For Whom The Dice Rolls In 6mm

‘For Whom The Dice Rolls’ are rules for Brigade or Divisional games in the Spanish Civil War. Each base is half a company. The unit of manoeuvre is a battalion; that might be 8 bases although part of a unit can be split off from the main body at some cost of retaining control. The rules examples use 15mm figures in bases of 3 with an additional command base for infantry units. The command base is purely used to govern how spread out a unit is and could be ignored.

Your author has 15mm WW2 French, Russian and Finnish models based for Flames of War which could see service here for the Republic but lacks a suitable Nationalist force. To try out the system and see how many or few units are needed for a workable game Irregular 6mm strips will be used. A problem that any army built for Bolt Action, Chain of Command or other 1:1 systems will have is a lack of support weapons. Larger guns and all aircraft can be held off-board but at Brigade level assets such as HMGs, mortars and smaller guns would be needed in larger numbers. At full strength one or two models per battalion; depending on the basing used.

The 6mm models here do have just enough support assets having been built up for similar scaled rules in the 1990s. The SCW Irregular 6mms are not their best in this scale. They are cast as strips of 3 on thick bases which would take significant effort to remove and re-base. The SCW range is reasonably comprehensive and models from their WW1 and WW2 range can expand it. Unfortunately the WW2 infantry are cast 4 not 3 to a base making for some awkward re-basing to put them back into use. The models look OK from a distance, close up details are unclear. Guns are the best models but the limbers are blocky. Trucks are acceptable but the tanks less so. As an alternative Baccus do WW1 in 6mm, at this scale many of the models could be used for the SCW.

6mm works best with larger numbers of figures on base sizes approximating those used at 15mm or 28mm. It does have the advantage of getting a game in on a limited space. The relative size taken up by markers is greater than at larger scales. The dice and tokens here would easily fit on single 15mm or 28mm half-company bases. The best plan for painting 6mms is to use bright colours and accent select details such as tassles, berets and flesh areas. Any attempt to show real detail requires painting on what is not there and would not be seen from more than a short distance away. The models shown here are not a particularly good example of this painting. To be fair the camera close ups are much more detailed than would usually be seen in gaming.

The rules include tables of organisation and suggest brigade level games. There are no points values and no set game scenarios. This does make it hard to determine what might be a balanced, achievable game. The on-line resource pack includes a couple of scenarios. One seems relatively involved and the other requires Italians, which your author does not possess. To try out the system the double or breakthrough board from the Commands and Colors game Memoir ’44 will be used. The hexes will be treated as equivalent to 4″ across in the rules with models set to the edges or mid lines of hexes. That will give an equivalent to a gaming table of 4′ 6″ by 5′ 8″ plus the 6mm figures in 2cm strips will take up a little less space in proportion than the 3cm recommended bases.

We have hills, fields, a river and a small town. There are road and rail tiles in some of the expansions to Memoir ’44 but these have been left in their boxes. To see what happens 3 Bandaras of La Legion and 2 of Regulares went up against 5 battalions of Popular Army. The Popular army were deployed in line and occupying the town. The Legion were shot flat, no one got into close combat. Keeping the Nationalists the same but downgrading the Republicans to 4 larger units with less machine guns saw La Legion destroying 1 battalion of Popular Army but at horrific cost and being unable to hold against the developing counter-attack. It had been hoped that the superior command of La Legion would enable them to concentrate on part of the Republic line but they were stalled by heavy casualties and the Republic was able to transfer troops and plug the line.

The consequence of the card activation system deserves some debate. A unit can activate up to 3 times in a turn spending a card each time. A force will draw at least 1 card per unit, plus 2-6 based on the army quality and another 1D6 from a dice roll. Smaller forces will receive proportionally more cards from the quality and random factors. The very best troops such as La Legion can operate on any card suit. Most troops act on 2-3 out of the 4 suits only. So a proportion of the drawn cards are unlikely to be of use. Even for La Legion there are unlikely to be enough cards on hand to activate every unit 3 times. Units take hits which are allocated to stands when the unit is activated or it pays 2 cards of the same suit to reorganise. Reorganisation is a magic bullet that should be used whenever possible. Hits are halved, pins and disorder removed. The result is that a unit under heavy fire (many unallocated hits) will want to spend 2 of its 3 possible activations to reorganise. Any nearby enemy will continue to pump in more hits at a rate of 1 card per shooting. Unless there is some way to take the pressure off the unit will sink into a cycle of mounting losses. Although losses are allocated to stands and morale rolled for when a unit is activated there are some cases when a unit is obviously done for but technically still on the table. At its simplest the unit has hits which if halved and allocated are enough to wipe out all the unit’s stands. Alternatively the unit would be allocated enough hits when halved to ensure that it cannot pass the resulting morale test even on the best possble die roll. The simple solution is to remove such units at the end of a game turn.

Having got some idea of how the rules pan out and a strong lesson in the importance of heavy machine guns here follows an attempt at a more varied game. To the front of the ‘photo op’ we have 6 battalions of Republicans. 4 of regulars and 2 of militia recently co-opted into the Popular Army and not too happy about it. Behind are 8 battalions of Nationalists, 2 being Carlist and a group of 4 batteries of artillery. All the Nationalist Peninsular Army units have 2 bases of machine guns but the Carlists and Popular Army only have 1 machine gun base per battalion. The Nationalists also have 2 one-use off table assets, medium bombers and heavy artillery. Some of these machine gun bases are probably mortar models but in 6mm a model with a machine gun barrel or mortar tube over their shoulder looks much the same. Command bases are not being used. The bases with flags are standard infantry.

The Republic’s troops line up and hope for the best. The ex-militia battalions hold the rear. The Nationalists manage to draw enough of the right sort of cards to get all their units on the table. All the infantry are in skirmish order for relatively quick movement and to minimise losses. One battalion has taken some hits from long range machine gun fire. The Nationalists are looking to break through across the river, taking or isolating the town.

The Nationalist air and off table barrage comes in but with only limited effect. The Nationalists also bombard the Popular Army in the town and the general advance approaches the Battalions lining the river. Blue markers are hits allocated to bases. Yellow dice are unallocated hits to Batallions. The yellow die on the explosion is bombardment hits. The unit at the end of the river has built up a mass (9) of unallocated hits and is pinned for good measure. This is a consequence of any unit at the edge of the game board having a virtual exposed flank. All units are moving in short bursts and assumed to be halted at any time. Where units were kept moving green markers (similar to the blue) were used. Red markers are for pinned or other poor status units.

The Nationalists are across. A Battalion of Popular Army and both Battalions of Carlists are both out of the game. In the top of the field a Popular Army Battalion has pulled back to shorten the line.

