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The Orkney Wargames Club meets

in Kirkwall on Thursday evenings.


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Estacion sin Salida, 1937

The Spanish Civil War, Chain of Command, 28mm

First of all, my apologies for taking so long to post this. I’ve got writing deadlines, and finishing this bloody book is taking up most of my waking hours! Still, the other week we still had time for a game at home with a few of the guys. In this little Spanish Civil War clash Sean 1 and I commanded a platoon of Nationalist regulars, while Gyles and Sean 2 played the Anarchist militia.The trouble with the Anarchists is – we discovered – they’re so bad that their “Force Modifier” is enormous. That’s the difference they can make up in support points to bolster their force. So, we got one extra light machine gun, while they became battle-hardened veterans, and gained a whole arsenal of weapons, including a small tank. Still, you can’t take Anarchists too seriously, right? In this game, the fighting took place around a small dead-end rural Spanish village, and its railway station. In the picture above, the Anarchist starting edge was at the bottom, while the Nationalists came on from the top. Oh, Sean 1 supplied the Natioanlsits for this, and Gyles brought his Anarchists, so my own toys weren’t needed. So, Sean 1 and Gyles took command of the patrol phase, which landed up with the Anarchists in the village and the station, and the Nationalists in the church, the woods and the orchard. The game began with both sides splitting their forces between the two players. So, we all had a “section” of around 16 people, plus various types of support. Sean started his around the church, then advanced on the village along the railway tracks. For my part I came on in the orchard, while the Anarchists appeared at the rear of the town, and at the back of the railway station. Sean’s Nationalists soon came under a murderous fire from the village, most of which was coming form some damned miliciano armed with a medium-machine gun. She was firing handfuls of dice, and moving down facists like ninepins. For my part, my light machine gun was pretty much doing the same, shooting up the Anarchists who were caught in the open by the railway station. The survivors made a barricade of sorts, but it didn’t stop the rot, and eventually Gyles’ whole section evaporated. With them broken I thought about advancing into the village, and I made it safely across the tracks and into one of the buildings. That though, was my high water mark. That machine gun pinned me down, while more of Sean 2’s militia in a walled courtyard whittled down my troops in the orchard. By now Sean 1 had rallied about half of his section, and decided to follow my lead. This lot though, tried a fancy two-pronged advance, one bit over the railway tracks and the other into the village, using my toehold as cover. The first prong became derailed in the railway station, as  fire from the courtyard pinned them down behind a locomotive. After that they never moved from there.On the right Sean’s guys reached a small sheep pen on the village side of the tracks, but there weren’t many of them, and there were even less after a few phases under that damned machine gun’s murderous fire. Eventually the Nationalist survivors broke and ran.Meanwhile, the Anarchists in the courtyard were busily pinning down the rest of Sean 1’s guys, and the machine gun was whittling down my troops in the village and the orchard. Effectively we couldn’t move, and were getting slaughtered. So, to drive home the point Gyles brought his tank on  – an FT-17 – and trundled it down the road to the church, to capture Sean’s “jump off point”.So, we were getting hammered. Gyles’ reserve, in another sheep pen at the back of the village, made sure my Nationalists couldn’t move without being cut down. I could only bug out, screened by a wrecked Nationalist tank, and so at that point we conceded the game. It was a famous Republican victory – made all the sweeter for Gyles because his Anarchists have never  won a game before! I can see that machine-gun toting miliciano making an appearance again – she was an excellent use of support points! 








10 Responses “Estacion sin Salida, 1937”

  1. SEAN 2
    22nd January 2023 at 8:56 pm

    Well worth the wait, Angus. The mg lady deserves a medal of some description I would say. Excellent game. Cheers

    • 23rd January 2023 at 9:15 am

      Do anarchist militiamen and milicianos deserve medals, Sean? If so, how would they decide who’s worthy?

      • SEAN 2
        23rd January 2023 at 1:45 pm

        Very good point. I’ll ponder on that one.

  2. 23rd January 2023 at 7:51 am

    particularly interested in the hardware Angus,are they 28mm scale?.
    That is the railway locomotive,Tank and truck,.Who are the manufactures or are they scratch built?.
    The game brought a little sunshine cheer on this cold morning!

    • 23rd January 2023 at 9:12 am

      I’m glad it brought January cheer, Roy! I can’t speak for the FT-17 tank Roy, as it belonged to Gyles, but it’s a 1/56 scale model, and probably the Warlord one. As for the truck and the railway kit, its all OO scale. The locomotive, wagons and rails came from the bargain bin in a railway and model shop, while the trucks are from Ledo, picked up for pennies in a local charity shop. You can pick up all of this kit easily and cheaply online. At some point I’ll make lay-on underlay for my railway track out of MDF strips, sand and polyfilla – if I ever get round to it…

  3. Joseph
    27th January 2023 at 3:09 pm

    Interesting firefight if a bit one-sided. But then I’m a Republican fan in that war anyhow so glad to see the result.
    Pity we did not get any photos of the star of the game, that miliciano machinegunner. Viva!

    Nice terrain, village, and figs also!

    • 27th January 2023 at 5:49 pm

      That’s a point, Joseph. There’s no picture as she spent most of the game in an upper floor room overlooking the approaches to the village. Its two windows had a near-perfect field of fire. you’re right about the omission though. I’ll try and borrow the figure from Gyles, take her photograph, and then post it in the game report. Yeah, while I was playing the rebels, my heart wasn’t in it. I’m an International Brigader at heart! No passeran!

  4. Roy Bumpsteed
    30th January 2023 at 7:17 am

    is this”bloody book” your 100 battles book or another?

    • 30th January 2023 at 8:01 am

      Roy, the 100 Greatest Battles book (which should,really be called 100 Greatest Battles that Osprey has cool artwork for) was a stroll in the park, and is due out this Easter. The “bloody book” is The Convoy, a much bigger history that gets published this September. It’s a challenge, and the 100k word manuscript has to be in by the end of Tuesday. Right now it’s taking up most of my waking hours – I even had to cancel a game last Thursday, so I could spend the evening at the keyboard. That’s practically unheard of! Still, the end is in sight, and so normal gaming can be resumed!

      • Joseph
        30th January 2023 at 6:32 pm

        Oh wow, good luck with both!

        And yes, the miliciano machinegunner deserves her moment in the sun. Viva la republica!

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