Home Forums Modern Cuba Libre – Liberation Batrep 31

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    Just Jack


    It’s 1700 on 5 Feb 1990, and C Squadron of the CLA’s Special Operations Forces is in the air. 1st Airborne Battalion’s sharp fight in northern Havana with Venezuelan paratroopers set the CLA General Staff into a flurry of activity. With the small amount of Venezuelans introduced into the battle-space, as well as their dispersal to three different locations on the island (northern Havana, northeastern Havana, and just east of Bayamo on the eastern end of the island) it was immediately apparent they were not in Cuba to put up a serious fight. CLA intelligence officers immediately set to work to determine what the Venezuelans were there to do.

    Intelligence stated the regime’s government and military executive staff had dissolved, with it being very much an ‘every man for himself’ environment as they attempted to flee the island. But there was no info on El Presidente. The regime’s senior formation leaders were still arguing back and forth via radio about whether to keep fighting or not, and, if so, how to best coordinate their efforts.

    HUMINT and SIGINT sources began to paint a picture: El President was preparing to depart Cuba, with Venezuelan paratroopers in Havana to escort him away; where, how, and when were still unknown, though it was determined that the Venezuelan Captain Chavez’ unit was a blocking force, the assumption being the Venezuelan force in northeastern Havana must be the element charged with securing El Presidente.

    CLA Intelligence continued to press, and at 1600 local time, the breakthrough came: a bitter regime officer came forward to inform Generalissimo Waraldonez that El Presidente was to meet with Venezuelan paratroopers at the Playa Riviera Hotel in northeastern Havana at 1700. HUMINT sources were begged, cajoled, and interrogated, and radio intercepts were scrutinized, and all signs pointed to the regime officer’s story being correct.

    The CLA’s Commanding General quickly met with the Special Operations Commander, Colonel Quilveras, and a capture or kill order was issued. Colonel Quilveras notified Captain Bosanova,who quickly collected two teams of shooters and boarded a waiting UH-60 Blackhawk.

    The CLA is made up of Rebel Minis’ SWAT troopers painted up as Direct Action shooters, while the regime forces are various Warsaw Pact and Modern Africa codes from Peter Pig. El Presidente is a Rebel Minis Pulp character.

    So this is a dramatic departure from the norm (for Cuba Libre) in that 1) I’m using 15mm troops, rather than my beloved 10mm, and 2) I’m using the 5Core rules “5 Men in Normandy” (“5MIN,” modified) rather than 5Core Company Command, which is what I used for the previous 30 battles.

    The reason for the switch is that I think both the figures and the rules are better for this fight (and the next one), which are small-scale, skirmish-level raids. I’ve purposely made the Venezuelan paratroopers a much larger force, and they will be treated as ‘ordinary’ soldiers, opposed by CLA Special Operations types. The only real modification I made to 5MIN was to have the CLA SOF troops fire with double dice (2K 2S), and those firing dice would be applied to any targets within 6″ of each other, meaning the CLA SOF trooper will fire at one target, but with four dice, it is possible to ‘hit’ or effect other targets. While it is normal within 5MIN to have shock dice affect nearby enemy troops, I’m playing that, in the unlikely event the CLA SOF guy fires and gets two kills, he will kill the target and another enemy within 6″ of the target. Also, if a CLA trooper is fired on without effect, he may return fire, even if he has already acted that turn.

    I also split the enemy into two forces, and had them roll activation separately.

    Overview of the map, north is up. El Presidente has been secured by a small contingent of a Venezuelan paratroopers in the bottom left (southwest) corner, and their job is to escort him to the larger force of Venezuelan paratroopers in the top right (northeast) corner, where they have a skiff standing by to whisk him away to a waiting seagoing vessel. The CLA force is not on the board.

    *Forgive my ‘skiff.’ I looked around and all I had was an old Axis and Allies landing craft, so it’ll have to do.

    CLA shooters move aggressively to secure the package. To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:

    One more fight and the the War of Liberation is finished!


    Rod Robertson

    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh! Slow down you maniac!


    No chance to shoot down the Chopper !!!!???? Love the puff of smoke behind the get away car at the end !!!


    Neat. ­čÖé

    Just Jack

    Rod – Hurry up, you slow @#$%!!!

    Kyote – Yeah, no chance to shoot down the chopper, that was more of a ‘for looks’ deal than a game deal.┬á That is, instead of the fast-rope insertion, I could have just placed the minis on the table, but I wanted to have the pics of the Blackhawk.┬á Regarding El Presidente’s extraction, same deal; I suppose I could have made the CLA have to get him into the car and get him out of there, but I knew the fight was going to be hard enough as it was, so I decided to give the CLA the capability of getting him out via helo.

    You love the puff of smoke, I love the idea of making their getaway using El Presidente’s car!

    Earther – Thank you, glad you liked it.


    Rod Robertson

    Just Jack:

    OK, I said I was going to wait to post but I couldn’t help myself! That was a great report and a complete hoot to read. I loved the new Crescent Root buildings and market stalls! I’ve been waiting to see those for a while now! I liked the 15mm minis and the action with the modifications you made, however, (yes, there is always an however) I think you may have handicapped the Venezuelan Paratroopers too much. If the opponents were regular regime forces or sluggish presidential guards used to soft duty, I could see that super-charging the CLA SOF’s would be valid. But presumably the paratroopers are the best that Venezuela has to offer and would be very well trained and experienced fighting Columbians and FARC rebels. Perhaps giving the CLA SOF 12 troopers would have been better. But that’s your call. I would have gone with pampered Presidential Guard if I wanted to give the CLA SOF’s such an advantage. And what’s with giving the paras RPG’s and then not letting them use them you big meany! But nonetheless this was a total blast!

    I loved that El Presidente got to shoot Jack “Bosanova” Bauer and only wish the wounds had been fatal to that gringo assassin! Great stuff Jack, I loved it. A fitting penultimate scenario for this leg of the Cuba Libre campaign. This has been the best of the best so far! Well it’s off to the Finale now and hopefully I can muster enough self control to hold off posting until tomorrow! Thanks for posting these Jack and best wishes for your next project.

    Cheers and great gaming!

    Rod Robertson.

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