Monday, July 16, 2018

Operation Tears of the Cuban News Network #4


It's now 0950 on 29 July 1990, and Captain Stelosavo's TF23 is on the run in Nigeria.  They jumped into the country three days ago to save a Cuban Reporter and Cameraman at risk due to a military coup that killed the president and is cleansing the countryside of his supporters.  The Cuban commandos quickly secured the Reporter and Cameraman, but when their extraction helicopter was shot down they found themselves attempting to escape on foot to the border with South Leon with a slew of local villagers.  Yesterday they heard gunfire and made a quick side-trip to end a government massacre of more innocent country-folk, but the local government commander was able to get a radio call out for reinforcements, which no doubt was received by the enemy units pursuing the Cubans and their 'package.'  The Cuban operators pushed the refugees relentlessly, marching them through the night in an attempt to outpace their pursuers, and though haggard ,the villagers were doing a good job of moving quickly and quietly to the border extraction point.  Everything was going well until about 0930, when Tracker, walking point, called the column to a halt, when RPGs came streaming in, wounding and killing several refugees.  The Cuban Special Forces operators immediately came on line and assaulted through the Nigerian government ambush, then fell back to check the refugees, but they suffered a casualty in the process: Rocky was hit in both legs and knocked out of the fight.
Ryder and his men immediately set about getting the refugees and Rocky ready to move, then packed them off towards the border extraction point while they created a thin defensive line, intent on screening the evacuation of the refugees.  Unfortunately, while they were screwing around with the refugees and wounded, the bad guys infiltrated in behind them, initiating another firefight with a salvo of rocket propelled grenades.  None of the Cubans were hit, but as soon as they recovered from the shock of the explosions they saw they were boxed in on three sides and massively outnumbered, setting the stage for a particularly savage fight.

Overview, north is up.  The Cuban line is in the field at center left, where the three cotton puffs mark the RPG explosions.  The road running southwest (bottom left) to east (right) runs uphill (you can't see in this photo, but everything east of the river is a pretty steep slope) was used by the refugees (far right) to escape towards the border extraction point (off camera to top right).  Government troops are out in force, with two teams at bottom center, one at bottom left, one at left, one at top left, and one at top center, with their commander in the village at bottom center left.

The center of the field of battle, where the Cubans are spread out in a thin line oriented to the northwest (top left).  Team 1 is at bottom center, Team 2 at center, and Team 3 at center right, and while they are all set to face two enemy teams (far left top and just visible at bottom left), quite a few enemy soldiers have gotten behind them, such as the government team at top right.  The cotton puffs at bottom right are showing the detonations of the RPGs the enemy force just fired.

The enemy team in the north, sitting next to the river.

The enemy team in the northwest (far left), with Team 2 nearby (bottom right).

Looking west to east you can see the Cubans at top left, with three enemy teams (bottom right, far right top, and top right) and the bad guy commander (at right, on road) in the south.

Another look at the southwest corner, showing two enemy teams and their commander.

Moving a little further east, looking south to north, with bad guy teams at bottom left and bottom right, the river at top right, and the Cubans from top left to top center.

In the east, the refugee column has made it to the edge of the table and is preparing to step off towards the border extraction point, carrying the badly wounded Rocky.

The "Package," i.e., the Reporter and the Cameraman, have almost reached safety.  Let's just hope all the Cuban Special Forces soldiers don't  have to be sacrificed to ensure that happens...

Looking east to west back down the road and the bridge, the Cuban SOF at top center.  Rocky (being carried at bottom left), nearly unconscious from the pain, screams out "wait!!!"

"Wait!  Put me down!"  "What, you'll die!  You can't move!"  "It's okay, you guys go, I'll cover you, and wait on my buddies."

And with that, they dropped Rocky off and headed for the extraction point.  Rocky is back in the fight, got a rifle on high ground, though he is immobile and his firing is penalized for being wounded.  At the very least he helps with friendly situational awareness as he's on the net and has a good field of observation.

Rocky (bottom center right) sighs and takes in the view, coming up on the net to let his buddies know he's back in the fight.  Speaking of which, it's time to fight!  Rocky spots movement at top left...

An enemy team in the south dashes across the road, taking advantage of the fact the Cubans (top left) are still in shock from the impact of the RPGs (center, from bottom right).

As the enemy team (bottom left) advances they open fire on Team 2 (top center).

