After our previous early-war scenario, Patch and I moved on to something even earlier, the Spanish Civil War, in March 2010…:

As the previous scenario between me and Patch wound down, we had a chance to talk about what we wanted to do next. Patch mentioned that it had been a while since we’d seen the Italians (in fact, since our Primosole Bridge CG, where they didn’t do so well thanks an ELR of 0). Having recently gotten Doomed Battalions, and busy obsessing over that, I immediately mentioned the old A72 “Italian Brothers” which featured two Italian units fighting on opposite sides of the Spanish Civil War using Italian and Allied Minor counters, and which was updated in the new edition of DB. And so here we are.

I can say that the scenario would be a lot easier to set up if it mentioned which side was the Nationalists, and which side was the Republicans somewhere other than the background text. (Okay, the side symbols also are a guide, but both of us missed that.)

As it is, I’m the Nationalist/Black Flame/Italian forces. Technically, I set up first, but all I have on board are three pitiful non-turreted L3/35 AFVs, with fixed positions and CA, and in Motion. The only real choice I see is whether I want to be BU/CE. (BU, thanks.) Patch is the Republican/Garibaldi/Allied Minors, who set up in two groups, one on board 17 near my L3s, and the other on board 6, set to advance on the manor house. If he can take it, he wins immediately. Otherwise one of us has to have 3 out of 4 other stone buildings, mostly concentrated in front of the manor house, at the end of 6 turns. Otherwise, may he with the most CVP win! (Nationalists win ties.)

Patch set up as expected, took a couple MG shots at the L3s, and started moving for victory buildings. (Two hits, but couldn’t manage the 4 TK….) I fired as he moved out, but only managed to malfunction a BMG/MA for my trouble.

Originally, my plan as I entered with the bulk of my forces was to take 6N4 (of course), 17P2 (also of course), and dash across and advance in to 6K4. With only a single squad in position to take it, I should have a decent chance at it, especially as I had the troops holding N4 to back up my move. As I moved, however, I realized I could get into 6K8 without him being able to do anything about it, and I could make his move in much more difficult, so I went for that instead.

Situation, Turn 1, showing both side’s movement.

Patch had to spend quite a while pondering what to do next after that, but he eventually shuffled a big stack into 6J9, obviously preparing to advance into the blind side of the building, J8. All I could do was pin a single squad. Without much going on in the west (top), I just had a single ineffective shot while assembling my MMGs.

He advanced into CC in 6M1, which pointed out just how vulnerable I am, since I am Lax and have lower FP. However, after successfully Ambushing me, he rolled a ’12’, and I thankfully withdrew back to N0.

Fight for 6N4, Republican turn 2.

Fight for 6K8, Republican turn 2.

chris_olden cheered:

“an excellent scenario!!!”

“Ok, this scenario took quite the time to square away. Seriously, would it kill designers to maintain continuity between force names and the names in SSR and victory conditions? And as a note, does the phrase “stairwells exist normally” mean that every hex is a stairwell, as normal, or stairwells are the stairwells, as normal?”

Republican Set-up
“I so cannot see myself trying to maintain a defense around the foxholes. They can see no victory buildings, offer no support to any attacking force, and have no other intrinsic value. However, my leaders can’t move in the first Movement Phase, so I’ll use the leaders to try and nail a tank or two with the MGs, run the infantry towards 6J8, and Advance the leaders and MG crews. To keep a 2(+0) from nailing me, I do take cover in the foxholes, but they’ll be quickly abandoned.”

“To the west, I plan to send a 10-0 and 5 squads towards K2 and K4, and the 9-1 will sprint with a platoon towards 6J8. I see this building as being the main battle location, and I wonder if the Commissar wouldn’t be better off here, but I fear that the limited terrain to the west will limit rally opportunities if Rindis makes a push there, so I want to get troops back on the line quickly.”

Republican Turn 1
“I make the aforementioned push, but after moving I think that I should have sent the Commissar and two squads to J4, with an advance into K4/K5. That would give me a LOS down the 6K6/6O8 road, and divided the board in two. That would leave me lighter in taking the 6K1 building, but by blocking the road, I severely restrict Rindis’ ability to assault the 6J8 building and effectively divide the board in half for the critical opening turns.”