The Nationalists push on taking more losses, the Republic pull back their exposed flank by the town. The game ended with the the Republic having the initiative and charging out of their defenses at 2 Nationalist Battalions dragging large numbers of unallocated losses. The allocation of losses caused both Battalions to fail morale. This required 5 consecutive cards of the same suit, attack and then pull back for 1 unit; attack, pull back and reform into firing line for the other. All activations were resolved separately. If the Nationalists had the initiative they could have reorganised the 2 wobbly units for 4 cards of the same suit. With 4 Battalions out of 8 off for an early bath the Nationalists make a flank assualt at the Republicans lining the fields by the town but that too is repulsed. A final tally of 5 Nationalist units routed or replulsed to 2 Republican routs.

In theory a 3:1 advantage should allow an attack to succeed. In gaming we do not want pre-ordained failure nor a walkover. With 8 Battalions against 6 and the hope that the artillery and off-table assets could neutralise 2 defenders a 2:1 ratio might have been hoped for. The better Nationalist morale and greater number of machine guns would also be expected to give an edge. The off-table support was not a game changer, single use assets can be relatively ineffective. Multiple instances of each asset would offset this. The artillery did its job but was only silencing 1 target at a time. With a bit of luck a single battery could shell 1 target, stop shelling and then shell another with 3 consecutive cards. This does depend on the cards being available and the rounds zeroing in on the first shots. Artillery will pin but its effect will vary. In this game the Nationalist guns shelled the town, earned 12 blast markers but only inflicted 1 hit. Shelling for more than 1 activation is needed to build up the bast markers under the target. The machine guns kept up their reputation as good value. They have a longer range and better firepower than infantry stands. It made sense to leave the machine guns behind giving covering fire as the infantry advanced. This did lead to isolated machine gun stands if the allocated infantry is subsequently destroyed.

The game size seemed about right for an evening’s play and limited knowledge of the rules. ‘For Whom the Dice Rolls’ does include vehicle rules but these were not used. The board seemed crowded, the defender could cover almost all of it as a single line. At this scale any terrain is a generic area not an individual feature. Where a unit spread over more than 1 feature the cover bonus for the most open was used. It would be reasonable to allow a unit to count as in firing line if in more than 1 parallel line at the cost of only being able to shoot from the front line. Built up areas need defining as to how many bases can shoot or melee. An entire company could fit in a good sized house. This would be fine for a cocktail party but in combat how many rifles could be brought to bear? If packed too tight losses would be increased unless we allow a unit to occupy deep bunkers. Trenches and deep bunkers were a feature of some Spanish Civil War battles but these would need to be scenario specific rules.

Bolt Action Spanish Civil War: Regulares vs Brigadista

Following on from a Chain of Command outing for the Regulares they move onto Bolt Action.  The aim was to keep the forces and scenario as similar as possible.  1,000 point Bolt Action forces are, however, slightly larger than Chain of Command.  Neither are there any main rule book scenarios played along the table width.  Being short of enough Regulares figures they will now be supported by some brave soldatos from La Legion.

There are no Warlord lists for the Spanish Civil War but unofficial lists do exist including a well produced Spanish campaign book.  In this case the Spanish book was used as a starting point but the special rules here are those of the French (Nationalist) and Italian (Government) official lists in the probably optimistic hope that these army rule sets are balanced.

For the French

  • If the 1st die drawn is French the opponent may force a re-draw.  We will use this to reflect the caution and planning of Franco.  Better to eliminate the enemy in the field than have to sort it all out later.
  • A free medium or light artillery piece.  It would be folly not to take the medium.  This reflects a Nationalist superiority in guns or at least their ability to supply them with suitable ammunition.
  • If fielding 3 or more conscript infantry squads a 4th may be fielded for free.  In geographical terms the Republic begin the war with the main population centres and industry.  They should have had more men available.  In reality Franco gained the manpower and material.  We see the additional troops as citizens who have joined the Falange units as a life saver, proof of their loyalty and who now find themselves on the front line.

For the Italians

  • In an attack and defense battle if the Italians are not the defender they can roll again to be the defender.  The Republic was in general on the defense.  Only half the main book battles are attack and defense so if scenarios are randomly rolled this option is not always going to show up.
    • Defending Italians gain 1D3 fortified positions.
    • Defending hidden units may be on Ambush.
    • When defending the attacker cannot run on turn 1.   This is particularly nasty for artillery units which can only move (even unlimbering moves) on a run.
  • If the Italians are 3 up on lost order dice all their units are up 2 on their basic morale.  If 3 down they are down 2 on basic morale.
  • Italians can re-roll on the artillery or smoke barrage table.  To make use of this they need a forward artillery observer at 100 points so it is not as tasty as might first appear.
  • The Brigadista infantry squads might take the non-testati rule.  They might go up to stubborn or down to shirkers.  Few of the Brigadistas had seen combat before the war and their initial equipment was haphazard and not always fit for purpose.  This rule will reflect their earlier combat encounters.

This is a good source on uniforms and potted biographies of the XV International Brigade.  It shows how there is considerable variety in equipment even towards the end of the war.

En la Plaza de mi Pueblo:  The peaceful pueblo before the battle.  Tracked vehicles can pass through hedges but not walls or buildings.  The river bank provides soft cover but only to infantry.

The following lists were used:

Brigadista Africanista
HQ (2nd reg + 1) 60 HQ (2nd reg + 1) 60
10 reg + LMG 140 6 vet stubborn LMG 132
10 reg + LMG 140 8 vet stubborn 112
10 reg + LMG 140 12 reg tough+ LMG 152
10 reg + LMG 140 12 reg tough 132
10 reg 100 12 reg tough 132
Sniper 50 Med Art + spotter 85
T26 105 PzI 70
UNL35 75 Bilbao 65
Lt Art 50 Mortar +spotter 60
Med Art 0
1000 992
10 dice 11 dice

The Brigadista force.

The Nationalist line up; guns are 155mm pieces but are standing in as medium artillery.

Defender deployment after the pre-game bombardment. A handful of pins and 1 figure removed but the Republican vehicles and light gun had been kept off table just in case.

Unable to run the Nationalist advance is cautious on turn 1 except for a Legion LMG section who advanced inside the Bilbao armoured car and deploy into the Church courtyard.

Turn 2 sees the T26 come on and block the bridge. 1 Nationalist gun comes on the other fails it’s entry morale.

Turn 2, the Republican sniper is mortared out of game. The Nationalist armour dodges their Republican counterparts.

Turn 3 another good HE roll sees a Republican squad mashed but still in-play. The T26 gets a clear shot on the Bilbao but misses. Not wanting to be left out the Republican gun has a go and also misses. The UNL35 ties up a squad of Regulares by the Church. The Nationalist infantry is closing in.

