This is the second fight of a three-fight series for the opening round of my South Leon campaign, which is actually a thinly-veiled Vietnam campaign being used to keep my Cuba Libre story going. Task Force Fulgencio, comprising a company of Marines, a company of paratroopers, and various intelligence, special operations forces, and combat support detachments has deployed to prop up the fictional country of South Leon, which is suffering from guerrilla war begun by domestic Marxists and supported by its Communist neighbor, the Fédération Socialiste Nationale de Leon.
1st Lt Ordonez' company of Marines was dispatched to the border with FSNL, while the parachute infantry company was sent to the capital of South Leon. The Marines have been aggressively patrolling the DMZ, and the first real contact with infiltrators from FSNL occurred several days ago. Lt Peres' 1st Platoon met the enemy in an abandoned village, where the guerrillas sprung an ambush. Both sides were bloodied, but the Marines ultimately carried the day.
It is now approximately 1045 on 7 June 1990, and Lt Lupe's 2nd Platoon has been on patrol since the wee hours of the morning.
Yes, this is the same table I used for the previous battle, simply turned sideways. I hate to tell ya, but the third battle uses the same table turned yet again. If you want to get lots of fights in you've gotta make some sacrifices ;)
These minis are all 15mm US Marines from Jimmi's excellent Flashpoint Miniatures, resplendent with their M-14s. I went with all the riflemen having M-14s as I was shooting for some very early Vietnam War (1965) feel, facing off against the Viet Cong.
So we've got the Lieutenant (bottom left, the knucklehead brandishing a .45 pistol), his Radio-Telephone Operator (RTO, just above him), seven riflemen with M-14s (one is the squad leader, a Sergeant, rifleman in 2nd row at far right, and one is a Corporal, rifleman in 2nd row, 2nd from left), an M-79 grenadier (2nd row, 2nd from right), a two-man M-60 machine gun team (top row, two on right), and the platoon Corpsman (top row, far left).
And yes, for the Sergeant and Corporal I'm again going with Sgt Garcia and Cpl Benavides. I can't keep coming up with discrete names!!!
Please note he is still prone in the trench.
*This was a random event for the bad guys. My luck is not looking so hot right now...
*This would be key as he was the only enemy soldier on the right, and a man that is knocked down cannot self recover, he must be aided by a comrade moving into base contact. The FSNL could never get anyone over there, so he simply laid there the rest of the fight.
I can't catch a break. The enemies opening salvo puts three Marines out of the fight, knocks another down, hunkers one, and pins one. I can't get guys rallied, I can't get 'man down' guys back in the fight, and if you haven't noticed, I can't hardly hit anything!!!
The A-gunner is turning out to be quite the little marskman, the only guy that can hit anything.
*I can't believe this! The Marine was +1, and the enemy was -2, and I rolled a draw!!! This game has been unbelievable. But as bad as my dice have been, I'm still in it.
So far the M-60 gunner has held fast at the hooch at bottom center of the table, and Lt Lupe and his RTO have hung back in the rear, panicking on the radio: "Contact, contact! Redleg 6 this is Redleg 2 Actual, we have contact, multiple men down, heavy enemy resistance, estimate at least company strength! We need supporting fires, we need 3rd Platoon, we need MEDEVAC, dammit Redleg 6 we need support!"
Lt Ordonez, the company commander: "Calm down Lieutenant."
Lt Lupe: "Redleg 6 we've got men down everywhere, I can't see anything, we're being overrun, broken arrow, broken arrow, request supporting fires on my pos!"
Lt Ordonez: "Calm down Lieutenant, now tell me what's going on. Where is Sgt Garcia? Where are your 2nd and 3rd Squads? What's your grid, son?"
Lt Lupe: "Redleg 6, we're at... Dammit, where's my map! I need my map! Sgt Garcia is down, Cpl Benavides is down, they're all dead, we gonna die!!!"
Lt Ordonez: "Now you listen to me Lieutenant! It's time to cowboy the @#$% up, so strap on your helmet, find your rifle, and you get your candy-ass up there and lead those men! Fight, Lieutenant! Redleg 6, out!"
That's three damn times he's done that! Three 1's on in a row on a D6!!!
And all of a sudden the fortunes have reversed. With the LT, RTO, -60 gunner, LCpl Saenz, and his buddy, the Marines have five men on the center right ready to fight. Doc finally gets the rifleman on the left back in the fight, and they're up and ready to go. But now the enemy doesn't really have anyone left: the scout on their right has been knocked down since early in the fight, with no way for friends to reach him and get him back in the fight. The RPG gunner is in the center, but he's in the same boat. The reason the recoiless rifle assistant and then the rifleman on that side both sprinted for the foot bridge was to get over and rally the RPG gunner and assistant machine gunner, who was suppressed. But the recoiless rifle assistant was killed and the rifleman is now suppressed, lying in the stream.
It feels strange, but for all intents and purposes the fight is over, the Marines have won by sheer weight of numbers, despite losing five men right off the bat.
Well, I'm still a bit in shock. I suppose I cheated a bit: in fairness, I could have rolled activation for the enemy one last time (right after Lt Lupe moved up, rallied the two Marines in the trench, and they moved up), and then had the enemy assistant machine gunner and the rifleman in the stream attempt to self rally. If either failed with a 6 they would have run off the map, if they failed with a 1 I would have simply moved forward and scooped them (as I did here, though not without risk as you saw when LCpl Saenz charged the suppressed rifleman in the fighting hole and was rejected), and if they would have passed they wouldn't have been able to move or react fire so I could have moved up and simply gunned them down. Though maybe I would have missed ;)
Either way, I'm pretty sure they wouldn't have been able to reach either of the knocked down guys, they simply might have been able to escape by running off the map (if they were really lucky). In any case, the Marines ultimately suffered 2 KIA and 3 WIA, while the FSNL guerrillas suffered 3 KIA and 4 captured. Lt Lupe was not relieved, but he received a severe ass chewing that evening when Lt Ordonez helo'ed out to 2nd Platoon's night defense position for the express purpose of chewing Lt Lupe's ass. Lt Lupe recommended LCpl Saenz for the Bronze Star, but Lt Ordonez rejected it, partly due to the fact he was pissed at Lt Lupe, partly due to the fact Saenz got his sorry ass thrown out of the fighting hole by a cowering enemy soldier, then ran back with his tail between his legs and flopped in the trench next to his buddy.
What a fight, I'm exhausted! I've got one more to write up and post, then I change gears for some modern Middle East fights. My boy and I played most of a game, and have two more to go in that operation, playing co-op with SOF against insurgents. Sorry, my wargaming butterfly-ness simply won't allow me to stay focused on any one arena for too long ;) Stay tuned.