Monday, October 31, 2016

Operation Pay-Off Batrep 3


It's 22 June 1990, and things are really, really 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 1245.  Villanueva and his men have been in a firefight for roughly forty-five minutes now, and they have suffered a whopping 11 of their 16 shooters becoming casualties (though The Ambassador is safe), and they have killed almost sixty 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 has been on the radio with the QRF commander, Captain Mohammed Massaquoi, at the head of a convoy consisting 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.

In our last fight, Major Villanueva again split his force, with an advance element clearing the way to a building near the QRF, and the rear element protecting the casualties and moving up once the coast was clear.  But things went horribly awry, and a seemingly endless wave of bad guys flowed in, making very good use of RPGs to pound the Cuban position and small arms to cut them up in the narrow streets.  The initial Cuban push was forced back due to casualties; Major Villanueva quickly re-organized the lead element, not to continue the assault to the destination building, but solely to recover the Cuban casualties and and fall back to the current position.  But Mouse, a team leader, was confident he could move his men southwest and secure the destination building, and so he pushed his shooters forward.  But they were chopped to pieces, with three casualties falling within about three minutes and 20 meters of each other.  Ultimately, one final push was made and the Cuban casualties were secured, but they had to fall back to the original position, still occupied by Major Villanueva.

At this point water, medical supplies, and ammo are running low.  Many of the wounded are fading, and some have actually passed out due to loss of blood, and the casualties actually double the number of able-bodied operators.  Hope and time are running out, and Major Villanueva floats his final plan, a desperate, last ditch effort to get out of this jam by linking up with the Moroccan QRF.  Major Villanueva works out it out with Captain Massequoi: the Cuban force cannot move as a whole as there are simply too many casualties.  Major Villanueva will lead several men forward to affect the physical linkup with the QRF, and the QRF will detach a force to travel back to the Cuban position, secure the casualties, then return to the QRF's primary position before exfiltrating the area.

Overview of map, north is up.  The Cubans are occupying the building at bottom left; additionally, the Cubans now have a fix on the QRF's location, which is northeast of them (top right corner).  The bulk of the Cuban force will remain in the southwest corner while Major Villanueva leads several men northeast to linkup with the QRF, then lead them back to the southwest building.

The forces involved in the fight: at right is the Cuban force, at center is the QRF, and at left is the bad guys.  The center force is not the entire QRF, it is simply representative, and the bad guys will only field ten men in this fight, dead men will not be regenerated and thrown back into the fight.  This is because the Cubans only have six able-bodied men left, including The Ambassador.

The Cubans: the warm bodies are, from top left: The Ambassador, Rake (the Major's RTO), and Major Villanueva.  Bottom left: Neo, Mouse, and Dozer.  The eleven casualties are laid out above; yes, I actually ran out of 'good guy' casualties and have to use the 'bad guy' casualties...

The plan is for Rake and The Ambassador to stay with the casualties while Major Villanueva, Neo, Mouse, and Dozer fight their way through to the QRF, link up, fight their way back to the Rake, The Ambassador, and the casualties, load them up, then fight their way back to the northeast.

The Moroccan QRF, led by Captain Massequoi.  This force will be placed in the top right corner of the map, but it is simply representative until the linkup with the Cubans is affected.  Once that occurs, the BTR and four men will move to the southwest building to police up the rest of the Cuban force, then fight their way back to the northeast corner.

The bad guys, all AKs but for two RPGs, which really ripped me apart last game.

The Cuban start position at the southwest building.  Rake is at far left, with Dozer just above him, The Ambassador is at bottom center, Mouse is at right, Major Villanueva is at center, atop the building, and Neo is above him.

With the Cubans set up at bottom left, I set out blinds for the bad guys.  Ten real ones and five dummies.

Then policed them up and placed the bad guys where the blinds said they were.

A look at the northwest corner, with the Cuban position at top center.

Looking south to north at the center of the table.  The Cubans are off table to bottom left.

Looking south to north at the southeast corner of the table.  The Cubans are off table to left.

Looking north to south at the northeast corner of the table, showing the Moroccan QRF position.  They are holding tight, under fire from other bad guys off table.

Time to go.

Neo, the sniper, has crawled up and taken up position the roof (bottom left, with Major Villanueva below him).  He sights in on an RPG gunner (top center right) and fires...

The target (right) is knocked down by Neo (top left).  With the fight on, Mouse (bottom center) checks a rifleman with a great field of fire (top right) and shoots...

This guy is also knocked down (off camera to right), so Mouse begins moving up (bottom center).  But a bad guy (top left) spots him and fires...

The rounds miss and Mouse makes it to the cover of the wall (center).  Major Villanueva then hops down off the roof and sprints towards the black sedan (right), but he doesn't make it (ridiculous die roll!) and ends up just right of Mouse.

But so far I'm at least keeping my guys concentrated, able to support each other.

Back on the Cuban left, Dozer (bottom center, with Neo atop the building to his right) opens fire to the north...

