Wednesday, November 23, 2022

AAR part 3: Battle for the Telefonica

We resumed this game on a Saturday morning in late fall.  This time we were lucky to have Chris join us. He was not interested in continuing with the single-player mechanism, however, which had seen John and I fighting cooperatively against the nationalist coup using the single-player rules. Chris decided he would take command of the army, even if they were already sorely beaten up and facing near-insurmountable odds. You have to admire his fighting spirit...

The day commenced with Chris winning the initiative for the Round Ten. He had recent reinforcements from an artillery battery, but they were in motion and their four 75mm cannons were not ready to fire. For the ranged attack phase, Chris leveled one cannon at the tavern directly in front of the mutinous soldiers' headquarters. I had an advanced group of CNT workers militia headed toward that tavern.

The shell sailed over the tavern and hit the red building, where my first CNT attack group waited. They were unharmed, and the blast did minor damage to the building.

During the movement phase, Chris advanced up the south end of the table.

He set up one of his new 75mm cannons behind the blue building, facing the tavern. He set up a third cannon up the street a bit, between the blue and gray buildings.

The infantry from the artillery battery poured out of the trucks to occupy the blue building and reinforce the original infantry platoons still holding the gray buildings on the south end of the front line. Chris also had two machine guns he wanted to deploy on that line of contact. One was on the way to the roof of the long gray building, and the other to the ground floor of the darker gray building beside it.

Commander Lopez-Amor sent one messenger on horseback from headquarters to the group of falangists fighting on the far north edge of the battlefield. The order he carried told the falangists to hold their positions and cease their advance on the radio station. Four other horsemen from headquarters rode north to help hold Chris's left flank.

When it was our turn to move, I spread my most advanced attack group across the tavern to cover the windows and doors. Four took up positions at the three windows and door to the back ally.

The other six covered the front doors, facing the army's artillery and the headquarters behind them. A block away to the north, another of my attack groups attempted a bravery test to storm the building held by the falangists, but I failed the roll and they stayed put.

On the south end of the table, John's reinforcing groups of workers militia rushed toward the frontline.

When the skirmish phase began, Chris chose the north end of the front line to play out first. There, a new squad of assault guards emerged from the subway to support the workers guarding the radio station against the falangists. Chris won the first initiative roll and six falangists fired from the windows, killing two of John's anarchist workers, including one who held a stick of dynamite fit to kill fascists. A second volley of four more falangists killed the second dynamiter. John returned fire, killing three of the falangists at the windows. Then one of my assault guards lobbed a grenade into the building. 

The grenade killed six falangists on the first floor. The officers behind the grenadier fired at the upper windows, killing two more falangists. The few blue-shirts clinging to the northern gray building across from the radio station won a morale roll, and refused to retreat.

The next skirmish Chris selected was the point of contact between his infantry platoons and John's workers' militia defending the U-shaped building at the south-west corner of the Plaça. Chris won this initiative roll too, and fired at the workers, killing one. John fired down on the soldiers working to clear away the barricades blocking the entrance to the Plaça, killing one of them. 

With Chris finished calling skirmishes, I called one for the scene in front to the tavern. I won the roll, and my advanced group of anarchists killed two of the crewmen from the second 75mm cannon, which Chris had just set up.

Though his units were all over the intersection, they were busy driving or crewing cannons. One solitary horseman from the headquarters section returned fire, but his bullet was harmless.

Turn 11 began with Chris winning the initiative. His cannon #1, sitting on the hill at HQ, attempted to hit the tavern directly across the street, and again missed high. New crewmen ran up to cannon #2, so that it may fire again the following round. 

On the southern line of contact, Chris established the two machine-gun positions. The first was on the higher rooftop.

The second machine-gun was ready for action in the big doorway of the shorter building, behind a stone barricade.

Chris then positioned two cannons (#3 and #4) in the ally behind the southern front line. The artillery battery had one more 75mm cannon in reserve, hitched to a team of horses. 

On the North flank, the army advanced with empty trucks and a small squad of officers of the HQ on horseback.

My CNT attack group #3, who had been driven out of the northern long-gray building by the falange during our previous day's fight, had since been retreating toward the radio-station and John's strong defensive positions there. I moved them into positions to charge the falange.

On the other side of the radio station, my assault guards took up positions behind some stone barricades.

On the far end of the table, John brought more workers into the U-shaped building.

He moved some of his POUM militia, held in reserve in the back, into the safety of a nearby building. The rest were charging into the open Plaça ahead.

The skirmish phase commenced. Five soldiers in the blue building fired at the tavern, but couldn't hit anyone inside. The anarchists of attack group #2 in the tavern returned fire, but not at the blue building. Instead, they killed two more crew from Chris's cannon #2, rendering it useless for another round.

Chris then chose the southern front and won the skirmish initiative again. At this point, he had only lost one roll that day. 

Platoon three picked off two of the three lost workers, left behind on front of the Hotel Colón. 

