Mali 1975

So last night I ran a game for Kim and Ian.  I was really happy with how everything worked out and I got some really good takeaways from the game.

The game was set around a fictional French intervention in Northern Mali in 1975.  I pretty much just followed the pattern of the 2008 intervention as I gave the pre game briefing…  I would have run it for 2008 but I don’t quite have the models for it yet.

Overall the sides were evenly matched.

  • 3 x 10 man Foreign Legion squads
  • 3 x AMX 30s
  • 4 x 10 man rebel squads
  • 4 x T-54/55s

The French had better shooting and morale but the rebels had more stuff on the table.

Both sides also had mortar spotters.

The game was an encounter with two buildings in the center of the village as objectives.  Kim, who played the rebels had positional advantage because he was able to get into position quickly and his mortar spotter had some great luck.

Also, I put a bit of a twist in the game for the French:  Rules of Engagement

  • Could not fire at enemy forces unless fired on first.
  • When firing on troops, they had to make positive ID before engaging (ie, a leadership roll)
  • Could not target enemy in buildings unless they received more than 2 fire actions from that location- if damaged they would be penalized in Victory Points
  • No troops could occupy the Mosque
  • One the French lost 5 infantry or a tank, they could call in to get the RoE relaxed
    • Once relaxed, they could engage enemy forces in buildings with positive ID
    • The Mosque was no longer off limits
    • They would be penalized for destroying any buildings, but weren’t prohibited from targeting them

Couple of lessons learned

  • Having an actual mortar team on the table really wasn’t all that value added.  I think I’ll just stick with spotter teams.  Also, we’ll make them the ONLY ones who can call in mortar fire (unless special rule – ie, any american squad can call in a fire mission)
  • Need to remember that you can “hit the deck” even when in the open, this will diffuse some of the ugly that mortars brought.
  • 3 squads is just too few.  I think I need to bump the expectation up to 5-6 from 3-4 for a game.  Once Ian lost one of his FFL squads, I could tell it hurt his feelings.  Having more on the table will help absorb the impact of bad luck.

So here was the town….  the tan building in the foreground and the hotel across the street were the two objectives.

Another view

Kim’s troops at deployment

Ian’s French

The rebel Forward Observer was responsible for taking out an entire squad… Once RoE was lifted, he was the first target….

Because of RoE and Ian’s failure to get it lifted for 3 turns, Kim was able to get most of his forces into position…

Ian tried to pop smoke and advance, but the rebel weight of fire just tore that squad up… they ended up losing half their force and pinned down.

These are the rebel squads that put Ian through so much hell in the grove…  Kim’s tanks on the other hand didn’t have the same level of success…

Ian missing the fighters in the mosque with a mortar strike….


Game ended with Kim up 5-3 in victory points over Ian

Kim got points for – 1 First blood, 2 enemy units destroyed, 2 objectives taken

Ian got points for – 3 enemy units destroyed

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