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The Drive on Valdemoro, 1937


The Spanish Civil War, Chain of Command, 28mm

This week it was just Bart and I, so we opted for a simple and small Chain of Command game set in the Spanish Civil War. It was an attack and defend scenario, with the Republicans attacking and the Rebels on the defensive. The objective was the railway line running south from Madrid. It was in rebel hands, and the good guys wanted it back. We fought on a 6×4 foot table – in fact we used an 8×4, and just decided not to use the last two feet of it. We ignored everything past the road at the bottom of the picture. As for forces, Bart opted for a platoon of Falangist Militia, while I took one of Ejercito Popular regulars. So, he was rated as “Green”, while mine were “Regulars”. That meant he had a few extra support points, but in the end we rolled for our points, with Bart getting half of mine. I spent my points on a mortar section with observer, a couple of LMGs and a light mortar detachment for my mortar section – without it they’d just have rifles. Bart spent his on the same sort of thing – LMGs and a 50mm mortar, plus an adjutant. In the patrol phase Bart got the drop on me, and occupied all the cool bits of terrain. two of my three “jump off points” were on my table edge, while Bart’s were all in woods and olive groves along the centreline of the table. Still, I planned to get moving pretty quickly, and grab the key buildings dominating the middle of the table – a church, a farm with yard, and a house. I got moving first, and sent a section charging across the open towards the farm. On the left I put my other section in and around the house, but they just held it – their job was to tie down the enemy flank. I also stuck my small mortar section in the woods on my right flank. I thought my 50mm mortars would be able to cover  the whole right-hand side of the table. Unfortunately I didn’t have any targets, so they just sat there, waiting for a falangist head to appear. It never did.In the centre though, things were moving. i got my section into the farm, and set up my troops in the doors and windows so they could cover the far side. Bart managed to get a Falangist squad or fire team (part of a section) into the church. That though, was when all hell broke loose. On Bart’s right he had a powerful section in a small fir wood, facing the isolated house. He opened up on it, and scored some pretty lucky hits. He also rolled two 6’s, which meant he got to go again. Then he rolled another pair, damn his luck! The upshot was, by the end of his extended turn I was badly battered, with four dead and a bunch of shock markers. I pulled back behind the house to lick my wounds. However, I then deployed my mortar observer in the house, and now that everything was on I brought on my platoon commander. HE ran up to the farmhouse, just in time to kick his boys into action. Bart’s light mortar had been pummeling the farmhouse, and caused a couple of casualties. All I’d managed was to wipe out the four-man falangist squad in the church tower. Now though, things turned my way. In my command dice I rolled a four – the first of many. This meant my lieutenant could get his men moving forward. This is exactly what they did, across the road, out of the line of fire of the falangist mortar, and into the edge of the olive grove beside the church. So far so good. What followed was a pretty brisk but one-sided firefight. The flaanngist only caused a few shocks to my section, and in return they got pummeled. The survivors – the few that there were – pulled back out of the olive grove, and over the railway. I followed up, and found myself looking out over my objective – the railway line. All this fighting meant we’d both suffered. my morale started off at “11”, but the losses in the house on my left dropped that to “8”, or thereabouts. Bart though, started at “8” and was now down to just “4. That meant the loss of a command die, which reduced his options a bit. He decided to go for broke, running a squad forward on his left flank, hoping to snag the two unguarded objective points on the right hand of my table edge. Instead I raced my light mortar section out of the church, and deployed in the open beyond the far. The result was Bart’s last-ditch assault was stymied, and three of his four man squad were killed. The other broke and ran. So, we were reaching the end game. My medium mortar with their observer proved surprisingly useless. When I eventually managed to call in a mortar stonk it did nothing but inflict a single hit. Then Bart played a CoC dice to end the turn, which forced me to start acquiring the target all over again. By then though, BArt’s force morale was down to “3”, and he lost another command dice. That’s when I made my move. I sent the bulk of my section in the olive groves charging along the railway line towards Bart’s left flank. There, behind a small rise was his light mortar team and his falangist sergeant. They tried firing but only caused on hit. In return I stopped and fired, foring the mortar team to break for the cover of some nearby woods. Then I assaulted the poor sergeant, and killed him. the result was Bart’s force morale was now down to Zero, and the game came to an end. The game ended with a clear victory for the Republic, but it could have gone either way, right up to the battle in the olive groves. Its been a while since we’ve played CoC, and we were a little rusty on the rules, but when we picked it up again the game zipped along nicely. I certainly enjoyed the game – but I’m not so sure about Bart. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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2 Responses “The Drive on Valdemoro, 1937”

  1. 15th October 2018 at 7:39 am

    Yes,changed my mind!.Ancient Galley warfare can wait another week.
    Edinburgh Wargamers inspire us yet again to unashamedly pinch their scenario(though a different weapons mix).
    Good game.
    Viva the Republic!

    • 15th October 2018 at 7:50 am

      Viva,Roy!I only get to play this period a couple of times a year, but I must admit I do love the spectacle of it!

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