Saturday, October 29, 2016

Operation Pay-Off Batrep 2


It's 22 June 1990, and things are not going well for Major Villanueva and his men.  They are in Agdir, Morocco, where they were charged with escorting The Ambassador to a meeting, but there was no meeting, it was all a ruse that led to a complex ambush.  That was at noon; it's now about 1220.  Villanueva and his men have been in a firefight for about twenty minutes now; they have suffered six of their 16 shooters becoming casualties (though The Ambassador is safe), and they have killed almost forty enemy soldiers.  They got off the 'X,' out of the kill zone, by fighting their way approximately 100 meters to a building where they are hoping to hole up and wait for a Quick Reaction Force (QRF) made up of Moroccan Army troops and vehicles (this was coordinated prior to the operation beginning) to come in and save their bacon.

But Major Villanueva is on the radio with the QRF commander, Captain Mohammed Massaquoi, at the head of a convoy of a company of infantry supported by a platoon of tanks, and things are not looking good.  First, comms suck in the built up area.  Second, the maps suck, and the meeting site is in a very inhospitable (to the Moroccan government), congested area, so both the Cubans and the QRF are having a hard time figuring out exactly where they are and communicating it to the other.  Lastly, the Cubans are not the only ones under attack; the bad guys are also attacking the QRF.  So effecting a linkup between two forces not used to operating with each other, in areas neither is particularly familiar with, with spotty communications, under fire, is proving to be quite a task.

Major Villanueva: "Alright, everyone listen up!  The QRF is pretty sure they know where we are and they know where they are.  The problem is they can't get their armor in here due to being engaged, not knowing the terrain well enough, and it being too constricted anyway.  They don't want to leave their vehicles as they'd be losing a lot of combat power, and then wouldn't be in a good spot to get us, our casualties, and their casualties out.  They're sitting on a major fast route another hundred meters east of here; they need us to move to them.  So, same drill as last time.  Lead element fights us through, trail element pulls rear security and drags the casualties.  Mouse, you take lead element this time."

The teams, or what was left of them, quickly reorganized, took a sip of water, redistributed ammo, took a quick look at the map, oriented themselves to the terrain, and moved out.

Overview of map, north is up.  The team is in the building at top left and is moving to the building at bottom right.  Once again we will focus our actions on the lead element, consisting of five men, with the remainder of the force being in the trail element.  They will pull rear security (notionally engaging targets off table to the west and north), then move up with the casualties once the path is clear.  The enemy will be spread across the table.  They will start with ten men on the board, and as (if?) I manage to knock them out they will 're-spawn' to random points on the board.

The opposing forces, with bad guys at top and good guys on the bottom. Everything is 15mm, with the bad guys and The Ambassador from Rebel Minis, the good guys from Eureka, and the casualty figures from Peter Pig.

The sorry state of affairs for the Cubans: the lead element is at bottom consisting of, from left to right:
SAW Gunner: Link
Sniper: Neo
Rifleman: Morpheus
Grenadier: Niobe
Leader: Mouse

At top is the trail element.  Please note that we have taken so many casualties that, as the trail element moves is has no one that can fire as every single able bodied man, to include The Ambassador, is carrying a casualty.  But we will leave no man behind.  The trail element has Major Villanueva, his RTO, and Dozer, Apoc, and Switch, who were lead element in the last fight.

The unit is holed up in the northwest, needing to start moving to get to the southeast.  The trail element is at far left, while the lead element is below them and to their right (two guys on the roof).  On the roof is Neo (sniper) and Link (SAW).  On the ground (at bottom left) is Morpheus, Mouse, and Niobe.

The entire table, with Cubans at top left (northwest) and bad guys spread across the table.  Ten of them.  Against my five guys.  And they keep regenerating.  I'm not sure this is a good idea...

The southwest corner.  I finally remembered to put some of my 'scatter' terrain out, not just the cars.


And northeast.

Time to fight, time to die!

The fight starts with the sniper, Neo (top left), opening fire on an RPG gunner in the southeast (bottom right).  But he only manages to pin the bad guy...

Just below Neo (top left), Link fires his SAW to the south (bottom right).

One terrorist is knocked down (white bead) and one is pinned (yellow bead).

With Neo covering (top left), Link hops down and takes cover behind a dumpster (bottom center right).

