Monday, October 22, 2018

Operation Chunky Bandit #15


Current situation: It's 0230 on 3 August 1990 in South Leon and Task Forces 23 and Dusty have teamed up to handle a problem: following its invasion of South Leon, the Communist Army from Federation Socialiste Nationale de Leon (FSNL) quickly established an air defense umbrella to protect its penetration, and it's wreaking havoc on the Cuban and South Leonian Air Forces.

Captain "Ryder" Stelosavo and TF 23 just completed the rescue of a Cuban journalist in Nigeria (Operation Tears of the Cuban News Network), while Captain Villagrosa and TF Dusty just jumped into South Leon (Operation Currahee) as part of the Cuban response to the FSNL invasion.  Ryder's shooters were pretty badly beaten up in Nigeria, taking his team of ten men down to... two.  They received an emergency infusion of rookies from Havana, straight out of the Operators' School, bringing them up to eight men total (four men wounded in Nigeria will return to the ranks over the next couple months).

In any case, a Cuban intelligence officer operating out of the South Leonian capital city of Pendrakenville (since displaced by the FSNL invasion), known locally as Tragg, recruited an asset and had him working on the perplexing issue of the FSNL air defense network.  Tragg's source had collected some information and signaled him to meet in a village northwest of Pendrakenville, on the west side of Route 1, not far from Hill 114, where 1t Lt Gouviea's TF Black was currently battling for the hill.  Tragg moved out to make his meet, travelling in a locally procured automobile and dressed as a local national, attempting blend in to his surroundings.  At 2330 on 2 August, Tragg signaled that he made contact with his asset, but then, shortly after midnight, Captain Stelosavo received a distress signal from Tragg.  He quickly grabbed four of his shooters and a sniper team from TF Dusty; the makeshift Quick Reaction Force was airborne and in route within minutes.  Captain Villagrosa and five of his men were in a second helicopter, serving as Ryder's security element.

Further efforts to raise Tragg on comms failed, so Captain "Ryder" Stelosavo made the decision to make a soft entry; the Blackhawks deposited the two teams two kilometers south of Tragg's meeting location.  The Cubans walked in, swiftly and silently, halting on a nearby hill, just west of the village.  They scoped out the situation: no sign of Tragg, but quite a few Communists running around down there.  Ryder provided the scheme of maneuver: the TF Dusty sniper team would set up on the hill to cover the village, Captain Villagrosa would take the Security Element north and loop around, isolating the objective from reinforcement and watching for squirters (the Security Element will not be on table for this fight, they're in the next fight), and protecting the Cubans' egress route to an HLZ (helicopter landing zone) for extract.  Meanwhile, Ryder would lead his shooters southwest off the hill, utilizing a wooded gully to infiltrate up to the eastern edge of the village.

Overview, north is up.  There is a deep, fast moving river running east to west at bottom, bridged at bottom center.  The hill the Cubans the Direct Action element is staging on is at top right (Captain Villagrosa's Security Element is off table to top center), the gully is visible running from the hill to the road, meeting it at the center of the table.  The village is at left: Building 1 is at top left, Bldg 2 at far left, and Bldg 3 at left.

The opposing forces, with Cubans at left and Communists at right, all in 15mm.  The Cubans are SEALs from Khurasan and Modern Australians from Eureka, while the enemy soldiers are East Germans from Battlefront.

The Direct Action element, from top left: Ryder, Marshall, Turbot, Robo, and Dinger, supported by TF Dusty snipers Sgt Eusabio (spotter) and PFC Romero (shooter).

I'm playing this using Ben Lacy's excellent set of rules, "SOF Warrior," which, in my estimation, is perfect for these type of fights.  I have assigned the following Troop Ratings: Ryder and Marshall are 5s, the other three shooters are 4s, and the two TF Dusty snipers are 3s.  The enemy soldiers are all 2s, while their Lieutenant and Sergeant are both 3s.

The enemy force, a Lieutenant, a Sergeant, two RPGs, two RPKs, and six riflemen.  If they get killed too quick I'll simply "re-spawn" them.

