Tuesday, January 3, 2017

Cuba Libre - Cronstria Fight #28


AKA The reduction of Dubrovna, Fight #3

It's 1010 on 1 July 1990 and Battlegroup Elias has two rifle platoons on Hill 489, where the enemy is routing down the backside, attempting to flee into the town of Dubrovna, where their commander hopes to rally them and re-establish defensive positions.  1st Platoon rolled down the highway towards Dubrovna, covered by AMX-10RCs of Battlegroup Elias, then de-bussed near an enemy strongpoint.  The Communist position was key to both sides; a machine gun in an old, bombed out house was keeping Battlegroup Elias at bay, holding the door open for their comrades to escape the carnage of Hill 489, where 2nd and 3rd Platoons quickly broke their defensive line.  1st Platoon was tasked with eliminating the enemy machine gun position, then driving north to cut off the enemy's retreat.

The opposing forces, with bad guys on the left and good guys on the right.  The Cubans will always have eight men (so that my son and I can always control four guys, each), while the bad guys will roll to see if they get 6, 7, or 8 guys.  Here they got eight...

Overview, north is up.  The enemy strongpoint, a bombed out house, is at center, and Hill 489 is at top right.  It will not be pictured (sorry, I should have put some minis up there as decoration), but enemy troops are streaming down from Hill 489 off the map, from top right to left, while an enemy MG in the strongpoint is firing to cover their exit.  The Cuban 1st Platoon's 3rd Squad will enter from the bottom (south) and is tasked with taking the strongpoint, then the other two squads will push past to the north (top) to cut off the enemy escape route.

The objective.

The opposing forces, with bad guys on the left and good guys on the right.  The Cubans will always have eight men (so that my son and I can always control four guys, each), while the bad guys will roll to see if they get 6, 7, or 8 guys.  Here they got eight...

The Cuban squad, eight men in two fireteams, 15mm Modern Marines from Peter Pig, painted up in temperate MARCAM.  These are anonymous squads within Battlegroup Elias, not named characters, so I'm going to use a generic set of names through each of this series (of six) battle reports.  We are not following a single squad, or even a single platoon; I just don't feel like trying to come up 48 different names for this set of fights.  So, please bear with me ;)

Team 1:
Team Leader: Corporal Lira
SAW Gunner: LCpl Galban
Assistant Gunner: PFC Aguilar
Scout: Private Salazar

Team 2:
Team Leader: Corporal Lupe
SAW Gunner: LCpl Garcia
Assistant Gunner: PFC Abrera
Scout: Private Solis

The bad guys, 15mm Modern Russians from Eureka Miniatures, painted up in 'Sun Bunny' camo.  Each game we roll to see how many bad guys there will be on table, with the options being 6, 7, or 8 men.  With eight men they get two whole teams, each of a grenadier, a machine gunner with PKM, and two riflemen with AKs.

Overview of map, this time with troops.  You can see Team 1 at bottom left, Team 2 at bottom right, an enemy team on the objective (center), and another enemy team en route to assist their comrades, four troops in file just above the house.

A look at Team 1, from southwest to northeast, objective at top right.

A look at Team 2, from southeast to northwest, objective at top left, enemy reinforcing team just visible above it.

A look at the enemy dispositions: in the house (bottom right) is the enemy machine gunner, who's heard movement and just moved to take a look to the south.  His assistant gunner is just left of him, while two riflemen stand just outside, providing flank security.  A second enemy team is moving up to reinforce the strongpoint (top left).

Fight's on!

While the enemy machine gunner in the house has heard movement and come to take a look, the Cubans have gotten the drop on the Communists.  From the left, LCpl Galban (bottom center, with his A-gunner, PFC Aguilar, to his left) opens fire with his SAW, raining 5.56mm rounds on the objective, hoping to suppress the enemy gun.  He manages to pin the enemy gunner.

