Thursday, April 13, 2017

Operation Rush Delivery, Fight #3


AKA, the 12th fight of Operation Payback

It's 0532 on 20 July 1990, and the invasion of Avalor, a small Caribbean island-nation near Cuba, upon which Castro-regime holdovers have been organizing, training, and launching attacks on the homeland, is underway.  Previously three Reconnaissance and Surveillance teams from 10th Special Forces Group were inserted to support the invasion; one is in position in OP India, but the second team was compromised and extracted, and the third team (Rebel 33) was ambushed and wiped out.  Now 1st Lieutenant Huerta's 18th Grenadier Guards of the 6th Parachute Battalion are jumping from C-130s onto three separate Drop Zones (DZs) in the pre-dawn darkness.  They will immediately form up and march on their objectives, the terrorist training areas and barracks on Avalor, manned by terrorist trainees and their Venezuelan and Iranian trainers.

Here we pick up the action at DZ Crow, where bad guys alerted by the earlier firefights with Cuban R&S teams are watching paratroopers of 2nd Lieutenant Jaramiho's 1st Platoon descend and crash to the earth.

Overview, north is up.  We've got a small village at center/top center left, a dirt road/intersection, several crop fields, and scattered jungle.  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 bad guys on the left and good guys on the right, all in 15mm.  The bad guys are Eureka Miniatures' Modern Chechens, while the good guys are Battlefront Vietnam-era US Infantry.

The good guys, but it's not that simple!  This is a para-drop, so who knows who and how many are actually going to show up on the DZ for the fight.  I will have a maximum of ten men and a minimum of five, decided by fate, which is also how their locations on the map will be determined.

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 map, now with troops.  As luck would have it, this is an even up, six-man on six-man fight, and the two sides are intermingled due to bad guys trying to concentrate forces from outlying areas and the Cubans being air dropped onto the field of battle.  Let's get some closeups.

This is the northwest corner of the table, and it is owned by the bad guys, who have four men visible.  That's an RPG at top left, a PK machine gun at top center, and two riflemen (top right and bottom right).

The northeast corner shows us a bad guy rifleman from the last pic (top left), and then three Cubans (top center left, just right of the bad guy, center left and right top).

The southeast corner shows us the same two Cubans from the last pic (center left top and top right), two new Cubans (center bottom and center left), a bad guy from the first pic (far left top), and a new bad guy (bottom right).

Looking at the southwest corner, there is one new Cuban (bottom center left) and one new bad guy (on road at bottom center).

Time to fight!  The action is going to be hot and heavy, no one is hiding and we're at point blank range!

A Cuban rifleman in the northeast starts the gunfight (bottom center), firing on one of the rooftop bad guys (top center, with the Cuban M-60 gunner on the ground just below him).

The bad guy (top left) is pinned, and the Cuban moves up (bottom right with M-60 gunner at center).

The Cuban machine gunner (bottom right) pivots and rattles off a long burst at the enemy machine gunner (on roof at top center).

The PK gunner is suppressed (red bead at top left), but an enemy rifleman (bottom right) sights in on the M-60 gunner (top right) and returns fire...

Suppressing him (red bead at bottom right).  Back in the north, a Private Santiago (top center) pops out of the bushes and fires on a nearby bad guy...

The enemy soldier is pinned (yellow bead), and Santiago rushes him!

The bad guy is put out of the fight (top right), and Santiago creeps up to the edge of the building, eyeing the suppressed PK gunner (red bead at far left).

In the southeast, a Cuban paratrooper (bottom left) fires on the lone enemy sentry (top center) nearby.

The target goes down in a hail of gunfire (top right), but the enemy sentry on the road in the south (bottom left) spots the Cuban (center top right, with Lt Jaramiho at left) and fires...

*As I type this I realize I screwed up, helping the bad guys!  That dude just react fired, but he already react fired this turn, he suppressed the M-60 gunner.  I'm cheating against myself!

The rounds miss (far right explosion) and the Cuban moves up (center top right, next to trees), while Lt Jaramiho (just to his left, with one more Cuban at far left) shoulders his rifle and returns fire...

Dropping another bad guy (bottom left).  The LT moves up, into the ville (top left).

Looking northeast to southwest: but the LT goes a bit too far sticking his nose out (top right), and the enemy sentry on the road in the northeast (bottom left) spots him and fires...

Luckily, the bad guy (top left) misses, and the LT (bottom right) returns fire, but he misses too.

The LT (top right) keeps laying down fire while the last Cuban, the Corporal, moves up in the southwest (far left, at treeline).

The Corporal (bottom center) peers through the treeline, spots a target (the RPG gunner, top left), and fires...

The Corporal (top right) sends his rounds a bit wide of the mark, but so does the RPG gunner (bottom center).

Hilarious!  This is the bad guy activation roll; they only have three guys left to activate, and they roll three 'Scurries.'

The RPG gunner, feeling lucky after dodging the Corporal's bullets, moves off the road, diving behind the cover of a shrine (far left).  The PK gunner, atop the building at center top left (with Pvt Santiago just below him) self rallies, while the enemy sniper (on building at far right) tries to rally but stays pinned.

In the southwest, on the Cuban left flank, the Corporal (bottom center) once again sights in on the enemy RPG gunner (top left) and fires...

The RPG gunner (top left) is suppressed, as Pvt Santiago (right) tosses an M-26 fragmentation grenade up on the roof with the PK gunner, who fumbles for the grenade but can't reach it.

The LT breaks cover (bottom center) and squeezes a burst off at the PK gunner (top center).

