It's 1230 on 1 Feb 1990, and Golf Company, 2nd Airborne Infantry Battalion is manning a roadblock (14) to prevent the enemy garrison at Cienfuegos from attacking the Bay of Pigs landing site (4). 2nd Airborne Battalion had jumped in earlier this morning and defeated an enemy outpost (4), but now armored elements of the Castro-regime's 6th Armored Battalion have mobilized and departed Cienfuegos for the Bay of Pigs. The Cuban Army under Castro has experienced serious cutbacks to the military in recent years, and the 6th Armored Battalion is understrength and fielding WWII-era T-34 tanks.
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.
13) 8th Popular Force Battalion ambushed a mechanized column of the enemy 2nd Armored Battalion, just west of Havana.
14) 2nd Airborne Battalion engaged enemy armored forces of the 6th Armored Battalion in the village of El Rincon, en route to the Bay of Pigs landing site.
Leading the fight for the CLA: Commander, G Co, 2nd AB Inf Bn: Captain Cuervesco. He would have a helluva day.
2nd Airborne Infantry Battalion, Commanding Officer: Colonel Salvino Carreno. Col Carreno was wounded in the earlier battle for El Rincon immediately following the drop, but he's still in the fight.
Ivan, if you're watching, these are the troops I painted up in the olive and yellow camo, a la the original Red Dawn ;)
Colonel Carreno and Captain Cuervesco simultaneously realize what's happening, and they know what must be done. Colonel Carreno yells, "You go, I'll stay here to hold the road. Hurry!" And with that, Captain Cuervesco grabs the local reserve, five rifle teams, and begins leading them into the village to counter the enemy's approach there.
With a simple, opposed die roll, the game begins, and the regime forces are up first. Let's get it on!
An enemy tank moves forward, and a MILAN team on the west ridge looses a missile to the practically prehistoric armored vehicle...
Well, that made unexpectedly quick work of the enemy armor. The dice are with me so far (both missile shots were 'Guard Fire,' so not as many dice as normal)!
The enemy CO begrudgingly leads his rifle team into close assault with Team 4...
I'd say the dice are with me, but you ain't seen nothin' yet!
Please note that Captain Cuervesco's charge so far has not been all that amazing; that is, he charged three enemy rifle teams and won, but because they were all in bad morale states (two were 'men down' and one was 'hunkered'), none could react fire, and the bad morale state made the close combat almost a foregone conclusion in favor of the good Captain.
But then the CO runs into an enemy unit in good shape, and they Snap Fire, rolling one D6, and put heavy casualties on Team 3, who is now extremely vulnerable to the enemy coming out and doing to them what they did to the three previous enemy teams...
Unlike his counterpart, Captain Cuervesco knows exactly what he must do, and so he hops into the middle of this very precarious situation, almost certain to lead to his own demise...
Well, sure it ended up being a push over, but still, what a damned fight! Captain Cuervesco will forever after be known as "El Diablo de El Rincon." Or something like that, I don't speak Spanish ;)
Captain Cuervesco, Commanding Officer of G Company, 2nd Airborne Battalion, is awarded the "Medall de Honor," the CLA's highest award for valor. Sergeant Trojas, Team 3, G Company, 2nd Airborne Battalion, is awarded the "Cruz Servicio Distinguido," the second highest award for gallantry.
CLA: ~10 KIA/WIA
Regime: ~35 KIA/WIA, two knocked out tanks (T-34s), and ~10 POWs
Well, once again a fight goes nothing like I expected, but I still had a good time, and it's another game down in the overall campaign, of which we are now 14 fights into. Not bad, if I do say so myself. And quite your whining, Rod ;)
There are a total of 18 fights scheduled just for the first day of the invasion, but things will seriously slow down down after that, which is to say there will be much fewer fights per day. I have not decided on how many days this will go on for, nor how many fights the overall campaign will be. I imagine it will go on for as many fights as I can keep it fresh for, as many days as I can maintain interest for before some other project captures my imagination.
In the immediate future, I can see having only a couple fights on D+1 as the lines start to stabilize with the regime regaining its balance and the CLA consolidating. After that we should see two or three fights per day, with CLA units 'blending' together, i.e., a fight in Havana with parts of 1st Airborne Bn, 8th Popular Force Bn, and 5th Armored Bn all in the same fight, for example.
I will say that I've got four F-4s and four MiG-21s ready to go for some air combat in support of this campaign, and I've begun painting Napoleonics for Command and Colors. Stay tuned.