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  • #67953
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    AKA, Ambush Alley in South Leon #1

    So, a bit of review as I’m all over the place when it comes to projects: on 1 May 1990 Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Forces (CLEF) deployed to the west African Republic of South Leon.  A county seen as pivotal during the Cold War as a stopper to the Domino Theory in Africa, since The Wall fell it has largely been ignored by the Western Powers that propped it up throughout the Cold War.  And that would be fine, except:

    1.  South Leon has a Marxist neighbor to the north, Fédération Socialiste Nationale de Leon, or FSNL.  While it is suffering as well, having lost its primary backer when the Soviet Union collapsed, that is actually making things worse.  Aside from the cultural hatred the two tribes have for each other, the FSNL regime is under pressure due to a stagnant economy, and what better way to relieve pressure then redirect the anger at outside forces, such as South Leon?

    and

    2.  South Leon has an internal problem, the Free Leon Army (FLA), which is Marxist and thus has problems with the republican government of South Leon and is backed by FSNL.

    Both these problems were coming to a head, and so the Cubans, being the freedom-loving folks they are, decided to pitch in to save South Leon from the damn Communists!  Generalissimo Estevante authorized the deployment of a battalion-sized Task Group to South Leon.  Headed by a Marine, Major Fulgencio, the task force is built around a company of Marines under 1st Lieutenant Ordonez (Task Force Redleg) and a company of paratroopers under the recently promoted Captain Soares (Task Force Razor).  The overall Task Group is filled out by a contingent of tanks, armored personnel carriers, amphibious assault vehicles, Special Forces, Intelligence, an air combat element, and various other support personnel necessary to keep the Task Group operating at full capacity.Task Group Fulgencio landed in South Leon on 1 May 1990, with Task Force Redleg deploying north to the Demilitarized Zone (the border with FSNL), and Task Force Razor moving just east of the capital city, to the capital of the home-grown insurgency, Diwala.

    Things were quiet until early June 1990, when Task Force Redleg’s patrolling of the DMZ ran into a battalion-sized force of FSNL “volunteers” infiltrating south across the border.  Three short, sharp clashes saw the victorious Cuban Marines sending the FSNL volunteers packing back across the DMZ.  Again things have been quiet, but intel has been picking up on chatter to the east, and so Captain Soares’ Task Force Razor has stepped up its presence patrol activity in the city of Diwala.  There have been several incidents of sniping and Improvised Explosive Devices in the city, though none of the Cuban paratroopers has so far been seriously injured.  But that is about to change…

    It is now 1430 on 2 July 1990, and calls for assistance have come into Task Force Razor headquarters.  The harried voice on the other end of the line stated a South Leon National Police patrol was ambushed, and while the first two vehicles made it out of the kill zone and returned to base, they left the third vehicle, which was disabled, at the ambush site.  And it has several National Police officers in it…

    Captain Soares immediately rounded up a Quick Reaction Force and headed out the door to rescue the South Leon National Police troops.


    Overview, somewhere in Diwala, north is up.  Nothing fancy, just a 2′ x 2′ surface with plenty of buildings and walls.

    I’m playing this out in 15mm using the old school “Ambush Alley” rules, as written.  The is the first scenario out of the book, “Contracting Trouble,” a classic of modern wargaming.  My intent is to play out all five scenarios in the book in a row, to learn the rules, put them through their paces, and see if I dig’em.

    The South Leon National Police (SLNP)’s disabled HMMWV is at center top, on the road.  Task Force Razor is at center bottom, straight down the road.  There are FLA Insurgents all over the place (atop building at bottom center right, just above that building, atop the building at top center right, at top left, and at far left.  The three civilian groups are on the road at left, on the road at far right, and in the plaza at center left.

    The khaki-colored poker chips (bottom right, right, behind building at top center right, at let, and at bottom left) are “Insurgent Hot Spots.”  In Ambush Alley, at the end of each turn you roll to see if the bad guys get reinforcements.  If they do, you roll to see what size the group is and what weapons they have, and lastly you roll to see where they will show up.  Each hotspot is numbered 1 through 5, and if a 6 is rolled the bad guys get to pick which hotspot they want to use.  Hotspots can be destroyed if they are unoccupied and a Regular unit physically moves onto it and stays there for a turn, doing nothing else.

    The mission is for Task Force Razor to move north, recover the SNLP officers, then escort them back south off the table.

    *This photo shows the Insurgent groups as they are supposed to be from the book, but before I started the game I reinforced each of the groups with more guys.

    **This was my first game, and I made a TON of mistakes!!!

    To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    http://cubalibrewargame.blogspot.com/2017/07/south-leon-task-force-razor-fight-1.html

    More fights coming right up!

