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.

Wednesday, 24 December 2014

Another Action at Gran Salacias


I'd not played Spanish Civil War for months and then I get the opportunity to play two games in three weeks - result.

Yesterday evening James and I played the Attack and Defend scenario. James would use his International Brigade, selected from the Ejército Popular de la República list while I would be allowed to use my Moroccan Regulares. Rolling for our roles, James would be the attacker.
International Brigade LMG team
James rolled for his Force Supports and threw an eight, with the difference in Force Rating he had 15 additional points to spend.

His force comprised:

  • Teniente (Senior Leader) armed with pistol and a Fusilero armed with a rifle.
  • Two Rifle-Grenadier sections each of Sargento (Junior Leader) armed with SMG and three teams each of  a Cabo and 4 Fusileros armed with rifles.
  • One Mortar section of Sargento (Junior Leader) armed with Rifle and two teams each of Cabo and 3 Fusileros armed with rifles.
  • One team in each of the Rifle-Grenadier squads was equipped with an LMG and one of the teams in the Mortar section was armed with a 50mm Mortar.
  • An adjutant and a Commissar were added to the HQ.
  • Ever reliant on his armoured support, this took the form of a T-26 tank and a Armoured Truck No 12 was added. A junior leader, the Commissar and twelve Cabos from one of the two Rifle-Grenadier sections were squeezed inside, leaving just the LMG armed team outside.
  • A preliminary bombardment would hopefully disrupt the defenders plans.

Nationalist Bilbao armoured car
James certainly had a surfeit of riches, my Regulares, with only four points of support eventually comprised:

  • Teniente (Senior Leader) with pistol and Sargento Primero (Senior Leader) with rifle. Two Soldados with rifles.
  • Two sections each of Sargento (Junior Leader) with rifle, one team of M22 LMG with 2 crew and 3 Soldados with rifles and two teams of 6 Soldados with rifles
  • I spent my meagre force supports on an Adjutant for the HQ and made three of the Soldatos tank-hunters.
  • A Bilbao armoured car provided 'heavy' support.

We both had great rolls for Force Morale, the EPR would start on an 11 and the Regulares a 10.

Table set-up and jump-off points
The terrain was laid out as the image on the left and the jump-off points are shown in white for the Nationalists and Red for the Republicans.

With the higher Force Morale the Republican took first turn. Soon one section was deployed into the town while the 50mm mortar was deployed behind the building to support them. A LMG team was deployed behind the orange grove hedge and the T-26 and Tiznao were deployed on the table.

I had decided to start 'lite' this, combined with the Republican preparatory bombardment meant that for several phases I only had a single scout team on the table heading towards the Republican jump-off in the field and the Bilbao that was deployed on the road into the village.

The T-26 took a pot-shot at the Bilbao, although a hit was scored the armoured car only took light damage (a point of shock) and in it's next phase moved out of sight behind the church.

Short lived Nationalist scouts
The Republicans continued to advance in the face of very light Nationalist opposition, however the Bilbao came into its own. A Republican team in the village square was badly shot up and broke for the orange grove, first blood to the Nationalists. Although the honours were evened as my scout team heading towards the Republican jump-off in the field were cut down by fire from the Tiznao.

The T-26 was getting a little close to comfort with my central jump-off point so I tried to deploy my section with the Tank Hunters, however they were disrupted by the preliminary bombardment so the other section of Regulares had to plug the gap.

Brigadiers advance through Gran Salacias
supported by a 50mm mortar.
The Nationalists now went through a poor patch, as the central team of the Rifle-Grenadier section had been eliminated and the other Rifle-Grenadier section had been split up between the Tiznao and defending the orange grove the Republicans had no sections to activate. They seemed to throw a lot of fours and twos meaning very little activity on their part, while I double-sixed a few phases in succession and took the initiative.

The Sergento-Primero was deployed and took one of my teams of Regulares to threaten the Republican jump-off in the field and were very close to taking the objective when the Tiznao kicked into life, disgorging troops who fired up by the words of their Commissar tore into the Moroccans leaving them all dead. Fortunately, the turn ended and the Republican bombardment ceased.

T-26 threatens my centre, but lacks infantry support
The Republican T-26 also moved on to my central jump-off point, but I used a Chain of Command dice to move it behind a building then deployed my second section of Regulares - including the tank hunters.

My Bilbao also continued its advance into Gran Salacias, machine-gunning the mortar team and taking the jump-off point when I used another Chain of Command dice to end the turn.

Our Force Morale had both taken a tumble now, James was on 5 and I was on a 6.

Bilbao finished off the 50mm mortar team.
The Tank Hunters now pounced, my first one was not so effective (only scoring a single hit), but the second made short work of the T-26, causing five unsaved hits and knocking the tank out. Te Soviet crews were summarily dealt with.

James was now running low on Command Dice, only having three now, but was certainly still in the game. He rushed his Teniente towards the focus of the action, but accurate MG fire from the Bilbao killed him and James had to use a Chain of Command dice to avoid the Force Morale test. Although both of the Tiznao riding Rifle Grenadier teams were wiped out in a suicidal charge against a Moroccan LMG team defending a barricade James only lost a single Force Morale point, he was now on two.

My own Teniente also took a couple of hits, although still in the game we were both now on Force Morale 3.

Get out of that one Rommel
The Bilbao now came into it's own, having already accounted for one Rifle-Grenadier team, one 50mm mortar team, one LMG team and the Republican Teniente he now took out the second LMG team and their accompanying Sargento.

With a taunt of 'Get out of that one Rommel.' (c.f. Rik Mayall Bottom Episode 8)  James saw his Force Morale collapse, I was still on Force Morale 3 so a victory to the Nationalists.

It was a great game and we were still playing at about 10:30. I had forgotten how effective the Regulares were, every game recently seems to have been a loss for my Falangista.

Fired on by their Commissar the Republicans
attempt to take out the Moroccan LMG team.
The Bilbao had been the star of the show, breaking one rifle team, wiping out a mortar team and two LMG teams and also killing the Republican Teniente.

Looking at the losses, I had only lost my scout team and one of my rifle teams, all the other Force Morale reductions had been due to hits on my leaders.

The terrain and all the Nationalists are from my collection, as is the T-26 and the 50mm mortar. The remainder of the Republicans are from James collection.


Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you all.