Italian Turn 1
“Rindis moves a sizable force into 6N4, and pushes two units along the west board edge. The tanks fall back and move up to the 6J8 building, making any push into K8/K9 bothersome, and gets a platoon into 6K8. Pushing him out is gonna be tough.”

Republican Turn 2
“Gotta take 6J8 at some point, so here we go. I move everyone up to the south side of the building, with the goal of advancing adjacent. The MMG is advancing up a little to the south just by fate. Further west, I move into 6L1, as there’s a lovely CX Italian sitting there, giving me a big Ambush bonus. I’m thinking that 6K4 is gonna be a little light, so I shift a squad back to 6H2 with the goal of shuffling in the back door. Sadly, though I Ambush Rindis, I roll a ’12’ and he chooses to flee. Around 6J8, I have several units now in 6H8, I8, J8, J9, and K9. If Rindis does open fire with 6K8, I’m hoping something will survive to break his units.”

“Very little fire of any significance occurred in the scenario opening. FP are too low, and terrain too beneficial, for us to hurt each other for now. The biggest event was the malfunction of an L3/35’s BMG, but I’d rather see some broken Italians. Enemy Italians. I like my Italians unbroken.”

Rally was decent. Not much going on, but I got my BMG back. My turn 2 prep did more to me than to Patch. I managed to pin a squad in 6M1, but his Sniper pinned a squad in O9, and I malfunctioned a BMG again (the same one in fact).

In movement I tried to pull out of N0, but he nailed both squads as they advanced out, one CRing to a broken HS, and the other suffering ELR failure. I then did a move that I’m still kicking myself over, as I’d been thinking about it for a week, and never thought about the problems with it. So I let him freely strip concealment, and get a couple non-AM shots at my second MMG squad, which promptly broke. I’d been so busy think about where I wanted them to go, I never even thought about how to get there. In K8, I merely skulked away from the main stack, though he still had a couple decent shots against me, which were thankfully ineffective.

Given the great concentration of force around 6K8, I was strongly tempted to give it up as a bad attempt, and retire to behind the walls and hedges and keep him busy near there while trying to get into one or both of the western victory buildings. In the end, however, I decided to stick it out a bit longer and see if I could do something about reducing the forces there.

Situation, Nationalist turn 2.

Italian Turn 2
“Rindis gets his BMG back (dang!) in Rally.”

“Prep Fire was annoying, as Rindis Pins a squad in 6M1, but my Sniper activates and Pins a squad in 6O9 and Rindis malfunctions the just repaired BMG.”

“Rindis tries to sneak out of 6N0, but movement in the open of any sort just isn’t advisable for units with a 6ML. Both ELR, and one CRs to a HS. Rindis also tries to get his MMG upstairs, but the non-AM movement is attractive and I open fire with a lot, breaking the MMG squad in 6M5h1. Rindis skulks out of 6K8, and there’s lots of shuffling along the 6-17 border woods as Rindis reinforces the perimeter around 6J8. In Final Fire I try to take out a tank with an LMG, but fail. Further Final Fire vs the MMG nests produces no effect.”

“I was surprised at the skulking out of 6K8. That was a nice opportunity for Rindis to inflict some damage, and he gave it a pass. I’m estimating the 8-0, two squads, and an LMG in there, so 16(+3) isn’t a bad Prep Fire for him. Looks like it will fall to my Prep to try and break that up when he comes back. I’m also hoping to do some damage to the troops moving up the centerline woods for a future move on the 17P2 building.”

I rally, I recover the abandoned MMG in 6M5h1… and the BMG/MA gets a ‘6’, recalling the L3. Patch preps at the brokies stuck in 6O2, and a 1MC reduces them from a squad and a half to a HS. The entire try to tie down his west flank has been a disaster, not least because I didn’t properly consider just how bad CC is for me with Lax and lower firepower. With generally worse morale (and decidedly worse broken morale), my main advantages are range, the MMGs, and the three—now two—L3s. Thankfully, everything else goes poorly, including the two 16 +3 shots at my concealed stack in 6K8. Movement was mostly a cautious creep through the vineyard around the manor.