    V/R,
    Jack

    #67968
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    Very good report, I like these new rules you are using.  It all seemed to move really fast given the large number of figures in play on the bad guy side.  5 Core seems to work best with games with low numbers of figures on both sides, I think it would have struggled with these numbers.  Nice that you can switch between them depending on which best suits the type of game. 🙂

    I kept imagining the bad guys running away yelling ‘That’s not how the rules work, I’m out of here!’.  But seriously, don’t we all mess up the first couple of games?  I suspect you suffered more from the errors than you gained, those ‘RPG’ shots where you counted ties as hits were pretty extreme.

    Oh, and make your mind up about the bad guys, Marxists or Islamic Fundamentalists, one or the other.  These guys are Marxists, they don’t want to kill Infidels, they want to kill Capitalists. 

    #67973
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    I’ve had the AA rules for years but never learned how to play them.  Man I would need 100 casualty figures to play this game !!! Oh and I’ll echo Victoria… Capitalist Pigdogs not Infidels !!!

    #68063
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Vicki – Thanks!  Yeah, the rules move relatively quick for that many figures, though the games are kinda long, clocking in around 3-4 hours each.  Previously I tried playing this size of games with 5 Men at Kursk, but it was too many troops and bogged down quite a bit (Cuba Libre, Operation Pay-Off, which used the Ambush Alley scenario book “Lawyers, Guns, and Money”).  I agree, 5Core is built for lower numbers of elements, and I say elements, because you’ve seen all the skirmish games, but it’s also fantastic for company level games where one stand = one squad/crew serve/vehicle.

    And yeah, I screwed up the rules more times than I could count.  Happens no matter how many times I’ve played a set of rules 😉

    And what’s with you two???  Nothing beats whacking Capitalist Pigdog Infidels!

    John – Yeah, the chain of interruptions thing can be a bit rough to get straight.  I think I’ve got it now, but it takes a little practice, I think I’ve got it now.  And even I ran out of casualty figures, had to recycle! 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #68066
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    Nothing beats whacking Capitalist Pigdog Infidels!  

    Godless Communist Atheistic Marxists just don’t call people Infidels, that’s all I’m saying.  They want to kill Imperialist Yankee Capitalists. 🙂

    (I’m glad we have a no politics rule here.  )

    #68082
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Okay, you win! Not that it’ll stop me 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #68272
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    AKA, Ambush Alley in South Leon #2

    It is now 1730 on 4 July 1990; two days ago militia members of the Free Leon Army (FLA, the bad guys) ambushed a South Leon National Police (SNLP) patrol.  Task Force Razor, a Cuban paratrooper company led by Captain Soares and his trusty sidekick, Lt Hinajosa, moved out smartly, rescuing the SNLP officers, but at a cost of 1 KIA and 4 WIA to themselves.  Everyone on the Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force (CLEF) and South Leon government side were shocked; the FLA insurgency had been but a rumor of war for years, with various low-level bombings, assassinations, and sniper fire, but nothing anywhere near the size and ferocity of the attacks on 2 July. And now it was happening again…

    Captain Soares was relaxing in the Tactical Operations Center (TOC) when the radios jumped to life.  Before he could even discern what was happening, a South Leon Army (SLA) liaison officer burst into the TOC: “Sir, we need your assistance right away!”  The stuff was going down again, right here in Diwala.  More than 50 FLA insurgents were assaulting the 2nd District SNLP station in eastern Diwala; a SLA quick reaction force (QRF) was dispatched, but then they were ambushed!  Task Force Razor is tasked with escorting a three-man sniper team into an overwatch position to deliver precision fires in support of the QRF and the SNLP station.  Task Force Razor will deliver he precision fires then fall back; Captain Soares does not want to close with the SLA QRF or the SNLP station during the fight for fear of friendly fire incidents.

    As Captain Soares and Task Force Razor mounted up, the SLA liaison officer informed him FLA insurgent activity had been noted in and around the designated sniper position; “to late to change the plan now, looks like we’re fighting our way in boys.”


    Overview, somewhere in Diwala, north is up.  Nothing fancy, just a 2′ x 2′ surface with plenty of buildings and walls. Task Force Razor is at bottom center, the objective building at top right.  The mission is to get the sniper team to the objective building, have them deliver precision fires in support of the SLA QRF and SNLP station, then withdraw back the way they came.  The game starts with Insurgent groups at bottom right, top center, far left, and two guys with an RPG on the roof at bottom left.  The khaki-colored poker chips are ‘hotspots,’ i.e., locations where Insurgent reinforcements can come on the table.  At the end of each turn I will roll to see if the bad guys get reinforcements (the Insurgent Level is 4, not ‘automatic’ like last game), then I roll on a table to see what the bad guy reinforcement group is comprised of, and then I roll to see which hotspot they come in on.  If I can get good guys onto a hotspot and sit there for a turn, they ‘kill’ the hotspot, so bad guys can’t come in there anymore, and if the roll an eliminated hotspot, they lose that reinforcement group.

