Sunday, 27 July 2014

Visiting El Alto del León Fortifications of the SCW (2)


(Continued from previous post)

We finished the visit to the La Sevillana position looking into some of the buildings that were used as accommodation to the Nationalists troops. The first two photos are from a building erected just behind the observation post bunker. The construction seems to have been of very good quality with a wide access door and a row of windows.

Given its size we calculated that it could shelter a probably a full section (around 20 men) or even more. 





Another smaller shelter stands nearby, an officer's or NCOs lodging place?


Saturday, 26 July 2014

Visiting El Alto del León Fortifications of the SCW (1)



Saturday July 19th marked the official launch of our new project to play a campaign in the Spanish Civil War with Chain of Command. And no better way to start the project than visiting one of the battlefields next to Madrid (El Alto del León) during the morning, followed by a nice lunch and a game in the afternoon with the first painted minis… and almost coinciding with the 78th anniversary of the start of war (18th July, 1936)!

Background
Around 60 km north of Madrid, El Alto del León (1,500 mts height) is a key mountain pass of the road linking Spain’s capital with some of the main cities of the former Old Castilla region in the north (Avila, Segovia, Salamanca or Valladolid) and leading into the north-western region of Galicia.
 
El Alto del León now and then
Today it is a secondary road, as between the early 60s and 70s two toll tunnels and a motorway were dig underneath, facilitating the road communications between the two halves of Spain. However in 1936, el Alto del León was one of the three key mountain passes to reach Madrid from the North (the other two being Navacerrada and Somosierra, the latter also a site of a famous battle in the Napoleonic wars).

Sunday, 6 July 2014

The Fall of Tobruk - A Chain of Command AAR




Last weekend the first Afrika CoC campaign concluded with the last game, in this case with the attack on the central objective of the campaign: the inner perimeter of Tobruk. As I commented in a previous post, for different reasons I've been less active than wished in the campaign and have only played a couple of games including this final chapter.

With eight players interested, we structured the campaign around two different fronts with 2 opponents per side each, using the "ladder" system described in At The Sharp End, the CoC campaigns companion publication. We allocated 2 infantry platoons and a tank troop to each front, with no further reinforcements.


Thursday, 26 June 2014

TFL Summer Special Available



Probably you know already (I've been travelling these days, so I'm arriving late to the party) but the biannual TFL Special (summer issue) is now available to buy at the unbeatable price of GBP 6!!

This year's content is one of the best I've seen and if you (like me) are a CoC fan, it is calling you loud indeed:
  •  Introduction. Nick says hello.
  • Westwind. A complete Chain of Command mini-campaign set in East Prussia 1945
     
  • Seven Spears. A truly magical conversion for using Samurai with Dux Britanniarum.
     
  • Do Some Dinging C Company. A Charlie Don’t Surf scenario from Operation Colorado in 1966.
     
  • Robin Hood’s Black Gold Home Guard versus Fallschirmjager mini campaign for Chain of Command based on original defence plans for Nottinghamshire.
     
  • The Siege of Augusta. A multi-player scenario for Sharp Practice in the American War of Independence.
     
  • Big CoC in Africa. A fantastic report of a post-colonial Africa adaptation for Chain of Command which has been impressing the Australian show circuit.
     
  • Carribean Broadsides. A squadron action for Kiss Me Hardy.
     

Thursday, 19 June 2014

Playing Chain of Command on Coronation Day





As many of you probably know, since today we have a new king in Spain (Felipe VI) following the resignation of his father Juan Carlos after 39 years. Being a holiday in Madrid and with little else to celebrate after the shameful performance on the Spanish football team last night against Chile, what best than playing a new game of Chain of Command!!

Opposing forces were Germans and American paras, facing each other somewhere in the countryside of Normandy, approximately on D Day+1. The setup of the game was a counterattack of a German platoon looking to test the American lines strength and eventually to retake a major farm complex.

For this game we chose to play Scenario 2 “The Probe”, with Americans defending and the Germans attacking. Being a second day of fighting, we decided that the paratroopers could not be at full strength; a d6 combat casualties were rolled for each US squad (the final numbers not revealed to the German player until displayed on the table… we later learnt that each squad took 50% casualties as a result of the dice roll). 

 

Sunday, 8 June 2014

Bit of an Update



Usual readers may have noticed that this blog has been somewhat neglected recently, but my life is gone thorugh an hectic period recently and my gaming activity has been low since late April: additionally I have found few interesting topics worth making you waste your time. 

Real life interfered, in some case for good, in other for bad. As for the latter, my wife’s beloved father died in early May, a very sad loss and a relief at the same time as he’d been fighting for 3 years against a very aggressive cancer; personally it’s been hard  for the loss itself, but also because it brought me memories of my own father’s  passing away now 15 years ago (June 1999) after a similar and cruel fight against the same son of a bitch (sorry for the words).  Now all our attention and love is being focused in my mother in law, still recovering from the loss of his partner for over 60 years

The good news (but of little consolation in these circumstances) was that after a year unemployed I was offered as finance director in a newly created energy company. Just when I thought there was little future of a 50 years-old professional, I happen to meet coincidentally with an old boss of mine, who was searching from someone for this vacant post and offered me the position… a rare alignment of planets?  

Friday, 23 May 2014

Bloggers Summit in Madrid


...oh! well, not a crowded one (just two of us) ...but consider the high quality of the meeting attendants!  :-)

Yes, our famous Canadian blogger Curt from Analogue Hobbies stopped by Madrid in his spring European tour visiting the UK, the Netherlands and France and we both have the opportunity to share some locally made beer and tapas (no Rioja this time!).

Curt is an active and very respected blogger and a fellow member of the Lardite brotherhood, also very well known for organising a global annual painting contest (recently concluded in its fourth edition). If you (unlikely) has not visited his blog yet, don't waste your time: a must for any wargaming aficionado and you'll find the quality of both content and photos a source of endless inspiration to your games and painting work.

Although this was the first time we met face to face, it was like if we have known each other from long ago. Actually this has been an unexpected bonus of my blogging activity: the strong bonds emerging from our shared interests the hobby... and the impressive ability of the social media to establish links among people separated by continents and oceans!

It was a similar experience when I visited Salute in 2012 and met the Lard crowd at the Fox’s or when Steve from Norseygamer (another Lardista!)  stopped at Madrid briefly when touring the Iberian Peninsula’s Napoleonic battlefields.  

So if any you blog readers happened to come to Madrid, do not hesitate a minute to contact me and I’ll make my best to share some drinks and tapas in my city and/or organise a game in our local club.