In 1961 the Portuguese had 79,000 in arms – 58,000 in the Army, 8,500 in the Navy and 12,500 in the Air force (Cann, 1997). These numbers grew quickly. By the end of the conflict in 1974 the total in the armed forces had risen to 217,000.
The MPLA (Movimento Popular de Libertação de Angola) was a group of radical Marxist intellectuals formed in Angola in 1956 (Abbott & Rodrigues, 1998; Cann, 1997). Initially they had only 250 – 300 trained men, organised into small units, and equipped largely with ex Second World War kit. Following a meeting with Che Guevara in 1965 the MPLA began to receive Cuban instructors and Soviet and East German supplies. They had about 4,700 men from 1966 until 1974. During their ‘Eastern Offensive’ they set up two bases (‘Hanoi II’ and ‘Ho Chi Minh’). The ‘Agostinho Neto Trail’ kept them supplied from Tanzania and Zambia. After 1970 they started to get heavier Chinese supplies. MPLA men were trained in Algeria, Cuba, Russia and China (Morris, 1974).
The Marxist PAIGC (Partido Africano da Independência da Guiné e Cabo Verde) formed in 1956 under Amilcar Cabral (Abbott & Rodrigues, 1998; Cann, 1997). The ‘Pidjiguiti Massacre’ of 3 Aug 1959 turned the PAIGC militant. They commenced sabotage operations in 1961 and guerrilla warfare in 1963.
FRELIMO (Frente Libertação de Moçambique) was created in 1962 from the combination of three existing liberation movements (Abbott & Rodrigues, 1998).
During the Colonial War Portugal faced 27,000 insurgents spread across three theatres (Cann, 1997; and see my Protagonists of the Portuguese Colonial War section). The insurgents represented a wide range of, and often conflicting, liberation movements. I’ve only listed those that had armed forces in the field. Generally they fought in small groups; a force of 200 insurgents gathered in one place was rare.
COREMO were a Chinese supported splinter group of FRELIMO formed in mid-1965 in Lusaka in Zambia (Abbott & Rodrigues, 1998; Morris, 1974). COREMO were big enough to put guerrilla forces into the field. Their bases were in Zambia; the main training base being Chipata. Their chosen area of operations was the Tete area and they had several staging posts along with Zambia-Mozambique border. They had 500 trained men of which 250-300 were in Mozambique at any one time.
Some rule sets use a system of hidden movement markers to allow hidden movement without the aid of an umpire. These markers can represent both real and dummy troops – thus achieving some kind of fog of war. Different games have different names for these markers but examples are “Dummies”, “Blinds” and “PEF”.
Crossfire doesn’t have hidden movement only hidden deployment. Some rule sets use a system of hidden movement markers, representing both real and dummy troops, to allow hidden movement without the aid of an umpire. These are my thoughts on how this might work in Crossfire. The ideas are largely based on the concept of Blinds from “I Ain’t Been Shot Mum” (IABSM). I’m tempted to use the wargame dummies suggested on the MinatureZone for my hidden movement markers and given their appearance I’ll call the units “Ghosts” rather than blinds.