But the LT (top right) misses!  The PK gunner (far left) returns fire, but he misses too!  No matter, that grenade is cooking!

In the north, another Cuban rifleman (bottom right, with M-60 gunner suppressed at bottom center) lines up a shot on the PK gunner (top right, enemy sniper at center top left, LT at top left) and fires...

But that PK gunner (bottom left) is dodging bullets like Neo in The Matrix!  He returns fire on the Cuban paratrooper (top left)...

The Cuban is pinned (yellow bead at top center).  Another paratrooper moves up to the village (left center), while the M-60 gunner tries to rally...

But fails and falls back (bottom right).

And we find out the PK gunner can't dodge fragments when he's knocked down by the grenade.

With the PK gunner knocked down (top center), the RPG gunner (top left) and sniper (bottom right) both self rally.

But almost immediately the Cubans are again pressing the attack: the pinned rifleman in the north (bottom right) fires on the enemy sniper (top center left, with LT at top left)...

The sniper is knocked down (far right), and the LT darts out (bottom right and fires on the RPG gunner (top center left)...

Knocking him down (top center)!!!  Pvt Santiago pulls his combat knife out and climbs onto the roof with the knocked down PK gunner...

He's quickly dispatched (left), and Pvt Santiago hops down to deal with the knocked down RPG gunner...

But he was playing possum!  The RPG gunner (left) hops up and fights Santiago off!  He falls back, suppressed (top right).

Now, I've gotta tell ya, the odds of getting thrown back in close combat with a 'man down' figure are pretty damn slim...

From the southwest, the Corporal (bottom center) can't believe his eyes.  The enemy RPG gunner (top left) is busy congratulating himself on fighting Santiago off when M-16 rounds begin chewing up dirt all around him, and he's knocked down again!

Alright, who volunteers to go up there and finish him off? ;)

One of the Cuban riflemen climbs up on the building at center top left, looking to get at the knocked down enemy sniper (top left), while the M-60 gunner (bottom right) again attempts to self rally...

And again he falls back!!!  What the hell is going on here?  He falls back to the southeastern corner (red bead at center right), from top center left.

Pvt Santiago (suppressed at top left) and a pinned rifleman (yellow bead at far right) both rally themselves back into the fight.

The Corporal (far left) and the Lieutenant (bottom center, with Pvt Santiago at top right) converge on the knocked down RPG gunner (behind shrine at center top).

With the LT at far left, a Cuban rifleman climbs atop the roof to finish off the enemy sniper (bottom right).

What!!!???  Not only does the bad guy get back in the fight, he subdues the Cuban (rather than simply drive him back)!!!  That's twice this game!

As the enemy sniper scuffles and knocks out the Cuban at far left, Pvt Santiago moves up on the RPG gunner again (far right), looking to finish the job...

And this time the RPG gunner (casualty figure at left) is no more.  Santiago moves up and peers around the corner, in the direction of the enemy sniper, who is the only bad guy still left in the fight.

The bad guy rolls another scurry!

He hops down, out of sight among the buildings.  He is pretty much surrounded by Cuban soldiers; with escape not a realistic option, he figures he can at least force the Cubans to channelize themselves trying to get at him.

And the Cubans begin moving in (top right, center, far left, and top left, with the M-60 gunner way off camera to bottom right).

Another scurry for the bad guy!

With Cubans closing in from the west (bottom), the enemy sniper creeps north (left), peers around the corner, and spots a Cuban paratrooper!  The two fumble for their weapons, but the bad guy decides to charge (top center)!!!

He dispatches another Cuban with his knife (top left), then begins trotting east (right), stopping every few yards to peer behind him for Cubans following him.

In the southeastern corner of the DZ, the M-60 gunner (bottom center) rallies himself up to pinned.  The enemy sniper is at top center, coming this way.

The remaining Cubans in the west move up (bottom center, center, top left), trying to get a bead on the bad guy (top right).

The enemy sniper spots the northernmost Cuban (top left) and fires...

The rounds zip by as Pvt Santiago (bottom left, with LT at center) returns fire (top right).

The enemy soldier falls back, suppressed (red bead at right, with the Corporal at bottom left).  The LT (center left) takes a deep breath...

Then charges out into the field (right) and fires on the bad guy (bottom right) as the Corporal climbs up on the roof (center bottom right)...

The bad guy falls back again (bottom center, from explosion at center).  This has turned into a very deadly game of cat and mouse, with two Cubans already down as a result of the sniper's handiwork!

Pvt Santiago moves up the west road (top left) to cut off the bad guy (bottom right).

The enemy sniper drops to a knee to collect himself (he self rallies, good to go).

But the M-60 gunner is finally back in the fight!  He creeps forward (bottom right), spots the bad guy (top left), then cuts loose with a long burst...

The enemy sniper is knocked down again!

The Corporal jumps down from the roof, landing on the enemy soldier.

Lieutenant Jaramiho rallies his men, then orders them to move out and start collecting up the rest of their platoon.

Yowzah, that was a helluva back and forth in that fight!  The bad guys had quite a string of 'Scurry' activations; none really screwed them over, though the ability to shoot probably would have been much appreciated.  Having said that, if the Scurries were a negative, they were more than offset by the incredibly bad close combat rolls by Cuban paratroopers engaging knocked down bad guys in close combat!  A fun, quick game, hope it didn't drag too much with the cat and mouse with the sniper trying to flee at the end.

Next up is 2nd Platoon hitting the DZ, and it's a real doozy!


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