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Scenario 1: First Contact - 6 September 1987

FAPLA’s 47th, 59th, 21st, 25th, and 16th Brigades, accompanied by two tactical groups, each comprising of an infantry battalion and a tank company, have progressed from the Cuito river and crossed the Chambinga river in an aggressive push to the UNITA-held Mavinga in the southeast. The Lomba river forms a natural east-west barrier between the advancing forces and their ultimate target, with no bridges or natural crossings over the river. To negotiate this barrier, the FAPLA force separated into three prongs, 16th Brigade and Tactical Group 2 to the northeast toward the Cunjumba river source, 21st Brigade to the southeast towards the junction between the Lomba and Cunzumbia rivers, 47th and 59th Brigades and Tactical Group 1 southward towards the Lomba-Cuzizi confluence, where 47th Brigade and the Tactical Group separated from 59th Brigade to circumvent the Lomba river around its source. 25th Brigade remained in the area of the Chambinga bridge to secure the logistics route between the attacking brigades and Cuito Cuanavale. By 31 August 47th Brigade and Tactical Group 1 were well on the way to the east having negotiated the route around the Lomba source, pushing back the inferior UNITA forces in their way. It seemed that nothing could stop this formidable advance and prevent them from linking up with 59th Brigade and 21st Brigade, establishing bridgeheads, allowing both 59th and 21st Brigades to cross the Lomba, and as a unified force, steamroller their way to Mavinga…

FAPLA's 47 and 59 Brigades have recently departed from the Catato Woods just north of the Cuzizi river source. While 47 Brigade is advancing around the Lomba source, 59 Brigade is approacing the Lomba-Cuzizi confluence with the intention to link up with 47 Brigade and effect a crossing over the Lomba. With the smaller UNITA forces continually falling back as the FAPLA brigades advance, it is up to the SADF Liaison Teams and Artillery to assist in stopping the advance while stronger SADF forces have been mobilised and are busy deploying in the area...

But help for UNITA is on the way in the form of the newly established 20 South African Brigade, a composite mechanized force comprising of Buffel and Casspir armoured personnel carriers, Ratel-20 infantry fighting vehicles, Ratel-90 armoured cars, 120mm mortars, 155mm gun/howitzers and 127mm multiple rocket launchers, rushing to assemble at Mavinga and meet the advancing forces head-on!

An unidentified FAPLA battalion is rumoured to have crossed the Lomba near the Cuzizi confluence, according to UNITA intelligence.

The scene for the first contact is set: It is the morning of 6 September 1987...

If you plan on playing this scenario as a participant, DO NOT READ the UMPIRE's BRIEFING or any of the individual briefings until a force has been allocated to you by the Umpire. The success and enjoyment of refighting this scenario lies in the participants' ignorance of the size, composition, location and identities of the other participants!

All names marked with asterisk (*) are, while real enough, imaginary in their designations of the units commanded. Positions of units on maps are hypothetical and subject to interpretation of the available texts utilised during research.

 TitleOwnerCategoryLast UpdatedSize (KB) 
Scenario 1: First Contact Lt SchoemiesScenarios9/25/2008 135.79 Download

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