    I’m playing this out in 15mm using the old school “Ambush Alley” rules, as written.  The is the first scenario out of the book, “Contracting Trouble,” a classic of modern wargaming.  My intent is to play out all five scenarios in the book in a row, to learn the rules, put them through their paces, and see if I dig’em.


    RPG!!! To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:
    http://cubalibrewargame.blogspot.com/2017/07/south-leon-task-force-razor-fight-2.html

    Coming up, it turns out the South Leon Army and South Leon National Police at the police station suffered a lot of casualties.  Most of the police and soldiers were required to help evacuate the wounded and dead, leaving precious few men back at the police station.  Their morale low from the ferocity of the enemy’s attack and the tremendous casualties, it didn’t take much to push them over the edge, so the minute they felt like they were isolated, abandoned, and left to die, they all decided there were better places to be than the police station.

    Not wanting to sacrifice the police station (and the weapons, equipment, comm gear, and ammunition it contained), the South Leon government again reached out to Task Force Razor for help, and once again Captain Soares responded in the affirmative.  Task Force Razor had returned to base, dropped off the snipers and track, had its wounded seen to, then loaded up on water and ammo before moving out on foot towards the police station.  It was nearly 2230 before they arrived; they immediately set about organizing the defense, then went to 50% to get some rest.  Several hours later the sentries began sending in reports of movement at all quarters; the Free Leon Army was about to make a second all-out assault on the SNLP police station.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #68286
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    More comments than normal this time, sorry.

    Very exciting battle again, and when you see a group of half a dozen insurgents wiped out with one set of dice rolls and consider how long it would have taken under 5 Core for the same result these really are fast play rules.  Not criticising 5 Core, they seem perfect for a more detailed game, but they would have bogged things down here I think.

    I love your buildings.  I really need to make a town set up like this, flat roof middle eastern type buildings seem perfect for city fights.  Very inspirational, and as I can make the buildings myself at little cost it’s the kind of inspiration I appreciate.  I doubt they’ll end up as nice but I’ll try.

    And I also love the AAV (lot of love in this post, I guess it happens sometimes).  I really like how you’ve painted it.

    Regarding tactics, lots of shots from insurgents hoping to get lucky would seem to be the way to go.  It also seems a bit more realistic, though maybe I just have a low opinion of their abilities.

    One thing I wonder, is there a temptation to play ‘kill the hotspots’ and eliminate the possibility of reinforcements before carrying on with your mission?  Or is there a time factor at play, so many turns to achieve victory?

    Anyway, great AAR, really looking forward to the next one. 🙂

    #68289
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    Ambush Alley lets you kill lots of low quality insurgents, and was made for Afghanistan and Iraq.   Shawn Carpenter is a member here on TWW , so you can ask him questions about it. AA also has a big brother called Force on Force  for playing peer forces.

    Come on Jack, they are suppose to be Commies !!!

    Oh and were are your mortars !!! I showed you mine !!!

    #68359
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Vicki – Thank you, Ma’am, and feel free to heap lavish praise on my batreps whenever you like.  Just kidding, I get nervous when you animals start being too nice to me! 😉  You’re right that 5MIN/5MAK would bog down with this size of game, BUT, 5Core Company Command would do fine with it.  As a matter of fact, I’m re-basing a bunch of my 15mm stuff right now just for 5CCC.

    Thanks for the compliments on the AAV and buildings; the AAV is from fellow TWW denizen Irishserb; I’ve got another painted up for the desert, and two more on the painting table.  The buildings are all from Crescent Root, and I can’t claim anything there, they come out of the box just like you see them.  I think it’s amazing how you cast up your own stuff, fantastic!

    I’m still working on figuring out Insurgent tactics.  It’s got a nice “OODA-loop” thing going on with Insurgents wanting to marshal their forces to swamp the Regulars but the Regulars moving quickly, dictating pace to keep them wrong-footed.  And I think you’ve got their abilities pegged right: you’ve seen how many of them get mowed down each game, where the Regulars are only suffering maybe two or three casualties.  I will state that, to date, I’ve been extraordinarily lucky in that the Regular casualties haven’t occurred until well into the mission (actually, after it’s been accomplished and they are just moving off the board).  I hope you guys can tell how big a pain in the buttocks it is when the Regular receives casualties; I’m not sure how it would go if the Regulars suffered some casualties early on, then still had to move all the way up to do the mission.

    Regarding the missions/games, there’s not a time limit, so you could take as much time as you like and go kill all the hotspots, but I don’t play that way.  I will kill hotspots if I happen to be on/around them, but I won’t go out of my way just to do that, for two reasons.  One, it’s not terribly realistic, either from the ‘there’s not hotspots in real life’ standpoint, as well as two, you have a mission to accomplish, you’re not out there joy-riding around the neighborhood.

    Thanks again, and the next batrep should be up on Thursday.

