January 28, 2006
The tanks began moving at dawn, storming into the town square of Sesena before the company of Moroccans hidden in the church were able to mount a proper attack upon them. The Moroccans were shot down as they charged towards the approaching tanks, their remanants eliminated by the tanks as they drove by. The 75mm gun on the other side of the town square managed to immobilise the HQ armoured car of the Russians before it too fell victim to short range machine gun fire. Thus, by the time the rain lifted (around 0930) and a heavy fog blanketed the battlefield, there appeared to be no opposition lying between the armour and the highway to the West. The only problem for the Republican, the infantry was still approaching Sesena.
Nationalist reinforcements dribbled onto the field over the next couple of hours, with morroccan cavalry skirting woods to the North of the Sesena road down which the russians were approaching. A company of CV 35s similarly skirted around woods to the South of the road, attempting to encircle the russians who were, by this time, engaging foreign legion elements who were seeking cover within those woods.
As midday passed, it became clear that Republican infantry had secured the town, but had not managed to advance west to the highway. Realising this, the T26s contented themselves with hunting down the last CVs, leaving one platoon stuck on the edge of the wood and two platoons a collection of smoking wrecks on the Western approach to Sesena.
The last hurrah of the day, however, went to the Morroccan mounted troops to the north of the highway. Two platoons of T26s peeled off of the highway to engage them with fire. The Morroccans charged home and engaged the tanks in close quarters combat. Over the final hour of battle, they managed to eliminate the two platoons.
The game concluded with the Republican occupying the road junction and main buildings of Sesena, with scattered nationalist reinforcements forming a thin but unbroken screen between them and the highway. Thus, as historically, the tanks had demonstrated their tactical worth and won a comprehensive local victory. The strategic goal of the operation, however, remained beyond their grasp as the Toldedo Madrid highway continued to flow with reinforcements heading towards the fascist front lines at the South of Madrid.
The only real variation to the rules as written was to allow more than one element in a unit to conduct a fire attack in a turn. (albeit, they will have a lot less bonuses). The one lack in the rules appears to be specificity to tanks limited visibility. Otherwise, a good game.
The battalion level encounter took less than 2 ½ hours to play. And, despite the final point total of 9 – 4 in the republican’s favour, it had its moments of high tension.
We are ready, I believe, to expand and start incorporating other players.
8 hours ago