ASL AAR: Far From Home (AP53)

The Spanish Civil War Comes to Boadilla del Monte

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Scenario Rating
ASL Action Pack #6
ASL Action Pack #6 (MMP)

Historical Prelude

The village of Boadilla del Monte, nestled in the rolling hills just west of Madrid, became the center of fierce combat on the crisp winter morning of December 18, 1936. The Spanish Civil War, still in its infancy, had already drawn sharp battle lines between the Nationalists and the Republicans, with the fate of Spain hanging precariously in the balance.

As dawn broke, the Nationalist forces, bolstered by the might of the Army of Africa and Italian volunteers, prepared to storm the village. Their objective was clear: secure Boadilla del Monte to tighten the noose around Madrid. The Republicans, a mix of determined militia fighters and international brigades, knew that holding this ground was crucial to stalling the Nationalist advance and preserving the Republic.

The Republicans had fortified the village as best they could. Sandbags were hastily piled into makeshift barricades, and machine gun nests were positioned to cover the main approaches. The International Brigades, composed of volunteers from around the globe, including the British Battalion and the American Lincoln Battalion, stood ready to defend Boadilla with a fervor that transcended national boundaries.

The initial artillery bombardment by the Nationalists was deafening, shaking the ancient stones of Boadilla and sending plumes of dust and debris into the cold air. As the shelling subsided, waves of Nationalist infantry surged forward, supported by tanks and armored cars. The Republicans, entrenched and resolute, unleashed a withering hail of gunfire. The battle quickly devolved into brutal close-quarters combat, with each side fighting fiercely for control of the narrow streets and the village square.

Among the defenders was a young American, Oliver Law, who would later rise to prominence within the Lincoln Battalion. Law’s leadership and courage under fire became emblematic of the international solidarity that marked the Republican resistance. He and his comrades held their ground against repeated Nationalist assaults, their determination reflecting the broader struggle for democracy and freedom that had drawn them to Spain.

The fighting raged throughout the day, with neither side able to secure a decisive advantage. As darkness fell, the Nationalists withdrew to regroup, leaving Boadilla del Monte in the tenuous hands of the Republicans. The battle had been costly for both sides, a grim testament to the ferocity of the Spanish Civil War. Yet, in the hearts of the defenders, there was a flicker of hope. They had held their ground against overwhelming odds, and for one more day, the Republic had endured.


AAR By Peyton & BrandonJune 7, 2024

ASL AAR: Far From Home (AP53)

Module: ASL Action Pack #6, A Decade of War
Scenario Publisher: MMP
Scenario Designer: Gary Fortenberry
Date: December 18, 1936 (Spanish Civil War)
Location:
Boadilla del Monte, Spain
Attacker (Peyton): Nationalists – Elements of Moroccan Tabors and Spanish Foreign Legion
Defender (Brandon): Republicans – Elements of Edgar Andre Battalion, XI International Brigade, Elements of Ernst Thalmann Battalion, XI International Brigade, and Elements of Aranjuez Group

Set Up:

Both forces set up on the map with each controlling one of the two victory locations worth 5 VPs each. The Republican army sets up first and may be concealed if in concealment terrain with one unit HIP. The armour of both forces come on off map with the Nationalists getting 6 Panzer I’s and the Republicans getting 4 T-26’s with an 8-1 armoured leader. There are additional victory point buildings that start controlled by the Republicans, forcing the ball to be in the Nationalist’s court. Their Panzer I’s come in on turn two while the Republican tanks come in on turns three and four.

Action Summary:

The initially under-strength Republican squads immediately garrisoned in victory point buildings that they were not allowed to deploy into, all while the Nationalist army double time moved with massive stacks of infantry with their two starting leaders to move as quickly as possible to capture victory locations before the Republican armour reinforced. Hedges and woods blocked their approach allowing for greedy movement with incredibly over stacked groups. Falling snow was in effect negating any open ground defensive fire bonuses and the first wind dr resulted in heavier snowfall which covered their approach with greater hindrance.

Low fire power interwar units with high LOS hindrance lead to bloody point-blank fire groups and close combats. The Republicans were quickly overrun with 6 radioless Panzer I’s moving as two separate platoons and a wave of infantry. The Nationalists took all but 2 building victory locations, if they could hold they would win by game end. A platoon of Panzers parked on the previous Republican 5-point victory location (a bridge crossing a gully) and faced North (the left-hand side of the board) waiting for the enemy reinforcements to arrive.

ASL AAR: Far From Home (AP53)
A light mortar lays a smoke screen to slow the Panzer’s advance

Four turns into the seven turn scenario the Republican reinforcements arrived. 12 squads with machine guns along with 4 radioless T-26’s. In a mad dash similar to the Nationalist turns 1 and 2. The slow interwar tanks rolled in front of the advancing infantry toward the recently captured bridge location. They advanced with little fear of the Nationalist armour with only CMG main armaments and inexperienced crews. The leader Panzer fired his machine guns in futility but was able to shock the lead tank with the only Republican armoured leader.

ASL AAR: Far From Home (AP53)
Lead Republican tank shocked and two Panzer I’s with broken MA

Republican turn 5, the shocked tank recovers and fires his machine gun breaking the Nationalist squad with the sole anti-tank rifle. Then with his gun, he goes on a ROF tear knocking out all three of the Nationalist Panzers on the bridge. With an attempted rally of the anti-tank squad resulted in boxcars and the only weapon capable of defeating the Republican armour processed by a broken half-squad conscript with a morale of 4. The Nationalists conceded.

ASL AAR: Far From Home (AP53)
Give that lead tank commander a medal, or maybe his gunner…

Good game to my opponent, I would give this scenario a 7/10. Capturing victory locations is my favorite win condition and I liked that both sides found themselves the attacker and the defender. My only change would be to use the Nationalist balance which gives them an extra ATR and DC. Their anti-tank options were incredibly limited, which combined with the final bridge location VPs deciding the winner allowed my T-26’s to move with impunity after the ATR squad was knocked out. Overall a good scenario, would recommend.

Brandon’s Thoughts:

What I am also very excited about along with this AAR, is that since Fall of 2023, we have recorded all of our ASL/ASLSK games and we have filled out an entire legal pad! Starting with just infantry, to guns/AFVs in Starter Kit, to full ASL campaign games with combined arms. Since starting to learn the system we always wanted to play the Red Factories HASL campaign. Now after about 6 months of playing with full ASL exploring AFVs, night rules, air support and OBA we are starting a 13-day CG of Red Barricades on VASL. There are a lot of SSR but this has been my “white whale” and I finally get to play it. Big thanks to Neal’s ‘ASL Academy’ and ‘Advanced Squad Leader Spotting Round’ channels on YouTube, you guys made navigating the rules much easier!

GET TO THE CHOPPA…!!! Get To The Choppa...!!!


© 2024, Neal Ulen. All Rights Reserved. Copyright & Fair Use Notice.
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Neal Ulen
Neal is a long time gamer (board, RPG, CCG, and computer) who first played Squad Leader back in the late '70s. While getting re-acquainted with ASL after retiring, he took it as an opportunity to create various tutorials and aids to help new and returning players. He lurks in the PWN.
asl-aar-far-from-home-ap53Capturing victory locations is my favorite win condition and I liked that both sides found themselves the attacker and the defender. My only change would be to use the Nationalist balance which gives them an extra ATR and DC. Overall a good scenario, would recommend.

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