Thursday, June 4, 2015

Cuba Libre - Liberation Batrep 4


It's 0545 on 1 Feb 1990, and E Airborne Infantry Company, 2nd CLA Airborne Battalion, has been dispatched to seize a key hilltop position near El Rincon (on Hwy 122, just east  of the Bay of Pigs), held by elements of the 89th Provincial Militia Company, 5th Territorial Infantry Battalion.

In the overall scheme of things, CLA SOF Squadrons B and C have stricken blows to degrade regime C4ISR capabilities, and 1st Para Bn dropped in the west to shield the west landing site at Playa Colorada, and now 2nd Para Bn is dropping near El Rincon, just east of the Bay of Pigs, to shield the Bay of Pigs landing site from the Cuban Cienfuegos garrison.

Highway 122 is the key artery running along the coast, east-west into the Bay of Pigs.  The Cuban 5th Territorial Infantry Battalion has forces overlooking the Highway just east of the town of El Rincon, and E Company, 2nd Para Bn, is tasked seizing this position.  Failure to do so will leave the route open for attack on the landing beaches.

The opposing forces, with regime forces on the left and CLA on the right.  Paratroopers vs Territorials, should be easy, right?

Commander, E Co, 2nd AB Inf Bn: Captain Halabrio

The E Company Paratroopers: Command Stand, five Airborne rifle teams, an 81mm mortar, a MILAN ATGM team, and a single leader figure representing...

2nd Airborne Infantry Battalion, Commanding Officer: Colonel Salvino Carreno.

The pro-Castro force: Command Stand, six rifle stands, two LMG stands, and a dedicated RPG stand (three of the rifle stands also have RPGs).

Overview, north is up.  The enemy force is in the north, the CLA paras in the south.  The objective is Hill 81 at top left.  Please note the civilians on the battlefield.

Hill 81, with Bunkers 1, 2, and 3 (from left to right).  The enemy is up and moving, but not really in position.  Let's see if the paras can take advantage of that.

The northeast.  Please note the civilians and livestock present.

CLA forces in the southwest, with rifle teams 4 and 5, the MILAN ATGM, and Colonel Carreno.

The southeast, with rifle teams 1 through 4, and the 81mm mortar, led by Captain Halabrio.

Civilians on the road and the far eastern field.  The enemy is not expecting trouble, so I start with a scurry to get the paras into position.

The CLA left moves up into position.

And the right.  We have definitely been spotted.

The enemy reacts in the east by forming a wall (top left) with three rifle teams and their rocket team.

While everyone on Hill 81 is able to get into position but the rifle team assigned to Bunker 1 (top left).

The enemy rocket team fires at Tm 2, but it overshoots and lands harmlessly (bottom left).

Two of the enemy rifle teams open up, missing Tm 1 (top right) but pinning Tm 2 (bottom right).

Captain Halabrio leads his HQ section out into the field; an enemy team Guard fires, but misses.

Capt Halabrio ushers the civilians out of the crossfire.

And the mortar team goes to work in support of the Captain.

The 81mm rounds force one rifle team to fall back (top left, from center white puff).

Tm 2 (bottom right) moves up, and Bunker 3 Guard fires...

Forcing Tm 2 to fall back and hunker (far right, from far left white puff, with the pinned Tm 3 to their left).

Tm 1 (bottom right) moves up, and Bunker 2 Guard fires, but misses.  The paras lay heavy fire into the enemy team in the road (far left), causing heavy casualties.

The the MILAN fires a missile at Bunker 3...

But misses.

Back on the right, an enemy rifle team fires on Tm 1 (far left), getting 'men down.'  That's the Company commander at center right.

And the enemy rocket team fired on Tm 3, but missed.

Back on the left, the LMG team in Bunker 2 fired on the para MILAN (bottom left).

Forcing them to fall back.

The enemy CO moves (center top), trying to get into position to help his two beat up teams (one hunker, top right, one men down, bottom right).

Tm 5 (left) and Tm 3 (top) lay down suppressing fire in the center, covering the evacuation of more civilians.

And then the 81mm mortar, having got the range with its last sheaf, rained death down on the enemy troops on the right.

Eliminating the rifle team and rocket team there.

Colonel Carreno (center) sprints right to Tm 3 and rallies them (with Tm 1 suffering at top left and Tm 2 hunkering at far right).

Tm 3 moves up, and Bunker 3 Guard fired but missed, so Tm 3 got to Tm 1, rallied them, then fired on Bunker 3...

Forcing the rifle team to fall back (top left, from white puff at bottom right).

Captain Halabrio then led Tm 1 forward (Tm 3 behind them at bottom right), looking to get into close combat with the very vulnerable enemy team on the road, who is 'men down.').  But Bunker 3 LMG team Guard fires, pinning them in place...

On the far left, Tm 6 moves over to aid their comrades manning the MILAN, braving ineffective Guard fire from Bunker 1.  But the MILAN team has had it, and they withdraw out of the fight...

Uhh, how am I supposed to bust those three bunkers staring at me?

The enemy CO (top right) moves over and rallies his rifle team 'up' to pin.

Bunker 2 fires on Tm 1...

Forcing them to fall back (far right, from center white puff), and pinning Tm 3 (center).  Off camera to bottom, Tm 4 returned fire to no effect.

The enemy rifle team finally gets into Bunker 1 (top left), then fires on Tm 4, missing.

And the enemy rifle team that was 'men down' self rallies (top left).

