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"AK47 Republic Air Wars?" Topic

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rivers316227 Aug 2013 9:27 a.m. PST

Hi all,

After playing a bit of AK47 Republic with some friends, we've decided to do a parallel air campaign in 1/600.

Basically, the plan is to set the campaign over around 10 years from the early 1990s up to the present day. Games will vary from border skirmishes and clashes up to outright war.

We've selected a few different planes we like for each nation and just wanted some feedback on our choices. We're trying to keep things relatively balanced on each side in terms of technology and as realistic/believable as possible, as far as we can be when we're talking about 2 made up African nations!

My nation is parliamentary democracy who exiled king has been returned to power in the early 1990s through a mix of domestic nostalgia and foreign backers.

Fighters – Dassault Mirage F1, Mig 21, Northrop F5 Tiger
Ground Attack – BAC Strikemaster, SEPECAT Jaguar, BAE Hawk 200
Helos – Westland Lynx

My friend has chosen to play the more classic "democratic" republic, using old Soviet equipment.

Fighters – Mig 19, Mig 21, Mig 23
Ground Attack – Mig 17
Helos – Mil Mi 4, Mil Mi 8, Mil Mi 24

Any comments, suggestions and criticisms welcome!

fleabeard27 Aug 2013 9:43 a.m. PST

I think it sounds good, I've been planning/faffing about with a similar idea for a while. I've been thinking about linking a Wings at War ruleset (probably a modified Thud Ridge) with the newer version of AK47 Republic and allowing the results of air battles impact on asset availability. So successful attacks on ground targets will remove asset dice from artillery or whatever.

Only Warlock27 Aug 2013 9:47 a.m. PST

I HIGHLY recommend Airwar C21 for this purpose.

Mako1127 Aug 2013 9:47 a.m. PST

Those are decent matchups.

You can also pit Su-27s against Mig-29s too, which both were reportedly flown by ex-Soviet/Russian/Ukrainian/Belorussion pilots. Not sure which pilots flew against one another, but if I recall correctly, all were from the former Soviet Union, so presumably had similar training.

The Sukhois usually ended up better in the engagements, despite many of them being within visual range affairs.

Airwar C21 would be a good rules set to consider for the battles.

Personal logo optional field Supporting Member of TMP27 Aug 2013 10:35 a.m. PST

The Mirage F1 and Jaguar seem a bit too much for a typically poor African state to me. The only Subsaharan African nations to operate the F1 are Gabon and South Africa. Among African nations the Jaguar was only used by Nigeria, and then only briefly in the 80s and very early 90s. They're both plausible but both still seems out of place to me.

I can't really recommend an alternative to the Mirage, but the Su-25 is a good alternative to the Jaguar. It has been fairly popular with African nations, including those that were historically pro-Western. For example Cote D'Ivoire and the DRC both use the Su-25.

As far as helos go anything by Aιrospatiale is reasonable in addition to the Lynx, but the Alouette and the Puma would be especially likely to see service in a typical African state.

Other things to consider are the Chinese equivalents of the Mig 15, 17, and 19, which are, respectively, the Shenyang J-5, J-6, J-7.The Chinese version of the Mig-21 is the Chendug J-7. They all look nearly identical to their Soviet counterparts, but the difference might matter for purposes of the back story.

Finally, you may want to consider transport aircraft. Virtually every transport plane built after WW2 is still used in Africa somewhere, so you're spoilt for choices. You can use C-47s, An-26s, Cessnas, etc. However, my personal favorite is the Soviet An-2. It's a small 12 seat plane, but it's also among the world's most advanced biplanes, and sees service everywhere doing virtually everything a small plane an do from transport to crop dusting.

I hope that helps and PLEASE, keep us posted on the project.

rivers316227 Aug 2013 12:24 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the comments so far everyone!

We are planning to use Airwar C21 simply because it's probably one of the most comprehensive rulesets we've come across in terms of plane and missile stats. We did also consider Bag the Hun but I think we're a bit too lazy to work out all the stats!

Mako11 – I think the SU-27 and Mig-29 are probably a bit too modern and expensive for our protagonists at present. But we're planning on making the campaign dynamic so depending on how the campaign and ground battles go, things may escalate!

Optional Field – Thanks for all the comments. Where to start…

The Mirage F1 and the Jaguar were the two types that I had the most doubts about. I dithered over a few different choices for fighters, namely the Harrier/Sea Harrier, the Phantom II and the Mirage III and 5. My reasoning was to have something a bit more modern that could take on the Mig-25s but I can see how the Mirage F1 is a bit much.

I'd forgotten about the Su-25 – I think it would make an excellent alternative to the Jaguar, possibly for both sides! I did also consider the Buccaneer for the ground attack role.