Turn 4 and more Republican losses put them 3 dice down and with all base morale at -2 it becomes almost impossible to do anything bar rally. On the bright side the remains of the Legion LMG squad is assaulted and wiped out.

Turn 5 sees the Nationalist firmly in control of 1 objective but still some way from getting infantry onto a 2nd.   The Republic could block off the central objective with their vehicles making the predicted result a draw but with the Nationalists having lost 1 unit to the Republic’s 4 and the Republic morale going down the tubes.

The Nationalist success is at least in part due to the luck of their medium artillery and mortar all of which achieved rounds on target with good aiming dice rolls.  To pull off a win they would have needed to change targets and take out the T26 which could block off any 1 objective from the Nationalist infantry (excepting a very risky tank assault)

The Republican defensive bunkers were of little use against all that artillery as they offer no protection against indirect fire.  The buildings were also potential shell traps.  Artillery is not always to be relied on as the crew are vulnerable, the mortars can be sniped out with 1 shot.  On average it should take 3 turns to hit anything by indirect fire but mobile units will simply move out of the way.  An alternative set of special rules is on the Wargaming3D site.  Together with the faction special rules the Republic may field a free 4th Inexperienced squad (80 points at 10 men) if they pay for 3 Inexperienced squads.  The Nationalist may field a light anti-tank gun or light autocannon for free (a saving of 50 points).

Chain of Command España – Regulares

Regulares are the Moorish regular troops that were employed by the Nationalists in the Spanish Civil War.  North Star, Empress and Templar produce suitable figures in 28mm.  For the command and support elements European troops would be used.

North Star sell their Regulares in sets of 10 or 30 mixed figures. The quality is not up to Empresss standards but they are not too shabby and a good deal cheaper. Of the set of 30 3 came with LMGs. The weapon model is unclear but it seems to be a Hotchkiss 1922.  A browse of this Spanish site shows the possibilities available:

The modelling is not dissimilar to a rifle model and it is not much work to carve off the front of the LMG and glue on the front of a rifle. An advantage is that on the table the LMGs can be used as rifles. The flip side is that if used as LMGs one needs to look pretty close to pick them out. The Hotchkiss can be magazine or belt fed so an ammo belt around the shoulders might do the trick.

Empress sell a model with a LMG but in the same pack as their tank hunter team.  For Chain of Command a Regulares force needs 0-2 LMGs. In short, the North Star packing has too many LMGs and Empress will require 2 separate packs of 4 to supply the 2 LMGs.

About half of the North Star Regulares come with fez and half with turban which makes separating the game squads easy.  It is not clear if the turban should be wrapped around a fez.  Looking at the Regulares on campaign uniform guidelines are loose.


These stills from ‘Defenders of the Faith’ show the variation in Regulares campaign clothing.  One of the figures in the still above does seem to be wearing a turban wrapped around his fez.  The film is an original colour print not colourised although some colour fading is evident.


Here we see a Chain of Command force of 2 sections of Regulares with 8 support points.  A Pz I (3 points), Pak 36 (3 points) and a pre-game barrage (2 points).

The Regulares are up against a Brigadista force.  This has spent 5 points of support on a T26 (3 points) and 2 LMGs (1 each).  There should be another 4 soldiers and a Junior Leader for the mortar squad.  No mortar as that is a separate support option but the troops were left in the box giving the Regulares a slight game advantage.

The game is scenario 6 from the main rul ebook which has the attacker moving up along the length of the table to take a fixed objective close to the defender’s edge.

This is the set up from the Republican side after the patrol phase .  There are 3 Republican jump off points each shown by a civilian vehicle and a 4th by the structure in the square.  Doubtless this is the base of a religious monument that the Godless Rojos have torn down.  We can assume that the village continues off-table behind the Republican lines but if the Nationalists get as far as the cross base they will dominate the area and force the Republic to withdraw.  A hedge has been knocked off kilter at the bottom of the image but it will magically move back later.

The Nationalist has 3 lorries to represent jump off points, all tight along the river’s edge.

There seems little point in holding back on the attack so the Regulares get their sections down as soon as possible.  These big Spanish units can take some losses but also get in each other’s way restricting their potential firepower.  The pre-game barrage should have helped the Nationalists as all Republican units coming onto the board would have to roll to come on.  The 1st 2 Republican units passed their rolls then 3 6s came up on the initiative dice ending the turn and the effect of the barrage.

A large chunk of the game saw little movement and a smattering of ineffective shooting.  Most units were gone to ground in soft cover making them act as in hard cover.  So being regular a 4-6 is needed to hit followed by a 6 to kill or a 5 to shock but with everyone being aggressive the 1st point of shock is ignored.  The key interaction was between the Pz I, Pak 36 and T26.  If the Pak 36 was taken out then nothing on the Nationalist side could touch the T26.  On the other hand only the T26 could affect the PzI (the Brigadists LMGs do have a very slight chance). The tanks shuffled from side to side of the table as best they could.  The Pak was well positioned to cover the centre ground.  The Nationalist dedicated a Senior Leader to maximise the chance of activating the gun and of removing any shock on it.  A good number of shots were exchanged, some hit and fewer still had any effect.  The Pz I picked up 2 shock but managed to speed off and later recover the shock.  The Pak finally got 2 consecutive hits on the T26, wounding its commander and inflicting enough shock for the crew to bug out.

With the T26 danger gone the Regulares gave up on exchanging pot shots and slid past the Government positions to head for the Republic jump off points to the rear.  So far the Brigadistas had kept these safe by using command points to move them back.  For a while the Regulares are exposed as they creep past the Brigadista positions but it will soon be a case of the Government troops having to assault them or lose the game.  Although the forces are about equal in numbers the Regulares are better at moving in cover and are better commanded.  The Government do not have enough boots on the ground to defend in depth.

The Regulares gain the main objective and spend a command point to end the turn and capture it.

The Regulares shuffle forward to hold the cross objective and take the nearby Republican jump off with the same section. The Republicans shuffle troops to try to hold them off. Their only hope is to take back the cross base. A turn end removes the green lorry jump off further lowering Republican morale. Several rounds of firefight ensue but the Republic takes the worst and eventually the Regulares risk going in.

The Regulares have 2 sections close enough to charge in but can only activate 1 at a time. The Brigadistas are badly beaten. 1 man is left in each of the 2 surviving squads, the junior leader is only lightly wounded. Also knee deep in shock the squads break. Brigadistas don’t break but it seems logical that their enforced retirement would have the same effect as breaking. To egg the custard the Regulares play a chain of command point to end the turn and remove the blue lorry jump off point that they now control. With Brigadista morale at 0 the Regulares gain the day. As a bonus the T26 was abandoned not destroyed so will be fighting for Franco in the future.

