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"Invasion South Africa" Topic

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2,636 hits since 13 Sep 2016
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Lookingglassman13 Sep 2016 12:37 p.m. PST

Hi all, I just finished the book "Vortex" by Larry Bond about a fictional war in South Africa. After reading it I am interested in planning a campaign involving US, Chinese and African forces.

The scenario I am working on is this. Certain African countries experience an "African Spring", but instead of turning into democracies they form a dictatorial alliance. The Chinese, which are already involved in Africa, seize an opportunity and help these countries militarily, politically and economically. In return these countries allow the Chinese to base forces on in their countries.

South Africa is seen as the "crown jewel" because of it's mineral wealth and thus is a juicy target for this African alliance and the Chinese. Following the scenario in the book, I was going to have the leadership of SA assasinated and when that happens civil war begins in SA. The African Alliance and the Chinese quietly insert agitators into SA to help those who will be willing to be allies with them. The Chinese and AA also begin to move forces closer to the SA border.

The US refuses to allow this African/Chinese alliance to just waltz in and take SA and all its wealth so it makes plans to send a Marine Expeditionary Force and an Army corps to South Africa in the hopes the Chinese will back off not wanting to tangle with US forces.

So far that is about as far I as I have gotten. Any suggestions or ideas would be great.


79thPA Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2016 12:44 p.m. PST

Add in African US allies, such as Ethiopia, Kenya, Liberia, etc.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2016 2:05 p.m. PST

Someone in the RSA will ask for military assistance. They might ask even the UK first, and the UK would send at least the SAS, if not a carrier group and an armored division or two. So you can dust off those miniatures as well.

troopwo Supporting Member of TMP13 Sep 2016 3:58 p.m. PST

Actually basing on the Chinese is a very modern current time scenario.

the only question is which way do they go for mineral resources and petroleum?

Lookingglassman15 Sep 2016 1:44 p.m. PST

Thanks! I plan on using mercenary forces and "private contractors" working with the US mainly pulling security in towns to free up US military forces. In my scenario the Chinese are after the mineral resources.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP03 Oct 2016 2:20 a.m. PST

By the way, back in the 1970s, SPI did a map-and-counters game for a South African Civil War with invasions by neighboring states. I don't remember what it was called.

sharkbait09 Oct 2016 6:00 p.m. PST

@Glenn – It was called "South Africa":


I remember playing it back in the day, but don't remember how good it was.

@Lookingglassman – sounds like a good idea. What's the time setting? Now? 80s? 90s?

Lookingglassman13 Oct 2016 7:51 p.m. PST

Sharkbait It will be in the future like 2025

Cicero28 Oct 2016 6:37 p.m. PST

Throw a race war into the mix. The last Whites flee Zimbabwe, Western Cape Provence declares independence and sides with the Zulu on an orgy of ethnic cleansing. And although SA dismantled 6 A-bombs in the early 90s, another 2 where put away for a rainy day – and its now monsoon season in the 'Rainbow Nation'. Enjoy.

jeffbird29 Dec 2016 11:38 a.m. PST

Reading Vortex now, thinking of doing something similar. Most likley set in the early 90's similar to the novel.
Noticed this aswell on boardgame geek:

jeffbird30 Dec 2016 9:35 a.m. PST

I wonder if anyone has expanded the map from SPI South Africa, to cover more of sub sahara Africa and have RSA invade them? Just a thought.

freecloud19 May 2017 8:43 a.m. PST

Not read Vortex but a few thoughts:

1. A Chinese attack via Mocambique/Zimbabwe would be the easiest for them logistically

2. In the early 90's the SADF on the ground could hold its own vs relatively modern kit used by Cubans but it's airforce was suffering to keep the few modern 'planes operational so that would be the weak link/most desperate need. The French probably had what they would really want for armour – AMX 10RCs.

3. SA Navy could play havoc with supplies, iirc China hardly had a blue water navy then

4. SA will go to US first, ther already was an "understanding" during Border Wars

5. US most likely initially to supply SADF with equipment as per Israel, then naval/air interference, finally send USMC.

ROUWetPatchBehindTheSofa19 May 2017 11:48 a.m. PST

If set now'ish I'd bear in mind dictators typically like to channel nationalism / tribalism something fierce and land ownership is, thanks to colonialism, a push button issue in Africa. The increasingly large chunks of land owned by Chinese companies make a potentially very tempting target for a would be dictator to reward his cronies with, sorry, redistribute among the people… Obvious Chinese puppet governments might well face internal problems as Mugabe has shown you can effectively use the spectre of colonialism to whip up your supporters.

I'd also suggest a clearly Chinese orchestrated assault on what probably remains one of the continents flagship democracy would bring in help not just from the US but Europe and other places (and that's without global corporations lobbying to have their assets protected). Former colonial powers might be wary of putting large numbers of boots on the ground for political reasons, but would be pretty liberal with naval support, air power and special forces. I'd also suggest that with plenty of veterans of the Struggle still about that China wouldn't have it all their own way in terms of propaganda and destabilisation-ops.

All in I'd suggest the Chinese are up against a campaign clock, they have to convincingly win before their alliance starts to come apart from within (probably in a really horrifically bad way for the continents Chinese ex-patriots), a likely naval blockade prevents effective re-supply of heavy equipment and the international response gets too big. But I'd give them a hefty up front numerical advantage with their clients liberally supplied with Chinese export kit. Though I'd assume that they've ended up supplying at least some less than ideal equipment for the African Bush and their clients have probably spent some of their credit on prestige systems of limited use.

freecloud21 May 2017 3:41 p.m. PST

That sounds about right re campaign clock running. On that, problem Chinese have is (i) getting over the natural barriers btwn SA and northern countries and (ii) lines of communication, SA is a big country and has 3 capitals so quick political KO blow is hard and they have a long way to go even to get to Pretoria/Johannesburg, with lots of bottleneck routes in their rear from those mountains and rivers behind. (That may be the objective – grab Pretoria/JHB negotiate?).

Incidentally apparently there are Chinese compounds all over Africa building infrastructure each with tens of thousands of workers, many apparently have military training so one can imagine a buildup that way over time.

Gary Overmyer11 Dec 2021 6:33 p.m. PST

I'm reading Vortex now. I am just past the point of the Cuban invasion from Mozambique and Zimbabwe. I am finding it a hard slog. The one dimensional characters make it hard reading for me. Still… The subject is very interesting!

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