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Subject: 73th Anniversary Review rss

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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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Espana! The Spain Civil War is quite a stranger to me as this is the first game I have on the war. Eurogames physical components and half military simulation, I have a feeling that this is a good wargame. Now, let us delve into this struggle of Nazis vs. Communists in the land of Spain that devastated the civilians and the whole country, on this day 18 July, 1936, 73 years ago...

The first shot was made into the white sky in the early morning on the street of Madrid. The Nationalist Army was pushing from all over the place, from Marruecos (Moroccans) in the south Army of Africa led by General Franco at Sevilla and Cadiz; from the west at Leon and Segovia. Madrid and Toledo were threatened by the Regular Army and Falangist Militia. The Republicans called for the help of the International Brigade and supplies from their international brothers - der Comintern.

The first struggle revolves around two ideological, though the two are not necessarily on the exact opposite, Nazis vs. Communists in the land of Spain that devastated the civilians and the whole country. I was the Republican (a better term for the Communists) and Rowan was the Nationalist (a better term for the Nazis). The war was not favouring the Republican in my view, while most of the units are Communist and Anachist militia, with a -1 drm in combat up against the +1 drm Army of Africa units and regular Nationalist Army. They rely heavily on the planes and tanks supplied by the Comintern, arriving Spain at the ports in the north and in the east. On the other hand, the Nationalist has the initiative in the game where they always go and combat first.

Like other Euros, the game seems to be simple in terms of the rules complexity but there in fact lies a lot of subtleties in the game. Movement and combat systems, while familiar among the Eurogamers, might not be so friendly to those wargamers accustomed to the traditional wargaming axioms. Combat units don't have movement factor. Theoratically they can fly like plane on the map as long as they don't enter a contested "Box", a city composed of 2 circles which house two sides' units; or an enemy-controlled box with enemy unit or control marker. Each side can only stack up to 4 troops, whereas generals,tanks and planes support units don't count.

Combat can only take place when you have a general in the city. The Nationalists have more generals most of the time. Assignment of planes is conducted as part of the movement by moving them from the player's mat to any one city on the map. The planes are always removed from the map back to the mat at the end of the combat.

Espana 1936 contains card but it is not a Card-driven game ("CDG"). It is a Cards-assisted game (CAG, like the Four Lost Battles). They are used to influence the battle by either adding bonus dices or penalty dieroll modifiers. Since a score of hits require 5 or 6, they do give a lot of influences to the combat outcome. The use of a card removes it, i.e. they cannot be used later in the game. Practically, it means that you lose the event for winning a local battle, if you ever win one. Many units, especially the Republicans, are brought in by the card events during the Event phase (which takes place after the combat and upkeep phases).

In combat, the no. of dices to attack or defend depends on the strength of the troop and the support units. For example, a troop with a 2-strength and a 1-strength plan get a total of 3 dices. The troops, generals, tanks and planes may have drm from -1 to +2. Combat takes place with individual troop attack, not combining the strength altogether. The attacker get to choose the defending troop each time. So depending on one's style and situation, you may choose to attack the higher strength troop for its importance, or you may choose to attack a weaker unit first to reduce the no. of troops your enemy has. A troop can only attack once but an enemy troop can be attacked more than one time, as long as it can survive the battle with steps remaining. Troop unit has four steps generally, with strength of 5-3-2-1.

Replacement comes in every odd turn. Both sides calculate the no. of objective cities in control plus the no. of contested cities. This is the no. of replacement points. So losing an objective city cost you both the men and the replacement capability. It becomes especially costly to the side that is starting to loose the war. Each replacement point can either "reinforce" a unit on the map one step or bring in a new unit into any one friendly controlled city. To reinforce a unit on map, it is simply done so by flipping to its higher strength side or upgrading to the next higher step troop counter (i.e. from 2 to 3 strength troop). One replacemen point can bring in a new unit. The year of war determines the no. of troop strength that each replacement point can bring in or reinforce. Generally, as the war goes on, both sides can bring in more powerful troop and reinforce higer strength unit, e.g. replacement point can reinforce a 3-strength unit only starting from turn 7. Added with the above mentioned movement rules, it feels like playing "GO" somewhat when you place your units under the rule restrictions.

There are some rules missig out, e.g. the new plane arrival on a city and its sbsequent movement, the event card that can or cannot be played in a year before the actual event took place historically as indicated on the card itself, whether a troop can be held off as attacker in a city declared to have combat etc. I have rated it "7" and it might be raised after more play to iron out the game balance issue and working on the additional advanced naval rules.
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Ricardo Dubcek
Spain
Barcelona
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Nazis vs Communists??? You got your history all wrong, mate. But good game description apart from that.
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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
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Sorry that I didn't know much. What should be the correct description?
 
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David G. Cox Esq.
Australia
Lighthouse Beach
NSW
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Do what you can, with what you've got, where you are.
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Lawrence Hung wrote:
Sorry that I didn't know much. What should be the correct description?

Fascists vs Non-Royalists

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Gabriel Gonzalez Pavón
Spain
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73th Anniversary Review
What about the truth on who the two sides were?.

Insurgents (self defined as "Nationalist Army") vs "Republicans" (Militias and later the self defined "Popular Army").

The Spanish Civil War pitted brothers and neighbors against each other. Most of them wanted a better Spain, all of them were our people.

As many Spaniards, I had family in both sides, none of them were "fascists" nor "communists".

Thousands of foreigners fought for different reasons in both sides. Their governments acted probably for selfish reasons, each one of them fought and many of them died for all of us.

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