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Author Topic: SCW Discussion Thread  (Read 12026 times)

Offline Durutti

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SCW Discussion Thread
« on: August 15, 2013, 07:11:46 PM »
So, what you wanna talk about then folks?  :)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 09:53:56 AM by Arlequín »

Offline Happy Wanderer

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SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2013, 01:05:48 AM »
OK,

Not sure if this is the best place....but as it's my thread I'll hijack it and head it off in a totally different direction!!  :D

The imminent release of the Lardies rules- Chain of Command, presents some interesting questions and possibilities for the SCW gamer.

First up is the platoon organisation and support weapons for typical force structures. This had already been discussed in some detail by Arlequin on his blogs....an excellent foundation for TFL Chain of Command I'd suggest and mandatory reading to get up to speed.

http://myscw.blogspot.co.uk/search/label/Infantry

More specifically here, which has a general discussion of Bolt Action as a game and history.....well, we sort of know its more game than history but that's another discussion

..... (and to me a quite enjoyable game at that).
http://arlequinsworld.blogspot.com.au/search?q=Bolt+action

Now, Big Rich (Lardies) has produced some excellent notes on how CoC handles infantry tactics in his game. This is very much in the historical end of the gaming spectrum.

http://toofatlardies.co.uk/blog/?m=20130807

So the question is;

How do you think the respective forces would operate under Chain of Command, looking at how the British, American and German platoon structures are articulated in the game? With the three squads to a section doctrine, one of which has an LMG, the Spanish would appear to fall into the British style of platoon combat, even though the Spanish platoon is in fact two 'three-squad' sections. IIRC they are based on a French organisational model.

Also, how would more irregular militia troops function do you think? The Militia centuries seems a blunt instrument compared to the fire and movement set up in the spanish squads.

This will prove interesting as to how CoC will handle coordinated platoon actions in the organised elements of a spanish army, even when not that well led, vs militia forces seemingly providing them with something of an advantage.

Then there are the Italians....their platoon organisation and doctrine.

Throw into the mix all the Unique attributes of the protagonists and there is quite a blend going on.

Chain of Command offers up some interesting concepts to deal with the difference of the platoon organisations of the SCW and I would think the period will challenge the way the game plays.

So, how do you see SCW forces operating under Chain of Command?
 
Happy W

PS Hi Paul..time to press those 28mm minis back into service!!  ;)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 09:54:14 AM by Arlequín »

Offline Durutti

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SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2013, 07:50:33 AM »
Hmmmmm. now thats a tough one, as tactical variation could be difficult to model effectively.
I'm not that familiar with the CandC rules, I have played Troops Weapons and Tactics, with a period variation for the SCW, and they seem to work quite well. I've also had a crack at Bolt Action with some home brewed additions, and as others have discovered, they are somewhat lacking in certain key areas. Have also played Disposable Heroes, good rules. but very bloody, they do have a very good set of support books though, and they are worth buying on their own.
CandC may be a problem with militia, especilally early period 1936, it would become easier with the emergence of the EPR.
CTV did try some new tactics, their schwehrpunkt attack at the start of the Guadalajara offensive, did show some forward thinking, and could have been a stunning breakthrough if the weather had held to enable more air support,
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 09:54:38 AM by Arlequín »

Offline Arlequín

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2013, 11:18:44 AM »
SCW tactics are perhaps the most under-investigated aspect of the war and I can't say I can add anything but my 'best guess'. The Spanish did have their own manuals, which can occasionally be found up for sale, but I can't say that I fancy using my limited skills to translate one. Added to this is the fact that tactics would have been continuously changed and developed through experience as the war went on.

Although the French organisational/tactical model does appear to be the one most copied by a number of nations post-WW1 and the Spanish structure does seem quite similar in many respects, I would not put money on any slavish adherence to their tactics too. The Regulares appear to have favoured using tactics not so different to German 'Stormtrooper' infiltration techniques, either by coincidence or design.

