1-to-1 Skirmish Campaign for the Portuguese Colonial War

Rules for a Portuguese Colonial War campaign game with some kind of 1-to-1 skirmish rules, like Freakin’ New Guy (FNG) by Two Hour Wargames or a variation on Two Page Skirmish Rules (TPSR) or Troops, Weapons and Tactics (TW&T) by the Two Fat Lardies, as the tactical rules.

It is designed for solo play with the player running a section of through their tour of duty in Ultramar. Portuguese national service started out as two years but was extended to four years in 1967. For most conscripts half this time was spent in Africa.

Campaign Setup

When setting up the campaign you need to:

  1. Choose the Campaign Setting
  2. Choose the Campaign Start Date
  3. Recruit Your Section

Campaign Setting

The campaign can be set in any of the three theatres and the theatre limits the type of section you can run:

  • Angola from 1961 – Default
  • Guinea Bissau from 1963
  • Mozambique from Aug 1964

Choose the Campaign Start Date

The campaign can start any month from 1961 until 1974. Unless there are other considerations the campaign will start in Jan 1966.

Recruit Your Section

Branch of Service

Firstly decide your branch of service. There are limitations based on the theatre and date. You can pick anything you like from the Portuguese Order of Battle but the likely contenders are:

  • Light Infantry (Caçadores) – the default
  • Paratroops (Pára-quedistas)
  • Marines (Fuzileiros). Specialists in riverine operations so common in Guinea-Bissau and along the Congo in Angola and Zambezi in Mozambique.
  • Dragoons (Dragões). Angola from 1966 and Mozambique from 1971.
  • Commandos (Comandos). Angola from 1962, Guinea-Bissau from 1969 and Mozambique from 1970.
  • Special Groups (Grupos Especiais or GE). Angola from 1968 and Mozambique from 1970.
  • Paratrooper Special Groups (Grupos Especiais Pára-quedistas or GEP). Only Mozambique from 1971.

Section Composition

Most Conscripts (Milicianos) served in the Light Infantry (Caçadores) – you can check the Portuguese Order of Battle for other troop types.

Light Infantry (Caçadores) Section

  • 1 x Section Leader (NCO)
  • 2 x Other NCOs
  • 1 x LMG Gunner
  • 5-6 x Riflemen

Character Rating

Each character needs to be defined in the game system of choice. Both FNG and TPSR have a single main characteristic – Rep and Ability respectively. It is a bit more complicated with TW&T as the rating for the grunts in a section are lumped together; only the Big Men get specific ratings. The following table shows how these relate a generic rating.

Rating Description Rep in FNG Ability in TPSR TW&T Rating
1 Disabled civilian such as elderly or children 1 d4 Green Troops
2 Civilian and untrained fighters 2 d6
3 Trained but inexperienced fighter 3 d8 Average Troops
or Plodder Big Man
4 Reliable fighter with some experience 4 d10 Good Troops
or Solid Big Man
5 Veteran fighter with much experience 5 Elite Troops
or Inspirational Big Man
6 Heroic fighter 6 d12 Heroic Big Man

Throw 1d6 for the rating of each new character. For example newly arrived recruits into the Portuguese forces will start at Rating 3 on a 1-4 on 1d6 or 4 on a 5-6.

Ratings for new characters
1d6 Newly arrived Recruit Light Infantry (Caçadores),
Dragoons (Dragões),
Special Groups
(Grupos Especiais or GE)
Paratroops (Pára-quedistas),
Marines (Fuzileiros),
Commandos (Comandos),
Paratrooper Special Groups (Grupos Especiais Pára-quedistas or GEP)
1 3 3 3 2
2 3 3 3 2
3 3 3 4 3
4 3 4 4 3
5 4 4 4 4
6 4 5 5 4

Campaign Turn and Sequence of Play

Each campaign turn is a half-month (roughly two weeks) with the turns in a month being “early” and “late”, e.g. early March and late March.

The sequence of play within a campaign turn is:

  1. Determine Mission
  2. Adjust own forces
  3. Generate enemy forces
  4. Lay out terrain
  5. Determine level of support
  6. Deploy forces
  7. Determine Opening Moves
  8. Play the game including checking for reinforcements
  9. Check for casualty recovery
  10. Check for follow-on Missions
  11. Check for Rewards: Promotions, Medals, and such like


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