I have been meaning to get a game of Chain of Command Spanish Civil War ever since the free rule additions and army lists were published by the Lardies at Christmas. I really enjoyed Scrivs’ SCW campaign and am also jealous of his ability to quickly paint minis even when on holiday – I haven’t been able to manage that since a wet October half-term week in a caravan in the New Forest with the newly released Tau army from Games Workshop. I’m sure there was a Dreamcast bought at a knockdown price in Salisbury involved as well, so that shows you how long ago it was – (2001?). Anyway, for a quick solo game on a Bank Holiday I chose the Delaying Action scenario with the Moors defending against a Republican counter-attack of a mixed force of 5th Regiment and Assaultos. The objective for the Republicans was to capture the jump-off point behind the walled garden and hold until end of that turn. Force morale turned out pretty good for the Republicans at 11 while the Moors only had 9. With their 15 support points the Republic went for a T26, an armoured car, a mixed section Security Services & an LMG for 2 sections. The Moors had a Panzer I & Tank Hunters and a total of 6 Command dice against the Republican’s 5.
The Republicans got to start as they were attacking. They rolled fairly well and deployed the armoured car on the road and a section from the furthest forward jump-off point, putting the LMG behind the wall covering 2 squads advancing towards the objective.
The Moors rolled 2 sixes so got the next phase as well. Knowing this they deployed an LMG squad at their furthest forward jump-off point and fired at the exposed Republicans but scored no hits or shock.
Their Sergeant deployed in the walled garden, hoping to direct more squads from the jump-off point.
Again, the Moors rolled 2 sixes so got the next phase, deploying a section by the objective to defend it.
They also deployed the Panzer 1, firing its twin LMG at the advancing Republicans, resulting in 2 dead and 1 shock.
The Moors roll failed to give them the next phase for a change. Their Sergeant moved the deployed LMG squad into position in the walled garden, with another squad making ready to advance in support of the Panzer I.
The Panzer I advanced slowly and fired again, this time with more success, causing 4 shock and pinning the leftmost squad.
The Republic couldn’t rally the shock off the squad as it was in the open, but did retreat the unpinned squad to join the LMG behind the stone wall. They would really have liked to bring on the T26 to dual with the Panzer I, but didn’t roll a 3, so instead fired the LMG at the walled garden with no effect.
It was the turn of the Moors to roll poorly. They were only able to activate the Panzer I to move and fire, causing 1 more shock on the exposed Republican squad. A Moorish squad did manage to advance in support of the Panzer I.
The Republic roll now included a 3, but they held back on the T26, moving the armoured car and firing at 1/2 effect to put 1 shock on the Moor LMG behind the stone wall. They also deployed the Assaultos behind the hill on their flank, hoping to draw more Moors onto the table.
The Moors rolled fairly badly again, only moving and firing the Panzer I and the LMG from its supporting infantry against the the pinned Republicans to cause 1 shock. Their LMG behind the wall shot at the armoured car but missed.
The Republicans rolled three ‘5’s – great for the Chain of Command dice total but not for activating units. In the end they traded fire with the Moor’s LMG and caused 1 shock.
In retaliation the Moors rolled and got the next phase as well – the Panzer I fired again at the pinned squad – a further 1 shock meant it broke (8 shock on 4 men). Their LMG behind the stone wall hit the armoured car, caused 1 shock and forcing it to retreat 6″. They chose to play a waiting game in their next phase, only loosing off some ineffective fire.
With their right flank and armoured car making no headway, the Republicans brought on the T26 in the centre.
Then the Assaultos advanced over the crest of the hill and fired, causing more shock on the Moor LMG in the walled field.
Again the Panzer I targeted the section in front of it, killing 1 man behind the wall of the field, while its supporting infantry moved tactically to avoid casualties.
The appearance of the Assaultos on the hill had the desired effect, with a Moorish rifle squad deploying in the walled field and firing at them, inflicting 1 shock. The other Moor Senior Leader deployed in the walled field to rally shock off from the LMG team.
In response the Republicans rallied the armoured car and fired with it but with no effect. The T26 lumbered up the road trying to gain line of sight to the Panzer I.
The next Moor roll ended the turn with three ‘6’s, but they put the remaining 3 activations to good use. The newly-arrived squad in the walled field caused 2 dead & 1 shock on the nearest Assaulto squad which was now pinned. Meanwhile the Panzer I put 2 more shock on the squads behind the wall, and the end of the turn routed the broken Republican squad resulting in -1 to force morale.
Having ended the turn, the Moors got the first phase of the next turn. The combined fire from the walled field felled another Assalto while the Panzer 1 inflicted another casualty and added 1 shock. The Moors also brought on their small HQ squad to reinforce the depleted LMG squad.
For a change, the Republicans rolled well, getting to activate in the following phase as well. The T26 advanced and fired HE at the walled garden as it couldn’t yet see the Panzer I, but for no effect.
In the next phase, the T26 moved into line of sight of the Panzer I so fired an AT shell at it. The roll of double 6 meant that it received 3 extra dice in the strike roll and 3 hits against the Panzer I with no saves rolled meant it brewed-up, causing -1 to force morale and reducing it to 8.
In response the Moor Senior Leader rolled for 2 phases in a row. He joined the HQ squad to the LMG squad, then laid down fire on the hill, breaking an Assaultos squad. He then ended the turn with a CoC dice, destroying the broken Assaultos squad for a -1 to Republican force morale, but only bringing it down to 9.
The Moors rolled badly but brought on their remaining reserve with a Junior Leader to bolster up resistance in the walled field. The Senior Leader again ordered fire on the Assaultos resulting in 1 dead and 1 shock.
Finally the Republicans got the perfect roll to complete their deployment from off-table. The final section deployed and fired at the Moor section ahead of them in rough ground. This resulted in 2 dead and 2 shock, with the armoured car killing another from the LMG section in the walled field. The T26 then added its fire against the Moors in the rough ground, causing enough shock to pin them there. The Assaultos rally off shock, then shoot at the walled field, killing another Moor there.
Suffering mounting casualties in the walled field, the Moors Senior Leader pulled back the whole section from the Jump-Off point. The Republicans picked that point to roll another two 6’s so were to get two phases in a row.
The T26 shelled the walled garden, picking off another of the LMG squad. The Republican Senior Leader arrived from off -board, ordering the section to pour fire into the remaining Moors pinned in the rough ground.
It was all too much, and the Moors broke and ran past the still burning Panzer I. The Republicans used their CoC dice to end the turn, removing the broken squad from the table, so reducing the Moors force morale by a further 2 points to 6.
In another great roll, the Republicans got the next phase again, so the Senior Leader ordered a general advance while the T26 fired HE into the walled garden forcing the defenders to keep their heads down (i.e. caused 2 shock).
In the final command roll of the game, the Republicans got enough for the Senior Leader to advance a section to nearly out flank the walled garden, moving to within 12″ of the target jump-off point. Too far away to prevent the capture of the jump-off point, the Moor Senior Leader withdrew, conceding the field to the Republic.
The Chain of Command rules gave a great game as always, though the lack of squad leaders in the Spanish Civil War amendments made command a challenge, especially for the Republicans. With the Moors rolling 6 command dice, they were regularly getting 2 or 3 order phases in a row which allowed them to string together some decent moves – unfortunately they had no answer to the T26 and as it never left the cover of its supporting infantry, their tank hunters weren’t able to get to it. The Republicans were really lucky in the end to get 3 phases in a row (on 5 command dice) which allowed them to deploy and co-ordinate an advance before the Moors could react – also, rolling double six to hit for the T26’s first shot on the Panzer I wasn’t too bad either!