Spanish Civil War Improvised Armour – Tiznaos

Tiznaos (note that a tiznao is also a sort of fish stew) are the various armoured lorries of the Spanish Civil War.  Contemporary photographs illustrate a range of models with designs ranging from from entirely haphazard to streamlined planning.  The slogans illustrate that the vast majority belong to the Republic.  The majority of builds are unique and relying on the number of different models shown in photographs there must have been several dozen tiznao in use during the Spanish Civil War.  They have more of a role in the initial stages of the conflict with columns attempting to establish areas of control or in pacification actions behind the lines.  Their limited armour and mobility probably made them a liability to aircraft attack as the war intensified.  There is a scene in the Nationalist colour film Defenders of the Faith (about 48 minutes in) that shows a knocked out and burnt AAC-37 (with T26 turret, best guess based on lack of additional road wheels) or Ba6.  Nevertheless Bilbao armoured cars were still in service in Spain after the war.  The tiznao concept could be seen as the origins of the UNL35 and AAC-37 armoured cars; a mix of commercial chassis and Soviet armoured car design.  A column of UNL35s was amongst the Republican force that sought refuge in France as the war drew to a close.  These vehicles saw service in the French and later the German armies.

The film ‘Libertarias‘ illustrates a plausible use of a tiznao in street fighting; with mixed end results.  It does show the problem of getting a tiznao into combat.  On flat good roads it might make good going but with a road blocked, trenches and bridges blown moving the tiznao past an existing front line to exploit a breakthrough is not an easy task.

Vehiculos blindados de la guerra civil is a good starting point for details on tiznaos including a page hosting videos where some vehicles are shown in motion.  While the clips are original not reconstructions many are sourced from recent documentaries so the context of the use of the vehicles cannot be completely trusted.  Even contemporary newsreels would use stock footage if they could get away with it.  The key aspect is what can be deduced from the scene in which vehicles appear not any shots from immediately prior or afterwards?  Complete contemporary films are available on YouTube.  A good start is to search for ‘AGUILUCHOS DE LA FAI POR TIERRAS DE ARAGÓN’ one of a series of films by SUEP (Sindicato Único de Espectáculos Públicos).  In part 1 we see the Durruti column with a varied selection of transport including 2 civilian tractors (with the pair hitched up to pull a corporation bus off-road) and a tiznao.  The tiznao moves off-road under its own power and is parked perpendicular to the carriageway to protect the road.

For those with a modelling bent there are some card Tiznao plans that could be adapted or used ‘as is’.  This project attempted to re-size the card model around a Lledo truck.

It proved easier to start from scratch but salvage some of the cardboard outlines such as the doors.

Empress have a number of models in 28mm but tacking some card (or better still modelling clay painted as mattresses) to the sides and front of a Ledo truck would be a workable solution.

Wargaming3D is working up to be a ‘go to’ source for 3D printing images for gaming.  The difficulty is that these are images only and need access to a printer.  The images are not for commercial use so the people who deal in printed 3D models won’t print them up for you.  Your author had a spot of luck and convinced a fellow at a local club to run some off.

The Constructora field car is the recommended choice for first to print.  It is a beast of a model, bigger than most tanks.  The streamlined body shell is easy to clean up with the 3D ridges from printing scrubbing down to a gradual curve.  Gentle sanding with the dremel at low speed and a thin smoothing of liquid green stuff doing the job.  There were several real-world variants of this model.  Not all boast the gun turret but with the model being hollow this would not be easy to remove from the finished item.  Someone with knowledge of the printing files could probably remove it from the original.

Their tiznao is harder work to build up.  There is a chassis, platform and armoured load as 3 separate pieces as well as wheels and gun.  The platform needs shaving to get the load seated level and some decisions need to be made about what detail to shave off in an area of the model that will hardly be seen when it is assembled.

The Bilbao armoured car is not strictly a tiznao, having been commercially produced before the war.  The front of this model needs a fair bit of work to clear the area behind the front wheels.  The riveted construction is perfectly accurate but hinders shaving down the model to minimise 3D print ridges along the vehicle sides.  The front radiator grill might also be better ‘dug out’ but at a risk of damaging the grill itself.

Reiver are now part of Northumbrian Painting Service.  Their VBCW range has some vehicles that might do as tiznaos.  The ‘Tyneside armoured car’  is a big block of resin but easy to put together.  Stick the wheels on, add the gun and you are done.  The VBCW infantry are nice but notably smaller that Empress or Warlord.  They do, however, have some very nice carts and a limber at a very fair price.

There is no one Bolt Action interpretation for tiznaos.  In the Spanish language Bolt Action lists a Tiznao is treated like a FT17 with the option of 1 or more machine guns and the possibility of acting as a transport.  This interpretation is more than generous.  Wargaming 3D have point-outs for their models.  As a fall back treating the models as transport lorries with machine guns would work, ignoring their added armour.  Chain of Command has a reference for a range of tiznaos in the Espana book.  This is best used as a guide and the actual load out being based on each model.  In all cases the troop carrying capacity, even if overloaded in Chain of Command terms,  is much lower than could be carried in these vehicles.   An additional opportunity is to use the tiznao as a jump off point in Chain of Command or simply as a piece of terrain.  A poorly armoured box with limited exterior vision is probably not the best place to be when the going hots up.

Chain of Command 6mm

Scenario 3, ‘attack and defend’ featuring Carlists (attackers) and Brigadistas (defenders).  Although owning all that is needed to run this game in 28mm as well as enough Flames of War in 15mm to bodge the army lists (possibly Soviets vs Finns) I gave Chain of Command a whiz in 6mm.  This was partly to run through the rules again and partly to avoid the hassle of pulling out the 28mm models and terrain.  The figures here are Irregular 6mms based in the factory strips of 3s and 2s (support weapons) with foot singles as Junior and mounted as Senior leaders.  This basing was adequate for sections but poor for squad organisation.  Using tokens for individual losses and removing strips of 3 was the best that could be done.  In an actual game losses would be likely to be spread across a section rather than taken squad by squad.  The basing could not cope with this.

Carlist Senior Leader, infantry and jump off point.

Brigadista Junior Leader, mortar and jump off point.

All measurements were in cm so the 1.2 m square mat acted as 120″ or 10′ square.  The Carlists spent scenario points on a Panzer I, random air support and LMGs for their squads.  The random air support comes in at the end of every turn, its only a few shots but money well spent.  The Brigadistas took a 20mm autocanon and a mortar for 1 of their mortar squads (the other got left out of battle as I forgot about it).

