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Battle of Gaudalajara - Part 2

Page history last edited by Kiwi Dave 13 years, 8 months ago

Republican Counter Attack

(Scenario researched and written by Steve Johnson)

 

Background

Following on from their success at Brihuega, the Black Arrows Division set off towards Torija. The advance was stopped by the Thaelmann Battalion with the help of Pavlov's tanks. With the Italians stopped short of Torija and local counter-attacks having pushed the Italian forces back in disarray, Lister's Division and all available tanks prepared for a major counter-offensive along the Saragosa road.

 

The Black Arrows Division, having ignored warnings from their Spanish colleagues, were caught in the open around Trijueque. The tanks advanced largely unopposed with tank riders clinging to their flanks.

 

The Republican forces in turn found themselves counter attacked in the flank by Italian infantry and flame-thrower tanks. The battle descended into a free-for-all with each side mounting a series of local counter-attacks.

 

Map

6' x 4' (apologies for the hideous green!)  The ridge blocks LOS. The ploughed fields are open terrain, and the crop fields are low area terrain. The orchard is an open wood.

 

 

The Spanish buildings are Nik Harwood's, the ruined ones are mine. The hills and rough sections are Steve's, and the roads, fields (except the two top right and middle left, which are Steve's) and orchard are mine. The fields are either pieces of floor tile or door mat. :) Figures are a mix of Steve's and Nik's.

 

Deployment

Italians: The Black Arrows begin as indicated in the open. The Littorio division will arrive in Trijueque on turn 4. The Soria division will arrive north of Trijueque on turn 6.

 

 

Republicans:

Pavlov's tanks start in column 20cm into the board on the Saragosa road, with Lister's infantry tank-riding. Thaelmann's battalion arrive south of the hills on turn 4, and the reinforcement battalion arrives using the Saragosa road on turn 7.

All arrivals use mobile deployment, are therefore dependant on successful command rolls.

 

Opposing Forces

Italians (commanded by Steve)  Republicans  (commanded by Dave & Paul)

Black Arrows 

1      HQ (CV7)

9      Infantry (Regulars)

 

Littorio Division

1      CO (CV9)

9      Infantry (Regulars)

1      MG

1      Mortar

4      L3/35

3      L3/35 flame tanks

 

1      FAO (CV6)

3      75mm Artillery

 

Soria Division

1      HQ (CV7)

9      Infantry (Regulars)

1      HMG

1      Mortar

Lister's Division

1     CO (CV8)

6     Infantry (Regulars)

Pavlov's armour

3     BT-5

3     T26

 

Thaelmann's Battalion

1      HQ (CV7)

9      Infantry (Regulars)

3      HMG

1      Mortar

1      75mm Infantry Gun

 

Reinforcement Battalion

1      HQ (CV7)

1      FAO (CV6)

9      Infantry (Regulars)

2      HMG

 

Objectives:

Italians: 

To escape with as much of their forces as possible off the northern corner of the table

 

Republicans:

To destroy as many units as possible of the Italians.

 

The Battle

Turn 1 – Republican

Pavlov’s tanks accompanied by the infantry of Lister's Division advance confidently down the Saragosa road through the early morning hours to Trijueque.

 

Turn 1 – Nationalist

The over-confident Black Arrows have not set any sentries and are blissfully unaware of their approaching doom…..

 

Turn 2 – Republican

The advance continues, and a battalion of Fascist infantry has been spotted in the fields south-east of Trijueque.

 

Turn 2 – Nationalist

The Italians are still enjoying the early Spanish sunshine, sipping cappuccinos and listening to the latest inspirational words of Il Duce, with the gentle sounds of Captain Corelli's mandolin in the background.

 

Turn 3 – Republican

Orders are quickly issued, and half the tank-riders dismount, and take up positions to engage the Fascist pigs. The BTs sweep around to the right so that they can enfilade the enemy.

Now you see them...

 

Turn 3 – Nationalist

Having finished their coffee, the Italians now start considering what to order for lunch - Tagliatelli al Forno or Risotto Milanese?

 

Turn 4 – Republican

The morning quiet is shattered when both tanks and infantry open up on the hapless Italians, and no less than 5 platoons are knocked out. Viva Espania! The expected arrival of the Thaelmann battalion does not occur.

...now you don't!

 

Turn 4 – Nationalist

The Black Arrows are so stunned by the unexpected arrival of the Spanish they stay frozen in place, unsure of what to do next (pay the bill or just scarper?). However, help is on the way is the form of the Littorio division, who arrive from the hills to the north-west, and make their way through Trijueque. The Italian tankers are so keen to get to grips with the enemy they surge forwards past their foot-slogging comrades (the CO blundered, and got the Advance! result).

Arrival of the cavalry...

 

Avanti!!!

