25/06/2015 at 15:37 #26673
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.
So far we’ve had:
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.
The opposing forces, with regime troops on the left and CLA troops on the right. The CLA force is made up of Pendraken Brits from the Falklands range, while the Castro-force is made up of Minifigs Warsaw Pact and Arab modern troops, and plastic Takara T-34s.
The CLA force has a Command Stand, seven parachute rifle teams, two MILAN ATGM teams, and a single leader figure (though he’s not in the photo of above for some reason) representing their battalion commander. Col Carreno was wounded in the earlier battle for El Rincon immediately following the drop, but he’s still in the fight. The regime force has a Command Stand, seven rifle teams, and two aging, but deadly, T-34 tanks. Well, deadly until they run across modern ATGMs, anyway…
Overview of the map, north is up. The CLA force is dug in at far left, primarily in the bottom left corner, where Colonel Carreno, two rifle teams, and both MILANs are dug in to take on enemy armor. The regime forces are entering via the road at top right. At bottom center right is Hill 29, while at top center is the village of El Rincon.
Very heavy fighting breaks out between the CLA paratroopers and regime mechanized infantry in the village…
At the end of the day, Captain Cuervesco and Sergeant Trojas and his rifle team would stand victorious among a pile of enemy casualties, resulting in Captain Cuervesco receiving his nation’s highest award for gallantry.
To see the whole fight, please check the blog at:
Another great fight, that’s the last of everything I’ve played, more on the way this weekend.
Jack25/06/2015 at 21:11 #26707
Mother!?! You’re a cruel man, Jack and Karma will bite you in the ….as I was saying, you’re a cruel man, Jack.
Rod Robertson.25/06/2015 at 23:54 #26710
You just jealous Rod…..26/06/2015 at 03:13 #26718
Enough whining and counter-whining, someone needs to actually read about the fight and comment! 😉
Jack28/06/2015 at 02:19 #26822
T-34/76’s?!?! Really? Not even T-34/85’s? And the surviving tank didn’t think to fire smoke? Why didn’t both tanks fire smoke before the Milan’s could shoot rather than moving and becoming sitting ducks? The locals warned them about the presence of the CLA. And where are these timid/cowardly Regime Commanders coming from? They’ve been fighting in Africa and South/Central America for more than a decade and should be battle-hardened rather than hand-wringing, indecisive, craven chicken-hearts. But since I have been instructed not to whine, I will limit myself to asking the above questions and make no comment on the game or it’s design.
Viva Cubana socialista y libre!
Cheers and fair gaming.
Commander Rodrigo.28/06/2015 at 06:09 #26828Norm SParticipant
Nice report Jack, some excellent tension once again within a small set-up. The two strikes against the T-34’s, were they particularly lucky shots or was that armour doomed from the outset to the newer technology?28/06/2015 at 18:35 #26863
Back from Soonercon hey Guys !!!29/06/2015 at 03:40 #26877
Ahh, where to start?
“But since I have been instructed not to whine, I will limit myself to asking the above questions and make no comment on the game or it’s design.”
I welcome all questions on my tactics within the game, my scenario design, my overall campaign, etc… The ‘no whining’ was about asking me to slow down with the batreps, which I most definitely shall not 😉 Along those lines, I got four more games in this weekend, and will put them out as quickly as humanly possible 😉
Yes, really. Mostly due to the fact I don’t have any T-34/85s. The overall point was to show they are, indeed, an armored formation, but a third-line one. The T-34s were good enough for me.
“Why didn’t both tanks fire smoke…”
I have bad news, smoke won’t save you from Western ATGMs. I know you’re Scottish-Canadian, so English isn’t your first language, but Western ATGMs, including the Milan, are,’how you say?’All Weather, using Infrared and Thermal sites 😉
“And where are these timid/cowardly Regime Commanders coming from?”
I dunno, just fate of the dice I s’pose. The tank commanders were pretty brave I thought 😉
“…fighting in Africa and South/Central America for more than a decade and should be battle-hardened…”
Again I refer you to my alternate history post: the USSR money dried up, the military has fallen apart, a lot of the experienced troops were handed their walking papers or have gone into business for themselves to better support themselves financially. And on a ‘real-world’ note, I would question how good they really were: rounding up villagers, pigs, and chickens in Nicaragua, or taking fire then halting while air and artillery pounded ill-trained and ill-armed hostiles perhaps isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. That is, it may make you good at that kind of fighting, but how does it stand up against a well-trained and equipped enemy that is aggressively using fire and maneuver to close with you?