Everest and Ryder flinch as Aarby (yellow bead) is hit in the left thigh!

Aarby faces about: "Dude, there's bad guys everywhere!"

While in the north, bad guys again move up and engage.  This is looking north to south, just west of the river (you can see the edge of the river at bottom left).  Bad guys move up (center bottom and open fire on the Cubans, targeting Team 3, though no one is hit.

Ryder: "Fall back, fall back, rally point is..."

"Rally point is that stand of trees on top of the hill (top center right, with the Cubans at bottom left).

The bad guys in the south continue to push forward (center bottom , from bottom center), looking to cut off the Cubans' route of escape (which would be at far center right.  The Cubans set up thinking the enemy would come from the northwest (top left), and they would fall back across the bridge (off camera to bottom right, but now they see they'll have to leg it straight east and splash across the river).

With the bad guys in the south laying down fire (top left), the bad guys in the north also push forward (center bottom, from bottom center right), firing into Team 3 at point blank range!

*That bad guy card came out twice in a row...

A bad guy pushes through the tall grass and crashes straight into Tracker!

Tracker (left) puts him down, as the enemy keeps laying down fire, filling the air with hot lead.  Zuma (top center left, with Marshall at top left) is perplexed: he's got these bad guys (bottom right) in his face...

But more closing in from the northwest (top left).  Zuma: "You guys handle the close ones (bottom right), I got the ones popping out of the treeline!"  And with that, Zuma opens up with his M-60, hitting one men in the head and dropping him and another in the left arm, wounding him...

While Tracker raises his rifle to fire (center, with Marshall below him and Zuma to his left) but it malfunctions...

Tracker dashes right  and jumps in the bushes at the near bank of the river (just visible at top right)…

While Marshall fires, hitting the enemy team leader in the hip...

Then taking off towards the river (center bottom right, with Tracker at far right and Zuma at top left).

Looking northwest to southeast (the river is off camera to top left, with Team 1 in the stand of trees at bottom left), Rubble gets his M-60 going, opening fire on an enemy team in the south (top right, with the other enemy southern team, the one that moved across the road and fired on Team 2, at top left).

Zuma (left, with Team 2 at top left) keeps laying down fire, wounding one enemy soldier in the chest and another in the groin, as Skye and Chase fall back (right, from far left) towards the river, and closing with the enemy team firing on Team 2.

Skye and Chase push through the tall grass and open fire at point blank range: Chase (bottom left) misses, but Skye hits a man in the chest, wounding him.

While up the hill, Rocky (bottom center) sights in on the enemy commander (top left).

And fires, but he's hit bad and in a tremendous amount of pain, can barely focus, and he misses...

The enemy commander (bottom right) shrugs off the stray rounds as his southwestern team moves up (bottom left), firing at Rubble (top right)…

And he (bottom left) takes a round in the right arm!  Behind him, Team 2 fires on the enemy team in the northwest (top left).  Everest drops a bad guy, gutshot, and hits another in the left leg.

Everest (bottom left) and Zuma (center) lay down fire as Ryder and Aarby fall back (far right, from bottom left).

Aarby (yellow bead) pivots north and fires, but misses, while Ryder...

Ryder (left) pivots south and fires, hitting a bad guy in the leg.

Enemy return fire pins Aarby (yellow bead), but Ryder spins and opens fire to the north, hitting a bad guy in the arm and then striking the enemy team leader a second time, knocking him out of the fight!

Then Ryder dashes for the river bank (far right, with Tracker above him and Marshall almost there, Aarby at center and Zuma just visible at far left).

Everest turns (bottom left) and fires on the bad guys in the north (top center, with Zuma just below them and Aarby at far right), wounding a bad guy in the left arm...

And then Everest sprints towards the river (far right, with Marshall above him and Aarby just left of him, Zuma still at left).

In the southwest the situation is ugly, as the enemy team there is doggedly pushing forward (left), firing on Rubble (center top) as well as into the backs of his two teammates, Skye and Chase (top right, who are almost on top of an enemy team in the trees next to them).  Luckily the bad guys all miss.

*But then Team 2 gets to act again!  Their card came out back to back, and then the Elite card came out!

Ryder (bottom center), already on the riverbank, turns and engages the enemy team in the north (top center), but his weapon runs dry...

