Thursday, December 31, 2015

Cuba Libre - Cronistria Fight #6


Just in time, it's New Year's Eve.  Happy New Year everyone!

It's 0930 on 15 April 1990, and Team 6-2, down to just Tico (the team leader) and Bear (and the two aren't very happy with one another) are closing in on their objective.  But they're not alone: partly owing to the fact Team 6-2 was so shot up, but partly due to the fact it's simply time to get them on the street, this mission is the first pairing of Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force troops with soldiers of the Cronistrian Democratic Militia (CDM).  Members of TF Trojas' Det B continue to work on training new recruits; the seven CDM members accompanying Team 6-2 are men with prior military training (in the Army of the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, or FRY).  They've been designated as leadership cadre for future units to be stood up once Det B 'graduates' its first batch of troops, so this mission is to be their baptism of fire.

So far the CLEF has fought against the Cronistrian National Guard (CNG, members of the military wing of the Cronistrian Communists), the Cronistrian People's Army (CPA, militia of the Cronistrian Communists), and Demjanovic's Tigers (a Special Forces Battalion dispatched to Cronistria specifically to deal with TF Trojas).  But there is another adversary present in Cronistria: while it has suffered large-scale desertions, horrible morale, lapses in leadership, corruption, etc..., the FRY Army still has a number of garrisons in Cronistria.  TF Trojas would love nothing more than to ignore these garrisons, but the problem is that they wish to keep Cronistria from leaving Yugoslavia and have stricken at Cronistrian Democrats on several occasions.  Lt "Mikey" Trojas, consulting with President Andraz Gregor and his military head, General Miroslav Denis, has decided that the best course of action is to violently attack several of the FRY garrisons in the hope of shocking them bad enough that they simply decide to sit out the war.

So Mikey called Tico in to brief, and they settled on a garrison on the Austrian frontier, north of the capital of Miran.  With that, Tico briefed Bear and the CDM team, they went through gear checks and rehearsals, then set out at approximately 0100 on foot.  By 0930 they were in their jump-off positions, ready to put some shock and awe on the FRY garrison.

The opposing forces, with CLEF/CDM on the left, and FRY Army on the right.  All figures are 20mm models from Elhiem.

At top left (kneeling with bush hat) is Bear, at top right (standing with bush hat) is Tico.  The rest are future leaders of the Cronistrian Democratic Militia (should they survive).  Nine men total, they will activate as 'normal' troops (Special Operations bonus is gone, but treated better than conscripts due to having two SF advisors with them).  Tico and Bear will still fire and auto rally as SF troops.

The poor sad-sacks of the FRY Army contingent on the Austrian border.  Far from the capital of Miran, their Sergeant was really hoping to skip out on all the unpleasantness there between the Cronistrian Communists and Democrats.  He'd heard the Democrats were being backed by some as-yet-unidentified Western power, and that the Serbs had sent in commandos to root them out.  He silently thought to himself, 'hopefully they take care of that stuff before we get pulled out of our sleepy backwater and sent into the fighting..."  The men showed no desire to take part in the fighting: there were Croatians, Kosovars, Slovenians, Macedonians, all of whom simply wanted to finish their compulsory service and return home (but not too soon, there were problems in most of those places, too).  Heck, there were even a few Cronistrians, guys who stayed because they couldn't figure out which side they were supposed to be on.

In any case, I treated them as regulars (given the fact they were going up against mostly militia), though they sure didn't act like it ;)

Overview of map, north is up, the west (left) side butts up against the Austrian border (there is concertina wire running north-south above the the stream).  The stream is shallow and easily fordable, there's a gas station at center left with a guard tower northwest of it, a rocky outcropping at top right, and the FRY Army barracks at top center-left.  There's a couple patches of rough ground (top center-right and bottom right), and a warehouse at bottom left.

Overview with troops on the table: Tico and four CDM members are behind the warehouse at bottom left, while Bear and the other three CDM troops are at far right behind the rocky outcropping.
There is a FRY sentry at the hedgehogs at far left, on the road leading into Austria, another in the guard tower at top left, one at the southeast (bottom right) corner of the gas station, one northeast of him between two haystacks, and three in the barracks at top center-left.

Looking northwest at the gas station, guard tower, and barracks from behind Bear's team (foreground).

Looking north at the gas station and barracks from behind Tico's team (bottom left).

