Thursday, July 29, 2010

Rebel Movements Suffer Setbacks on Battlefield

We met on July 18 for another round of Chaos in Kammebalango. Four campaign participants and two other gamers met and were able to fight out three battles. All three went poorly for the players. However, under the new map movement rules, all three factions nevertheless advanced one more space towards the capital.

PAUN Fails to Oust Foreigners

The campaign front-runners, the Pan African Union of Egalatarian Defense, responded to the complaints of local villagers that foreign soldiers were looting the area. A reconnaissance force met the mysterious soldiers at a highway crossroads, and they proved to be elite soldiers of the neighboring country of Boputavana. When hailed by PAUN's scouts, the invaders opened fire and the battle began. Although the PAUN armed forces had seen remarkable improvement in capability and training after their previous battlefield successes, they were no match for the Boputavanese military.

Outgunned and outfought, the soldiers of PAUN fled back to their camp.
A PAUN spokesman said that this is another example of the inability of the current government of Kammebalango to adequately control the country. "You see our leaders are weak and powerless -- unable to protect its people from foreign invaders. Although we were unable to drive the outsiders off, we inflicted harm on them and let them know that PAUN will brook no bespoiling of our lands!"

Boputavana soldiers looting villages in the area after beating back PAUN attack

HOGG Militia Attack Government Radio Station
After threatening to open a campaign against the government of Kammebalango, the Hastily Organized Gathering of Guys (HOGG) struck at a radio station in the remote western part of the country. Soldiers on hand were quickly reinforced by troops from a nearby army camp. Despite several direct hits on the radio station by militia mortars, the building and transmitter tower continued to function.

"These rabble are obviously in the pay of the Western powers," Col. Matata Imvugu told reporters after the battle. "Probably mercenary scum who will kill for any paymaster -- they fought like cowards and we drove them from the field!"A spokesman for the mysterious HOGG movement said that their attacks knocked the radio station off the air for several hours. "If even for a moment we silenced the hatemongering propoganda of the government, it was worth the lives we lost. The people of Kammebalango have been betrayed by the communist doctrine of this government. We will fight until our nation regains its freedom from this traitor regime!"

HOGG militia regroup after being driven off from the radio station

Matangans Troubled by Failure to Seize Bridge Over Waters
The Matanga Unification Front, continuing its advance from its stronghold in the north of the country, attempted to seize a bridge leading to the town of Lubumbashi. They were contested by tribal forces belonging to the Usoto people. Reports say that the Matangans, given confidence by their hallucinagenic mushrooms, rushed into battle without taking adequate cover and underestimating their foes. The Usoto tribal militia caused great casualties among the attackers, and drove them off.
"We are a warrior people, the Usoto," a tribal chieftain said after the battle. "We do not allow outsiders to come in and use our bridge without paying proper tolls. The mushroom eaters are arrogant, and think us backward."

A representative of the Matanga Unification Front explained that they had paid the Usoto tribesmen their tolls, but were double-crossed by the wily tribesmen. "This shows the chaos that reigns in this country and the need for a strong government to instill order. The Usotos are engaging in banditry on the country's roads and bridges."

Usoto tribal forces celebrate their victory at the troubled bridge

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Rules Change for Flag Movement

After watching the progress of the first three turns, I decided to adjust the movement of players' flag markers towards the capital slightly. Since guerrillas often gained influence historically even though they lost encounters with government forces, I've eliminated any retrograde movement. All battles result in players advancing towards the capital. Successful ones lead to a bigger advance, of course.
With this adjustment, most players moved forward a couple spots. It should also make the campaign flow more quickly, as a faction can advance as many as 5 spots or as few as 1. Our next meeting should be in mid-July.

The map below shows where each faction is at on its advance towards the capital. Counting "space 1" as the one just outside the borders of the country, here is where each is:
PAUN - space 8
Matanga - space 7
PFFT - space 6
JuJus - space 5
HOGG - space 0 (no battles fought, yet)

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

3rd Campaign Meeting sees 3 battles

After a four-month layoff, we finally were able to reconvene and continue the campaign this past weekend. As we had six of us present, we got in three battles. This taxed my amount of 20mm troops, as it turned out, and actually ran me out of buildings. Looks like I need to acquire some more stuff! Here were the three battles:

- Zeke's Matangan Unification Front faced a force of local tribal militia (controlled by me) in the "Cattle Rustlers" scenario.
- Allen's PFFFT fought a government force (controlled by Tom) in a "City Fight" scenario.
- Joel's JuJu Tribe squabbled over humanitarian aid in the "That's My USAid!" scenario against an elite, Western-trained force (controlled by Steve V).

The following three entries give battle reports for each of the engagements. The end results were Zeke's marker moved 2 spaces forward towards the capital, Allen's advanced one, and Joel's fell back one. Here is a summary of how far each faction has advanced:

PAUN (Tom) - Spot #8 on path
Matangan Unification Front (Zeke) - Spot #5 on path
PFFFT (Allen) - Spot #4 on path
JuJu's (Joel) - Spot #2 on path
H.O.G.G. (Keith) - Spot #2 on path

Hopefully I will post some pictures in the next day or so...

Matangan Front Has a Beef with Balubas

Relations between the numerous Baluba tribe, the majority in parts of northwest Kammebalango, and the Matangan Unification Front, have grown steadily worse since independence. Many Balubas are pro-government, while the Matangans are steadfastly anti-government. The disagreement broke into open fighting when a Matangan force attacked a Baluba ranch not far from the village of Basankusu. Local officials speculate that the Matangans were raiding the Balubas to steal cattle to feed their growing forces.

