Monday, April 10, 2017

Operation Rush Delivery, Fight #2


AKA, the 11th fight of Operation Payback, AKA, The Death of Rebel 33

It's 0430 on 20 July 1990, and the Cuban invasion of Avalor continues.  In the last fight we saw one of 10th SF Group's Reconnaissance and Surveillance (R&S) teams, callsign Rebel 22, run into trouble on the way to OP Juliet.  They got into a fierce firefight, took a couple casualties, and were extracted.  Nothing's been heard from Captain Wallestre and Rebel 11 outside the normal comm checks, so they're assumed to be good to go, likely almost to OP India, and here we've got Rebel 33 on the way to OP Kilo, with 18th Airborne Grenadiers scheduled to jump into their DZs in exactly an hour.  But all is not well with Rebel 33...

Overview of the table, north is up, we're a little west on Avalor from the last fight.  We've got a couple scrabble roads, bunch of crop fields, and a small ville in the southwest (bottom left).  The Cuban team will enter in the southeast (bottom right) and will have to exit the table in the northwest (top left), heading for Hill 97 (off camera to top left) to take up OP Kilo.  The table is 3' x 2' and I'm playing these fights solo using Ivan's "Five Men at Kursk," slightly modified to get a more modern (and deadly) feel.

The opposing forces, with good guys on the right and bad guys on the left.  The good guys are Flashpoint Minis' Vietnam-range Australians, and the bad guys are Eureka Modern Chechens, both in 15mm.

The good guys of Team 3, ODA 424 (Callsign Rebel 33), from top left: Wade, Syko, Rose, Cole (bottom left), and Rodriguez (Rod).

The bad guys.  There are ten of them present here, comprising an RPG, a PK machine gun, a sniper, and seven riflemen.  I don't know the composition or quantity of what I'll face on the tabletop though.  I have a marker for each of these guys, and I have five 'dummy' markers.  I mix them together, count out ten of them, and place them on the board.  Then I flip them over and see what I've got.  At minimum there will be five bad guys, with the marker determining the mix of rifles and RPG, PK, and sniper; at max will be all ten men shown.  These guys represent the Cuban hardliners (and other mercenaries/terrorists) being trained by the Venezuelans and Iranians.

The table is set, and the bad guys are now aware something is amiss.  The reports on the radio are a bit confusing, but it's clear there are intruders on the island, intruders with helicopters.  The Cuban SF team is at bottom right, with bad guys strewn across the board.  Please note there are eight bad guys to five good guys.  I'm not really giving the Cubans any kind of advantages in activation or combat, so this is likely going to be a bit rough...

The Cubanos, from Point (left) to Tail-End Charlie: Syko, Rose, Wade, Rod, and Cole (hiding at very bottom right).

A look at the northeast, with two bad guys out looking for intruders.

The northwest, with the guy from the last pic at far right, and two new guys.

The southwest, with three guys in the ville and the guy from the last two pics at top

And then the southeast corner, with the Cubans at bottom right and a new guy at bottom center left.  The guy from all the previous pics is at top left.

Time to go!

The Cubans move up, but neither they or the bad guys see anything.

Rebel 33 is in a hurry to get to its OP, get settled in and get comms established before the jump begins, so they're cutting a few corners when it comes to crossing danger areas, and it's probably going to cost them!  The SF troops continue forward in the dark, with Syko leading them at center left, Rose just behind him, and Wade has just popped through the treeline on the same side.  But Rod and Cole are still on the other side of the treeline.

The stillness of the morning dark is suddenly shattered by the multiple reports of an AK; a bad guy (bottom center) has spotted Rose (top center) and opened fire...

Looking north to south now: the rounds stream past Rose, Wade, and Syko (top right), but the enemy PK machine gun (bottom center) spots Cole and Rod (top left) and rattles off a long burst, suppressing Cole.

A bad guy in the north (far left) opens fire on Syko (center right, then Rose and Wade)...

Syko (center) is knocked down in the clearing, while Rose is suppressed (red bead at center right).  The bad guy moves up to the wall for a better look (far left).

The bad guy on the road at north moves up (center) to join the guy that just knocked Syko down (bottom right).

But Wade (bottom right) spots them and cuts loose...

Suppressing both of them.

Looking west to east, the bad guys in the ville feel like they're missing out, so all three hop down off the rooftops with an eye to moving east (top) to get in on the action.  They couldn't have known, but they started the ambush too early!

As the bad guys climb down for their roofs (bottom left), another bad guy moves up (top left, with the guys Wade suppressed at top center right and far right).

The enemy soldier (bottom center left) sights in on Wade (top center right) and fires...

