Saturday, May 30, 2015

Cuba Libre - Liberation Batrep 1


It's 0300 on 1 Feb 1990, and the invasion is set to begin.  A large Cuban Liberation Army (CLA) landing force is approaching the island from the west, and so CLA Special Operations Forces (SOF) B Squadron, previously infiltrated into Cuba, have been tasked to destroy a key radar site at Las Tumbas on the Peninsula de Guanahacabibes.

The forces: the Castro Cubans have a Command Stand, five rifle stands, a general purpose (RPG-type) rocket, an 82mm mortar, and an armored car.  The CLA has a Command Stand, four Special Operations stands, an LMG stand, a Gustav 84mm rocket launcher, and a Jeep mounting a .50-cal HMG.

The Commander of CLA SOF's B Squadron, Captain Villanueva.

Close up of the CLA forces.

The Castro forces, from the 27th Infantry Company, 3rd Cuban Infantry Battalion.

Overview of the table, with right being north, CLA on the bottom (east) and regime forces on the top (west), with the radar site at top right (northwest).

CLA forces in the southeast: the HMG jeep, three SOF teams, and the CO.

CLA forces in the northeast: one SOF team, the LMG team, and the Gustav team.

Regime forces in the southwest: two rifles at top, the rocket team and CO in the barracks at bottom right, and the mortar team behind it.

The regime forces in the northwest: three rifle teams, the armored car, and the radar site, oriented west towards the sea (right).

A shaky photo of the objective.

The CLA start off by moving their HMG jeep up on the far left and taking a shot with the Ma Deuce; somehow they miss (I got two games in on Saturday morning, and my die rolling was atrocious throughout, whilst the enemy managed to pull off some pretty fortuitous rolls).

SOF Team 4 moves up and fires to no effect (bottom right, firing on infantry at center), then the LMG team (just right of Tm 4) moves up and looses a hail of 7.62mm rounds on the barracks (top left).

Forcing the rocket team to fall back and hunker, and pinning the mortar team (their CO is still atop the barracks).

On the southwest hill, Hill 35, the two enemy teams in that area take up defensive positions (one falling back from the white puff at far left, where my HMG jeep fired at it).  The enemy CO falls back and rallies the rocket team (top right), who immediately moves back into the barracks, but he can't manage to rally the mortar team, who stays pinned.

On the right they maneuver into fighting positions.

While the SOF teams on the left move up to the HMG jeep...

And move up a bit on the right as well, with the Gustav at far right, looking to line up a shot on the armored car (top center).

The LMG (bottom right) opens up on the enemy team at center, not effecting them but causing a rifle team on Radar Hill to fall back (top right).

But the damn armored car (top left) returns fire, pinning the LMG and forcing the Gustav to fall back (bottom right)...

The gun truck opens up on the two enemy squads on Hill 35, but only manages to pin them...

I catch a break: the enemy CO tries (again) to rally the mortar, but they run off the table!

But that luck is nullified when a single rifle team on Hill 35 fires on the gun truck, knocking out my HMG...

The enemy fires a rocket at Tm 4, pinning it.  Tm 1 (off camera at bottom left) returns fire, no effect.

Then things really start to suck: an enemy rifle team fires on my pinned LMG team, knocking it out...

And when Tm  tries to move up, snap fire from that same enemy rifle team mows them down (center).  The CO moves over and rallies the Gustav team (bottom right).

And the Gustav team moves up and fires...

The armored car is only immobilized, but the crew bails and two nearby rifle teams are pinned.

Back on the left, Tm 1 moves up and fires, but misses.

On Hill 35 (top left), one enemy rifle team rallies but the other remains pinned.  The enemy rifle team at center right rallies, but the hunkered team at top right only manages to get 'up' to pinned.

On the left, Tm 1 moves up, while Tm 22 sprints up but doesn't quite make it into cover.  The pinned enemy team tried to rally, but failed again.

On the right, CO and Tm 3 move up.

An enemy rifle team moved to the barracks, while another fell back to Radar Hill from the road.  The pinned team at top right tried to rally but failed and ran off the map!

Then the pinned enemy rifle team on Hill 35 trie to rally again, and ran off the map too!  That has got to be frustrating ;)  Off camera, the enemy CO moves to Radar Hill.