Another look, this time with troops: the Cubans are all on the hill in the northeast (top right), while the bad guys are spread across the map.  The enemy Lieutenant is screwing off in one of the buildings, as are several of the minions, but the Communist Sergeant is out keeping an eye on things (left, just left of the road split, actually on the left fork), there is an RPG gunner on watch in Bldg 2 (far left), an RPK gunner on watch (just above the bridge), and there are four sentries on patrol (top left, on the road, far right, just above the river, left, just above the river, and on the bridge at center bottom).

Ryder and Marshall (left) scope things out as the snipers get in position (top left) and Turbot, Robo, and Dinger stand around, smoking and joking (bottom center).

A look from east to west down the gully, leading into the village (bridge is off camera to left, Cubans are off camera to bottom right).

Looking southwest, you can see the southeast sentry at far left, the bridge at top center, and the southwest sentry at top right.  Also, Bldg 3 is just visible there, as well.

Looking north from the bridge, you see the bridge sentry at bottom right, the RPK gunner just above him, the SW sentry at far left, the Commie Sergeant at top center, Bldg 3 at center top, and Bldg 2 at top left.

Looking at the northwest, you can see the enemy Sergeant at center bottom, the RPG gunner on watch on the porch of Bldg 2 (far left), Bldg 1 at center top, and the north sentry on the road above it.

Back on the hill, as the snipers are now set up and ready for action (top right), Ryder gets his column of shooters moving towards the gully.  The route of march is (from left): Robo, Dinger (with the machine gun), Ryder, Turbot, and Marshall bringing up the rear.

The column holds up for a moment (bottom center) as their pointman, Robo, creeps ahead (center).

The enemy's southeast sentry ends his east leg (bottom right), faces about, and heads back west (far left), oblivious to the Cuban approach (Robo is visible against the brush at top center right).

And as he's (top center right) patrolling along river, the other guards patrol as well: on the road, the north sentry (left) moves south along the road, nearing Bldg 1 and the Sergeant (center right); the bridge sentry moves north across the bridge, linking up for a second to shoot the breeze with the RPK gunner (far right); and the southwest sentry moves east towards the bridge (far right, just below the bridge sentry and RPK gunner).

*The dice didn't do me any favors that turn!  There were four chances for sentries to hold fast, move away from the Cubans, or move towards the Cubans, and each time they did the thing most dangerous to the Cubans...

Back on the hill, Sgt Eusabio and PFC Romero (bottom right) scan the village (top) as the column moves downhill via the gully (left).

The Communist Sergeant lights a cigarette, then moves north (center), up the road to check on the north sentry.

He (bottom right) takes a drag and looks east at the black mass of the hill, but doesn't notice anything out of the ordinary (shooters at top right, snipers at top left).

The Communist Sergeant (center bottom right) is joined by the north sentry, just outside Bldg 1.  They chat quietly for a moment, a muffled chuckle breaking the still night air.  Cuban shooters at top center, snipers at top left, and enemy SE sentry at top right.

At the bridge, the SW sentry moves up to the RPK gunner (center bottom, Cuban shooters at top left) and nudges him playfully: 'comrade, got a smoke you can spare?'  "You know we cannot smoke on watch, only Sergeants get away with that!"  They giggle like schoolgirls as the bridge sentry moves south, back across the bridge (far right).  But as they're giggling...

The SW sentry (bottom left) again nudges the RPK gunner: 'quiet comrade, I swear I saw something in the gulley.'  The two crouch behind the bushes and crane their necks to look (Robo visible at top right, Communist Sergeant at top left).

In the southeast, the SE sentry (left) continues strolling west, towards the bridge (top left, with the Cuban shooters at top right), still unaware of his impending death.

He blissfully strolls along near the river (top left) as the Cuban shooters push further west (right), with Robo nearing the road.  At top right, the enemy Sergeant and north sentry are still chatting...

When the enemy Sergeant lets out: "go on, comrade, back to your patrol (north sentry is at bottom left), I have to pee," and with that, the Sergeant hopped the fence and moved out into the field adjacent the gully (center, from bottom left, with Robo at top right)!

*These dice are killing me!!!  He goes almost directly at the Cubans sneaking down the gully!!!???

Back up the hill, Sgt Eusabio and PFC Romero (bottom left) were keeping an eye on the enemy pow-wow on the road (between the Sergeant and north sentry, top right), when suddenly one of them hopped the fence and began moving (top center) directly towards the gully (top left)!  Sgt Eusabio quickly keyed up his intersquad radio, but couldn't raise any of the shooters, apparently the heavy undergrowth, heat and humidity, and being in a depression was messing with their comms!!!

