Archive for October, 2016


For the second part of our Autumn Games Day (following a Neil Thomas version of Gaugamela in the morning … ) the players split into two AK47 games … Graham will doubtless report the other game on his blog … while I put together a made-up clash between the split wings (factions?) of the Pan AfricaN Treaty Organisation …

‘Janno Beach’ might be any bit of tempting coastline from Sierra Leone to Somalia … sun, sea and palm trees … but times have moved on and the Soviet funded tourist hotel is but a shell … there are MiG fighters on the nearby airfield but no pilots … the villagers stay up in the hills.   Then again, you might be able to rent some speed boats from the local pirates.


So this is a 4′ x 4′ interpretation of the battlefield, laid out on my kitchen floor and photographed (so I could set it up quickly at Shedquarters … the tiling is irrelevant – it is for AK47 Classic) … there are 4 templates (I have marked the village at the top but it is too loose to count as a template), some ‘line of sight’ issues and a chunk of the board missing to water (but we were using the later AK version where you can swap vehicles for boats if needed) …

Imagine, in a different world, this might be a beautiful tourist bay boosting a buoyant modern economy.

For some time, the Treaty forces have been split … PANTO, the Settler organisation, has been fighting stiff opposition from French-inspired FRAP (Forces Revolutionaires Armees de Panto), but have cornered a small ‘force de Frappe’ in Janno Beach …

Next we played through the political manoeuvre and, remarkably, neither side got very much help – Panto indeed lost quality ratings to panic and could only run a few of its vehicles due to Sanctions and consequent fuel shortages (a bad day in paradise!) …

Perhaps inevitably, they failed in a final bid to hire ‘Mad Rupert’ and his mercenaries!

I played Panto and nominated the Freight Dump, Mosque and Airfield as my objectives.

ak47-janno-beach-03(P.B.Eye-Candy, first light: Panto’s one and only chopper flies into Janno Beach … the game is on)

If you need to know … we had …

Panto: Professional HQ of the General, 1 SA, 1 APC with AA gun; 2  Regular (T55) tanks; 1 Professional (Hind) attack helicopter; a Regular army unit of 4 SA, 1 RPG, 1 (Unimog) Truck RCL*, 1 Truck with AA gun; and Panto’s (militia) Women’s Revolutionary Volunteers, comprising 5 SA, 3 mortars, 1 RPG, 1 (Toyota) Truck with RCL.

*(the foot groups are mounted on camels at arrival)

Settlers: 90 political points.

Frap: a free roaming General in a requisitioned Mercedes plus … the renegade Paras de Panto (Professional) comprising 4 SA, 1 RPG, 1 mortar and 1 truck with RCL*; 2 Regular tanks (AMX 13/90s); 2 Regular army units, each of 4 SA, 1 RPG, 1 (Panhard) MG armoured car, 1 (Land Rover) Truck with RCL**; and the Frap militia of 6 SA***

*(actually a Vespa 150 TAP) – the recently accessioned Paras de Panto were on their first tabletop mission.

**only one of these army units made it onto the board

***actually a biker gang but at Janno Beach they traded their bikes with local pirates for some speed boats in order to raid the airfield from across the bay.

Dictatorship: 77 political points.

ak47-janno-beach-03a(Janno Beach: the Paras de Panto secure the Mosque and Gas Station)

Frap stationed the Paras in the town centre (which they secured throughout the day) and the only army unit to show up at the airfield.

Panto came in from the village/oil facility end of the board with the women’s militia, the helicopter and a solitary T55 (there being no fuel to run the other one).

The attack immediately faltered … whilst routinely acquiring targets over the battlefield, the prize Soviet-funded Hind helicopter – almost indestructible, they said – was taken down … seemingly by a group of paras who had set up a mortar on the Gas Station roof … Had they hit it with an almost vertical bomb shot?   Did they also have a light AA missile in their kit?   Was it a catastrophic failure triggered by small arms fire?  We will doubtless never know: the big beast came down out of the sky in a ball of flame.

ak47-janno-beach-05(Red Hind down … Panto lose control of the air flank)

The situation might have evened itself up over the succeeding turns … Panto’s T55 had driven into the centre ground (in part to avoid the para’s Vespa/RCL and RPGs who were making the cluster of buildings look a real nest of vipers) … and was getting some good shots in on the enemy softskins … although badly matched against the regulars now debouching from the Airfield, the women’s militia were successfully pinning them down with mortar fire.

