The Rest of November – Stagnation Sets in

I’ve been a bit busy doing stuff, some important some less so (latter includes sorting the War of Resistance counters to see which ones are missing, if any – bought a used one from Noble Knights along with Scorched Earth, The Urals and Wavell’s War) so the blog has been neglected.

Both sides have been maneuvering to outflank the exposed parts of enemy’s supply lines, but little has happened combat-wise.

36 Nov I - LoyalistMy original plan was to attack on Valencia by the end of the year (assisted with the Italian navy) but Tim’s been reinforcing that area too well. Cartagena-Murcia-Alicante area got isolated from the rest of the Loyalist territory but as they are the three reinforcement cities in the area, they act as full general supply sources.

End of Nov II Insurgent Turn

End of Nov II Insurgent Turn

 

Annoyingly, Tim circled my Catalan screen and destroyed one step of attack supply that was sitting behind my units. Let’s see if I can extend some revenge on those units. Yes, it’s a little pesky unit, and killing it won’t make much of a difference in the big picture, but it cannot go unpunished.

End of November

End of November

 

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Nov I 36 Insurgent aka. the “Santander Disaster”

This turn we did online which gave me a bit less time to plan for my actions and I went more with my gut-feeling than usual (as if I ever plan anything in advance, bah).

I wanted to see if I could overrun Lorca, but due to mud (weather roll was no change up north = mud and clear (which will mean mud for the rest of the year) in the south) the artillery couldn’t make it. As the Germans have not extended the autobahn network this far south, even the roads are difficult going for artillery, 4 MPs per hex. To accumulate this failure, I even forgot to attack Lorca in the Combat Phase!!! *bangs head on keyboard*

Up north I pretty much just started forming my lines and keep pushing the Loyalists to their main areas. I decided to have a go at the Santandero as they’re the weakest of the Gobernitos. I gathered all units I could muster. BBTF and CATF provided naval fire support and Junker Ju 52s and Brequet 19s flew ground support. The defenders kept their ground, refusing to yield in the face of air support and hugged the walls of the city (dot city +1 modifier negated the enemy air support -1 modifier and the militia check was just barely a Normal. The attack was then conducted at 2:1 odds, with a -2 modifier for mud. Attacker halved. Ouch, that hurt.

Another rule misread so far… naval units replenish at Naval Bases. I’ve been replenishing them in any ol’ port – mostly it has been in Ceuta (which is a Naval Base) when the number of MPs has counted, other times the task forces would have had enough MPs to make it to El Ferrol etc.

Northern front is reeling from the Santander Disaster. South advances slowly.

Northern front is reeling from the Santander Disaster. South advances slowly.

 

Contamination, i.e. missed rules

Now that I was skimming rules to see whether Madrid can replace troops etc. I noticed two rules sections that I (and I guess Tim as well) have missed.

Cities start producing replacement points for their owner four turns after they have been pacified. We’ve used them instantly – this has given me extra some 4-5 RPs more than for Tim, by now. This shouldn’t be a big factor. But I had also missed that not only C/M units, but cavalry as well counts double its size for transportation. And I had shipped all my cavalry units out of Africa as soon possible ever since the game started, and I just received my second NT a month or two ago.

As far as I’m concerned, if I win this game, it doesn’t count. I’ve received unfair advantage. I’d like to play it to the end, though, so that I’d learn what to do and what not to do in future play times.

Oct II 36 Insurgent – The Weather Shows Up

For the first time during this war, the weather conditions change. Atlantic is no longer calm but the waves start being rough, and the northern half of Spain has rain that turns the ground into mud. This will make it harder for me to push the Republicans out of my areas and I need to start creating “killer stacks” to compensate for the general -2 modifier. Also, railroads really start playing an important role in moving stuff around.

I spent 1 resource point to temporarily increase my rail cap. I really needed that 10 extra REs of capacity to haul attack supply to where I will use it. There are four main objectives this turn, all related to supply:

  1. Oviedo needs to have its supply lines restored. The attack burned one step of attack supply, but Oviedo had 3 steps to begin with and it will produce more. That attack was a certain win.
  2. Madrid’s supply lines need to be cut. I claimed a rail hex on both the eastern and south-eastern rail line, and pushed for a more assertive measure on the southern rail line. Attack to re-claim Albacete succeeded – that’ll hopefully keep the international troops at bay for a while.
  3. Get the “Catalan screen” back in supply. That was managed by movement alone. Now a supply chain has been made at the same time cutting off some Loyalist units from supply as an added bonus.
  4. Keep Malagan nuisance out of supply. Let the bastards starve on their mountain.