Patrol markers moved forward as normal but with a great deal more space to shift around in.  Some markers went forwards then back again in an effort to constrict and lock down opposing markers.  Converting these to jump off points Irregular trucks have been used.  In the image below is a Carlist jump off point to the East of the village just in line with the Brigadista jump off point roughly at 12:00.  The game developed into a struggle for the village and its environs.  Not unreasonable for a Spanish Civil War setting.

Opposing jump off points were just over 6cm apart on either side of the village.  This seems legal as both were behind cover and out of sight of the other.  In gameplay terms this may not be wise as if one side but not the other gets the dice to deploy strongly around their jump off point then the opposition’s jump off point is at risk.  The Carlists found this out.  A rules error led to them deploying a single squad opposite a Brigadista section.  They were quickly outshot further increasing the Brigadista advantage in numbers prior to melee.

To the South of the village both sides duke it out amongst the crops.  The firepower advantage of the Carlist LMG will gradually tip the balance.  The conspicuous green jewels indicate losses.  Dice are being used to show shock but as both sides are aggressive and ignore the first point of shock not a lot of shocking is going on.

In the village the Brigadistas are through the houses, cut through the Carlists like ‘manteca’ and overrun the nearby jump off point.  Advantageous morale rolls see the Carlist morale drop twice from 9 to 5.

The Brigadistas see an advantage and rush on towards another Carlist jump off point to the East of the fields.  The Carlists use a command point and move it to safety.  If this had been lost it would probably have been curtains for the Carlists.  The Brigadista section behind the Western field is taking heavy losses.

The Carlists close in and finish them off.  The Brigadistas have deployed a 20mm cannon (note slightly oversized model).  It is more concerned with the Panzer I off camera that is gradually getting closer to the action than with the nearby Carlist infantry.

The Carlists still have the 2 squads and Junior Leader from the section wiped out earlier in the village.  These deploy and start a firefight with the remaining Brigadista section.   The other Carlist section charges the 20mm crew who bravely run away.  Brigadistas do not rout so the Carlists face the prospect of chasing them off the table.  The nearby Brigadista jump off point is moved to safety with a command point.

The panzer I finally comes into view although it has been taking the odd shot for a while.  It will threaten the Brigadista jump off point ahead.  One Carlist section sets off after the Brigadista gun crew and the jump off point behind.  There is only a mortar section between them and the final Brigadista jump off point to the North of the image below.

With few remaining infantry and 3 jump off points being threatened the Brigadistas call it a day.  They were outclassed in support points as they were the nominated defenders in this battle.  The initial agressive stance almost drove the Carlists off but at too high a cost on casualties: A microcosm of the governement strategy throughout much of the war.

The game worked well enough for patrol and deployment.  Less so for ranges and line of sight as the 6mm lads are too small to position precisely.  In some cases they may be facing the wrong way, it is hard too tell.  The 1.2 m square placing area was way too large although using the figure height as the ground scale it is not a massive area.  At 3mm to 1m the 1.2m would 1200*3 or 3.6km.  The figures would be better mounted as squads although this would require cutting and building up the bases. The height of the 6mm strips and the difficulty in separating models without leaving their feet (only) on the factory base makes basing these 6mms a job requiring metal cutters and a stack of basing putty/filler.  With roughly 2 strips to a base and a strip running at twice the price of a single 15mm from Irregular the cost saving by working in 6mm rather than 15mm is minimal (unless you already have the 6mm models).

Chain of Command – España

The brave Requetés take on the Godless Brigadistas in our first Chain of Command outing somewhere in the hills South of Granada but North of Malaga and Almería which remain in the hands of the Rojos. This is the patrol scenario with each side having only 1 support point.  The Requetés upgraded a Junior Leader to Senior and the Brigadistas took a mortar for one of their mortar teams.  The other team and indeed everybody else was stuck with rifles.

Among the rules mistakes we used 4 command dice per side instead of 5.  There are some actions tied to a turn end and with 4 command dice this never occurred.  3 or more 6s on the command dice roll are needed to trigger the turn end.  With 4 dice; needing exactly 3 6s would be 1/6*1/6*1/6*5/6 = 5/1296 , that ‘not 6’ could be the 1st, 2nd 3rd or 4th dice so there are 4 paths to success 20/1296 (.0015) .  An extra dice factors in another 5/6 for the dice not rolling a 6; 5/1296 * 5/6 = 25/7776 each ‘not 6’ could be in 1 of 5 positions but they cannot both be in the same position, using NCR we have 10 combinations of ordering 3 things from 5 so 250/7776 = 0.032.  These calculations do not include the odds of rolling 4 or 5 6’s nor of rolling enough 5’s to generate a command point and end the turn.  Short summary with 4 rather than 5 command dice we had no turn ends and no collecting enough 5s to buy the turn end or do any other fancy command point stuff.

On with the game, both players started their patrol markers on a long board edge but the patrol phase swerved the markers leading to Rojos in the West and Requetés to the East.  There is a Rojos jump off point hidden behind a hedge at about 12:00 on the image below.

The Rojos rolled a slew of 3s and used 3 junior leaders to deploy the bulk of his forces, 2 big blobs of infantry and a mortar squad.  The ‘mortarless’ squad having been broken up and distributed amongst the other infantry.  Only a senior leader and friend remained off board.  Chain of Command emphasises creeping up,keeping troops back and manipulating the jump off points.  In hindsight slamming it all down makes a lot of sense if you have the dice to do it.   The Requetés deploy cautiously and advance a squad towards the enemy mortar hoping to first get within its minimum range then destroy it and capture the jump off point.

Troops have to deploy within 6″ of friendly jump off points so the Rojos spent some time sorting themselves out into neat firing lines to avoid shooting through their own troops.  Green markers are shock.  Both sides are aggressive, ignoring the 1st shock result so shock was not a major factor in the game.

The Requetés run flat out towards the mortar,rolling miserably so do not get far and take a point of shock for their troubles.  The mortar should be a small 2-man job not this big model but no more suitable set was to hand.

In a similar miscalculation of force needed to get anything done the Rojos head for an empty Requeté jump off point only to see it spawn Requeté infantry who promptly shoot up the Rojos.

The Requetés head for the mortar but are taking losses and shock.  A junior leader heads off to encourage them on.

Things do not look good for the few Requetés left behind.

The Rojos charge in, take some losses but 2 squads (teams in España), already badly shot up, are wiped out and the jump off point is overrun.

The Requetés have to decide to reinforce failure by sending troops towards the lost jump off point or even the odds by rolling over the exposed Rojos jump off points to the North of the board.