*The '3' card comes out again!  I roll to see who will go first, the Communist Sergeant or the snipers, it's the Commie.  I roll to see if he will piss right there where he is, or if he's looking for a bit more privacy, the kind afforded by the dense undergrowth of the gully...

Of course, he's a nervous pisser...  The snipers (top left) look on incredulously, still trying to raise the shooters (far right) on comms, as the enemy Sergeant, still blissfully unaware there are enemy soldiers nearby, quickly strolls over (center bottom), unbuttons, and begins relieving himself into the bushes!

The snipers (bottom left) look on, near panic: "Sarge, do I pop this guy or what?"  "Hold fire, hold fire, I'm still trying to raise them."  Any 2-3 callsign, any 2-3 callsign, this is Dusty Echo-Five-Echo, come in."  "Dusty, this is Ryder, what the hell are you yapping about?"  "Ryder, you got a tango headed..."

But it was too late: Ryder (top center) shot a quick glance at the head of the column, but Robo (bottom right) was already moving up, unaware of the Communist NCO (bottom left).

Ryder ordered Robo to freeze; apparently he hadn't been seen yet!  Ryder then ordered the rest of the column to slowly, quietly, catch up to Robo, using hand signals to inform them an enemy soldier was nearby.

Ryder (far right, with Dinger and Robo below him, enemy Sgt at left) makes Robo aware of the situation.

Robo (top center) slowly spins to face right (the enemy Sergeant is behind the trees at top right) as Ryder moves up next to Dinger (right, with Dinger at left and Marshall at bottom left).

Dinger moves up to Robo (bottom center right, with Ryder to their right and enemy Sgt at bottom right); Dinger gets his machine gun lined up on the bridge (top left) as Robo covers Ryder, who's crawling forward through the brush, trying to get an eye on the nearby bad guy, who is still putting out a solid stream, to which Ryder is now close enough to not only hear, but smell.

Dinger sights and calls out the sentry on the bridge (top left), but he's unaware of the two alerted bad guys in the bushes on the north side of the bridge (the SW sentry and the RPK gunner, in bushes at top center).

Meanwhile, Marshall takes up position facing south (left, he's the get at the base of the bright tree at top center right, with Dinger and Robo above him and Ryder and Turbot to top right); he spots the SE sentry (bottom left) and calls it out as Turbot moves up to Ryder.

Ryder uses hand signals to communicate his crazy-ass plan; Turbot shakes his head no, but Ryder, the boss, emphatically shakes his head yes, then holds up one finger.  Then two, then three, and he was gone like a phantom...

Turbot (far right) keeps watch as Ryder shoots through the undergrowth and snatches the Communist Sergeant by his ankles. Sure he gets a bit of urine on him, but hey, it's all in a day's work, and besides, he's caught the bad guy totally unawares.  Ryder yanks...

The enemy soldier slams to the ground a split second before Ryder finishes him with his knife.

Robo (bottom center) lets out a sigh as Dinger (just right of him) queries "just what in the hell is going on over there?", while Turbot (top center) hears scraping and scuffing and reaches out to help Ryder drag the Communist Sergeant's body through the brush as quickly and quietly as possible.

*That was pretty damn lucky: the '5' card came out, Ryder went out and whacked the bad guy, but then another '5' card came out so he was immediately able to drag the body back in, rather than get caught out there!

Ryder pushes his helmet back, wipes his brow with his sleeve, and re-sets his helmet.  "No sweat, fellas, we're all good."  He then slithered forward on his belly, up to the road (center left), to take a gander at the village.  He was able to spot the north sentry (top right), but he didn't pick up the RPG gunner on the porch of Bldg 2 (top center, Bldg 1 at top right and Bldg 3 at top left).

Back on the hill, the snipers (bottom left) are on it.  Sgt Eusabio comes on the radio: "Nice work on the Tango, Boss, and we've got the same north sentry (far right top, on the road), but you missed one, we got another Tango on the porch of Bldg 2 (top right), he's got an RPG."

But trouble is brewing in the south: the SW sentry and RPK gunner (top left) were already alerted to something (Cuban shooters at top right), but the SE sentry heard something (his Sergeant's lifeless body being drug through the undergrowth) in the gully.  He checks his AK-47 and begins creeping towards it (center, from bottom left).