My defensive fire got a result on 6M2, but the Commissar passed as did the first squad; the second rolled a ’12’ to break to a HS. Even better, I got a PTC on J8 that pinned his 9-1 and a squad. I’d much rather have broken them, but keeping them out of the incipient CC in K8 was a big bonus. Sadly, his Sniper activated and broke the squad in O9 (who’d been pinned by him last turn). Another shot broke/reduced the squad in K9. Despite the damage, he goes into M8 with the remaining two squads.

Sadly, I’m still no match for him, and I quickly realize the drawbacks of my hasty plan to take K8. I have two squads and the 8-0 leader in there. I should have re-arranged things to have three squads and no leader. The 8-0 has no purpose in the building, and I need all the FP I can get, and the leader would have been best to catch any routing units. After a brief hope when Patch rolls a ‘6’ for Ambush, I blow it with a Final ‘4’ (5 +1 Lax, -2 Concealed). He goes for a 2-1 on a squad with the leader, and kills them. At least I get a squad in return on my attack.

Situation, Republican Turn 3.

Confronting the bulk of his strength like that was chancy, but it certainly slowed him down and made him think. The main problems are that I didn’t develop a way to make J8 hot enough to begin with, and didn’t put in enough to win, nor did I fold. And now I am down a leader I can’t afford to lose.

Republican Turn 3
“Just about halfway there! I have buildings (though 6K4 is rather fragile – I wish he were concealed), am poised to take 6J8 for a third, and I currently lead in CVP. Not a bad position. I wish I was better lined up to make a drive at 17P2. Rindis is very fragile there, with 6 ML units and no leader, but getting over there is going to be tricky. My first plan, though, has to be on 6J8. I need to secure this before I go gallivanting off on some other errand.”

“Rindis recovers the MMG in 6M5h1, but loses a valuable L3 when he blows the repair roll on a ‘6’. I’d love to try for a rear shot when it exits, but the FP I think is better directed against the L3s remaining.”

“I have an awesome amount of FP lined up against 6K8, but completely blow all of the Prep Fire rolls that matter. The only good point is my Prep at the broken units in 6O2, where I claim a squad equivalent. Defensive Fire is gonna hurt.”

“In Movement I skulk out of 6K2, move the squad I was sending towards the 6J8 area back over to 6I2 (I am no longer confident in the forces I left behind, and want an extra squad), and there’s a little bit of shuffling around 6J8 as I get ready to move more units into 6K8 and beyond.”

“In Defensive Fire, Rindis doesn’t fire 6K8. I think this was a mistake. Yeah, the concealed bonus in CC is nice, but so is 16(+3), and there’s nothing saying you can’t leave the leader concealed, fire everyone else, and still get the -2 bonus for Ambush. Rindis really needed to unload here, and he didn’t. I lose a HS on a ’12’ result up in 6M2, but my Sniper is hot-hot-HOT and breaks a squad in 6O9. And there’s no leader in sight. Sadly, my 9-1 and a squad in 6J8 Pin from the newly manned MMG in 6M5h1, leaving me with just two units who can advance into 6K8.”

“In Advance, I consider moving into 6J7 instead of closing for CC and causing more problems for him, but instead I take the chance and hop in for CC. I also swap places in 6J9/J10, moving the 9-1 and an LMG to 6J9, but moving a squad back into 6J10 to cover the open area to the east to keep Rindis from flanking me (getting flanked has been decisive in so many of our games it’s a real worry here). No Ambush results, and I find my guess was right and I’m facing an 8-0 and two squads. Better still, they’re two of his six 347 squads. I team up for a 2:1 against his leader and a squad and kill them both, but Rindis kills one of mine in return. I can’t take one for one losses in this scenario, but Rindis is now down to two leaders, and none of them are in this area.”

“Boy, this turn had a lot of tough decisions to make, and they all centered around the battle for the 6J8 building. If I can get this one, I can effectively isolate board 17 and interdict any assault on 6K4/6K2 from the upper levels. I need this building. Rindis had two opportunities to hit me with 16(+3) attacks, with a 58% chance of at least a NMC, and didn’t take either of them. However, he only has a 28% chance of Ambushing me (and risks an 8% chance of me ambushing him, if I go in without a leader). Firing was his best bet here. (And I’m not trying to bang on Rindis here — overall he’s a tough opponent — but his not firing greatly surprised me and I thought it merited discussion.)”

