Or AK47 Republic in Central/South Asia.
We eventually got around to playing our first game of AK47 Republic (the 2009edition) albeit moved from its usual setting in 70’s Africa to an 80-90’s setting eerily similar to Afghanistan. So, here’s what happened:
“Our power is our Faith,
And our weapon is our PK”
– Jihadist Nasheed
All was not well in the Democratic Republic of Dafuqistan. The Soviet-backed government clung to power in the face of determined opposition by armed Islamist groups, whose own disunity was the only thing preventing them from seizing the capital, Kaboom. But now, in the South of the country, a new power had arisen.
They called themselves the ‘Mudarisun’ or ‘teachers.’ They began as a militia formed from the teaching and ancillary staff of the religious schools in the South of Dafuqistan. Disgusted with the years of chaos in the country, their grievances were many: large class sizes, warlords extorting lunch money from the pupils and students taking time off to go and collect Nobel prizes. Led by their charismatic leader, the one-legged Mullah Mohammed Mumakil, they began to subjugate the lawless warlords. With rumours of financial and military support from Dafuqistan’s Southern neighbour, Punjabistan, and led by their gifted, one-eyed commander, Mullah Yezwi Khan, they went from victory to victory.
They advocated a particularly harsh system of tribal custom and Islamic law. First they banned jazz, but this was to be their only humanitarian act. The watching of television was prohibited, leading to them being known as ‘The Telly-ban’ in the West. Further sanctions followed. The playing of Tiddlywinks was forbidden and BBC journalists were prohibited from wearing the burqa. Across the world, leaders appeared on television to denounce the Mudarisun, which, given the ban, none of the Mudarisun ever saw.
Along the way, they entered into a sometimes uneasy alliance with an exiled Saudi sheikh, Abdullah Bin Laina. Bin Laina had a history of fighting in Dafuqistan and had formed his own global jihadist organisation with the Egyptian militant Abu Dylan Al-Masri. Abu Dylan was a former flower child who now had reason to regret the naming of his firstborn son when it came to his Jihadist kunya. Bin Laina, Abu Dylan and some others formed the idea of a group dedicated to the furtherance of global jihad while on a fishing trip in Yemen. Over the course of a weekend the details were decided. The new organisation was called ‘Al Qarus,’ Arabic for ‘The Bass,’ in commemoration of a particularly fine fish caught by Bin Laina. Bin Laina supplied the Mudarisun with a hardcore of fanatical Arab fighters, and in return the Mullahs looked the other way when he trained terrorists, watched football on TV and bought his children Gameboys.
As the Mudarisun swept North, the government in Kaboom looked doomed. Fortune, however, was with them. By chance a Soviet Motor Rifle division stationed on the Northern border, had decided to go on holiday with all their equipment. They accidentally got lost and strayed over the border, wandering 200 miles South to Kaboom. Soviet authorities sent an airborne regiment, a squadron of SU-25s and several Mi-24 gunships to go and look for them. These all converged south of Kaboom and found themselves blocking the Mudarisun’s route to the capital.
The Battle of Qarakhazi
As the Mudarisun’s attack faltered in the face of the, entirely accidental, Soviet intervention, Lt. Colonel Yuri Ripyakasakov led a motor rifle battalion supported by a company of airborne against the Mudarisun-held town of Qarakhazi. Heavily supported by Soviet airpower the Soviet advance caught the Mudarisun by surprise. The one-eared local commander, Mullah Badullah Matullah, improvised a defence and prayed for reinforcements. Literally.
The Soviets launched a three pronged attack. One to seize the road to the East, one to pin the fighters in the centre of the village, and the last, led by the elite airborne, to sweep through the town from the West and dislodge the defenders in the centre. The Mudarisun held the town centre with a group of fighters led by Mullah Matullah, with a second group composed of better-trained Al Qarus Arab fighters off to the East. He hoped to hang on long enough for reinforcements to arrive, doubtless with more faith in his fighters than either of the players.
^ The Soviets advance from the North.
^ Mullah Matullah ponders the difficulty in commanding a force made up of so many different figure manufacturers.
^ The first Soviet asset roll brought the Hind gunship onto the table. Here it swoops down to attack the Al Qarus fighters, throwing up a billowing cloud of flight-stand obscuring photoshop.
^ A Soviet airstrike wreaks not much havoc at all among the defenders of Qarakhazi.
^ Mudarisun reinforcements arrive. Militia in the open would appear to be rather vulnerable, the Soviets began to wonder what the local term for ‘bullet-magnet’ was.
^ Al Qarus fighters launched a daring charge out of cover to attack the Hind gunship, which prudently flew off, leaving the Arabs in a bit of a tight spot.
^ With the Soviet attack stalling, the ubiquitous Toyota pick-ups arrive to save the day. It is forbidden by law to undertake any military action in Dafuqistan without the presence of Toyotas.
^ “Look at my car! Why the hell did you let Abu Hamza drive?”
By the end the Soviet attack had petered out, largely due to the unexpected resilience of the militia in the town centre, and their surprisingly effective sporadic gunfire. A totting up of victory points showed that the game had ended in a draw.
All in all a really good game. It rattled along nicely, and much smoother than either of us thought they would from just a reading of the rules. The game has a variable length, involving rolling a d6 at the end of each turn, with the game ending when a total of 21 is reached. We consistently rolled high in this game so it only went to 5 turns. In hindsight, as the Soviets, I should have been bolder and more direct, as even with a ‘normal’ game duration, there really wasn’t enough time for the airborne to go the long way round to attack the centre. In fact, the airborne don’t appear to have made it onto any of the photos! Now we have a better appreciation for move distances and the effects of combat, the next game should be better. I’m something of a late convert to Peter Pig’s rules (we’ve also been playing PBI) and would definitely recommend them.
Soviet figures are mainly Khurasan with some Irregular Miniatures. Mujahideen are (deep breath) Khurasan, Flytrap Factory, MJ figures, Old Glory, Flashpoint, Irregular and Rebel Minis.