I also made a bit of progress in the south, but the anarchists saw it coming and retreated before combat.

Air missions:

Logrono (23A:2201)                                  Bre.19 stages to Jaen (23A:3617) – range 31 hexes, waypoint 23A:3005 -> GS mission in Albacete (23A:3609) – range 8 hexes

San Sebastian (33:1932)            Mixed B transfer mission -> Vigo (23A:0617) – 26 hexes -> Huelva (23A:3027) – 25 hexes -> Almeria (23A:4317) – 17 hexes

 

Spend 1 step of attack supply at Oviedo (23A:1007: 1-2-6* Inf III; Oviedo: 2-5 Inf X (Req), 1-6 Art III, 3x 1-6 Inf III)

 

Oviedo (23A:1007), 23A:1008, 23A:1109 and 23A:1208 -> 23A:1108

Initial odds:                      8.5:0.75 = 11.33:1

Militia reliability:               3: Normal; 4 +1(non clear) =5: Normal

Incremental odds:                  10 -> 11:1

Combat result:                     5 -2(wooded rough) -2(mud) = 1: DH, eliminated

1-6 Bdr III and 1-2-6* Inf III advance

 

Spend 1 step of attack supply at Tomelloso (23A:3312) (all units in 23A:3510 – 6RE)

 

23A:3510, 23A:3610 and 23A:3710 -> Albacete (23A:3609)

Initial odds:                      11.875:1.75 = 6.8:1

Militia reliability:               5 +1(air support)=6: Normal; 2 -1(air support) =1: Int and PA halved  = 13.6:1

Incremental odds:                  7 -> 13:1

Combat result:                     1: DH. 1-2-6 Inf X (Int) eliminated, 1-6 Sec III retreats to 23A:3608

3-2-6 Inf III, 2-6 Inf III (Col), 1-6 Sec III and 3-6* Inf XX advance into Albacete.

Bre.19 will land in Albacete.

 

23A:4314 -> 23A:4313

Initial odds:                      2.5:0.5 = 5:1

Militia reliability:               1 +1(non-clear) = 2: Anarchists retreat to Lorca

1-6 Inf III and 2-6 Art III advance

 

End of Oct II 36 Insurgent turn

End of Oct II 36 Insurgent turn

October I 36

I’ve been a bit too busy to update the blog, so this entry will cover both the insurgent and loyalist turn. Now if I only could remember what happened then.

Insurgent divisions started popping up. Mostly near the Basque region, in Logrono, but one was determined to keep Toledo in my grasp. Tim had isolated San Sebastian from my other troops. The port provided some supply, but the most imperative thing to do this turn would be to clear the Malaga area and to ensure San Sebastian gets its supplies. I tried shipping stuff directly in San Sebastian, but most of it got turned back. (I’m in the middle of Oct II turn right now, and this is the first time I remember these. Need to add those shipments in my current orders.) Almeria was taken during the movement phase. Finally getting ports on the south coast making it easier to bring units to the front faster than from all the way from Cadiz. The former Malaga defenders got surrounded in the mountains and I decided to eliminate them. Hey, I just had gotten some glorious units from il Duce, they’ll wipe out any opposition in no time. Engineers were moved to the rail breaks to fix them next turn. I reclaimed the rail hexes to San Sebastian and I think I managed to secure them for the time being.

Italian CR.32bis’s staged an air show above Madrid (CAP mission). The Loyalist fighters were given orders to stop them but they refused and just sat on their benches watching the show (Patrol attack failed). The new bombers I had just received in San Sebastian tried to bomb th factory in Bilbao with no effect. Brequet 19 was sent to help repel the Loyalists near Santander. They were outside the Santander borders so I could attack them without risking the garrison activation. Asturias on the other hand had already released most of its garrison, so I might as well start fighting there. Especially as I had vacated that frigging rail hex a few turns ago and now it was preventing Oviedo from getting food in.

