Monday 29 July 2019

Battle of Quinto 1937 - Scenario

It was time to get one of my favourite collections out of the box and onto the table, the Spanish Civil War is one of the most interesting and complex of modern conflicts, it is without doubt one of the more popular here at Yarkshire Gamer.

Republican Air Raid on the town
The problem I do find is obtaining good large size scenarios, with SCW being a small period in terms of numbers of players there is limited support for gaming the era. There is a scenario book from Iron Ivan and the Crossfire Scenarios on the wonderful Steve's Balagan website. But these tend to be on a smaller scale than the ones I am looking for (12 x 6 table and buckets of figures). So with little literature avaliable in English other than broad stroke histories, it take quite a bit of work to come up with a game idea and then work it through to a playable scenario.

Carlist Command guarding the Church
Historical Background 

The Battle of Quinto occurred between 24th and 26th August 1937 and was part of the larger Republican Offensive refered to today as the Battle of Belchite. It is probably recognised mostly in the English speaking world as British and American Infantry from the International Brigades were involved in the assault on the town.

I was able to locate a PDF of a study of the Battle via a request for help on TMP

Nationalist Anti Tank Gun arrives on the table

The above map (randomly found on the internet so apologies no credit) gives a really good over view of the Battlefield, in fact if you look at the town today on Google Earth you can make out the main features detailed above.

My plan was to recreate the main features of the map on a 12 x 6 table and approximate the Republican Attack using the figures at our disposal.

Table Set Up

The photo above show the table from the rear left of the Nationalist position, you can see the train line that runs through the town with the train station nearest the camera, the hill in front of the station is representative of the Purburel, the smaller hill behind it the Las Eras.

A view straight down the table, Republican forces attack left to right, the Nationalist positions are along the line of the Purburel across Las Eras and then into the town, Cemetery and Church. Areas of scrub are random, wooded areas are estimates.

The far end of the table, looking across the Cemetery into the Nationalist area and the main built up area of Qunito.

The Cemetery was one of the main features on the Battlefield, I can only assume that it is the same structure that exists today, it's a big walled area and would have made a strong defensive position. The pieces of the Cemetery were purchased from 4ground and came ready painted, some lovely detail on the grave stones, apologies they don't do Spanish inscriptions.


Event Cards and Cash
We use our own modified version of Disposable Hero's, a set of rules from Iron Ivan, they have just gone into a second edition but we are happy with our own version so will be sticking with them. I was first draw to the set as they had a scenario book and a Spanish Civil War supplement both of which are excellent in terms of both providing information about the conflict and adding addition period flavour to the basic rules.

Hispano Suiza Armoured Car
The core rules are great, very easy to grasp and give good results however we preferred our own activation system using Card based unit activation. To add more colour I added random event cards (examples above) and then finally I added a cash based reinforcement and ammunition system which uses some old Spanish Currency I bought off the internet.

Nationalist Forces

Nationalist Aircraft with top secret Pilot Invisibility Cloak 
The town of Quinto is initially lightly held with only two units of Infantry, clever use of reinforcements will be needed to defeat the Republican Attack. A simple task, hold the town.

Carlist Company 1 HQ Section of 4 figures inc Standard Bearer and 3 Platoons each with 8 figures including 1 Sgt all armed with Rifles.

Falange Company organised as above.

The Carlists set up in the Cemetery and town whilst the Falange set up on the Las Eras / Purburel line.

A Carlist Platoon holding the Cemetery
Below is a list of the troop type stats, if you don't play DH, 4 is an Average Shoot / Fight value whilst the Morale figures are higher number, better.

                   Shoot         Fight   Morale Private    NCO   Officer
Falange          4                4                   5                    6           8
Carlist            4                 5                  5                    7            9
Civil Guard   5                 4                  6                    8           10
Military         5                 4                  5                    7            9

Nationalist Reinforcements 

I developed a "cash" based reinforcement system for our games. Each player rolls a certain number of d10 (Scenario dependent) per turn, a roll of 6 - 10 gains the player 10 Pesetas to spend on new additions.

For this game the Nationalist Forces have two players, each recieves 8d10 in the first turn and then 3d10 turn 2, 4d10 turn 3, 3d10 turn 4, then 4d10 etc

The only restriction on purchasing is that if you start to buy a Company you have to buy all of it (including Command before starting to purchase a new Company, other weapons and tanks can be bought at any time including mid Company.

