Endless village visits, supply runs, and thoroughfare minesweeping… Angola ’86 refuses to sex-up counter-insurgency ops. Unleavened, the daily grind of keeping the land now known as Namibia free of SWAPO troublemakers/freedom-fighters could start to drag after a while. Fortunately, whenever* you’re starting to feel like an over-worked logistics manager, you can form an armour-rich battle group and go hunt Communist big game in the map’s northern region.
Halfway through my last play session, a concerned Angola ’86 metaphorically took me to one side and said “Tim, for heaven’s sake, pull your socks up!”. On reflection, I deserved the wake-up call. At the time it came I was contemplating a Namibian hexgrid dotted with starving/stationary South African troops, and out-of-fuel and immobilised SADF vehicles. I was acutely aware that Resolution 435 wasn’t far off, and I hadn’t trained nearly enough UNITA and SWATF units to cope with the UN-overseen ‘end game’.
I think I learned almost as much from Angola ’86’s fact-stuffed loading screen (see above) as I did from the game’s bare-bones tutorial. Brief, text-reliant, and awfully short on ‘learn-by-doing’ interactivity, the latter isn’t brilliant, but, backed by a good embedded manual, it did ensure my first few hours with this South African curio were largely confusion free.
The news that the third of Every Single Soldier’s novel COIN wargames is finally available on Steam gives me a (feeble) excuse to type a word I’ve never typed before, and have an Omugulugwombashe at THC’s first rolling review. Starting tomorrow, this site will carry short daily articles chronicling my first week with Afghanistan ’11’s intriguingly intricate follow-up.
Using the following clues (the map above is purely decorative) in combination with Street View and tools such as MAPfrappe, work out my location.
Want to turn a green lane into a brown lane, tow a Gulaschkanone across a snowy field, or roam the Western Desert trashing Axis airfields? Get a 4×4. Want quick introductions to games of interest to realism relishers and old fogies? Read a 3×3. Prior to penning one of these articles I’ll play three tempting titles for at least three hours each. While it would be cavalier to call the reports that result from such brief auditions ‘reviews’, it’s conceivable they might lead to more prolonged playtests, and prompt or prevent the odd purchase.
Every Friday at 1300 hours, Tally-Ho Corner’s cleverest clogs come together to solve a ‘foxer’ handcrafted by my sadistic chum and colleague, Roman. A complete ‘defoxing’ sometimes takes several days and usually involves the little grey cells of many readers. All readers are welcome to assist.
Professional conflict sim ponderer Arrigo Velicogna has very kindly agreed to assess some cardboard solitaire wargames for Tally-Ho Corner. In his second piece the ex King’s College London lecturer takes a look at a naval diversion in which “planning is essential, but plans are useless”.