Saturday, November 19, 2016

Cuba Libre - Cronstria Fight #21


It's 1730 on 29 June 1990 and Battlegroup Caballero is pushing toward Operation Chokehold's final objective, the Cronistrian town of Stanje, completing the western encirclement of the capital city of Miran.  Victory is near at hand, and as the Cubans near Stanje the Cronistrian Democrats begin their push to clear the town of Brevno of Communist forces.

North is up, the village of Brezno is at bottom right, the capital of Miran is off map to the right, directly east of #5 on the map.  Each number is a village/town; you can see buildings (black boxes), roads (tan lines), rivers (blue lines), lakes (blue circles), hills (green humps), bridges (gray pairs of lines), and forests (green shaded areas).  TF Galban will enter the tactical area of operations in the southwest (bottom left) corner.
1: Brezno
2: Kacak
3: Premja
4: Abrvo
5: Dubrovna
6: Pisa
7: Stanje

Overview, north is up, with Stanje at top center and Hill 127 at bottom right.  The Cubans will enter from the top left (northwest).

The opposing forces, with Cubans at right and Communists at left.

The Cubans are led by Lt Caballero in his LAV command vehicle, and they have two platoons of infantry, an Stryker armored personnel carrier, an AMX-10RC light tank, and an AH-1 Cobra attack helicopter.

The Communists have their commanding officer (CO) riding in an MTLB, and they have a total of five squads of infantry and are supported by a T-62.  Since the Cubans have a helicopter, I rolled to see if the Communists wanted to trade their tank for an anti-aircraft platform.  They stuck with the tank.

The Cuban start positions.  The Stryker is at bottom left, with the AMX-10RC and the CO's vehicle above it.  2nd Platoon is just right of them, and 1st Platoon is at top center.  You can see enemy squads on the right side of the board.

In the bottom left (southwest) corner of the table the enemy has a single rifle squad (center), set up to deliver enfilading fire on the Cuban advance (top left).

In the top right (northeast) corner we see the enemy CO's vehicle in the town of Stanje, with four rifle squads nearby.  A Cuban squad from 1st Platoon is visible at top left.

In the bottom right (southeast) corner of the table, the only bad guy unit present is the T-62 and its 115mm main gun.

Time to go!

In the center, 2nd Platoon begins moving forward, not spotting the enemy squad in the woods just ahead of them!

On the Cuban left, 1st Platoon (top left) also moves up, also not spotting an enemy squad directly in front of them.  1st Squad from 2nd Platoon (1/2) is at bottom center.

Since the infantry haven't spotted any bad guys or drawn any fire, the Stryker moves up the road (far right), with the AMX (bottom left) covering.

Lt Caballero moves his command vehicle up to support 1st Platoon on the left, and the Cobra comes on station.

Things are about to get ugly...

Back in the center, an enemy rifle squad opens up at point blank range on 2nd Platoon, rendering 1/2 combat ineffective.

The enemy infantrymen fall back, hoping to get into the cover of the stone buildings in Stanje (top right), but the Stryker (bottom left) spots them and opens fire with its .50 cal HMG, pinning them.

But as the Stryker has its attention (right) focused to the north, the enemy squad in the south creeps forward and delivers an RPG into the Stryker's flank...

Making quick work of the lightly armored vehicle.

The AMX (top left), having seen the rocket trail, fires its main gun, knocking out the enemy rifle squad in the south (bottom right)!!!

But in the north, an enemy rifle squad (right) opens fire at point blank range at 1st Platoon.

1/1 is forced to fall back (red bead at bottom left, from explosion at top right).

The enemy CO moves up and rallies the squad that was pinned by the Styker.

But 2/2 (bottom left) immediately opens fire on them.

Forcing them to fall back (red bead at center, from explosion at bottom left).

And then enemy infantry east of Stanje (bottom right) return fire on 2/2.

2/2 takes heavy casualties from the enemy fire (white bead), while 3/2 is forced to fall back (red bead).

In the north, 2/1 and 3/1 both open fire on their assailants, causing heavy casualties.

Lt Caballero rallies 1/1 (red bead), but the Cobra can't acquire a target.

In the southeast, the T-62 can hear radio chatter of a great battle taking place, but he can't see anything.  The T-62 displaced, moving onto Hill 127 and taking up a hull-down position.

The AMX spots the T-62 (off camera to bottom left), but he doesn't have a very good shot, so he moves up to break line of sight (right, next to burning Stryker, from top left).

But while the AMX (bottom left) got out of the T-62's line of fire, he left himself quite close to some enemy infantry (right, top center).

The enemy infantry in the east want to get closer to the AMX (top left) and help their buddies, so they sprint up to a building in Stanje (right, from trees at bottom center).  They get into position and check their buddies (red bead at right)...

But they're not happy and fall back again (top right, from bottom left).  The enemy squad in the building at center left...

Moves up (center) and rallies the squad that just got lit up by 1st Platoon (top left).

Seeing two enemy squads now blocking their path (far right), and being in the open, Lt Caballero, 2/1, and 3/1 decide discretion is the better part of valor and fall back to 1/1 in order to rethink things (top left).

Back in Stanje, the enemy CO falls back and rallies the squad that just failed to rally (top right, from bottom left).

An eerie quiet momentarily falls over the battlefield as each side licks its wounds and figures out its next steps.  2/2 (white bead) and 3/2 (red bead) rally back into the fight.

This was a random event, 'Lull.'