Teams 1 (center), 2 (left), and 3 (bottom right) quickly close the distance.

While the CO and Gustav (bottom left) move up, exposing themselves to fire from the right, to get a shot on the barracks.  We had a random event ("lull"), but it had no impact as all my troops are in good shape.

And then the Gustav fires on the barracks...

Making the rocket team fall back, and getting 'men down' on the rifle team.  This should be the break I was needing...

And it is: SOF Tm 1 rushes the barracks, eliminating the enemy rifle team, then the rocket team and capturing the armored car crew.

Tm 2 then charges Hill 35...

 And eliminates the regime forces there.

Which leads to the surrender of Castro's men on Radar Hill as the CO, the Gustav team, and Tm 3 close in.

The radar site is quickly rigged to blow...

And blown, mission success!  The force gathers its gear, casualties, and prisoners, then melts back into the jungle.

Friendly: ~15 WIA/KIA, 1 HMG Jeep
Enemy: ~20 WIA/KIA, ~15 POW, 1 Armored Car knocked out.

A great opening to the campaign.  More to follow.


Thursday, May 28, 2015

Cuba Libre Overlay

For the upcoming invasion of Cuba.

Western Command
1st Airborne Battalion, "Castro's Bodyguard"
-1st Airborne Company
-2nd Airborne Company

2nd Armored Battalion
-78th Tank Company (T-72)
-70th Motorized Rifle Company (BMP-2)

Pinar del Rio 
3rd Infantry Battalion
-27th Infantry Company
-28th Infantry Company
-24th Provincial Militia Company

Cuban Liberation Army
1st Airborne Infantry Battalion - Col Lucastro -Screen Pinar del Rio/La Fe
-A Airborne Company - Capt Olejandro
-B Airborne Company - Capt Banos
-C Airborne Company - Capt DeNostro

3rd Infantry Battalion -Col Galban -Landing Force-La Fe
-1st Marine Company - Capt Benavides
-B Rifle Company - Capt Torrencio
-C Rifle Company - Capt Cruze

4th Infantry Battalion -Col Estavante -Follow on Force- La Fe
-E Rifle Company - Capt Cannastria
-F Rifle Company - Capt Chavez
-1st Air Assault Company - Capt Bronchovio

5th Armored Battalion -Col Colavantes -Follow on Force- La Fe
-1 Troop - Capt Fordesante
-2 Troop - Capt Solar
-3 Troop - Capt Basilone

8th Popular Force Battalion -Col Habanera -Havana
-A Popular Force Company - Capt Welasquez
-B Popular Force Company - Capt Muertosa
-C Popular Force Company - Capt Talamantes

CLA SOF A Sqdn - Capt Stelosavo -Havana
CLA SOF B Sqdn - Capt Villanueva -Pinar Del Rio

Central Command
4th Infantry Battalion
-81st Infantry Company
-84th Infantry Company

5th Territorial Infantry Battalion
-86th Provincial Militia Company
-89th Provincial Militia Company

6th Armored Battalion
-12th Tank Company (T-34)
-242nd Infantry Company

7th Infantry Battalion
-41st Infantry Company
-43rd Infantry Company
-48th Provincial Militia Company

Cuban Liberation Army
2nd Airborne Infantry Battalion -Col Carreno -Screen Cienfuegos/Bay of Pigs
-E Airborne Company - Capt Halabrio
-F Airborne Company - Capt Guerrero
-G Airborne Company - Capt Cuervesco

6th Infantry Battalion -Col Colvasquez -Landing Force- Bay of Pigs
-A Rifle Company - Capt Pilar-Soto
-B Rifle Company - Capt Rolando
-2nd Marine Company - Capt Spirovales

7th Infantry Battalion -Col Barnejesus -Follow on Force- Bay of Pigs
-E Rifle Company - Capt Michoacana
-2nd Air Assault Company - Capt Wallestre
-G Rifle Company - Capt Cubio

9th Popular Force Battalion -Col Bustamante -Matanzas
-E Popular Force Company - Capt Afflexio
-F Popular Force Company - Capt Ballesteros
-G Popular Force Company - Capt Elias