Panto’s high point …

… and the battle seemed to swing: Frap’s regulars and Panto’s militia both disintegrated (the militia ultimately couldn’t handle the better quality soldiers but the T55 and mortar fire had reduced the enemy regulars to tatters in the process), Panto’s commander (frustratingly on foot due to that Sanctions/fuel problem) turned up at the now vacated Airfield and grabbed the objective … meanwhile the sole T55 zeroed in on the top corner of the mosque from which Frap’s commander was running the show … Kaboom!

ak47-janno-beach-06(a stunning shot from the T55 gunner … picking the enemy commander out on the Mosque rooftop)

It was a race against time … the Frap biker gang turned up … this time in speed boats … and diverted across the bay towards the Airfield (which was only being held by the commander and his bodyguard SA group).

ak47-janno-beach-07(speeding acroos the bay: a mix of military and non-military boats, hired from pirates, driven by bikers … what could possibly happen next?)

The Panto camel raiders, meanwhile, had arrived and took control of the Freight Dump.


A turning point …

So, in order to help out at the Airfield, the T55 commander turned his attention to the speed boats … firing at them but hitting none (well at least that saved us inventing a rule for occupants bailing out of a burning vehicle – the standard AK47 result with a brewed carrier – into the sea)!   At which point that Vespa emerged from behind the Mosque and spanged an RCL shot off at the tank!  … and blew it to bits with a dice roll that didn’t even need adding up!

ak47-janno-beach-08(Janno Beach: T55 tank taken out by a Vespa)

Of course, this is one of wargaming’s ‘champagne moments’  … I’d really only built the little TAP scooter model out of curiosity (and scarcely could have imagined it would bag a T55 on its first outing on the tabletop).

It is, of course, in this game, a professional RCL with vehicle mobility (a 2-wheeled ‘technical’, if you like, with a tank-killer weapon) so not such a surprise really (but in wargames, such things seldom work out) …

I was commanding Panto, by the way, so the tank was mine … awesome shooting, though … (I think it was the Vespa’s second ever shot!) …

… and that was how it all went wrong for Panto …

Frap’s AMX tanks turned up and bombarded the soldiers in the Freight Dump …


… and the biker militia were able to get in against the Panto general holding the Airfield … odds of 3:1 in their favour, but militia against professional – actually even, maybe, but they traded 2 kills in close quarter fire (so wiped the enemy out in what was otherwise ‘a draw’)

ak47-janno-beach-10(Frap militia celebrate around the captured control tower)

The random turn count just kept the game going long enough to let all this happen – and give Richard, in his first full game of AK47, a resounding victory.  As he was new to the full game we ran through the scoring system (despite the victory being clear) and for aficionados, Frap scored over 120 points.

Wow! … and I got a game full of quirky kit … a beach assault out of speed boats, a T55 knocked out by the Vespa … both commanders killed (the Frap one sniped by a T55 while hiding on the top of the Mosque … the Press won’t like that story … ) …

Got my chopper hit by a mortar, though … Never mind …

More pics …


ak47-janno-beach-04(figures and fuel pump by Peter Pig, Gas Station by Timecast, Mosque hand-built by me from cork tile and kebab stick)

ak47-janno-beach-12(T55 by Skytrex, Landy by QRF, Panhard by Peter Pig)

ak47-janno-beach-15(downtown Janno Beach: the wrecked hotel is converted from Warbases components … the blue car is Quality Castings, the red one a pimped up Chinese cheapy)

ak47-janno-beach-12a(Dusk over Janno Beach … twilight for Panto?)

Apologies if you first saw an earlier version of this post, uncorrected and without the final photos (my broadband was struggling with everything so I opted to publish the basic material, then add the finishing touches as an update)…

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