Monday, April 17, 2017

Operation Rush Delivery, Fight #4


AKA, the 13th fight of Operation Payback

It's 0533 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.

In the last fight we saw Lt Jaramiho's 1st Platoon successfully seized DZ Crow.  Here we pick up the action at DZ Bluebird, where bad guys alerted by the earlier firefights with Cuban R&S teams are watching paratroopers of 2nd Lieutenant Escobedo's 3rd Platoon descend and crash to the earth.

Overview, north is up.  We've got a small village spread across the map, a dirt road running east-west, 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.

Overview of the table, this time with troops present, and it's gonna be a real hoot!  The Cuban paratroopers and bad guys are both spread across the entire map, intermingled, and the Cubans have a 7-man vs 6-man advantage.

The northwest corner of the table shows an enemy machine gunner (with PK MG) at top left and two Cubans: Tex at center top, and the M-60 gunner at bottom center.

A shot of the northeast corner shows a blur of activity: Tex is at top left and the M-60 gunner at far left, while there are three more Cubans: one at center top, one at bottom right, and one at bottom center.    There are two bad guys: one at center right bottom, and one at center right top (above and below the goat pen).

Looking at the southeast corner shows us only two new guys: the Cuban Lieutenant (bottom left) and the bad guy RPG gunner (bottom right).  The M-60 gunner is at far left, Tex at top left, more Cubans at center bottom and far right, bad guys above and below the goat pen.

In the southwest we've got three new guys: two bad guys at bottom left, and Big Sal at bottom center.  The Cuban LT is at bottom right, the M-60 gunner at center right, Tex at top center, a Cuban rifleman at top right, and the bad guy PK gunner hidden at top left behind the trees.

The table is set and the troops are rearing to go; let's get it on!  Get ready for some rip-roarin' fun!

The fight starts in the southeast, where the enemy RPG gunner (bottom right, with a buddy at top left) spots a Cuban paratrooper struggling to get out of his harness (top right) and opens fires with his AK.  The rounds sail high in the murky dawn light...

But the buddy at top left also fires on the isolated Cuban, knocking him down.  A very precarious position as he can only be rallied back into the fight by a friendly moving into base contact, and no Cubans are nearby to help, not to mention there are three bad guys with interlocking fields of fire which would make reaching him quite a feat.  Lastly, he's very vulnerable to being close assaulted into oblivion (yeah, only the bad guys seem to win those kind of close combats!).

While the bad guy at center is ringing up the Cuban at bottom right, the bad guy in the northeast (top center) opens fire on the Cuban Sergeant at bottom left.

And Sarge goes down!

The guy that shot Sarge hops onto a nearby building, not realizing there's a Cuban paratrooper just on the other side.  While both are a bit shocked to see an enemy soldier materialize so close, the Cuban is quicker to the draw and opens fire with his M-16, missing!

With the fight raging in the east (top), the enemy PK gunner in the northwest (bottom right) opens fire on Tex (center left), missing.

With Tex dodging bullets at top center, two bad guys move up in the southwest (far left, next to the dumpster, and bottom center, on the roof, with Big Sal just below him).

The M-60 gunner (far left) seems a bit confused, just kinda chillin', but Tex (bottom right) spots the bad guy in the southwest next to the dumpster (top center, with Big Sal and the other bad guy at top left) and fires...

The bad guy is knocked down (top left)!  Tex (bottom right, with M-60 gunner at bottom left) then pivots and fires on the enemy PK gunner (top right), knocking him down too!

In the southwest, Big Sal fires on the bad guy on the roof.

The bad guy flinches, pinned.  Big Sal immediately climbs onto the roof and into close combat!

Big Sal offs the bad guy, then hops down (center), looking to close with the bad guy Tex just knocked down (top left).

But as Big Sal moves up (top left, with M-60 gunner below him, Tex at top right, and a Cuban rifleman at bottom right), the bad guy on the building in the northeast (bottom center) spots him and fires.

