It's 1530 on 18 April 1990, and Team 6-3 is on patrol, seeking out the enemy. And not just any enemy, their new nemesis: Demjanovic's Tigers, the Serbian 4th Special Forces Battalion. Serbia is very much interested in holding together the splintering Federal Republic of Yugoslavia (FRY). It had been content with backing, to a certain extent, the Cronistrian Communist Party, as well as keeping several FRY Army units active in Cronistria via pre-existing garrisons/barracks. But word soon reached Serbian military HQ that a Western nation had dispatched commandos to Cronistria to back the Cronistrian Democrats; President Milosevic ordered the deployment of Major Demjanovic's 4th Special Forces Battalion to hunt them down.
Earlier in the day the Operations NCO approached Lt "Mikey" Trojas, the commander of the CLEF detachment in Cronistria, Task Force Trojas. "Sir, 626-Forward (a CLEF element across the border in Italy, with a Radio Reconnaissance Team attached) reports new callsigns and locations up on the enemy (radio) net. This has to be Demjanovic's Tigers. Most of the callsigns are co-located with FRY garrisons, but we've identified a few located in rural areas. There's one not two hours' march from here." "Roger, get me 6-3's leader, Turk."
Turk reported to Mikey, who quickly briefed him in on the situation. "I want your team to scout out the location ID'ed by 626-Forward, and if you can whack'em, then I damn well want you to whack'em, savvy?" "Roger, Boss."
Turk assembled his team, briefed and prepped them, and off they went. By 1330 the four-man patrol was nearing the geocoords provided by 626-Forward. Unbeknownst to the team, Demjanovic's Tigers had set a trap: they set up several ambush sites in rural areas centered on fake radio transmissions, which they figured might lure the Western commandos to battle. The only good news for Turk and Team 6-3 was that the enemy had oriented their ambush to the south and west, while Turk had had his men circle around from the north.
Yes, I know these weapons and gear are entirely inappropriate for 1990; as I've stated several times, my Cuba Libre campaign is mostly just an excuse to run a connected campaign of ultramodern games without having to deal with the politics. Ergo, I have guys with 2015 gear in Yugoslavia in 1990, fighting Germans proxying as Serbians ;)
But they are watching the bridge. The bad guys had their ambush oriented south and west, but their guy pulling rear area security has spotted Team 6-3 crossing the bridge and quietly alerted his comrades.
Things are really going to @#$%...
The bad guys return fire.
**Quick game note: If you recall, upon seeing the ambush, Turk (the team leader) called out for his men lay down cover fire and fall back (north) across the bridge. If you're wondering why this hasn't happened, the CLEF team has rolled three straight firefights, so no one has been able to move. This is coupled with the fact that every time my guys fire they miss, and any bad guys not hit or pinned are able to return fire, and then move and shoot in their own turn! So things are not going well, the team is having a hell of time fighting their way out of the ambush; to me,this simply means the weight of fire from the enemy is such that the good guys are having a really rough time moving, barely able to return (effective) fire.
Damn that's a lot of ones and sixes.
Finally the CLEF is able to move! But they rolled a scurry, so no shooting! Ain't that some !@#$!!!??? Shoot with no move three times in a row, then a move with no shoot. So my guys will move, but then the bad guys will counter move, and then get their turn, where they'll probably move and shoot...
**Another game note: I rolled another damn Scurry!!! That would be great, but I really need to be moving AND shooting as I'm 1) vastly outnumbered and 2) need to get across the bridge, pick up my wounded, and haul ass back over the bridge without getting caught/shot. I also roll a random event, "Straggler."
I'm not sure how to treat this; I mean, it would be easy to play it as rolled, but I wanted it to make sense in the overall scheme of things, and the team wasn't missing anyone, and it wouldn't make a lot of sense for a guy from another team to show up by himself, so...
"Negative, Turk and Panda are laid up, just on the other side of the bridge!"
"My friend, you cannot save them! There are too many enemy on the south side, and there are more approaching from the east and west, right now! They will be here any minute. Mikey sent me to warn you!"
**I've made the decision to fought to the bitter end, but to have Rock and Bolt fall back off the map. So I let them fire on the way out, just for fun.
Bolt and Rock followed the CDM Lieutenant, E&Eing out of the area. Once they felt secure they immediately moved to high ground to raise comms with the Command Post and provide a SITREP. At the end of the transmission, Bolt's voice nearly cracked: "I'm sorry Mikey, we just couldn't get to them..."
"It's alright man, get your ass back here as soon as you can, but make sure you don't drag any of them with you. And keep your @#$% together, we're going to need you. We're dropping everything and nothing else goes on until we get our men back."
Wow, what a suck ass fight! And to clarify, I mean suck as in 'I lost,' not suck as in I got screwed over by the rules. If I got screwed by anything, it was my inferior die-rolling skills, not the rules, and in any case, that's BS. You want friction, there it was. I was quite frustrated, but it felt pretty reasonable to me: my team was caught in an ambush, outnumbered, and just couldn't seem to get things going.. Sometimes you just have a crappy day, and this was it. I still had plenty of decisions to make, and I'm definitely second guessing several times when I decided to self-rally guys that were pinned instead of simply holding fast and laying down fire, which may have done better at keeping the bad guys at bay until I got the opportunity to get my guys moving. But even then it's simply a 'may have kept the enemy at bay;' it may very well have meant my guys weren't ready to move when I finally got the chance, and the enemy wasn't affected in any case.
But now I've got a totally unexpected event, the campaign has taken a turn. We're about to experience a flurry of activity as the CLEF task force goes all out to get its men back. I've already played the next two fights and need to get them written up for you guys. They're on the way, so stay tuned.