But now back to our regularly scheduled fight: with all the enemy activity in and around Stanje, the AMX (bottom left) couldn't help but spot enemy movement.  The turret rotates and for the second time this fight the AMX sends a 105mm HE round at some enemy infantry, and knocks out an enemy squad!

The Cobra finally has a bead on the enemy tank (off camera to right), and closes in...

But enemy infantry in the north open fire on the Cobra (bottom left)...

Forcing the Cobra to take evasive maneuvers and flee the battle area for a bit in order to figure things out.

The Cobra will be off map, out of the fight, for the next three Cuban activations.  That really sucks, but I can't believe I still haven't had a helo shot down (knock on wood).

2/2 darts forward to the outskirts of Stanje (far right), then opens fire on the enemy infantry that just drove the Cobra off.

The Cuban (bottom center) shooting sucks, and the enemy returns fire, putting heavy casualties on 2/2.  They are now officially ripe to be close assaulted out of existence.

And that's exactly what happens: the bad guys charge 2/2!

Once 2/2 is knocked out the bad guys creep into the woods (top left) and begin salivating at the AMX's flank (bottom left).  This has all been part of a cat and mouse game between the AMX and the T-62 to see who will get the drop on the other.

The enemy CO (center left) moves up, leading the squad he just rallied forward (just to right of vehicle) to support the squad that just knocked out 2/2 (bottom left).  The enemy squad at top center...

Falls back into Stanje (far right), rather than face off against 1/1 (top left) all by its lonesome.

But 1st Platoon is more worried about helping out the AMX (off camera to bottom center), so rather than moves straight east towards Stanje (along the clearing at top), they pinch in, entering the woods (center) to take care of the enemy squad (bottom right) staring at the AMX's flank.  The CO also moves south (bottom left).

The T-62 leaves one hull-down position (bottom center) to move right and assume another (far right), to get a look at the AMX (far left, on the road).

Which forces the AMX to moves south (far left bottom, in the trees).

And then the AMX (bottom center) fires a third 105mm high explosive shell, again into Stanje (top center), knocking out a third enemy infantry squad!

In the center, all of 1st Platoon fires on the enemy squad in the treeline, but all they manage is to put heavy casualties on them!

Bad guys in Stanje (bottom right) return fire, pinning 3/1 (center).  The bad guys fire again on 3/1...

But they (in building at top center) miss, and 3/1 (bottom left) returns fire, but they miss too...

The AMX (bottom right) fires on the bad guys surrounded by 1st Platoon.  Not a great plan, but apparently comms weren't great and everyone wasn't aware of where everyone else was.  In any case, the round shot into the trees and exploded harmlessly, not affecting anyone.

I had rolled a 'firefight' and this was the AMX's only play, so I gave it a shot.  As they were firing at a 'men down' target I only gave the AMX one Kill dice, though I rolled two Shock dice to see if they would affect the friendly squads.

3/1 (bottom left) fires again on the enemy troops in Stanje, and this time the enemy squad is eliminated!

1/1 and 2/1 fire on the 'men down' enemy squad, to no effect.

As it's a firefight, no one can move, so I can't just close assault them like I want to.  Another issue in the game is, there have been a couple firefights rolled, and the T-62 can't see anything so he's just chilling on Hill 127.

Enemy casualties are such that all they have left are their CO, the T-62, and this one rifle squad, which is 'men down' and surrounded by 1st Platoon.  The enemy CO has nothing better to do, so he charges into the hornet's nest to try to save his squad.

But the AMX (bottom right) spots them (top left) and fires.

The MTLB is destroyed and the enemy HQ section and last rifle squad is knocked out!

But now the T-62 finally leaves Hill 127 (bottom left) to move up (far right) and fire on the AMX (top center)...

And the AMX is no more (bottom right).

3/1 (yellow bead at right) rallies back into fighting shape.

See, I was really hoping to get 1st Platoon moving up to get some RPGs off at the enemy tank, but I rolled a 'firefight', so no one could move, and as no one was in range for RPGs, no one could shoot.  And don't forget, the Cobra is still off table, so he can't do anything either.  All I could do was rally 3/1...

But the T-62 (bottom center) faces about and fires on 1st Platoon (top center).

2/1 was knocked out and 1/1 was pinned (yellow bead).

The Cubans roll another @#$%ing firefight!!!  All I can do is rally 1/1!!!

The T-62 fires again!

1/1 takes heavy casualties (white bead), and 3/1 is suppressed (red bead).

But then I finally roll a 'normal' activation for the Cubans.

The 'whup-whup-whup' of rotors echoes throughout the valley.

With his CO dead and all infantry support gone, the T-62 makes his break.  Despite causing significant casualties, the Communists are forced to cede Stanje to the Cubans.

Holy cow, what a fight!  I love the back and forth; it looked bad for me, then it looked good, then it looked bad, then the Cobra came back and the bad guys left.  That was a lot of fun, and while TF Galban has accomplished its objective of encirclement, Operation Chokehold is not yet concluded!

Here's the tally for this fight:
AMX-10RC destroyed
Stryker APC destroyed
35 casualties

MTLB destroyed
35 casualties

That is the last of the four fights from last weekend, more coming up this weekend.  I'm hoping to finish up Operation Chokehold, but I just thought of something else that might be cool, and I've been sick as a dog since Thursday and I'm not sure if I'm up to it.  I laid on the couch Thursday and Friday, managed to paint a grand total of six (6) figures today.  Hopefully I pass my rally roll and get back in the fight, stay tuned.


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