Copyright © 2011-2024, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2011-2024, 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 30 April 2014

Chain of Command - Another intro game

Guardia Civil get their first blooding

Last week while I gave Mog his introduction to gaming the Spanish Civil War using the Chain of Command rules mate Rich (Gedders) was so interested that his 'quick visit to the club' became a two hour long watching of our game - he did not want to join in because he was 'just about to get off......"

I arranged to play Rich the next week and last night we played out that game.

Rich chose to use the Republican Militia and I used the Moroccan Regulares. To bulk out his force to match mine Rich chose the following force supports:
El Hombre (1), Adjutant (1), Light Machine Gun (1), 10 Milicianos (2), Army Officer Advisor (2), Dinamiteros (2), Highly Motivated Milicianos (3), Civil Guard Section (4)

It was a good chance to use the newly painted Civil Guard.

We would be playing the "Delaying Action" scenario with the Peoples Militia using the No Pasaran! rule and electing to defend. Rolling for Force Morale, Rich came up an 11 and I was a 10, very good for both sides.

I rolled a four for force supports and chose Tank Hunters (1) and Panzer I (3), Rich spent his points on a Bilbao armoured Car (2).

We played out the patrol phase and the jump-off points were as per the photograph, Nationalist in blue, Republican in red and the fixed one in white.

The Republicans took the first phase and soon had a section of Milicianos with an LMG ensconced in the large walled house in the centre of the table, while the newly added Guardia Civil section placed two teams in the field and one in the shack in the centre.

My Command Dice rolling was appalling, I seem to roll every turn a single six and a couple of fives - at one stage I had 25 Chain of Command points but was able to do bugger all with very few troops on the table.

I deployed a Pelotones of Moroccans in the central wood with the Sergento Primero and while the Sergento commanded the LMG Escuadra, the Sergento Primero took the Rifle Escuadras and manoeuvred towards the small wood in front of the Guardia in the field. The Panzer I gunned it's engine and headed towards the sounds of gunfire.

Milicianos in the woods
My poor dice continued and I was massing the Chain of Command points but unable to commit my other troops. My LMG Escuadra came off worse in the fire fight with the Militia with their own LMG in the house and my team was broken but eventually rallied and recovered.

Richard had not been idle and he soon had a pretty unbroken line of troops holding positions across the table. One large section of Milicianos was stationed behind the shack, another was sent to reinforce those with the LMG in the central house and another was placed in the woods on his right. The Bilbao was moved to a central position allowing Rich to react to an attack on either side. It seemed that despite only having four Chain of Command dice to my six that the Republicans were able to do more in their phases than I was.

I deployed my second Pelotones behind the house, again the Sergento commanded the LMG Escuadra while the Teniente took the Rifle Escuadras and manoeuvred up my left flank. My Panzer was soon pouring fire into the house and the broken LMG Escuadra was soon rallied.

Things took a turn for the worse for the Nationalists, but it seemed they were for the best. Moving the Bilbao to counter my attack on his right the Escuadra accompanying the Teniente was broken, Richard used a Chain of Command dice to end the turn and I countered with one of my many Chain of Command Dice to avoid the Force Morale test!
Guardia Civil occupy the shack.

With the Teniente gone my Chain of Command dice improved markedly and soon the Milicianos were dying in droves, the section with the LMG in the house was broken as was the one in the woods on my left, I used a Chain of Command dice to end the turn and these were scattered to the wind.

The Dinamiteros had a great round of launching against the Panzer I and managed to damage the machine guns, although were shot up badly and broken by the return fire.

Things were not all my way though the large section of Milicianos skulking behind the shack launched a charge against my  Sergento Primero and Rifle Escuadras in the woods. after working out the odds, I had 14 dice and the Militia had a similar amount. We both rolled, I did not get a single five or six and was wiped out for no loss. My mountain of Chain of Command dice did allow me to avoid some critical Force Morale tests though.

Bilbao support against my flanking manoeuvre 
By this stage we were like two punch drunk fighters in the ring. I was down to three Command Dice and Rich to two! Things were going to the wire. In a reverse of the earlier combat another large section of Milicianos launched a charge against a Moroccan LMG team behind a wall, bad move, I lost one figure, the Militia lost nine and were scattered.

Finally at 10:45PM one of us broke! I managed to use the  damaged machine-guns on the Panzer I to finish off the Dinamiteros.

What a bloodbath! The "Delaying Action" is a bugger for the attacker as the defenders are able to concentrate their forces on a narrow frontage and not be outflanked.

All the figures are painted by myself and all the terrain is from my collection.

Tuesday 29 April 2014

¡En el filo! - the next step

With a pair of new boots and a carbine taken from a dead comrade Al-Makawi returned to the lines and reported to the olive grove where the Teniente had made his makeshift headquarters overlooking the village of Gran Salchichas.

"Sargento Primero, how did you fare at the hospital?" Arrojo asked.

"Ahmed and Youssef are in paradise, Abdou will never walk again and Tarek will likely not last the week." Al-Makawi replied, "However, Ibrahim, Whalid and Mostapha are now fit for duty and keen to rejoin their comrades."

"Hasan and Anwar returned while you were away, so we are nearing full strength again." Arrojo continued, "and those Republican scum did not make a move while you were gone. It appeared at one stage that Durutti was going to come at us, but they wavered and they have instead spent their time erecting barricades"

Al-Makawi and Arrojo surveyed the village of Gran Salchichas, it was time to roust the troops from their camp-fires and push on against the Republicans. This time they would skirt around the village and attack from a new angle hopefully with more cover. There would be no quarter given to the Republican scum. The Anarchists had been hiding behind the Assault Guards for too long, soon there would be a revolt among the Asaltos if they kept taking casualties at that level while Durutti and his cronies cowered behind.