“However, all is not lost for Rindis. Turns 3 and 4 were rather exciting for all, and I’m looking forward to their posting here.”

For my turn, I got a squad back in 6N5 and Patch got a HS back in K1. For prep, both of my MMGs fired, but couldn’t get any result. With a Melee still going on in 6K8, I decided to feed more troops into the woodchipper and hope to get at least a temporary advantage while looking for an opportunity to cause problems for Patch’s other troops in the area. First, I reoriented my main axis of pressure and moved the two non-Recalled L3s around the building to take up positions at the hedge on the west side of the building. With K9 empty, it was the only thing to do with them, and I had a number of (leaderless) troops still on that side to give him trouble. I had thought to send my 9-1 (who wasn’t all that occupied off towards the eastern flank, but forgot about it before I got that far.

Patch didn’t get anything better than a pin out of his DF, but during my AF his Sniper activated and broke the squad in 17O2, who had been covering the victory building I did have. I really wish I’d moved the 9-1 in that direction. I poured another two squads into the Melee with other troops lined up in support, and we exchanged squads. That left me the victor of the hex, but unconcealed and ADJACENT to his troops going into his turn….

This could get even more expensive.

Situation, Nationalist turn 3.

Nationalist Turn 3
“Rindis rallies a squad in the chateau,and my commissar rallies a HS in 6K1. I’d forgotten how fragile HS can be around commissars, and I’m glad this one made it back.”

“Rindis opens up with both MMG, now secured in level 1 hexes in the chateau, but is not able to get a result. In movement, though, he makes things happen. Both L3s start up and move to 6K6/6L6, which makes me realize that my only AT weapons in this game are machineguns, and I have NONE with my forces in the 6K1/K4 buildings. Ooog. I see VBM freeze in my future. There’s more shuffling in the chateau, and Rindis moves two squads up to the melee in 6K8. I had expected him to fall back from this building when I advanced into CC, so this is not going to go well for me. I had expected a leader to fall back from the chateau to the P9 area, but Rindis apparently forgot to do so and this area continues to remain leaderless. I plan to try and exploit that.”

“My Defensive Fire throws every MG I have available at the L3s, to no effect, and it’s too far for my infantry to affect the MMG nests in the upper chateau levels. Advancing Fire activates my sniper, who is being very active this game, and breaks a unit in 17O2. If I clean up 6K8, that leaves just three squads between me and the 17P2 victory building.”

“CC is a dual exchange of squads in 6K8, which is about what I expected, but I am well poised to nail that hex in Prep Fire. I plan to assault down the center board woods next turn, but I’m not certain at all how to deal with the armor that’s between me and 6K4. Best I can do at the moment, with upper level MMGs cutting off an assault through the vineyards, is to get my MGs in the upper levels of 6J8 and hope for rear shots if he turns.”

Patch got a HS back in his rally, while I recovered the LMG that had been dropped in the CC in 6K8. Patch naturally preped with J7 and J8 at the now unconcealed squads in K8. The resulting 1MC caused ELR failure on both squads. This was a little worse than I expected, but as long as they successfully routed out with the LMG, about the end result I had figured on. Then he fired on the MMG in 6M5 and got a 2MC… I rolled a ‘2’. Sadly, these are Italians, and they ended up Disrupting (no one to surrender to). And then he Pinned the leader, and broke the squad manning the other MMG. The good news was that on two shots at the L3s, he hit but failed to penetrate.

There was only minimal maneuver with three of his leaders using AM during his movement. And then things finally went right for me. A shot at 6J7 Pinned the squad there, and a subsequent one broke his 9-1. He was also obviously starting to push his way toward the 17P2 victory building now that there was no leader in the way, and half my squads were broken. This is what I’d been shifting around to guard against, and fire from 6L8 broke, ELRed and wounded his other 9-1, and the squad ELRed, which broke him to a pair of HS. Fire from adjacent 17L0 eliminated one HS on a double-break, and the other… went berserk. (Patch thought it was a surrender at first, but he was using the Italian mods, because they are technically Italian, but there’s no SSR saying that, so they really act like Allied Minors. Would have had a huge effect on the end of the game.)