Backstory wise, the Mig-21s used by the pro-western nation are Chengdu J-7s but I've classed them as Migs as we're planning on using the 1/600 Tumbling Dice range and there isn't really any difference.

Transport aircraft isn't something we've considered but as you say, some of the old WW2 stalwarts may be quite nice!

One thing we did also consider was bombers. This seems more of a Soviet consideration (apart from the Canberra). However, my concern was that some of the more common ones like the IL-28 would be too obsolete and would get blown out of the sky, the TU-16 and TU-22 would be too rare and expensive and the SU-24 is a bit too modern. Any other thoughts would be appreciated!

Once the project is underway, the plan is to document it all in a blog so hopefully you'll all be able to see our efforts.

fleabeard27 Aug 2013 4:05 p.m. PST

Something you might want to consider wrt bombers is the converted transport. Sudan did/does operate An-24s as bombers, albeit against relatively poorly armed militias, ditto the Rhodesians with at least one C47. Easy prey for an interceptor though!

I suppose the main thing is balancing plausibility with enjoyment, and think about what might be pressed into service, and what might possibly be procured, in the heat of war. I'd definitely consider a Tu-16 or two!

Deadone27 Aug 2013 5:14 p.m. PST

This sounds like fun!

Tu-16 might be a bit too advanced. Strategic bombers require a lot of effort to keep airborne.

You could try Il-28 or more likely Chinese H-5 versions but these don't offer more bombing capability than say a Su-22.

I'd go for:

Fighters – Mirage V, Mirage F1, Chengdu J-7, Northrop F-5 Tiger but also radarless F-5A/B Freedom Fighters (Botswana operates these)

Ground Attack – BAC Strikemaster, SEPECAT Jaguar, BAE Hawk Mk 50/60, Breguet Alpha Jet.

Also light prop armed trainers – SF260, PC-7, EMB-312 Tucano

Helos – SA316 Alouette, SA330 Puma, SA342 Gazelle, Bell 212 (including Italian versions), UH-1H.

Transport – C-130, G222, C212, C235 (used as bombers)

Observation – Cessna 337/O-2, Cessna 182.

Fighters – MiG-21MF/Bis, MiG-23MS/MF, J-6 (MiG-19), J-7.

Ground attack – Su-7, Su-20/-22, Su-25, Q-5 (extensively modified MiG-19 with side inlets and solid nose), L39 Albatross

Helos – Mi-2, Mi-8/-17, Mi-25.

Transport – An-2, An-12 (use as bombers), An-24/-26 (use as bombers).

Gaz004528 Aug 2013 4:52 a.m. PST

This sounds like fun- awaiting some AAR's from the 'flying bush war'…!

Apache 628 Aug 2013 8:56 a.m. PST

Sounds like lots of fun.

- I and several friends of mine combined 'harpoon' for air/sea operations and "combined arms" to do a 'forcible entry campaign where a Joint/Combined Task Force (USMC MEU, Ranger Bn, UK RM Commando, Green Beret ODA, SEAL Platoon, supported by Carrier Strike Group) was tasked to liberate a ally from a heavily armed 'third world dictator' (with 3 Inf Bn, 1 T-72 Bn, 1 BMP-2 Bn, 1 Towed D-30 Bn, 1 SP-122 Bn, 1 BM-21 Btry, 3 diesel subs, 4 OSA class and a swarm of "torpedo boats", 2 sunbeam SSM Btry…, supported by an unrealistically capable airforce (with Mig-29s, SU-25s and Hinds flown by "ex-Soviet" pilots serving as mercenaries. Gave us several months of good scenarios. While not originally planned we also gamed out some skirmish level actions including a Tactical Recovery of Aircraft or Personnel and a SOF raid versus a radar site that could not be struck by tomahawks do to 'collateral damage concerns.'

As a campaign game, lots of potential for fun and planning. Do we attack with air and ground forces at the same time, or establish air superiority first. What about radars and AAA and SAMs? How about Electronic Warfare assets? Can we jam their C4I network?

This also opens up other ground missions. How secure are the airbases. Can the rebels get 107mm rockets inside 10km?

For AK-47
- You could add a veteran Swedish pilot and his squadron of rocket armed crop dusters.

- Several South American and caribean nations (and others?) flew P-51s and F4U corsairs well into the 70s. A-1 Skyraiders were used at least into the 80s.

- Western aligned nations could easily have A-4 skyhawks and or OV-10 broncos.