    John – You’re killing me.  “Come on Jack, they are suppose to be Commies !!!” You guys really get hung up on stuff 😉
    Regarding mortars, we’re in the middle of a friendly city, which we’re trying to save, so the ROEs are a bit restrictive on the use of supporting fires.

    V/R,
    Jack

     

    #68411
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    Mortars could suppress hot spots…

    #68471
    Just Jack
    Participant

    “Mortars could suppress hot spots…”

    Sorry buddy, unless there’s a real threat of friendly forces being overrun then nothing larger than a 40mm grenade will be used.  Even tanks are mostly for Show of Force, using only their machine guns (I suppose a main gun round could be used in certain, dire circumstances).  Dem’s da rules 😉

    V/R,
    Jack

    #68608
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    AKA, Ambush Alley in South Leon #3

    It is now 0230 on 5 July 1990; two days ago militia members of the Free Leon Army (FLA, the bad guys) ambushed a South Leon National Police (SNLP) patrol.  Task Force Razor, a Cuban paratrooper company led by Captain Soares and his trusty sidekick, Lt Hinajosa, moved out smartly, rescuing the SNLP officers, but at a cost of 1 KIA and 4 WIA to themselves.  Everyone on the Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force (CLEF) and South Leon government side were shocked; the FLA insurgency had been but a rumor of war for years, with various low-level bombings, assassinations, and sniper fire, but nothing anywhere near the size and ferocity of the attacks on 2 July. And now it was happening again…

    Yesterday the FLA attacked an SNLP police station, then ambushed the SLA Quick Reaction Force (QRF) sent to aid them.  Task Force Razor was called in to support; Captain Soares and his men were able to save the SNLP and QRF, then return to base, though it cost them: one paratrooper was killed and another seriously wounded.  But not long after Task Force Razor returned to base, they received word the few remaining SNLP officers and SLA soldiers had abandoned the police station.  Task Force Razor immediately mounted up, humped to the police station, and occupied it.

    But it’s 0230 in the morning now, and apparently the FLA is about to make its second assault on the SNLP police station.


    Overview, somewhere in Diwala, north is up.  Nothing fancy, just a 2′ x 2′ surface with plenty of buildings and walls.  The police station, containing all of Task Force Razor, is at center, with bad guys all around.  There are three insurgent groups in the west (left), and three in the east (right).  The mission is simple: hold the police station (already being referred to as “The Alamo”) for six turns, or, if you think you can’t do that, evacuate your forces off the north edge of the table (top center), though you can’t leave until after Turn 3.

    I’m playing this out in 15mm using the old school “Ambush Alley” rules, as written.  The is the first scenario out of the book, “Contracting Trouble,” a classic of modern wargaming.  My intent is to play out all five scenarios in the book in a row, to learn the rules, put them through their paces, and see if I dig’em.


    Razor 01 looks on as a suspicious vehicle (red pickup truck) approaches the police station.  We’ve finally got some Fog of War cards in action; is this friend or foe?  Head on over to the blog to find out:
    http://cubalibrewargame.blogspot.com/2017/07/south-leon-task-force-razor-fight-3.html

    Major Fulgencio visited the company, and informing the paratroopers they were about to go on the offensive, looking to sweep the Mulan District of Diwala, a particularly troublesome neighborhood.  “I’m not going to lie boys, I expect the fighting to be pretty intense, so get your gear ready and get your minds right.”

    And with that, Captain Soares sat down with his command group and began planning the assault.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #68613
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    Tank !!! I like tanks !!!  Just drop the fig leaf and admit this is Iraq …it would stop the confusion.

    #68648
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Tanks are cool, but pretty much sealed the deal for kind of a walkover. If that had been a bad guy advantage, and if even one of the suspicious vehicles had been an actual VBIED, that could have been a disaster.

    And fig???? Dude, you’re missing the whole point of an Imagi-nation.  I get to play what I want, when I want, with whatever toys I want.  I just looked it up, and fight #5 of this series will be the 100th fight in the Cuba Libre saga.  We’ve done the War of Liberation, Cronistria, Operation Payback, and now South Leon.

    Wait until you see the next fight! And it’s a given that Ivan, Panda, and Rod have abandoned me (Shaun comments on the blog), but where is Dear Vicki?  (I’m just playing around, joking as she’s usually the first to comment, usually within minutes of me posting)

    V/R,

    Jack

    #68665
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    Sorry for the delay, I have my grandson staying for a week and he hogs the laptop to watch You Tube videos and play Roblox.  Plus we actually spend time together doing stuff.

    Normal service will be resumed on Monday. 🙂

    Nice game, I liked the random events particularly.  I know you’re playing this cooperatively, but are the bad guys system controlled or do you play that side too?  Either way they seemed tougher this time, you were lucky on the casualty recovery or you’d have been struggling even with the tank.

    I’m sure I have a copy of the zombie fighting version of these rules (I know, you don’t do that kind of thing), going to have to see if I can find them and try them out.

