Copyright © 2020, Paul Scrivens-Smith

Copyright © 2020, 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.

Thursday, 24 December 2015

Disaster for the Commune de Paris Battalion

Lee and I had arranged to play at the Polly this past Tuesday and had tentatively decided on using my 6mm American Civil War collection, however a last minute change of plans we decided to instead play Chain of Command using my Spanish Civil War collection.

Lee chose to play with a platoon of Regulares and I elected to use the International Brigade option from the Ejército Popular de la República list, James would assist me while Ian helped out with the Nationalists.

With a difference in Force Morale of 7 points in favour of the Moroccans I balanced by adding an Adjutant and Commissar, two light machine-guns and two 50mm mortars from the Force Support choices. Rolling for Force Morale the Moroccan Regulares only started on an 8 while the International Brigades a 10, things were looking up!

We randomly selected the Delaying Action scenario and again randomised and the International Brigade would be attacking. Playing out the Patrol Phase, the jump-off points were as shown. The objective would be the jump-off point next to the taberna in the top left of the image. The Republicans rolled a 10 for Force Support so we padded out our forces with a BA-3 armoured car, a sniper, a pre-game barrage and an off-table MG which we positioned to cut a swathe of fire down the middle of the table to prevent the Moroccans moving to support troops on the other side of the board. The Nationalists spent their five points of Force Support on a Panzer I with AP ammo and a pair of VB launchers.

The Republicans cautiously advanced, pushing on only with the armoured car and a single scout who moved from the woods towards the building in the centre of the table. The pre-game barrage worked well and the Nationalists could only deploy their Panzer and it continued a slow advance up the table.

The Republican scout continued his stealthy advance on the shack, but as he drew close a burst of machine-gun fire from one of the windows cut him down, the Moroccans had revealed their first positions!

The BA-3 poured 45mm cannon shots into the Panzer I but it led a charmed life and suffered very little damage, many shots even missed the Panzer as it continued its advance through the open country. Seizing an the opportunity of a double phase the Republicans deployed a section of infantry who moved up the left hand edge to close down the Moroccan jump-off near that building. With only the Panzer I to oppose them the Frenchmen sought shelter in the lee of the building while the BS-3 finished off the Panzer.

This was not to be, more solid shot fell around the charmed Panzer and those shots that did miraculously strike home were shrugged off by some exceptionally well made Krupp armour plating.

The  Panzer continued to harass the Republicans, even with its side armour exposed to the fire of the BA-3 still nothing could be done against the hardy Negrillo whose fire was devastating he exposed Brigadiers. To make the situation worse, despite the effects of the bombardment the Moroccans  also occupied the taberna and started to pour fire into them.

To push on with the attack the Republicans redeployed a jump-off point closer to the action and committed another section of troops to the fight around the house, however, with the BA-3 still unable to cause any real damage to the Panzer the game was looking like there could only be one conclusion.

The Republicans sought cover in the building but the push was over, while the Panzer remained unscathed they could not push on despite supporting mortar fire from behind the woodland. The Republican morale collapsed and the attack was over, cut down by machine-gun fire in the advance on the taberna.

I think that the plan was solid, but the resistance of the Panzer to the 45mm gun of the armoured car made a huge difference, on many occasions, needing a '5' to hit on 2d6 we missed and on those occasions we did hit, often in the side armour, the armour rolls meant we were unable to cause any significant damage.

And the sniper, he was terrible, hardly ever hit anything and when he did the effect was desultory.

I have realised that there are no Moroccans in any of the pictures, that is mainly due to them spending all game firing from buildings!

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