Monday, November 26, 2012

Battle of Cuito Cuanavale using Disposeable Heroes with the Catawba Gamers

Once again Chuckaroobob has pulled out the stops for another great Catawba Gamers game day. This time we return to 1988 Angola for the South African Operation Hooper and the battle near Cuito Cuanavale.
I the historical battle the South Africans and UNITA attacked the Angolan FAPLA and their Cuban allies in what would become the largest tank battle since WWII. The Historical result was after attacking six times the South African finally had to retreat with destroying the FAPLA/Cuban forces. We used the Disposable Heroes rules and the Seek Out Close With and Destroy supplement form Iron Ivan.
We used several different army list for the troops. The UNITA and FAPLA were played using a modified Zipra list from the Man Among Men Rhodesian war supplement. The South Africans used a modified Rhodesian Light Infantry list with additions ( the Milan Launcher team) from the Modern British list on the Iron Ivan yahoo group. The Cubans were based on the Soviet Airborne rifle Platoon list from the By The Knife Supplement. The T55's, Btr-152, and  BTR-60 came from the By The Knife supplement while the South African Olifants used a modified MK5 Centurian from the Long Road South supplement and the armored trucks came from the Man Among Men Supplement.

Onto the game.

Fapla DSHK 12.7mm heavy machine gun crew scans the sky from a hilltop near the village.

UNITA troops move into Assault range of the village. They hide in a shell hole left by the South African G5 155mm bombardment used to soften up the village.

The long view of the battle field. The FAPLA have their backs to the river as the UNITA move into the town.

As the engagement heats up both sides call for reinforcements, The FAPLA their Cuban Allies and UNITA their South African allies. The UNITA takes the command shack at the bombed airstrip but face a FAPLA counter attack.

Cuban crewed armor arrives on the field.

A South African Olifant arrives and Fails to destroy anything.

A BTR-60 carrying a Cuban Airborne rifle squad and platoon commander advances into the village, backed by a T34/85 and covered by the machine gun from a BTR-152.

Cuban T-55 destroys an empty South African Cassipir truck.

A Cuban T-55 Acquires the South African Olifant but Fails to destroy it.

The Olifant's luck doesn't last and the combined fire of three T55 tanks brews it up.

One Cuban T-55 doesn't celebrate long as a South African Milan finishes it off.

The South African move into take the village but are pinned down in a shell hole.

South African At rocket destroys an empty Cuban Btr-60

Angolan t34/85 decides that if we can't have the village neither can they and destroys a building with its 85mm main gun.

After taking a hit from a UNITA rocket propelled grenade, A heavy machine gun destroys a Cuban BTR-60 and kills all but two passengers.

End Game, With both South African Olifant tanks destroyed and most of the South African forces pinned down The Cuban armor starts to move into the village. We called the game and ruled it a Cuban Victory but I still think the South Africans could have pulled out a win but we ran out of time. I had fun playing and researching the game really helped introduce me to another interesting African conflict. The result mirrored the historical outcome but if we run the game again I think the South Africans should have access to some off board artillery to represent the G5 155mm artillery they had historically.

Unlike the last big game I helped Chuckaroobob run, Operation Barras at Catawba Gamers , we had play tested that game several times before running it for the club. This time around we didn't have that luxury and a bit of play testing may have helped the game run a bit smoother. A worse part is The Olifants inability to damage the T-55 tanks. They had enough gun but one shot bounced off of a T-55s tracks and another one that penetrated the hull failed to kill the driver. They could have destroyed them but the low damage rolls  didn't let it happen.



Achates Victus said...

T55s are way deadlier than people think. Discovered that the hard way playing some 1980's Afghanistan games.

Great looking game!


ColKillgore said...

I agree with you, we were using a home grown datasheet for the Olifants and mo matter how good they looked on paper, the T-55s could shoot holes through them all day long.

Thanks for taking a look, we want to do some more Angolan Civil war games in the future.