In the east, the bridge sentry heard something, too, and moves west (center from bottom right) to take a look.  The SE sentry is at top right, the gully at top center/left, and the SW sentry and RPK gunner are behind the tree at far left).

*The wind must be blowing west to east: both those sentries made incredible rolls to become alerted.  SOF Warrior uses D100 for some stuff, and both those guys just rolled in the 90s...

However, the RPG gunner at Bldg 2 (bottom right) is still daydreaming, and the north sentry didn't hear anything and continues moving north (left, from center, gully at top center, snipers on hill at top left).

Back at the bridge, the SW sentry and the RPK gunner are unsure of themselves: "What do we do, Comrade?  Should we go tell the Sergeant (obviously, they have no idea he's taking a dirt nap), or should I go check myself?"

"Go check yourself, you big @#$%," states the RPK gunner (bottom far left, with bridge sentry to his right and SE sentry at far right), "I will cover you."  "Okay," and with that, the SW sentry begins moving towards the gully (left, from bottom left, Cuban shooters at center top, north sentry at top left).

The north sentry reaches the far end of his guard route, which leaves him out of sight of the Cuban snipers (off camera to top right).

Back at the bridge, with the SW sentry moving towards the gully ever so slowly (center right), the bridge sentry moves over to join the RPK gunner (left).  "I think I heard something over there (pointing at the gully, top right).  What is Viktor doing?"  "We heard something, too, you dumb @#$%, from over there, too (pointing at the gully), so I'm covering him and he's checking it out."

They (bottom left) look on as the SW (center, from bushes at left) moves right up to the edge of the gully (incredibly brave or incredibly stupid), and the SE sentry moves up as well (far right, from bottom right).  Please recall that the SE and SW sentries are on their own, they weren't coordinating their actions, and so the SE sentry sees the SW sentry out of his peripheral vision and shifts his gaze there.  He's about to call out to his friend...

When the SW sentry (right) peers over the brush and spots Robo and Dinger sitting there.  "Dammit, we're compromised, time to go loud," as the young Communist screams out "enemy soldiers are among us!!!"

As he (top left) screams, the SE sentry (bottom left) is totally taken aback, so much so that he doesn't even spot the large Cuban, Marshall (center) looming directly in front of him.

With the screams, the enemy Lieutenant is immediately out, bursting out of Bldg 2, right next to the RPG gunner.  "What in the Dear Leader's name is going on here, Private!"  The young RPG gunner is about to answer...

When, from up on the hill (bottom left), there is the bark of a rifle report (Bldg 2 at top right, with Bldg 3 below it)…

The RPG gunner's face disappears and he drops to the ground beside the Communist Lieutenant, dead.

While back in the gully, Dinger opens fire at point blank range on the SW sentry...

*For the record, all Cubans had suppressed weapons except Dinger's machine gun and Romero's sniper rifle.

Hitting him approximately 42 times, putting him out of the fight.  Robo (left, with Dinger on right) mutters, "time to go."

He (top left) and Turbot (top right) move up, flanking Ryder, leaving Dinger in place (bottom left, with Commie Sgt's body at bottom center) to cover the bridge (off camera to top left).

Turbot (bottom center, Ryder to his left) spots the enemy Lieutenant (top center).

While Robo (bottom right) picks up movement in the bushes near the bridge (bridge sentry and RPK gunner at top left).

Robo opens fire...

Pinning the RPK gunner, as the bridge sentry looks on nonchalantly.

*Yellow bead.  SOF Warrior is played in phases, so a single pin marker keeps the man from activating on a single phase.

Dinger (far right) and Ryder (center) scan for targets as Robo (bottom center) blasts away at the RPK gunner and Turbot sprints across the road (top left).  Stick to the plan, Ryder thinks to himself, though I'm happy to see the rookie being aggressive.  But we have no idea what's in those buildings...

Dinger (bottom right) pulls up behind cover and begins popping away at the enemy Lieutenant (top left).

Ventilating him something proper.  Aggressive and a good shot, I like it, Ryder smiles to himself.

As Turbot (top left) and Robo (bottom left) are popping away, Dinger moves up between Robo and Ryder to get a better look.