From behind the wall at top left, Niobe fires on another terrorist camping out atop a building (bottom right).  Niobe is firing down a narrow alley between the two buildings at center; this alley would prove to be a key fire lane during the battle.

Niobe (barely visible at top center) missed with his burst, but hopped the wall and begins moving up.  As he does so the bad guy at bottom center opens fire with his AK...

But the bad guy's rounds also miss, and Niobe makes it safely across the street to the corner of a the building (bottom center, from bottom left, with Link behind dumpster at center left).  As he pulls up, Niobe looks left and spots an enemy RPG gunner atop a building at top center left!  He turns to yell a warning...

But Morpheus has already hopped the wall and is moving to Niobe (top left).  The enemy RPG gunner (bottom right) takes aim and launches a rocket.

The rocket screams in and detonates right at Morpeus' feet, putting him out of the fight.  Niobe falls back (from off camera to center right, all the way back across the street and over the wall, red bead), and Mouse is pinned (yellow bead).

Well, that really sucks...

Mouse, the team leader, quickly rallies Niobe (red bead at left), then moves up, climbing onto the rooftop (top center).

Three terrorists hall themselves up onto rooftops (bottom right, center, center top right), while the two pinned bad guys (yellow beads at bottom left center and right) both successfully self rally.

I rolled a handful of 'scurries' for the bad guys, which the used to get atop roofs without drawing react fire.  Not good.

In the southwest, the bad guy that started the fight down next to the stalls at bottom left moves up on the roof at center, while the guy there hops down and sprints forward (top left).

An RPG gunner (bottom right) moves left to try to go check on his knocked down buddy (white bead at bottom center right), but Neo spots him and snap fires...

Dropping the bad guy in his tracks (right).

Another RPG gunner (the one that popped Morpheus) moves right to get a better line of sight (top center), but Mouse (bottom left, with Link just below him) spots him and fires.

And a second RPG gunner is down (right), while a nearby rifleman is pinned (yellow bead at bottom left).

Link (behind dumpster at bottom left) lines up the bad guy that just got pinned by Mouse (top right) and rattles off a burst from his SAW.

The bad guy (white bead at bottom left) is knocked down, and Link dashes across the street, taking position at the corner (center).

As he gets there he tosses a grenade (blue bead) at a bad guy on the roof.

The terrorist dives off the roof just in time, as the frag goes off in the spot he just vacated.

Neo (top left) sights in his sniper rifle and fires past the guy Link just knocked down (center) at another bad guy rifleman (bottom right).

Neo's target (white bead at right) is knocked down, but the terrorist at bottom right returns fire on Neo, knocking him down!  Mouse is on the tier below Neo and sees him fall.

Mouse (bottom left) returns fire on the bad guy that just knocked Neo down (top right).

Forcing the bad guy off the roof.

Mouse then scrambles up to Neo to check him, but he remains knocked down.

Typing this and looking at the picture, I just realized I cheated: Mouse has a yellow bead, meaning he's pinned.  Meaning he can't fire and move in the same activation...

Things are starting to go off the rails, we need to make something happen.  Niobe (far left) hops the wall and dashes into the street.  But the bad guy at bottom right spots him and fires...

And Niobe goes down, not far from Morpheus.

Major Villanueva: "@#$%!!!!  We can't move!  We are combat ineffective!  This is the Alamo!  Somebody get on the radio and get the damn QRF in here!"
RTO: "I've got them on the hook, Sir, but they can't find us and can't get to us anyway, we've got to get to them."
Major Villanueva: "@#$%!!!!  They need to get here, we are on the brink of extinction here!  We cannot move!  Dozer: you, Apoc, and Switch get your asses over there and help get the casualties back in here!"
Dozer: "Aye, aye, Sir!"
Mouse: "Negative, we can still make it!"

Mouse and Neo are on the second tier of the building (Neo is still knocked down), Switch is at the right corner, and Dozer and Apoc are at the wall at bottom left.  Major Villanueva and his RTO are the only ones left with The Ambassador and the casualties.  Link is still across the street at the corner (off camera to bottom right).

Two more bad guys show up for the fight (bottom left and far right).

The new bad guy in the south climbs up on the roof, looking to check on his buddy.  He's back in the fight.

