AKA, Operation Cro-Wings #2
It's 1805 on 29 June 1990 and Team 3 of Lt Trojas' ODA 626 is sitting atop Hill 850. They had been performing surveillance, from Hill 781 to the northeast, on a nearby road networks, serving as a tripwire to warn TF Galban mechanized forces of enemy counterattack. They spotted enemy armor moving in, reported it to TF HQ, and coordinated air strikes (some enemy forces still got through; that's actually the next fight, TF Aguilera fighting off the enemy counterattack near Pisa). However, enemy radio direction finding efforts triangulated the team's position and vectored Communist militia into the area. Team 3 was able to get the drop on the bad guys, but there were simply too many, and so the Cubans abandoned their positions and moved to Hill 850 in a running firefight. The team suffered one man seriously wounded (he has to be carried in this game) and three lightly wounded (for game purposes these men are now back to full strength for this fight).
Upon reaching the crest of Hill 850 the team made comms with TF HQ. They were informed Battlegroup Elias was standing by as QRF to get them out, but the team needs to continue moving southeast to Hill 825, which has a Helicopter Landing Zone (HLZ) just east of it which is suitable for extraction. The radioman informed the team leader, GySgt "Turk" Dos Santos of this development. "Uhh, fellas, I got bad news." Everyone turned to look as Turk showed them the problem: the team's back was to a 30 foot cliff; with enemy troops coming from the north, northeast, and southwest, the only avenue of escape was down the cliff, across a draw, and up Hill 825 to the southeast.
From bottom left: GySgt "Turk" Dos Santos, Sgt "Badger" Canales, and the seriously wounded Sgt "Bolt" Echevarria, who will need to be carried from the start position to the objective.
I will make things a little easier on myself: in the rules (as with most rules), when someone gets shot there is an 'out of the fight' option. That guy is done for the fight, then after the fight I roll to see if what actually happened to him; there are options for 'dramatic scar,' knocked unconscious, light wound, serious wound, debilitating injury, and dead. To make things potentially easier for me, when one of my guys gets an 'out of the fight' result, I will move a buddy over to check on him, and then I'll make the casualty roll to see what actually happened to him. If he's dead or seriously wounded then one of my guys will have to carry him out, but if he's 'lightly wounded' or less he will be able to continue the fight, just moving a bit slower, some other penalties for shooting and reactions.
Yeah, I was in a hurry and screwed up: the guy carrying the casualty should not have gone first, one of the other guys should have gone first.
The game starts now, with the team spread out at the base of the cliff and enemy soldiers behind them and on their left and right.
Man, I've been lucky as hell with all the missed shots by the enemy.
The bad guys are having absolutely terrible buddy check/rally and react fire rolls. I'm sure it will come back to haunt me...
While the enemy has had some bad dice rolls, my shooting dice ain't been so hot neither...
I wonder if I should have rushed the pinned RPG guy (left)...
Conversely, the bad guys have two knocked down troops all by their lonesome in the southwest, but they can't get any reinforcements there to get over and help rally those guys back into the fight.
I really wish Turk would have close assaulted that damn RPG. And don't forget, for all the bad guys to top left (in the northeast), there's still quite a few bad guys up on Hill 850, behind these guys (off camera to bottom left).
Uhh, things ain't lookin' so hot all of a sudden. Really wish Turk would have close assaulted that RPG gunner. I've got two men lying helplessly on the ground (Badger and Chick with white beads), that can only be helped by a good guy moving into base contact with them, and the closest good guy is suppressed.
Bear checks Turk, but he's still unconscious. Start the breathing, stop the bleeding, protect the wound, treat for shock. Surprising, the things that stick with you ;)
I've had some lucky casualty rolls, see if that keeps up. But don't misunderstand, Badger was not a casualty roll, he was just knocked down.
As a gamer, for the first time it crosses my mind that I might actually have to leave casualties behind.
What the hell is going on with my shooting???
At this point Chick is the only Cuban still in the fight.
Chick is hiding in the trees at top left. Did I mention he's the only Cuban still in the fight?
At this point I decide to call off the dogs: no more bad guy reinforcements, they will have to make do with what they already have on table. At this point I have two men capable of acting, two men out of the fight (seriously wounded), and two men needing to be checked, which could get them back in the fight or could put them permanently out of the fight (as just happened with Badger).
The two guys in the draw (bottom left) try to self rally: one is good, the other remains pinned.
Now I need to deal with the situation in the northeast, where a lone bad guy rifleman is dangerously close to Bear, who is knocked down. The way I see it, the bad guy has three options, and I decide to roll a D10 to see which choice he will make:
8-10: the bad guy will fall back down the hill to help rally the guy in the draw.
4-7: the bad guy will hold his ground and fire at Chick, who is in plain view, carrying Badger.
1-3: the bad guy will charge into close combat with Bear.
The game is pretty much over, unless I decide to let more bad guys come on the table, but I don't think my heart can take it. The few bad guys left are beat to the pulp, none able to activate on their own but to self rally.
That's what I rolled on the casualty table for Turk, "dramatic scar."
"Roger Cherokee 3, SPARROWHAWK (the QRF) inbound in five mikes, roll to air guard (move to the radio frequency to speak directly to the helos)."
"Roger Bandit, got you coming in from the November-Echo, break. We are at your angels 315, nearest military crest at your 10 o'clock."
"Roger, Cherokee 3, stop using all that military-talk and speak plainly son and we'll come and get ya."
"Bandit 27, Cherokee 3 is popping smoke."
Turk took the handset from Goss, speaking directly to Colonel Galban, the Task Force commander. The Colonel informed Turk the HLZ was to hot, ground elements from Battlegroup Elias were being dispatched immediately and would be in position for pickup in 15 minutes in the town of Tulm. Turk pulled out his map; where the hell is Tulm? "Boys' we're moving."
Another great fight. While the team knocked out nineteen more terrorists, it suffered two more serious casualties, meaning 50% of the team was no longer in the fight and required a team member to carry them to the pick-up site. The third fight of Operation Cro-Wings is coming up soon, but up next is actually the fight at the town of Pisa as Battlegroup Aguilera tries to fight off the Communist armored elements that fought their way through the Cuban airstrikes called in just prior to the first fight of Op. Stay tuned!