Monday, November 30, 2015

More Elhiem 20mm Special Operations Types


I finished my last set of modern Special Forces from Elhiem, so all my good guys are ready for Cronistria. As always, these Elhiem figures are pure magic. I've got a four-man pack of Modern Rangers, a two-man pack of SF Designated Marksmen, and I stole two figures from Elhiem's Modern KSK (more on them in a future post).

On a side note, I think I found a better spot to take photos in, so these should look better than others of late.  Anyway, let's get to it.

The whole group, eight more shooters for Task Force Rojas, which is four 5-man teams.

First up is a shooter with green trousers, desert MARPAT blouse, and Multicam helmet.  Weapon could be an M-4, but looks to me like an HK 416. But who knows, I'm so confused by the array of modern weapons that all look so similar.  These guys also has NVGs on his helmet and a pistol on his hip.

Reverse. Really a cool looking pose.

Next guy up is also a shooter, another M-4/HK 416, with solid green pants and tan shirt, Multicam vest and helmet.

Reverse.  Both riflemen have their weapons spray painted camo.

Next guy up is a SAW gunner, with blue shirt and woodland MARPAT trousers.

Reverse.  Plan tan gear and pack.

Last Ranger has a suppressed SCAR, with green trousers, Multicam blouse, and desert tri-color helmet.
Reverse.  I'm not crazy about the aiming for the rooftops; not that it's not realistic, just not a pose I'm in love with.  I tried bending him at the waist, but it's not happening, he's stout.

The first SF Designated Marksman, with some sort of suppressed and (I assume) accurized version of the M-16, spray painted camo. His trousers are desert tri-color, a green blouse, and a plain green helmet.

Reverse.  Here you can see the Multicam vest/gear.

The other DMR, again with M-16.  He's got gray trousers and woodland MARPAT blouse, with a tan helmet.

Reverse.  I'm pretty happy with my attempts at woodland MARPAT camo.

One of the Modern German KSK, with G36 rifle (which I always thought was cool looking).  He's wearing a woodland camo jacket over blue jeans.

Reverse.  Sorry the pic is kinda fuzzy.  But the lighting has been better, right?

The other KSK guy, with black jacket over Multicam trousers and camo painted G36.


Here's a few throwaway pics of guys I've previously posted but the lighting was bad.

I love this pose, possibly my favorite.

Another kneeling rifleman from the last pack I posted.  His barrel isn't bent, it's just that the flash suppressor is slightly miscast (missing part of the bottom).

Another one; I really like this pose, though his hat looks just a tad big.  Having said that, the boonie covers we got in the Marines with MARPAT were big.  So I did his hat up in woodland MARPAT.

Another aiming high pose, from the previous post.  I did desert MARPAT on his trousers, a made up cammie pattern for his blouse, and a desert tri-color hat.

Another look.

And from my first set, the "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare Captain Price pose."  I love it.

Anyway, the terrain is ready, the figures are ready, the terrain is ready, and the background work has been done.  The war is starts next weekend.


Sunday, November 29, 2015

Task Force Trojas Roster for Cronistria

Here is the roster for Detachment Task Force Rojas, AKA ODA 626/10th Special Forces Group, deploying to Cronistria in May 1990.

Commander, Lt Trojas, who is decorated with the Cruz Servicio Distinguido and the War of Liberation Campaign Medal.

In country, TF Rojas consists of twenty Det A personnel, charged with carrying out the Unconventional Warfare/Direct Action Mission, and twenty Det B personnel, charged with the Foreign Internal Defense mission (to train the Cronistrian Democratic Militia).  Only the Det A personnel will be tracked.  There are also TF Trojas personnel in a cover forward location in Italy, and rear echelon at their base in Guantanamo.

Team 6-1
Lt "Mikey" Trojas (Capt Price fig)
SSgt "Hammer" Alfaro (Ballcap fig)
Sgt "Rolly" Balzan (G36 fig)
Sgt "Slate" Delacruz (Halt fig)
Sgt "Badger" Canales (Skullcap fig)

Team 6-2
MSgt "Tico" Benitez (Tactical moving)
SSgt "Bear" Duarte (Kneeling bush)
Sgt "Blue" Beltran (Sitting back bush)
Sgt "Hammer" Escalona (Kneeling G36)
Sgt "Skate" Corrello (Firing up)

Team 6-3
GySgt "Turk" (Firing 416)
SSgt "Rock" Betancourt (SAW)
Sgt "Willow" Caballo (SCAR)
Sgt "Panda" Catalan (Moving M-4)
Sgt "Bolt" Echevarria (DMR green))

Team 6-4
SFC "Rooey" Contreras (Cross body carry)
SSgt "Blade" Escalante (Sighting in)
Sgt "Shady" Fonseca (Alert carry)
Sgt "Redrum" Bello (Ready carry)
Sgt "Goss" Gallegos (DMR tan)

