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The Drive on Zaragosa, 1936


Spanish Civil War, Guerra Civil Actions, 20mm

 A colonial game we’d planned was cancelled at the last minute, so instead we returned to Spain, as we’ve been tinkering with the Guerra Civil actions rules, to try to make them work a little better. Well, actually Bill Gillchrist was rules tinkering, while the rest of us were festively over-indulging. This game was designed to try out the new mechanisms.scw-january-2009-013This time I had the “good guys” (the Loyalists, Government Forces, or Republicans – call them what you will), and we were on the attack, trying to drive the “bad guys” (Rebels, Fascists or Nationalists) from two small villages, on the road to Zaragosa. The game was very loosely based on an engagement which formed part of the Republican drive on the city in September 1936.scw-january-2009-016In our game, my wing – the Durutti Column of Anarchists, supported by the Asaltos attacked one village, while the POUM Militia attacked the other. My opposition consisted of some Falangist militia, and Carlists. On the other side of the table the Nationalists were a mixed bag of regular army, supported by the Guarda Civil. We assaulted fairly cautiously, using firepower to pin the Falangists while the rest of our forces tried to split the enemy, and storm the villages. It almost worked too. I managed to gain a foothold in my village, but when the game ended the last of the Falangists were still holding on. The Asaltos charged and broke a unit of Carlists, and were doing pretty well against the rest – mainly because we had some tank spport – an antiquated FT-17.scw-january-2009-018On the other flank the POUM stormed the village, only to be thrown out at bayonet point by the Guarda Civil. When the game ended it was pretty clear that the result was a draw, albeit one with the Republicans in a slightly better position than their opponents.scw-january-2009-004More than anything else this was a playtesting session, and it all went pretty smoothly, playing much faster than had our previous scrap. Some of the quirks of the rules had been ironed out, shooting was more effective, and the morale system started to make more sense.  We’ll certainly give the rules another go some time soon, and someone even suggested trying them out in a big all-day game some time soon. It also might tempt me to dig out my unpainted 28mm Spanish Civil War figures, and start painting them up!

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