“…hand-wringing, indecisive, craven chicken-hearts.”
I was just trying to stick with the picture of your average, run-of-the mill communist 😉
It will warm your heart to know that the regime forces finally manage to mount an effective (at least insofar as, it worked) armored attack which punched through CLA lines. But the scenario won’t flatter you: they were fighting to break out of a pocket. The kicker: it was with T-34s! 😉 I’ll get it posted ASAP, I think it was fight number 16.
I better reply to Norm in a separate post.
Jack29/06/2015 at 03:48 #26879
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! Regarding your question:
1. Both sides (two ATGMs, two T-34s) had an even chance of getting each other: an active shot was getting 2K 3S, react was getting 1K 1S, and return was getting full (2K 3S). I worked that out to 2K 3S for ATGMs vs tanks in the open, and 2K 3S for medium-gunned (say 75mm to 90mm, with heavy being 100mm and above) HE against lightly dug-in troops. So it was always going to be a knife-fight. Whomever got the lucky dice was going to win that fight.
2. But I didn’t put a whole lot of thought and effort into it, firstly because in this campaign on my 2′ x 2′ board, infantry reigns supreme, and second, because for this scenario the ‘real’ fight, the focus of the battle, was always going to be between the CLA paras and the regime Mech infantry. The tanks/ATGMs were just a sideshow that could have proved a bit of a wildcard for the Cubans. But please understand that the entire village, and the jungled hill in the southeast, were considered impassable to the tanks in this scenario.
Hope that answers your question, and sorry it took me so long to respond, I’ve been off playing with toy soldiers!
Jack29/06/2015 at 04:35 #26881
Milan 1 (1972-1990’s): had an IR tracking system and a pyrotechnic flare becon. It was susceptible to smoke and better still WP.
Milan 2 (1985-2000’s): had a 2.2 micron thermal imaging tracking system and a pyrotechnic beacon. It was degraded by smoke and could be defeated by WP. It has a two stage warhead to defeat reactive armour.
Milan 3 (1996-present): has a 0.9 micron thermal imaging tracking system with a xenon bulb beacon. It is not susceptible to smoke and is only slightly degraded by WP. It has an improved two-stage warhead to better defeat reactive armour.
So the Soviet-era T-34/76’s could have protected themselves with smoke and WP rounds. If the CLA are using Milan I then the smoke/WP would have been very effective. In the unlikely event that the CLA had access to the Milan II in 1990, than a WP screen would have worked. But as NATO was refitting with Milan II at this time, availability would be very low.
The standard MBT of the Cuban army was and still is the T-62 of which they have 400 units. They had less than 50 T-34/85’s in their inventory in 1991. As far as I can tell Cuba never had any T-34/76’s in its inventory.
The Cubans in Angola were a tough lot and beat off a very powerful and determined South African invasions in 1975 and again in 1988 handily. They also sent a simultaneous 1975-invasion from Zaire packing. They were also very tough combatants in Somalia and the Congo.
Cheers and I look forward to the new Bat. Reps.
The English-speaking, Pinko-Pig, Rod Robertson. Viva Cubana!29/06/2015 at 05:36 #26882
Do they make 10mm T-62 ?29/06/2015 at 12:24 #26891
Minifigs makes one:
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.29/06/2015 at 13:28 #26907irishserbParticipant
Since it is a fictional campaign, it probably doesn’t really matter, but I would guess that a T34 in the given circumstances wouldn’t have wp and probably not smoke. Given the short flight times, and the probable crew quality, I’m guessing their reaction time wouldn’t have been quick enough to respond to the initial missile launches anyway. In T34/85s, odds would be a little better for ammo and the extra crewman might help speed things up a little, but I think still would be overwhelmingly unlikely for a favorable response.
Just curious, is the 2’x2′ table a function of the rules, or of the campaign design?29/06/2015 at 15:46 #26913
Rod – “As far as I can tell Cuba never had any T-34/76’s in its inventory.”
As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as the Cuban Liberation Army, and an invasion of Cuba did not take place in 1990. But in my fictional campaign, 1st line armor has T-72s, 2nd line armor has T-55s, and third line armor has T-34s (with 76mm guns). I would use T-62s, but I don’t have any T-62s. And in my campaign, Western governments sympathetic to the CLA’s cause, or at least antagonistic to Castro’s, have supplied advanced optics to the CLA, which means smoke isn’t going to save any regime tanks from CLA ATGMs. The only thing that is going to save regime tanks from CLA ATGMs are regime tanks killing the CLA ATGMs. Or regime mortars, which the regime force did not have in this fight. Or regime infantry, which weren’t about to cross all that open ground to get at the ATGMs, so they went through the village, but were countered by CLA paras, so that didn’t work either,* so the tanks went it alone. Their only other option was to fall back off the map, and that wasn’t happening.