 

Turn 5 – Republican

Pavlov’s thanks and Lister's brave comrades show no mercy to the Fascist pigs, and gun down another two platoons. The tanks of the Littorio division are also seen, and engaged. The superior gunnery of the Spanish knocks out two platoons of L3/35s! Thaelmann’s battalion is now conspicuous by its absence…

 

Turn 5 – Nationalist

By this stage the remnants of the Italian infantry have had enough, and make for the hills (they had their own breakpoint). Being clumsy and stupid, and therefore not  able to rely on their gunnery skills, the Fascists resort to using flame throwers, and torch two platoons of Pavlov’s T26s. The Littorio infantry stay put, far too busy looting Trijueque to take part in this battle.

Blue dice indicate units that have op-fired, white dice at hits (unsuppressed)

 

Turn 6 – Republican

Pavlov’s tanks are content to stay where they are, and let the Italians charge into their gunfire. Thaelmann’s troops finally arrive and make up for lost time by advancing rapidly onto the hill to the south west (command bonus). Reinforcements arrive in the nature of another of Lister's infantry battalions, and they make their way slowly down the main road.

Thaelmann finally turns up...

 

...as do Lister's reinforcements

 

Turn 6 – Nationalist

The flame-tanks make the most of the inactivity of the Spanish tanks, and proceed to knock-out the remaining T26 platoon, and two of the three BT platoons (command bonus). Not a good day for Pavlov! However, their initial enthusiasm is thwarted by technical difficulties (blunder).

 

A battalion from the Soria division has been reported to be heading in this direction, but is nowhere to be seen.

 

Turn 7 – Republican

The gunners of Pavlov’s tanks have a hard time trying to get a shot at the annoying little tankettes. Thaelmann’s troops and the reinforcement battalion both advance cautiously.

A gentle stroll in the countryside...

 

 

Turn 7 – Nationalist

The Littoria infantry finally decide they have done enough looting, and advance towards the edge of Trijueque, while their armoured comrades knock out the remaining BT platoon. The Soria battalion still has not put in an appearance.

 

Turn 8 – Republican

Lister’s and Thaelmann’s troops take a well-earned rest, and break out the tapas and sangria. The reinforcement battalion advance further down the road, then stop and argue about which way up the map should be. As a result they retrace their steps back down the Saragosa road (command blunder).

 

Turn 8 – Nationalist

The Soria battalion arrives post-haste (command bonus). The mortars and L3/35s of the Littorio division only manage to suppress a couple of Thaelmann platoons, but incinerate another with the remaining flame-tank platoon (who is rapidly becoming unit-of-the-match!)

Caio! Sorry we're late...

 

Super Mario the Flame-tanker...

 

Turn 9 – Republican

The brave Thaelmann troops respond to the armoured threat, and suppress an L3/35 platoon with mortar and infantry gun fire. The Pavlov soldiers throw caution to the wind and close-assault the remaining flame-tanks, and render them inoperable! (Assaulting tanks from the flank is a good start to ensuring survival! And relying on your opponent to roll badly...)

 

Turn 9

– Nationalist

The Soria troops decide things are a bit too hot, so crab sideways towards the north-eastern table edge and safety! The Littoria infantry decide that this a good thing to do as well, and follow suit.

Arrivederci!

 

Turn 10 – Republican

Sensing the Fascists are attempting to escape, the brave and noble Republicans give chase.

 

Turn 10 – Nationalist

Very little happens…(failed command rolls)

 

Turn 11 – Republican

Lister’s infantry, buoyed by their earlier success, heroically assault a platoon of L3/35s, but are repulsed. Thaelmann’s troops and the reinforcements take a well-earned rest.

 

Turn 11 – Nationalist

The Soria battalion manages to exit the north-eastern edge of the battlefield, with the Littoria troops following as quickly as they are able.

 

Turn 12 – Republican

Undeterred, Lister's troops assault the L3/35s again without being ordered to (an initiative action), and this time win the combat! Urrah! Jubliant with their victory, they espy the Fascist command and overrun his position. Game Over Player 1!

Gotcha!

 

A few parting shots are fired by Thaelmann’s mortar platoon, which knock out a platoon of infantry.

 

Italians leaving northwards post-haste

 

Outcome

Although the Republicans captured the Italian CO, the outcome was a minor loss as they had not prevented the bulk of the Italian force from leaving the area.

 

Overall a good game, partnered by an excellent gamer, with some great moments, against an excellent opponent! Result! :D

 

Observations

Having average commanders can make sticking to a plan difficult, so you really have to go with flow of the game, and make the most of the good turns. Playing historically-based scenarios is far better than equal points pitched battles, as you have to remember the victory conditions, and not just be the last man standing!  

 

Flame-tanks are nasty - kill them quick!

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