Sunday, December 9, 2012

Disposable Heroes The Second Battle of Cuito Cuanavale

 Hi Kids,  Here we are in the Basement of Heaped Miniatures, staging the Second Battle of Cuito Cuanavale, 1987, Angola, with 25mm figs.  Historically the UNITA/South African forces actually attacked the town six different times, never succeeding in capturing it.  The Catawba Gamers played the first attempt last month, a few of us decided to give it another try. This one is smaller due to another collector's minis not making the trip.  Fewer players too, come to think of it.  Anyway, on with the show!  The first picture is during turn 1. Looking south, two Angolan T-55's have climbed a rocky hill to get huge lines-of-sight all over the map. The South Africans started their two Oliphants and three Buffels along the road to the southeast. The UNITA are just out of frame to the east.  FAPLA is entering the town from the west. Green chips indicate those units have already activated for the turn.
 Jump ahead a few turns and the Oliphants have finally gotten lucky, destroying a T-55!
 At the south edge of town, two Angolan APC's have deployed their passengers into the buildings, while on the north side a T34/85 and infantry on foot have made it into town.
 Oliphant and Buffel cross the wadi and exchange fire with Angolans.  Since every infantry squad carries RPG-7's this is not that safe a thing to do.  SA infantry line the course of the wadi, and the Milan team is in the hills at the bottom of the picture.  The south is where most of the decisive action took place.
 After a few more turns, casualties are mounting! The SA infantry in the wadi are taking a lot of hits!
 On the north side of town, UNITA takes out a T-34/85 with an RPG-7!  It took quite a few hits before brewing up.  Two squads of UNITA are in the jungle in the foreground. They are also exchanging fire with Angolans in the buildings.
 The comic relief of the battle, the SA Milan team.  They didn't have any trouble repeatedly hitting the T-55's on the hill, they just couldn't seem to do any damage with their hits.  I think they bounced missiles off them at least 4 or 5 times. The Angolans decided not to shoot at them anymore, since they were apparently not very dangerous.
 Finally the other T-55 bursts into flames, a solid hit taking out four of the five crew, the survivor jumping out.  Once again it was an Oliphant hit!
 At the end of the game it looks like a UNITA/SA victory!  Angolans have taken a lot more casualties, and most of their armor is out of action.  It was not all one way, however, as the winners have lost quite a few men and machines too.
The big push in the south at game end.  Two Oliphants ready to approach the few surviving Angolans.  Those giant skulls on the hills are how we mark eliminated units for initiative rolls.

All in all I think this game went pretty smoothly. I was worried that the tanks would have a massive impact, but acquiring, hitting, and damaging a target is not as easy as you might think.  They spent most of the game dueling with their opposite numbers, while the infantry blasted away back and forth.  I'm thrilled to be getting some use out of these figs, they have been gathering dust much too long!  We used a mixture: infantry from The Assault Group, Devil Dog Designs, Copplestone and Eureka.  Oliphants are Chieftain Models, T-55's London War Room, and T34/85 Hobby Armor Depot.  APC's are HAD and Sloppy Jalopy.  I like these games with soft and medium cover; before we were doing games with a lot of stone/concrete buildings, which means Disposable Heroes becomes huge amounts of dice rolling hoping for a 1 on a D10.  With light or medium cover even less-than-average troops have a decent chance of hitting.  Time to get painting, building more forces for future games!

1 comment:

ColKillgore said...

Looks like it was a fun game, wish I could have made it