Big Sal dashes through the AK fire and into another close combat!

Big Sal knocks out another bad guy (bottom left), then moves up (center top), moving on the enemy PK gunner (top right) that Tex knocked down.

Things are going great, right?  Sure the Sarge went down and a riflemen is knocked down (with little hope of getting to him) in the southeast, but there's a good group of Cubans in the center/center left, and the LT is in the bottom, unengaged.

Back in the northeast, the Cuban rifleman below the guy that just shot at Big Sal opens fire...

The bad guy goes down (far right, atop building), but a nearby enemy rifleman (bottom left) returns fire...

The Cuban takes shelter behind the building, suppressed (top left).  The M-60 gunner (bottom left) hears the gunfire, and while he doesn't have a great shot, he opens up on the bad guy (in trees at top right)...

The M-60 gunner (top center) misses, and the bad guy (bottom left) pivots and returns fire...

The M-60 gunner (top left) is knocked down, and the LT comes rushing forward (far right, from bottom center).

With the M-60 gunner knocked down (top left), the enemy rifleman (bottom left) reloads, takes aim, then fires on Tex (top right).

Clearly the rounds impact close to Tex (bottom center), which is why this photo is so shaky, but he hangs in there and returns fire (top left, with the sorta visible at top right).

Tex misses the bad guy (top left).  The enemy RPG gunner moves up (bottom left), looking to get into the fight, but he has a decision to make: does he go right, to finish off the knocked down Cuban, or left, to get into the firefight?  Actually, there's a Cuban in the northeast, too (off camera to top),  though he's suppressed right now.

But the RPG gunner (top center) has more immediate problems: the Cuban Lieutenant (bottom center) spots him and fires...

The Cuban's (top center) rounds are high, and are answered by a damn rocket!!!

Quite incredibly, the enemy RPG gunner's snapshot lands a perfect blow, killing the Lieutenant and the knocked down M-60 gunner!!!

As the rocket explodes at bottom left, Tex (top left) opens fire on the the RPG gunner's AK-wielding buddy (far right)...

After firing twice and knocking down two men, Tex (top right) has now fired at the same guy and missed twice.  The bad guy (bottom left) returns fire...

But Tex's luck holds (bottom left) and the rounds miss.  The Cuban rifleman suppressed at top left tries to self rally, but only gets up to pinned.

Meanwhile, Big Sal comes dashing in from the west (center), looking to link up with Tex (top right).

There are now three Cubans left: the pinned rifleman at top left, Tex (behind trees at left), and Big Sal (bottom center), who is firing on the bad guy (top center) giving Tex such a hard time, pinning him.

But despite Big Sal's rounds pinning him (bottom left), he hangs in there and fires on Tex (top right, with Big Sal at top center) again...

Finally Tex is forced to relent: he falls back, suppressed (top center), as Big Sal looks on.

The bad guys are down to two men still in the fight: the RPG gunner dashes forward to rally his pinned buddy (top left), figuring the knocked down Cuban rifleman at far right ain't going anywhere.  Similarly, the bad guys have a knocked down guy in the northwest corner of the table (the PK gunner), with no hope of getting past the Cubans to rally him.

But Big Sal (bottom center) spots the RPG gunner bunched up with the pinned rifleman (top center).  Big Sal sights in and squeezes off a long burst.

On full auto, Big Sal's muzzle climbs and the rounds go high!  The RPG gunner (bottom left) successfully rallies his buddy, then returns fire...

"Damn that was close!"  Big Sal dashes forward and dives behind a clump of trees, suppressed (bottom right, with Tex suppressed at top center).

The Cubans immediately self rally: Big Sal (far right) is good to go, but Tex (bottom center) only gets up to pinned.  Their third man, the rifleman in the northeast, moves up, following the building's wall east (top left), looking to get in behind the bad guys (top center).

But the bad guys aren't impressed: the RPG gunner fires another rocket, this time in Tex's direction.

Tex watches as the rocket sails over his left shoulder and explodes harmlessly.