    Oh, and keep the fig leaf, this is a family friendly site. 

    #68666
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    LOL !!!

    #68669
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Vicki,

    That’s awesome about the grandson, but GRANDSON???  I can’t believe how old you guys are!! And don’t worry, I’ll be keeping my fig 😉

    Regarding the bad guys, I’m running them myself, same as I always do. But it’s really funny to me, the difference in perspective. Sure, when Team 3 took that hit I was a bit puckered up, but prior to that and certainly after, I never really felt threatened, the suspicious vehicles excepted, of course. Those had me worried as hell.

    And no apologies necessary, I’m just playing around, and just glad there are folks out there that enjoy reading and discussing these.

    V/R,

    Jack

     

     

    #68671
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    My oldest Grand Kid is 23 my youngest is 3 and I have a step Great Grand Kid who is 1.   Get off my lawn ya kid !!!

    #68684
    Just Jack
    Participant

    I’d tell ya to act your age but you’d probably drop dead! 😉

    #68685
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    LOL !!

    #69041
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    AKA, Ambush Alley in South Leon #4

    It is now 0730 on 8 July 1990, and Task Force Soares is preparing to clear the Mulan District of the city of Diwala, a particularly troublesome neighborhood known for its hostility to the government of South Leon.  Earlier this week, militia members of the Free Leon Army (FLA, the bad guys) ambushed a South Leon National Police (SNLP) patrol.  Task Force Razor, a Cuban paratrooper company led by Captain Soares and his trusty sidekick, Lt Hinajosa, moved out smartly, rescuing the SNLP officers, but at a cost of 1 KIA and 4 WIA to themselves.  Everyone on the Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force (CLEF) and South Leon government side were shocked; the FLA insurgency had been but a rumor of war for years, with various low-level bombings, assassinations, and sniper fire, but nothing anywhere near the size and ferocity of the attacks on 2 July.

    The following day the FLA attacked an SNLP police station, then ambushed the SLA Quick Reaction Force (QRF) sent to aid them.  Task Force Razor was called in to support; Captain Soares and his men were able to save the SNLP and QRF, then return to base, though it cost them: one paratrooper was killed and another seriously wounded.  But not long after Task Force Razor returned to base, they received word the few remaining SNLP officers and SLA soldiers had abandoned the police station.

    Task Force Razor immediately mounted up, humped to the police station, and occupied it.  Several hours later the insurgents struck in strength, but the paratroopers accounted themselves magnificently.  Despite losing another paratrooper KIA and one WIA, the issue was never really in doubt.  The Cubans held, and several hours later they were relieved.  They returned to base to rest, refit, and prepare an offensive to take the fight to the enemy, looking to root the enemy out of their base in the Mulan District.


    Overview, somewhere in Diwala, north is up.  Nothing fancy, just a 2′ x 2′ surface with plenty of buildings and walls.  Task Force Razor is at bottom center, with Insurgent groups at bottom left, left, top center right, and right, with reinforcement hotpots spread around as well.  The mission for the Cuban paratroopers is actually to eliminate three of the hotpots and move off the table at the break between the wall and building at top right.

    I’m playing this out in 15mm using the old school “Ambush Alley” rules, as written.  The is the first scenario out of the book, “Contracting Trouble,” a classic of modern wargaming.  My intent is to play out all five scenarios in the book in a row, to learn the rules, put them through their paces, and see if I dig’em.


    Razor 02, standing amidst the shattered bodies of its fallen foes, continues kicking ass and taking names.  To see how the fight went, please check the blog at:
    http://cubalibrewargame.blogspot.com/2017/08/south-leon-task-force-razor-fight-4.html

    It was a helluva fight, and the Cuban paratroopers are looking for retribution!

    V/R,
    Jack

    #69053
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    Should have used Marines, this is what you get for sending boys to do a man’s work…

    Great report, it felt like the change in morale dice for the insurgents made the difference here, along with their reinforcements at the Hell House.  It looked like they popped out to attack when they realised they couldn’t fit any more reinforcements into the cover available there.

    I’m probably missing something, but the officer seems to act more like a medic, I only really notice him checking on the wounded.  I guess he has other effects on groups he’s with, just less obvious in the report?

     

     

    #69131
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    I’m going to agree with Victoria, you needed Marines !!!   I just don’t have the same feeling for the Cubans as I do for your Marines or Jews. I would love to see how AA would work for Vietnam.

    #69172
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Vicki – Indeed!  Regarding the CO looking like a medic, that’s funny, I hadn’t thought of/realized that.  The issue is 1) it has to be done, and 2) it’s better done by the officer running around rather than taking away from the combat power of (usually an already depleted) fire team.  So not really the plan, it just kind of works out that way, the CO directing the fight and checking the casualty while his men keep firing.