While on the right, Team 2's A-gunner, PFC Abrera (bottom right), cuts loose with his M-16 on the enemy reinforcing team,which he has caught in the open.

One enemy soldier is knocked to the ground (white bead at right), one dives into the trees for cover, suppressed (red bead at top left), and one is pinned (yellow bead at bottom center).

With Team 1's SAW gunner (off camera to bottom left) keeping the enemy machine gunner pinned, Team 2's Scout, Pvt Solis, dashes forward.  He manages to make it all the way to the objective building (top left, from bottom center), where he signals Team 1 to shift fire.  The rest of Team 1 is at right.

The Communist soldiers, having taken fire from the southwest (bottom center) and heard fire to the east (top right), is completely unaware Pvt Solis is nearby (bottom right, with the enemy gunner just visible on the other side of the wall).

While PFC Abrera (bottom center) keeps up his fire on the enemy reinforcing team (off camera to top left), Team 2's SAW gunner, LCpl Garcia, sprints past him (center, from bottom center).

But one of the flank security riflemen on the objective (top left) spots him (bottom right) and opens fire.

PFC Abrera watches LCpl Garcia go down...

Team 2's leader, Cpl Lupe, sees Garcia (center) go down, so he rushes forward (bottom center) and returns fire, dropping the enemy soldier.

On the far left, Team 1's scout, Pvt Salazar, scoots up to get a better look (top left, with the objective just visible at top center).

But a Communist soldier from the reinforcing element (top center left)  spots Salazar (bottom center) and opens fire with his AK.

As the rounds zip and snap by close overhead, Pvt Salazar (bottom center) shoulders his weapon and calmly returns fire.

Salazar's (bottom left) rounds drive the enemy rifleman back (top center, at ground level.  There were two men there, Salazar's fire drove one back).  PFC Aguilar dashes past Salazar (bottom center), drawing fire from the enemy's other flank security rifleman (top center, atop the knoll), which pins him.

Team 1's leader, Cpl Lira, tries to sprint up to Aguilar to rally him, but he's taken too many liberties with bacon double cheeseburgers of late and comes up a bit short, huffing and puffing (Cpl Lira is at center, Pvt Salazar to his left and PFC Aguilar above him).  Dammit...

In the house (top right, with Pvt Solis just outside at far right), the pinned enemy gunner swings his PKM over and stands on the trigger, pinning LCpl Galban (bottom left).

Back with the enemy's reinforcing element, the pinned soldier (yellow bead) crawls over to his knocked down buddy (white bead, center right) and checks him - he's back in the fight.  As are the two suppressed troops (red beads), who self rally.  But they're still stuck in the open with Cuban eyes on them.

At the objective, the remaining flank security bad guy (top right) takes another shot at PFC Aguilar (center left).

Aguilar is knocked down (white bead) by the enemy fire.  Unsure exactly what's out there, the Communist that shot him creeps forward to take a look.

Team 2's scout, Pvt Solis (far right) is forced to betray his presence on the objective in order to save his comrade, Aguilar (bottom left).  Solis fires several rounds at the enemy soldier (center left).

The target is knocked down (white bead at bottom left), and the sudden flurry of fire right outside his window is enough to scare the hell out of the enemy machine gunner (red bead on opposite side of wall from Solis).

This set up a very interesting tactical dilemma for the enemy assistant gunner, just visible in the building, at top center.  The boy and I put our heads together and figured: the A-gunner could move to his gunner and drop a grenade through the window (most likely), or he could move up inside the house and peek out to find Solis (less likely), or he could creep around the house to the left to look for Solis (as pictured above), which would put him in sight of Cubans from Team 1 for react fire (less likely), or he could creep around the house to the right to (unintentionally) come up behind Solis, and no Cubans would have eyes on him (more likely), or he could come down to his gunner, grab him, and drag his ass back to cover (least likely).

I assigned values on a D12 and the boy rolled...