None Yet

Cronistria Cries For Help, AKA, The Next Campaign

And Free Cuba responds!  This is the scenario background for my next campaign in the Cuba Libre series.  This will be a (an as yet undetermined number of) skirmish fights in a campaign to aid a foreign entity attempting to establish a democratic state, which is in the process of breaking away from Yugoslavia.  The fight will be conducted in 20mm with individually-based figures from Elhiem; each fight will feature between 2 and 9 figures per side, and I have available exactly one vehicle, a Revell kit (which gave me fits) of a West German Fox, 6-wheeled armored car.  The rules will be 5 Men in Normandy, the 5Core Skirmish variant.

Situation: the time is April 1990, and The Wall fell only five months ago, but the reverberations are being felt throughout the Soviet Union's sphere of influence.  Yugoslavia, with a multitude of varying artificial and real nationalities, ethnic groups, and religions held together by the iron fist of Communism, is now being torn asunder.  Suddenly, overnight, the world became aware of Serbs, Montenegrins, Bosniaks, Kosavars, Croats, Slovenians, Macedonians, etc...  Into the ring another group threw its hat in the ring: the proud people of Cronistria.

Along with various other ethnic/religious groups, the Cronistrians have formally seceded and declared themselves a sovereign state.  The territory is slightly smaller than the US state of Connecticut, with a population of approximately 650,000 persons.  The territory is largely ripped from the Slovenes, with borders with Croatia, Italy, and the Adriatic.  The terrain is supremely rural, forested, and mountainous, with the only real city being the capital of Miran (fictionaly, came up with from a random name generator).

The good news is that Cronistria is an ethnically and religiously homogeneous tract of land with no natural resources of note, so the Slovenians aren't particularly interested or troubled by the loss of territory (and they have their own problems in any case).  The bad news is that Yugoslavia, really the Serb president Slobodan Milosevic, is very keen on maintaining the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY), and the very people of Cronistria, while seeing eye to eye on cultural and religious issues, are of two minds regarding the system of governence.  So the Cronistrians are fighting two wars: one to break away and become a state separate of the FRY, and one to decide the path of the nation.

Declaring independence was the easy part; immediately the Serb president began threatening the life of the fledgling nation, and shortly thereafter it became obvious there were two Cronistrias: one dedicated to the freedoms of a constitutional republic and its free-market underpinnings, the other still grasping to the cold yet familiar trappings of communism.  Previously a semi-autonomous province, the local government was swiftly cast aside by the commander of the National Guard, the hard-line communist General Ambroz Zlatan.  The fact Zlatan commanded roughly a brigade of troops made him the de facto leader of Conistria.  But many in the country aspired to something greater, or at least to something different, and they came to be led by a former FRY Navy officer (but ethnic Cronistrian), Andraz Gregor, and so Gregor and Zlatan immediately found themselves at odds, and it quickly became apparent that only a military solution would suffice to decide the matter.  Though many argued the two factions should join together in order to deal with the Yugoslavian issue, as these things often go, passions ran hot on both sides of the aisle and the prospect of cooperation disappeared amidst shouted threats.

We must also deal with the issue of the FRY Army; the six constituent socialist republics (Serbia, Slovenia, Croatia, Macedonia, Montenegro, and Bosnia/Herzegovina), as well as several of the autonomous/semi-autonomous regions/provinces maintained their own militaries, commonly referred to as National Guard (in Western parlance, and please keep in mind I'm making most of this up just to fit my scenario needs), while also being levied to provide troops for the FRY military.  The FRY Army has a barracks in Miran, and several outposts across Cronstria, for a total of approximately 2000 troops.  But, owing to the fact the FRY is rapidly dissolving morale is low and there have been many desertions as FRY soldiers return to their homes to fight for independence, or, in the case of Serbians, to fight to keep the country together.  But a great many Serbians in the FRY military see it as their duty to remain at their posts, and substantial numbers of other ethnic groups do as well, for various factors such as loyalty to Yugloslavia, fear of the unknown, simply needing a job, etc...