The rounds chew up dirt, and Wade (bottom right) returns fire (top left), pinning him.

Back in the southeast, Rod fires on the enemy machine gunner (top center)...

BAM!  The 40mm grenade puts one bad guy out of the fight.

Rod then moves to Cole to rally him...

But a bad guy in the south (bottom left) spots them (top right, with the rest of the team at top center/top left) and fires...

The rounds go wide and Cole (bottom right) not only rallies, he returns fire...

Knocking the enemy rifleman down (bottom left)!  Cole dashes ahead and pokes through the bush (center).

A tactical error...

Wade moves up to rally Rose.  If this works, Rose can then move up and check Syko (top left), and maybe we can get everyone back in the fight.

But a bad guy in the ville (bottom left) spots movement (top right) and opens fire...

Rose falls back, suppressed (top right, from center).  Didn't work out as planned, but Rose manages to self rally up to 'pinned.'

Meanwhile, Cole is on the radio calling for support: "Gunslinger 41, Gunslinger 41, this is Rebel 33, we are 300 meters southeast of OP Kilo, we've got contact danger close, stand by for 9-line (close air support request)..."

"Rebel 33, Rebel 33, that's a negative on your 9-line, we're a little busy at the moment.  Rebel 22 is in contact and has taken casualties, QRF en route."

"Dammit, Gunslinger, we're contact danger close!  We need help right @#$%'ing now!"

"Roger, Rebel 33, but we're one up right now (the only aircraft available).  Circle the wagons, we'll get there as soon as we possibly can, out."

Cole: "Boss, we got problems!"

*That's all made up, they just failed the CAS roll, and I dunno if they're going to make it long enough for another one,

That same damn bad guy (bottom enter) loads a fresh magazine and sights in on Wade (top center left) again...

But this time Wade does down.

*I forgot, I AM cheating a little bit for the Cubans in these fights.  Being as these are Special Forces and all, when they receive a roll of 'out of the fight,' I mark them with a casualty figure, but a good guy can come up and check them, and if we get a decent roll he's just wounded, and I'll roll to see where he got hit and how it will affect him in the game.  But somebody's got to get to him, and it's gonna be mighty rough getting to Syko and Wade laying all exposed out there in the damn field...

The two suppressed bad guys successfully self rally (top right and far right), while two more bad guys move up (top center and far left, with the bad guy that just shot Wade at bottom center right).

Cole (in the treeline at bottom right) spots one (top left) and fires...

Dropping him.

A bad guy in the south moves up (left, next to the bad guy that shot Wade) and fires on Cole (top right).

The rounds chop up wood and leaves all around him, but Cole (far right) returns fire (far left), though he misses too.  Can't afford to miss, @#$holes...

Though pinned, Rose (bottom center) sees the bad guys (top center) giving Cole (off camera to left) such a hard time and decides to get the M-60 into action.  He slaps a fresh belt in and rattles off a long burst...

He (top center) doesn't hit a damn thing, not even a pin.  The bad guys (bottom left) return fire, missing.

Cole (bottom right) has got three bad guys closing in from the north (top center, with one hiding behind a tree at top left).  He flips his M-16A1's selector switch to 'auto' and cuts loose...

One bad guy is suppressed (far left, behind wall; terrible shooting again!)!  Cole moves up (top center), looking to get into close combat and eliminate the knocked down bad guy at top right before other bad guys manage to get to him and rally him back into the fight.  But an enemy soldier at bottom center sights in and fires, pinning him.  In the open...

Cole takes the opportunity to beg Gunslinger 41 for assistance again, and he's rewarded: "Rebel 33 this is Gunslinger 41, gotcha lima charlie (loud and clear).  We're finishing up here and will be there directly, just hang on!"

Cole calls out to his team mates triumphantly: "Hang in there fellas, guns are inbound!"

With Wade and Syko still lying in the field at top left, Rod moves to Rose to rally him (bottom right)...

But a bad guy in the north (bottom left) spots them (top center) and fires, pinning both of them!  @#$%!!!

Then a bad guy in the south (bottom left) gets in on the action: he levels his AK and fires on Rose and Rod (top center, with Cole at far right).

Uh-oh...  Rod is out of the fight and Rose is suppressed.

With his buddy laying down fire (bottom left), the bad guy that shot Wade squirts through the bush (center bottom, just visible on the top edge of the treeline), looking to whack Cole (pinned at top center) and help his knocked down comrade (far right).

From the north, a bad guy (far left) lines up on Cole (top right) and fires, knocking him down.

Rose is now the only man still in the fight, and he's suppressed.  There's a small chance if I can get him rallied and have him check Rod, then get really lucky and he can get back in the fight.  But I don't see how in the hell I can get to Syko, Wade, and now Cole.  We just gotta hope the gunship can get here in time...

