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.

Friday 27 February 2015

The Spanish Coup July 1936

It's the  morning of 17th July 1936 and the rebel uprising has taken place. Battle lines are drawn and both sides rush to arms and attempt to wrest control from the hated enemy.

The anarchist militia have secured the small town of Alta Gallito along with the arms cache they had buried after the uprisings a few years earlier. The local Asaltos remain loyal to the government, but the Guardia declare for the rebels. The Guardia commander defects to the government forces but his Guardia call out the locale Falange and attempt to wrest control of Alta Gallito.

The Milicianos have thrown up barricades just in time, the rebels Guardia and Falange supported by an armoured car appear in the outskirts of town, while the Asaltos have also arrived in the nick of time to man the barricades.

This would be our first game of 'Big Chain of Command' and it would be Toms first ever game of Chain of Command.

Nick commanded the government forces and the troops at his disposal were:
Teniente and Sargento Primero
Two sections each comprising; one team of Sargento plus 5 Asaltos plus two teams of 6 Asaltos
Bilbao Armoured car

Tom supported him with a Anarchist militia
Jefe plus Army Officer Advisor
Four sections of 12 Milicianos (one section had a flag)

I commanded the rebel forces and had at my disposal:
Teniente and Sargento Primero
Two sections each of one team of Sargento plus 5 Guardia plus two teams of 6 Guardia
Bilbao Armoured car

I was supported by James commanding
Jefe de Centuria and Subjefe with 3 Falangista
Three section each comprising; one team of Jefe de Falange plus 4 Falangista plus two teams of 5 Falangista

The loyalists also had about 4ft of barricades to hide behind.

We did not bother so much with a patrol phase, the Republicans had two jump-off points for the Milicianos and two more for the Asaltos placed behind the barricades while the Nationalists had two each for the Guardia and Falangista.

The Nationalists took first turn and were off. The Bilbao made a steady advance up the centre while a section of Guardia tool the left and the Falange broke right. The Republicans ran to man the barricades and soon the Asaltos were exchanging shots with the advancing Falangista. With the superior Asaltos behind their solid barricade while the Falangistas were either behind fences, or worse caught in the open, it was not long before the Falange on the extreme right (where else for them) was broken and running to the rear.

The section Guardia on the left fared much better, with two teams exchanging fire with the Milicianos on the barricade we took advantage of a double phase and one team with their Sargento ran across the open road and jumped the wall on the other side. They were then able to move into a terraced orange grove outflanking the barricades.

As the Falange were suffering in the centre we deployed the Bilbao to help out, plus the Falangista machine-gun team with a Chauchat was set up in a substantial house overlooking the barricades. A sharp exchange of fire with the Asaltos defending the church at the centre of their lines forced the Republicans to temporarily abandon the church. However, accurate rifle fire from the Republican lines soon silenced the Chauchat.

With flanking fire falling on the Milicianos manning the barricades against the Guardia, the Republican commander took the decision to commit their armoured car to that flank, but it was too little too late, the Militiamen manning the barricades were soon breaking to the rear and the second Guardia section deployed on that flank to exploit the breakthrough. The final Republican reserves were deployed in the second line of barricades to counter this.

Things were going badly from a Falangist point of view, with the light machine-gun silenced and one Falange already wiped out the Jefe deployed most of his troops in the taberna facing the main line of resistance. Supported by the armoured car the fire-fight initially went well. However, one section of Asaltos now took their chance and scrambled over their barricades and were moving into a flanking position.

The rebel Bilbao crashed through a gap in the Republican line and two teams of Guardia were now manning a building overlooking the flank of the main line of defence. It was time to wrap up the game and go home. Both paramilitary police units had done really well while both sides militia units had fared badly, an inconclusive draw for now but the Republicans will have a nasty shock when the Moroccans arrive on the scene.

A great game, set nicely in the very first days of the conflict with the opportunity to put all our buildings and barricades on the table.

All the figures and buildings are from the collection of myself and Nick.

As for Tom, he seems hooked, not only is he revamping his WWII US infantry to play Chain of Command he is also considering starting an International Brigade force of his own.

Wednesday 25 February 2015

Finished off those Germans

It's not been too hard a slog and after a great painting session at the weekend when I did 20 more figures it was a matter yesterday evening of dry-brushing a few bases and taking some photographs before Victoria and I went out to celebrate our 25th Wedding Anniversary with a lovely curry.

This last twenty is quite a mix, there are another half dozen infantrymen, a captured Lewis Gun, a MG/08 machine-gun, a Granatenwerfer, an Anti-tank rifle and some casualties.

All figures are from the Great War Miniatures range supplied by Northstar and were painted using my standard method. All the colours and techniques can be found here.

So, here are some group shots, firstly the infantrymen with a captured Lewis gun team, I cannot use all these MG08/15 and Lewis light machine-guns for our Verdun games, but they will be fine when playing later WWI games.

Next, some heavy fire support in the form of a MG/08 machine-gun team

More heavy support with a M1916 Granatenwerfer and an anti-tank rifle, again suitable for later war games

A medic, walking wounded and some casualties. I moved the light source to overhead when photographing these hence the different saturation.

