Friday, August 18, 2017

Press Release - Operation Cronistrian Freedom

Press Release from Free Cuban Government



Reuters, 20 July 1990 - President Waraldonez met with Defense Minister Estevante to discuss Free Cuban plans for the continuation of military operations in the war-ravaged nation of Cronistria.  El Presidente stated his displeasure with the slow pace of operations, having seen the deployment grow from a Special Forces team to an all-arms mechanized Task Force, having lasted four months already despite this.  El Presidente and Minister Estevante decided it was necessary to deploy another Tank Company to Cronistria, and use those reinforcements to step up the pace of operations, in order to end the war.

Major Solar, commanding officer of 1st Tank Battalion, will lead his B Company, 1st Tank Battalion, overseas to join his A Company, already deployed.  B Company will be led by 1st Lt Segovia, who is coming over from B Co, 4th Light Armored Reconnaissance Battalion, to fill in for 1st Lt Barrientes, who is suffering from a personal illness, preventing his deployment.

The deployment of a second tank company was seen as necessary as the capital city of Miran fell to coalition forces earlier in the month, leaving only the northern plains, excellent tank country with roughly a regiment of enemy armor, in Communist hands.  El Presidente wishes to see the enemy armor destroyed in a blitzkrieg of Cuban tanks in conjunction with Cuban close air support, bringing the enemy to his knees and ending the war in Cronistria.  Pronto.

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Operation Rush Delivery, Fight #7

All,

AKA, the 16th fight of Operation Payback

It's 0950 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.  Next, 1st Lieutenant Huerta's 18th Grenadier Guards of the 6th Parachute Battalion jumped from C-130s onto three separate Drop Zones (DZs) in the pre-dawn darkness, planning to 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 four fights we saw Lt Jaramiho's 1st Platoon successfully seize DZ Crow, Lt Escobedo killed in action while 2nd Platoon was trying, unsuccessfully, to secure DZ Bluebird, and then Lt Reyna's 3rd Platoon successfully seize DZ Albatross.  The Company Commander, Lt Huerta, rounded up his paratroopers, formed them up, then linked up with Lt Estevez's ODA 525 for the assault on the objective areas.  Then we saw Lt Huerta lead Lt Jaramiho's 1st Platoon and three Special Forces teams from ODA 525 to secure the terrorist training areas on Avalor.  This fight sees Major Villanueva leading Unit 101 to capture El Commandante, the Venezuelan Army officer running the training camp which has been preparing and funneling terrorists into Cuba.

Overview, north is up, with bad guys atop the hill at top center left, good guys advancing from the south.  There is a small village astride the river (bottom center right), which is fordable anywhere along its length.  A gravel road leads from south to north, up the hill to El Commandante's compound.  The table is around 3' x 3', using my teddy bear fur mat with towels underneath.

I'm using Ivan's "Five Men at Kursk," modified to give it a bit more of a modern and violent feel, and I'm playing solo.

The opposing forces, with Major Villanueva's team at left, and El Commandante and his body guards at right.  The good guys are 15mm Modern Contractors from Khurasan, while the bad guys are 15mm Modern African militia from Rebel Minis.

The good guys, Special Forces operators from Operational Detachment Phoenix, getting close to the finish line in terms of closing out Operation Payback. Top left to bottom right: Treak, Tank (with Mk 48 machine gun), Rung, Cypher, Major Villanueva, and Neo.

The bad guys: El Commandante is at top center, and he's got ten bodyguards willing to lay down their lives so that he may live.  There are ten bad guy fighters, each with an AK-series weapon, and one also carries an RPG.

Overview, this time with troops.  Major V's team is at bottom, in skirmish line, spread across the map from left to right, wading through the knee deep river.  The bad guys are mostly at top center left, in and around El Commandante's compound, though they do have a couple of sentries on foot patrol in the jungle at center left and far right.

El Commandante's compound; the Venezuelan officer is in the building at top right, while his bodyguards are spread around.  There are two at far right, dug in behind a wooden retaining wall, two at center, in a fortified position, one on foot patrol at far left, and three coming up the road on the back side of the hill (top center left).