10th Popular Force Battalion -Col Elias -Jaguey Grande (SW of Colon)
-I Popular Force Company - Capt Ermera
-K Popular Force Company - Capt Fulgencio
-L Popular Force Company - Capt Reynaldo

Eastern Command
Santiago de Cuba 
8th Tank Battalion
-3rd Tank Company (T-55)
-6th Tank Company (T-34)
-9th Tank Company (SU-76)

9th Infantry Battalion
-31st Infantry Company
-32nd Infantry Company
-38th Infantry Company

10th Territorial Infantry Battalion
-84th Provincial Militia Company
-90th Provincial Militia Company

11th Territorial Infantry Battalion
-95th Provincial Militia Company
-97th Provincial Militia Company

Mechanized Task Force 'A' (from elements of the 12th Mechanized Battalion)
-50th Mechanized Company (BTR-60)

13th Infantry Battalion
-54th Infantry Company
-56th Infantry Company
-58th Provincial Militia Company.

Mechanized Task Force 'B' (from elements of the 12th Mechanized Battalion)
-60th Mechanized Company (BTR-60)

14th Infantry Battalion
-60th Infantry Company
-63rd Infantry Company

15th Territorial Infantry Battalion
-65th Provincial Militia Company
-69th Provincial Militia Company

Cuban Liberation Army
CLA UCW (A, B, and C Co) -Col Huistrella -in vicinity of Los Tunas
-A Special Forces Company - Capt Kalabera
-B Special Forces Company - Capt Galban
-C Special Forces Company - Capt Gonzalez

CLA SOF CO - Col Quilveras
CLA SOF C Sqdn - Capt Bosanova -Santiago de Cuba

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

More Forces for Cuba Libre


I've been out of pocket with some other stuff going on, but this past weekend was action-packed with wargaming.  Well, maybe not action packed; I didn't actually get any games in, but I had a veritable orgy of painting, basing, flocking, re-painting, re-basing, and re-flocking, which may sound boring, but stands me in good stead for starting my long neglected project, "Cuba Libre."

Lay your eyes on all the various forces I finished this weekend.  Some I painted from scratch, some I repainted, and some I only re-based.  Most will be used for other things as well, but all listed below will be used for the invasion of Cuba.  That I got so much done in a single weekend is, to me, a tribute to the magic of 10mm ;)

 The whole shebang, all the stuff I finished this weekend.

Box #1: on the right are Pendraken Brits from the Falklands range, on the left are Minifigs USMC from their Modern range (Vietnam era), and at bottom are Minifigs Special Forces.

The command stand for Mademoiselle Thatcher's Green-Eyed Boys.  I'd previously painted these up in some generic, 'universal'-style camouflage and put them on desert bases, but I was never really happy with them, so I went and repainted a bunch of them as Brit Paras (but first they'll serve as CLA Paras).

I have a bunch of the still to re-do; probably do them up as Royal Marines.

More.  I'm trying out a new ways of photographing the troopies, hope you like them.  Here you see a MAG MG, a Sterling, and an SLR all on the same base.  Arseome, eh?

Again.  I mostly hate prone figures, this shows why...

Much better with everyone standing up.

Another.  Sorry for all the pics, but I really like these guys.

A prone Milan team, if you can spot'em.

An individually-based leader/hero type.

Fifty-cal HMG team.  Not my favorite pose, but it'll do.

Sniper team.  Good poses, but the camo works so well I left the base showing quite a bit of dirt.

On to the Vietnam-era Marines by Minifigs.  These have been languishing for years in a back drawer.  I've rearranged the CLA so they will have two companies of Marines, and you're looking at them.  I don't know why I went 'brown-side out' helmet covers, it's certainly not appropriate to the Vietnam era.  But what's more iconic to the USMC than those helmet covers?

Another look: two M-14s (my favorite, and Phil, if you're looking, I'm still patiently waiting Sir), an M-16, and an M-60A1.

M-79 Grenade Launcher on this one.  Still loving the M-14 at bottom ;)

Leader/hero type; only problem is, no heavy weapons, though, since I used the brown-side out helmets, I suppose I could use my WWII stuff!

A look at the Vietnam-era USMC, six rifle stands, a command stand, and a hero.