He knocks down one Tango (white bead) and forces one to fall back and hunker (red bead).

So I've fired three times and rolled three ones.  Like I said, I love these rules, where at least I can survive my propensity for rolling ones...

Dozer then hops the wall and beings moving up (left center).

But a bad guy (top right) spots him and fires...

Forcing him to fall back (red bead, from explosion).

That really sucks; as I've sent Major Villanueva and Mouse around to the south, my only option now is to move Neo off his perch to help him out, or cheat by using Rake or The Ambassador, who are supposed to stay with the casualties and watch for enemies off table to the west and south.

But then an enemy troop (top center) takes a shot at Neo (bottom left, with Mouse and Major Villanueva at bottom right), knocking him down!

Oh @#$%, I'm gonna have to cheat!  If I make it that long!  The bad guys are really feeling their oats and decide to decisively push forward to capitalize on their numerical advantage, hoping to finally wipe the mat with these Cubans...

The other enemy RPG gunner climbs up on a roof and moves up (top right, just above the other RPG gunner, who is knocked down), but Major Villanueva (bottom center) spots him...

And drops him (bottom center).  The pic is zoomed out to show you the guy that just went down, but also to show you the two men near him that are knocked down (white beads) and need help to get back in the fight, as well as the fact the bad guys have three more men nearby: one at far right, one barely just visible (his legs) at top center, and one at top left.

So the terrorist that was just shown at far right moves up between the buildings (center top right), and Mouse (bottom left) spots him and takes a shot...

Tango down (bottom right), and pins the guy behind him (yellow bead at top left).

Nice shootin', Tex, I needed that!

But the last remaining bad guy on the east side moves down the street (center top right; he's actually just above the guy who just got shot, where the casualty figure is obscured by the fruit stand, and just below the guy that just got pinned, who is behind the building at top right), from top center.  He picks up the targets, Mouse and Major Villanueva, at bottom left, and fires...

Major Villanueva goes down, out of the fight.

Looking west to east at the northwest corner of the board (the Cuban position is off camera to right; at far right, just above the building you can just see the explosion from when the terrorists shot at Dozer and forced him back): one bad guy goes up on a roof (bottom center), while the suppressed guy (red bead at top center left) self rallies but only gets up to pinned.

Okay, I'm in a bad way, so time to cheat.  Major Villanueva is now a casualty, Neo is knocked down (atop the building, and may become a casualty when he gets checked), and Dozer is suppressed, hunkering down in the fetal position (just off camera to left), so only Mouse (just visible above the building at right) is the only combat effective guy left from the linkup team.  So, Rake goes running up to the roof to check on Neo and (hopefully) get him back in the fight.

Rake gets up to Neo (bottom right), and even though I'm cheating by using him, I keep it a little fair by letting a bad guy (top left) react fire at him...

The 7.62 x 39mm rounds zip by, but Rake reaches Neo and checks him: good to go, back in the fight!

So I cheat a little more and let Neo (bottom center) fire at a bad guy (top center).

Guys that just recovered from knocked down aren't supposed to be able to act in the same turn they recovered.

And it doesn't pay off: Neo's rounds totally miss!  The bad guy (top right) returns fire, but luckily he misses too.

Mouse (bottom center) fires on the Tango that hit Major Villanueva...

And puts him down.

With Major Villanueva lying at bottom left, Mouse charges past him and into close combat with the RPG gunner Neo knocked down (top right) with the very first shot of the game.

Another Tango out of the fight.

Mouse leaves the freshly kaput bad guy (bottom left) and moves up, sheltering between the building and fruit stand at top center.

Dozer (red bead at left) self rallies.

While Rake leaves Neo (atop building) and resumes his post with the casualties (bottom center).

But then another terrorist (top left) gets an eye on Neo (right) and fires.

Neo (bottom left) is knocked down again!!!  The bad guy hops down (off the building at top right) and begins creeping up the path, where Dozer is just around the corner, having just rallied.


Another bad guy hops off his roof and begins moving towards the Cuban position, following his buddy.  The guy jumped down from the explosion at left, he's at center, and the guy that just knocked Neo down is at bottom right).  You can see a pinned bad guy (yellow bead) and a knocked down bad guy (white bead) at top left.

And the pinned bad guy moves up to check on his buddy.

But Mouse, who had just moved up into position (bottom right) spots them (top left) and fires, knocking down the pinned bad guy!

Looking west to east, with Mouse at bottom right: another pinned bad guy here's Mouse firing and climbs up on the roof (top left) to get a better look.

Rake once again dashes up the steps to check on Neo (top right), who is once again back in the fight, but Dozer (bottom left) is caught changing mags and doesn't get anything done (I rolled a 'firefight,' but he couldn't see anything and Neo couldn't use it because he was knocked down, and I need to be able to move Mouse).

Which I do: Mouse peeks around the corner at the terrorist that just climbed up on the roof, and fires.