Then there is a sentry on foot patrol on the left side (bottom center left).

And one on the right (bottom right).

Looking north to south at the three bodyguards coming up the back side of the hill (bottom center), El Commandante's compound at center, good guy baseline at top.

Looking west to east you can see Major Villanueva's team splashing across the river.  From bottom left we have: Treak, Neo, Tank, Major V, Cypher, and Rung.

The Cuban commandos move forward, emerging from the river on the north bank, approaching the enemy treeline.

And Major V, the Commanding Officer (bottom left), starts the gunfight.  Coming out of the river, he was hoping to get much closer to the enemy compound before the shooting started, but he noted movement behind the retaining wall (top center right, just below El Commandante's house) and, figuring he's been spotted, he raises his M-16, sights in while still shuffling forward, and squeezes off a burst, knocking one of El Commandante's bodyguard down!

With the Major shuffling forward at bottom left, Cyper (bottom right, next to a native hut), very concerned with the enemy sandbag emplacement on the hill (top left), begins putting fire on it...

One enemy soldier there (bottom left, with two men behind retaining wall at far left) is suppressed, but his buddy levels his AK at Cypher (top right) and returns fire...

Rung (far right) watches closely as the rounds zip past Cypher and he dashes forward to the treeling (far left, from explosion at bottom center left).

The team youngster, Rung, then moves up (center right)...

The enemy sentry in the east (bottom left), alerted by the gunfire, spots the young Cuban creeping (top center) through the jungle and fires...

7.62mm rounds snap past his head, missing only by inches!  Rung is not exactly sure where the rounds came from, but he immediately shoulders his weapon (bottom right) and returns fire, though he misses too.

On the far left, Neo (bottom right), scans the area to his front for enemy activity as Treak moves up rapidly (left top).

But Treak (center right) has run smack into the enemy's western sentry (bottom center), who's AK begins rattling...

Treak coolly continues shuffling forward (bottom left), returning fire as he goes, though he doesn't manage to hit the bad guy (top center).

As Treak (bottom left) and Rung (top right) are dodging bullets, Tank (center right) sights in with the machine gun and begins pumping rounds into the retaining wall (top center left, with sandbagged emplacement to its left), knocking the other enemy soldier there flat next to his comrade!  Things are looking good on the right, so long as we can take care of the eastern sentry.

Firing as he moves, Tank advances to the treeline (far right), as Neo (far left) moves up to help Treak out with the enemy western sentry (hidden by trees at top left, though you can see the explosion from Treak's fire).

Neo (center right, with Treak just below him) manages to line up a shot on the western sentry (top left) and cuts loose with his accurized M-14, knocking the enemy soldier down.

On the back side of the hill, three of El Commandante's bodyguards hustle up the road (center) to get into the fight (the sandbagged position is at top center, El Commandante's house just visible at far left).  There is also another enemy sentry just visible at the edge of the jungle at top right, so far unseen by the Cubans.

While El Commandante pops onto the roof to see what the hell is going on.

As Neo and Treak (center top) are moving up on the Cuban left and dealing with the enemy's western sentry (white bead at left), the sentry atop the hill (bottom left) levels his AK and cuts loose with an entire magazine at the two Cubans, but doesn't manage to hit anything!!!

Back on the Cuban far right, the youngster Rung continues his death dance with the enemy east sentry.  The two are popping back and forth, catching only flashes of the other through the foliage, letting rip with short bursts of fire.  The enemy soldier (right) briefly spots Rung (left) again and fires...

The AK rounds again miss Rung (bottom center), but the enemy soldier lets out a roar and dashes forward, charging Rung.  Rung spins and returns fire...

I'd swear he hit the fanatical enemy soldier, but still the two meet!  They slam into each other, collapsing to the jungle floor, in a life and death struggle.

Rung emerges victorious, putting  the enemy soldier (bottom left) out of the fight!  Rung gets to his feet, checks his gear, and moves up (top right), advancing on the hill (off camera to top center).

Back in the center, an enemy rifleman in the sandbagged emplacement (bottom left) sights in on Cypher (top right) and fires, pinning him down.