While Aarby (bottom center, with yellow bead, with Everest to his right and Zuma at far left) opens fire with his AK, popping a bad guy in the chest, dropping him.

Aarby hustles towards the river (yellow bead at bottom left, from center right), as Everest (center bottom) turns to the south and fires (Chase and Skye are at top right)…

But Everest's M-14 runs dry, too, so he hauls ass east, splashing into the river and almost making the far bank (top right, from far left)!

In the south, the enemy commander moves over to rally some troops that have suffered a couple men wounded (the bridge is just off camera to top right).  They're fired up...

And go tearing across the road (center, from bottom center, where their CO is still smoking his cigar), looking to get into the fight.  Just above them are Chase and Skye, with more bad guys at top right, and at far left is Rubble, with more bad guys just off camera to left.

The charging enemy team opens fire on Skye and Chase, but they're double timing through the bush and don't hit anything.

In the northwest, the bad guy team up there has suffered mightily, with Everest and Zuma dropping two of them and wounding two more.  But their blood is up: they can see the Cubans slowly being picked apart, and they don't want to miss out.

*They passes about five morale checks with no problem!

So they break cover, dashing forward, into the center (left, from bottom left, looking west to east, wth more bad guys visible at top left).  They spot Zuma (center top) and open fire, hitting him in the left leg!

*That bad guy team's card comes out again!

The three enemy soldiers allow their momentum to carry them further, though they're tiring and don't make it very far, they're firing as they go and they hit Zuma again, this time in the right arm!

*Zuma has now been hit twice; if he gets another wound he's going down, so I gotta get him outta there!

Bleeding profusely from the leg and arm, his buddies in the north all having fallen back to the river, and bad guys closing in on him from three different directions, Zuma decides it's time to sky out.  Badly hurt, of little combat capability at this point, and needing to move fast, he ditches his Pig and staggers off towards the river (top right, from bottom left).

At the river, Zuma is screaming the running password as he stumbles in (guy with two yellow beads at bottom center right).  Tracker (just right of him) reloads and looks up: "You okay, buddy?"  "Not sure yet, ask me when we're on top of that hill."  Marshall (center bottom, with Aarby at bottom left) turns and engages pursuing bad guys...

He drops a bad guy with a headshot, then hauls ass to the east, splashing into the river (top center right, with Everest at far right).

Back in the center, Rubble (bottom left) finds himself as the furthest west Cuban, not a great spot to be in.  He's got bad guys pushing forward on him from the west (off camera to bottom left) and south (off camera to bottom center), there are two more (albeit beat-up) enemy teams in the north (off camera to top center left), and there are two bad guy teams (far right and top right with Chase and Skye at center top) between him and the exit (off camera to top center right).  He takes a knee and gives a quick look at his right arm: "I'm fine, it's a clean through-and through.  Hurts like a bastid, but if I don't get moving it won't matter!"  He slaps a fresh belt in his M-60...

And rock'n roll!  Two enemy soldiers go down with rounds in their chest and guts, respectively.

As bad guys are dropping in the south (Rubble hit the bad guys at bottom right), Chase and Skye (bottom left) hit the bad guys further east (center top left).  Skye misses this time, while Chase hits the enemy team leader a second time, putting him out of the fight...

And then the two Cuban operators push forward, into close combat (far left)!

But Skye is hit in the right arm and falls back (top center left), while Chase hits a bad guy in the groin and he quickly limps off (bottom right).

*Hmmm, not only was that rather indecisive, it ended up with a Cuban being wounded!  I was expecting much better.  Hell, if they'd have both put their targets out I was going to allow them to push forward and attack two more bad guys.  I feel the situation slipping away...

Up on the hill, Rocky (bottom right, with most of the Cubans visible at the river at top center, with bad guys at top left) reloads.

The situation at the beginning of Turn 3: the bag is collapsing.  Most of the Cubans have reached the river (top right), but Team 3 is in a very bad way, where Rubble (center, just right and below of the stand of trees) has become separated, and Skye and Chase (straight right of Rubble) outnumbered in a hand-to hand melee.  And while a lot of the Cubans have made it to the river, they still have to make it up the hill, and several are wounded.  Additionally, more bad guys are arriving, with a new team in the west (left) and another in the north (top center, just left of the river).

In the south/center, Team 3 is in a bad way: Rubble (top left) is separated, and Chase and Skye  (center, just right of trees, and above him) are both wounded and being swamped by bad guys.  The bad guys check morale: two of them are stunned, but the other two...