The A-gunner slinks down to his suppressed gunner, aware a Cuban is out there somewhere, but not sure where.

"Vlad, the imperialists are on top of us, we've got to go!!!"  The A-gunner grabs his suppressed gunner and drags him back to cover (top left), as Solis (bottom right) is working up the courage to pop his head through a window to have a look-see.

On the far right (objective is at top left), PFC Abrera is very happy with his position (bottom center), and continues to pump rounds into the enemy's reinforcing element (top center left).

Once again his fire tells on the enemy: one soldier is knocked down (white bead) and two are suppressed (red beads)!

Cpl Lupe (bottom center, with Abrera just visible at bottom right and Solis at left) can just make out movement on the other side of the objective (top left, the enemy gunner and A-gunner).  He squeezes off several rounds...

Which miss.  The enemy (top left) returns fire, but he misses too.

Despite attacking a force of equal size, the Cubans are doing well because they are well-placed, with a bit of a crossfire going on.  From the left, Team 1's SAW gunner, LCpl Galban (bottom center) opens fire on the enemy gunner and A-gunner (top center, with the rest of his team at center left).

With Galban hammering out covering fire, Cpl Lira leaves Pvt Salazar (bottom left) and moves up to the knocked down PFC Aguilar (center).  Cpl Lira checks him: he's good to go.

Cpl Lira (bottom left) then raises his rifle and squeezes a few rounds off at the enemy gunner and A-gunner, suppressing the A-gunner (top center, with a knocked down bad guy just above Lira and Solis at far right).

With Cpl Lira laying down fire (center), Pvt Salazar (bottom left) spots movement in the trees at top left and fires, suppressing an enemy soldier.

Salazar then sprints up the left side (far left).  Cpl Lira (bottom center) still laying down fire, screams to Pvt Solis (just off camera to right) to go!

Solis dashes through the bombed out house, looking for bad guys.  He finds the enemy gunner pinned and the A-gunner suppressed, just outside the house.  A flurry of shooting, hitting, kicking, and biting...

Sees the enemy A-gunner put out of the fight (far left), but Solis then driven back (red bead at bottom right) by the enemy gunner (top left).

Having just fought Pvt Solis (red bead at top center right) off, the enemy gunner (top center left) raises his PKM and fires at Cpl Lira and PFC Aguilar (bottom center).

Cpl Lira shields Aguilar with his body, and pays for it.

Back at the enemy reinforcing element, the three suppressed (red beads) Communists try to self rally.

Far left and far right are good to go, but the guy at bottom center runs back and flops down in the trees, still suppressed (red bead, with a knocked down man at center right, with white bead).

Back on the objective, though he can still hear the enemy machine gun firing (top left), Pvt Solis (center right) manages to get himself back into fighting shape.

Having just had Cpl Lira fall at his feet, PFC Aguilar (bottom center) shrieks "nooooooooooooooo!!", stands up in full view of the enemy gunner (top center left), and returns fire.

The enemy gunner goes down (top center), and Aguilar dashes forward, to the knocked down enemy rifleman at bottom left (Solis is at far right).

Aguilar finishes off the bad guy (bottom right), then move up (far right, with Pvt Salazar at far left).  Enemy troops of the reinforcing element are cowering in the trees at top right.

Aguilar (center right, with Solis in the house) looks on as Salazar (bottom center) fires into the enemy reinforcement element (top center).

An enemy soldier is suppressed (top right), and Salazar dashes forward (left, from bottom left).

LCpl Galban moves up (bottom left, with Salazar at top left and Aguilar at center top).

On the far right, PFC Abrera dashes from his covered position (trees at center) across the cut and up the other side (center top, with Cpl Lupe at bottom left).

Somehow a bad guy in the trees (top left), who had been looking southwest (left bottom), spots Abrera (bottom right) dashing across the way, and opens fire with his AK.

And Abrera (top center) goes down, not far from his gunner (bottom center).

