees to avoid being spotted (just a habit really, I doubt the insurgents even have an air force). All the SAS soldiers are already in the trucks, and that platoon you see there is the aforementioned rifle platoon from the southern company.



A close-up of my southern forces, also ready to go. Some are in trucks, the rest on foot. You'll notice this area has a dirt road and a tarred road slanting slightly to the north. These will be my two main means of getting across the map while those on foot will proceed as best they can between the buildings and trees. One thing to note about this map; besides the giant hill in the middle, the entire map slopes downward to the west. This means there is a real possibility of my forces being spotted from really far away as they are all literally looking down when looking to the west. Also, the top rifle squad slightly separated from everyone else? That's Lt. Kol. Kotze; HQ. He'll keep a few hundred meters back while moving forward to assist with FOO actions since... well I didn't get any FOO units (raaargh!).



This one I'm including because it gives a quick view of all our commanders (far right left list). It's in hierarchical order so we see Kotze at the top. The HQ screen will also allow us to shift our separated rifle platoon into his new company.



Finally, the make-up of some of our forces to give you a better idea of the equipment being fielded here.

Bedford trucks.


Our normal rifle company; squads.


25 pounders. For this one I've also included the second information panel you can call up which provides further detail.





The Eland 90 'Noddy' armoured cars





So that's it for today. I hope that you now have a better understanding of what's going on. More to come!

JasonPratt

I thought that gun looked punchy on the Eland: 90mm!? What is that, a revamped Soviet armored car?!
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Jarhead0331

Quote from: JasonPratt on July 13, 2022, 07:49:30 AM
I thought that gun looked punchy on the Eland: 90mm!? What is that, a revamped Soviet armored car?!

No. It is indigenous to South Africa. It was one of results of the first post-war South African defense programs and was designed to fulfill an armed recon role for the SADF. 
Grogheads Uber Alles
Semper Grog
"No beast is more alpha than JH." Gusington, 10/23/18


Sir Slash

And they were quite effective if I remember correctly.
"Take a look at that". Sgt. Wilkerson-- CMBN. His last words after spotting a German tank on the other side of a hedgerow.

greengiant

Before the collapse of Denel Systems due to governmental corruption, they were at the forefront in terms of developing highly effective systems. They also created the first mine-proof APC which in turn got adopted by many other countries (Buffel and Ratel); the Rooivalk, the NTW20 and many more. Very sad what has happened to them.

Jarhead0331

Quote from: Sir Slash on July 13, 2022, 09:04:08 AM
And they were quite effective if I remember correctly.

They were highly mobile over the rough terrain of the region in which they were employed. This was a good match for the style of maneuver warfare preferred by the SADF. However, they did have some trouble when facing MBTs supplied by the Soviet Union or Cuba due to the lighter armor and relative ineffectiveness of the 90mm gun on the Eland. Although they suffered losses in those battles, they were still able to have some success by being able to move around the MBTs and attack on the flank or in the rear where the 90mm gun could be more effective.
Grogheads Uber Alles
Semper Grog
"No beast is more alpha than JH." Gusington, 10/23/18


greengiant

Quote from: Jarhead0331 on July 13, 2022, 09:28:51 AM
Quote from: Sir Slash on July 13, 2022, 09:04:08 AM
And they were quite effective if I remember correctly.

They were highly mobile over the rough terrain of the region in which they were employed. This was a good match for the style of maneuver warfare preferred by the SADF. However, they did have some trouble when facing MBTs supplied by the Soviet Union or Cuba due to the lighter armor and relative ineffectiveness of the 90mm gun on the Eland. Although they suffered losses in those battles, they were still able to have some success by being able to move around the MBTs and attack on the flank or in the rear where the 90mm gun could be more effective.

Indeed, the SADF developed their doctrines to the point that they made Hitler's Blitzkrieg seem positively slow; it was the only way to beat the MBT's and get them in their flanks. And it didn't get any easier later in the Angolan War. The benefit there at least was the introduction of the exceptional Ratels and their AT variants. Pretty much the same tactics employed in the Rhodesian Bush War, but now with a weapon that could typically guarantee a kill against a MBT if two or three fired in conjunction.

Gusington

Any good books you can recommend for these topics?
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