So the overall situation is that Cronistria has seceded from the FRY.  The Cronistrians find themselves looking at armed conflict between Communists led by General Ambroz Zlatan and Democrats led by Andraz Gregor, with both having to deal with FRY and Serbian attempts to reign them in by force.  Here is the ledger:

Cronistrian Communists: (led by General Ambroz Zlatan)

Cronistrian National Guard (Cro NG, ~3000 men, led by Brigadier Dragomir Jadranko)

Cronistrian People's Army (CPA, ~1500 men, led by "Colonel" Anej Urh)

FRY Army in Cronistria:
13th Infantry Regiment (~1200 men, led by Colonel Nikola Valter)

Serbians en route to Cronistria:
4th Special Forces Battalion (~400 men, known as Damjanovic's Tigers, led by Major Mirko Damjanovic)

versus the Cronistrian Democrats (led by Andraz Gregor)

Cronistrian Democratic Militia (CDM, ~2500 men, led by former FRY General Miroslav Denis)

Andraz Gregor appeared before the United Nations Assembly to seek assistance from the freedom and peace-loving peoples of the world, and was ignored.  Except for Free Cuba; El Presidente, Jericho Waraldonez, believes it is Free Cuba's destiny to stand with freedom loving people in peril, no matter where, answers the call and provides promises of support.  But Free Cuba is not yet a world power, and so they're offerings are humble, but President Waraldonez meets with his Minister of Defense: Generalissimo Cledado Estavante, and they decide to deploy a team of special operations soldiers.

The Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force prepares to deploy Lieutenant Trojas' Operational Detachment Alpha 626 of Major Talamantes' 10th Special Forces Group.  Lt Trojas is a veteran of the Campaign for Liberation, decorated with the Cruz Servicio Distinguido.  Due to operational requirements/restrictions, Lt Trojas' entire ODA will not be deployed in country.  Lt Trojas will a detachment of 20 soldiers into Cronistria (ODA 626-), with another detachment standing by (covertly) in Italy to reinforce (ODA 626 Forward), and the remainder in Cuba on 72-hours notice (ODA 626 Rear).

Mission: conduct Unconventional Warfare activities to ensure the survival of the Cronistrian state and its governance in accordance with Free Cuban principles, i.e., a western-style democracy.

Phase I:
Forward deploy to a covert location in Italy

Establish Liaison
Conduct Reconnaissance

Phase II:
Infiltrate operational area

Affect link up with CDM
Establish communications
Establish life support systems
Conduct route reconnaissance/area familiarization 

Phase III:
Infiltrate echelon B personnel

Conduct foreign internal defense training (echelon B)
Conduct Unconventional Warfare with CDM (echelon A) and Direct Action missions in order to defeat Serb SF, nullify FRY, and eliminate Cro NG/CPA (echelon A)

Phase IV:
Exfltrate to covert location in Italy

The campaign will pick up with Step 3 of Phase III, UCW and Direct Action to knock out the Serb "Tigers" and Cronistrian Commies, and to keep the local FRY elements at bay.  Echelon B is part of ODA 626, but they are there only to train, not to fight.  Not realistic, but I didn't want to get bogged down with 'how are these 20 guys fighting AND training all these CDM troops?'  So I've got unnamed guys doing training behind the scenes, while the twenty guys I follow (plus reinforcements from Italy, i.e., 626-Fwd, when I get guys killed and wounded) will do all the fighting.

For those familiar with the five-paragraph operations order, please forgive me as I'll be skipping the the rest, just wanted to set the table for the campaign.  Additionally, here's my disclaimer: on the political front, I don't care.  This is not a political statement, and I have nothing against anyone on any side in the Balkans, I just wanted an interesting backstory to my campaign.  Regarding historical accuracy, I only care a little bit.  That is, I've made up a country, have purposefully not nailed down its exact geo-location, have mixed around certain timeline and political/military facts to meet my needs (mostly to simplify).  This was done because I'm a wargamer, not a Balkans specialist, I just want to play games in a semi-plausible environment.

Games coming right up!


Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force


Here is a look at the CLEF, or Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force.  The Cuban Liberation Army was disbanded, and the newly formed Free Cuban Military has been split into the National Defense Force and the CLEF, with the CLEF being led by former officers of the CLA who wished to continue their fight against evil in the world.  The CLEF has been organized into an Armored Brigade, a Parachute Brigade, a Marine Brigade, an Intelligence Collection element, and a Special Operations Element.  Though not listed here, there are also rotary and fixed wing assets attached to the CLEF.

Minister of Defense: Generalissimo Cledado Estavante (MOH, SS/V, PH, War of Liberation Campaign Medal (WLC))

Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force
CLEF Commanding General: Major General Ricardo Colvasquez (DSC, BS/V, WLC)

Expeditionary Intelligence Unit: Brigadier Donalo Quilveras (WLC)

1.  Section 10: Controlled Collections - Captain Miranda

2.  Section 20: Paramilitary - Major Bosanova (BS/V, PH, WLC)

3.  Section 30: Information Operations - Lieutenant Dostaves

4.  Section 40: Open Source Collections - Captain Pilar-soto (WLC)

5.  Section 50: Counterintelligence - Major Rolando (WLC)

The Armored Brigade - Brigadier Bartolo Lucastro (BS/V, PH, WLC)