Brequet 19 flies a GS mission in 23A:1605

 

1 step attack supply (23A:1903) provides supply to Inf XX (23A:2301 – 3RE), 1-6 Inf III (23A:2302) (4/6RE used), 2-5 Inf X and 1-6 Art III (23A:1705) (6/6 used)

 

23A:1606 and 23A:1705 -> 23A:1605

Initial odds:      4 ¼ vs. 1 = 4:1

Militia:               3+1(air support)=4: Normal   4+1(non-clear)-1(enemy air support)=4: Normal

Incr CRT:           4: 4:1

Result:               6 -1(rough) = 5: DH, 1-6 Sec III eliminated

Survivor retreats to 23A:1505

All attackers advance

 

1 step of attack supply from Oviedo to 1-6 Sec III and 1-5 Inf X (23A:1207 – 2RE) and 1-2-6* Inf III, 2-5 Inf X, 1-6 Sec III and 1-6 Art III (Oviedo – 6REs)

 

23A:1206, 23A:1207 and 23A:1007 -> 23:1107

Initial odds:      4:0.5 = 8:1

Militia:               2: Falangist halved (3.75)        6 +1(Non-clear) = 7: Normal  -> Odds: 7.5:1

Incr CRT:           7: odds = 7:1

Result:               6 -2(wooded rough) = 4: DE

All units from 23A:1206 and 23A:1207 advance

 

1step of attack supply from 23A:2503 to 1-8 Cav III and 1-5 Inf X (23A:2502 – 2RE) and 3-6 Inf XX (23A:2434 – 3RE)

 

23A:2602 and 23A:2702 -> 23A:2601

Initial odds:      2:0.5 = 4:1

Militia:               1: The Falangist retreats to 23A:2503              2+1(non-clear)=3: Normal -> Odds: 1.5:0.5 = 3:1

Result:               2 -1(rough) -2(half AECD) = -1: Attacker halved. Eliminate 1-6 Inf III and 1-6 Eng III from 23A:2702 and 1-8 Cav III from 23A:2602

Survivors retreat to 23A:2801

 

23A:2501, 33:2434, 23A:2301 and 23A:2302 -> 23A:2401

Initial odds:      7.5 vs. 3 = 2.5:1

Militia:               6+1(non-clear) = 7: Normal

Incr CRT:           7 -> 2:1

Result:               4 -1(rough) = 3: Attacker Stopped

 

23A:3411 and 23A:3513 -> 23A:3512

Initial odds:      5:3 = 1.7:1

Militia:               2: Falangist halved                     2 +1(non-clear) = 3: Normal -> odds: 4.75:3 = 1.6:1

Incr CRT:           10 -> 3:2

Result:               4 -1(wooded) = 3: Attacker Stopped

 

23A:4516 -> 23A:4515

Initial odds:      2.5:0.5 = 5:1

Militia:               5: Normal

Result:               4: DR to 4315

All attackers advance

 

Attack supply from 23A:3822 to 2-6 Inf III, 2x 1-6 Inf III, 1-8 Lt Inf II (23A:3822 -3.5RE) and 2-6 Inf III and 2-1-8 Art III (23A:3922 – 2RE)

23A:3721, 23A:3820, 23A:3822 (minus 1-6 MG II, over the stack limit for mountain) and 23A:3922 -> 23A:3821

Initial odds:      7.5:2.5 = 3:1

Militia:               5+1(non-clear) = 6: Normal

Result:               1 -2(mountain) = -1: Attacker halved. Eliminate (23A:3822:) 2-6 Inf III (Col), 1-6 Inf III (Col), 1-6 Inf III, 1-8 Lt Inf II; (23A:3721:) 1-8 Cav III (Col); (23A:3820:) 3-2-6 Inf III and 2-1-8 Cav III (Col)

Survivors retreat to: 23A:4021, 23A:3819 and 23A:3620

The mountain proved a very tough nut to crack. I decided to just let them starve to death in a long run. It’ll tie up some of my troops but will cost me less men than trying to attack again.

