01/07/2015 at 02:57 #27024
It’s 1400 on 1 Feb 1990, and the CLA’s 1st Airborne Battalion, which dropped into Cuba early this morning, is hard pressed. Having fought two battles already (#3 to seize a bridge, and #11 to fight off a counterattack) it finds itself occupied by the enemy’s 3rd Infantry Battalion, which is now surging forces south to outflank the paratroopers’ lines. Captain Olejandro, acting Battalion Commander for 1st Airborne Battalion (Colonel Lucastro, decorated for valor during the bridge seizure, was seriously wounded in close combat during the enemy counterattack) puts out a call for help.
Having come ashore at Playa Colorada only minutes prior, Colonel Estevante of the 4th Infantry Battalion, responds. He immediately provides a Warning Order to Captain Bronchovio, Commanding Officer of the 1st Air Assault Company: stand by to conduct a helo insertion into a hot LZ to counter enemy mechanized forces skirting 1st Airborne Battalion’s southern flank. Captain Bronchovio quickly briefs his men, who gather their equipment, break into their sticks, and mount their flying taxis…
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.
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).
The opposing forces, with regime troops on the left and CLA troops on the right. The CLA are made up of US troops from Pendraken’s Vietnam range, while the Castro forces are made up of Argentinians from Pendraken’s Falklands range. The BTRs are from Minifigs, while the Panhard is also from Pendraken’s Falklands range.
The CLA force, with a Command Stand, seven rifle stands, a TOW ATGM, and a single leader figure representing the battalion commander. The regime force has a Command Stand, six rifle stands, a Panhard armored car (with 90mm main gun), and two BTR-60s (each with 14.5mm HMG).
Overview of map, north is up. At top left (northwest) are the far right elements of 1st Airborne Battalion. They are ‘for show’ only, they will not be active during this fight, they simply show 1st Airborne Bn’s right flank. At top right (northeast) are mechanized elements of the Castro-regime’s 3rd Infantry Battalion, on a side road trying to exit the board at bottom left in order to get into 1st Airborne Bn’s rear area. 1st Air Assault Company’s Landing Zone (LZ) is at bottom right, southeast of the sprawling village of Babiney.
Two CH-47s of 1st Air Assault Company swoop in and flare preparing to touch down in a hot LZ…
To see another crazy fight, please check the blog at:
Three more to write up and post.
Jack01/07/2015 at 13:28 #27051
A very interesting battle and a very good report. Some questions come to mind. Why didn’t the BTR’s and the Panhard AML-90 open up on the Chinooks with aimed fire as they were debarking infantry? A 90mm HE round into the superstructure of a Chinook would really ruin someone’s day. Second, why did the TOW II have to relocate? From the photo’s it seemed to have a clear LOS to the Panhard and the BTR in the west? I have been confused about how you handle LOS before (WW II Poland and 1985 Baltics) but the TOW II team seemed to have a commanding view of the battle-space.
Great report and a most enjoyable read. Well done, Jack! Now go hide from the missus for spending too much money on Middle Eastern terrain, and come up with some good justifications for funding the 15mm moderns you want. Good luck cause you’re going to need it!
Cheers and good gaming.
Viva Cubana Libre y Socialista!01/07/2015 at 16:32 #27065
Thanks man. Regarding your questions:
1) The regime vehicles didn’t fire on the helos because they were really just props for the scenario. Under normal circumstances I would have started the fight like every other fight, that is, with the (in this case) regime forces in the north and the CLA troops deployed in the south, with the idea being the CLA heloe’d in further south then moved into position to halt the threat to 1st Airborne Battalion’s flank. But I wanted it to be more dramatic looking, so I had the helos come in and dump the guys out, but all that happened before the game even started, that is, it was ‘cinematic cut scene,’ and the actual game started with the CLA having initiative after the helos left the board.