Let out a fierce scream and charge, locking up with Chase and Skye!

Skye is hit in the chest and goes down!!!!

*I can't believe my super-troopers are getting beat in 1 vs 1 close combat!!!  What the hell is going on here???

Though Chase handles his business.

But viewing and being subjected to the such violence, the two bad guys that were stunned take off and run (bottom right, from center top), leaving Chase and the bad guy that killed Skye (top left) staring at each other.

*I probably should have resolved their combat right then, not sure why I didn't.

But further west, poor Rubble is stormed by the newly arrived bad guys...

I can't believe he doesn't even manage to take one bad guy with him...  And in the blink of an eye the Cubans, who so far had been so lucky, have now suffered two KIAs.

*Rubble lost two straight close combats.  Sure, he was outnumbered, but I figured he'd take a bad guy or two with him.  Nope, he lost the first one, wounded in the left arm, fell back, the bad guys' card came out again, they chased, fought again, chest WIA that was his third wound, out.

Rubble is overwhelmed at bottom left, and Skye goes down at top right, leaving Chase (far right) all by his lonesome...

The two bad guys at bottom right continue to observe the bloodletting, and it's enough for one of them, he runs for home!

But his comrade, the one that put Skye out of the fight, runs and jumps on Chase!

Chase pulls his sidearm and drops the bad guy, then moves to Skye: "Talk to me, buddy!  You okay?"

And that (Chase is at top center) is enough to convince the last bad guy from that team (bottom right) to run, too!

Back at the river, Tracker (bottom center, with Zuma to his left, Aarby above him, and Chase above them, at center left) lets out a scream as he watches his buddy, Rubble, go down (top center).  He raises his M-16 and opens fire.

One bad guy goes down, falling next to Rubble, and another is hit in the arm.

*Ryder begins to entertain the idea of having his men hold at the river, laying down a base of fire, and then him running out to grab Rubble, then Skye, and bring them back.

With Tracker (bottom center, with Zuma, who only has a pistol, having ditched his M-60 because of his wounds and the need to move as quickly as possible) pumping rounds out, Marshall splashes across the river, making it to the far bank (top right)…

Though he (bottom left) doesn't spot the bad guys nearby (top right), threatening their flank.

*The Elite card comes out, so Team 1 gets to go again.

Marshall moves a little further inland, finding cover (top center, with Tracker and Zuma at bottom center) and a good spot to cover the crossing for everyone else.

But he (bottom left) still doesn't see the bad guys in the north (top right)!

Zuma, shot up pretty bad, goes splashing across the river, as Tracker continues popping away with his M-16.

Dropping two more bad guys!

*Ryder thinks, this just might work, we might be able to go get Rubble, and hell, maybe Chase can bring Skye in?

But as Tracker (top left, in bushes) is firing, bad guys begin new effort to push the center, with three of them (one at center, two at bottom left) moving up, firing at Chase (right), though they miss.

Looking west to east, there's a beat-up group of three government soldiers in the center, two beat-up groups of bad guys in the south (right), and a fresh bad guy group at bottom center (the other is off camera to top left).

The guys in the west move up (center), firing at Chase (top center)…

As Chase is bent over, trying to revive Skye, he's hit in the hip, his second wound!

*One more and he's out.

And then the bad guys in the north move up, into the river (this is looking north to south, with the bulk of the Cubans at top center).  They fire as they go, catching Zuma and Everest while they're crossing the river, but the rounds slap harmlessly into the roiling waters, or zip past and strike the nearby slope.  I think Marshall (just below trees at top left) finally sees the bad guys in the north.

And as this new encroachment occurs in the north (top center), a fresh bad guy team arrives in the south (bottom center).

In the north, Marshall (bottom left) cuts loose with his rifle drops a guy with a shot in the guts, and hits the team leader in the leg.

Zuma was moving towards Marshall (behind the trees at center right) when the enemy fire from the north (top left) began, so he stumbled to his right (bottom right), making the shoreline, as Tracker (bottom center left) turns and fires to the north, but his weapon jams!

He quickly dashes across the river and into the trees (bottom left, from top left, with Marshall at bottom center and Zuma off camera to left), trying to clear the stoppage.