Cpl Lupe sees Abrera go down and dashes over.

He (bottom center) opens fire on Abrera's assailant (top left).

But Cpl Lupe's rounds go wide, so the enemy (top left) returns fire.

Cpl Lupe drops down into the cut, breaking line of sight, suppressed.

The enemy reinforcing element finally gets their machine gun into action (top left).  It opens fire on PFC Aguilar (bottom left), pinning him.  Two suppressed bad guys (top left and top center) try to self rally: one is good, one only gets up to pinned.

Aguilar (bottom center), pinned, holds his weapon high and sprays and prays (you know, like an Army guy) at the enemy machine gun (top left).

He (bottom center) misses, but so does the enemy return fire.

With Aguilar (right) trading fire with the enemy gun (top center) trading fire, LCpl Galban advances his SAW (bottom center), while Pvt Salazar moves into an enfilading position (top left).

Salazar (bottom left) immediately begins pumping rounds out.

One bad guy is knocked out of the fight, the other knocked down.

Pvt Solis, in the objective building (bottom left), looks out on his team leader, Cpl Lupe (center top).  Cpl Lupe tries to get himself back into the fight, but only gets up to pinned.

With LCpl Aguilar pinned at bottom left, Solis picks his through the wreckage of the objective building and creeps down to a position in some trees (just visible at center, above the protruding wall) overlooking the enemy reinforcement element (top center and center top right).

The enemy machine gunner (center right) swings the gun over to counter the threat on their flank (Pvt Salazar, bottom left) and cuts loose a long burst, knocking Salazar down.

While the enemy gunner pumps out rounds (far left), his A-gunner, despite being pinned, crawls over to check on a knocked down comrade (top right).  The Communist soldier is good to go, back in the fight.

Just then, LCpl Galban opens up with his SAW (bottom center) on the enemy machine gun (top center left).

The enemy gunner is suppressed (red bead at top left), and Pvt Solis (bottom right) opens up on the two bad guys in the open (top right).  Another enemy soldier goes down, while his buddy is knocked down again.

With Solis rounds raking the bad guys at top left, Cpl Lupe dashes ahead on the right (yellow bead at center, from bottom center).

And PFC Aguilar moves up on the left (yellow bead at left, from bottom center, with Solis in the trees at right).   The Cubans are closing the ring on the bad guys (top center, top right).

The enemy machine gunner tries to rally (red bead at left), but only gets up to pinned.  The only other remaining enemy soldier is knocked down (white bead at right), and he...

Is about to be set upon by Cpl Lupe.

Lupe puts him out of his misery and moves up to the edge of the copse of trees housing the enemy machine gunner.

While on the left, LCpl Galban (bottom center) and PFC Aguilar (top left) pour fire at the enemy gun, with Cpl Lupe visible at top center, and Pvt Solis in the woods just to his right.

The enemy gunner is knocked down, and Pvt Solis charges down the hill and pounces on him.

Fight's over!  The squad immediately consolidates its position in the objective house.  Cpl Lupe sets the SAW into position facing northeast, the other two on policing up their casualties (1 KIA and 2 WIA, Pvt Salazar was knocked down but okay), then pops a green star cluster to signal the objective is taken.  The other two squads immediately begin streaming past the objective house, setting up blocking positions to bag the enemy troops still streaming down Hill 489, attempting to escape 2nd and 3rd Platoons, now on line and moving down the crest.

Battlegroup Elias now has all three rifle platoons engaged, though they are reaping a considerable harvest of wounded and de-motivated Communist troops, men now caught between hostile forces and only too happy to capitulate.  Captain Elias raises TF Galban HQ on the radio and provides a SITREP, and requests reinforcement; all these enemy prisoners (more than 400 as of 1630 local time) are eating up resources, and Battlegroup Elias is unable to enter Dubrovna.  A plan is devised: Battlegroup Elias will go firm, isolating Dubrovna from the east/northeast (while Cronistrian Democrat forces push from the west/southwest), while HQ and Support elements are stripped for bodies and pushed forward to come take care of Battlegroup Elias' enemy prisoner problem.