*Yes, the tanks moved before the fight in the village really got into full sway; what I mean by that comment is that CLA paras were already seen filtering into the village, and the two forces were exactly matched (Company Commander and five rifle teams each). So while the regime troops stood an even chance of winning the fight in the village, there was almost no chance that that would have occurred in quick fashion, so the tanks moved out. It made sense from the point of tanks supporting the infantry (if the tankers win, they, along with the small infantry force in the southeast, are in position to swing north into the flank/rear of the CLA paras), rather than infantry supporting the tanks. I am, after all, a former infantryman 😉
Kyote – Yes, Minifigs makes 10mm T-62s, but they’re about $6.50 a pop, then Minifigs charges 40% for shipping (yes, FORTY PER CENT). Then I’d have to take the time to paint them up, and part of the selling point (in my mind) for doing this campaign was that I could fight it out using stuff I already had on hand. So I apologize if my imaginary war using an imaginary army in an imaginary alternate history has T/O&E problems 😉
Irish – “Given the short flight times, and the probable crew quality, I’m guessing their reaction time wouldn’t have been quick enough to respond to the initial missile launches anyway.” Yeah, as I mentioned above, this was a knife fight, someone was getting hurt real quick. You’ll see it go the opposite way in an upcoming batrep. All it takes is for an ATGM to miss, and it can (did) happen.
Regarding the 2′ x 2′ table, this is all me, it has nothing to do with the rules (though I’ll say the rules are working great in this confined space). I knew I wanted to play a whole bunch of fights in a short matter of time: D-Day alone has 18 fights, and I’m not sure how long the War of Liberation will last! So I decided to go with a very small playing surface with relatively small forces: between five and ten units per side (depending on die rolls), not including the Command Stand. Certainly it’s not to everyone’s liking, but it is working out perfectly for me for what I am trying to accomplish. Hell, if I could get it to go even faster, I would; it’s still taking about 90 minutes to setup, play, and takedown, and that doesn’t take anything into account regarding the time I take writing and posting batreps. I feel like I’m doing alright 😉
Jack29/06/2015 at 19:07 #26922
Just Jack wrote:
“As far as I can tell, there is no such thing as the Cuban Liberation Army, and an invasion of Cuba did not take place in 1990.” Your point is well taken! I just thought the fictional campaign was a Cuban on Cuban campaign which was otherwise ceteris paribus. Clearly all other things are not held equal so my apologies for assuming that they would be. Keep up the great work Jack and I look forward to the next batch of reports.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.29/06/2015 at 22:13 #26928
Wowzer 40% !!!! My QRF 15mm T-64’s where 9.50 from Scale creep and shipping was 10 bucks for all 9 of them.30/06/2015 at 04:13 #26932
Rod – “Clearly all other things are not held equal so my apologies for assuming that they would be.”
Whaddaya mean? You’re saying my imaginary force should have Milan Is (based on what you perceive to be logistical issues for the CLA that I say aren’t there), and I’m saying the CLA has Milan IIs, so smoke wouldn’t have been an issue.
I’ll even throw in that tank-delivered smoke from 76mm gun barrels, as opposed to smoke delivered by 105mm to 155mm artillery, probably wouldn’t have been effective in this scenario even against Milan Is. So I think we’re still Cletis Parabellum 😉
Kyote – Yeah, that puts a 10mm T-62 at about $9.10, which really sucks. I’m not sure what happened; when I started with 10mm a few years ago you got tanks for about $3.50. That was a big part of the draw of 10mm…
Jack30/06/2015 at 17:35 #26959
Cletis Parabellum? Is he a pistol-packing Marine from South Texas? I like that name and he should feature prominently in a future Bat. Rep. as an American mercenary working for the CLA!
What I was saying is that it is very, very unlikely that the CLA could have gotten top of the line and off the shelf Milan systems from France/West Germany or any other NATO partner that used them, since in 1989-1990 these systems were just becoming available to first tier military powers. At this time Milan II was cutting edge technology and it’s export was highly controlled. The only lose cannon from which the CLA might be able to get Milan’s was India but it was only producing Milan I at this time. Think back to the USA supplying the Muhajeddin in Afghanistan. No one was going to give such non-state actors top line kit. The USA did not even have Milan at this time and was still relying on the M47 Dragon for its own intermediate range ATGW. Also the Cubans are using T-34/76’s and T-72’s for completely understandable personal economic reasons, but that is not not ceteris paribus either. There is no need to feel that you must defend your choices. These are your games and your grand scenario. I made the mistake of assuming that it was a ceteris paribus campaign. I was wrong, not you. I am looking forward to the next installment!