He (bottom right) gets the gun up and begins laying into the enemy position at the bridge (top left), putting another pin on the RPK gunner, though the bridge sentry still doesn't seem to give a damn.

And while all that excitement is happening up on the west end of the gully (top right), Marshall (center bottom) finally decides it's time to end the hapless SE sentry's (bottom left) life.

Point blank and unseen by the shaken young Communist, it's too easy.

Turbot (top right) scans for targets while Robo and Dinger (bottom right) work over the bridge position (off camera to bottom left) as Ryder shuffles across the road (left), weapon shouldered and sighting between Bldg 3's east door and window.

As the Cuban shooters are moving up (top left), the snipers back up the hill (bottom right) can't get a shot on the north sentry (behind trees at top right), so they call out a warning to the shooters.

Turbot shuffles north (center, from bottom center) towards Bldg 1.  He hears the snipers' call, but he's focused on the south door and window of Bldg 1 and can't pick up the north sentry (top center).

Ryder moves up to the door of Bldg 3, fishes out a flashbang, and prepares to pop it.

And as Ryder (top right, with Robo and Dinger at right) does that, Marshall takes advantage of the tall grass, darkness, and his comrade's gunfire to begin circling left (left, from bottom center) to flank the enemy bridge position (top left).

While further north, Turbot moves to the door of Bldg 1 and preps his own flashbang.

Ryder (off camera to bottom left) steels a quick glance at the rookie, happy to see he's using a flashbang and not a frag (remember, we're here looking for the Cuban intel officer, Tragg), and that he's not just charging in without prepping the room, but he's a little worried that they haven't followed the plan, which was to stick together, not clear buildings separately.  Oh well, no plan survives contact and all that, I guess...

As Ryder is daydreaming (top right), Robo and Dinger (bottom center) keep up the fire on the enemy bridge position (top left), scoring a pin on the bridge sentry.

*But then a '2' card came out, so the bridge sentry went right back to 'good to go,' while the RPK gunner removed one of his two pins.  Not very good shooting by Robo and Dinger, those knuckleheads...

The north sentry is quite a bit freaked out.  He's been sheltering in the bush in the north (bottom left), but now begins moving south (center left), back down the road towards the village.  He's heard a machine gun firing off an on (Dinger, top center), and a single rifle crack (Cuban sniper, off camera to left), but nothing else.  That doesn't sound like any of our machine guns, but if we're in a battle, why don't I hear any of our men? he thinks to himself.

But just as he's moving down the road, wondering what is going on, there is a loud smack, and several short, sharp bursts of AK or RPK fire!

Now the north sentry (top center) is really confused, and really scared!  As Turbot was preparing to toss a flashbang into Bldg 1, suddenly the south door was flung open, slamming into the wall with a loud crack, and then three Communists came tumbling out of the building, literally running square into Turbot.

There's a bit of shoving, a whole lotta yelling, a few bursts of AK/RPK fire, and a steady thwack-thwack-thwack from a suppressed M-4...

One Commie goes down and the other two beat feet back into the building!

Further south, Ryder deals with the same thing, except only one bad guy pops out of Bld 3...

And he's easily dealt with by the Special Operations leader.

Back at Bldg 1, Turbot picks up his flashbang, pulls the pin, and tosses it inside (blue bead).

While back on the left, Robo and Dinger (bottom right) continue pumping rounds into the enemy bridge position (top left)…

Suppressing the bridge sentry and RPK gunner.

*Two more pins, each, for a total of two, each.

Back on the hill (bottom left), Sgt Eusabio spots the north sentry (top right) and talks PFC Romero onto him.  The M40 sniper rifle barks again...

But Romero misses!  The north sentry flinches (top center, with Turbot outside Bldg 1, just below him), as an enemy Corporal leads a fireteam into the area from the west, responding to the gunfire (bottom left)!

The enemy spots Turbot (off camera to right) and a rifleman moves up to engage (top right)…

Turbot (top center right) is totally focused on Bldg 1, waiting for his flashbang to pop, when suddenly day is turned to night as an AK starts rattling (bottom left), so close it seems like he could just reach out and grab the muzzle.  Turbot winces as a sledgehammer slams into his back, knocking him down!

But he's okay, the 7.62mm x 39mm round slammed into his SAPI plate, saving his ass, though he is a bit disorientated (pinned).