Spanish junior officers were no less incompetent/gifted/pedantic/suicidal than the junior officers of any other contemporary army and despite the neat division of troops into a two section (three if they actually had the mortar section listed in the regulations), three squad structure, platoon leaders in any army were taught to divide and amalgamate their 'elements' to suit the situation. I would not be surprised if the two sections were occasionally deployed as three if the situation warranted it, certainly the units had the leaders (Lieutenant and Sergeants) to be able to do this.

While there was likely to be a 'classic' attack posture (probably one section behind the other with a gap of say 20 paces between them, with the mortars forming a third line to give the attack support), mixing up the 6 'tactical elements' (squads) to provide alternative solutions to specific tactical problems should also be expected. Rich's post on the TFL blog illustrated the basic 'model' British platoon attack (which if you look at it, is actually a 'two group' attack), but every attack obviously did not follow that model and junior leaders were expected to be able to come up with alternatives.    

Whichever set of rules you choose for your games, they should allow advantages to forces which have developed command and control systems and to those using somewhat sophisticated tactics. As Durutti says, the early militia suffered from a lack of both these aspects and were described as 'clunky' due to having no structure below the ten/twenty man squads they used at first. Add in a lack of discipline in general and the idea that each man knows best and you have a C&C nightmare, which is hard to duplicate on the table. When they were eventually 'militarised' most (but not all) of these problems were solved.

As much as I enjoy Bolt Action, there is a distinct advantage given to large units as far as morale goes, which makes a large 10 man militia squad 'stronger' than the typical 6 man 'army' squad and a 20 man squad impossible to game with. You could go for some form of 'collective morale' house rule for 18 man regular sections, but that probably swings the scales the other way...  

I have no thoughts on the CoC rules as yet, but you can be assured that as soon as they land on the doormat, I'll be looking to twist them to suit my needs.

;)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 11:22:03 AM by Arlequín »

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2013, 12:18:29 PM »
I cannot contribute anything about rules
I was wondering though how far the experiences from the Riff War would have influenced tactics in the SCW

Offline dice shaker

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2013, 02:51:57 PM »
Hello anybody,

 please remember the difference betwen a smal (colonial) war (Riff War) and a big one (SCW). If one nation learn to much lesons from the little one, the next big one will show their worth.
The british army start WW1 with weak artillery, the french with weak rifles. And in WW2 both get only a second place in the battle of france.
 Even the polish army give the germans a more tough fight. The poles get their experencies against the red army, they win a real war.
The fight in the Riff War was totally different, because the africans had not the structure as european armies, but they had big numbers and strong family bands.
One more difference is the use of artillery and the tactic of the infantrie. Big guns take a high tall for to many fighters in to close formations. No artillery is a suport for close formations because they had more firepower and a better moralvalue.

 Hope I can help a little bit,

   Sebastian

Offline Arlequín

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #6 on: August 16, 2013, 03:58:40 PM »
I don't have a solid answer...

What Sebastian says is generally true, a winning army generally prepares to fight its next war with the tactics that won the last one, while the losers look for something new. The French spent the inter-war era perfecting the tactics which it saw as being successful, while the British, to quote on officer in 1918 "got back to some real soldiering" and broke up their 'European War' army structure to police its Empire. When war in Europe seemed on the cards it restructured again into almost a facsimile of what it had been in 1918 and pretty much ignored anything it had learned in the meantime.

I'm sure that many of the lessons learnt in the Rif War would have been very suitable to use in the opening stages of the Civil War, especially as the militias were essentially an irregular (and I suppose an almost 'tribal') force, with few automatic weapons and lacking the ability to use them effectively. If those tactics were employed, I couldn't say.

The Rif War gets mentioned a lot, but bear in mind that it ended in 1927 and a nine year gap is a long time in an individual's military career. Veterans of the war would be present in the Civil Guard, the Asaltos and in some cases in the militias themselves. Of the 'African Army' only the more senior officers and NCOs are likely to have been veterans of the war.