Nationalist Infantry at Quinto Station
Avaliable units are:

2 Companies of Carlist Infantry organised as above, platoon and command are 20 Pesetas each (80 for a company).
1 Company of Civil Guard organised as above, platoon and command are 30 Pesetas each.
3 Companies of Nationalist Infantry organised as above but with 1 LMG per Platoon at 25 Pesetas per Platoon.

Panzer I
Also avaliable are the following,

Ammunition at 10 Pesetas for 5 rounds or 5 Pesetas for 1d4 rounds
1 Dynamitaero with unlimited ammo 20 Pesetas
1 Truck 20 Pesetas
Light Mortar and crew (2inch) 35 Pesetas
HMG and crew 40 Pesetas
Heavy Mortar (81mm) and Crew 50 Pesetas
Armoured Car or Anti Tank Gun 55 Pesetas
75mm Field Gun and crew or Light Tank 60 Pesetas

Our commanders are limited to those figures avaliable in the box, some of which are generic for both sides and are bought on a first come first served basis.

All purchases have their move card added to the game deck at the point of purchase and arrive on table on the first turn of their card.

Republican Hispano Suiza Armoured Car
Republican Forces

This battle is mostly known outside Spain as both the American and British Battalions of the International Brigades (amongst others) took part in the attack and therefore is mentioned in English Language texts on the period.

The Republican objective is simple, capture the town and get a move on doing it before the Nationalist Forces build up.

Republican Forces advance under heavy fire
To begin the game the Republicans begin with 1 Company of Assaltos and 2 Companies of International Brigades each supported by a T 26 Tank, the three columns enter the table on turn 1, the first opposite the Purburel, the second opposite Las Eras and the third opposite the Cemetery.

The troop stats for the Republicans are,

                                            Shoot      Fight  Morale Private NCO Officer
International Brigades       5              4                         6          8        10
Assaltos                                  5              5                         6          8        10
Poum Militia                         3              3                         4          6         7

Republican Reinforcements 

For this game the Republicans have 3 players, each player rolls 8d10 at the start of the game and 4d10 per turn during the game, generating money to spend on reinforcements as described in the Nationalist section above.

3 Companies of International Brigades at 20 Pesetas per Platoon
3 Companies of Assaltos at 25 Pesetas per Platoon
8 Companies of POUM Militia at 15 Pesetas per Platoon

A burning T26 not a good sign for the Republican Attack 

Also avaliable are the following,

Ammunition at 10 Pesetas for 5 rounds or 5 Pesetas for 1d4 rounds
1 Dynamitaero with unlimited ammo 20 Pesetas
1 Truck 20 Pesetas
Light Mortar and crew (2inch) 35 Pesetas
HMG and crew 45 Pesetas
Heavy Mortar (81mm) and Crew 50 Pesetas
Armoured Car or Anti Tank Gun 55 Pesetas
75mm Field Gun and crew or Light Tank 60 Pesetas
T26 Tank 70 Pesetas

Again the above is limited to what is avaliable at the time in the YG collection.

So there we have the set up for the game, I will be back shortly with an AAR.

Wednesday 3 July 2019

28mm Italian Wars Papal Guard

It's been a three months since I added to the new Italian Wars Project and after the big push for the Analogue Hobbies Winter Paint Challenge (which the Papal Army won the Challenge Choice Award 😁) my painting output has slowed down dramatically. But after years of painting I know it will come back, I have a new job at work so stress levels are lowering and the figure output is starting to rise again.

Now before the purists have a heart attack, I know this is a later uniform than the Italian Wars, I was lucky enough to see the painting "The Mass at Bolsena" 1514 Raphael, on my trip to the Vatican so I know what that depiction looks like but honestly who can resist the modern blue, yellow and red uniform of the Guard.

So I totally agree it's a bit of a fantasy unit but I bet you it will easily be the most recognisable unit in my army. Just need a 28mm Pope figure for it to Guard now !

The figures are 28mm scale from TAG (The Assault Group) who sell a Papal Guard pack which form the bulk of the unit, I've added some of their Italian Command figures (and a rogue Perry Figure after the new dog ate one of the TAG figures !) To make up the 24 figures of the unit.

The figures are equipped with Polearms and will make a pretty ferocious unit on the table. Flags are as always from Pete's Flags.

Next up for the Italian Wars Project will be a unit of shot whilst I also have some 1/2400 WW1 ships on the go.