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The Battle for Jamon Serrano, 1937


The Spanish Civil War, Chain of Command, 28mm

It finally happened. Chris Henry and I had been planning to play this game for weeks, but each time emergency child-minding duty got in the way. this week though, we finally got to play the game. We both have Spanish Civil War figures, but for this game we just used Chris’ collection. it pitted an Army of Africa force of Moors and Spanish Foreign Legion against a mixed bag of Polish International Brigaders and Anarchist militia, Both sides were vying for control of a strategic T-junction – that’s it at the far end of the table above, with the black van parked on it.The van was the objective marker – whichever side held it at the end had won the game. Simple, straightforward, and an arrangement that virtually guaranteed some tough fighting. As we were using Chain of Command for this, both sides were in platoon strength, but enjoyed some support – a T-26 for the Republicans, plus a cycle patrol of Anarchist militia, and a Pz. I plus a Renault FT tank for the rebels.In this game Peter and I reluctantly took the side of the rebels, while Chris commanded the Republicans. This was a “Seize the Objective” scenario – the “T” junction was at the far side of the table, and so our “Patrol Phase” was spend creeping forward through Jamon Serrano, hoping to claim as much of the village as we could before the Republicans could establish too far forward. This worked fairly well – by the end of it most of the town was in Nationalist hands, with Peter’s Moors on our left flank and my Legionnaires on the right. So far so good. We still had to get to that crossroads though. The Moors reached the edge of the village, and began shooting at the Poles in the field beyond it. that went fine until they brought up a Maxim gun, and began peppering the buildings with bullets. Effectively that stalled the advance for a bit, at least on that side, and it took another four turns to silence that machine gun. by then though, the T-26 had come up to replace it.On my side the first wave of the Legion advanced through a small vineyard to reach the lateral road. they crossed it and took cover in the pine trees beyond. The idea was to then launch an attack against the Anarchist dug in around an olive grove surrounded by a stone wall.  This plan was put on hold though, by the arrival of the Anarchist cyclists.A squad of them appeared on the road behind the pine trees, and they immediately began shooting into the rear of the Legionnaires. They didn’t kill anyone though – just inflicted “shock”, and then they remounted their bikes and pedaled off towards the vineyard. That was when they ran into the second wave of Legionnaires, and died to a man. The advance continued.By now we’d brought our tanks onto the table, but they had to traverse most of it to get to the “T” junction, and as they passed through the town the republicans brought up another little helper – a 45mm anti-tank gun. It deployed on the outskirts of the village, covering the main road through it, and began firing at our tanks. First the FT 17 was damaged slightly, and then the Pz. I had its gunner killed, and pulled back out of the way. We would have to do this without tank support. We were running short of time by now, and so I launched my Legionnaires against the Anarchists.Amazingly in the melee that followed the defenders held on, and casualties were fairly equal. they had the bigger unit though, and what remained of my African veteran pulled back to the pine wood to roll off their excess “shock”.  That was pretty much the end of the game. The republicans had held off the rebels, thanks to some useful reinforcements, and some excellent Anarchist die rolling. The game rolled along pretty smoothly, and we’ll certainly play with “Spanish CoC again soon. Meanwhile, I need top paint up some more troops for this, so we can throw yet more colourful figures onto the table. However, few will be as colourful – or as useless -as the Anarchist cycle squad!

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