With the ejection from 6K8, it was obvious I’d never take that building. With how shattered my forces were, it was obvious I’d have a very rough time taking two buildings to win that way. It’d be hard enough to take one to keep Patch from winning on that clause. But that was possible, and now I was only one CVP away from Patch’s total. There was a very real chance.

Situation, Republican Turn 4.

With my remaining leaders out of position, I only had the MMC self-rally and a single attempt on a conscript HS for rally. Both failed. I had originally intended to prep fire with one of the L3s, but I forgot about it when the time came. I also planned to move one leader and a squad into position to take control of the 6M5 MMG away from the Disrupted squad there, but forgot that too and moved the leader to the wrong place.

My plan for the turn hinged on VBM-freezing 6K4 so that I could attempt to get up to it and assault the building, giving me two of the four victory buildings and forcing a win based on CVP. With the score currently at 7-8 in Patch’s favor, I’d still loose, but I figured there was a good chance that I’d eliminate his berserk HS next turn, and aside from that, all I’d have to do is manage an even casualty count. So, the L3 in K6 managed non-platoon movement and headed for 6K4, taking three LMG shots to the rear on the way, two hit, but still no penetration. He did break one of the two squads moving up to K4, and in DF the berserk HS broke the squad in 6M10, unhinging that flank even more and spoiling my plan to have them take care of the ‘zerkies when they charged with help from 6M8.

And naturally the big plan backfired when I advanced into 6K4, narrowly avoided being ambushed, and he still killed me with the first attack which he got because of the L3 being present. 7-10, and I still only have one building.

Situation, Nationalist Turn 4.

Republican Turn 4
“I get the 6K1 HS back in rally, and Rindis gloms onto his LMG in 6K8.”

“I get one of the biggest Prep Fires in the game against 6J8, and break both squads there. Lots of MG fire against 6K6 for no effect, but I do break and Disrupt the MMG squad in 6M5h1 and the MMG squad in 6N1h1 as well. Sadly the loss of the overwatching MMGs don’t offer any big movement opportunities as I lack much else to move. I probably should have sent 6J1 towards 6J3, but instead shuffle the units there into new positions.”

“I try a push down the center woods, but get hammered. Rindis ELRs and wounds my leader, and ELRs the squad. Subsequent fire kills one HS, and sends the other HS berserk. (I realize they’re acting as Allied Minors, but still.. has anyone ever seen a berserk Italian before?) Rindis also breaks the 9-1 in 6J7, and since I rout first, I can’t flee to the safety of 6J8. Since I can’t reach woods/building this turn, I should have declared 6I9 as my target, but goof and head to 6H10 instead.”

“I’m now rather worried about a push towards 6K4, so I cluster my units into 6K2 for the leader directed FG, with the goal of high residual FP in shots against likely targets in 6L4 and 6L5 (looks to clear the hedge nicely, and Rindis may not notice). My 2-2-7 heads to 6M1 for some flanking cover.”

“Oog. Things went wrong wrong wrong this turn. Though we both possess decent forces, we’re both out of position and not in a decent tactical position to exploit each other’s weaknesses. I think this game is going towards whoever gets organized.”

Nationalist Turn 4
“Rindis makes his move this turn. An L3 passes his TC and heads to K4 for a VBM freeze. I try a Reaction Fire CC and fail, then realize it would have been better to see if the vehicle spends a Stop MP first before committing. I sent a great deal of lead his way, but even with the rear target facing, hitting and killing a +2 size vehicle ain’t easy. There’s a lot of reshuffling in the Chateau, and a squad moves up to K5 for the inevitable advance into CC. I do nail one squad in the L5 road, showing the advantages o holding the 6J8 building (we should call this outbuilding what it is — the Mother In-law’s House). In the center, I get really luky and the Berserk HS breaks the squad in 6M10. Rindis does also pull out of L8 ,moving to M8. That’s a nice spot for him, providing good cover from 6J8, and allowing a FL up to 6H5 to interdict an attempt to reinforce 6K4. Sadly, all this movement has one big benefit for Rindis: I have no one left to fire on the three broken units in OG 6N6, and they escape to the safety of 6N5.”

