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An Ongoing History of Lumbago


Frankie Li



Lumbago is a fictional country in the continent of Africa, created to facilitate a series of 'Heart of Africa' games at the club. Amusing letters and after action reports can be found here.

This blog will expand on the history of this fictional country, over its development from an Africa colony fought over by the great powers into an AK-47 republic in the 1950's to 1980's and eventually into a 'Rogue state' and 'Pirate haven' in the early parts of the 21st century. The rules used will be variations on the AK-47 rules available from Peter Pig, Crossfire by Arty Conliffe and Ambush Alley / Force on Force by Ambush Alley Games.


Games will commence from 1st January, 2012; with the capital and the south of the country under General Al-Fasad's control. NATO and AU troops are tasked with killing the dictatorship in its infancy while the Chinese military will have its own agenda in achieving what it sees as its rightful rise to hegemony.


History of Lumbago: 2000 - 2012


Following three decades of civil war and strife, the Republic of Lumbago seemed to finally settle into a period of peace and prosperity. The discovery of oil off its Eastern shores in 1998 and subsequent influx of capitalism which came with the arrival of an Anglo-American joint venture managed by Baron Petroleum brought prosperity for the majority of the Lumbago people.

Tribal differences were set aside with the election of the Mumbato Presidency, a prominent member of the Lobotomi tribe who chose to appoint Dr. Zambi as his Prime Minister, a respected leader of the Fukarwi people. Throughout the noughties, the country saw unprecedented growth and reform, a mobile telephone network that covered 99% of the country was put in place, sewage, running water and a power grid from a methane gas power-plant allowed the country to rise from poverty. 2008 saw the graduation of the first class of 'Oil Boomers' at the University of E'Fluent. Small and in the views of the government, insignificant, discontent came from the impoverished and neglected Shitomee who found themselves trapped in suburban slums and in rural communities along the coast with little in the way of social mobility.

Even the global financial crisis didn't seem to affect this little corner of Africa as the oil and money flowed and the party continued, the only bump on the road came when Shitomee rebels attacked an oil rig by speedboat, holding 15 oil workers for ransom in the process, although the incident was rapidly resolved with the deployment of British Special Operations troops.

The turn of events came in 2010 when a series of catastrophic accidents drove Baron oil to bankruptcy; in the uncertainty, General Muhammad Al-Fasad (born Rooti Ukukwi, Lobotomi born but Fukarwi by marriage) led his troops in a failed coup against the government, he is now at large and in hiding with his soldiers in the country side.

A NATO taskforce arrived to stabilise the country and prevent the country from descending into chaos. While NATO Special Forces are rumoured to be operating in the countryside looking for General Al-Fasad and doing everything in their power

In 2011, Sino-Petroleum purchased all the assets for the Lumbago project, a Mechanized PLA company was deployed for the protection of Chinese citizens and assets despite there being no more than 15 Chinese engineers on Sino-Petroleum's staff.

On 26th December 2011, a co-ordinated offensive saw attacks on the capital of Njia Pandamito and the major towns of Gumbo Falls, E'Fluent and Mumbo Jumbo. The capital fell into General Al-Fasad's control on new year's eve 2011. Mumbato's government in exile evacuated to E'Fluent. Lumbago's neighbours have refused to acknowledge Al-Fasad's government, concerned with the Islamic military dictatorship in their backyard. President Mumbato's pleas for assistance came in the form of African Union peacekeepers (AU) and a NATO expeditionary force (LFOR) to reinforce the NATO troops already in country.

A Chinese naval taskforce is also en-route to protect her own interests.


Arrival of NATO Troops / USMC in Lumbago


As the NATO troops disembarked into the scorching tarmac of The Great White Elephant International Airport in the Republic of Lumbago, all but a few of the soldiers were unaware they followed the footsteps of their great-grandfathers and uncles in a long line of international interventionists into this little corner of Africa.

One of the few who knew of this African country’s ever-present role in the crossroads of history was Lieutenant Holdem, he sat amongst his Marines readying their Humvees after the weeks at sea; he studied the strange photograph of his grandfather, Major Francis Holdem in a pristine blue dress uniform with a revolver in one hand and a cricket bat in the other standing next to a sunken Arab dhow among a group of natives and a smattering of German, British and French officers.

The pop-pop-pop of automatic gunfire in the distance and the loud mechanical slap of a MK-19 being locked and loaded brought him back to the present. Lieutenant Holdem and the rest of Marine RCT-2 had been in country for a week, their objective along with the rest of the NATO taskforce is to clear the capital city of Njia Pandamito of rebel forces and restore the democratic government who have been evacuated into the city of E’Fluent. The young lieutenant had joined the marines to see combat and as the Sergeant Major approached, he knew he and his platoon would not have to wait long.

Operation: Questions Three

Lieutenant Holdem cursed the arrival of the British Paratroopers and wondered if this one-upmanship existed in the times of Major Holdem, the company commander called it a reconnaissance in force but the rest of the platoon knew a Thunder-run when they saw it.

Lieutenant Holdem’s Force Recon Platoon are loaded into soft skin Humvees and split into 4 four-men fire teams. Two Humvees are armed with .50 cal machineguns and two are armed with Mk-19’s. Lieutenant Holdem’s Command team, including the platoon’s corpsman is loaded in a command Humvee.

