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.

Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Chain of Command Espana at Cannon 2015


For the show at Cannon this past weekend we had originally planned to roll out the mountain and recreate the Battle of Agordat, unfortunately, at the last minute real life got in the way and James Morris was not going to be able to make it. So, last Monday I stepped into the breech and offered to do a Spanish Civil War game.

Myself, Matt, Tom & James - oh dear!
I decided that two platoons of Bando Nacional infantry supported by a late arriving platoon of Panzer I would attack two platoons of well entrenched Ejército Popular de la República.

The Nationalists would start the game with one 'standard' platoon and one platoon of Moroccans also available were a Bilbao Armoured Car, a 75mm infantry gun, a 37mm PaK and a HMG. Starting on turn 2 a platoon of three Panzer I would become available.

The Republican defenders would have two platoons of EPR infantry supported by a 75mm field gun. On turn two they would have support in the form of a T-26 tank, plus B-6 and UNL-35 armoured cars.

Here are the force handouts that I created:

Bando Nacional Infantry
Regular: -1
Command Dice 5
Platoon Headquarters:

  • Teniente, armed with pistol and Sargento Primero, armed with rifle or SMG, both Senior Leaders. Two Fusileros armed with rifles
One section of:

  • Sargento, Junior Leader, armed with rifle or SMG
  •  Squad 1: Cabo & 2 Fusileros with rifles, LMG with 2 crew
  • Squad 2: Cabo & 5 Fusileros with rifles
  • Squad 3: Cabo & 5 Fusileros with rifles
One section of:

  • Sargento, Junior Leader, armed with rifle or SMG
  • Squad 1: Cabo & 4 Fusileros with rifles
  • Squad 2: Cabo & 5 Fusileros with rifles
  • Squad 3: Cabo & 5 Fusileros with rifles


Bando Nacional Infantry (Moroccan)
Regular: +1
Command Dice 5
Platoon Headquarters:
  • Teniente, armed with pistol and Sargento Primero, armed with rifle or SMG, both Senior Leaders. Two Fusileros armed with rifles
Two sections each of:
  • Sargento, Junior Leader, armed with rifle or SMG
  •  Squad 1: Cabo & 2 Fusileros with rifles, LMG with 2 crew
  • Squad 2: Cabo & 5 Fusileros with rifles
  • Squad 3: Cabo & 5 Fusileros with rifles

Nationalist Supports
Medium Machine Gun Squad with Junior Leader
70/16 Infantry Gun with Junior Leader & 5 crew
Pak 35/36 AT gun with Junior Leader & 5 crew
Bilbao armoured car
Panzer Platoon
Enter Turn 2
Regular: -3
Command Dice 5
Panzer I with Senior Leader
Two Panzer II with Junior Leader

1st Platoon Ejército Popular de la República (EPR)
Regular: 1
Command Dice 5
Platoon Headquarters:

  • Teniente, Senior Leader, armed with pistol and a Fusilero armed with a rifle.
Rifle Grenadier Section

  • Sargento, Junior Leader armed with Rifle or SMG
  • Squad 1: Cabo & 2 Fusileros, all armed with rifles. LMG with 2 crew
  • Squad 2: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
  •  Squad 3: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
Rifle Grenadier Section

  • Sargento, Junior Leader armed with Rifle or SMG
  • Squad 1: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
  • Squad 2: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
  • Squad 3: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
Mortar Section

  • Sargento, Junior Leader armed with Rifle or SMG
  • Cabo & 1 Fusilero all armed with rifles. 50mm mortar with 2 crew

2nd Platoon Ejército Popular de la República (EPR)
Regular: 1
Command Dice 5
Platoon Headquarters:

  • Teniente, Senior Leader, armed with pistol and a Fusilero armed with a rifle.
Rifle Grenadier Section

  • Sargento, Junior Leader armed with Rifle or SMG
  • Squad 1: Cabo & 2 Fusileros, all armed with rifles. LMG with 2 crew
  • Squad 2: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
  •  Squad 3: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
Rifle Grenadier Section

  • Sargento, Junior Leader armed with Rifle or SMG
  • Squad 1: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
  • Squad 2: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
  • Squad 3: Cabo & 4 Fusileros, all armed with rifles.
Mortar Section

  • Sargento, Junior Leader armed with Rifle or SMG
  • Cabo & 1 Fusilero all armed with rifles. 50mm mortar with 2 crew

It's quite shocking, but after all these figures were laid out on the table there was still loads left in the box, not bad progress for a project I only started about a year go.

The table laid out and the figures ready to be deployed

Tom W-D and James Woodward would command the Republicans, while I took the Moroccans and Matt Moran was the other Nationalist commander. James would be overall commander for the Republicans I would be in charge of the Nationalists (this matters under the Big CoC rules).

We were off, Nationalists took first turn and Matt promptly rolled this:


Following up with the "A true patriot" random event, the first troops deployed on the table were a Republican 50mm Mortar team.