The Rojos detach men to take out the exposed Junior Leader, another Requeté moral loss and they are now down to an almost useless 3 command dice (we possibly rolled on the wrong lines of the force morale table but the writing was definitely on the wall).

If the Requetés run troops to take over enemy jump off points they are going to pile up shock, even without being shot at.  The best they can hope to do is to use 2 Senior Leader actions, 1 to run a squad flat out and another to remove the resulting shock.  That all depends on at least one 4 on the remaining 3 command dice.

If enough command dice had been used the a game turn would have ended by now seeing the loss of the captured Requeté jump off point and their morale crashing out.  Brigadista morale had yet to drop as they do not break and no Rojos unit had been wiped out.

We forgot the Requeté special rule allowing rolls of 1 against them in cover to be re-rolled (taking cover not being a manly thing).  The Brigadistas keep running until rallied but the Requetés are liable to be removed from the game when broken.  The force morale of each side drops when bad things happen so you will be unlikely to fight on until the last man.  As breaking is a ‘bad thing’ this rule made it harder to inflict bad things on the Brigadistas.

A debriefing for Bolt Action readers.  Shooting has no maximum range but apart from the dice activation systems the mechanisms for infantry combat are much the same.  Shock has a lot in common with Bolt Action pins.  Enough shock and you are pinned which pretty much freezes a units firing and moving.  Only Leaders can remove shock.  Movement is based on a roll of 1 to 3 D6s and even moving D6 will halve a unit’s firepower so there will be somewhat less successful movement and shooting than in Bolt Action.

The 2 base forces here were fixed not selected from a points budget.  There are set unit sizes but individual models can be split off.  The problem with small units is that they swiftly accumulate shock equal to their unit size which pins them or double that which breaks them. In this game each side had 2 big section units plus some command and support.  When squads were split off from the sections they only continued to activate on a ‘1’ unless a Leader was sent off to get them, leaving the rest of the section hard to shift.  Although big infantry units do crop up in Bolt Action these full sections are 15 and 18 men so it would be a more competitive model in Bolt Action to field them as 2 units, 1 with the LMG when Regulars or the full 15 or 18 as Inexperienced.  The Chain of Command model assumes full sections but the possibility of whole sections missing in the platoon.  In Bolt Action squads are often under strength but there is an activation bonus if they are at full strength so the model would be more smaller squads for the same number of models.

To summarise Chain of Command is more of an experience, in a role play sort of way.  Bolt Action tends towards a numbers game but both are games and there is enough similarity in the two to borrow mechanisms from each other.

Bolt Action – Spanish Civil War – Requetés

Por Dios, La Patria, Los Fueros y el Rey.

Inspired by essentially finding a Brigadista Internacional army in the garage, it made some sense to round up some opposition.  As usual your author did minimal research sent off for the figures from Empress, had them painted and based within 2 weeks of pressing ‘pay now’ then did some more reading.  There are only 4 packs of Requetés in the Empress range which is spreading the figure variation pretty thin even with a Bolt Action army.  The line up below are all Empress.  They are all very smartly turned out so might be from later in the war but before the Requeté and Falangist army units were merged.

Adding an almost equal number of army types in gorillo hats pads out the range but more detailed investigation reveals that almost all Requetés would wear the red beret.  There are plenty of contemporary pictures on it is all in Spanish but easy to follow.  Be warned that it lays the party message on pretty thickly.  Only a handful of subjects sport gorillos.  These could be combat specialists, soldatos attached from other units or the odd example of someone preferring not to adopt the beret.  As the troops might provide their own beret (although the smarter examples are probably issued centrally) lack of stores can’t be blamed for a shortage of berets.  The gorillo with its tassel may look snazzy but is not the best protection from sun or cold; if a soldier is allowed the choice of headgear.   A reliable source of colours is the 1938 Nationalist film ‘Defenders of the Faith‘.  The version is one of the better resolution public domain prints but this is the Spanish version and significant colour fading is seen.  It is still a massive step up from back and white and the variety of colours can be seen in Nationalist and Republican forces.  There are no obvious Requeté images although the moors and International Brigade get a good showing.  Several subjects do, however, sport red berets.

As some consolation these guys just might be Requetés but could be attached peninsular infantry or even part of La Legion.  La Legion troops ought to be in a paler green and are allowed to sport beards and  shirts open at the collar but with the expansion of the original rebel forces equipment issue would have been stretched.

In some images  Requetés are seen to sport the chambergo, a military wide brimmed hat.  Helmets are perfectly feasible but only 4 of the Empress Nationalist infantry models sport helmets a bugle blower adds another option but he comes in the flag bearer pack.

These are Burns miniatures from Templar miniatures, including an LMG team which is not in the Empress line.  They are not up to the standard of Empress and when including postage are much the same price.  Given the choice Empress are the way to go although the Burns figures do provide some variety in poses.

The ‘spare no expense’ solution would be to buy separate helmet heads or to file down some gorillos, build up with green stuff and hope for the best.  Having tried out a couple of gorillo carve ups the result is middling at best. Here we have 2 converted Empress figures and a Burns Carlist.

The Nationalist artillery park includes a Pak36, 10.5cm IeFH18 and 82mm mortar.  The 10.5cm (a medium howitzer in Bolt Action) is modeled without its crew for possible use with early war Germans.

The Empress Carlists have no LMG. This base is from La Legion, the beards being the giveaway. Here they pose with some flag bearers and a Holy Icon.

These Panzer I Negrillos are 3D prints from the tank factory.  The ‘Defenders of the Faith’ film has them in a mixed colour scheme not unlike Late WW2 Germans.

The autocannon is missing from the Spanish lists but the forum has the following recommendation:

• Replace the 2 MMGs with a turret-mounted Breda 20mm light automatic cannon for +10pts

Here is some captured armour in the form of a UNL-35 from Empress and Warlord T26.  The UNL-35 is an all metal model but the inside of the shell is hollow.  Both would be best with Nationalist insignia but leaving this off opens the option of using them for either side or even trotting them out in Russia (the UNL-35 as a BA-20).

There is an impressive fan created book for Spanish Civil War Bolt Action.   It is in Spanish but the posts on do imply that it is free.  There are theatre lists of Nationalist, Republican and Italians for early war (July – October ’36), mid war (Nov ’36- June ’37), late war (July ’37 – March ’39) and Northern theatre (Nov ’36 – ‘Oct 37)

This is not the place for a full translation but the key special rules are translated below.  The slight problem with translation is that all the well known Bolt Action buzz words such as ‘DOWN’ have their Spanish equivalents (Cuerpo a Tierra).  Here are the Carlist special rules, note that not all of these rules are used in all theatres.