As the previous game was a draw, no player held the initiative so James and I had a roll-ff to determine initiative. I rolled a creditable 5, but James rolled a 6, so the Republicans now had the initiative. Rather than attacking me, James elected to fortify his position and pass the initiative back to me. That meant I could launch my next attack bolstered by the troops that were due to have missed that next game.

Sunday 27 April 2014

More Guardia Civil and some barricades

Man the barricades!
I've been working away this week so have not got as much painting done as I had hoped.

But I have managed to complete another ten Guardia Civil, six of which featured in my basing article and another four pieces of barricades to go with the four I already have.

The Empress Miniatures Guardia Civil are a joy to paint and only need a hand full of colours and they are done.

Another four sections of the hasty barricades from The Baggage Train like the last lot, these are really easy to clean up and paint.

Here is a shot of those Guardia manning the barricades.

 Finally some close-ups of the Guardia. I particularly like the officer in opera cape smoking a cigarillo. I did one of these a few months ago and James had him now, but I enjoyed painting a second one.

How to do those Scrivsland bases

Since I have been posting the pictures of my recent painting updates, both the Spanish Civil War and Battle of Keren ones I have had a lot of very supportive comments, many asking how I do my figure bases.

As I have promised a few people that I would do an how to article, I have put together a series of step by step images detailing the process. I have used Vallejo Field Drab as the main colour with these, to do the Keren style bases just replace this with Yellow Ochre.

The first thing I do is paint my figures, I know some people prefer to do the basing before the figures are painted but I never got on with that method.

For the record, I use Renedra 25mm rounds for the Officers and Sergeants and Renedra 20mm rounds for the rank and file. You can really use what ever you usually do though. I tend to get my Renedra bases from Steve at Arcane Scenery who offers great service. He also stocks all the Vallejo paints I use too.

As a start I paint my bases Vallejo Field Drab, when you see the process you'll probably think that this is an unnecessary step but it's a habit I have gotten in to.

The figures I'll be using for these photos are Spanish Civil War Guardia Civil from the Empress Miniatures range.

Next I need to add some small patches of grit to the bases. For my super glue, I use the No Nonsense Super Glue available from your local Screwfix Direct. It is stupidly cheap at less than £1.60 for 20g but really good stuff. While you are there I would also recommend their Super Glue Activator. I use this loads when assembling figures, building terrain etc.

I put a small blob of super glue on the base and then sprinkle on some coarse gritty sand. The sand I used was actually picked up on a beach in Catalonia but your local DIY superstore is bound to have similar stuff.

I don't do a patch of grit on every base, out of these six figures, one had two patches, four had one patch and one had none.

I put these aside for a few minutes to allow the super-glue to dry.

Next up is the rest of the texture, for this I use Vallejo "599" Pumice Gel.

I apply this with a modelling tool, but an old coffee stirrer is equally as useful.

Work around any areas of grit that you have glued on.

I clean up any spillage from around the base edge by wiping off with my finger.

Here are the group of figures with the pumice gel applied.

Eagle eyed readers will notice that at this step my Sergento lost the end of his pistol. While taking a photo the camera fell over and landed on him!

The figures are put aside for a couple of hours while the Pumice Gel dries. I actually left these overnight, but a couple of hours usually suffices.

Now it's time to paint the texture on the bases, for these Guardia Civil. For this I use Vallejo Field Drab

I use an old brush to do this and make sure the pain is well thinned with water.

Once this was done I left the figures to dry for a couple of hours while I buggered off to the gym and then did some shopping.

Next up it was time to start dry-brushing the texture, first of all I used Vallejo Dark Sand.

I use a knackered old brush that probably really should have been binned ages ago.

After the Dark Sand I use a lighter dry-brush of Vallejo Light Sand.

As the dry-brushing can be a bit messy, I then go around the edge of the base again with Vallejo Field Drab to tidy it up.

The bases are now ready for some 'feature' to be added and here are the ingredients that I use.


  • Mini-Nautur 'Late Fall' tufts - I get mine from Great Escape Games
  • Granulated cork bark, this is the left overs of a huge bag I bought from Charles Cantrill when James and I were texturing the Keren mountain side.
  • Games Workshop static grass. Probably the only Evil Empire product I still use.
  • Woodland Scenics Bushes: Olive I bought these from the now defunct Model Zone, you can get in quite a few other places still.
  • Woodland Scenics Clumps: Medium Green I bought these from the now defunct Model Zone, you can get in quite a few other places still.

I break up the cork bark into small pieces 2mm to 4mm square, pick off a few of the tufts and break up the bushes and clump into small pieces. I find it best to have these ready before you start this step.

Using blobs of PVA glue these features are stuck to the bases.

Nearly finished now!

I water down some PVA glue and put a few (three to seven) small dots on each base.

I then drizzle the static grass onto the wet glue.

The final step once the PVA glue is dry is to lightly brush off any excess static grass and then to give the pieces of cork bark a light dry-brush with the Vallejo Pale Sand. The final step is to magnetise the base and then to give a coat of Matt varnish.

Despite the loads of photographs and apparent lot of steps it really does not take long nor take a lot of effort to give your figures an effective looking base.

I hope this article is of use to some of you.