2) Regarding displacement of the TOW team, you’re right about why, they didn’t have LOS to the enemy vehicles in the west (which is mostly why those two vehicles sprinted to the west at the very beginning, to get out of the TOW’s line of fire). The TOW team was in the building in the southeast, which is a three-story building, but the TOW team was on the second story. The TOW team could have climbed into a very exposed position on the roof of the third story (like Team 5 did), but as they were my only AT asset, I didn’t want them to be that exposed. So they were staying on the second story, which is a roof with a wall around it, for cover.
The building just to the west is a two-story building, so it blocked any shots to the west (from the second story). You get a good look at this in the pic just above (with the helos), though I understand what you were getting at if you were looking at the TOW team moving to/being on the third story.
Now I’m having buyer’s remorse; I didn’t have to spend all that money, just look at the beautiful buildings I already have (see above pics)! I’ll be honest, I started looking at Gamecraft Minis’ website and thinking, “I could save a whole lotta money if I just repaint these ‘buildings,’ then buy some stuff from GC, like balconies, awnings, outdoor stairwells, and air conditioners to dress them up.” I probably should have done that, but I didn’t. So I’ll have some good looking buildings, but what do I do with all these now?
Do you know what those buildings are made of? They are “Jenga” blocks my kids had; I stole them, glued them together, glued strips of index card on for the roof-walls, spray painted them khaki, and drew doors/windows on with a Sharpie. Not the most attractive, but it’s worked for years now…
Ahh, along those lines, if you want to see a beautiful game, and a table I’m supremely envious of, please take a look here:
Cut him some slack, he’s still working on the write up, but look at those pics!
Jack01/07/2015 at 17:18 #27071
I didn’t think it was possible or healthy to fire a TOW from an enclosed space. I had assumed it was on the roof because it would be unusable if located indoors.
Don’t feel buyer’s remorse for splurging on Crescent Root buildings. Just use the time you would have spent painting them by lavishing your wife and kids with dutiful attention and helpfulness. That way when the distaff discovers the true cost of those buildings she will have no choice but to forgive her dutiful and devoted husband!
I just checked out Jim’s Wargames Workbench and was very impressed but also concerned for you. Are you contemplating going down the rabbit-hole with War Panda and investing in VERY expensive Hexon terrain modules?Those puppies will empty your bank account fast. They are a bit more reasonably priced than GHQ Geo Hex stuff but not by much. I can’t believe I’m saying this but you could just stick with the carpet sections.
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.01/07/2015 at 18:42 #27078
“I didn’t think it was possible or healthy to fire a TOW from an enclosed space.”
You are absolutely correct, Sir, firing a rocket or missile from inside is, indeed, bad for business. What I’m saying is (please look at the photo), the building with the TOW has two stories, then a flat roof with another story on it. I don’t know what it’s called (a ‘split level,’ maybe?), but the third story doesn’t cover the entire length and width of the two underlying stories.
So the TOW is outdoors, atop the 2nd story roof. Team 6 was also on the 2nd story roof, but Team 5, in order to clear its line of fire, took up very exposed positions on the roof of the third story. I didn’t want to expose the TOW team too much, so I didn’t put them on the roof of the third story, which doesn’t have a wall to hide behind, I kept them on the second story, which has a wall.
If you look closely at the picture with the helos coming in, you’ll see three buildings. From bottom left moving clockwise, you have a two-story house with a flat roof and walls around the entire roof; then you have two three-story buildings, which have flat roofs with walls on their 2nd stories, and flat roofs without walls on their third stories.
My wife says I’m sick, that I need help, because of all the time/money I put into wargaming… I am thinking about Hexon, but it’s quite a ways down the road; as you pointed out, it’s quite expensive. I was just pointing out how good Jim’s stuff looks. Everyone has their own idea of what they want their stuff to look like; there are some folks with absolutely beautiful setups (Panda being foremost among them), but if I had my way my stuff would look like Jim’s. I love the vibrancy of it.