- For AK-47 Campaign I could see gunrunning missions being important. What is the night capability of the defending airforce? Can they intercept the 'suspicious' TRANS WORLD AIRLINES DC-9 that declared a emergency and diverted into rebel territory? Can they detect and counter the AN-2 that is flying in 5 tons of ordnance every night? How about the CESSNA 172 (flown by a very experienced ex-airline pilot who's girlfriend is a local rebel 'commander') who arrives over the capital every night at 0300 and drops 30 82mm mortar rounds (Three O-Clock Charly)

- How about UAVs? Maybe the rebels bought a bunch of civilian RC plans and loaded them up with explosives for use as "poor mans cruise missiles."

deflatermouse28 Aug 2013 4:43 p.m. PST

For bombers I'd tend to maybe Skyraiders or B-26 Invaders.
Flown by Polish-expats or Mossad fellows "on a break"?

Dc-47 or Dc-46 as bomber/gunships/Presidential flight?

freecloud29 Aug 2013 3:49 a.m. PST

Sounds good

In the early 90's you can also look at older Western aircraft that were relatively simple to maintain but still effective like the Hawker Hunter, A4 Skyhawk.

Mirage F1 was a complex bit of kit, Mirage V was the Mirage III version built for less advanced nations.

Also Macchi MB326. The SAAF used this (Atlas Impala MkII) heavily as a ground attack and helicopter killer, it flew low to the ground and the MiGs struggled to get down to its level, and it's manouverability meant it wasn't a slam dunk if they did. You find this class of plane all over the developing world as a ground attack plane

Prop planes were dead once SA-7s and similar portable SAMs arrived in numbers.

The Dakota and Russian equivalent are commonplace, the other helos you can use are teh Bell 206 family and the Choctaw, both fairly simple and easy to maintain ships and got around.

The other thing to consider is Fancophone countries can usually count on fairly active "foreign aid" from the French air assets

deflatermouse29 Aug 2013 4:30 a.m. PST

I agree with the comments about the SA-7 Grail. In Africa I would tend to see the problem with SA-7s is a status weapon that you have to entrust to lower level commanders at the user end.

As a countrys freely choosen leader, do I think this is a good idea?
It wouldn't be tempting to be reported "all used up Sar!" only to find out otherwise during a coup attempt? No, no all my officers are loyal.
As an average 1 in 3 succes rate, hhmmm don't know if I'd be handing them out. maybe keep them for photo ops and parades.

Never tried Airwar C21. How do they hadle asymetric match-ups?

rivers316229 Aug 2013 2:54 p.m. PST

Thanks again for all the comments, it's surprising how many people seem to like the idea!

Ground attack wise, I think I've finally dropped the idea of using the Jaguar and plumping towards the Impala or SU-25 instead (although I do have a soft spot for the Buccaneer).

I'm definitely dropping the Mirage F.1 – after consideration, I agree that it is a bit too far advanced and will probably use the Mirage V instead.

As I prefer British made jets generally, I think I may add a few Hunters too. Not only are they probably THE classic cold war British jet but I didn't realise til now that they're still in active service in Lebanon.

And much as we love Corsairs and Mustangs, I think they're perhaps a bit too obsolete for the period we're intending to game. Perhaps as things develop, a few prop planes may be thrown into the mix, especially for COIN missions, intercepting helos and the like.

We're also considering using the TFL Squadron Forward! campaign system. We've used them before for WW2 campaigns and they kept everyone's interest in the project. We thought it might be good to track the progress of our various pilots as they rise, fall and are fed to crocodiles for displeasing the head of state!

Only Warlock30 Aug 2013 7:23 a.m. PST

Airwar C21 is actually very good at Asymmetrical fights. (I still prefer the even simpler First Edition but I have the First and Second). A large part of it is Missile acquisition arcs as well as Maneuverability if you get past the Missiles and try to line up your guns. LOVE the system. It's fast, playable and has a great Air combat feel.

SouthernPhantom30 Aug 2013 5:11 p.m. PST

freecloud, I was just about to suggest the MB-326 :D
Other plausible airframes would include SF-260s, Fouga CM-170 Magisters, and L-39s. A lot of armed light planes were also operated (and still are) by numerous smaller African air arms.

freecloud10 Sep 2013 5:51 a.m. PST

Fouga Magisters! Good plan!! Thst is a must have :-)

There is quite an interesting sheet on Portuguese aircraft used in Angola here


(its quite a good site overall for a nose)

deflatermouse10 Sep 2013 4:42 p.m. PST

Any where I can get to use A-26 Invaders and PV-2 Harpoons in the same airforce has gotta be great.

ACIG is a great site. Spent many a quality hour on there.

bobblanchett18 Mar 2017 3:07 a.m. PST

Thread necromancy but
Any good sources on African air Power 60s through 80s?

Fred Cartwright18 Mar 2017 1:27 p.m. PST

I wonder what happened in the campaign?

bobblanchett20 Mar 2017 9:24 a.m. PST

I'm not waiting to find out.. going to run one myself!

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