The Nationalists commenced a cautious advance and the Republicans started to man the barricades. First casualties of the day were a couple of Republican infantry caught moving to defend the olive grove on their left flank.


The Regulares advanced in the open terrain on our right flank while the other Nationalists advanced through the vineyard and made a flanking attack around the hill.


The Bilbao cautiously advanced up the hill, but the Republican 75mm deployed and started to engage it. Fortunately, it was only driven off.

Action shot


The first turn was ended by the Republicans meaning the armoured support for both sides was allowed to be deployed on the table.


The Moroccans continued their steady advance on the Republicans deployed in the tree-line on their left.


Further Moroccan fire drove away the gun crew of the 75mm, but a T-26 tank was deployed to fill the gap.


The Moroccans were supported by a single Panzer I, it was never going to win a fire-fight against the T-26, however, with so many other targets to engage the Republican tank was unable to engage the Panzer I.


The second Nationalist platoon formed a base of fire in the Vineyard atop the hill


Supported by an Infantry gun


Eventually the Republican right collapsed under the weight of fire and the Panzers were able to close on the barricades.


But on the left the weight of fire from the tree-line was able to drive a good proportion of the Moroccans away



At the end of the game the volume of fire against the remaining Republican platoon was telling and the line gave way, a solid victory to the Nationalists.


We had a great days gaming and I think the chaps enjoyed it.










Saturday, 28 March 2015

Republican reinforcements - and about time too


Regular readers will no doubt be concerned with the number of Nationalist troops I have been painting of late, some even may think my political leaning has become skewed. Fear not dear reader, this week I have been painting some Republicans for a change, hopefully they will get used in our game at Cannon tomorrow.

Firstly is an Anglian / Empress UNL-35 armoured car. The main colour is Vallejo Green-Brown and I have worked up from there. The commander is the one that comes with the Empress Panzer I. I quite like how this came out apart from the streaking I managed to do on the top of the hull, I may have to re-do that bit.

 



I have also painted eight Anglian / Empress Republicans, these are the older models with the separate heads, I don't usually like that, however, these seemed to fit quite well and don't look un-natural like some separate head systems that are popular these days.


Four of these are based on 25mm bases so they can be used as Junior Leaders in our Chain of Command Espana games.


Here are the usual 'extreme close up' shots.





These highlight the sloppy brushwork nicely.

Finally for our game at Cannon tomorrow I wanted some more Spanish terrain, so have put together three sections of vines, pretty much based on an article I saw on somebody elses bog while browsing yesterday lunchtime.

The photos are a bit washed out but you should get an idea.



The figures should give you an idea of the size. These will début at the show tomorrow.

Talking of the Cannon show, if you are a reader of the blog I'd be very happy to meet you, pop over to the game and say hello. We are in the space allocated to James Morris's Agordat game, unfortunately, he is unable to make it so I am taking a Spanish Civil War game instead.


Friday, 27 March 2015

Spanish Civil War with the big guns


Yesterday evening I had a great game of Chain of Command with Rich Clark, Nick Eyre and James 'El Cid' Morris at the White Hart.

Overview with jump-off points
This was an excellent opportunity to try out the scenario for my demonstration game at Cannon in Retford this weekend.

Two platoons of Bando Nacional infantry with support of armoured cars, Panzers, machine-guns and artillery are attempting to dislodge two platoons of Ejército Popular de la República with slightly less in the way of goodies.

Rich took the Moroccans while Nick had the Falange, myself and James played the Republicans.

The Falange made huge strides on their flank. The Republican 75mm gun deployed to deal with any Nationalist armour was swiftly over-run after only a couple of ineffective shots at the Nationalist Bilbao armoured car. James quickly responded to this upset and recaptured that position but his troops came under intense fire from the well sited Nationalist machine-gun.

The Republicans were deduced to trying to drive off the Bilbao with machine-gun fire, but to very little effect.

Our right-wing commandants

Meanwhile the Moroccans set up a base of fire in the taberna and swept through the olive grove in the centre and closing in on the Republican lines. Then disaster fell, just as the Republican platoon succumbed to the concentrated fire from the Falange and their supporting machine-gun the Nationalist Panzers arrived in time to support the Moroccan attacks on the Republican centre.

Initial Republican deployments

After a swift and deadly bayonet fight in which the Moroccans were initially repulsed the remaining Republicans fled the field leaving the wounded to their fate.

 Rich had driven up specially from St. Albans to meet with us so I hope he had a good time being on the winning side and all.

 All the figures, vehicles and terrain are from my own collection


Moroccans deploy and close with the enemy

Rampant Bilbao armoured car


James, Nick and Rich in action

Moroccans close on the olive grove

Supported by a base of fire in the taberna

A gun line supports the advance

Rampant Bilbao


Falange troops in the woods

The Republican line is crumbling

Panzers to the fore

They think it's all over, it is now!


Wednesday, 25 March 2015

The battle of Smiths Heights 24th March 1862


After a Union victory at the Battle of Woodwards Farm both armies went into winter quarters. However, due to a suspected nefarious Confederate conspiracy many Union troops were incapacitated and many more died with influenza like symptoms.

