The early part of the Portuguese Colonial War saw a wave of poorly armed UPA men cross the border into Angola and go on the rampage. Cantanas (otherwise known as patangas or machetes), spears and home made guns were used extensively. I like the idea of putting together such a “mob”.
My problem is figuring out how to wargame the the common Combat Missions in the Portuguese Colonial War when using Crossfire. Combat missions of a insurgency are different to conventional warfare such as World War II. So, as a step forward I thought I’d jot down my thoughts about these challenges. I’m not trying to solve those problems just articulate them clearly. These problems are probably present in other game systems but the initiative system, with the potential for infinite movement and repeated firing, makes some of these problems more acute in Crossfire.
Although I’ll focus on the Portuguese Colonial War these observations are also relevant for partizan warfare in WW2.
These are the orders of battle for Fogo Cruzado my Crossfire variant of for the Portuguese Colonial War of the 1960s and 1970s. They are based on the historical orders of battle. As Fogo Cruzado is more or less 1:1 scale the basic stand is a Fire Team rather than a Squad. Similarly heavier weapons such as Medium Machine Guns (MMG) are individual weapons rather than sections of 2 or 3.
Fieldcraft, concealment, and tracking were major features of African conflicts. So I though I’d see what that could look like in Fogo Cruzado, my Crossfire variant for the Portuguese Colonial War. The rules are quite complicated and I’m not sure they would survive play testing. None-the-less they provide a starting point. At some point these rules might return to my Fogo Cruzado: Crossfire House Rules for the Portuguese Colonial War or, more likely, appear as a special rule for a specific scenario perhaps “Patrol” or “Search and Destroy”.
A feature of African conflicts was that poor quality troops were inclined to looting. So I though I’d see what that could look like in Fogo Cruzado, my Crossfire variant for the Portuguese Colonial War. What I came up with is the Looter characteristic. At some point, after play testing, these might become part of my Fogo Cruzado: Crossfire House Rules for the Portuguese Colonial War or perhaps a special rule for a specific scenario.
The Political Commissar Special Rule for Crossfire. Standard Crossfire doesn’t cover this but it is described in Hit the Dirt (p. 8). The rule is optional but is applicable to Soviets in WWII – in particular between July 1941 and November 1942 – and communists in any number of civil wars and insurgencies, e.g. the Spanish Civil War and the Portuguese Colonial War.