Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Cuba Libre - Liberation Batrep 3


It's 0530 on 1 Feb 1990, and A Airborne Infantry Company, 1st CLA Airborne Battalion, has been dispatched to seize a key bridge east of Sandino (on the western end of the island), held by elements of the 24th Provincial Militia Company, 3rd Cuban Infantry Battalion.  The regime forces are occupying emplacements on both sides of the river, and the CLA Airborne troopers are attacking from all points of the compass.

This is battle 3 of the fight for Cuba.

In the overall scheme of things, CLA SOF Squadron B took out a radar site on the west end of the island (1) to help screen the advance of the troopships carrying 3rd Infantry Battalion, 4th Infantry Battalion, and 5th Armored Battalion, scheduled to land on the western end of the island in the La Fe area.  Almost simultaneously, CLA SOF Squadron C took out a Cuban military communications center (2) on the eastern end of the island, in order to hamper C4ISR for the Cuban military.  Now 1st Parachute Battalion is dropping east of La Fe in order to screen the landings in the west from the Cuban garrison at Pinar del Rio.  In this fight, A Company, 1st Abn Bn, is attempting to seize a key bridge in order to block Cuban Army forces from Pinar del Rio attacking the beachead, and then to enable 5th Armored Battalion's route of attack on Havana.

The opposing forces, Castro forces on the left, CLA on the right.  The Castro forces are (mostly) Pendraken Aussies from the Vietnam range, with a couple US in bush hats and VC with RPGs, and the CLA are Pendraken Brits from the Falklands range.

Commander, A Co, 1st AB Inf Bn: Captain Olejandro.

Elements of A Co, 1st Abn Bn: Command Stand (Captain Olejandro), six Airborne rifle teams, an HMG team, and a MILAN team.  Additionally, there is a single leader figure on the board, representing:

Colonel Bartolo Lucastro, Commanding Officer of the CLA's 1st Airborne Infantry Battalion.  His figure will basically be treated as a second command stand, able to assist any friendly unit on the table.

Elements of the 24th Provincial Militia Company, 3rd Cuban Infantry Battalion: a Command Stand (forgive me, I'm using a single figure stand as I don't have a 'proper' Command Stand for this force), three rifle teams, three rifle teams with RPGs, and pickup truck-mounted 12.7mm HMG.

Overview, north is up.  The regime garrison is at center, sitting astride the river, and CLA paratroopers are in all four corners.

The Cuban defenders: the HMG truck is on the bridge, the barracks (with one rifle team and their CO) is at bottom right, and the bunkers are numbered 1-3, clockwise from top right.

The CLA forces in the west: top left is one rifle team, bottom right is Captain Olejandro, two rifle teams, and the MILAN ATGM.

CLA forces in the east: far left is the HMG and one rifle team, one rifle team at center, and one rifle team and Col Lucastro at bottom right.

The CLA forces have two crew-served weapons that can't move and fire in the same turn, but don't have LOS to targets at the start, so I opt to use a 'Scurry' for the first turn, which allows all my units to move but none to fire (and they also don't draw reactive fire.

In the northwest, Tm3 moves up on Bunker 3.

While Capt Olejandro leads the forces ahead in the southwest, including getting the MILAN into place (bottom left).

In the northeast, Colonel Lucastro leads two rifle teams towards Bunker 1.

And in the southeast, the HMG team gets set up (bottom right, with a rifle team).

The regime forces respond: the gun truck moves up into position between Bunkers 2 and 3 and cuts loose on Tm 1, causing heavy casualties.

Back in the east, a regime rifle team moves over and fires on Tm 5, pinning them.

And Bunker 1 fires on Tm 6 (top right), but misses.

At top left, Captain Olejandro moves over to try to rally Tm 1, but they've taken too many casualties and he orders them to fall back and evacuate their casualties (they failed their rally roll).  Meanwhile, the MILAN fires on the enemy gun truck...

And shmokes it (yes, shmokes) like a champion.

Back in the east, Colonel Lucastro (center) moves over and rallies Tm 5 while the HMG (bottom right) fires on Bunker 1, but they're dug in well and shake off the effects of the machine gun fire (miss)...

The Colonel Lucastro moves Tm 5 up, and they engage the enemy rifle team outside Bunker 1, eliminating them.

Tm 6 (right, with Tm 5 at bottom) moves up; Bunker 1 Guard fires, but misses.  Tm 6 gets forward and fires, but their fire also has no effect.

The MILAN fires on Bunker 2, but small arms fire forces the missile wide (another miss)...

The rifle team next to the barracks (top right) returns fire on the MILAN team, forcing them to fall back (bottom left, from bottom center white puff).

But the HMG (far right) follows this up with a murderous burst of .50 cal rounds...

Eliminating the team that fired on the MILAN (far right), pinning the team in Bunker 2 (bottom left), and forcing the enemy team in the barracks to fall back and hunker (red bead at center).

In the west, Captain Olejandro moves over and rallies the MILAN (bottom left).

