It's 1100 on 1 Feb 1990, and B Company, 8th Popular Force Battalion is lying in ambush just west of Havana (#13). 8th PopFor Bn's mission is to halt/delay Castro-regime mechanized forces in Havana from moving west to the Playa Colorada beach head. At approximately 1045, CLA scouts returned to report they had not only detected elements of the 18th Tank Company and 20th Motor Rifle Company of the regime's 2nd Armored Battalion, but that those elements had halted on the road and dismounted, apparently taking a break, with very lax security.
The Company Commander, Captain Muertosa, quickly turned to his Battalion Commander, Colonel Habanera, to discuss the situation. Less than two minutes later the Popular Force guerrillas were double-timing their way to the enemy's location, keen on catching their mechanized vehicles unattended.
1) B Squadron SOF destroyed a radar site in support of amphibious landings at Playa Colorada (5). B Sqdn then egressed and linked up with CLA rotary wing assets for their follow-on mission in Havana (6).
2) C Squadron SOF destroyed a the Cuban military's communications center.
3) 1st Para Battalion dropped in and seized a bridge to screen the landings at Playa Colorada (5).
4) 2nd Para battalion dropped in and eliminated a Castro-regime garrison to screen the landings at the Bay of Pigs (just west of (4).
5) 1st Marine Company, 3rd Infantry Battalion, made an amphibious assault at Playa Colorada.
6) A Squadron SOF attacked a Castro-regime SAM site near Havana, which failed to clear the way for B Squadron's helo assault into Havana.
7) 2nd Marine Company, 6th Infantry Battalion, landed at the Bay of Pigs then turned east and ran into a strong enemy force, which it handily defeated.
8) B Company of the UWG pursued and destroyed an enemy garrison in the Escambray Mountains.
9) B Squadron SOF conducted an aerial insertion into Havana to seize a radio station and broadcast news of the invasion.
10) 10th Popular Force Battalion seized and destroyed the Pedroso bridge to protect the Bay of Pigs landing site from the Matanzas garrison.
11) 1st Airborne Infantry Battalion successfully fought off a regime counterattack near the bridge at Sandino, protecting the western (Playa Colorada) landing site from the Pinar del Rio garrison.
12) 6th Infantry Battalion fought through an enemy ambush while pushing inland from the Bay of Pigs landing site.
Captain Muertosa, Commander of B Company, 8th Popular Force Battalion.
8th Popular Force Battalion, Commanding Officer: Colonel Eugenio Habanera.
The overall plan for the CLA is very simple: hit quick and hard to shock the enemy and keep them from getting to their armored vehicles; with only one anti-tank weapon (a single RPG team), if the enemy manages to get to those vehicles it will likely be game over for the lightly armed Popular Force troops.
Let's see how this goes...
The fight starts with Captain Muertosa signalling the mortar crew...
Off camera to right, the last remaining vehicle crew rallies itself.
CLA: ~10 KIA/WIA
Regime: ~25 KIA/WIA, 2 T-72s and 3 BMP-2s destroyed, and ~30 POWs
Colonel Habanera was decorated for valor in leading Team 1 into the close combat which knocked out one enemy team, captured two others, and led to the overall capitulation of the enemy force. The Colonel received the Estrella de Bronce.
Not a great tabletop game, but in a campaign, some of the fights will be like that I suppose. It was still fun for me, the tension was still there as all it would have taken was a single crew to get to one of the vehicles and I would have had big problems. I'm still waiting for the opposite of this, the fight where I just get waxed. I've recently had one start that way, but was able to turn it around; that must mean my ass-whoopin' is just around the corner ;)
One more batrep to write up and post.