Wargames To Go 11 - Spanish Civil War
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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The usual geeklist where I can record the games I play for the next podcast episode, others I won't make it to (but are interesting to consider), and so on.

Originally I'd planned something else for this episode, but a change in my travel schedule eliminated that option. Then my 22yo son started sending me quotes from Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, which he'd been reading. Once he said he thought I should do the same, and that we could talk about it on FaceTime...the lightbulb went on! Suddenly I decided that the Spanish Civil War will be my next topic. I've instantly set my sights on too many games, and will realistically only get to a few of these below. But they're all interesting, and the topic is something where I stand to learn a whole lot. I don't know much about the SCW. Not yet, at least.

-Mark


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Mark Johnson's irregular podcast about small wargames
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1. Board Game: ¡Arriba España! [Average Rating:6.59 Overall Rank:5822]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Just ordered the tin edition. I still own the DTP (the acronym we used in the 90s before we all had access to good color printers) version from the Microgame Co-op, but never played it. Now's the time.

Played last weekend. (Jan 14-15)



The war is more about politics and ideology (failed or sincere) than tanks and rifles. The book I'm reading is Orwell's Homage to Catalonia, and the left photo, below, practically re-creates his experience at the macro scale of the game.

And what about the game? Well, it's got some fiddliness, and every edition--there have been three--has had some limitations in its physical production (I think--I don't recall what's wrong with the magazine version). But wow, does it do an interesting job of modeling the politics as much as the war. Really fascinating. I've owned this game for 20 years, and only now managed to play it. I think I'd like to try a more euro-wargame hybrid treatment of this game conflict (there's at least one out there), yet I have no regrets about playing ¡Arriba España! Just the opposite--the combination of reading the history made the game come alive...and vice versa. That's the wargaming hobby at its best.

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2. Board Game: Spanish Civil War Battles: Jarama, Brunete, Penarroya and Guadalajara [Average Rating:4.76 Overall Rank:12747]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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I heard these games aren't so great, but battle-level games on the SCW aren't easy to find (especially at my preferred scope/scale). I'm not certain these are my kind of games, either, but together with the magazine I thought they were worth a shot. At least to read.
 
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3. Board Game: La Bataille de l'Ebre, 1938 [Average Rating:7.32 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Got one without the magazine. (And hey, I'm starting to be able to read more of this French periodical!)
 
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4. Board Game: Sangre y Fuego [Average Rating:5.83 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Woo-hoo! Another freely available magazine wargame. That means it's PNP--and I've over-reached in that department a few times already--but I'm ready to try again.

Published online at https://ludomagazine.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/ludo-magazine-...

Also, I've been in some contact with designer Enric Martí about his games, and he also directed me to some articles he wrote about the battles.

http://www.librosywargames.com/index.php?page=belchite-1937

http://www.librosywargames.com/index.php?page=la-batalla-de-...
 
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5. Board Game: Azul y Rojo [Average Rating:5.87 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Naval? I never considered that. That automatically makes it interesting, but I don't have a source for it. Sonofagun, this is another freely downloadable PNP wargame from a Spanish magazine. No, I don't have English rules, but you can read Spanish, right?

https://ludomagazine.wordpress.com/2013/03/25/ludo-magazine-...
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6. Board Game: Also Ran [Average Rating:6.00 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Games below this line are ones I know I won't get to, but still keep on the geeklist to solicit comments.
 
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7. Board Game: España 1936 [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:1501]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
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Sounds pretty cool, but can't get to it this time
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8. Board Game: ¿Pasáran? The Spanish Civil War [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:10047]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Intrigued, but I wasn't able to get one in time for this podcast's purpose (not with holiday travel).
 
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9. Board Game: We Saw Spain Die [Average Rating:5.67 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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How interesting!
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10. Board Game: A las Barricadas! (2nd Edition) [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked] [Average Rating:7.81 Unranked]
Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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Sounds pretty good, but I don't think I'll have an opportunity.
 
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11. Board Game: Popular Front [Average Rating:7.13 Overall Rank:2811]
Steve Rogers
United States
Hoboken
New Jersey
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This one is card driven with tremendous card art (SCW propaganda posters). It's a 6-player abstract, light on theme and history, but there's an expansion Popular Front: Escalation that introduces some theme and asymmetrical abilities.

Regardless I love playing it (and I contributed to the expansion).
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