Dammittttt!!!  I can't believe it was right there, all this time, right there in front of me, but I could never get anyone up there to trample them...

And then some luck: two rifle teams that had missed the drop zone rally point finally show up.  At top left, Captain Halabrio rallies Tm 3, Tm 2 rallies (top center), but Tm 1 (bottom center) fails and falls back again...

*The reinforcements were a Random Event.  I've had several in the past, but they weren't applicable, stuff like a vehicle breaking down, but I didn't have any vehicles, or everyone can rally, but no one needed to.

Anyway, with my ranged bunker-busting capability having run off, I'm left only with rifles, SMGs, and hand grenades to do the job, so it's looking like a right hook to roll up the flank.  Best get to it...

It starts with the mortar team laying smoke on the crossroads.

Tm 2 (bottom left) moves up and fires, getting 'men down' on the enemy team at the crossroads.

And Captain Halabrio quickly leads Tm 3 into close combat, easily brushing the disordered enemy troops aside.

Capt Halabrio pushes Tm 3 further forward, but Bunker 3's Guard fires...

Forcing them to fall back (far right, from center white puff).

Tm 4 moves up to the CO and Tm 3, helping them rally 'up' to pin, then fires on the last enemy rifle team (with their CO) at top left.  The deadly fire from the paras forces the enemy troops to fall back off the table.

But the paras are in luck, and a lull sits over the battlefield, which Captain Halabrio takes advantage of by rushing most of his rifle teams forward (top left).  Colonel Carreno rallied Tm 1 (bottom right) 'up' to pinned.

With not much to do (without leaving their bunkers) due to the smoke screen, the enemy CO figures he'd better respond to this threat on his left flank.  Wanting to lay down covering fire so the rifle teams can move, Bunker 2's LMG team fires on Tm 5 on the far left, pinning them.

While the rifle teams from Bunkers 1 and 2 sprint to their left (CLA right) and their CO joins them (that's Bunker 3 in the foreground).

Having rallied them 'up' to pin, Colonel Carreno tries to rally Tm 1 again, but fails and they fall back.  One more and they're off the map.  Really, they're out of the fight anyway at this point due to the distance.  Tm 1 does finally manage to rally itself...

Then Captain Halabrio and Colonel Carreno lead their men in a dash to flank the enemy positions.

The stunned enemy are forced to fall back across the road.  The 'hunkered' rifle (top center) finally rallies.

On the left, Tm 5 moves towards Hill 81 (Bunker 2 at top right).

Bunker 3's LMG team fires on Tm 4, missing, and Tm 4 returns fire...

Forcing them to fall back (top left, from Bunker 3).

The enemy rifle behind the telephone pole (with enemy CO) exchanges fire with Tm 6 to no effect, and then the rifle team in Bunker 3 fires on Tm 7...

Causing heavy casualties in Tm 7 (white bead) and forcing Tm 6 to fall back (red bead).

YOU'VE GOT TO BE KIDDING ME!!!  An enemy rifle team with, with 1 Kill Dice and 1 Shock Dice, got Man Down (1) and Fall Back (6)...

The CO rallies Tm 7, who exchanges ineffectual fire with the enemy rifle team at the telephone pole.  The mortar pins the enemy team in Bunker 3 (at far left), and Tm 2 fires on the rifle team at the telephone pole, getting 'men down.'  Colonel Carreno then leads Tm 2 forward...

Bunker 3 Snap fires, gunning down Tm 2 (bottom right).  Colonel Carreno is okay and falls back.

Tm 3 then fires on Bunker 3, eliminating the enemy rifle team there.  Which clears the way for Captain Halabrio...

To lead them into close combat.  Again the enemy is easily brushed aside (eliminating the enemy CO as well), and the enemy defense is cracked wide open.

The paras of E Company, led by Captain Halabrio, climb the hill and capture the remaining regime forces, Mission Success!

Friendly: ~10 KIA/WIA.
Enemy: ~35 KIA/WIA, ~15 POWs.

Captain Halabrio was decorated for valor for his selfless bravery clearing the civilians from the battlefield, then leading the assault to defeat the enemy on Hill 81.

Colonel Carreno was lightly wounded.

Holy @#$%, I was sure I was going down in flames that time!  I try a right hook that gets stymied, my only bunker-busting weapon misses then runs for the hills; I almost called it there, had Colonel Carreno order Capt Halabrio to pull his men back.  But I decided to smoke the crossroads and really push the right side, and fate and fortune were with me as the random event that brought two additional rifle teams as reinforcements really hit the spot.

I was really surprised, and aggravated, by the effectiveness of enemy reaction fire, which continually brushed back my advances, but it made it a lot of fun (I'm not a fan of walkovers), and the addition of the civilian element was really fun and challenging, I'll be adding that into more of my future fights.

One more on the way (yes, I played five games this past weekend).



  1. Replies
    1. Yeah man, like I said, I was about to throw in the towel, but the smoke, some reinforcements, and some fine leadership by the company commander carried the day.

      Thanks for taking a look and commenting.


  2. I was sure you were going down as well! A great game and swung against you most off the way until finally got more of the CLA in the right place at the right time to push them off the hill. This games are fun for us out here, not jut for you!

    1. Look at you, going through all of them in a row.

      That was rough, and I almost started crying when the MILAN got pushed off the map. I've had a number of random events that didn't have any real effect on the game, but this one was certainly right place at the right time.

      Glad you're having a good time, but now I need to retire upstairs to have another game!