I read somewhere that the 'column' was a traditional Spanish strategy, hence its adoption by both sides almost immediately. I can't attest whether this is true, as I know very little about Spain's other wars.  
« Last Edit: August 16, 2013, 04:07:19 PM by Arlequín »

Offline Arlequín

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2013, 06:51:30 AM »
Thanks!  :)

I look forwards to seeing what you, or anyone else, comes up with... I'm not fussy about whose ideas I steal.  ;)


Have also ordered the new Command and Control rules, not sure how they are going to play out though, as the intricacies of WW2 platoon actions are somewhat different to the tactics used in the SCW lol

Come on, it's a discussion thread, you don't get to make offhand or throw away remarks without some further explanation.  :D

Offline Durutti

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2013, 11:10:21 AM »
Thanks!  :)

I look forwards to seeing what you, or anyone else, comes up with... I'm not fussy about whose ideas I steal.  ;)


Come on, it's a discussion thread, you don't get to make offhand or throw away remarks without some further explanation.  :D


Ohhhhhhh thats not fair!!  Ok Reading the earlier post by Happy Wanderer, I popped over to the link discussing tactics in Cand C. Squad tactics, fire teams, fire and control :o Not something that will translate to SCW without a certain amount of input to make it a bit more period specific. Quite a few gamers will be happy to fudge it a bit, and get a workable option, but will it be that historical?  It does however give us more, now shall I say "anal" types lol  A chance to get to work adding our own slant on how we think the tactics would play out.
It won't be a one size fits all approach, early period SCW 1936 is a different kettle of fish to the endgame played out in 1938, and the North and South sectors of the war also play out differently. I have also had a quick shufti at the TFL videos on youtube, playing thru the Cand C rules, great approach, and well put together, so who fancies being a video star, and dong an SCW version :D

More later once Mr Postie delivers my parcel, I do think the rules have possibilities though, and through this thread, and our various blogs, I'm sure we can produce a decent set of workable options for both this set, and Bolt Action. Its good to get a bit of enthusiasm building, god knows I need some to encourage me to conquer my SCW lead pile, and the mad ideas for scratchbuilt and converted vehicles I have.

My rather feeble blog hides here
http://nigelh-viewfromtheduckpond.blogspot.co.uk

Arlequin, is that better?  ;)

Offline Happy Wanderer

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2013, 01:38:56 PM »
Gents,

Just to add. I found a few threads on the Lardies egroup relating to Chain of Command and the SCW.

A chap, Benito, responded to my question. His information base seems promising.

The thread is here.
http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/Toofatlardies/message/149018


His response to my question relating to details on SCW armies was encouraging;

"Yes I have a real jewel, a copy of the tactical manual supplied to the Alféreces
Provisionales of the Nationalists Army in the officers academy published in
1937. It gives nice details about the organization up to Company level and the
tactical directives in attack and defence. I also own an extensive library about
the SCW initiated by my father and I'm working through it to detect interesting
materials for CoC as I'll be on holidays and with free time to do it over the
next 10-15 days.

My initial plan is to publish a series of posts in my blog as I progress through
the research but of course I'll be more than happy to share and exchange
information with all interested parties.
B"

Hopefully he can join the discussion and add some hard data details.

Happy W

Offline Arlequín

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #10 on: August 17, 2013, 07:11:24 PM »
Arlequin, is that better?  ;)

Much.  :)

A chap, Benito, responded to my question. His information base seems promising ... snip... Hopefully he can join the discussion and add some hard data details.

I'm not sure a Spaniard interested in the Civil War is likely to be much help.  ::)

;)

It would be great to have him involved here, my Spanish is really not up to what is needed and I do make mistakes, even after cross-checking. The whole process, while quite enjoyable is also very time-consuming. I could live with being totally wrong about everything I've done so far, in exchange for less to do in the future. Obviously I'm hoping I'm pretty much spot on.