The campaign season started early in 1862, however, despite trying to force a battle with the Confederate forces under that scoundrel Barksdale the cur declined so both forces tried to attain the upper hand.

Finally, with his forces atop Smiths Heights General Thaddeus P. Scrivener eventually forced battle. After the influenza epidemic his troop numbers were low and he would be unable to hold both Smiths Heights and the neighbouring Dalton Hill so he concentrated his troops to the Heights and left Dalton Hill undefended.

General Barksdale took the bait, despatching his cavalry to screen the Union troops on Smiths Heights he sent his infantry and single howitzer on a wide sweep to occupy Dalton Hill.

Scrivener was not going to sit supinely on Smiths Heights and surrender the initiative to Barksdale, Leaving the 1st West Virginia cavalry to hold the stream line between the two summits he ordered his infantry and guns forwards. Seeing the trap Barksdale attempted to extricate his cavalry, the veteran 1st South Carolina were able to move back to support the infantry, but the skittish 1st North Carolina were caught out and eventually scattered to the winds by concerted volley fire from the 14th Ohio despite many foolhardy attempts to charge home against the Union infantry.

Howitzer fire from Dalton Hill managed to know out one of the six pounders of 12 Battery Ohio Light Artillery as the Union guns redeployed.

With the 1st South Carolina now back with their infantry Barksdale continued his folly. While the Confederate infantry watched from Dalton Hill the unsupported 1st South Carolina charged through the woods and over the stream at the depleted 12 Battery Ohio Light Artillery, however despite overwhelming odds only the second 6lbr was lost.

The 1st South Carolina then continued their reckless, unsupported attack, after several charges also scattering the depleted 8th Ohio infantry before concentrated cannister fire from both Union batteries and the 3rd West Virginia musketry made Barksdale realise the error of his ways and withdraw from the field in disarray. Unfortunately, with few cavalry and his forces scattered along a broad front Scrivener was unable to capitalise fully on the victory.

The Union forces retired to their camp where the effects of cholera were much milder than the influenza of the previous month.

In terms of the Longstreet campaign. My initial forces were:

UnitTypeElanExperienceStrengthNotes
14th Ohio InfantryInfantryEagerRecruits6
8th Ohio InfantryInfantryEagerRecruits5
3rd West Virginia InfantryInfantryEagerRecruits7
5th West Virginia InfantryInfantryEagerRecruits6
1st West Virginia CavalryCavalryEagerRecruits5
12 Battery Ohio Light ArtilleryArtillery32 6pdr, Howitzer
Battery H, 5th U.S. ArtilleryArtillery32 Lt. Rifle, Howitzer

We were playing The Hilltop scenario, but given the Confederate superiority in both infantry and cavalry I surrendered the objective on the second hill to the Confederates and concentrated on my left.

James deployed his cavalry against my entire force and moved to take the other hill with his infantry and artillery.


I managed to trap one of the units of cavalry and destroy them to a man, but James used his veteran cavalry to cross the stream and damage my light battery and wipe out one of my small infantry units before the Confederates broke. It was a very close run thing though as surrendering one of the objectives without a fight meant that James was always rolling 2D6 when seeing if he had broke me.

The Confederate infantry had not fired a shot the whole game.

At the end of the game the permanent Union battle losses were:
  • 2 x 6pdr guns from 12 Battery Ohio Light Artillery
  • 1 cavalry stand from 1st West Virginia Cavalry who dropped to seasoned
  • 1 infantry stand from 8th Ohio Infantry who dropped to seasoned

Confederate permanent losses were:
  • 1 cavalry stand from 1st South Carolina who dropped to seasoned
  • 1 cavalry stand from 1st North Carolina who dropped to cautious

We then rolled for reduction and it was nearly not so bad as last time. Also the campaign cards were more favourable. For the next game I have an act of Sabotage in place, two light rifles replaced the 6pdr guns from 12 Battery Ohio Light Artillery. The 12th Ohio, a unit of Seasoned Veterans joined my forces and the 3rd West Virginia regained a stand of recruits and a Hero arose from the ranks. A new full strength regiment, the 1st West Virginia were also allocated to my brigade.

For the next campaign game my forces will be:

UnitTypeElanExperienceStrengthNotes
14th Ohio InfantryInfantryEagerRecruits3
8th Ohio InfantryInfantrySeasonedRecruits2
3rd West Virginia InfantryInfantryEagerRecruits6Hero
5th West Virginia InfantryInfantryEagerRecruits4
12th Ohio InfantryInfantrySeasonedVeterans6
1st West Virginia InfantryInfantryEagerRecruits10
1st West Virginia CavalryCavalrySeasonedRecruits3
12 Battery Ohio Light ArtilleryArtillery32 Lt. Rifle, Howitzer
Battery H, 5th U.S. ArtilleryArtillery32 Lt. Rifle, Howitzer

Really looking forwards to the next one now.

All the figures are 6mm Adler from my own collection.