The enemy rifleman (center) fires for the umpteenth time on Tex (top right)...

The rounds miss, but buy enough time for the bad guy to hop the fence and rush over to the knocked down Cuban rifleman in the southeast (far right, with RPG gunner at left).

The bad guy finishes off the Cuban (bottom right) then moves up (center), worried about the third Cuban popping out from around the corner at top center.

Tex (bottom left, with Big Sal at bottom center right) fires on the enemy rifleman)...

Suppressing him (bottom right), but the RPG gunner (bottom center) returns fire with his AK (top left).

Tex (top left) keeps laying down fire as Big Sal moves up (far right).

Big Sal (bottom left) doesn't have a great look at the RPG gunner (top right), but he knows about where he's at and empties a full magazine into the brush...

Suppressing the RPG gunner (bottom center)!!!  With both enemy troops suppressed, the northeast Cuban rifleman decides to move up (top center right, just above the suppressed enemy rifleman).

The Cuban (bottom left) opens fire at point blank range, knocking the enemy rifleman down!

The enemy RPG gunner rallies himself (top center right), but Tex (bottom left) keeps pouring fire into his position

Pinning the RPG gunner (center).  Big Sal dashes up (far left), firing as he goes...

Knocking the RPG gunner down (bottom left)!!!  It's all over but the crying, both bad guys are knocked down.  The northeast Cuban rifleman moves up into contact with the knocked down bad guy (top center)...

And the bad guy pulls a pistol and shoots him in the face!!!  Inconceivable!!!

Having whacked the Cuban on top of him, the bad guy rifleman (bottom left) turns and fires on Big Sal (top right), trying to save his buddy, the RPG gunner (top left)...

Big Sal is knocked down (far left) by the enemy gunfire!!!  The bad guy sprints to the RPG gunner and checks him (far right)...

Tex (bottom left) lets out a howl as he sees his buddy, Big Sal (center top) knocked down!  He stands and empties a magazine at the enemy position (top center)...

The enemy rifleman is forced to fall back, suppressed (bottom center), leaving the RPG gunner still lying out there!

Tex (top left) begins legging it up to Big Sal (center left).  The enemy rifleman (bottom right) self rallies, but only gets up to pinned.

Tex makes it up to Big Sal and rolls him over...  He's okay, back in the fight!

The enemy rifleman moves up to the fence, looking to hop it and get up to the knocked down RPG gunner.

But Big Sal (far left, Tex is the one with the yellow bead) spots him (far right) and cuts loose...

But apparently being knocked down threw off Big Sal's aim, as the rounds are 'no impact, no idea.'  The enemy rifleman reaches his buddy and checks him...

The damn RPG gunner is back in the fight too (right)!!!  The Cubans had an advantage for a second there, but now both bad guys are back in the fight, and while both Cubans are in the fight, they're in the open and the bad guys are using the trees for cover.

Tex opens fire...

Tex's rounds pin the enemy RPG gunner (left, meaning the rifleman AND the RPG gunner are both pinned).  "Tex, cover me!"  Big Sal rips off another burst from his M-16...

Then charges in!!!

But the bad guys make quick work of the young Cuban....  Damn man, didn't even get one of them?

Tex slinks off into the jungle.  His Lieutenant is dead, the platoon scattered, and DZ Bluebird in enemy hands.

Holy @#$%, what a damn fight!!!  Not sure if you could feel it, but that whole damn thing was intense, and only ramped up once the RPG got the LT and M-60 gunner.  After that it was a couple guys versus a couple guys, and the back and forth was absolutely incredible.  I can't believe I lost!!!  But damn that was fun!

Now we move to the final DZ to see how 3rd Platoon does.  I really need this to go well, as if they are unable to secure their DZ and form up I'm not sure how the hell I'm going to have the manpower to fulfill the mission objectives of taking the enemy training areas and barracks.  Operation Rush Delivery is showing the cracks of a plan hastily put together!  I hope you're having as good a time as I am.


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