In the center it's looking like something out of Zulu Dawn, with Chase being the only Cuban (bottom center, with this photo looking east to west) still in the fight on that side of the river, with more guys than a little bit closing in.  The bad guys have elements of three teams in a skirmish line closing in.  Tears form in his eyes as he looks to Rubble (casualty at far left) and Skye (just left of Chase).  "I'm sorry brothers..."

Chase turns and darts through the trees, reaching the western bank of the river (far right, from top left), dexterity slipping, vision becoming blurry, feeling drunk from loss of blood.

*That was actually from morale checks.  My plan was to have him pick up Skye and move to the river, but he drew "Stunned" and then "Fall Back 10 Inches," which I shortened due to the foliage, the river, and him being wounded (twice).

The bad guys in the north are taking casualties, but they are in prime position to see just how desperate the situation is for the Cuban interlopers - they let out a war cry...

And then they charge!  Two bad guys close in on Tracker (top left, who's rifle is jammed), one closes on Marshall (just below him), and the wounded guy couldn't make it that far (center top, still in river)!

Tracker pulls his pistol and shoots one bad guy in the head, but then he's hit (far left casualty figure) in both legs and goes out of the fight!  Marshall manages to fight off his attacker, wounding him in the arm and forcing him to fall back (bottom right).

Up on the hill, Rocky (bottom center, who really hasn't done anything to help his buddies in this fight), sees the unfolding drama in the north (top center),  He repositions his body and fires...

And actually makes himself useful!  Rocky hits one bad guy in the chest (far right) dropping him, and then hits the wounded bad guy in the river (top center), putting him out.  The last bad guy (far left), the one that got Tracker, is shocked by his comrades suddenly falling, as if smitten by God, and runs!

In the south, the enemy commander (bottom left) looks on, finally spotting the source of fire (Rocky, top center, just off the left side of the road).  He calls out to one of his nearby team leaders (bottom right)…

And dispatches them to cross the river at the bridge (right, from bottom center).

Back in the center, the bad guys resume their push towards the river, the left-hand team moving up first (left), firing as they go...

Rounds zip by his head as Ryder (right, with the wounded Aarby just above him) slaps in a fresh magazine and returns fire...

He (center, with Chase at bottom right and Everest above him and Zuma above him, Marshall and Tracker off camera to top left) guns down the nearest bad guy (bottom left) as Aarby manages to drag his ass across the river (top right)!

And as Aarby drags himself up out of the river, Everest (right) moves into cover and reloads.

But then the enemy team in the center (center bottom) opens fire, momentarily pinning Ryder (center top)…

Then surges forward, looking to swamp him the same way they did Rubble and Skye!

Ryder stands tall, calmly returning fire, hitting one bad guy in the leg and another in the arm...

Before deciding it was time to make his break!  Chase (far left) looks on as Ryder scrambles across the river (bottom center, with Aarby and Everest above him)…

This crap is beyond desperate!  Everest and Aarby raise up to lay down covering fire...

But Everest's M-14 runs dry (center, just left of the trees, with Ryder further left), and Aarby misses, then begins moving uphill to the rally point (bottom right, from center left).

The bad guys are so focused on Ryder (off camera to right) they don't even notice Chase (bottom center).  He slowly raises up and fires...

He drops one bad guy (left), then turns and tries to cross the river (bottom right, from bottom center left, with Ryder above him, Everest at top right, and Zuma at top center), but he's hit bad and doesn't make it very far...

In the center (looking west to east, the fresh bad guy team at the river's edge, off camera to top center), the bad guy boss moves up and rallies two of his beat-up teams.

One bad guy in the right-hand group (far left, with commander below them) has had enough and runs off (top right, with enemy team at top left approaching the bridge).

And on the left, the enemy team leader yells out "Yes Sir, we will kill the invaders," then drops dead, hit in the chest by a stray round from the river.

*That was a morale result!

And that's enough to cause the last bad guy in that group to run (top left, from far right, with enemy commander at bottom right)!

*Well, that worked out nicely ;)

The enemy boss (bottom left) sends the last two guys of the five he just tried to rally up towards the river (just left of the enemy team on the road at far right, from center bottom left, with the big fight happening behind the trees at center).

Zuma moves through the brush and begins moving uphill (center, with two yellow beads, with Aarby above and to the right of him, Everest just below him, Ryder and Chase at bottom right, and Marshall and Tracker at far left).