The guy that just pinned Cypher moves over to check on his suppressed comrade, trying to help him get back in the fight (top left), but Tank (bottom right) spots swings the gun left and begins hosing down the sandbagged emplacement, knocking the unfortunate enemy soldier down!  However, the suppressed enemy soldier, watching his buddy get knocked down, snaps out of his funk and gets back in the fight.

With Tank (just off camera to left) laying fire on the sandbagged position) top center left), Cypher (bottom right), though pinned, sights in on the bad guy that just rallied back into the fight and squeezes, knocking him down!

Wow, things are going swimmingly for the Cubans: both bad guys behind the retaining wall and both bad guys in the sandbagged emplacement are knocked down, the east sentry is dead, and the west sentry is knocked down, with the enemy going to have to do something very desperate and reckless in order to get any of the them back in the fight, and all we've suffered is Cypher being pinned!

Cypher (bottom right) continues laying down fire as Rung dashes up the hill, closing in on the retaining wall (center top, with white bead for knocked down enemy soldier visible at top left).

On the Cuban left, Neo (bottom far right, with Treak below him) sights in on the enemy soldier atop the hill (top left, with sandbagged emplacement at top center left) and fires, pinning him.

Treak (bottom center left) lays down fire as Neo (center right) moves up, approaching the knocked down west sentry (center).

Treak's accurate rifle fire forces the enemy troop to fall back (red bead at center, from explosions at far right, with the three reinforcing bad guys coming up the road on the back side of the hill at far left, El Commandante's house just above them).

Treak then moves up on the left (top left, with enemy west sentry knocked down at top center right, Neo just below him), eyes over his sights the whole way.

In the center, showing more balls than brains, Major Villanueva dashes across the road, looking to get over to Cypher (top right) and rally him.

On the back side of the hill, a bad guy moves over to try and rally his buddy, the one Treak's fire forced to fall back (center right)...

But he throws down his weapon and runs away (bottom right)!  "To hell with El Commandante, he can fight these savages himself!!!"  Unperturbed, the enemy RPG gunner (on road at far left) watches as his partner creeps up the road (top left)...

But the enemy soldier has sky-lined himself (top center), providing a perfect target for Major Villanueva (bottom center, with Cypher pinned to his right).   The CO sights in and fires...

Dropping the bad guy in his tracks (bottom left)!!!  The enemy RPG gunner then creeps forward, this time smartly using the trees as cover (just right of the dead guy, with the sandbagged position, holding two knocked down enemy riflemen, at top center).

And here our troubles begin...  Major V (top left) and Tank (between the trees at top center right) are too busy celebrating the CO's great shot, and Cypher is still pinned down, so no one notices the RPG gunner (bottom right) creeping into position.  At least not until the RPG gunner launches a rocket down at the Major and Cypher; El Commandante (on the roof of his house, bottom left) looks on with glee...

BAM!!!  The rocket hits between Major Villanueva and Cypher, knocking Cypher down and suppressing the Major.

Emboldened by the RPG strike, El Commandante dashes down to the retaining wall from off his roof, looking to help get the two knocked down bodyguards there back into the fight.  El Commandante checks the first soldier, and he's good to go, back in the fight.

Tank (bottom center right) spots the movement at the retaining wall (top center, with Rung just to the right of it) and cuts loose...

Forcing the cowardly El Commandante to fall back (red bead at left, from explosions at top center right).  But the damage has already been done: he managed to get one of his minions at the retaining wall back into the fight, and now Rung is caught in the open.

Tank (bottom left) keeps pouring on the fire as the Major (read bead on road, with Cypher knocked down just above him) snaps himself out of it, again ready to fight.

As previously mentioned, Rung (bottom right) finds himself in a very bad situation.  See, he's out in the open, while there is an enemy soldier very nearby, sheltered behind the hard cover of the retaining wall (center, with a knocked down enemy soldier just visible to his right).  Rung does the only thing he can: he's going to close assault the retaining wall!  He shuffles forward, firing as he goes...

But the rounds thwack harmlessly into the retaining wall, and the enemy soldier (center) returns fire, knocking Rung (center right) down!