Nationalist rules:

When the NCO of a unit is lost; roll a die. On a result of 3+ another of the miniatures will replace the NCO.
A platoon cannot have more than two squads with the MAL EQUIPADOS rule armed with a LMG or more than four MAL EQUIPADOS units with submachine guns. A single squad with the MAL EQUIPADOS rule can be equipped with Antitank Grenades (or molotov or legionary cocktail) at a cost of + 2pts per model. The unit will use the Tank Hunters rule.
The National player can re-roll the preliminary bombardment die if he is the attacker and the scenario allows it. In addition, you can re-roll the roll on the Artillery Bombardment table. You should always keep the second result.
A single unit may replace a member of the squad by a Military Chaplain or a bearer of a Religious Icon in the form of a cross, standard, etc., for a cost of +25 points. This model will not be able to shoot or be a loader of the LMG. When the unit that carries it or any infantry unit, that is not of Regulares or of the Mehala, that is 12″ of him carries out a RALLY action, it can repeat the roll if this fails. In addition, if successful, it will roll 2 dice instead of the usual 1 and choose the highest roll to remove the pinned markers.
When the alféreces and tenientes of the Nationalist Army use the rule “Snap to action”, may draw an extra die (a teniente will draw two and a alférece will draw three). From the moment they draw an extra dice, they will continue to do so each time they use the action, but in turn they will not be able to receive the DOWN order and will go on to consider themselves as INEXPERIENCED when testing for wounds, but not Morale checks.

Republican rules:

A Republican army/column has a free Militia squad of up to 12 models armed with rifles and Inexperienced. If the column is of all of the same type of militia, it will be treated as a member of that same militia. This unit has the rule “A FALTA DE FUSILES, GRANADAS”.  Note this unit is not GREEN.
Any unit with this rule can exchange a miniature with a rifle for a miniature
with grenades. This miniature in melee obtains the “Assault” rule but cannot shoot.
A force composed only of squads of the same faction of militia may repeat morale checks that fail.
A Militia squad can replace a soldier with a Standard Bearer for 25 pts, who will carry the flag and can not carry any additional weapon other than pistol. Any squad that belongs to that same militia faction and is within 12″ can repeat a failed rally check. Also, if the rally is successful, it will roll two dice and will discard as many pins as the result of the highest dice roll. If the unit that carries the flag is DOWN or in AMBUSH, the flag has no effect.
In scenarios in which there is an attacker and a defender, if following the roll of dice the Republican player is not the defender the roll will (not may) be repeated, the second result stands.
If the Republican player is the defender, he will have the following advantages:
-During the first turn of the game, the enemy will not be able to give a RUN order to their units, since they are advancing cautiously towards the republican lines.
-The Republican player can re-roll the roll on the Artillery or Smoke Barrage chart.
As for the Nationalist
A force has a free EPR squad of 12 members armed with rifles, INEXPERIENCED and GREEN.
Any unit that is within 6″ of a Commissar may re-roll a failed command check, provided it is not a FUBAR.  If the 2nd roll is failed, the unit will retire 12″ towards its edge of the table.
Any T-26 or BA3/6/10 or FA-I that is VETERAN is considered to be manned by Soviet crew. These vehicles when entering from Reserve, not outflanking, do not have a -1 to their order check.
Any unit that is within 6″ of a commissar can repeat a failed activation check, provided it is not a FUBAR.
When there are units from different provinces within 12″or less of each other both will have -1 to the Orders checks. On the contrary, if all the platoons of the section are from the same province, they can repeat the Moral checks that fail. In addition:
• Basque squads (Euzko Gudarostea) are STUBBORN.
• The Asturian squads can choose squads of Dynamiters instead of squads of the Popular Army of the Republic, but they can not have more squads of VETERAN than REGULAR.
• The Santander squads, when traveling through Difficult Terrain, can run 12 “. This also applies to assaults.

A Carlist squad can be either early or late war.  An Early (EW, MW) squad is 6 to 17 INEXPERIENCED men (9 points each), may have an NCO with SMG and LMG with loader if of size 10 or more.  They are STUBBORN but may be FANATICS instead for +2 points per figure.  Also they are MAL EQUIPADOS, VIVA CRISTO REY and GREEN but if they go up to REGULAR on a further roll of 5 or 6 they become VETERAN. A Late squad (LW, N) (11 points each) may be REGULAR or VETERAN and is not GREEN.  They are not MAL EQUIPADOS but the other Carlist special rules remain.

A rough overview of the special rules suggests that the Republicans have the better deal with a free squad and a bonus to the defense. The Nationalists would need to buy a forward observer to make the most of their own special rules. As a whole these are not dissimilar to what the Germans are allocated but Nationalists do not get the buzz saw rule.

Spanish Civil War Bolt Action

A Spanish Civil War campaign book may or may not be in the works and there are some Bolt Action interpretations about the web. Wargaming 3D have also worked up some suggested rules and lists.   Even without an official approach the Spanish Civil War makes use of the same equipment as existing armies and the general infantry layouts work for any nation.  For those wanting a gaming overview and force ideas ‘Too Fat Lardies’ provide, Espania, a PDF supplement for their Chain of Command rules.

Empress are probably the gold standard for SCW 28mms but many partisan and VBCW models can be repurposed. The problem with some VBCW figures is that they can drift towards the comic opera and the classic British helmet would be out of place. The images here show an early Brigadista or POUM force made up from figures already in the author’s Bolt Action army boxes. A command and the odd flag would fill it out. The temptation is to also make up a rebel force to take it on. Mixing too many of the faction options in a single Bolt Action army results in an implausible force. Carlists and regulars would make sense as the Carlists did have some training and did coordinate with rebel army units. There is an attraction in any movement that thought of Spain as insufficiently right wing and Catholic. For a more dastardly approach Foreign Legion and Moors make good bedfellows.

Here is a selection of suitable irregulars, mostly Footsore:

Another batch:

A 3rd:

And the final set but starting to push the envelope. Those guys in raincoats are Footsore IRA. The odd figure in each of these squads may have a shotgun but at arms length they should pass muster.

No LMGs so far: Lewis guns were supplied to the government. At right is a likely looking sniper from Black Tree. Many of the Black Tree partisans are just too Russian but a few fit in.

The challenge with Spanish Civil War armies is to create an approach that has some competitiveness and to decide how to allocate army rules. One would hope that army rules are balanced across all armies so completely transferring the rules and point variations in their entirely from one army to another should work. It is still unlikely that any new variant would keep up with top tier competition armies but we should be able to propose something that will hold its own in the mid field of army rankings.