The other new bad guy, the one in the east, is an RPG gunner.  He (bottom center) fires a rocket at the building (top right).

The rocket slams into the building, pinning Switch (bottom right).

Two bad guys attempt to self rally (bottom left and top right): both are successful.

In the south, right across the street from the Cuban building, a bad guy climbs up on the roof (center).  Mouse (top left) spots him and fires...

But Mouse (top left) misses, and the bad guy (bottom right) returns fire, and Mouse is knocked down, practically falling on top of the sniper, Neo...

With the bad guy that just knocked down Mouse at far left, his buddy moves up (center bottom).

And then, to his right (the guy we just looked at is off camera to bottom left) another bad guy gets on a roof (far right).

Sure are a lot of bad guys out there, and a lot of them are on roofs, with great fields of fire...

Switch (top left), lines up the RPG gunner and his buddy that just rallied him (bottom right), and opens up with his SAW.

The RPG gunner is again knocked down (white bead), while his buddy is forced down from the roof (red bead).

At the corner (bottom right), Link fires his SAW at a nearby terrorist (far left).  The bad guys Switch just fired on are at top left; Link is looking to move south (up) down the alley to close with them.

Link's target (bottom right) goes down, and he creeps south, down the alley (left, from top center).

Apoc (far left) fires on the bad guy that just knocked Mouser (off camera to top left) down.

The target is pinned, so Apoc hops the wall, dashes across the street, and tosses a frag (blue bead).


With Apoc safely to cover (bottom center), Dozer (left) tosses a smoke grenade next to him, into the alley, to block the fire lane between the two buildings.

Then Dozer climbs up on the roof (top left), but a bad guy (bottom right) spots him and fires.

Dozer runs through the incoming fire, safely reaching Switch and rallying him.  Dozer returns fire...

And the hostile trooper is out of the fight (bottom right).

As bad as things are going, Major Villanueva climbs up to the second level to check on Neo and Mouse (top center).

Both men get back on their feet (top center), an Major Villanueva heads back down (bottom left).  So we've got four men on the roof, and they're all in good fighting shape.

But then three more terrorists join the fight: top right, bottom right (next to red pickup), and bottom left.

The enemy RPG gunner in the southeast (bottom right) fires a rocket at the building (top left)...

Switch (white bead at center) is knocked down, and Dozer (red bead at bottom center) is forced to fall back and hunker.

Four guys on the roof in fighting shape didn't last long, did it?

In the southwest, the bad guy on the building at bottom left was further left on the building; he had heard gunfire to his right, so he moves back (to where he is now) to get a look.  As he does, Link (top center left) spots him and fires...

But Link (top center right) totally whiffs!  The bad guy (bottom left) calmly returns fire...

And Link is out of the fight (right).

I believe that was the turning point in the battle.  Up to that point, while I'd taken some casualties, it was still possible for me to pull this off.  But not now, not without a miracle of some sort.  I can't even carry all my casualties now, and my combat power is totally shot.  If Link would have just popped that dude (total miss with 2K 2S) I'm in tall cotton, as they say.  Most of the remaining bad guys in the area are knocked down or in bad morale shape, and the ones still in the fight are in bad positions.

Mouse: "Sorry Boss, I thought we could make it.  I'm working on getting us pulled back, but we can't leave Switch out there."

One of the new bad guys moves up (behind the wall at bottom left), while the hunkering bad guy at right (red bead) successfully rallies.

In the southeast, a terrorist moves north (up) to try to reach a buddy that's knocked down (bottom right).  But Neo (top left) spots him and fires...

Ring'em up!  I probably shouldn't be so cocky...

In the northeast, a new bad guy moves up.

Dozer successfully self rallies (bottom left), while Neo (top center) fires at the nearest RPG gunner and misses...

You gotta be @#$%ing kidding me!!!  Neo is the @#$%ing sniper!!!

So Mouse (top left), sitting next to Neo, takes his normal, ordinary rifle with iron sights and fires on the RPG gunner (bottom right)...

Dropping him.

Mouse moves down to Switch and checks him, he's good.

Apoc is not too keen on blindly charging through the alley where Dozer (bottom left) threw the smoke (right, narrow alley between the two buildings there).  So he moves straight east up the street (top center, from center).  He's up to the corner, now he needs to turn right and move down a bit to retrieve Switch.