“I fail to Ambush Rindis in 6K4, but in a first for a long time, I kill the intruding 3-4-6 on the first try, and the vehicle can’t attack back as he lacks a CMG. For now, 6K4 remains mine. Think I’ll put up some curtains.”

“I thought Rindis made some good moves this turn, but lost to the dice. I don’t know why he didn’t move the second L3 after forgetting to fire it. L6 provides some better angles, but does open him up to more return MG fire. Changing CA to H7:L7 would also make it harder for me to assault him by sneaking into L7. Backing into L5 is also an option, making any close assault on the vehicle require entering OG, and is hard cover against a MG firelane should Rindis make a rush for buildings. Hmm. If only it had a gun.”

“Losing M10 was a huge loss. Now there’s only a single squad in 17O1 to cover the fourth building. With the loss of 6K4 on the horizon, taking that building for a victory edge is attractive, but I have few forces with which to do it. That’s going to be tough. Not next turn, but maybe on the last turn.”

Patch got his 9-1 back in his rally, even with DM. At least it was horribly out of position at that point. I recovered a MMG and the squad in 6O4 rallied. However, none of the three and a half broken squads piled with my 9-1 in N5 rallied. Patch made two big shots in Prep, but all he did was malfunction a LMG.

The ‘zerkies charged 6M8 and I couldn’t get better than a 2MC which didn’t phase them at all. Other than that, he moved a squad up to 6L8, and assembled a new force in 6K10 to go after 17P2. Thankfully, it missed recovering a LMG, but would be unlikely to last. In DFPh, the L3 in 6L6 malfed its CMG. I did, however, break a squad in 6J7 and pinned the squad in 6L8, which would keep it from interfering in the upcoming CC. However, fire into 6M8 still ended up breaking my squad.

This caused a fair bit of head scratching. I couldn’t rout away without taking Interdiction from the Berserk unit. But, I don’t have to surrender to ‘zerkies. But, there was another unit ADJACENT that wasn’t berserk. Since the ‘zerkie can’t force a surrender, and the unit that can, can’t Interdict, I’m not sure that it’s really intended for that situation to force FtR, but by the letter of how it’s written, that’s what happens. So, another squad gone. 7-12 without even getting to CC.

He couldn’t take the the L3 in 6K4 out in CC.

Situation, Republican turn 5.

All I could get back in my rally was a conscript squad in 6N5. The BMG in L6 refused to unjam, while Patch got his LMG and wounded 8-1 back. I prepped with the two upper-story MGs that were manned, but didn’t get any result. Movement was generally just rearranging what forces I had. I tried to pull 6K4 out of close combat with Patch’s squad, but he failed his non-Platoon Movement TC. Worse, Patch stunned him in DFPh, and then broke the squad manning the 6N3h1 MMG. Having just gotten N6 non-overstacked, I had to make it overstacked again as they routed away. The plan to send a leader and squad into M5 to take the MMG from the disrupted squad there was scrapped in favor of sending the squad to get the other MMG while the leader hoped he could rally the M5 squad.

Patch still couldn’t kill the L3 in CC at least.

Situation, Nationalist turn 5.

Republican Turn 5
“In a surprise result, my 9-1 came back even though under DM. Rindis rallies one squad and reclaims an MMG, but the overstacked brokies in 6N5 fail to rally. I would love to get fire into that hex to continue the DM and take advantage of the -1 overstacking penalty, but it was not to be this turn.”

“In Prep Fire I tried to improve my ‘zerkie’s odds of surviving and find a way to reinforce 6K4, but was not to be. I fired on 6N3h1 with a 12(+3) to no effect, and failed to kill the L3 in 6L6 with the LMG in 6K8h1. On to movement.”

“As much as I would have liked to see the ‘zerkie charge down the woodline and clear a path to the final victory building, he must head to 6M8 instead. Rindis holds fire until I enter his hex for the TPBF opportunity, but my 10 ML saves the day. Elsewhere I move the MMG into 6J8 to move up to h1, so I can get a rear shot on the 6K4 bypass tank. I debate a run through the vineyards to get over to 6K4, but reject it. It’s close to the end, and there’s too much that can hit me. Likewise, I debate a run from 17J1 over towards 17P2, but decide against it for the same reason. I get the 9-1 and a squad in 6K10 but fail to grab the LMG there. I hope to maybe nail the 346 in 17O1, and maybe try a run for it on turn 6. I also send a squad to 6L8 to try and make the upcoming CC 2:1, but Rindis Pins me there. He also malfunctions the CMG on a second tank in 6L6, and breaks a squad in J7 that I had intended to move up to J6.”