    John – Marines would have been better, but in this case I meant Cuban Marines 😉  Sorry buddy, Cuba Libre ain’t going anywhere, it’s the reason I started a blog.  Like I said, fight number five is the 100th fight in the series, and I’ve got hundreds more planned!

    V/R,
    Jack

    #69173
    Just Jack
    Participant

    All,

    AKA, Ambush Alley in South Leon #5

    It is now 0330 on 11 July 1990, and Task Force Soares has again penetrated into the Mulan District of the city of Diwala, a particularly troublesome neighborhood known for its hostility to the government of South Leon.  Earlier this week, militia members of the Free Leon Army (FLA, the bad guys) ambushed a South Leon National Police (SNLP) patrol.  Task Force Razor, a Cuban paratrooper company led by Captain Soares and his trusty sidekick, Lt Hinajosa, moved out smartly, rescuing the SNLP officers, but at a cost of 1 KIA and 4 WIA to themselves.  Everyone on the Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force (CLEF) and South Leon government side were shocked; the FLA insurgency had been but a rumor of war for years, with various low-level bombings, assassinations, and sniper fire, but nothing anywhere near the size and ferocity of the attacks on 2 July.

    The following day the FLA attacked an SNLP police station, then ambushed the SLA Quick Reaction Force (QRF) sent to aid them.  Task Force Razor was called in to support; Captain Soares and his men were able to save the SNLP and QRF, then return to base, though it cost them: one paratrooper was killed and another seriously wounded.  But not long after Task Force Razor returned to base, they received word the few remaining SNLP officers and SLA soldiers had abandoned the police station.

    Task Force Razor immediately mounted up, humped to the police station, and occupied it.  Several hours later the insurgents struck in strength, but the paratroopers accounted themselves magnificently.  Despite losing another paratrooper KIA and one WIA, the issue was never really in doubt.  The Cubans held, and several hours later they were relieved.  They returned to base to rest, refit, and prepare an offensive to take the fight to the enemy, looking to root the enemy out of their base in the Mulan District.  The attack went in on the morning of 8 July 1990, and the Cuban paratroopers literally descended into hell!  The enemy initially gave ground, but put up a ferocious defense in the northeastern corner of the neighborhood; one Cuban was killed and five wounded, including the Task Force commander, Captain Soares.  Ultimately, the remnants of the assault element pulled back, called for help, then watched as a Cuban F-4 Phantom rolled in and dropped a Mk 83 1000-lb bomb directly on the center of FLA resistance.

    Then, bolstered by armor, Task Force Razor again went into the assault, but the airstrike had broken the back of FLA resistance, at least for that day, and the Task Force was able to continue its house to house sweep, capturing a few FLA militants and a significant amount of arms, ammunition, and explosives.  And while victory wouldn’t have been possible without air and armor, it’s very difficult to stamp out a homegrown insurgency, and using air and armor meant there was a certain amount of unavoidable “collateral damage,” which only helped fuel said insurgency.

    In any case, intelligence sources soon identified the leader of the FLA forces in the Mulan District as “Sheik Khamis,” and identified his whereabouts.  Task Force Razor mounted up for an early morning raid, with Lt Hinajosa leading the mission in Captain Soares’ absence.  As usual, the first part of the mission went easy: on a pitch black night, Lt Hinojasa and three assault teams calmly walked into the Mulan District and cordoned off Sheik Khamis’ home.  Lt Hinajosa and an interpreter simply walked up and knocked on the front door; “You’re making a big mistake.”  “Don’t lie to me, we know exactly who you are.”

    “I didn’t say I’m not who you think I am.  I am simply saying, my young Cuban friend, that you have made a big mistake, coming to my home like this.  And now what?  Now you will just turn around and walk me out?  Good luck.”  Lt Hinojasa quickly zip-tied the target, and then formed up Task Force Razor for the exil movement.  “L-T, we’ve got a lot of movement out here.  A lot, groups in every direction.  Looks mostly like civvies, Sir, but there’s a lot of them, and they DO NOT look happy.”

    “Roger, Razor 01.  Steady boys, it’s time to step off,” and with that, Task Force Razor began escorting its prisoner south out of the area.


    Overview, somewhere in Diwala, north is up.  Nothing fancy, just a 2′ x 2′ surface with plenty of buildings and walls.  Task Force Razor is at top center, the target in hand, mission to move down south down the road and exit the table with him (bottom center).  There are three Insurgent groups: far left, top left (hidden by building), and center right; and five civilian mobs: left bottom center, bottom center right, top right, left center top (in the plaza), and top left (between Task Force Razor and an Insurgent group.  You can see Insurgent reinforcement “hotspots” at bottom left, left, top left, right, and bottom right.

    I’m playing this out in 15mm using the old school “Ambush Alley” rules, as written.  The is the first scenario out of the book, “Contracting Trouble,” a classic of modern wargaming.  My intent is to play out all five scenarios in the book in a row, to learn the rules, put them through their paces, and see if I dig’em.