While Marshall, who's temporarily drawn a reprieve after fighting off the enemy close assault (with the help of Rocky, up the hill), moves to Tracker...

Then picks him up and begins moving uphill (bottom right, with Zuma, Chase, Ryder, and Everest at top left).

Zuma (left, with Aarby at bottom center) and Marshall (top right) keep moving uphill, towards the rally point (off camera to bottom right).

*The Elite card came out, allowing them to move back to back.

As they (far right) struggle uphill, Rocky (bottom center) spots the bad guys moving to the bridge (to left) and opens fire with his rifle...

Wounding two enemy soldiers, one in the left leg and the other in the right arm.

But that enemy team moves up, onto the bridge, returning fire as they go

The bad guys halt on the bridge (bottom left), having spotted Chase in the river above them (left, with Ryder above him and Everest above him).  They split their fire, with half firing at Rocky (top right) and the other half firing at Chase.

And poor Rocky gets hit in the head, instantly killed.  The only consolation is that they missed Chase...

But the pressure is incessant, with more enemy troops joining the battle (top left and top center).

Bolstered by the sight of reinforcements (bottom left, top center), the two beat-up enemy teams in the center (center, far right) check morale and are good to go.

While up the hill, Zuma and Marshall, carrying Tracker (with Aarby at top left) near the rally point.

As they are reaching the rally point (top center), Everest books it up the hill (just below them, from bottom left), reloading as he goes.  Aarby (just below Everest) turns and fires his AK...

Aarby (bottom right, with Everest behind him, Chase and Ryder at center) fires on the bridge, dropping one bad guy (top left) before he runs out of ammo.

Then Ryder (bottom center, with Chase above him) fires on the bridge, hitting a wounded bad guy and dropping him...

Then sprinting up the hill (top center right) joining Aarby, Everest, Zuma, Marshall, and Tracker, i.e., everyone but Chase (at left), up there.

*A decision that will forever haunt him.  I'm not sure why the hell I had Ryder leave Chase down there by himself...  Call it fog of war, adrenaline, the confusion of the moment, self preservation...

For the moment it didn't seem to matter, as the bad guys on the bridge, pissed off after taking pretty heavy fire, actually end up double-timing up the road, up the hill, chasing Ryder!

*The charge was a morale result, and I pulled cards to see if they went after Ryder or Chase.

The bad guys blaze away at Ryder, Aarby, and Everest, but it's all so quick and confused that no one is hit!

The bad guys continue to surge more men towards the river (center left, from bottom left).

They (bottom left) fire at long range, up the hill, but don't manage to hit anyone.

*I was even going to see if they accidentally hit any of their own men, on the road at top right, but they didn't manage to hit anything at this range, after moving.

The fighting on the road is point blank and savage: Ryder pops up (with Chase just visible at top right) and fires a burst, hitting the enemy team leader in the leg...

Then he and Aarby fall back, up the hill (far left, with Zuma there, too).  Aarby reloads as Everest (center bottom) opens fire...

Dropping the enemy team leader and hitting another bad guy in the arm (yellow bead at left)!

The enemy commander cautiously moves forward, towards the river (center bottom), careful not to expose himself to Cuban fire, while his men in the north (top center)…

Move into the river (bottom left) and fire on the hill (top center)…

The rounds snap by harmlessly overhead as Zuma moves over to check on Rocky (bottom center).  "Dammit, Rock, I'm sorry man."  He closes Rocky's eyes, then grabs his rifle and prepares to fight.  Meanwhile, Marshall (top center, with Aarby below him and Ryder's arm sticking up over the bushes at bottom left)…

Sets down Tracker behind the trees.

Then turns (bottom right, with Everest at bottom left) returns fire back downslope, at the enemy team in the river (top left), not hitting anything.

Back at the river, bad guys in the center move up, targeting Chase and somehow missing the badly wounded Cuban.

As they (far right) are shooting it out, the enemy commander moves up (far left).

On the hill, the team that chased Ryder up the hill (bottom left) is in bad shape, with three dead, one wounded (yellow bead), and one out of ammo (purple bead)…

They figure they've done they're patriotic duty and book it (bottom right, from center top left).

The wounded guy keeps running (bottom right, from left), while his buddy (left) fires back uphill, missing.

*That was a series of failed morale checks.

