Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2017, Paul Scrivens-Smith

All rights reserved. This work may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, without the prior written permission of the creator.

Friday, 17 January 2014

'¡No pasarán!' - Chain of Command Spanish Civil War

James has been keen to try out Chain of Command for a few weeks now and had an extensive collection of Spanish Civil War figures, buildings and terrain.

Yesterday evening at the club we had a game of Chain of Command, pitting James with the Legion against myself with the International Brigade. As there was a 3pt difference in the forces I picked two 50mm mortars for my Mortar sections and an LMG for one of my infantry sections.

We laid out the table as seen in the images ( the cloth is not as pale as it looks in the photos but James could do with something quite a bit darker ), with a town in the centre, some woodland on one flank and farmland on the other, a line of barricades were one side of the village. Rolling for Force Morale James rolled up 11 for the Legion, where as my International Brigade were at a paltry 8 - I was really going to be up against it against those die-hards!

Suitably decked out in my British Battalion t-shirt we got down to the action.

We would be playing the Patrol scenario and rolled up for three supports each. The Legion picked a light tank, the International Brigade, one lot of Molotov Cocktails, an Adjutant and another LMG. The patrol phase ended up with us both forming a line of Jump-Off points either side of the town.

We made the decision that neither of us would field our Light Mortar teams, James did not have the models and it saved working out the rules for having them observed from off-table.

James went first and managed to deploy one of his infantry section behind a hedge on his left flank while sending one of their teams off towards the church in the centre. I countered by deploying a section behind the barricades and opening fire on the Legion skulking behind the hedge killing two of them - not a bad start as being die-hards they ignore shock and only respond to being put down.

My other section deployed in the woodland to the left of the barricade and soon formed an anti-Fascist firing line.

Things continued well for the International Brigade, the Legion team occupying the church took positions in the tower ready to rain down fire on me, but as soon as they appeared on the parapet with their banner, all six men were shot down by concentrated fire. A great start for the Republicans, one section of Legion were dead and a couple from the machine-gun team had also be put down.

A stage of jockeying continued, but the Fascists were gaining the upper hand with the appearance of their superior numbers and the light tank. I moved a team equipped with Molotov cocktails to counter the tank, but they took a couple of casualties so I pulled them back into the woodland.

The Legion attempted a flanking manoeuvre against the barricades but I moved a team into position in a field to counter them and a couple of the Fascists fell to their fire.

I threw two sixes and thought it was time to take the opportunity of a double phase. Having whittled down the Legion a little I made a dash from behind the barricades to a building in the centre of the town that the Legion were also making a beeline for. Jumping over the barricades my troops closed on the village when they realised that there were no doors on our side of the building - schoolboy error! Dashing back to get over the barricades one section was caught in the open and a couple of casualties taken - unfortunately one of these was the NCO and he suffered a light wound, the first reduction in my meagre Force Morale.

The Nationalists pressed on, concentrated fire from the light tank caused a casualty on my section in the tree-line and unfortunately it was the NCO who fell down dead! the force moral was plummeting and I only had my Ranking Leader and a wounded Junior Leader left. A Nationalist team attempting to move around the church were themselves caught in the open and were lucky to be left with two men still standing.

It was getting to a crunch point when some more fortunate Fascist fire found out my other NCO who also fell down dead. The Republicans were still winning the casualty war against the Legion - having lost no teams at all - but were now carrying a bit of Shock and down to a single Ranking Leader and a Force Moral of 5 (against the Legions now 10), so El Capitain decided that it was time to withdraw and leave the village to the Fascists, we could come back later and turf them out.

I had only lost a handful of figures, far less than the Legion, but a disproportionate amount of my casualties were on the Junior Leaders - both of them!

With just two huge three team sections to a platoon it certainly played a lot differently to the WWII games we have had and I'm certainly up for playing some more. In fact I've already been looking at Moroccans on the Empress Miniatures web pages. I reckon we could have sneaked in a crafty little side project here.