    Razor 03 moving up, escorting the Sheikh and carrying a casualty, but nearing the finish line.  To see how the fight turned out, please check the blog at:

    http://cubalibrewargame.blogspot.com/2017/08/south-leon-task-force-razor-fight-5.html

    Thus ends my five-game mini-campaign using Ambush Alley, and holy crap, that was intense!!!  I’m very pleased with the rules; while the games are longer than I generally like, each and every fight forced constant tactical decisions, were extremely tense, seemed pretty realistic to what they’re trying to accomplish, and were a lot of fun.  Further, they work well solo (or, actually, tandem with my little boy), and there’s only one little change I think I’ll make (I like the idea of bad guys failing morale = running, rather than simply bumping down a level and seeking cover).

    So I can definitely see myself playing more Ambush Alley, and I’ve got plenty more scenario fodder (I bought each and every one of them Ambush Alley mini-campaign books), so stay tuned for more violence on the streets of Diwala!

    V/R,
    Jack

    #69174
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    Wow, that was some game.  This series of 5 games has to be amongst your best yet.

    So, take it as read that I’m loving these reports and admire what you’re doing, and the following comments are not intended to be negative, just some thoughts inspired by the report. 🙂

    Something is lost in not having named characters to follow, each team is more of a blob of faceless men numbering between 1 and 4 in strength.  Which does make for fast moving action.  I don’t know the solution to this, I certainly don’t want to make loads more work for you tracking everyone or see the action slow down.  You do throw in occasional names (like the casualty who had to be left on the roof) and there are the officers, but it doesn’t have the same feel as your Israel campaign or the marines in the Philippines.

    I get confused by this setting more than I do by your others.  South Leon is sort of Vietnam, I think, and the rural battles feel like that but these one feel more like Iraq than Hue, probably down to the scenery and figures and I know you have to use what you have.  Not a huge deal, it just makes them feel less connected as the same campaign.

    I think the inclusion of civilians is good in terms of realism, so no negative feedback for that from me.  I’m sort of surprised they hang around once the bullets start flying, but that could be realistic too for all I know.  I think you’re optimistic to think you only need to worry about the one you shot by mistake, you’re going to be getting the blame for all the civilian dead.

    I liked your characterisation of the Sheikh, I presume we will be hearing more from him in future.

    One final question, how does your son take a defeat?  Hopefully he gets enough joy out of the game he doesn’t mind too much, and a defeat makes a subsequent victory all the sweeter. 🙂

     

     

    #69192
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Vicki,

    Thank you Ma’am, I always appreciate your commentary.  And don’t be scared, I won’t bite.  Your points are well taken, let me give them a shot.

    1.  I agree wholeheartedly with you about the fights not being as intimate without the individual names, BUT, I’m not sure what to do about that.  Trust me, I’ve given a lot of thought to it, but Cuba Libre is simply too big.  If you look at the CLEF Order of Battle, I’ve got an Armored Brigade of four or six battalions, each of three companies, a Parachute Regiment, a Marine Regiment, and Special Operations of two Groups of three ODAs and two Squadrons.  In real life terms, that’s about 15,000 people, and that doesn’t even include Air Force and Navy.  I am looking at the CLEF having a drawdown in forces, which will at least allow me to be a little more focused, but there’s no way I can give names to everyone, or even all the leaders, in each fight.

    But that’s also the reason I have the different storylines (USMC in WWII, the Israelis, etc…), so I can play bigger or smaller based on what I feel like doing at that moment.  This will come up again in a minute 😉

    2.  Sorry for confusion about South Leon, let me try to explain.  The Vietnam issue is popping up from two different areas: 1) I likened South Leon to Vietnam in terms of the political/military situation; that is South Leon has a bully neighbor trying to take it over, using a bit of a homegrown insurgency, and a weak military being helped by a Western Democracy (Cuba, in this case).  The other ‘area’ that may be helping to confuse you is that the first three games I played for South Leon looked very much like Vietnam games.  That is, I used Vietnam miniatures and jungle terrain.

    So here’s the deal: South Leon is a conglomerate of a whole lot of things that is simply a device to allow me to do whatever kind of gaming I want, and I’m still working on defining what it will ultimately grow into (the Fall of South Leon is going to be around for awhile).  In order to allow me to do what I want, I’m kind of looking at South Leon like this:

    -I want to play platoon and company sized-games, as well as old school MIKE Force style games (from skirmish to company level) in what could only be called Vietnam gaming, but I want to keep Cuba Libre moving along.  So in the north of South Leon we have the DMZ and lots of jungle so I can play Vietnam-style games but keep Cuba Libre going.

    -I want to play modern, desert, urban games using Ambush Alley, so the central portion of South Leon is desert, to include its capital and the raucous city of Diwala.