A look north at the FRY positions: bottom left, bottom right (on pavement for gas station), far right (between tree and haystacks, in the barracks (top center), and in the guard tower (top left).

A look east at those same positions.

Let's get it on!!!

In the east, Bear leads his team into skirmish line, out from behind the rocky outcropping.

While in the south, Tico's team does the same.

The bad guy at the gas station fires warning shots and falls further back to cover, behind the pumps, while men come tumbling out of the barracks.

The FRY soldiers push far left to flank Bear's team (top right) coming from the east.

On the FRY right, the sentry in the tower faces south (right), the guy in the gas station sits tight (out of sight in this pic), and the sentry at the hedgehogs pushes south to get a better look (far right, just below tree, with Bear's team at top left and Tico's team off camera to top right).

The two sides are trading scattered small arms fire, and Tico pushes hist CDM troopers forward, into the stream.

While in the east, Bear's men push ahead as well (FRY at top center/right).

The Cuban/Cronistrian Democrat advance is very aggressive and a bit unnerving (Tico's team at bottom right); the FRY soldier at the gas station falls back (to left corner of the gas station), as does the hedgehog sentry (the guy at center left, next to the tree below the guy at the gas station fell back from the tree at bottom center).

But on the FRY left, their soldiers move even further left (down, at bottom right) to get into enfilading positions on Bear's team (far left), except for their leader, who darts to the northeast corner of the gas station (top center).

Quick note: what happened is the CLEF rolled a scurry, FRY rolled a scurry, then CLEF rolled another scurry.  The bad guys finally roll up a normal activation, so we're going to get some shooting finally!  They also rolled the random event "Opening," so somebody's gonna get to dodge some react fire...

On the FRY left, an enemy soldier storms forward (bottom center) and opens fire at point-blank range, but he misses!

As does the return fire...

The enemy leader (top left) calmly sights in on Bear (bottom center) and looses a burst...

Driving Bear back to cover (red bead at bottom right, from explosion at left).

Tico is not amused; Bear had better get his ass up there and lead those men!

On the FRY right, the guard tower (top left) fires on Tico's men in the stream (bottom right), to no effect.

The CLEF rolls a third scurry in a row!

Tico sternly leads his team forward into intense enemy fire.

Once again the aggressiveness is enough to convince a FRY soldier to fall back (bottom center, behind tree, from tree barely visible at bottom right).

Bear (bottom center, red bead) self-rallies up to pinned, but his boys push forward (skirmish line running left to right across center-left) without him!  What the CDM troops lack in training they make up for in aggressiveness!

And on the left the FRY soldiers fall back too (bottom right from center, the leader falls back towards a buddy at top center on the north - right - side of the gas station), with CDM troops of Bear's team bearing down (three guys on left side, between two trees below gas station).

Bad guy in the northeast fires on a CDM trooper from Bear's team...

Forcing him to fall back (bottom right, from far left).

The guard tower sentry fires on a CDM trooper next to Tico (both at bottom right), missing, but the CDM soldier returns fire and pins the guard tower sentry!

The hedgehog sentry (far left, below tree) fires on another of Tico's CDM trooopes (bottom right)...

Forcing him to fall back to the stream and hunker (the green bead means he's hugging mother earth).

"The boys need some inspirin'!"  With his comrade hunkering at bottom left, Tico (bottom center, with another CDM troop at bottom right) opens fire on the enemy at the gas station.

The target (at the gas station corner, white bead) is 'man down,' the leader (just above him, yellow bead) is pinned, and the troop at the tree at bottom right is forced to fall back (red bead at top left). Nice shootin', Tico.
The yellow bead at the base of the guard tower is because the sentry there is pinned.

Tico then moves over (far left) and rallies his hunkering troop.

Back on the right, Bear (bottom right) is still pinned, and he's got a guy suppressed (far right), but he's also got two guys pushing forward hard (far left and center, behind tree), so he lays down covering fire.

Forcing a bad guy to fall back (far right red bead, from explosion at center; Bear is off camera to left).

And then, back on the left, the CDM soldier Tico just rallied (bottom right) goes charging ahead, AK rattling at the guard tower...

And the FRY sentry un-asses the tower!!! (bottom left red bead)

Back on the right, the FRY soldier on the enemy's far left flank (bottom right) opens fire on Bear's leading man (top center, with three of Tico's men at top left, Bear at far left behind rock, and two more CDM men at center) and misses, as does that guy's return fire.

