Wednesday 31 December 2014

Happy 2015

It's close to noon here in Madrid, so 2015 is now just 12 hours away. May all your wishes come true and your wargaming projects too in the coming year.

Somewhat belatedly, I'd like to thank Ian from the Blog with No Name the beautiful house sent as part of the Secret Santa project organised by Chris Stoessen. Unfortunately I had a problem with my phone camera and have lost the photos of the unwrapping on Christmas Day (actually, I lost all Christmas Day pics, not only the opening of presents) ... but nonetheless here you have the model.

Sunday 28 December 2014

Last Game 2014: A Normandy Big Chain of Command

Every year by Christmas we usually arrange a large full-day game at the club. Following some mail exchanges, it was clear that we would play Chain of Command and the only aspect to decide was the theater: North Africa, Spanish Civil War or Normandy. Considering to availability of both, players and painted armies, the latter was the winner.

As 5 players would be attending, we decided to make a Big Chain of Command game, opposing 1 US regular infantry, 1 US elite paratroop and 1 US Sherman tank troop to 2 German regular infantry and a Panzer IV troop with three tanks. We chose an Attack & Defend scenario from the main book, with the Americans needing to break the beachhead and get into the interior of the Normandy peninsula

US Infantry Patrol

Tuesday 23 December 2014

Planning 2015

As usual in this season, we wargamers enter into a frenzy state to plan the year ahead although most of the times it ends in frustration while not in tears. I'm not different to the average aficionado in this sense and like also to make plans.

Looking at this same post in December last year, I can rate my performance with 7 (may be 8) over 10,  not bad if your trail the long track record performance. 

First, a recap of 2014 and achievements:

- North African Desert Project (coded as "Afrika CoC"): accomplished 100%; painted Italian platoon with supports and I have almost finished a DAK platoon (not considered in the planned pipeline). And I did not only paint my toys but also did actually play a lot thanks to the campaign during the first half of the year.

- Spanish Civil War: another major achievement (or almost!) with a full Republican Army platoon and supports painted, but the vehicles still needing a hand of paint...

- Participating in a major wargaming event: failed! Financial constraints and a new professional project kept me away from accomplishing it (no money and, frankly, no time!)

- Collaborating in a wargaming publication, accomplished!! I must admit mostly thanks to my friend and wargaming mate Alfredo, the designer and (tough!) umpire of our Bloody November 1936, Spanish Civil War campaign for Chain of Command, finally printed in the recent Christmas Special issue of TooFatLardies.

Monday 22 December 2014

Merry Xmas World Wargamers!

On this very special season, my family and I would like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas in the company of your beloved ones and peace, health and prosperity for the coming year... and of course, a most busy wargaming 2015!!!

Sunday 21 December 2014

Villers Bocage Campaign - Game 4

Today we played the third scenario of the Villers Bocage campaign for Chain of Command  (all the campaign details can be found in the first game post).The first  game were won by the British,  who reached the outskirts of the city; in the third game these were rejected and we went back to the second rung of the campaign. 

Another defeat today would have brought the end of the campaign but, alas, this was not the case and a British fierce armoured counterattack sent the Germans reeling back to Villers Bocage. As in the previous games, I was the German commander.

As we were four players, we decided to make it "Big", and to the regular infantry units used in the campaign, we added a British tank troop (2 Shermans and 1 Firefly) and Panzer detachment (2 Pz IVs and a Pak 40 ATG)

Saturday 13 December 2014

TooFatLardies Xmas Special Out!

When do you know that Christmas is around the corner' When TooFatLardies issues its bi-annual Special magazine. This year is even better for two reasons: you have 126 pages of content and (more important) includes our Spanish Civil War campaign for Chain of Command!!... and all this stuff at the princely sum of 6 bucks!!

Jokes aside, the issue this year is spectacular, with wide variety of articles covering most of the popular TFL rule sets (CoC, IABSM, Dux, Sharp Practice). And some important headline news: the main project for 2015 is a Coc ultra-modern covering the most recent conflicts in the War Against Terrorism. Clearly not a favourite period of mine at all... but I also said the same about Vietnam, until Charlie Don't Surf convinced me about the contrary.

Among the articles, two very interesting variants:  WWI  with Chain of Command; and cowboys vs Indians with Sharp Practice

See the full content below:

Monday 8 December 2014

Facultad de Medicina - Bloody November Campaign Grand Finale

Fascists! Surrender or  be annihilated!!
The Bloody November 1936 campaign in the Spanish Civil War for Chain of Command concluded today with a major game depicting the assault of the Medicine Faculty at Ciudad Universitaria. In fact, the campaign concluded a few weeks ago, with the victory of the Republican arms when the Nationalists players failed for the second consecutive game to cross the Manzanares; but nevertheless we wanted to play this grand finale of the last scenario, involving 5 infantry platoons with supports between both sides (3 Nationalists and 2 Republican).

Unfortunately, I had to leave this morning in a rush the game sometime after the start, as I was called and informed that a very close friend's mother unexpectedly passed away in the early hours of Monday. This battle report includes my initial photos and another  batch taken by the other players, as well as the information emailed by the contenders.

Carlista Jump-Off Point

Sunday 7 December 2014

A Battlefield Walk at Ciudad Universitaria

Graffitti in the Ciudad Universitaria - The fight continues 80 years later?

I attended on Sunday last week a guided battlefield walk organised by GEFREMA (a non-profit organisation fighting hard to keep the last remaining sites of the Spanish Civil War in Madrid) focused on the Ciudad Universitaria. It would not have been more timely after finishing our recent Chain of Command campaign Bloody November and the incoming publication of a related article in the TooFatLardies Christmas Special in December.

The visit was intrinsically interesting, but also provided a good feel of the battle terrain and a great understanding of the very deep changes operated in the landscape since the mid 30s. As a matter of fact, the site today has almost no resemblance with the topography of the war period as I will explain later.

I will support the narrative and photos included in this post with the attached map, scanned from the book written by Col Martínez Bande in the early 70s (La Marcha sobre Madrid) part of the official military history of the Spanish Civil War published before General Franco passed away in 1975.

(Click to enlarge)
To put you in the historical picture, the Nationalist troops arrived to Madrid in the first week of November. The attacking plan was to enter Madrid through La Casa de Campo park, cross the river Manzanares and penetrate trough the Ciudad Universitaria.

Saturday 6 December 2014

Winter is coming...

Another of my "view from my window" series. The mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama hidden by thick clouds and already cover by the first blanket of snow this year. Temprature is not expected to break the 10ºC level today. Winter is finally coming...