Modern Africa

rulebook cover


Q: Of the weapons listed on the Weapon Range Chart on pg. 14, which could be carried by infantry, and which would be mounted instead with weapon teams?

A: I wanted this part to be generic so in the scenario, if a Technical is described as having a M2, .50 cal machinegun, it will start off with the same attack roll as the ground version. I wanted to limit the number of charts, so the attack capabilities will be the same for both infantry and vehicle mounted weapons that are similar. The scenario will determine where the weapons are located.

Q: Are players supposed to Execute Orders in any particular order? The Sequence of Play gives a sequence - Attack, Charge, Move, Reorganize - but is this meant to indicate the order in which the steps are taken?

A: Yes, they are executed in this order. All orders are revealed simultaneously. Then the players go through one by one and remove the orders as the rolls are made or actions completed. If there are a number of similar actions (i.e. a couple moves, etc) I must leave it to the players to determine a logical method of doing it. In all of my (and Mark Hannam's) rules sets, we leave a fair amount of the common sense - smooth flow things to the players. No rules set can work, unless it is the complexity of Advanced Squad Leader, if the players can't get along.

Q: During what part of the turn are Observation Rolls made?

A: Observation is made in lieu of an attack. I've tweaked that section of the rules to now read -


A unit attempting to observe something hidden will roll 1d6 on the following chart. Observation takes place in lieu of the "Attack" phase and an Attack counter may be used to declare that action. The player simply states his intentions when he reveals the order. Assumptions are that the hidden unit does not want to be seen. Obviously, if a unit fires from cover, it will be observed immediately and no roll is required.

Q: Pg. 11 lists a movement penalty for "Disembarking Unit" - does this apply to the vehicle, the passenger, or both?

A: Good point (this is one of those things that was clear to me when I wrote it and clear when I reread it, but with a different look, takes on a different face). To disembark, a unit takes 1/2 of a movement. The vehicle can move 1/2 of its allowance and the unit can then disembark. This unit would not be able to move until next turn. If the vehicle starts the turn not moving, the unit can disembark and then move 1/2 of its movement (and the vehicle can then move off 1/2 of its movement). So to maximize capabilities of both the unit and the vehicle, a unit disembarks at the beginning of the movement phase and then the unit moves into the bush and the vehicle heads back out to pick up more troops or provide cover, etc.

Q: On pg. 13, it mentions using radios to contact units which are out of control. During which phase does this occur?

A: I've made the following addition on page 13.

"Using radios is a "transparent" action. The orders are issued at the very beginning of the turn (upside down counter). Then during the reveal orders phase, for those units out of range, the difficulty check is rolled. If contact is not made, the order is not revealed. If a unit is hidden, this can be handled by a player declaration at the beginning of the Reveal Orders phase. A roll is made and if there is no contact, nothing further is stated. If contact is successful, then the action is executed as normal.

Q: The rules on pp. 12-13 never actually mention the penalty that applies when a vehicle fails a Difficulty Check while moving into rough terrain, although the example on pg. 12 implies something fairly severe. What is the penalty?

A: Drats! The unit simply stops where it is and its movement is complete for the turn.

Also, I note in the chart that things are backwards. Should be: Western Unit Making Request (no modification for truck in Rough Terrain): the modification should be -1 to Die Roll.

Q: On pg. 16, it says "Negative attack rolls are read as 1." Does this mean that the modified result of an attack roll is never less than a 1?

A: Yes. I wanted the disparity for building up kill points to be on the side of rolling well. This gives a hopeless unit in a hopeless situation a chance to survive if the attacker has bad luck.

Q: Can a unit qualify for more than one Reactive Attack in the same turn?

A: No. Only one target for Reactive Fire is allowed per turn and this will be against the first opponent who failed his attack and allowed the Reactive Fire, no matter how many subsequent failed attacks there were.

Q: Which units are eligible to make grenade attacks? Infantry only?

A: Yes.

Q: The rules on pg. 17 mention what happens if a grenade hits the target, or if it scatters back to the attacker. What happens if the grenade scatters and hits a third party?

A: Roll the attacks on that third party. He is then the big loser.

Q: Does Melee occur only if one or both in-contact stands have an Attack order?

A: Melee occurs when one stand has an Attack counter and the units are in contact.

Q: Pg. 19 mentions morale checks made when a Lieutenant dies. Are checks also made when a Sergeant dies?

A: Yes, same.

Q: With regard to Morale (pp. 18-19), is one roll made for the entire command, or is one roll made for each stand?

A: The rolls are made for each stand.

Q: The Morale rules on pg. 19 are a little confusing. It says to "roll 1d6 after applying the following modifiers," which suggests that the modifiers are applied to the dieroll. But it also says that the dieroll is compared to the "modified number," which suggests the modifiers apply to the Base Morale. Which is it?

A: Yes, quite confusing. Modified to now read: " To check morale: Roll 1d6 for each required stand. The following modifiers are added/subtracted from the base number. A successful roll is equal to or less than the modified number."

Q: Pg. 18 mentions that a tank must choose between firing its main gun or its machinegun. Is this choice made at the moment of firing, or must be it declared in the Reveal Orders phase (as per grenades)?

A: Same. It must be declared during the Reveal Orders phase. The reason for this is for ease of play. Well-trained crews can switch on a moment's notice and can do both, if need be. This modification is possible for Western Forces who could easily and readily do both. I do need to clarify much better that most of the negatives are applied and are there for the sole reason of the lack of training and capability in rogue state militias. Scenario rules take precedence.

Q: Are South African troops considered "African" or "Western" for purposes of these rules?

A: I would consider South African troops as Western.

Q: The rules on pg. 19 suggest that the "area of choice" for an air strike is determined at the time the strike arrives, rather than when the strike is requested. Is this correct?

A: Yes. This is because most aircraft will check in with a ground controller as they arrive in the area. Third world countries are given this capability for the purpose of Modern Africa, but their success rate is penalized by the use of the "African Unit Receiving" chart, which is vastly different than the "Western Unit Receiving" chart.

Q: On pg. 20 it says that "artillery will be declared by the the beginning of the Reveal Orders phase." However, on pg. 13 it says that artillery is called for "in the off-board actions phase." Is there a difference between declaring and calling for artillery?

A: No. This is a disparity, an incongruity, a brain-fart. It should consistently read that Artillery is called for in the Off-Board Actions Phase.

Q: On pg. 21, it says that "Personnel are not affected by anti-tank mines and tank/vehicles are not affected by anti-personnel mines." Does this mean that if an infantry stand moves into an anti-tank minefield, it doesn't make the minefield dieroll? Or does it mean that the roll is made, but no hits can be taken?

A: No. The unit would simply not make the die roll. My premise is ease and quickness of play. If the die roll doesn't add, then don't make it.

Last Updates
27 October 1999page first published
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