 Here are some close-ups of the latest lot:


Walking wounded
Medic and casualty

Lewis gun team
 This means that I now have enough stuff to play Chain of Command with and James has completed his French We plan to have our first game next Thursday, hopefully a report will be up soon.

So, now that they are all done, here are the various elements of the platoon:


First Rifle Gruppe

First Machine-gun Gruppe

Second Rifle Gruppe

Second Machine-gun Gruppe

Flame-thrower, MG/08 Machine-gun, Granatenwerfer and Anti-tank rifle

Medic and casualties

Additional leaders, trench raiders and spare figures to use as crews.

Sunday 15 February 2015

More Great War Germans plus terrain

I'm now back from my holidays in Iceland and it's time to get back into painting. I've had a really productive weekend having painted another dozen Great War Miniatures 1916-18 Germans plus I have made a start on all that Early War Miniatures terrain that I picked up at Vapnartak. Finally, I have been building myself some barbed wire sections.

First up the infantry, eight Riflemen plus a MG08/15 light machine-gun and a flame-thrower.

As you can see, I have rather copied Sidney Roundwoods flame effect. The flame is a bit of brass rod bent at 90 degrees and then Woodland Scenics clump foliage is threaded on in ever decreasing sized. I then soak the whole lot in superglue and hit it with activator so it sets hard. As I had used standard green clumps rather than Sidneys autumnal shades I then painted with PVA, primed black and painted the flames.

The end of the thrower itself is drilled out so that the flames can be stuck in there.

Here are some close-ups

I've made about 24" of this so far but have only just started painting, here is about 8" of what is nearly complete. The bases look a lot lighter in these photos than they are, although I am tempted to give them a wash.

I also based a load of the Early War Miniatures craters on mounting board, this one had a planked walkway added, again looks very pale in the image. I also need to sort out the muddy puddles in the craters.

Last up, one of the Early War Miniatures entrenchments, again, looking very light.

I've now got 48 Germans painted, there are another eight on the painting table and when they are done I should be ready for a game with them.

Friday 13 February 2015

Introducing Nick to Chain of Command Espana

This was always going to be quite an easy sell, Nick is very passionate about the Spanish Civil War and has loads of figures and terrain painted. So, yesterday evening at the White Hart I gave him a try out with Chain of Command using the fantastic Spanish Civil War supplement.

I suggested to Nick that as it was his first game he should use the Moroccan Regulares and I would use the Trades Union Militia and we would play the Patrol scenario.

Nicks starting force was:

  • Tenete (Senior Leader), Sergento Primero, two Riflemen
  • Two sections each: Sergento (Junior Leader), one team of a two-man LMG crew and three Riflemen, two teams of six Riflemen with Grenades.

My starter was:

  • Jefe (Superior Junior Leader)
  • Four sections each of ten Milicianos with Rifles.

Given the huge disparity in quality I filled the gap by adding:

  • Bilbao Armoured Car
  • 20 more Milicianos with Rifles
  • An LMG
  • A Senior Officer advisor
  • Making the Milicianos Highly Motivated 
  • A section of Guardia Civil

We both rolled poorly for Force Morale the Milicianos starting on an 8 and the Regulares on a 9.

We would play the first scenario in the book and then settled down to the Patrol phase, Unfortunately, I forgot to take any overview photos of the battlefield and it is a bit dark at the White Hard so all the photos have been artificially lightened.

Rolling for support we got another three points each, I purchased a Flag and an Adjutant to stiffen the Milicianos, Nick opted for a 37mm PaK 36 anti-tank gun.

Nick took the first phase and was keen to get all his troops on the table, but I explained that he may want to keep some in reserve, especially the anti-tank gun as I had not yet committed my troops.

A road with a hedged boundary on either side bisected most of the table so we  both advanced towards that with troops, while on my right I sent a section of Milicianos to try to take the taberna and hopefully flank the Moroccans.

Seeing my intention Nick quickly manoeuvred one team of Moroccans into the house and the fire-fight between six Moroccans in hard cover and fifteen green Milicianos in the open was only going to go one way.

The Bilbao started manoeuvring up the road towards the Nationalists, taking his chance Nick deployed the PaK and the first hit stunned the crew and they were unable to act next phase, unable to manoeuvre in their own phase the Nationalists then 'double-sixed' first a shot from the PaK forced the crew to abandon the armoured car then the Sergento Primero led a bayonet charge to despatch the crew.

The PaK was then turned on the Milicianos trying to outflank the taberna.

In the centre both sides crept up to their respective sides of the hedge and a brisk fire-fight ensued. The Jefe joined the fight to keep the Milicianos motivated but was hit twice, first knocking him to the ground and the second killing him stone dead. Soon the Milicianos were running to the rear while the Adjutant ordered replacements to close the gap.

The Republican morale was by now collapsing, this was compounded when the Regulares that had bayoneted the  armoured car crew also captured a Republican jump-off point and used a Chain of Command dice to end the turn.

Despite committing the Guardia Civil to the fight it was pretty much over for the Republicans and they only managed to salvage a little honour by wiping out a team of Regulares in a brisk hand-to-hand fight before their own morale collapsed and it was game over.

You'll note from the photos that I have started to use some of the 'team' bases from Warbases, these certainly make movement a lot easier.

All the figures and terrain are from my own collection, mainly Empress Miniatures with some Force of Arms.