I have blogged before about my figures for the Portuguese Colonial War but they were on on individual bases. Now I have rebased for Fogo Cruzado – my period specific variant of Crossfire. That means each base is a fire team. I had to expand the numbers considerably. This week features my commando combat group.
Order of Battle
The Commandos (Comandos) were one of the Intervention units (unidades de intervenção). The Commando Order of Battle, based on teams of five men, facilitated insertion by helicopter. The presence or absence of the back up team with RPG indicates whether Commando unit was from a “heavy” or “light” company. Commandos on patrol carried a lot of support weapons so had surprisingly few rifle teams.
Intervention unit (unidade de intervenção)
- 1 x Command Team (+2)
- 3 x Battle Rifle + LMG Teams
- 0 – 1 x Back up Team1,2
- 1 x Commander (+1)
- 2 x RPG Teams
- 0 – 3 x On-table 60mm Mortar team2
- 0 – 5 x Alouette III (“Cannibal”) Helicopters3
- 0 – 1 x Alouette III (“Wicked Wolf”) Gunship4
- Morale: Veteran
- Command and Control: Good
(1) available to Heli-bourne Heavy Company but not the Heli-bourne Light Companies.
(2) available when on patrol; commandos on patrol carried a lot of support weapons, both bazookas and mortars.
(3) one “Cannibal” troop carrier for each of the Command Team, the Battle Rifle + LMG Teams, and the Back up Team. But not for the mortar teams.
(4) the “Wicked Wolf” is only available if the troop carriers are present.
I painted them all. I use the Black Undercoat Method of painting and used my painting guide for the Portuguese Colonial War. The basing style involves Sand, Flat Earth paint, and Dry Brushing. Except where noted all figures are the 15mm range from Peter Pig, and predominately from Range 17 AK47 Republic. They are organised using the Portuguese Order of Battle.
Originally the Commando uniform had basically no distinguishing features with the camo and chestnut beret of all the infantry. Some unofficial differentiators crept in fairly quickly, the most obvious being the crimson neckerchief. Commandoes wore the normal Portuguese cap in the field but but I have elected to give my commando’s berets to distinguish them from the Caçadores.
I’ve gone for a commando unit raised in Africa – it includes both blacks and whites.
The head honcho is on a Command Team stand. For figures: officer, radio operator, medic and runner. All the figures are standard Peter Pig with G3 rifle. I have mixed together figures with the commando beret and the normal Portuguese cap because, although commandos normally wore the cap in the field, the beret is distinctive.
The radio is just a lump of mili-put shaped into a block and attached to a normal figure with G3.
Battle Rifle + LMG Teams
The main stay of the combat group are the riflemen. Technically they are Battle Rifle + LMG Teams as each stand has a squad support weapon. Two teams have the MG42 and one a captured Russian LMG. The MG42 guys are converted from WW2 Germans; the packs were hacked off and a Portuguese head added.
Back up Team
A Heavy Company had an extra transport helicopter carrying the back-up team of two RPG teams and an officer.
The officer lacks the supporting men, they wouldn’t fit in the Alouette, so is just a single figure on a base – a Commander in my rules. He doesn’t look much but his presence will give the commandos a edge on the table for close combat and rallying.
The Back Up team has two Bazooka Teams. Each of two figures on a small base. One of the teams has an actual, factual American bazooka, although the crew have been converted to Portuguese. The other team uses a captured RPG.
On patrol a commando combat group would have both the bazookas and light mortars. Half the combat group would have been allocated to heavy weapon support teams. I’ve given myself three mortar teams. All of the mortar teams were converted from US mortar crew.
Scout or Sentry Team
Lastly I’ve given myself a two man Scout or Sentry Team. Great for patrolling or camp security. The guy with his G3 pointing up is a converted post-war German soldier from QRF.