And here's a look at where he needs to go: Switch's prostrate figure is lying at center, just to the right of the building.  Lotsa bad guys around.  The two at bottom left move forward.  They've got an RPG gunner knocked down atop the building at bottom right.

So a terrorist climbs up there to check on the RPG gunner (bottom right), but Neo (top left) spots him and fires, knocking him down.

Once again I'm rolling a record number of 1s.

The smoke clears in the alley/fire lane (center), so Dozer (top left) can now see a bad guy on the roof at bottom right, so he fires.

Of course Dozer (top left) misses, so the bad guy (bottom center) returns fire, pinning him...

Mouse (top left) fires at the bad guy at bottom center, knocking him down.

Mouse drops down and rushes to the alley/fire lane (bottom center, from left), while Link sprints left (top center, across the street from Apoc, from corner of building at left).

Apoc (center top) creeps up, but a bad guy (bottom center) spots him and fires, knocking Apoc down!

Then the terrorist turns right and sights in on Switch (top right) and fires, putting him out of the fight!!!  So I've got Link lying there, Apoc knocked down, and Switch lying there.

The bad guy that just popped Apoc and Switch is at top right; seeing his buddy knocked down (white bead at bottom center), the bad guy on the building at far right hops down and sprints to him.  But Dozer (off camera to top left) spots him and fires...

The rounds hit nearby and force the bad guy to fall back across the street, hop the wall, and hunker down (red bead at bottom right, from explosions at left).

Looking south at the board, a bad guy climbs up on the roof in the northeast corner (bottom left).  Neo (far right) spots him and fires...

Dropping him.

Dozer hugs the wall and sprints up near Switch (top center, from center), while Mouse dashes across the street (center).

Mouse moves through the alley/fire lane, emerging on the other side (center left).

The hunkering terrorist at bottom center successfully self rallies, and the bad guy at top center is feeling a bit froggy...

The terrorist darts up the street, past Link, and into close combat with Apoc, who is knocked down.

The bad guy puts Apoc out of the fight, as Dozer (top right) looks on.

Dozer (right) fires...

And drops the bad guy, right next to Apoc.

While just around the corner, Mouse (left) fires at the terrorist at bottom right...

And drops him.

I'm a bit befuddled and astounded.  I'm despondent; not only can I not successfully complete my mission, I can't even go out and recover my casualties.  But then, all of a sudden, my guys start shooting their asses off, and all of a sudden I'm doing okay.  Mostly because I stopped bringing new terrorists every turn...

Mouse moves up and finishes off the nearby, knocked down bad guy.  The southwest is now clear.

 Mouse moves right (right) to link up with Dozer and recover the casualties.

Neo joins them, and now they have enough people to grab Link, Switch, and Apoc, and drag them back to the building.

Which they do, as Major Villaneuva and The Ambassador hop the wall and grab Morpheus and Niobe.

For goodness sake, that was a butt-whoopin'.  I feel sick; I'm sure you Army, Navy, and Air Force guys are used to losing, but I was a Marine, and it doesn't sit well with me, even when I'm playing solo ;)  We just couldn't get it done, we suffered mightily at the hands of the enemy RPGs.  I'm aggravated about my firing dice; not just 'knockdowns' rather than kills, the kills just come back on the next turn anyway.  Nah, I'm aggravated about the three or four times I rolled three or four shooting dice and failed to get a single result, and so the enemy got to return fire, and in three of the four instances the enemy put one of my guys on his back.

Well, that was not how the fight was supposed to go.  The last scenario is supposed to be an Alamo-style fight while the QRF rumbles in to save the day, but I changed it up.  Seeing as how we didn't get where we're supposed to be, the QRF can't make it to us.  And we have too many casualties to move.  So my compromise is, the Cubans will hole up in the building they currently occupy, and send a small team out to establish contact with the QRF and lead them back in to pick up the rest of the unit.

I've actually already played it!  I'm working on the batrep, so stand by.



  1. So what is that old Marine saying...oh yes, "Adapt, overcome, and whine your butt off, while doing so." Maybe you should let your son roll the dice for the good guys. Intense AAR, thanks for sharing it.

    1. "Marines ain't happy unless they're bitching." Something's gotta give with these dice!

      Glad you liked the batrep, and thanks for the comments, I appreciate it.