The sole survivor somehow passed the morale check. He managed to fire back and even hit a soldier on the roof. Chris and John's forces fired their rifles at each other across the road. Most of their bullets missed their mark, but John killed one machine-gun crewman, another soldier, and the driver of a nearby truck.

On the north side of the table, Chris won the skirmish initiative again. The falangists killed one of the workers at the barricade in front of the radio station. The assault guards lobbed another grenade which sailed high, exploding on the rooftop above the falangists.

The rifle and pistol volley from the loyal officers killed a falangist inside the building.  

John fired on the incoming trucks, killing the drivers of the first two and picking off an officer carrying a bugle.

During the recoupment phase, my attack group #2 set fire to the tavern and retreated toward the red building. Group #1, who had only one ammo point left and had been holding the red building, vacated it and ran toward the assault guards' barricade.

I won the initiative roll for Round 12. Chris didn't fire off any artillery for the ranged phase, so John and I began moving forces up to reinforce the frontline. The tavern continued to burn. John sent a group of his POUM militia sprinting across the open Plaça toward the Hotel Colón.

When it was his turn to move, Chris drove a truck straight at the door of the gray building by the North-west intersection, which was then the most advanced position of my attack groups. The worker guarding the door missed the shot when I called overwatch, and the truck blocked the door. 

The other truck, the driver shot in the previous round, rolled forward on its own toward the radio station. 

On the other side of the burning tavern, Chris pulled all but six soldiers of the artillery battery out of the blue building, and they reached the ground floor of the Hotel Colón. John had just advanced a group of workers across the street to threaten the machine-gun set up in the front door of the short gray building on the south front.

Chris pulled a group from Platoon two out of the building and into the courtyard behind it. The remainder of Platoons 1 and 2, as well as the handful of infantry from the artillery battery that came to reinforce them, lined up in relative safely behind the machine guns, ready to step in to crew the weapons as John picked them off.

When the Skirmish round began, I picked John's main point of contact: the southern line. I lost the skirmish initiative roll against Chris (sorry John) and Chris put those machine guns to use. Chris aimed the machine gun in the doorway at the workers just outside the building. His luck was beginning to run out, though, and he missed at point blank range.

Chris's Machine-gun on the roof managed to kill one of John's anarchists in a window across the street. John's return volleys killed three of the four soldiers manning the two machine guns, and dropped another soldier firing from a window. Finally, his advanced-most group of workers on the southern edge removed the barricade in front of them, opening the ally to the courtyard.

I next chose the skirmish location near the radio station, and lose the initiative roll against Chris. He had only a small group of falangists left holding the position. The falangists killed one from attack group #1, who were caught in the open retreating from the red building. Other blue-shirt fascists fired at John's workers guarding the radio station barricade, but did not hit them. 

We returned fire. I landed a stick of dynamite in the building, killing two falangists. John's militia shot a third, and the fascists finally lost a morale roll. They fled the building, racing back to their headquarters. During the regroupment phase my attack group #3, already prepared to storm the building, run to chase off the enemy. The two advanced members of the group climb through the window into the first floor.

With the army's northern frontline collapsing, I sent the assault guards toward the Hotel Colón. 

We called it a day after that. We had only played three rounds, but they were three long and eventful rounds. We had also spent a while before the game began bringing Chris up to speed on what had happened, where his forces were, and what their objectives and orders had been. John and I still held the Telefonica building.

The army had been unable to bring a single soldier into the Plaça, which remained in the hands of the loyalist officers and the anarchist and socialist workers.

Chris managed to occupy the Hotel Colón, and now had guns in position looking out over the expansive open area.

The army also held strong on the southern front, where the to two sides had traded blows for most of the last two days of gaming, with many casualties but no advances in either direction.

John, however, still had many reservists headed to the frontline.

Chris, meanwhile, still had all five cannons operational. They were not in very advantageous positions, however. One was pressed right up against the blue house, where he had moved it when CNT attack group #2 began picking off its crew from the tavern. Two more cannons sat in the narrow ally between the blue and long gray buildings to the south. They had a clear view of the eastern road alongside the Plaça directly ahead, but they could not fire to their left or their right, due to the buildings rising on either side. John had learned in the previous day of gaming to keep out of their killing zone, and most of the cannons had remained silent all day. Without a forward observer, even the cannon on the hill by the HQ could do little than fire at buildings directly in front of it.

The final cannon, however, had just reached its intended position in the north-west corner of the table, with a clear view of the radio station and the Telefonica beyond it.

That was the end of the game for that day. We would return to the basement to finish off the scenario in the following weeks. To begin round 13, two platoons of Civil Guards were due to appear in front of the Telefonica. Would they fight for the Republic, or side with Lopez-Amor and his mutinous soldiers? Only a roll of the dice could decide. 


  1. Superb !! Just found your website from your post on TMP. Love the clever use of all those different 1/72 sets of figures.

    1. Thank you so much JohnM. I appreciate it. I do enjoy mixing and converting 1/72 figures. I'm working on a model of Barcelona's Columbus statue for our next game, with lots of strange conversions, I hope you come back and check it out in a few months. I took a look at your blogs too, great work as well!