Well, after last week’s WW2 game, it’s back to SCW this week!
This game had got quite interesting and when we left it two weeks ago the Nationalist tank attack (commanded by my mate John) on the Republican (me) right flank had just started to go wrong! And the Republicans were also piling on the pressure on the other flank! So, could the Nationalists turn things around?
In a run of good fortune, the Nationalists managed to stop most of their routing troops and stabilised the front. On their left flank, the Panzer Is re-formed and returned to the attack, backed up by infantry and long range artillery fire called down on the farm at the centre of the Republican line, the Republican brigade commander having a narrow escape as shellfire took out some of his HQ staff!
But unfortunately, this wasn’t going to last! Heavy Nationalist infantry fire had forced one of the Republican T-26s to back into cover, but the gunner managed to squeeze off a round at the leading Panzer I, knocking it out with a well-placed shot into its hull. The remaining Panzer I commander kept his cool though and started to gather supporting infantry to try and skirt round the Republican right flank.
In the meantime, the Nationalist centre and right flank came under increasing pressure. The wood on the Nationalist right flank saw some vicious close range fighting as the Falange troops counter-attacked the Republicans, but neither side could gain an advantage.
The most vicious fighting took place in the centre of the line. By using tanks and infantry to support each other, Republican infantry finally broke into the town. The first the Nationalist PaK 36 anti-tank gun crew knew about this was when they had to use their personal weapons to try and beat off a close-range Republican infantry assault, while one of the T-26s provided close support from its main gun and machine gun. At the same time, the Nationalist brigade commander, along with his staff and accompanying artillery forward observer, got into a firefight with the attacking infantry!
By now the pressure was beginning to tell though, and the Nationalists started to think about extracting their forces from the fight. The Republicans had managed to claim a narrow victory! Despite the above, the Nationalist line did not collapse and they had continued to inflict casualties at a steady rate on the Republicans. In the end, it was a close run thing!
This was a good game, the fact that I managed to scrape a win almost incidental! There were a lot of different troop types and some colourful models and both sides had tanks that five years later would be obsolete, but which gave a reasonable account of themselves here. We had close range infantry assaults, hand-to-hand fighting, senior HQs in the firing line, horse-drawn artillery and visibility limited by fog! Although a potent weapon in WW2, the Condor Legion-crewed 88mm gun never fired a shot in this game!
And there was some nostalgia! After I got married I gave away some of the wargames stuff I thought I’d never get round to realistically doing anything with, and that’s how John acquired two Pavesi artillery tractors. I originally built them in the early 80s for use by my WW2 Hungarians, but they hardly ever got used. They were entirely scratchbuilt from card, including the big solid rubber-tyred wheels, from drawings I made from photographs. It was nice to see one being used in a game after all this time, even if I did seriously consider putting a tank round into it during this game!