A squad of Marine combat engineers loaded in a Bradley IFV are also sent alongside to give the Reconnaissance platoon fire-support.

When the Marines reached the bridge leading into Njia Pandamito, they found it littered with abandoned cars and K-rails, the enemy was prepared and the lead Humvee reported multiple contacts, movement amongst the buildings and obstacles ahead. Marines called out positions but whoever was there melted away before they could be identified or fired upon. As the Lieutenant gave the order to advance, a news crew emerged from behind the brush,

Sergeant Jimines disembarked his Humvee, hoping that by being outside and escorting the vehicles on foot, he and his team would have better situational awareness, the Mk-19 on the lead Humvee provided overwatch and a much needed boost of confidence.

To the right of them, the Combat Engineers disembarked their Bradley, posing for the news crew who followed behind, taking cover behind the vehicle as the Bradley pushed forward, its tracks crushing and pushing aside any barricade ahead of it.

As the 3 man scout team pushed onwards, the lead Humvee rode up onto the first concrete barrier, gunning the engine, the Humvee forced itself lose but landed heavily snapping its suspension.

While the recon marines found themselves held up, the Bradley pushed forward. A RPG round streaked out of the cover, detonating its front ERA plates, before the crew and marines behind could react or recover from the shock of the explosion, a second Anti-Tank warhead crashed into the Bradley, the second explosion rocked the windows in Holdem’s Humvee, but the Bradley despite no longer having the benefit of its ERA plates, pushed forward, firing its Chain Guns into the position as small arms fire poured from the position into the lead Humvee.

The recon marines and lead humvee replied with their M4’s and Mk-19’s, desperately trying to find and take out the RPG gunners before they turned their attentions on the Humvees.

As Lieutenant Holdem reported the events back to his company commander, a loud crack snapped against Lieutenant Holdem’s window, “CONTACT LEFT! SNIPER!”, the gunner fired his .50 cal into the sniper's position, the unmistakable crack of a second bullet went past the gunner's head, a second barrage of .50 calibre shells finally took out the sniper.

At the front of the convoy, the marines took cover and poured fire into the defensive position, an RPG streaked overhead missing the lopsided Humvee by inches, saved by its damaged suspension. The MK-19 and Recon marines again open fired, this time taking out the remaining RPG gunner.

The marines' Bradley continued to push forward, the rebel leader realising his position was lost as the Bradley continued its advanced called for mortar strikes through his cell phone. The marines huddled behind the Bradley soon realised their mistake as one marine was seriously injured in the blast. He was placed onboard the Bradley as the combat engineers spread out to avoid the mortar fire, with half the squad finding cover immediately and in front of the Recon marines' path of advance.

As Lieutenant Holdem repeated his orders for his men and Humvees to advance, there was a tap on the window, a British Sniper team and a Challenger II tank fitted with bulldozer blades had arrived as reinforcements.

The damaged lead Humvee found itself bogged down again as it crashed into the back of a Mercedes with its handbrake firmly in place.  The snipers hitched a ride in the command Humvee.

The rebels in the middle of the bridge, realising all was lost, fled their positions and disappeared into the city.
With the bridge now clear, the marines advanced at full speed up the bridge.

But before the command humvee could follow the rest of the platoon, a technical and several rebels emerged again on the left, thankfully, the fire from their 7.62 machinegun and AK-47's were mostly inaccurate. The command Humvee's reversed quickly, opening a gap for the tank to its right to deal with this new threat.

More mortar shells fell on the combat engineer's position, the Bradley's commander open fired into the mosque where he believed the mortar's position to be; thankfully his actions, costly though they maybe with the expected backlash from tonight's news and YouTube to be someone between unprecedented and severe, managed to force the Mortar crew to abandon their position and retreat.

More RPG's smashed into the top and sides of the Bradley as it forced forward and into the city, 2 more squads of rebels poured fire into the marines, the Bradley's armour once again holding up well.

With the last obstacles cleared, the Humvees gunned its engines and pushed forward, .50 cal machine guns and Mk-19 grenades poured into the rebel positions, although their buildings proved to offer excellent protection from all angles of fire. Another RPG streaked past the Humvees, narrowly missing them.

The rebel commander cursed his luck and remarked to his counterpart that they should have stuck to IED's, suddenly remembering they had planted an IED in the median.

Corporal Kowalski was amazed he could hear anything after firing his .50 cal for the last 10 minutes, he wondered the source of what sounded like a mobile phone ringtone before spotting the wires coming out of the palm tree on the median. "GET OUT! GET OUT! IED!" The driver dove out just as Corporal Kowalski clambered over the roof as a explosion ripped through the Humvee, they rejoined Sergeant Jiminez and took cover from the insurgents firing on their position.

The Bradley halted, took a position and fired a Tow missile into the position, which promptly destroyed a large section of the building but with no effect on the rebel position. More RPG and small arms fire poured into the Bradleys and Humvees, but the Americans continued pushing forward, emboldened by the inaccurate and ineffective fire.

A combination of fire from the Humvee's machineguns and Mk-19's, the Bradley's chaingun and tank cannon forced the rebels to once again abandon their positions.

As the rebels beat a hasty retreat, several technicals appeared firing at the marines to prevent any ideas they may have of pursuing the rebels further into the city, these technicals were quickly destroyed by the Humvees and Bradley's guns.

The road into Njia Pandamito was now wide open.


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