Go to ...
RSS Feed

Fight for Tres Cantos, 1937


The Spanish Civil War, Chain of Command, 28mm

My old sparring partner Dougie Trail was in town this Thursday, and so we celebrated by staging a small Spanish Civil War game using Chain of Command. Rather, we used CoC and its variant – CoC Espana. This was a small meeting engagement in a small village north of Madrid, with both sides fielding a platoon consiting of two large 18 man squads and a platoon headquarters. Both sides also had a couple of support weapons (a MMG and a light mortar), as well as a vehicle – a Pz. I for the Fascists, and a Bilbao armoured car for the Republicans.My rebels (or Nationalists) were a mixed force – a squad each of regular army and paramilitary Assault Guards. For his part Dougie fielded a homogenous platoon of the International Brigade.  The table was a 6×4 foot one, with the two sides coming on from the short edges. This gave the Republicans something of an advantage, as the town was mainly in his half of the table. That’s also why I had a marginally better AFV backing up my troops.The patrol phase involves moving patrol markers forward until the two sides are 12″ apart. It ended with the Nationalists establishing their jump-off points (deployment areas) in an orchard on the western side of the town, and behind the houses on its  southern edge where a road led off the table edge. The International Brigaders placed their in a building overlooking the village square, and in the building on the far northern edge of the town. During the first few turns my Assault Guards (Asaltos) deployed on the southern road, and advanced cautiously towards the village square. The regulars advanced up the road from the orchard, heading in the same direction – their objective the buildings on the western fridge of the village – the ones overlooking the fish pond.First blood went to the Republic. The Asaltos came under fire as they reached the square, and fanned out into the buildings on its southern edge. two men were killed, as was another from the regular army as his fire team reached the square from its western side. The Republicans deployed a section on the eastern side of the square, where an LMG peppered the buildings on its far side. My guys holed up in the small building on the southern edge of the square fired back, but on the next phase the Internationalists stormed forward and threw grenades into the house. they then assaulted it, wiping out the team inside. Things weren’t going well! The rest of the Asaltos section redeployed and strengthened their line, forming up along a wall lining a road, and behind a truck blocking the approaches to the square.On the far side of the village a Republican machine gun in the northernmost house opened up on my regulars, halting their advance. My own machine gun was poorly placed and couldn’t fire back. So, I trundled my Pz. I, which began spraying the house with its machine guns, supported by fire from the Nationalist infantry. This dealt with the machine gun – two men killed and a third pinned – but Dougie then deployed his second section, ready for an all-out assault on the tank. In the square the rest of the International Brigade were also moving forward, charging the Asaltos defending the truck, and posing a major threat.However, fire from my supporting 50mm mortar coupled with a few hand grenades – and poor Republican movement dice – meant that the chargers didn’t make contact. Instead they took casualties, and the charge came to naught. So to did the planned assault on the panzer tank, which backed out of range, but kept covering the building with its machine guns.That’s where the game ended. We’d effectively reached a stalemate, as we’d wasted a lot of time chatting, and both of us lacked the strength to hurl our opponents from the village. So a dishonourable draw was declared, and we headed off to the pub. It was a pretty game though, and rekindled my interest in this quirky little period.

Tags:

More Stories From The Spanish Civil War