In the north, a bad guy moves up to the wall (far left), next to his suppressed buddy, who self rallies back into the fight.  Syko and Wade lay in the clearing at center...

A pinned bad guy moves up near the wall (center bottom left, with yellow bead).

Rose is lying there (bottom center), hunkered down, buddies down all around him, bad guys closing in.  He hears the radio: "Rebel 33, Rebel 33, this is Gunslinger 41, standing by.  Come on Rebel 33, I see movement down there everywhere!  Somebody talk to me, where do you want me?"

Rose snaps out of it (successfully self rallies!) and grabs the R/T: "Gunslinger 41 this is Rebel 33, I need it now and I need it a lot!"

Rose talks the gunship onto target...

Gunslinger 41 (bottom center) makes its run north to south, lined up on five enemy infantrymen...

The minigun whirs and buzzes, but the pilot is a little shaky on the trigger, a little unsure of the situation, and absolutely not wanting to hit any friendlies.  The rounds dig some new trenches in the Avalorian countryside, but the only affect of the guns is one enemy soldier knocked down (white bead at center top)!!!

Really?  Five guys bunched up and all I get is a single 'man down'???  I rolled 3K 4S on that damn thing...

Rose is back on the radio: "Gunslinger 41, Gunslinger 41, hurry back around, I need another pass, they're all over us!!!  We need the QRF!!!"

"Roger, Rebel 33, I'm coming back around, but that's a negative on the QRF son, they're engaged."

"Gunslinger, we're about to be @#$%ing overrun, I need help right @#$%ing now!!!"

"Calm down Rebel 33, and talk me onto another target son."

"Gunslinger, I need..."  A bad guy at the wall (bottom left) tears into the treeline (top center) with his AK on full automatic, and Rose is knocked down.

"Rebel 33, Rebel 33, come in."  The bad guys move up, rallying their troops as they go (far right, center left).

The bad guy hit by the gunship is KIA.

But his buddy moves up to Syko (right)...

And finishes him.

If you're wondering why I'm still going even though the good guys can't possibly rally themselves back into the fight, there is a slight chance they could win a close combat as the bad guys try to finish them off, and then maybe I've got something.

"Come on Rebel 33, anyone there?"  A bad guy moves up to Cole (right)...

And finishes him (bottom right).  The rest move up on Rose's position.

"If they're too close to talk, just key your handset.  Dammit!  Come on Rebel 33, I see a ton of movement down there!"

A bad guy moves to Rose, lying next to Rod.

And Rebel 33 is no more.

"Rebel 33, Rebel 33, this is Lawndart 57 and Lawndart 58, fastmovers inbound with Snake and Nape, send your 9-line."

"Lawndart callsigns, this is Gunslinger 41.  Rebel 33 is off the net, either Kilo India Alpha or on the run.  I want you to hit their pos, stand by for grid..."

Well, that sucked.  Rebel 11 is in place at OP India, but OPs Juliet and Kilo are vacant as Rebel 22 had contact and was extracted, and Rebel 33 was eliminated.  This fact will now make the fights at the Drop Zones and for the objectives (training areas and barracks) more difficult.  Thanks a lot, Rebel 33...  That was pretty intense, and I never felt like I was out of it.  Perhaps too optimistic ;)  I gotta tell ya, my shooting dice left a lot to be desired.  The team had too many fire and return fire situations where we could have evened the score, but were unable to, and when the gun run went in and only managed a single 'man down,' my heart sank.  But most of all I'm mad at myself for my Quixotic charge in the south with Cole, rather than keeping him in cover and moving him north to try to get something working with Rod (and maybe Rose, once he was forced back).  If the roll for the QRF would have worked, I'd have landed another damn SF team right there in the middle of the fight.  But it didn't...

In any case, only one of three R&S teams is in position, and the jump is about to occur.  The next three fights will be LGOPs (Little Groups of Paratroopers) versus bad guys on the DZs as the Cubans land and look to form up before moving on the objectives.



  1. It had to happen sometime. When you rolled the double six for Rod and Rose i thought "what are you going to pull out of the air to fix this?". A helo. No surprises there. But it did not work! Ah well. I find you can usually survive bad dice rolls once at a critical time (the double six) but usually not too often twice (the 4K 5S with only one result).

    1. Shaun,

      Unfortunately, we've seen it happen too many times! Yeah, when the bad guys rolled boxcars on Rod and Rose things were looking pretty bad, times were desperate! I even cheated a bit: I probably should have given the helo 3K 4S, rather than 4K 5S, so it was poetic justice that I only got a single result out of all that.

      Hope all is well!