This is the third fight in the initial trading of blows on the DMZ between Communist guerillas of the Fédération Socialiste Nationale de Leon and the Marines of Task Force Fulgencio. Amid almost a month of monotonous patrolling in the sweltering African heat there have already been two short, sharp fights between the two sides, resulting in moderate casualties for both. In both cases the Marines carried the day, though 2nd Platoon's fight (the more recent) was in less than exemplary fashion.
It is now 10 June 1990, and Lt Rodriques leads his 3rd Platoon on yet another patrol through the jungle, hunting guerillas which have infiltrated across the border between South Leon and FSNL.
So far I've fought the table as seen here (north is up) and with north to the left.
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!!!
Yay, two blurry pics in a row. Sorry... If I may, please recall the last batrep didn't have any blurry pics ;)
The enemy troops are spread pretty thin, won't be able to support each other, and their left flank team is not in very good spot. Sure, the treeline and paddy dike offer decent cover, but forced back there is nowhere to go. Such is life when playing solo with blinds.
At least I survived the initial salvo, after the last fight where the enemy dropped five Marines in the first few seconds.
I roll up activation for the Marines and get a random event, which is 'abort mission.' Yeah, I don't think so. If it had happened later I would have done it, but we just started.
I absolutely cannot believe the enemy scout missed, I gave him 2K 2S, didn't get a single result!
*For story purposes I changed the narrative up a bit. I rolled for the grenade and it came up the enemy gunner received a 'hunker' result. As he was already 'hunkered' he was forced to fall back and hunker, so I changed it to 'he saw the grenade roll in and ran before it blew up.'
*Also, I suppose I cheated a bit in this sequence. This started with the Lieutenant wanting to move up on the enemy machine gun. Now, as the player, I know the enemy scout was on the other side of the wall, but the LT did not, so I resolved to play it fair, have the LT move up and take his lumps via enemy reaction fire. When the enemy scout missed, I'm not sure I cheated, I simply let the LT change his direction of travel and move into close combat with the enemy scout. And when you win a close combat you're allowed to make another move to consolidate (I forget how far, but I generally give them up to a full move). So I let the LT, who in my mind now has his blood up for a fight, continue on his original direction of march, towards the enemy machine gun. What I shouldn't have done is allow him to fire his pistol while making this move. Also, the enemy gunner was suppressed so he couldn't react fire, and I gave it a 50-50 chance the assistant gunner might react fire.
My line of reasoning was, he's assisting the gunner, and with the nature of the trench being perpendicular to the field of fire his field of vision is a bit obscured, not to mention he'd have to reach over, pick up his rifle, shoulder it, sight in, and fire. So I figured 1-3 he fires, 4-6 he doesn't; dice said he didn't. Then the LT's pistol fire killed the assistant, so I figured why not let him continue on his rampage? So I let him throw the grenade, though it only achieved a second suppression result.
*I gave him only 1K, didn't even give him any Shock dice as I figured the enemy was in 'death ground' and wasn't about to be further cowered (they were already in bad shape, with the rifleman suppressed and the RPD gunner pinned).
Wow, I needed that! ZERO casualties for the Marines, the Lieutenant was a beast, and the enemy was eliminated (five KIA and one captured)! I hope the fight didn't seem cheesy to you guys; I know anytime a fight is this one sided it runs the risk of looking 'meh,' but I'm telling you, it didn't seem that way to me until Benavides popped the enemy machine gunner. With these rules, you are always only a single die roll away from a catastrophe. I'm not saying the enemy would have won, but one set of bad dice and now I win but with three or four casualties (especially with the way my guys got bunched up over there next to the enemy machine gun position).
Lt Rodriques was awarded the Silver Star for his actions on 10 June 1990. His decisiveness and personal bravery broke the back of the enemy defense and saved lives.
Thus ends the three fight initial flurry of clashes between the Cuban Marines and FSNL guerillas. Like I said, I've got some modern Middle East stuff going on currently, and I'm working on a raid in the Caribbean and some paratroopers in South Leon's capital (using 'Boots on the Ground,' a boardgame recommended by the good Mr. Peter Cooman), but then I'm planning on coming back to these Marines on the DMZ. My plan is to base the next round of fights on platoon fights based on the Vietnam War's "Operation Starlite." I'm doing some research right now. If this goes as planned, the Marine war on the DMZ in South Leon will culminate with my Dai Do project, which I believe I'm going to do in 6mm.