    -I want to play modern  platoon to company-sized games of France in Mali, so the northeast corner of southeast Leon is scrub that I’ll use my modern French and African forces, to include Cuban troops working hand in hand with host nation military, to fight over.

    -I want to play some modern Afghanistan-style games, maybe company level, but certainly skirmish level, so I’m planning on the eastern end of South Leon being mountainous with some isolated Cuban outposts dealing with local insurgents and FSNL infiltrators.

    -I’m kind of saving the south of South Leon, i.e., not defining it yet, because who knows what else I’ll want to do!  Sometimes I think of some snow up in the mountains, or maybe just regular old, European-style temperate climate.

    -I’ll probably want to play some air combat games at some point, so FSNL has an Air Force if the mood strikes me 😉

    So, to some up, South Leon is whatever I need to be in order to play the kind of games I want to play, when I want to play them, and keep the Cuba Libre saga going.  Sure, I could have a million different campaigns going on to satisfy my butterfly-like urges, but I have a narrative going with Cuba Libre that I want to keep moving along.  I don’t really focus as much on the setting; the setting is just a place for me to play the type of games I want to play, so I’ll make up all kinds of stuff 😉  My focus is on the characters; with Cuba Libre, I’m looking to follow these Lieutenants who become Company Commanders who become Battalion Commanders, etc…

    The Sheikh bit was kinda funny, eh?  It wasn’t really something I thought of during the game, I just kinda got inspired as I sat down and began typing up the batrep.  I like to add in little bits like that when I can, and we’ll definitely be seeing more of the Sheikh.  On a side note, a distinctively nasty individual known as Sheikh Khamis was actually one of my main antagonists in Gharma, Iraq, back in 2004.  I don’t usually add ‘real’ stuff into these things, but I was struggling for a bad guy name and that’s the first one that came to mind…

    I agree with you about the civilians getting blamed on the Cubans; in the narrative I was simply pointing out my horror that the Cubans actually did accidentally knock off a civilian.  In the overall scheme of things, I really don’t like having civilians on the table unless my guys can dash in and save them.  They are a big part of the Ambush Alley rules, but it’s definitely a bit uncomfortable talking about civilians getting whacked with the boy (yes, absolutely, everything is uncomfortable when talking about war, but I’m still able to get away with a lot of ‘this is toy soldiers’ stuff), but I just try to hammer home that we’re the good guys, we’re there to protect people that can’t protect themselves, and we have to do everything we can to safeguard them.  But sometimes accidents happen 🙁

    And the boy is fine with losing, he just likes having fun and getting to play with his Dad.  And getting to play with Daddy’s toys 😉

    Thanks Vicki, talk to you soon.

    V/R,
    Jack

    #69193
    Jim JackamanJim Jackaman
    Participant

    Hi Jack,

    I do so enjoy your projects, especially the after action reports.

    The game looks great, as always, and is right up my street, being a keen AK47 player for ages.

    Keep it up!

    Cheers

    Jim

    #69194
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    Thanks for the explanation about South Leon, I was put off as you say by the first three games.  Kind of got Vietnam stuck in my head.

    I found my copy of Ambush Z today, so I have a goal now, to complete my city and do some near future zombie fighting in it. 

    (Plus the rules are basically the same, so your game reports will make learning them easier. 🙂 )

     

    #69195
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    A good ending, where to now Jack ???

    #69196
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    I have 15mm Zombies and Ambush Z ….Maybe I should dig them out..

    #69209
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    Found both my Zombies and the Ambush Z rules…

    #69255
    Victoria DicksonVictoria Dickson
    Participant

    Bet Jack never thought Cuba Libre would bring about the Zombie Apocalypse. 

    #69257
    kyotebluekyoteblue
    Participant

    LOL !!!! Oh My !!!

    #69571
    sologamer
    Participant

    Loved the AAR’s Jack. I was planning to do the same thing earlier in the year (https://www.thewargameswebsite.com/forums/topic/a-new-project-retro-ambush-alley/) but real life has put it on the back burner for now. After that I have all the original scenario packs to work my way through, tying it all together in a campaign based on the BigFOF Malikastan campaign.

    I hope to have everything in place to get started before 2018, the miniatures are all painted I just need some buildings.

     

    #69585
    Just Jack
    Participant

    ZOMBIES???  Good Lord, no, I didn’t see that coming.  And John, where am I going?  Man, I still have so much stuff I need to tie up in Cuba Libre (Phantoms Over Havana, Operation Payback, Cronistria), then getting full into South Leon and (soon) the 1st Gulf War (yep, the Cubans will be part of coalition forces moving to liberate Kuwait), plus I have the Israelis, but I’m moving (as you’ve seen) to work the Dutch East Indies, on land, air, and sea.

    Sologamer – Thanks man, I appreciate it!  I can’t wait to see your fights, and “BigFOF-Malikastan” is a big source of inspiration for me too.

    V/R,
    Jack

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