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.30/06/2015 at 19:30 #26979
I thought I made it clear to you, this campaign most definitely is Coitus Pablum, so knock it off!
I’m not at liberty to discuss where the CLA got: TOWs (TOW IIs at that!), Milan IIs, F-4 Phantoms (or where they are based), the shipping to make an amphibious assault (or the point of origin of the invasion fleet), transport aircraft to make two battalion-level parachute drops (or the staging areas of those flights), CH-47s, UH-60s (for the SOF elements, or where they originated from; the Chinooks came off the ships), or M-60A1s (that look mysteriously like M-48s, but it’s just part of the CLA’s overall deception plan). 😉
“There is no need to feel that you must defend your choices. These are your games and your grand scenario.”
Amen brother. Regarding ‘defending my choices,’ I just want you to understand what’s going on, straight from the horse’s mouth (or something like that). I don’t mind a’tall.
Should have fight number 15 posted this evening. And ‘Cletus Parabellum’ will definitely be used in a campaign, but not this one. There are NO Americans involved in the liberation of Cuba 😉
Jack30/06/2015 at 19:39 #26981
Hey Cletus Parabellum hold my beer and watch this !!!!30/06/2015 at 20:18 #26982
Colitis Pablum – Yuck!
Cletis Parabellum I want to hear more about. Colitis Pablum I desperately want to forget! There are NO Americans involved in the liberation of Cuba – right….
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.30/06/2015 at 20:42 #26984
Ummm, it wasn’t Colitis 😉
And yes, we have no Americans in Cuba!
I’m worried; I’m sure you guys have seen I’m a bit of a wargaming butterfly, and my mind is already drifting. I’ve painted up a bunch of 10mm Napoleonics, waiting on bases for them, then I’ll post pics, but they’re just the Brits, and my morale is sagging because there is so much more to do. Dutch, French, Austrians, and Prussians, in that order…
Then I ordered a bunch of 20mm houses for the WWII stuff I bought, assembled, and primed but haven’t painted. Mr. Travers put me up to this. They should be here this week; I need to assemble them then paint all my WWII plastics…
Most embarrassingly, I’ve once again sunk to the depths of despair and purchased some 15mm stuff. Put up to this by Jim (“Boggler”)and Andy Carnham and their awesome “AK-47” armies, I went and ordered some moderns from Rebel Minis and some Peter Pig from Brookhurst Hobbies. Not too much (yeah right), as I only intend on skirmish gaming with these (now that all my 10mm are off pennies and multi-based, for Cuba Libre).
I have too much stuff to do!!! But I can’t wait to get my hands on the 15mm moderns. I’m going to go back to playing “Some Corner of a Foreign Field” (you’ll recall those from my “In Country” campaign set in Vietnam), as well as Ivan’s “Five Men in Normandy,” which I’m really looking to get into with my almost six-year old son. I need to get online and buy some 15mm Middle Eastern buildings, I hear Gamecraft Minis is having a sale. My wife is going to kill me 😉
Jack30/06/2015 at 21:00 #26985
What the hell !!!! 15mm !!!!! You damned Butterfly !!!!!30/06/2015 at 22:12 #26991
I cannot sing the praises of Gamecraft Miniatures enough. However, if you’re intending to get MDF buildings be prepared to sparkle them both for appearances sake and to protect the MDF from paint-warping. These buildings are beautiful and very well made but need that extra stage to do them justice. I have sent an e-mail to you of what they look like unspackled. Gamecraft resin buildings are very nice too but are a far more limited range than their MDF ranges. If you don’t mind spending a little more money, the preprinted Crescent Root buildings are outstanding (but expensive).
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.30/06/2015 at 22:24 #26995
Holy Cow! Rod has a camera! 😉
Thanks man, I really appreciate the photos, and the GC buildings look great. I’m kind of torn; I really like the Afghan-style buildings with the high walls around them, but I’m looking for a more generic look that can be moved around the Middle East and even Africa and Eastern Europe (yes, I’m cheap). And I don’t like how the very high walls seem to turn each compound into its own little mini-battlefield; I like the deadliness of having to cross the open ground. So the high-walls are probably not going to happen. Okay, maybe one 😉 With one, I could see using it in South/Central America as the cartel leader’s home.
