Thursday, April 17, 2014

Angolan BMP-1's

I got two of these finished to go along with my two squads of mechanized Angolan infantry. I built them stock and didn't bother with any stowage. I really liked the clean lines of the vehicle and low profile. They seem a little small next to the slightly oversized infantry but they fit the role of amored transport very well.

Angolan mechanized troops move into position on the
outskirts of a small town.

The BMP and some infantry suppress the enemy while
other troops use the vehicle as cover.

With the Sagger mounted over the 73mm cannon the BMP-1
 provides the Angolans with much needed bite.

Its amphibious capabilities allow the Angolans to take the
fight to the ROP regardless of the terrain.

The BMP-1 has firing ports that allow its passengers to
fire from within the vehicle.

Still have a ton of things that I'm working on, everything from more Belgians to neat armor conversions for the ROP. I'm working on getting enough tanks together to have some large scale armor battles between the different forces involved in the WIA. I really want to have a slug match between an Angolan Armored Battalion and the Republican Guard Armored Battalion. To have the kind of fight I want I'll need more Republican Guard infantry and tanks, and more Angolan vehicles too, so it might be a few months before I get to have the rumble in the jungle that I want. Thanks for reading and stay thirsty.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

OPERATION: TORTOISE

The name started out as a joke among the Republic of Poliebo's General Staff, it was taking so long to put together it was likened to a tortoise, but grew into something that could change the course of the fighting against the Sudanese. OPERATION: TORTOISE was formulated immediately following the Sudanese invasion but seemed impossible to get moving given the lack of ROP forces in the north of the country. A strategy of delay was adopted and proved successful in stemming the advance of Sudanese forces. The Sudanese were held to the northern side of the Uele River, and seemed unable to cross in force for any significant gains. The hard fighting bought the ROP the time it needed to get the slow moving operation up and rolling. The last piece fell into place as the newly formed ROP XX Corps moved up to the banks of the Uele River, OPERATION: TORTOISE was a go.

The men of XX Corps move into position around the
heavily shelled village of Dubua.

Equipped with amphibious BTR-50 transports, XX Corps
will be able to surge across the Uele River.

The 1st Infantry Assault Brigade makes up the backbone
of XX Corps, they'll be the first across the river.

XX Corps also boasts an impressive motor recon section
that will make the most of the advance against the
Sudanese.

XX Corps aims to cut off the Sudanese II Corps from
supply and reinforcement, then the IV and VII Corps
will be able to squeeze the pocket and destroy the
Sudanese invaders.

This will be the next big battle between the ROP and the Sudanese. I'm working diligently on some new terrain and new vehicle profiles for the yet untested BRDM-2 and BTR-50. I know how I'd like this one to turn out but you know how the saying goes best laid plans and all. There is still time for you to enter for a chance to win this year's Easter Basket Giveaway, just follow the LINK. Thanks for reading and stay thirsty.

Friday, April 11, 2014

Angolan Mechanized Infantry

I'm continuing to expand the armed forces of Angola. These are meant to fill the need for a heavy or elite infantry force within the Angolan Army. I figure that they would be equipped better than the majority of Angolan forces, a sort of show piece. 

The first squad of eight, they have all been converted to
have Chinese body armor.

It's surprising how much more professional these minis
look with the addition of some bulletproof vests.

I also painted all of them to have identical uniforms. I
imagine that this regiment gets the majority of
supplies and equipment that they need.

Other than that they are armed exactly like their less
well equipped comrades.