The bad guy at center takes a shot at one of Tico's right-hand men, missing.

But return fire pins the bad guy down.

The hunkering enemy soldier at center (red bead behind haystack next to barracks) tries to self rally...

Fails and falls back (bottom left, from red bead at bottom right).

Tico and a CDM man (bottom right) sprint ahead at the gas station while another CDM soldier (bottom center-left) lays down covering fire (target is guard tower sentry, at to left).

The rounds hit all around the hunkering soldier (explosion at bottom right), and force him to retreat off the map (bottom left)!

On the CLEF right, Bear self-rallies successfully.
Sorry, every game he's in I've got to get a close up of this troop, I just love the pose.

The FRY soldier on the bad guy far left moves forward (bottom left, just right of the rock outcropping), while all the other bad guys try to self rally (pin at center behind rock, two hunkering at far right, pin and man down at top center).
Those are CLEF/CDM troops on the left side of the pic.

The pinned guy at bottom center (behind rock) is good, one of the hunkers at far right only gets up to pinned while the other runs off the map (that's two!), the leader (top center) unpins, but the 'man down' next to him is dead!
Yowzah.  I didn't do anything to these guys, but they are acting like poorly motivated conscripts.

Tico (bottom center) moves up and pops around the corner of the gas station, where he finds himself staring at the enemy leader.  He immediately begins rock and rolling with his M-4 on full auto.  Please note he's a Special Forces 'operator,' with more enemies in his line of fire at top center and top left (CDM soldier at top right).

From the reverse perspective (Tico and the enemy leader are at top center), the enemy leader (next to Tico) is man down, the guy past him (bottom left) is man down, and the guy that was at the rocks at bottom center is forced to fall back and hunker (red bead at bottom right).
That's twice Tico has absolutely lit it up!  I thought about giving him a medal, but he didn't really do anything too brave, just shot like a champion.

Back on the left (Tico is at far right, on the north side of the gas station), one of Tico's CDM troops moves up (bottom right) and fires on the pinned bad guy at top left, putting him man down.

Back on the right, Bear moves up to rally his hunkering troop (bottom center) and fires on the hunkering bad guy at top center-left.

Not only does Bear (bottom left) miss his target, his guy fails and falls back (far right red bead).
Bad guy at top center is man down.

Damn, I thought it was over, Bear should have at least driven his target back off the map...

But the bad guys have pretty much had it: the two guys on their left try to rally back into the fight.  The guy at bottom left is good, but the guy with red bead at far right runs off the map!
That's three runners out of seven guys.

Behind the gas station Tico moves up and puts the enemy commander out of his misery.

Tico moves up (center, from explosion at right), as does one of his men (bottom center), who then fires at the 'man down' enemy soldier at far left.

Knocking him out of the fight.
The guard tower is back, I'd moved it out of the way for the last pic.

On the CLEF right, Bear moves up and draws react fire from the last bad guy still in the fight...

Which puts Bear flat on his back!  What!!!???

The bad guy, being the sole remaining FRY soldier on the board, decides to make his break for the table edge (he's on the road at bottom right, Bear is at the explosion at left, Tico at top center right).

CLEF and CDM troopers give chase, but they can't catch up to him!
The bad guy rolled a scurry, ran towards the table edge, good guys got to react by chasing him, but then the good guys rolled a scurry too, which allowed him to escape!  I suppose I could have chosen not to move so he wouldn't get to react move, and then try to hit him with Guard fire when he made for his escape, but I'd only have a 1 in 6 chance (need to pin him, not cause him to fall back, which would take him off the map anyway), plus it would have been super-cheesy to do that.

In any case, what a showing for the Cronistrian Democratic Militia in their first go!  Mikey and President Gregor are very proud of them and look forward to their further exploits on the battlefield.  And the FRY has earned every bit of the negative morale stuff I do to them in future fights, though they only actually lost three guys in the fight.  Regarding the CLEF, in the previous fight Bear did well while Tico was looking a bit shaky, and that was reversed in this fight.  At least until Bear got shot up; he's wounded and will return to the fight on 23 April 1990.

That was a lot of fun; I've fought one more already and need to write it up, and I'm looking to play some more Thursday.  Stay tuned.