And when you say spackle, what do you mean? I know the buildings have to be put together, and I was even thinking about basing them, then spray-painting them a sand or khaki color. Are you saying I need to do something else to them?
Jack30/06/2015 at 23:01 #27008
MDF = saw dust. If it gets wet it turns back into saw dust. No joke. Texas humidity will also warp it.30/06/2015 at 23:29 #27009
I do own a camera which is a forty-plus years old Nikon, but I don’t have any film for it. I used my I-Pad to take the photos I sent you.
Spackle is like seam filler or dry wall filler. You just trowel a small amount onto the building and spread it over the wall and roof surfaces. Then you let it dry and sand it down to the shape and texture you want. Easy-peasy and then you can paint without fear of warping. Finally seal it with Dull Coat and you’re done.
Many of Gamecraft’s buildings do not have walls but in Afghanistan such walled complexes are common place. The same buildings will do for the rural Middle East and North Africa.
I can’t speak to Texas or Oklahoma weather and humidity, but I have had no trouble with these MDF buildings to date.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.30/06/2015 at 23:40 #27010
Oh, I almost forgot Jack:
Take a look at The Scene if you’re thinking about doing Subsaharan Africa. They have outstanding African shanty buildings which could really be used anywhere. I bought a bunch of them and will get to painting them up next fall and winter. The Scene also makes wicked-cool accessories for buildings such as vents, air conditioning units, skylights, etc. which can really spruce up a building.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.01/07/2015 at 00:10 #27012
I do have some MDF stuff, mostly bases. I didn’t spackle them, but haven’t had any problems yet. Yet… I really don’t like the idea of having to spend time on an extra step. Not only am I cheap, but I’m lazy and impatient too 😉
And stop it Rod, that Crescent stuff is amazing! I’m afraid to check out The Scene.
“…in Afghanistan such walled complexes are common place.”
Oh, my dear Rod, you are killing me. Those GC high-walled buildings are fantastic, and I’d gladly game with them, but, for what it’s worth, I’ll throw this out there:
1) Most of the Middle East does not have those extra-high walls (9-18 feet), they’re usually 6-8″, more on the 6″ side (I spent time in Israel, Egypt, Jordan, Saudi, Kuwait, Bahrain, Uzbekistan, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Oman, UAE, and Tunisia. Probably forgetting somewhere in there).
2) In Afghanistan, those very high walls were not prevalent up north, or in the east (near the Pakistani border). I saw a few, but they were usually the Warlord’s compounds, so usually isolated from the local village, up on a hill.
3) The high walls were more prevalent in the west (near the Iranian border), but there weren’t that many ‘proper’ villages, more isolated homesteads. The GC buildings remind me more of villages in the Kandahar area, and further south.
4) Even when you had the high walls, it was usually more spread out, so that 3 or 6 different buildings were inside the high walls, and there was more ground inside the walls.
For what it’s worth…
Jack01/07/2015 at 00:46 #27013
The wife is going to kill me.
I went to the Crescent Root Studios website, couldn’t control myself.
Town Wall Building Set: Headquarters and Auxiliary buildings, Building Set A, Building Set B, and a set of the vendor’s stands are on the way, ~$160, on the way. I’ve spent waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay too much this month.
This may be my last post…
Jack01/07/2015 at 00:57 #27014
Pictures or it didn’t happen !!!!!01/07/2015 at 01:20 #27015
“This may be my last post…”
We will remember you Jack. A Marine knows no fear save the wrath of the wife.
Cheers in the great wargame in the sky.
PS: I was in Turkey, the Middle East, Iran and Afghanistan in 1978 and 1979.01/07/2015 at 01:25 #27016
You want Jack to take photos of himself ordering buildings on the internet? Why? You need to get out more dude!
A perplexed Rod Robertson.01/07/2015 at 01:50 #27019
Oh and Jack, check out The Scene, I dares ya!
Lucifer c/o Rod Robertson.01/07/2015 at 02:53 #27023
Yeah, no pics of me ordering, the pics will have to wait until I receive the stuff 😉
I also ordered some knick-knacks from Gamecraft…
My Dear Professor, the Middle East in 78-79, eh? Perhaps we have much to talk about? Who were you before you became our lovable, cantankerous old schoolmarm?
Batrep coming right up.
Jack01/07/2015 at 03:27 #27025
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