These are mechanized infantry but they don't have their transports at the moment. Soon some BMP-1's will be arriving in the post from Old Glory Miniatures, there will be some other vehicles in that same order but I'm not going to spill the beans on what those will be until I get some painted up. I plan on painting up a second squad of these and maybe even an officer. Hopefully they will add some backbone to the Angolan Army. If you haven't entered yet be sure to follow the LINK for your chance to win this years Easter Basket Giveaway. Thanks for reading and stay thirsty.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Personalities of The War in Africa: Mikal Vindeneuf

Lieutenant Mikal Vindeneuf has enjoyed a long career in the Belgian Army, but it was a fairly unremarkable one until he volunteered for mech pilot training. In 2035 the Belgian Army decided to adopt the Charlemagne mech for a limited trial period, the decision was based on the excellent use of the mech by the French Army during the Second Malian Intervention. Ten Charlemagne mechs were purchased from the French Government and delivered that same year. The Belgian Army immediately set up a training program with the assistance of the French Army, their goal was to be able to deploy the 1st Belgian Mech Company by the middle of 2036. The first Belgian pilots were drawn from volunteers among tank crews as the French advisers recommended. This first class had trouble with the cramped conditions of the Charlemagne as well as the complex method of piloting required by the mech. One of the few volunteers who proved not only capable, but excelled at all aspects of mech warfare was then Corporal Vindeneuf. Before long the slightly built Vindeneuf had outstripped his French trainers and was getting the cumbersome Charlemagne to preform maneuvers that were believed to be impossible.

After completing training Vindeneuf was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, and given command of a squad of Charlemagnes. He didn't have to wait long for a deployment. In 2037 the 1st Belgian Mech Company was deployed as part of the international force tasked with fighting Muslim extremists in Malaysia. There the 1st BMC proved invaluable in the jungle campaigns against the Muslim militias. The mechs allowed the Belgians to bring overwhelming firepower to bear against irregular fighters in terrain that no other vehicles could have traversed. After two years of fighting in Malaysia the 1st BMC was withdrawn when the remaining militias agreed to disarm and enter into negotiations with the Malaysian government.

In 2040 First Sergeant Vindeneuf, along with the 1st BMC, were deployed to Cyprus to assist the Cypriots in fighting off the invading Anatolian Federation. It was during the Cyprus campaign that Vindeneuf pioneered the tank hunting tactics that would lead to him being regarded as the authority on mech warfare. His hunter killer squadrons were able to destroy some two-hundred Turkish armored vehicles in the heavy fighting around Nicosia in less than a week. So significant was the damage done by Vindeneuf and the 1st BMC, that they are credited with defeating the Anatolian Federations expeditionary force.

Given Lieutenant Vindeneuf's track record it was an obvious choice to put him in command of the 1st BMC after the unfortunate death of the Company's previous commander in a helicopter crash. Vindeneuf's first priority was to expand the 1st BMC, he often lobbied his superiors to expand the unit and adjust its organization. His requests mostly fell on deaf ears. The one major exception was the refit of his personal mech which he affectionately refers to as "Konijntje". 

When hostilities against the Peacekeepers in Faradje escalated, one squad of the 1st BMC was already on the ground operating in a support and deterrent role. Lieutenant Vindeneuf requested that the entire 1st BMC be deployed in order to support their comrades as the terrain was the perfect environment for his forces. His superiors agreed with his analysis but due to limited air transport could only arrange to send in half of the 1st BMC. Within hours of their deployment the mechs had made their presence felt, but were unable to conduct the type of war that Vindeneuf wanted; spread thin and with limited supply the 1st BMC had to resort to a less aggressive defensive strategy.

Lieutenant Vindeneuf scores a quick kill on a Sudanese
T-55 on the outskirts of Faradaje.

The mechs in Faradje operate in a direct support role
with their infantry counterparts. The AT forepower
of the Charlemagne has proven invaluable.

Vindeneuf's personal mech has been highly modified.
It is equipped with four SACLOS missiles and a
specially modified Rheinmetall RMK30 cannon.