“Despite the Pin, I do succeed in breaking the 346 in 3M8, which lead to an interesting FtR puzzle. His only rout path is to M6 or O7, which required entering M7 or N7. However, once he leaves the hex, those will be OG to M8 who can interdict, so they can’t enter those hexes. Since the berserk unit can’t capture, the 346 dies for FtR. Since my berserk unit hasn’t killed anyone yet, he’s still berserk as we head towards the end game. I shuffle a unit upstairs in 6K2 in Advance, and try to get into a better spot to interdict the coming 6K4 rush. Sadly, 6K4 fails to kill the annoying L3.”

“Nothing really developed this turn, other than my getting two MGs with a LOS to the rear of the L3 in 6K4. The death of a 346 was nice, and I’ve completed some necessary reshuffling, but I have too little FP facing the N1/K6 road if he rushes this turn. I’m annoyed by the loss of J7, but I hope he will rally soon as I managed to get him with the 8-1, and that hex is out of everyone’s LOS.”

Nationalist Turn 5
“A very quiet turn for all. I get back my wounded 8-1 (yay) and a malfunctioned LMG, and Rindis only gets back one squad in 6N5. A smattering of Prep is to be had to no effect, and Rindis simply reshuffles movement in preparation for the end game. Rindis does try to vacate K4 but fails, and I Stun him on a rear shot from the MMG. Good news was also had when I broke the MMG squad in 6N3h1 with the FG in 6K2.”

“Lesse… CCV is 5, -1 for Ambush, -1 for no manned/functioning MG, and I still can’t kill that damn L3. I don’t’ think I could kill a Partisan HS with an 838.”

“6L6 didn’t move, which surprised me a little. I pounded the daylights out of it with the LMGs, but couldn’t kill it. I think he’s hoping to repair the BMG and try to interdict units, but that seems like long odds and he’d be better off backing up to L5 (or better yet L4). Then he’d have the AFV (or a wreck) for cover when he tries to take 6K4.”

Patch lost his malfunctioned LMG in rally, while getting his only broken unit back. The BMG failed to repair, I failed to recover the MMG in 6N3h1, one squad rallied in 6N5, while a second Disrupted on a HoB roll (Original DR ’12’…). Patch Preped with three stacks, pinning a squad, DMing 6M5 again, and hitting, but failing to penetrate the L3 in 6L6.

The Berserk HS charged the L3, and took a 12 -2 without flinching (rolled a ’11’ to get a NMC). Beyond that, just some reshuffling, and no effective fire attacks (I had a Final Fire on 6L6 that Cowered down to a NMC on a ‘2’ thanks to a Conscript squad in the mix). In CC, the only effect was a ’12’ cost Patch a HS in 6K4 due to Small Arms Fire.

Situation, Republican turn 6.

This put us into the final player turn, with Patch holding 3 of the 4 victory buildings and a 8-12 lead. I wasn’t sure at the time if we hadn’t both updated the CVP count during the previous session (turns out not to have been so), but it was just possible to pull out a win if I could avoid taking any CVP, capture the HS in 6L6 and K4 and take K4. The other chance was to take 6K4 and K2, but it would be physically impossible to take Control of that building in one turn.

Rally was good and bad. I got a squad back on self-rally in 6P9… with a ‘3’. Almost got the leader and a chance to try for the other squad as well. 6N5 also rallied the remaining 2.5 squads (including the one that disrupted before). And… 6L6 permanently broke the BMG, recalling my second L3 on the last turn of the game.

Both stories of 6L3 fired as a group, and got a 1MC on 6K2h0 which broke the Commissar, both squads and reduced one of them. 9-12. I marked the Conscripts in M6 for Op Fire; they’d be advancing into CC with the ‘zerkie, while the squad upstairs moved down to join them.