Ryder (bottom center) lets out a sigh of relief after watching those two run, but then he remembers, Chase is still down in the river!!!  He sights in on the bad guys attacking Chase (top left) and fires...

*Chase has been the victim of some bad card draws that has seen him not move for a couple turns...

Ryder drops one bad guy on the west bank of the river (left), and hits his buddy in the leg (bottom center left)!  Nice shootin', if he does say so himself.  With those two seemingly taken care of...

Everest (bottom left, with Marshall at bottom right), rather than engage the wounded guy near Chase, decides to fire on the bad guys in the north (top left)…

Dropping the enemy team leader and pinning the rest of the team!

*The leader was hit a second time, putting him out of the fight, which then pins the team, and they checked morale and the result was that the entire unit was stunned.

Things are finally firming up for the Cubans at the rally point.  Aarby (bottom center, with Chase visible in the river at far left) sights in and fires on enemy troops advancing in the center (top center), wounding one in the right arm.  Ryder: "Marshall, you were one of the first guys up here, right?"

"Yes, Boss."  "Did you get comms with command?"  "Yes, Boss."  "Well, what did they say?"  "They said Sparrowhawk is on the way."  "Roger, what about CAS?"  "They said air is on station, but Sparrow-6 says air's not authorized since we're not supposed to be in Nigeria anyway."  "Did you tell Sparrow-6 that we're pretty sure the Nigerians are aware we're in Nigeria now?"  "Yes, Boss."  "Gimme the damn R/T."

"Sir, could we please get some CAS?  I mean, pretty please, with a cherry on top?  If not, Sparrowhawk's mission is going to be clean up, not rescue.  (pause)  You'll see what you can do???  You're the best..."

More bad guys funnel into the center, staging for a final assault on the hill, which there's no way the Cubans can stand with all their wounded, low ammo, and fact that both machine guns are gone (Rubble is dead and Zuma dropped his in order to escape).

Back on the hill, Marshall (far right) reloads as Zuma (bottom left) sights in on the bad guys moving on Chase (top left).  But not one round fires before it jams...

While Zuma's target, tears of rage rolling down his face at seeing what the Cubans had done to his friends...

Charges into the river and jumps on Chase's back!

Slitting his throat.

*It was a morale check that caused the charge that did Chase in, and while I was a bit... well, fuming, about having Ryder leave him, then Everest, Aarby, and Zuma not shoot him, the fact is that it didn't matter.  With all those men in the center (i.e., another 15m north of this location), there was simply no way Chase was making it up the hill alive, and if Ryder had stayed, he'd be dead too.

The Cubans consolidate their position, pinned down and awaiting the enemy's final assault.  "How about now?  Can we get air support now?  I said please..."

The bad guys have formed up and are preparing to step off...

They begin moving east...

About time...

A hundred anxious faces look skyward...

Right on the money...

The cavalry has arrived.

The helos sit down and the QRF comes out to meet them.

Ryder: "Good to see ya, Sir, we made it.  Here's the package."  "How are your men?"  "Four dead, down there in the valley, plus your helo that got shot down about 25 klicks back."

"Oh Ryder, thank you so much, and I'm sorry about your men.  If only my cameraman and I hadn't gotten caught in Nigeria trying to do an expose on covert Cuban operations in neutral countries, I think this would have never happened..."

Wow, what a fight!  What a set of fights, actually, that was a tremendous amount of fun.  I had a great time, and I hope you did, too.  Combat Patrol proved up to the task, and if you haven't seen the movie previously, you pretty much have now, as my little operation went almost exactly as the movie did (unlike when I tried to do the movie "Lone Survivor" and didn't even end up with one survivor...).

In terms of ongoing operations, the team is pulled out for a little rest and relaxation, but it's very brief, they need to get their butts over to South Leon to take part in the invasion.  Tracker will be okay, but he's out of action for about two months, as is Zuma, and Everest and Aarby are out for about a month each.  Of course Rubble, Chase, Rocky, and Skye were all killed in action, so that brings the ten-man team down to...  Umm, two men: Ryder and Marshall available for combat operations.  Maybe they won't be heading to South Leon for a bit...

So that ties this up, not sure what's up next.  I really want/need to get over to WWII, to Kampfgruppe Klink, to finish up the Fall of France, but lots of other ideas/projects clouding up my time and judgement ;)  Stay tuned, something cool will happen, I promise.