This is what I hope to be the first in a series of personality articles about some of the characters that I populate my War in Africa setting with. Sometimes they come from an idea, others from making a cool conversion like this one, and some come from the performance of the mini on the tabletop. I felt like this mini was too cool to not have some back-story and personality. It's a Python Mech from Khurasan Miniatures, but instead of the standard arms I put the missiles that are supposed to go over the cockpit. In the top position I put one of the guns I had left over from a DIMOG, another mini from Khurasan. The result is a more streamlined but harder hitting Charlemagne mech. Thanks for reading and stay thirsty.

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

ROP Air Defense Platoon

Air Defense units within the Republic of Poliebo's Army are attached to larger formations on a "as needed" basis. The majority of weapons in these units are conventional AA cannons or small guided missile systems. While the missile systems are more effective at shooting down hostile aircraft, the less sophisticated cannons haven proven much more popular among ROP Army officers. The ability to turn high velocity rapid fire weapons on any enemy, ground or air, is often more useful.

This URAL has been converted to flatbed carrier for
a ZPU-1. It offers a good mix of mobility and
stability.

Crews pile sandbags and additional armor onto their
vehicles in an effort to defeat small arms fire and
shell fragments.

AA teams work in concert to provide an area of denial
against potential enemy air attack, or to act as a
strong point for ground defense.

Standard trucks and carriers allow a steady supply of
ammo for the rapid firing AA guns.

This was a fun conversion to the URAL truck. I pieced together a flatbed from card stock and styrene I-beams. It's a little flimsy on its own but seems plenty solid when it's mounted on the truck chassis. There is only one truck, it has a neat little peg and groove that lets me switch out the load out at will and adapt to the situation on the ground as necessary. If you haven't entered this years Easter Basket Giveaway yet, be sure to follow this LINK. You could win a basket of candy and miniatures, get diabetes and lead poisoning in one go. Thanks for reading and stay thirsty.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Angolan Armor

My Angolans now have a tank. They are going to need a few more if they hope to repel the ROP Invaders however. I didn't want to do much to this one, not sure if it's because I want the Angolans to be the underdogs in my setting or because I was just too lazy to bother doing any kind of serious conversion work. It is nice to see one in factory condition though.

As is often the case with defense, the Angolan tanks
have been relegated to an infantry support role.

They have been vital in slowing down the advance of ROP
forces as they drive into the Angolan countryside.

Most of the crews are quite experienced but like most
of the Angolan Army often plagued by shortages.

At some point I would love to be able to have a large scale armor battle between the forces in the WIA. It wouldn't be anything like Kursk, but it would be a sizable engagement for central Africa, something like a half dozen MBT's per side. Before I do that though I need to have a few games with the Angolans to help establish their character as a force. Thanks for reading and stay thirsty.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Republican Guard Armored Battalion

They are the tip of the spear, they can be found at the forefront of the fighting against the Angolans. Unfortunately for the ROP they could be of more use against the formidable armored forces of the Sudanese. During the invasion of Angola it was the 1st Republican Guard Armored Battalion that was responsible for the victories of Luremo and the Battle of  Kwango Bridge. 

The battalion is equipped with a mix of armored
vehicles, but the most common is the T-55.

To increase the durability of their T-55's the Republican
Guard add a mix of  ERA and ablative armor.

The battalion is well known for their gunnery ability. During
the Battle of Kwango Bridge the battalion managed a
four to one ratio against the Angolans.

The Republican Guard are fanatical in attack but they are
doubly so with fighting alongside the tanks of the
1st Republican Guard Armored Battalion.

These two tanks are converted from standard Old Glory T-55's, I added the same styrene armor that I had put on my Sudanese tanks but I did something a little different for the turrets. I started by  bulking them out with some Green Stuff and then pressed individual squares of styrene tile in before the Green Stuff dried. I think the result is a good updated look for the T-55 and different enough from my Sudanese vehicles to avoid confusion. If you managed to miss it thus far be sure and enter for your chance to win this years Easter Basket Giveaway. Just follow this LINK, you could be the lucky recipient of basket filled with goodies. Thanks for reading and stay thirsty.