To stick to period the potential armies would be:

  • Early War Nationalists or Republican militias.
  • African troops with veteran legion and regular or veteran moors.
  • Regular army, police and drilled militia fighting for either side. Popular army and International Brigade troops after the militia had been disbanded or integrated.
  • Italians fighting for the rebels (for government Italians use the International Brigade).   Except for the initial Italian force who were ‘not’ destined for Abyssinia the Italians fought in grey so could also be used in Greece or Albania but would not work for a desert force. Complete Italian armoured formations were present but limited to basic tankettes (the CV33) and obsolete armoured cars (the IZ).
  • French who could intervene across the border.
  • German, up to a point. The Condor legion was German but did not fight on the ground. An air observer or a single advisor on a command or gun stand would be the best to work with. The Germans could however have committed entire formations.  The Nationalists could also fight the Germans following disastrously failed negotiations for Germany to assault Gibraltar.

The handful of Soviet advisors would not qualify as entire Bolt Action units. A few figures would not look out of place although the helmet usually seen on 28mm figures was not that in use in 1936. Pushing the envelope a Spanish North African army could take on a French North African force. The Moorish part might even trot out as Vichy French and take on Commonwealth British in the Levant.

These British police in flat caps could be built up into an Asaltos squad:

The closest impression for a Spanish army from the existing official army lists would be to run a Finnish list. That list’s options include a T26 and Ba6 both supplied in significant numbers by the Soviets and captured by the rebels . The special army rule of having a unit go up in morale when at half strength could be used for experienced troops of high morale. A good fit would be as International Brigadistas or the best of the Popular Army at the beginning of the Ebro offensive or North African troops for the rebels. The infantry would be better bought as regular rather than veteran (except for the Legion) and the sniper special rule possibly chosen with caution although field-craft does fit well with Moors. The gun and mortar options could fit into any period ordinance piece.  The Finnish squad size is less than the Spanish establishment size which could be 15 men but many combat formations would be below that strength.

The Irregular miniatures gun below is supposed to be a 18 pounder but based on the Warlord 18/25 model is way too small. The mortar and crew are also Irregular but are good enough. The Footsore maxim is a perfect pose apart from the helmet on the team leader.

The anti tank rifle option present in most Early War lists should be dropped. The brief life span between general adoption of these weapons and their obsolescence had yet to arrive. Very few if any made it to Spain and if they had the limited use of tanks in the theatre did not fit in with their perceived role. Deployment of ‘diamenteros’ to assault tanks would be covered by anti-tank grenades issued to squads.

Of the other existing lists Italian special rules are a good fit for Early War armies on either side. Italians receive a bonus in defense. They also do better if they have a 3+ advantage in losses and worse at a -3 disadvantage. This reflects the enthusiasm for success which can turn on its head. The Italian Blackshirt infantry is also relevant as a unit that can unpredictably go up or down in effectiveness.

Although quite feasible to have a Spanish Civil War battle as Italian list versus Italian list only one would benefit from the Italian defense special rules.  As the Government would be likely to defend that would be the best Italian choice leaving the Nationalist side open.  The existing big players can be eliminated in terms of functionality or relevant flavour of their special rules:

  • Soviets and Chinese, no untrained hordes.
  • American, no move and fire.
  • German few MG34s and certainly no tiger fear.
  • French, no surplus of guns or conscript infantry.

So Franco must be British.  The free artillery observer fits with the Nationalists not being as short of shells as the Government.  Looking at the other British special rules ‘up and at ’em’ is the best fit.  Even the Home Guard option would work allowing some units to be Green militia.

From an equipment point of view the Bolt Action arsenal is wide enough to find what is needed although the weapon choices may not be in the same lists as the troops.  There is no specific armoured lorry but at its best anything with 7+ armour and a machine gun will do.  The Rolls Royce armoured car for example has a MMG, 7+ armour and is 56/70/84 points.   The Ba10 was not used in Spain but the older Ba6 was.  The Chevrolet M37 armoured Car was built in the government zones and used in anger.  Empress have a model; note that it is remarkably similar to the Ba10.

This shows a Ba6 and Ba10. The Ba10 (in Chinese service here) would not be in Spain but the M37 has a similar outline. It is even feasible to put a T26 turret on the M37.

With artillery and mortars Bolt Action lumps them all into a few categories and anything suitably antiquated would do on the tabletop even medium and heavy pieces which both sides had in service.  For those with an eye for detail many partisan infantry would not look out of place in Spain but manufacturers do tend to load them up with SMGs.  The ubiquitous German, Soviet and British SMGs often modeled on these figures were not available at the time.  The best match would be something that looks like and possibly is a Thompson.  A good outline of what was available to the Government is available on-line in Spanish.

These SMGs are close enough to see Spanish service as Thomson’s and the Labora-Fontbernat; surprisingly similar to the later German SMG. The figure at far right could be a spotter.

Fielding a force with at least some hope of success is more of a challenge.  As noted above the Finnish/Republican force with a T26 and Ba6 is a good start.  This is the Warlord T26, the version with the rounded turret is too late for this conflict.

Another approach is to build on the weak but cheap armour to field a 1 platoon list at 750 and 2 platoons at 1,000.  This sort of Early War force is not going to be happy at 1200+ points, the armour is not good enough to hold out against serious anti-tank and all the infantry filler will get in its own way.  A Ba6 is 120 and a T26 105 both at regular.  A basic HQ and 1 man unit is 60 (regular junior). So 285 spent, 50 on a gun/mortar/sniper, 335 and (750-335) leaves 415, 40 or so 10 point regulars less a few for LMGs.  Fielding 2 platoons at 1,000 points 570 points are tied up (285*2), 430 left, another 50 on the gun/mortar/sniper and 380 or 38ish squaddies.  Either side could field the Renault FT17 a seeming bargain at 35 points (regular) but a serious waste of a tank slot not least because it is too slow to keep up with the infantry.  Inexperienced infantry are 7 not 10 points that is 50 odd squaddies with the points left over at 1,000 but realistic or not an all inexperienced army without some sort of built in advantage (such as bamboo spears and banzai) is going to be tough going.

A Nationalist army could run the same 2 platoon solution as they acquired Government equipment and re-used the best of it.  From a tank choice there is the LV33 (60 at regular) and IZ (85) as the armoured car, both for the Italians or the German PzI (70 at regular).  Running the same maths would work at 235 (70+105+60) for a HQ and 2 vehicles.  The Nationalists are going to be buying more support and infantry weapons or possibly running cavalry or tough fighters (moors).  Players considering an 88 to sort out enemy armour options should note that although present it was not used as an anti-tank role at that time (if your army travels through time to 1941+ all bets are off).

To conclude; a reference to the concept in action.  Britcon 2017 saw our Soviets against a Nationalist force built around 2 infantry platoons each with their full share of armour.