"The Matangans did not get away with a single head of our precious cattle," Michele Defamzu proclaimed the day after the battle. "Let the mushroom eaters fill their bellies with their foul fungus -- they still die by the bullet!" Defamzu alluded to the rumor that fighters loyal to the front were known to ingest hallucinogenic mushrooms prior to battle in the belief it will protect them from enemy guns. Defamzu admitted that many Baluba militiamen were slain in the attack, and vowed revenge.

A spokesmen for the Matangans said that their forces drove the Baluba militia from the ranch in disarray. We seized their ranch offices and all their money and equipment. "We did not want their diseased, scrawny cattle. The Balubas can hunker down and hide behind their herds if they wish, but it will not protect them from us!"

Ranch workers said that a Matangan squad in a truck sped quickly to the ranch offices and overran them before guards could prevent it. They said that the stout walls of the two storey building made it into too powerful of a strongpoint, and the Baluba militia had to fall back. The workers confirmed that the guards held firm to a patch of jungle that overlooked the cattle pen, preventing the Matangans from making off with the herd.

Relations have steadily worsened between the two tribes following the attack, and all out warfare for control of northwest Kammebalango is likely to happen soon.

Rebel Forces Outlast Army in Urban Firefight

Rebel fighters loyal to the People Fighting Fiercely Faction Transcendent (PFFFT) outlasted government troops in a firefight on the outskirts of the village of Kipushi. The rebel forces moved quickly into town, seizing several key buildings and fortifying them. Although they were shelled repeatedly by heavily-armed government soldiers, the rebels clung fiercely to their gains, forcing the army to withdraw.

"We killed dozens of the bastards, but they did not seem to care if they lived or died," complained Col. Tomas Graveau. "How can you defeat people who don't know whey they've been beaten?" Graveau vowed to defend the main part of the village, and drive off any further attacks by PFFFT.

A spokesmen for the rebels said that his faction has much support in the area, and will soon seize Kipushi proper. "Our fighters are willing to lay down their lives for their freedom. Only when this corrupt and puppet regime of the West has fallen will the people of Kammebalango truly be free. Until that day comes, PFFFT will fight fiercely for all our country's people."

The spokesmen acknowledged that his troops suffered heavy losses from government mortar and cannon fire. However, he claimed the prestige of defeating the government in battle has led to a vast increase the number of recruits arriving at their camps.

JuJu Tribe Driven Back from Isiro

Tribal militia from the JuJus, who predominate in much of northwest Kammebalango, were driven back from the village of Isiro by government paratroopers. Col. Stefan Verdofamwe explained that a lucrative shipment of United Nations had been dropped off in the village with inadequate protection. "Fortunately, my paratroopers were nearby, and when we heard the JuJus were advancing upon Isiro to seize it, we intercepted them," Verdofamwe said. The colonel explained that his paratrooper regiment will maintain security over the shipment of food and medicine "to ensure its safety."

A spokesman for the JuJu tribe said that the shipment was intended for the people of Kammebalango -- most of whom in the area are from his tribe. The chief had ordered his militia to collect it and distribute it to needy villages in the bush. "Now that the army has it," the spokesman said, "none of the poor people will see a morsel of the food or a drop of the medicine." He vowed that the tribal forces will reorganize quickly and continue to strike back against government corruption.
Observers say that the fight was largely one-sided, as the paratroopers were much better armed and trained. The militia had no answer for the two armored vehicles and their heavy machine guns. The lightly armed militia fighters were cut down in droves by the government troops. Isiro policemen, who had been charged with guarding the shipment, took cover during the firefight, but were unscathed. Neither side fired upon the policemen, who let the two warring factions fight it out. Heavily outgunned, they surrendered the shipment to the paratroopers after the firefight was over.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

PAUN seizes Kananga; UN convoy massacred in North

We had four players show up for the second meeting of the campaign. This meant that Joel's JuJu Tribe fought its first battle, while Tom's PAUN rebel movement got in its second. Both players rolled up facing a government force. The JuJu's would battle a government battle for control of a UN armored personnal carrier (transporting SAM missiles) in the "SAM is my name" scenario. PAUN would struggle for control of the urban center of the large village of Kananga with defending government soldiers. The other participants in the campaign played the part of the government troops.

Joel chose to not open fire on the UN troops guarding the disabled APC, while his government opponent blasted away at it almost immediately. The UN troops knocked out a technical mounting a HMG, damaged the government APC, and killed a few soldiers, before succumbing to superior firepower. The JuJu's instead dug in as close as possible to the vehicle and ended up outlasting the soldiers in a firefight. Joel won the scenario, but lost more troops, so his faction's flag marker advanced one space towards the capital.

In Kananga, the PAUN forces advanced rapidly to seize as many of the village center's buildings as possible. His opponent, Allen, had laid out a beautiful urban battlefield, and the two sides used its cover as best as possible. Allen's die rolling was abysmal, and once again Tom's PAUN triumphed over a better-armed adversary. The government soldiers were routed from the village center. Tom, for winning the scenario and destroying twice as many troops as he lost, had his faction flag marker move 3 spaces towards the capital. This earned him the campaign's first Covert Aid card, which he can use in later turns to assist his faction.

Keith, despite hosting the evening's gaming, was feeling under the weather (Kammebalango mosquitos are rife with malaria...), so his H.O.G.G. faction "passed," and he remains atop the Player Order chart. The order of play for the next meeting is H.O.G.G., Matanga Unification Front, PFFFT, JuJu's and PAUN.