While a ridiculous fight breaks out on the east side of the bridge at Bunker 1: Col Lucastro and Tm 5 move up, not to close assault, but to try to get effective fire on the well-entrenched enemy troops, who are almost impervious to small arms fire.  But the enemy troops in Bunker 1 snap fire, and Tm 5 suffers casualties ('men down').

With no room to maneuver, Tm 6 is forced to hold their ground, but they fire on Bunker 1 in the hopes of getting a fall back or pin, knowing Tm 5, having suffered casualties and not yet rallied, is supremely vulnerable to close assault.  Tm 6's fire has no effect...

More in a minute, the Castro commander decided to try to shore some other areas up before continuing this fight.

The enemy CO hops down from the barracks (bottom right) and tries to rally his hunkered team, but they fail and run around the corner (top center) and cower.

Then the enemy gets a lucky shot in when Bunker 2 fires on Tm 2 (bottom left), putting them out of the fight.

In the northeast, Bunker 3 fires on Tm 3, to no effect.

Back to Bunker 1...

As predicted, the Castro commander decides to go after Tm 5 in close assault, which is pretty much a done deal.  Tm 6 (bottom left) Guard fires, trying to protect their comrades, but to no avail.  The enemy troops close with Colonel Lucastro and Tm 5...

And the rough and tough Old Bastard pulled it off, somehow managing to defeat the enemy team in close combat!

As a side note, the CLA troops were +1 for better quality (Airborne vs Provincial Militia), +1 for having a Leader, but -4 for being 'men down,' while the regime troops were +1 for initiating the assault, for a total of +3 for the enemy.  The die roll was a CLA '6' and Castro '1.'  Shazaam.

This broke the back of organized resistance at the bridge.

Colonel Lucastro and Tm 5 turned around and close assaulted the enemy troops cowering at the barracks, easily putting them out of the fight.

Followed by Tm 6 dashing up the bridge, into the rear area of Bunkers 2 and 3.

And Captain Olejandro (top left) made a show of setting up the MILAN and targeting Bunker 3 (far right).

The enemy CO rose to his feet and ordered his men to drop their weapons.  The bridge fell to A Company, Mission Success!

Friendly: ~15 KIA/WIA.
Enemy: ~25 KIA/WIA, ~15 POW, and one HMG gun truck destroyed.

Three fights in and we're rolling.  Just so you know, I have a total of 18 fights scheduled just for Day 1 of the invasion.  They're going quick, but I don't know if they're going that quick ;)

Also, Colonel Lucastro was decorated for valor for his part in eliminating Bunker 1 and the Barracks, opening the way for the seizure of the bridge.

What a fight!  The fight at Bunker 1 was ridiculously intense, and I was sure Team 5 and the Bn Cmdr were going to be eliminated, and by all accounts they should have been.  But when they successfully fended off the enemy coming out of the bunker into close assault, then the Bn Cmdr charged and put out the hunkering Cuban troops next to the barracks, it was all over but the crying.  It was very much a back and forth affair, with the situation in doubt and, if anything, actually looking like the paras would have to fall back, regroup, and launch another attack.

More to come.



  1. Great Batrep, as was #2. Looking forward to future reports.

    1. Thanks man, and more on the way, maybe tonight.


  2. It's always interesting to me how much impact a light vehicle like that can have, when it's a small encounter and there's not a bunch of tanks roaming about.

    At this rate, you're basically gaming in real time :-) 1 hour gaming = 1 hour of war.

    Maybe I should use that as a selling point..

    1. I dunno about the vehicle; that is, when there's only one on the board, he seems to draw a lot of attention ;)

      I'm certainly kicking games out pretty quick, but I dunno if your ad slogan works: in my head, that engagement was probably about 15 or 20 minutes.


  3. Brilliant! Love the missile markers and the figures. Great story line too. Keep it coming!

  4. Thanks Boggler, glad to hear you're enjoying it.

    I was a little nervous regarding the storyline as I wasn't sure if anyone but me would find it interesting.


  5. Great report again. i was going for the Aussies, I mean the Cubans (how could I not? You can rename the figures, but they are still Australian).

    Bunker 1, was as you say, intense. I did think we were going to win, but the magic dice came through for your side. A 1 and a 6 - only I would believe you, it happens to me all the time. Bunker 1 really deserved to win the close assault. Ah well. Good to see the games are going fast.

    Oh, and that is some bridge :-) But I believe the blue wolf is looking into alternatives for you.

  6. Ah, ye bastid! Yes, the magic dice again; if you're not cheatin' your're not tryin', I always say! ;) I can't say I've never cheated in my solo games, but I usually admit when I did it, and this actually wasn't one of those times.

    I will admit that I hadn't really gone through all the modifiers, I just kinda looked at 'bad guys in good shape' vs 'good guys in very bad shape' and rolled the dice. Then my eyes bugged out at the results, thinking "Holy @#$%, I may have just won that!" Then I started looking at the modifiers, and I'll be damned, the Colonel had saved them.

    And those are not Australians; Australians are GOOD guys (well, most of them), and would be on the side of the CLA. And now you're making fun of my bridge, too, eh? Yeah, the Old Man, for some reason, is convinced he's got to make me some hills and now a bridge...