For movement, I lead off with the Recalled L3, which Patch later pointed out as a mistake (was thinking Recall would have to go first and didn’t look it up—I could have used the cover). I moved P9 up to restrict Final Fire, but got scared of a lucky point blank shot after declaring CX. Basically, as I moved up, I realized that a break would lead to elim for FtR, which I could not afford. I moved out a HS, he set up a FL and broke them with further fire. The first squad I sent out Pinned under fire from L1. The second squad activated the Sniper on Resid—I thought that was going to be the game right there, but it just took out my Sniper. The last squad in N6 and the leader went, to get zapped by a K/1 on the FL. The squad reduced and pinned, and then the 9-1 disrupted on a HoB roll. 9-13. Finally, I moved the squad from M6h1, and Patch finally got the lucky roll he needed: KIA.

At 9-15 and not much intact, there was no way to make it work.

Situation, Nationalist turn 6.

Republican Turn 6
“I lose an LMG that broke last turn, rally the freshly broken squad, and Rindis fails to repair the BMG. If I can get into CC, that’s another -1 for me!”

“6K2 gang preps on 6N3h1 to no effect, and 6L10 fires on 17O2 for a Pin. I wanted to break him, but really, with no one left to take advantage of the Pin, there’s just no way I can take 17P2. That building is safely in Rindis’ hands. I fire a lot at the L3 in 6K4, but just can’t kill that dang tankette. What I wouldn’t give for an ATR about now.”

“My zerkie charges the L3 in 6L6 and survives all defensive fire. These are quite the Italians under my command. 6L1, 6K7, and 6L8 skulk into the safety of the stone building. I realized too late the advantage of a fire lane from 6K6 up to 6O1 so I can’t get the MMG over there anymore, but I can still shuffle over a LMG from 6K8h0 in Advance. At this point its all about how much fire I can get on units heading to 6K4. a second 437 goes to 6L7 so I don’t double up in 6K7. Sadly, the berserk HS fails to kill the tankette, and the squad in 6K4 finds the pointy end of that tankette and CRs to a HS.”

Nationalist Turn 6
“End game. Rindis has a fantastic Rally phase when he brings back 3.5 units, but it is countered when he loses the BMG. This bit of bad news is offset when 6N3 forms a FG and hammers 6K2h0, breaking my Commissar and both of his squads, one of whom CRs! I had huge plans for this hex, as they can see 6L5 as OG for 6(-2), and 6L3/L4 behind the hedge for 12(+0). Now there’s just the upstairs squad left. Thankfully I don’t need these units to defend a takeover of 6K2 as there’s no time, but if this had happened 2 turns ago I may have lost this building.”

“Lots of movement to be had, and every piece is critical. Rindis shuffles off the L3 first, which is a huge break for me. If it had moved last, it would have provided hard cover against the FL I plan to lay down, and 1FP FL needs every modifier it can get. As Rindis notes, he shuffles a HS out into the road, and my FL is declared out to N2, as far as it can go. I’m aiming for the 6ML units as much as I can, and I’m hoping to build broken units in stacks for 6J8h1 in Final Fire, when the MMG and 8-1 can perhaps grab some double breaks. Rindis gets close… very close… but too much goes down in movement and he concedes.”

“Interesting scenario. I’m finding I rather like the meeting engagement scenarios (Road to Wiltz is still my favorite of the ones Rindis and I have played). There’s much in this scenario that isn’t clear, but we got most of the bugs worked out in the end.”

“17P2 and 6N4 are the obvious first moves for the Nationalists. From there, I think he needs to go after 6K2 and 6K4. I think 6J8 is just too tough for him to take, as the Republicans are on that building so soon. 6N4, however, can isolate 6K2 and 6K4 be gaining LOS over the hedges and through the use of the tankettes. The Republicans certainly can make a go for 17P2, but there’s a lot of OG to cross for that option, and it may be too much of an investment. Even if the Republican forgoes 6K2 and 6K4 and goes for two buildings and the CVP win, I’m not certain he can hold 17P2 if he manages to take it. The MGs, though they qualify as anti-tank weapons, don’t work well in that regard and the 1PAATC is tough to take. The scenario seems to have board 6 as the main focus, with board 17 as a bit of a sideshow.”

“T’was fun, and hats off to Rindis once again for putting up a stiff fight. We’re doing Italians once again with DASL A11, Sicilian Midnight. Look for that AAR soon.”