On the Cuban left, Neo moves up to the downed enemy west sentry (right, with Treak at far left)...

Neo finishes off the bad guy (bottom center), then he (center) and Treak (far left) begin moving up the hill, approaching the sandbagged emplacement.  They know an RPG gunner is up top somewhere, but they can't see him because of the slope.

Then the enemy trooper behind the retaining wall (bottom center left), the one that just knocked down Rung, is feeling froggy, so he lines up a shot on Major Villanueva (top center) and fires, knocking him down!!!

With the guy at the retaining wall laying down fire (top left), El Commandante (bottom left) self rallies back into the fight, though he only gets up to pinned, and the enemy RPG gunner dashes forward and hops into the sandbagged emplacement, looking to get the two knocked down riflemen there back into the fight.

Things aren't looking so good all of a sudden...

Tank (bottom left) spots the RPG gunner's dash into the sandbagged position (top center); he swings the Mk 48 and cuts loose...

But the RPG gunner (bottom center) is unfazed; he raises his AK and returns fire, pinning Tank (top center, with Major V knocked down at top left, and Cypher also knocked down, just off camera to top left)!  The RPG gunner then checks one of his knocked down comrades, and he's okay, another rifle added back into the fight...

On the backside of the hill, there's an enemy rifleman unengaged.  He's the one that tried to rally the guy Treak had fired on, the bad guy forced back and then decided to run away.  Well, the enemy rifleman on the back side of the hill decides to get into the fight, so he mosies out to the right, around the treeline, the spot the sentry that ran away previously occupied (far right).  You can see the enemy RPG gunner at far left, blazing away with his AK at Tank (top left).

But as the bad guy moves up (far left), he comes face to face with Treak (bottom center, with Neo at far right), who's coming up the slope.  Treak gets the drop on him and opens fire.

But the rounds are high and the bad guy (bottom left) gets his AK into the fight, returning fire on Treak (center, with the body of the enemy west sentry at top right).

Neo (bottom right) looks on as Treak is hit several times and goes down!!!

Neo (bottom right) sights in and returns fire on the bad guy (top left)...

But Neo (far right) misses too, and the bad guy simply changes his point of aim, never letting off the trigger, pinning Neo!

Okay, things have completely gone to hell now, with Treak out of the fight, Rung, Major V, and Cypher knocked down, and Neo and Tank pinned, while the bad guys have managed to get two of their five knocked down troops back into the fight, and no reason to believe they won't be able to get two more to join them...

Realizing they have got to get more guns back in the fight, Tank dashes out into the road to check on Major V.  He rolls the CO over and checks him, and the Major comes to, ready to fight.

But back at the retaining wall, the bad guys are doing the same thing.  The enemy rifleman that knocked down Rung crawls over and checks his comrade, and he's back in the fight too!

And then the enemy troops in the sandbagged emplacement (bottom center, with Neo just visible at the explosion at center right, though they can't see each other because of the slope) decide the time is right to open up on Major V and Tank (top left), sitting out exposed in the middle of the road...

But somehow the bad guys totally miss the two Cubans (bottom center, with Cypher still knocked down at bottom right), and Major Villanueva returns fire, knocking down one of the enemy soldiers in the sandbagged position (top left).

More AK fire rains down on Major V and Tank (top left) from the sandbagged emplacement (bottom right)...

But again the enemy fire is harmless, and Major V stands tall and returns fire...

Dropping the RPG gunner!!!  Things are looking up, the sandbagged emplacement is again out of the fight, at least temporarily, and it's going to be real tough for them to get someone over there to get the knocked down bad guys back in the fight.

El Commandante (top right, with yellow bead showing he's pinned) sees the carnage being wreaked on the sandbagged emplacement (bottom left), and he knows he needs to rush forward into the fire to help the men, but he just can't seem to muster the courage!

*He tried to self rally, but failed and stayed pinned.  It's okay, Major V probably would have busted him open if he'd have tried to reach the sandbagged emplacement anyway.

