Sunday, 26 October 2014

¡El Manzanares! - Bloody November Campaign Game 2

It was late at night on Novemeber 15th, but a light still could be seen in the building of the Junta de Defensa de Madrid. Colonel Rojo was leaning on the maps extended over the table in the operations room. Asensio's columns have made important inroads in la Casa de Campo during the day and now there was no doubt that the river Manzanares crossing at Puente de Los Franceses and Puente Nuevo was a  key objective. 

He put his finger on the map line representing the wall of La Casa de Campo and said to himself: "Ni un paso atrás, el tiempo del sacrificio ha llegado" (not a step back, this is the time for sacrifice). He picked up the telephone and asked for Comandante Romero...

This is the battle report of the second game in our Bloody November-Madrid 1936 campaign for Chain of Command, set in the context of the Spanish Civil War.  You can find all the necessary details to play in  a previous post of the blog.

¡El Manzanares!
This second game is based on Scenario 2-The Probe of the Chain of Command main rules book. The attacker's objective is to move one enemy unit in the defender's tactical edge of the table. In the context of the campaign, the Republicans had retied to the wall of the Casa de Campo behind which flows the river Manzanares, and will make a stand there.

The Casa de Campo Wall

As Republican commander I decided to deploy again the anarchist Columna Libertad led by Durruti and the remaining forces of the Quinto Regimiento/5th Regiment led by me who were still in good shape after the first battle. I was informed that a T-26 troop was now available and I decided to use my support points to beef up my unit with one tank and a section of Guardias de Asalto, much tougher than my own milicianos: this was not going to be a light exchange of fire as in the previous game, but a more serious engagement.

As in the other games of this campaign, we play in two adjacent tables, but running fully independent games. Fog of war is achieved by strictly forbidding allied players of both sides to speak to each other. By investing two Chain of Command dice by any side, the two battles can be merged into one Big CoC game.

Aeirial View of the Battlefield

In the patrol phase we could stop the enemy's recon units at half the board. Considering the scenario victory conditions and the blunder of last week's game in Normandy I placed my jump-off points in an extended formation to cover all the line; this time too we chose to play the narrow edge of the table (2 feet), so the front to defend was significantly shorter.

In the first enemy activation emerged two Italian fast tankettes, that advanced only cautiouslymy line in rushs, one moving while the other providing firing cover. Knowing that they were going to be easy prey of my heavy tank, I abstain from deploying any units until knowing where the enemy's infantry was going to emerge.

 After a few more phases and understanding that I had no hurry in discovering my cards, the Nationalists player finally deployed an infanry Moroccan section to the right of my line, on top of a hill. The LMG squad was put on overwatch, while the rifles squads initiated a move towards my line..

It was about time, and I deployed one of my two sections reinforced with an LMG in wall enclosure to get the benefit of the hard cover provided by it. The exchange of fire was net positive for the Nationalists (as usual) but compounded by the fact that he achieved a few consecutive double turns!! This includes for the first time since we've been playing CoC making five simultaneous "6s" in the same throw (note to Sr. Clarke: where is the car??)

Casualties piled in both sides, but the moors unrelently continued advancing and gain the edge of the closure opposite to my line of fire... time to call the big guns now! The Asaltos were activated and throwed directly into a melee with the Regulares... who were wiped out at the cost of 4 casualties.

In the meantime, on my left flank, the Italian armour continue advancing towards my position. Time too to bring the T 26 into play, a behemoth in the context of this conflict. One of the tankettes was put out of action almost immediately, but the other slipped form my gun sights moving at high speed.

I decided to ignore it from the time being and concentrate now on shelling the moors on the hill, that pulled back and moved into the opposite slope. The situation was more or less balanced, as I still had in reserve almost one full section and the Moroccans too.

However, a runner arrived to my command post informing that Durruti had chaqueteado leaving the battlefield, crossed the Manzanares  and creating a HUGE breach in my left flank, inviting now the other  Tabor de Regulares to join the fight. Time to pack up and leave the field in a hurry, before facing a crushing defeat... but not before I finally chased the other frecking Italian AFV that was firing on my troops.

I suffered a large number of casualties and one of my two sections is now in tatters. The moors also suffered heavily and hopefullywill remain in reserve for the next game, so eventually we will see the Internacionales in action vs the Legión in the next game.

Photos from the other battlefield


  1. That looked like a fun game....
    Can't wait to kick off our own campaign in the new year.

  2. That's an incredibly awesome looking game!

  3. Excellent AAR again as well as more lovely miniatures.

  4. Really interesting AAR, again. Fantastic!

  5. Ese T-26 republicano es precioso...

    1. A la vez que una pesadilla para los rebeldes. Je je je.

  6. What an exciting game and BatRep! Well done! I really want to give CoC a try and your games certainly make resistance difficult.

    1. You won't regret. Best ever WWII skirmish rules and a source of endless enjoyment. We have been playing in my gaming group for over 14 consecutive months and not the slightlest sign of exahustation

  7. Well done. That is some excellent terrain and toys you are playing with.

  8. Nice pics and better AAR, Benito.

  9. Wonderful AAR Benito! I liked the fog of war with Durruti pulling up stakes and leaving your flank in the air. Very characterful stuff. The figures look brilliant and I particularly liked that high stone wall. Is that from Empress Miniatures? Lovely.

    1. Yes, the walls are from Empress
      Most of the figures have been painted by a new painting service setup by a friend of us here; Ill post the details once it is up and running but you get excellent good money for value

  10. This game reminds me the stories told by my late father, a Republican soldier, about the "chaquetero" behavior of many anarchist units, full of "quintacolunistas" and "emboscados"...

  11. Great stuff but you shouldn't believe (or base rules on) Stalinist propaganda ;) If you want to know about "chaquetero" then look at all the Stalinist-crewed T26 tanks captured intact by the enemy ;) Meanwhile Durruti was running around rallying poorly-armed militia and ended up KIA.

  12. thanks for sharing the great link.