End of Insurgent Turn

End of Insurgent Turn

Loyalist turn was up next. The French populace started protesting against helping the Bolshevists, so the government ordered the border to be closed. Good. That’ll give another headache to the Loyalists. In the initial phase, Loyalists rebuilt the BBTF that was destroyed a while back. It’s another 2 AA factors I need to be wary of. Not good. The ships started preparing a firing salvo. That means that Bilbao will attempt to sally, time to fly in the bombers for defensive air support. Basque units overran my mountain infantry battalion, but that’s pretty much what it was there for. To stop them reaching San Sebastian or blocking the rail line to it. My “Catalan screen” was still badly surrounded.  Brequet 19s went to support them. Loyalist Dewoitines went to intercept, but their pilots were too inexperienced. They failed to affect the Brequets, but the Brequets’ pilots and gunners practically eliminated the Dewoitine unit from the game. (As far as I can tell, they cannot re-enter. Loyalist is limited to 1 ARP expenditure per turn, and bringing back an Eliminated unit requires 2 ARPs.) The only ground attack Tim made eliminated by units that were sitting on the outskirts of Madrid in Guadalajara.

D.371 intercepts Bre.19

2 vs. 1 = 1

8: No effect

0 vs. 1 = -1

3: D.371 is killed

 

2707, 2608, 2709 and 2808 -> 2708

11:3 = 3.7:1

Militia:               4: Normal

Incr.:                   8 = 3:1

Combat:            2: EX, 1-6 MG II, 1-0-8 lt Tank III and 1-6 Eng III eliminated. 1-6 Lt AA III advances into Guadalajara.

End of October I 36

End of October I 36

End of September – The Dark Overlord of Bad Dice Rolls Shows Up

Tim has been all along been telling he’s the Dark Overlord of bad dice rolls. Last turn, my against all odds attacks succeeding were the other side of the coin. This turn the other side showed up.

Movement Phase saw the loyalists maneuver into position to annihilate the rest of the “Barcelona screen”. The stack of units that had been on the run away from them got surrounded. Also two reference cities in the east got enemy units around them. My Brequet 19s took off to defend their airbase in Logrono.

Tim made two attacks. First one against the intrinsic garrison in Logrono with air support. The result was worst possible at those odds, militia decided they didn’t want to fight, and the end result eliminated three cavalry regiments of the attackers. The second fight was against the remaining Barcelona Screen. Again, the dice were against the attacker, who retreated.

San Sebastian has been cut off from the rest of my areas, though. Both railroads leading to it have one hex in Loyalist possession. This will pose problems in continuing the fight against the Basques. Those pesky Catalans need to be pushed back to where they belong… and preferably even further, into the Mediterranean sea.

End of September 1936

End of September 1936

Sep II 36 Insurgent – Against All Odds

Movement phase saw the Insurgents gather troops for two attacks and strengthen Toledo. San Sebastian attack was supposed to be supported by BBTF-1 and CATF but I neglected to read the rules in time. I decided that they can visit El Ferrol to replenish their fuel. Only at the beginning of combat phase I read the rules related to the naval gunfire support. They need to spend 90 MPs for it. I only had some 80 left after the replenishment tour, and they really didn’t need the fuel. They are in no hurry to move elsewhere. Darn, that’s 3 factors lost.

Starting to count the odds, they don’t seem so great. I only have enough supply for half of the attackers. Barring militia reliability, there’s a 4 in 10 chance of getting odds that will have even a chance of affecting the defenders. And even that is a 1 in 6 chance. I decided to chance it anyways, as militia reliability was going to be 1 in 3 chance. All dice were rolled at once and I started reading the results. Crap. Militia is normal. Ok, got the better odds. And…. woohoo… it was a 6. Exchange. A costly attack, but that thorn has been pulled from my side.

I was also contemplating a rallying attack from Toledo, but that was way too low odds to even have a chance of succeeding. Have to wait for a better opportunity.

That only leaves Malaga. Attack supply is sufficient for most units. The two regiments attacking across mountain hexside were left without as they would halved for the mountain anyways. 4:1 with -1. Militia reliability on both sides had the militia fight with full force, and the end result was only a DR. Malaga is now ours, and its former defenders are standing in the mountains next to it.

North Africa is pretty much drained of its units. The rest will stay there to garrison in case the Loyalists want to make a landing. Although the Italian submarines may be good enough deterrent for that. Time will tell.

San Sebastian and Malaga change hands and the noose around Madrid tightens

San Sebastian and Malaga change hands and the noose around Madrid tightens