It's 1830 on 2 Feb 1990, and the CLA's Unconventional Warfare Group (UWG) sits astride the east-west running routes in the Escambray Mountains. The UWG has fought like lions, but has suffered terribly from regime attempts to reinforce its units in the west. The UWG has so far stood its ground, and scouts report to Colonel Huistrella that another enemy formation is approaching, this time in A Company's sector. The enemy troops are members of the 90th Provincial Militia Company, 10th Territorial Infantry Battalion.
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.
15) 4th Infantry Battalion's 1st Air Assault Company conducts an air assault southeast of Sandino to counter enemy mechanized forces of 3rd Infantry Battalion (forcing 1st Airborne Battalion's right flank).
16) 9th Popular Force Battalion conducts a spoiling attack on the regime's 7th Infantry Battalion in the Matanzas garrison.
17) 2nd Air Assault Company, 7th Infantry Battalion, inserts east of El Rincon to block the escape of the regime's 6th Armored Battalion.
18) C Company of the UWG fought a running battle in the Escambray Mountains to delay/halt the regime's 12th Mechanized Battalion moving west.
19) A Squadron SOF holds off the regime's 2nd Airborne Company, 1st Airborne Battalion at the Radio Station in downtown Havana, while B Squadron SOF and 8th Popular Force Battalion move to reinforce.
20) 2nd Airborne Battalion, attacks north of Sandino to eliminate the regime's 4th Infantry Battalion.
21) 7th Infantry Battalion, attacks north of Sandino to eliminate the regime's 5th Territorial Infantry Battalion.
22) Colonel Huistrella's Unconventional Warfare Group fight another desperate holding action in the Escambray Mountains, this time against the regime's 10th Territorial Infantry Battalion.
Commander, A Co: Captain Kalabera
CLA Unconventional Warfare Group, Commanding Officer: Colonel Hector Huistrella, already decorated with the Cruz Distinguido.
Sitting tight would make sense if their goal was a short burst of fire to sow confusion, cause a few casualties, and slow the enemy mechanized force by making them dismount and deploy, then fall back. But then enemy is already deployed, and the goal is turn back the enemy, not hit and run; operationally, the UWG doesn't have room to fall back, they'd end up in the Cienfuegos garrison. So, with these short ranges they're better off seizing the initiative and lashing out at the enemy, rather than holding fast and potentially being overrun due to being caught outnumbered at such short range, or (more likely), being fixed in place by ferocious enemy fire at short range, then having enemy armor loop around the flank to eliminate them.
CLA wins the die roll (had a positive modifier due to being much better troops, i.e., Special Forces vs. Militia), so let's do this.
**If you're thinking charging the LMG team, rather than the hunkering or 'men down' rifle teams, is dumb, it's not as dumb as it sounds. In game terms, the LMG, due to its proximity, is going to be able to snap fire the CO/Tm1 regardless of whom they charge, so this was the best option. That is, if the CO/Tm1 went after the rifle team with the red bead, the LMG team would get to snap fire. If the CO/Tm1 beat them, they'd then have to move on the LMG team, which would get to snap fire again.
This game is certainly proving that close combat is necessary to eliminate infantry!
I've been quite surprised lately with the lack of leader casualties, but the dice rolls have been with them. I really thought Captain Kalabera had bought it when the armored car popped Team 2, and now this...
Now the shoe is on the other foot: in the blink of an eye, the regime force has lost three rifle teams.
The CLA force is down to Colonel Huistrella, Captain Kalabera, Team 5, and Team 3. The enemy is down to their armored car, the LMG team, and one rifle team.
Alright folks, this is it, the OK Corral. It all comes down to the dice...
If you're wondering why the armored car is just sitting there, not doing anything, it's because it's still 'hunkered.' Without their CO (knocked out early on in close combat), who gets a 'free' action each turn to move and rally, the regime has been forced to either 1) move a team over into base contact, or 2) spend an activation to attempt to rally. At this point, moving over to the armored car, drawing react fire from Teams 3 and 5, is not a good idea, and they can't afford to spend an activation on rallying.
CLA: ~20 KIA/WIA
Regime: ~35 KIA/WIA
Colonel Huistrella was awarded the Estrella de Bronce for this fight, while Captain Kalabera was awarded the Estrella de Plata. Team 1's Sergeant would have been getting an award for all that close combat, but then they ran off the map! Both the Colonel and Captain were also lightly wounded.
Somehow, once again, the Unconventional Warfare Group, fought down to a nub, holds its ground and drives off a numerically superior, mechanized enemy force. I don't know what it is with these guys, but they're last two fights have been absolutely fantastic! If you recall, their first fight was a real stinker: they cornered a regime patrol up against the table edge and slaughtered them, over in about five minutes. But these last two, wow. If it wasn't for that first fight, in which B Company suffered very few casualties, the UWG would be eliminated. A, and now C Companies have been virtually wiped out.
Along those lines, some of you are probably looking at the above casualties (~20 KIA/WIA) and wondering, "what the hell are you talking about, fought down to a nub? A company usually has between 100 and 200 men." Well, yes, but to keep this campaign in a scale that was gameable (for me), I not only had to reduce the overall size of the two armies (the CLA, which is imaginary, has 10 battalions plus the SOF and UWG; the Cuban Army, which is pretty damn large in real life, has only 15 battalions in my little world), but I am sort of 'bath-tubbing' the results. That is, in a tabletop battle, a company is represented by a commander (and another leader for the CLA; yes, I'm cheating, but I really really really want to win. I can't have a bunch of campaigns after this if the CLA doesn't liberate Cuba!), between 5 and 7 rifle teams, and between 1 and 3 support teams (can be heavy weapons and/or vehicles). So, if they take extremely heavy casualties, they are no longer combat effective. If they take heavy casualties, I usually give them another fight, but if they get roughed up there they are done, and so on.
On another note, thus ends the fights I had scheduled for D+1, and we now move on to D+2, the third day of battle. With the way things are going, I can't see the War of Liberation going past D+4 or 5. But you never know... I do still have to deal with the issue of El Presidente (what will become of him?), and the Iranians (seen in the first fight for the Radio Station in downtown Havana), aside from the 'regular' fighting with the regime forces still available.
Next up will be the SITREP for D+1, then I'll look to knock out some more fights in D+2.