Up the hill (bottom left), Sgt Eusabio has spotted the newcomers in the west (top right).  He rightfully judges them to be a big problem than the north sentry (far right top, on the road), so he directs Romero to redirect.  Romero shifts the lay left by squirming to the right and fires...

Dropping a Commie in the road, pinning their Corporal and an RPK gunner.

With Turbot taking fire (top right) from the new bad guys (top left), Ryder figures he doesn't have time to flashbang Bldg 3, so he utters a quick prayer and shoulders through the door, pleasantly surprised to find the small building empty.  Well, not totally, it would have been nice if Tragg was in there...

With Ryder bursting into Bldg 3 (top center) and Robo and Dinger (right) keeping the enemy bridge position (far left) suppressed, Marshall closes the distance (left, from bottom center)…

He pulls up behind cover and fires...

The bridge sentry goes down (bottom left), and the RPK gunner drops his weapon and runs (center)!

But Marshall proves the old adage correct; he crosses the road (far left, from bottom center)…

And fires on the fleeing RPK gunner.

Dropping him (bottom right, with Ryder in Bldg 3 at top left).  Unsure of what's on the other side, but knowing his troop is in trouble...

*The adage?  Don't run, you'll only die tired.

Ryder busts out the backdoor of Bldg 3 (left, from bottom right), looking to close in on the new enemy soldiers appearing in the west (top left), to relieve pressure on Turbot (top center).

Ryder (bottom center) actually can't get a bead on the bad guy firing on Turbot (top right), but he's spotted enemy soldiers just past Bldg 2 (top center left), so he lines them up and fires...

Ryder drops the enemy Corporal, suppressing the RPG and RPK gunners.

From the hill, Romero (bottom left) takes another shot on the enemy near Bldg 2 (top right, barely visible behind Bldg 3)…

And the guy (bottom left) shooting at Turbot (top right) goes down like a sack of potatoes.

Having cleared the enemy defensive position on the left via close assault, Marshall now takes up position on the bridge, facing south (top left), making sure no enemy reinforcements get across here.  He radios Robo and Dinger to let them know he's got the south covered and they can move.

While Ryder moves up to Bldg 2 (center, from bottom center right), looking to flank the enemy reinforcements in the west (top left, with Turbot at top right).

Ryder creeps up to the southwest corner of the building and turkey peeks around...

Before coming up (bottom right) and lighting them (top left) up.

The RPK gunner goes down and the RPG gunner runs!

In the north, Turbot manages to get back to his feet and get his head clear, just as his flashbang goes off in Bldg 1, stunning the two enemy soldiers inside.

With Ryder kicking ass in the west (top left) at Bldg 2 and Turbot getting his stuff together (center right top) outside Bldg 1, Robo (left) and Dinger (center) move up (from bottom center left).

Unbeknownst to Turbot (far right), the two bad guys in Bldg 1 have recovered from the flashbang.

*A very unfortunate turn of events with regards to the card pulls...  He tossed the flashbang, the bad guys were pinned, but Turbot couldn't head straight in because he was stunned from getting hit on the back SAPI plate, and now the enemy has recovered, just as he's ready to charge in...

Outside Bldg 1, Robo moves up (left, from bottom left) to support Turbot (top left), as Dinger opens fire with the machine gun (bottom right) on the north sentry (top center)…

The north sentry is riddled (bottom right) as Turbot (top left) calls out "breaching!"  Robo (off camera to left) calls out, "Negative, hold up until I get there!"...

But it's to late, the petulant Turbot charges straight into the damn building guns up, just like the two Communist soldiers opposing him.  Sure, they're a bit thrown off by the large foreigner with the imposing gear appearing so quickly and so close...

Enough so that Turbot is able to kill one of them with point blank fire, right before the young Cuban is hit in the side, between the plates, dropping him (the casualty figure in khaki)!!!

Hearing the fire from multiple AKs in Bldg 1 (top center), Ryder, comes around Bldg 2 (center left, from bottom left, as Robo and Dinger (far right) look on helplessly.  They can tell by the sound that things didn't go well...

Robo begins to move up and charge into Bldg 1, but Ryder calls him off.  "What!!!???  Our man is down in there, maybe dying!"  "You listen to me, you snot-nosed little @#$%, or you'll be dying.  We clear as a team, and we've got a job to do, so get your ass in gear and follow me.  Dinger, let'em have it, but keep it high."