Back on the left side of the hill, the enemy riflemen out there (the one that shot Treak) has a dilemma: does he dash to the sandbagged emplacement to help his comrades, thereby exposing himself to Neo, or does he deal with Neo, then fall back to help his buddies?  He goes with the latter, and with a wild-ass battle cry he opens fire and begins charging downslope at Neo (bottom center left)!!!

Despite being pinned, Neo is able to finish off the bad guy (bottom left), and then he promptly moves on the sandbagged emplacement (top center left)!

I believe that Neo just saved the day!  If he'd have lost that close combat I'd have been forced to withdraw, leaving Neo, Treak, and Rung on the battlefield, and call in air support.

Tank (bottom center, with Major V next to him and Cypher still knocked down at bottom right) gets the gun going again, this time focused on the retaining wall (top center)...

The Cuban machine gunner does great work, suppressing one enemy rifleman (red bead) and pinning the other (yellow bead)!

Tank (bottom center) continues laying down fire with the Mk 48 as Major Villanueva dashes over to Cypher and checks on him: Cypher is back in the fight!

Back up on the hill, Neo rolls over the wall of sandbags, landing atop the two knocked down enemy soldiers and the body of the RPG gunner...

Neo makes quick work of the incapacitated enemy soldiers (don't read that the wrong way, they are still in the fight, and though they have a small chance of victory in close combat, there is a chance, and I can't count how many times I've been bitten by moving into close combat with a knocked down enemy soldier and losing or tying and being forced to fall back!), clearing the sandbagged emplacement.

Neo then faces his own dilemma: does he go and take care of the two enemy soldiers at the retaining wall, but risk allowing El Commandante to escape (or even put a bullet into Neo's side?), or does he go after the target, but risk allowing one of the enemy riflemen to put a bullet into his side?

Neo decides it's mission first, and so he moves up and detains El Commandante!

While Tank, Major V, and Cypher push up the hill (bottom center to center right, with Rung knocked down at top center).  The bad guys try to self rally but it doesn't work out.

The Cubans move up and capture the two enemy soldiers behind the retaining wall.

While Cypher moves over and checks on Rung; he's okay.

Major V looks on, impressed, as Neo frog-marches El Commandante over.  "Good work, you and Treak did a great job, really saved our asses.  Wait, where's Treak?"  Neo informs him, and the Major sends Cypher to go check.

Cypher moves downslope and finds Treak; "Dammit!"  Major Villanueva: "How bad is it?"  Cypher: "It's bad, Boss, we need MEDEVAC right now or he ain't gonna make it!

Major Villanueva immediately got on the radio and called it in, requesting a helo to evacuate Treak and pick up El Commandante.  Treak was gotten back to the battalion aid station on Avalor, and from there immediately evacuated back to Cuba.  He would survive, but the internal injuries he suffered from three AK-47 rounds entering his torso forced his medical retirement from the Cuban Liberation Expeditionary Force.

Having said that, there was also cause for celebration: the mission was accomplished, and two members of Unit 101 were decorated for gallantry:

-Neo was awarded the Cruz Serviceo Distinguido (the nation's second highest award) for defeating the enemy west sentry in close combat, defeating the enemy soldier that shot Treak in close combat, for clearing the enemy sandbagged position in close combat, and personally capturing the mission's designated High Value Target, El Commandante, all at great personal risk to himself.

-Major Villanueva was awarded the Estrella de Plata (the nation's third highest award) for exposing himself to enemy small arms and RPG fire in order to rally his men and deliver accurate and timely rifle fire on the enemy sandbagged emplacement.

Following the helo evac/pickup, Major Villanueva linked up with the rest of Unit 101 and they set a course and began humping to the terrorist barracks, where they expected to encounter their next High Value Target, the Iranian known as "The Adjutant."  Along the way they received word from Rebel 31, friendly Special Forces, that the terrorist barracks was abandoned, but that The Adjutant was holed up in a compound nearby.  That was good news for 1st Lt Huerta's beat up company of paratroopers, they wouldn't have to fight to clear the enemy barracks; the terrorist training areas had proven to be quite expensive.  Major Villanueva coordinated with Lt Huerta to have his paratroopers isolate the objective; no one in or out of The Adjutant's compound.  "We're on our way."

V/R,
Jack