1.  1st Tank Battalion - Major Solar (SS/V, PH, WLC)

 a.  1st Heavy Dragoons - Captain Basilone (WLC)

 b.  2nd Cavalry - Lieutenant Barrientes (WLC)
Brad Pitt should be court-martialed for war-porn ‘Fury’
 c.  3rd Horse Guards - Capt Cruze (PH, WLC)

2.  2nd Tank Battalion - Colonel Malusio Galban (WLC)

 a.  4th Cuirassiers - Captain Fordesante (2 x PH, WLC)

 b.  5th Tank Guards - Lieutenant Aguilera (WLC)

 c.  6th Guards Armored - Captain Torrencio (WLC)

3.  3rd Mechanized Battalion - Major Chavez (SS/V, PH, WLC)

 a.  7th Hussars - Lieutenant Caballero (SS/V, PH. WLC)
matthew modine full metal jacket
 b.  8th Guards Motor Rifles - Lieutenant Madre-Animral (BS/V, WLC)

 c.  8th Dragoons - Captain Muertosa (WLC)

4.  4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion - Major Afflexio (DSC, PH, WLC)

 a.  10th Dragoon Guards - Captain Muniz (WLC)

 b.  11th Light Armored Infantry - Lieutenant Segovia (BS/V, WLC)

 c.  12th Lancers - Captain Elias (WLC)

The Airborne Regiment - Brigadier Salvino Carreno, (BS/V, PH, WLC)

1.  5th Parachute Battalion - Major Cuervesco (MOH, WLC)

 a.  13th Airborne Light Infantry - Lieutenant Guillardo (DSC, WLC)

 b.  14th Parachute Rifles - Lieutenant Soares (SS/V, WLC)

 c.  15th Airborne Grenadiers - Captain Welasquez (WLC)

2.  6th Parachute Battalion - Major Halabrio (SS/V, WLC)

 a.  16th Parachute Infantry - Lieutenant Espinale (BS/V, PH, WLC)

 b.  17th Airborne Rangers - Lieutenant Pena (BS/V, PH, WLC)

 c.  18th Grenadier Guards - Lieutenant Huerta (WLC)

The Marine Regiment - Brigadier Eugenio Habanera (BS/V, WLC)

1.  7th Commando Battalion - Major Spirovales (SS/V, WLC)

 a.  19th Marines of the Guard - Captain Trevino (MOH, WLC)

 b.  20th Naval Infantry - Captain Proviso (BS/V, PH, WLC)

 c.  21st Windward Rifles - Lieutenant Aponte (WLC)

2.  8th Commando Battalion - Major Fulgencio (DSC, PH, WLC)

 a.  22nd Marines - Major Bronchovio (BS/V, WLC)

 b.  23rd Amphibious Grenadiers - Captain Benavides (WLC)

 c.  24th Seaborne Shock Infantry - Lieutenant Ordonez (WLC)
Nick Chinlund photo from Tears of the Sun

Special Operations Command - Brigadier Hector Huistrella (DSC, BS/V, PH, WLC)
Bruce Willis Tears of the sun

1.  9th Special Forces Group - Colonel Willem Elias (BS/V, WLC)

 a.  ODA 111 - Captain Banos (WLC)

 b.  ODA 212 - Lieutenant Villagrosa (SS/V, WLC)

 c.  ODA 313 - Lieutenant Gouveia (SS/V, PH, WLC)

2.  10th Special Forces Group - Major Talamantes (BS/V, WLC)

 a.  ODA 424 - Captain Wallestre (PH, WLC)

 b.  ODA 525 - Lieutenant Estevez (BS/V, WLC)

 c.  ODA 626 - Lieutenant Trojas (DSC, WLC)

3.  Operational Detachment Phoenix - Major Kalabera (SS/V, PH, WLC)

 a.  A Squadron - Major Villanueva (BS/V, PH, WLC)

 b.  B Squadron - Captain Stelosavo (WLC)

 c.  C Squadron - Lieutenant Deppinosa (WLC)

Off the active rolls:
7th Infantry Battalion, Commanding Officer: Colonel Tomas Barnejesus (PH, WLC) - National Guard
9th Popular Force Battalion, Commanding Officer: Binyamin Bustamante (DSC, PH, WLC) - Retired  
Acting Commanding Officer, 1st Airborne Infantry Battalion: Captain Olejandro (WLC) - National Guard
Commander, F Co, 2nd AB Inf Bn: Captain Guerrero (WLC) - Retired
Commander, E Co, 4th Inf Bn: Captain Cannastria (WLC) - National Guard
Commander, G Co, 7th Inf Bn: Captain Cubio (WLC) - National Guard
Commander, L Co, 10th Bn: Captain Reynaldo (WLC) - Retired