I’ve been in touch with Geoff from QRF, he’s looking to see if they still have anything for the old Modern US Infantry.
Oh, and are you saying you love the carpet??? Go ahead, Rod, say it! Say it now! And say it loud enough for all to hear! “Jack, I love the carpet…” 😉
Jack02/07/2015 at 05:01 #27102kyoteblueParticipant
Good AAR as always, but if you get all those great looking buildings…..the carpet has to go.02/07/2015 at 05:14 #27103
One of the dark secrets I have been keeping hidden from you is that I use carpet contours to make hills and depressions on my gaming table! So, yes Jack, I love me some carpet, but not those pathetic little samples that you throw down on your board!
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson.02/07/2015 at 15:50 #27137
Rod – You’re a @#$%!!! All this time making fun of me, and he’s got the same set up! You’re table looks pretty good; you should have a blog 😉
Kyote – I’ll get to hills someday, they’re way down the list. I’ve really spent too much money…
Jack02/07/2015 at 16:35 #27139
My hills are big, grand and glorious, not the tiny pimples which dot your playing surfaces, and I am proud to wear the label of a @#$%!!! if I get to ruffle your feathers sometime!
As to a Blog, you know that’s not likely to happen anytime soon. No fame, just game is my motto.
Did you check out The Scene yet? Their stuff is great!
Cheers and good gaming.
Rod Robertson02/07/2015 at 18:22 #27159
“My hills are big, grand and glorious…”
Whatever you say, buddy. Looks like carpet on the battlefield. Not that there’s anything wrong with that 😉
“No fame, just game is my motto.”
It’s not about fame at all, and that applies to your comment in the other post (“Cost of Expectation”) about ‘pics or it didn’t happen.’ It’s not about fame or any other such nonsense, it’s about fellowship, sharing with other gamers, and maybe, just maybe even inspiring someone else. I know this (and I should probably put it in that other post, but I’m lazy) for a fact:
1) I wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for bloggers (and TMP, too). I wouldn’t have even known about wargaming, wouldn’t have known how to do it, where to get stuff, and what to do with it once I had it. But looking at gamers’ blogs, I was able to piece it together. I wasn’t the one who thought of cutting up carpet and using it to show hills with different elevation levels; I wasn’t the one who thought of using clear Legos as flight stands; I wasn’t the one who thought of ordering plastic trees from a cake decorating store, spray painting them green, then using modeling clay to form bases; I wasn’t the one who thought of running small-scale (6/10mm) campaigns with personalities whose exploits you followed, re-writing history. All those things I got from other wargamers who shared them, which not only trained me, it also inspired me.
2) At this point I’ve spent… well, way too much money on toys. Some well spent, some not so well spent (learning the hard way, though not due to people not sharing information, just me thinking I knew better, or misunderstanding). But the point is (and this ties more directly to the “expectations” post), because of what I learned from blogs, I was able to spend $30 on little metal men and vehicles, $15 on plastic trees, $10 on modeling clay (to make tree bases and berms/walls), $10 on felt (rivers and roads), and $15 on Jenga blocks (which I glued together, spray painted, and drew windows and doors on with a Sharpie, for use as buildings). Let’s say another $20 for paints, brushes, etc…, but for $100 I was in the wargaming business, and all the other money I’ve spent since (better roads, rivers, houses, more troops, more vehicles, different scales, different genres) is gravy, stuff I didn’t need.
I can remember looking at two different blogs in particular, and thinking, ‘man, their stuff is certainly not the greatest, but it sure looks like they’re having a great time.’ So I resolved to stop worrying about making it beautiful, and just start playing. I started the blog in August 2013 to document my exploits, as that’s when I started gaming in earnest, and coming up on the two year anniversary I’ve got 115 batreps posted. Hopefully someone, somewhere, saw one and thought, “if that knucklehead can do it, surely I can too.”
And I’m not looking at any other 15mm stuff, I need to try to keep at least $1 in my bank account…
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