Well done that man!  :)

Ok Reading the earlier post by Happy Wanderer, I popped over to the link discussing tactics in Cand C. Squad tactics, fire teams, fire and control :o Not something that will translate to SCW without a certain amount of input to make it a bit more period specific. Quite a few gamers will be happy to fudge it a bit, and get a workable option, but will it be that historical?  It does however give us more, now shall I say "anal" types lol  A chance to get to work adding our own slant on how we think the tactics would play out.

I don't know, when you consider all of the options covered under 'WW2', the system (or indeed any rule system) has to be quite flexible. Do you suppose there is much difference in tactics between SCW Militia in '36 and raw Soviet infantry pushed into the front in 1942? or any other similar option... or would a French force in 1940 be adopting anything that a former-regular battalion wasn't capable of in 1936? Or even that an experienced SCW unit of 1939 might actually be more tactically sophisticated than some British of French troops of a year later?

Without a doubt things would be different and I agree that the appeal of playing a period should be taking the duff with the smooth. I doubt anyone ever took up SCW for the overpowering weapon choices, but I can see the appeal of 'getting it right' with regards to what you do with what you have... so +1 for Anal here.   

It won't be a one size fits all approach, early period SCW 1936 is a different kettle of fish to the endgame played out in 1938, and the North and South sectors of the war also play out differently. I have also had a quick shufti at the TFL videos on youtube, playing thru the Cand C rules, great approach, and well put together, so who fancies being a video star, and dong an SCW version :D

This I think has always been the problem and not only with SCW... people (and I include myself here) tend initially see it all in quite simple broad terms; "SCW", "WW2" whatever. Pick any war and what happens in battles at the beginning is usually quite different to what is going on in the end. Until you immerse yourself into it, none of that becomes apparent.

I think my face is more suited to radio btw...  lol

More later once Mr Postie delivers my parcel, I do think the rules have possibilities though, and through this thread, and our various blogs, I'm sure we can produce a decent set of workable options for both this set, and Bolt Action. Its good to get a bit of enthusiasm building, god knows I need some to encourage me to conquer my SCW lead pile, and the mad ideas for scratchbuilt and converted vehicles I have.

My rather feeble blog hides here
http://nigelh-viewfromtheduckpond.blogspot.co.uk

Without a doubt, I'm sure between all interested parties we can come up with something good. Ditto on the enthusiasm, I spend far more time researching and planning than anything else. I'm sure my brushes will crumble to dust with age if I touch them.

+1 for the blog too... still waiting to see what you do with the HS Saloon you keep teasing your followers with.  ;)





Offline Durutti

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #11 on: August 17, 2013, 08:49:30 PM »
What, this one?


 :)

Got his lot to get through first though!! :o

Offline Arlequín

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #12 on: August 17, 2013, 09:18:20 PM »
The very one.  :)

Offline Happy Wanderer

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2013, 02:55:21 AM »
Gents,

Just a reminder. Iron Ivan produced a SCW supplement for their WW2 game system pretty much exactly the same scale as Chain of Command. They have extensive lists and information regards force composition, support weapons, platoon structure, etc.

A really useful tool for a one stop shop of SCW armies from militias to Legion and everything in between ready to go. I can't vouch for their completeness but Jayson Gardner is pretty keen on this subject and did a great job pulling all this stuff together.

Recommended to support your own research and as a kickstarter to refine specific Chain of Command lists for the SCW when they eventually get produced in a CoC format...support weapon lists and all to tie in with their structured scenario suite.

Cheers

Happy W
« Last Edit: August 20, 2013, 02:59:30 AM by Happy Wanderer »

Offline Happy Wanderer

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Re: SCW Discussion Thread
« Reply #14 on: August 21, 2013, 09:20:06 AM »
I just ordered one from Force of alarms aka The Wargames Command Post.

I think there are others about...they're pretty common.

Hopefully I shall have Chain of Command in hand for a thorough reading tomorrow and then looking to twist it into some semblance of the SCW!! :-)

No doubt the Europeans will have several reviews up by the time I wake up!!!

Cheers

Happy W

 

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