Battlegroup Elias will resume combat operations tomorrow morning (2 July 1990), looking to enter and finish off Dubrovna.  The entry op is the next fight, coming right up.



  1. Great report as always Jack. This one seemed close at times with some of your forces going down but luckily they mostly got up again!

    1. Thanks Shaun, I appreciate it. It's not 30 games in 30 days, a feat all real wargamers aspire to, but I'm pretty proud of my 6 in 6 ;)

      The fights have been a lot of fun, they boy and I are having a great time. I've got a lot of cool stuff still floating in (in the mail) from Christmas, it's gonna be great.

      I'm actually looking at heading back to finish Operation Jupiter, playing in 3mm! I also just bought the boardgame "Tank On Tank," working on converting that to 3mm as well.

      Too many projects, too little time.


    2. Definitely too many projects - a wargamer's disease! AAd 3mm. You are running out of scales to move into :-)

      I am hoping to get at least 4 more Operation Jupiter games in this year, all in 20mm. I have started the writeups for the 4 gsmes I played in July last year and want to write them up before I play more Operation Jupiter.

      re: Tank on Tank. I am tempted to get it but I have so many other things i keep buying - I well know that feeling of buying more stuff to play! I also have a interesting project that would be unexpected from em that I hope will see the light this year.

      Looks like 2017 is going to be a good year for us both. All the best.

    3. Modestly brushed off my '30 in 30' praise, eh? Well, that's the last time I compliment you! ;)

      Wargamers disease will be the end of me. As I was saying above, I've got a BUNCH of minis/gear on the way, to the point I'm literally trying to convince myself I shouldn't buy anything else for the rest of the year. Any bets on how long that will last?

      Looking forward to your Op Jupiter, it's always cool to compare fights in terms of your interpretation of the various maps, and how the fights turned out. With the 3mm for Op Jupiter, I'm hoping to do some true mini-gaming, stuff I can just kinda throw together in a minute and play. I keep getting smaller and smaller, faster and faster. The Operation Chokehold (6mm fights) and this series of skirmishes has really hit the spot.

      And quit playing coy: what's the secret project. You can tell me, I won't tell anyone ;)

      "Looks like 2017 is going to be a good year for us both."
      Amen, brother.

      "All the best."
      Backatcha, Shaun.


    4. Ah, but I did not create an AAR for each of those 30 days in 30 days! I think I posted a picture or two for each, and one AAR for the last battle. While your 6 in 6 includes hundreds of pictures and detailed narrative for each one. I am amazed you can do that!

      I will tell you my secret project if you tell me yours (unless it is the 3mm one, then your secret project is not so secret now) ;-)

      Oh, and the not buying stuff - I will just assume the only reason you have not broken the "no buying rule" yet is that the 6 games in 6 days consumes all your time :-)

    5. True, but it was an incredible feat nonetheless, will go down in the annals of wargaming as... Is there an annals of wargaming ;) Even if there's not, I still remember!

      "While your 6 in 6 includes hundreds of pictures and detailed narrative for each one. I am amazed you can do that!"
      Yes, well, my wife is none too impressed. As you know, it's quite time consuming and she's made several comments now referencing the inordinate amount of time I've been spending on the computer. I'd better be careful ;)

      I don't have a secret project. Aside from all the stuff you already know about, I've had a literal ton of 10mm Napoleonics lying around, waiting to be painted, since last April, and I just ordered some 10mm Colonials.

      The only secret stuff is stuff I just bought and am waiting to get here, and it's only secret because I don't want to tell you guys, I want to show you with pics on the blog!

      Yeah, I need to quit buying, I've got too much stuff. It's gotten to where I've got to look at fringe stuff or duplicating collections in another scale just to satisfy my disease...