Dinger (far right) slaps in a fresh belt and begins turning Bldg1 (top right) into Swiss cheese, as Robo joins Ryder (top left) near Bldg 2.

The enemy soldier in Bldg 1 cowers, unsure of his best option for survival.

*I'm rolling to see if he 1) sits tight, 2) comes out fighting, or 3) leaves out the backdoor and heads for the hills.  So far he decides to sit tight.

Ryder and Robo close in on Bldg 2...

Ryder pops a flashbang...

And busts inside, where he promptly finds two enemy soldiers hanging out!

Ryder dispatches one, Robo the other.

*That's how you clear a room...

The two Cuban operators quickly search Bldg 2 (bottom left) for any signs of Tragg, or any other intel.  Finding none, they check ammo and move out (center), closing on Bldg 1.

Dinger (top right) continues firing into the south end of Bldg 1 as Ryder and Robo move to the north end (far left).

Ryder orders Dinger to seize fire as he tosses a flashbang into the building...


Ryder, as always, is first through the door.  There's a single bulb shining, which temporarily disorients him (he's wearing NVGs), and then he screws up and allows himself a glance at Turbot lying motionless on the floor...

Ultimately he's able to drop the Communist, but not before a 7.62mm round has sliced clean through his left bicep!  Ryder quickly moves to Turbot: "you still with us, buddy?"  "Yes Sir.  I screwed up, didn't I, Sir."  "Yes, rookie, yes you did."

Ryder and Robo drug Turbot outside, where Dinger held security as Marshall looked him over and patched him up, Ryder and Robo going back in to search for Tragg.  "Nothing, Tragg's not here and I got no idea what happened to him.  How's Turbot?"

"He'll make it, I got the bleeding stopped.  Well, the stuff leaving the body, no idea what's going on inside, we need to get him outta here."

"Roger.  Dusty Echo-Five-Echo, bring it in, we're skyin' out" (the snipers hauled ass down the hill, left, from top left), joining the shooters on the road, heading north (bottom left).  "Dusty-Six (Captain Villagrosa, commander of TF Dusty, off camera to left with the raid's Security Element), Dusty-Six, this is Ryder, we're headed your way for extract.  We are not Broncos (we don't have Tragg), we have one Peanut (WIA), urgent surgery."  "Roger."

And with that, the shooters and snipers headed north on the road, where they soon would veer off to the northwest, bee-lining it for the LZ, where they'd hold until the Security Element caught up, then the helos would swoop in and pick them up.  Hopefully the Security Element wouldn't run into any trouble, but if that were the case, we wouldn't be having a next fight, now would we?  And you know we're about to have another fight ;)

Wow, that game was an absolute blast!  I tried to be sneaky, but the Gods of Sneakiness simply were not smiling on me.  Almost every time a bad guy could have heard something or saw something, he did, he urinating Commie Sergeant being the sole exception, but even that was largely down to some luck with the cards.  If he would have gotten to activate again there was about a 90% chance he would have spotted the Cubans in the gully, but he didn't because Ryder was able to get him, and then drag his ass into the gully!  Cuban fire was, as expected, devastating with such highly-trained dudes at point-blank range, and it was only crazy crap happening (bad guys busting out of the buildings, reinforcements showing up in the west) that kept things on the wrong-foot.  That was quite a sequence for me, with Turbot tossing the flashbang, enemy reinforcements showing up behind him and popping him in the body armor, Ryder and the sniper shellacking the enemy reinforcements, the flashbang going off, Turbot recovering, the bad guys in Bldg 1 recovering, and Turbot charging in and getting smacked.  That was a tremendous amount of fun, took me about 2 1/2 hours to play (about fifteen minutes of action), another hour to set it all up, haven't taken it down yet to set up the next one.

Captain "Ryder" Stelosavo was awarded the Bronze Star with 'V' for his combat leadership and personal valor during the mission, and Turbot was hit bad enough to be out a couple months.

Even though the immediate problem is getting to the LZ for extraction, the larger problem is the Cubans are not one step closer to dismantling the Communist air defense network, and there is no sign of the intelligence officer, Tragg, who supposedly has information that would help to that end.  So the next fight is enemy attempts to reinforce the village from the north running into Captain Villagrosa and the Security Element, but then we gotta get down to business!