He's been liberated!

Mouse dashes ahead (left, from bottom right).

There are now only two bad guys still left in action, at left and center left.  They have three more guys that are knocked down, two of them being on the roof at top right.  Dozer is at bottom left, and the Cuban position is off camera to bottom left.

The terrorists decide to split the difference...

One of the warm bodies dashes backwards, to the north (center right, from bottom left) to try and get to the two knocked down guys on the roof and get them back in the fight...

While the other dashes forward, south, running smack into Dozer.  The two crash into each other and tumble to the ground, clawing, scraping, gouging...

And Dozer is the one to get back to his feet!

I gave Dozer a +1 in close combat due to better quality, and he won by one!  I actually rolled boxcars for the close combat, what a waste!

Dozer climbs onto the roof and moves up.

With Neo (atop the building) back in action, Rake once again descends to look after the casualties and pull security to the west (bottom left).

Dozer (bottom center) has spotted the bad guy that sprinted back to help the two knocked down guys on the roof; he shoulders his rifle and fires...

Forcing the bad guy to dive for cover (red bead, from explosion).  The bad guy then tried to self rally, but failed and ran off the map!

Dozer climbs down from the roof and moves up (bottom left).

While, on the far right, Mouse sprints ahead (top center left, from bottom right).

Mouse moves up: "Don't shoot, I'm a Cuban soldier!  Where is Captain Massequoi?"  "I'm here!"  Mouse and the QRF commander consult, quickly devising a plan of action.

Captain Massequoi detaches a BTR and several men; Mouse guides them back to the Cuban position.

The BTR swings around from the east; Neo (far left) calls out, "we're gonna make it!"

The BTR parks, security is set, and the process of loading up the twelve Cuban casualties begins.

Hustle up!

Casualties are moved to the armored personnel carrier.

Everyone is loaded up; a final head count is conducted.  All present or accounted for, the convoy begins moving.

Up the street to the north...

And linking up with the QRF's main body.  From here on out the Cubans were guests of the Moroccan government and extraordinarily well treated.  While the whole concept of the payoff was proven to be a sham, and casualties were heavy, the Cuban special forces troops proved their mettle by hanging in there and making the best of a horrendous situation.  Once the casualties were looked after, every mind quickly turned to 'who was responsible for this, and how soon will our retribution come?'

Wow, what a fight, and what an Operation.  I actually had planned to put more bad guys on the board once the linkup with the QRF occurred, so they would have to fight their way back to the Cuban building in the southwest, then fight their way back to the QRF main body, but I was exhausted!   The games were a lot of fun, set the stage for Operation Payback, and I'm happy with how things worked out.

The Cubans took out almost 70 terrorists during these three (four?) fights, but they suffered as well.  Here's the tally:
Both the unnamed operators from part 1 of the first batrep were KIA.  I rolled up the casualty affects for all twelve guys, but only had two KIAs, so I assigned both to these unnamed guys.  Then, in order of descending severity:
Morpheus lost a leg to an RPG in fight number two and was medically retired.
Niobe was hit several times by small arms fire; he was allowed to stay in the military, but transferred out of the Expeditionary Forces due to permanent effects.
Apoc, Tank, Link, and Major Villanueva were all lightly wounded and missed about ten days of duty while recovering from their wounds.
Trinity, Cypher, and Switch were all lightly wounded, but able to return to duty immediately.
Ratchet wasn't wounded, but is showing signs of combat stress (AKA, 'battle fatigue').

Dozer, Mouse, Neo, and Rake came through unscathed, as did The Ambassador.  Not sure where the money went though ;)

That was the first time I'd ever played scenarios designed for Force on Force with anything other than Force on Force, so I think I've got a decent handle on how to make it work for what I'm doing, though initially I was trying to do too much.  I've also decided that, with Special Forces fights where they're drastically outnumbered, I'm going to do the casualty roll immediately when an SF guy goes 'out of the fight,' so I know whether he's dead, heavy/moderate/lightly wounded, etc..., to decide if I want to keep him in the fight or not (albeit, in a reduced capacity).  I'm also going to go with Ivan's recommendation for rolling to see if a recovered 'man down' is now a 'walking wounded' troop.

So that wraps this up for a bit, and Cuba Libre for a bit.  I think I'll be heading back to 3mm Hakuna-Matata, just for Nik, though just saw FSN request KG Klink.  Too many projects ;)



  1. As always, thanks for sharing your battles. This has been really intense and very much fun to follow. Poor Morpheus, that sucks!

    1. Irish,

      Thanks man, and my pleasure. It was super intense playing, and I probably should have lost and the whole group wiped out! I had to exercise a bit of 'player discretion,' all fully disclosed within the batreps, to ensure that didn't happen. And that's only because I've got future plans for this band of merry men.

      Regarding Morpheus, sure, but in the overall scheme of things the casualty rolls went pretty well I thought. Didn't even cheat ;)