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
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
Loyalist movement phase brought the horrible realization. Zaragoza was wide open. Just because I wanted to make Madrid feel threatened and moved a small group of units towards it and they got slaughtered a while back. Just because I felt Barcelona area was going to be too strong so I’ll concentrate elsewhere, so they had little problem piercing the small screen force I had left there. I did not suffer too large losses material-wise, but my fighting spirit got a big knock out of losing Zaragoza to the loyalists, and it will be a long time before I can amass enough troops to even dream about retaking it.
Madrid is feeling less and less threatened. It has multiple venues of supply available. I’m losing the war of logistics. I have munitions, but they are sitting in the ports on the west coast, and I’d need them for waging war in the east. Rail lines will be needed to haul them quickly over. Or a port in the east but where and how will I get one?
Loss of Zaragoza
Initial Phase. Time for the first Infantry RPs… say what?! 10+ RPs on Nationalists, quite a few on the other factions. Apparently this game is geared towards losing a lot of troops. I’ve been playing too conservatively, apparently. Ok, time to start making riskier moves.
Both unsupported divisions appear near Euzkadi. Time to start putting heavy pressure on the Basques and take them out of equation. Brequet 19 had moved to Logrono during Loyalist turn to anticipate this.
Barcelona front looks nasty. I may lose Zaragoza soon ig I don’t do something to slow those swarms down. Time to start those desperate attacks. 17th Infantry regiment circled behid a stack of enemy units on the Tarragona-Zaragoza road. Rail capacity limitations start to show. I have attack supply, but it’s sitting on the ports waiting for someone to haul them to the front lines. I need ports closer to the fronts. So it’s time to start grabbing Malaga and Almeria and keep creeping alont the south coast towards Catalonia. Enemy mountain units tried to circle behind my lines through the Pyrenees so I had to move the 19th Infantry regiment to slow them down. 20th Infantry regiment retreated a bit towards Zaragoza blowing the rail line while doing so. It won’t matter much, it will be slaughtered soon.
An all out attack on San Sebastian was repelled (attacker stopped) despite air support. Zaragoza-Tarragona rail line combat ended likewise in a draw. Road to Almeria was cleared of the anarchist infantry brigade – with the help of attack supply. Jaen was captured. In the west, Badajoz was conquered and the 20th Security regiment met its demise in the nearby hills. West is ours… now only if I could keep the east.
End of September I 36 Insurgent turn
Tim used this turn to bring Madrid into the rail network with Barcelona-Valencia area. Not that I was too much trying to isolate Madrid yet. It had too many units to be easily attacked and my main concerns right now is to clear the enemy pockets in the western parts and to beat Euzkadi (Basque) into submission. This may be a poor tactic, time will tell.
The turn began with happy news, though. Loyalist BBTF was sunk by a mishap with mines. I’m back into lead, 12-8.
End of August 1936
Naval units are giving me grief. I had this great plan to bring my Italian submarines and conduct a raid in Santander – sinking the Northern Fleet of the Loyalists. Only after I had moved into the Bay of Biscay (and having suffered one hit from the Danger Zone of Cartagena (another 4 VPs to the Loyalists solely due to my own stupidity) I noticed it cannot be done. The subs turned tail and fled… err relocated into Melilla.
I need to start taking care of those small pockets of enemy units, and to start putting the Gobernitos into their rightful place, on their knees at my feet. Asturia is going to be too hard, so let’s start at the other end. But first the western parts. There were three ground battles this turn. First, 7th Cavalry regiment, 2nd Engineer regiment and 3rd Light Artillery regiment with air support destroyed the enemy 3rd Infantry regiment losing only the Cavalry regiment in the process – Half Exchange, but at least half of 1 is still a 1. Badajoz area still has one enemy unit left. It’ll meet its doom next month.
1st Cordoban Infantry brigade and 1st heavy artillery regiment managed to push 18th Civil Guard security regiment out of its defensive positions further away from Jaen (Defender retreats).
Then the hornet’s nest part. Having gathered a lot of units in Euzkadi area meant that the Basque garrison units will pop on map this turn anyhow, so might as well get rid of the People’s Army units standing outside Bilbao. Gathering a lot of units and then assaulting into the wooded rough area hoping that militia reliability would allow them stand and fight. Two Cavalry regiments, three mountain infantry battalions and two artillery regiments (one of which is mountain artillery) made short work of People’s Army’s Engineer regiment and mountain infantry battalion (half exchange, one mountain infantry battalion was lost).
Next turn I get to see what kind of evil did I let loose in Euzkadi.
End of Insurgent Turn Aug II 1936
Tim shipped some of his RPs through my “blockades” with no problems. As far as I can tell, he wouldn’t have needed to as all units and locations are still unisolated. That means that RPs shipped to, say, Barcelona can be used in Bilbao even though there is no direct connection.
There was naval action. BBTF sailed out of Santander and engaged my BBTF+CATF. First salvo saw a hit on both sides. The Insurgents tried to disengage but the Loyalists gave chase and the second salvo was shot with no results. This time Insurgents managed to get away and sailed next to El Ferrol. Loyalists happily sailed back to Santander having chased the besiegers away. This also meant tha the scoreboard was open. Score is now 4 – 4. Yay, I’m not losing (yet).
Europa experience is starting to show. I’ve never used admin move nor broken rail lines before. Tim did both. Catalonian units maneuvered into better positions. Further west, the small separate units started to blow rail lines and junctions. I need start paying attention to those, if I plan to move my units quickly. Then again, admin move seems to be a pretty quick way to move too.
Toledo still remains rebellious. Loyalists gathered more units around it but did not assault.
End of August I 36