Friday, June 19, 2015

Cuba Libre - Liberation Batrep 12


It's 0930 on 1 Feb 1990, and, following 2nd Marine Company's successful amphibious assault, A Company, 6th Infantry Battalion came ashore at the Bay of Pigs landing site, moved to 2nd Marine Company's left (northern) flank, and began pushing inland.  Things were going well until A Company was ambushed by elements of the Castro regime's 81st Infantry Company, 4th Infantry Battalion.

So far we've had:
1) B Squadron SOF destroyed a radar site in support of amphibious landings at Playa Colorada (5).  B Sqdn then egressed and linked up with CLA rotary wing assets for their follow-on mission in Havana (6).
2) C Squadron SOF destroyed a the Cuban military's communications center.
3) 1st Para Battalion dropped in and seized a bridge to screen the landings at Playa Colorada (5).
4) 2nd Para battalion dropped in and eliminated a Castro-regime garrison to screen the landings at the Bay of Pigs (just west of (4).
5) 1st Marine Company, 3rd Infantry Battalion, made an amphibious assault at Playa Colorada.
6) A Squadron SOF attacked a Castro-regime SAM site near Havana, which failed to clear the way for B Squadron's helo assault into Havana.
7) 2nd Marine Company, 6th Infantry Battalion, landed at the Bay of Pigs then turned east and ran into a strong enemy force, which it handily defeated.
8) B Company of the UWG pursued and destroyed an enemy garrison in the Escambray Mountains.
9) B Squadron SOF conducted an aerial insertion into Havana to seize a radio station and broadcast news of the invasion.
10) 10th Popular Force Battalion seized and destroyed the Pedroso bridge to protect the Bay of Pigs landing site from the Matanzas garrison.
11) 1st Airborne Infantry Battalion successfully fought off a regime counterattack near the bridge at Sandino, protecting the western (Playa Colorada) landing site from the Pinar del Rio garrison.
12) 6th Infantry Battalion fought through an enemy ambush while pushing inland from the Bay of Pigs landing site.

The opposing forces, with Castro regime troops on the left and CLA on the right.  The CLA are US from Pendraken's Vietnam range, while the Castro troops are Argentinians from Pendraken's Falklands range.

Captain Pilar-Soto, Commander of A Company, 6th Infantry Battalion.

The CLA forces have a Command Stand, five rifle stands, an HMG team, an 81mm mortar team, and a single leader figure representing...

6th Infantry Battalion, Commanding Officer: Colonel Ricardo Colvasquez, decorated for valor with the Estrella de Bronce for his combat leadership in the fight to get off the beach with 2nd Marine Company at the Bay of Pigs landing site.

The Castro force has a Command Stand, four rifle teams, an HMG team, an MMG team, and an 82mm mortar.

Overview, north is up.  A Company entered at bottom left (southeast), while the Castro forces are spread across the top (north) edge of the map, to include in a small village and a team atop the cliffs at top right (northeast).

The initial dispositions of the CLA force.

Enemy in the northwest,with their HMG team at center and Commander at top right.

Regime forces in the northeast, with their Commander at far left, their MMG at far right, a rifle atop the cliffs at top right, and their mortar team at center.

Fight's on, and right off the bat the Castro force rolls a Random Event: nervous after being roughly handled by 2nd Marine Company, and despite their ambush positions, an enemy team loses its nerve and falls back to cower.  I roll dice to determine which enemy unit it is...

And it's the enemy mortar team (top left)!  I you wouldn't believe me, so I rolled again, and got the same result!

The enemy CO quickly falls back and steadies his mortar troops.  Despite this flurry of nervous activity, the CLA forces are unaware of the presence of their adversaries, until...

The enemy HMG team opens the ambush, spewing forth .50 caliber rounds...

Which is devastating.  One rifle team is knocked out, another suffers heavy casualties (white bead), another rifle team falls back (far right, red bead), the CLA HMG team falls back (bottom left, red bead), and the CLA mortar is pinned (center left, yellow bead).  Ouch...

An enemy rifle team in the northeast opens fire, to no effect.

The CLA leadership rushes to action to get their men back in fighting shape: Captain Pilar-Soto rallies Tm1 up to pin, then tries to rally Tm2, but they've taken too many casualties and he orders them to withdraw with their wounded.  He's able to then rally the mortar team.

An enemy squad moves up and fires on Tm4, putting more casualties on them.

Captain Pilar-Soto rallies them and moves them forward (top right).  The mortar team moves back to the HMG team (bottom left) and helps them get back in fighting shape.

Two enemy squads converge on Captain Pilar-Soto and Tm4 (bottom center).

On the far right, Colonel Colvasquez moves to rally Tm5...

But they fail and run again (BC at bottom center, Tm 5 to right).

At top left, an enemy rifle team moves up, while in the center the enemy CO moves up.

The enemy MMG team opens up on Tm4 and Captain Pilar-Soto...

Forcing them to fall back to cover (from top left).

The enemy HMG opens up on Tm1, but the grunts are hugging the dirt and suffer no ill effects.

The CLA HMG team gets into the fight, returning fire...

Forcing the enemy HMG crew to fall back (from top left).

On the CLA far right, the enemy spots Team 5 cowering in the bushes and charges, but Colonel Colvasquez throws his headquarters section into the melee...

And the CLA Battalion Commander is able to steel his men's hearts and defeat the Castro-regime riflemen (bottom left)!.  Colonel Colvasquez then leads Tm5 forward to cover (far right), into a great flanking position.

Incredible, that's why they roll the dice!  The enemy's ambush, despite the treacherous beginning which scattered the CLA infantry, is crumbling.

Team 5, on the far right flank, opens up on the enemy MMG team, causing heavy casualties.

Then the CLA HMG team (bottom left) adjusts its T&E and puts devastating fire on the Castro infantry on the cliffs (top right)...

Ripping them to pieces.  At the foot of the cliffs is the enemy MMG team, which the BC and Tm5 just beat up on.

The tide has turned, and Captain Pilar-Soto rallies Team 4 then has them open up on a nearby enemy rifle team...

Putting them out of the fight.

On the far left, Tm1 opens up on an enemy team in the open...

And they are out.

The CLA mortar team finally gets set up and in the fight...

Targeting their counterparts...

And eliminating them!

Holy crap!  The enemy lost three rifle teams and a mortar in a single firefight!  Dem dice are hot!

The enemy CO moves to his MMG team and tries to rally them, but it is in vain as they continue to tend to their wounded.

The Castro forces roll up a random event, "Smoke," and so they use it to cover their withdrawal!

Wow, what a fight (again)!  I thought it was over with, but then the Battalion Commander was able to pretty much single-handedly fight off an enemy close assault, and it was all downhill from there, with a single 'firefight' roll basically cleaning the table of enemy forces.  I've got to tell you, the opening of the enemy ambush, with their .50 cal HMG, was so bad that I thought the fight was over before it even started, and I was honestly looking at having another company Air Assault in with reinforcements to save A Company.  But then the dice turned; that is, they were hot for the Castro turn and stayed hot for the CLA turn to flip the script.   Really crazy.

Castro: ~30 KIA/WIA

The 6th Infantry Battalion Commander, already decorated for this actions coming off the beach at the Bay of Pigs with 2nd Marine Company, is again decorated for valor, this time with the Cruz Servicio Distinguido, the CLA's second-highest award for gallantry.  I thought for sure he was going down...

Still one more to write up, so stay tuned.



  1. Another great report. Thanks Jack!

    Cheers, Andy

    1. Thanks for checking in Andy, I appreciate it.


  2. Those HMGs are deadly stuff, for both sides. They do get a lot of dice though. Great report!