The Spec Ops troops.  These have been finished for awhile, and I actually played a couple games with them based on pennies.  But they've been languishing since then, so I rebased them for my new favorite rules, 5Core Company Command.  Again, six rifle stands, a command stand, and a hero.

Some steely-eyed killers, Tier 1 and all that...

Speaking of Tiers, my Minifigs Aussies for Vietnam will be my Tier 2 Spec Ops.  Need to get some pics of them.

More SF.

The leader/hero.

My Pendraken Argentinians have been done for a bit, but needed some more heavy weapons, so here they are.  I've got a .50 cal MG, a .30 cal MMG (from the French Indochina range), two Milan teams (assistant is Pendraken but the shooters are from Minifigs), and two redone Blowpipes (took the assistants off and gave them to the Milans).

.50-cal HMG.  I really like the sculpt.


The M1919 MMG.


Milan ATGM.


Down the center are some Minifigs WarPac Special Forces types, which I'll use as various bad guy elites and paramilitaries.  There's a command stand, 6 rifle stands, two MMG stands (Pendraken Brit SFMGs from the Falklands range), two AT5 Spandrel ATGMs, two 82mm mortars, two SA7 SAMs, and three leader/hero types.

One of the rifle teams.  I'm real happy with the way these turned out, but the pics aren't the best.  They're all wearing black masks, and I don't know if you can tell, but most of them are wearing green gloves (never tried that before, but I like it).

Back side; 3 of the 4 have RPG-16s or 22s.

More, trying to show off the masks.

MGs, Brits from the Pendraken Falklands range.


Spandrel ATGM.


Leader/hero type.

The command stand, with only three figures.  I'm doing this a lot now for forces that don't have 'real' command-type figures.

My Pendraken US from the Vietnam range.  Command, nine rifles, an 81mm mortar, a .50 cal MG (from the Pendraken Argentinians), a .30 cal MG (won't use for Vietnam, unless ARVN, just Cuba Libre, from Pendraken French Indochina Range), and a TOW ATGM (which is from Minifigs).

Some rifles, you've seen these before, I used them for my "In Country" campaign, based on pennies.  With these now on bases, I'm looking at revisiting my "In Country" campaign at company level.

Backsides.  Good looking stuff, they've been working out.

The mortar team.

The .50 cal HMG team.

.30 cal MMG.


These are my "Irregulars," to be good guys or bad guys as necessary.  They are from Pendraken's Falklands range, both British SAS and Argentinian Commandos mixed together for the rifles, and heavy weapons provided by Pendraken's NVA, VC, and Vietminh.  Command stand, 11 rifle stands, two light MG teams, one HMG team, one 82mm mortar team, and three RPG teams.

One of the rifle stands.


An LMG team: LMG is NVA, SMG is Vietminh.

Mortar team: both guys are NVA, don't know where the mortar came from.

Pendraken NVA 12.7mm HMG team.


RPG team, with Pendraken VC RPG and Vietminh SMG (I really, really like the SMG sculpt, very different, and you can definitively make out that it's a Thompson SMG).


Lastly we have some Islamic extremists from Minifigs; a pretty small force of only four rifle stands and a leader/hero.  I kind of threw these in at the last minute; my overall war plan for Cuba Libre is that there is enmity between the newly liberated Cuba and Iran, so I think these will be some IRGC guys that were in Cuba (as guests of the Castro brothers) when the CLA invasion occurred.

A look at a rifle team.


The leader/hero.

Another look, where you can see his Uzi.

And an early Father's Day from the wife: I'm always looking to upgrade my terrain, and we got these off a gentlemen in the UK.  They're 15mm, but I always use 15mm terrain with my 10mm guys.

Another look.  I love them, much better than anything I could have done.  Watch out Panda, I'm coming for ya!  Yeah right, my table will never look that good, but I do what I can.


And one more.

So, that's what I got done, and I'm just about ready for Cuba Libre to kick off, just need to do some more admin work.  I've also got a very interesting project going on with the War Panda and Weasel, but I'll leave that to them to tell the world, and I'm still waiting for Ivan (Weasel) to put out his Napoleonic rules, and KG Klink is still ongoing, so stay tuned, there's sure to be more coming out.