Tuesday 17 October 2017

Tarawera Week - Day Four

Saturday dawned brilliantly sunny, although a little cool. After our usual hearty breakfast we stared our fourth game for this year that was set during the Spanish Civil War using one of our members' fabulous collection from various manufacturers (but chiefly Empress). 

I fought with the Nationalists with a command made up of two groups of Carlist Requetés and two of Falangists. I also had an armoured car. Supporting us were elements from the African army, a significant Italian force and elements of the Condor Legion. A Soviet backed force from the CNT, the Popular Front and the International Brigade opposed us. Because I was heavily involved in the early stages of the game I didn't pay much attention to what was happening elsewhere on the table, so this will be only a brief written description and I will depend largely images.

The Nationalist advance

 The Italians advance

My Carlists and Falangists advance 

The action centred on a small fictional village outside of Madrid that was occupied by the Popular Front and the CNT. 

The aircraft attack 

The Italian tanks sneak along the railway line

I don't remember which unit these were, but they look good!

The Italian artillery in action

My game started with an early encounter with the International Brigade in which I came of the worse. When two Soviet T26 tanks came forward my force was put to flight and the defence on that flank fell to the Italians, who also recoiled in the face of the Soviet armour before the the Russian tanks were destroyed.

Those damned Soviet tanks!

Assaulting the railway station

My Carlist Requetés come under artillery fire

The Falangists are attacked by the International Brigade...

...and the Carlists Requetés join the fight (the picture is taken just before the Soviet tanks dispersed my command)

International Brigade command

The Condors had a poor showing and their 88 gunners must had had too much Schnapps because they failed to score a hit all day!

The 88mm that missed every time!

Those damned Russian tanks again...

...and an armoured car

The Condor's 105mm finally finds a target 

And the Italian airforce flies over...

The contest in the village continued all day, although by the end of the day half of it was ablaze. In the end neither side held the advantage and a a draw was called.

Above and below, the fighting raged on in the village

Meanwhile the day outside was gorgeous 

Champagne closed out the afternoon, which I enjoyed on the deck with our host while others sat inside and watched a DVD. For dinner we devoured a fillet of beef, fresh beans with pine nuts and mashed potatoes, followed by a magnificent sticky date pudding, washed down by a few bottles of red.

It was pretty much a prefect day really!


  1. Replies
    1. Indeed, it would be a struggle to get a better day...a great location, good friends, a wargame with lots of pretty things on the table, great weather, good food and good wine. For you personally probably one step further...the area has great cycling (although probably better for mountain biking rather than on road).

    2. Just when I thought it could not bested, you offer up cycling. Splendid!

    3. Personally I'd prefer to kayak along the shore.

  2. Looks like a great game, lovely figures and scenery, a period when you can legitimately have lots of flags and tanks is very appealing! Sounds like an idyllic finish to the day too!
    Best Iain

    1. Thank you Iain. I wish I could paint that well! And what could be better than a couple of glasses of champagne on the deck with a view like that!

  3. Another lovely-looking game. There was certainly seems variety over the weekend to please everyone.

    1. Some say it is insanity to collect so many different armies, but I belong to the "variety is the spice of life" group. I think you will like the last game too - I hope to write that report up tonight.

  4. Yes, it WAS pretty much a perfect day Mark - but seems a long time ago now - hard to believe this time last week I was halfway to Rotorua to join you guys on the first evening.....:(

    1. Agreed - I thought as I drove out the gate this morning " just a week ago...'" then I drove to work.

  5. An excellent looking game Mark
    The Spanish Civil War is another of these periods that appeals to my wargames butterfly....
    Lots of surprisingly colourful uniforms and units...

    And what a beautiful place to spend a week playing toy soldiers...

    All the best. Aly

    1. Thanks Aly,

      Yes SCW does have that "butterfly effect", although my own butterfly tendencies will see me heading back into the Napoleonic and Crimean times.

      Indeed Lake Tarawera is a stunning place. Even on a dull day it has a uniqueness to it. It is volcanic and Mount Tarawera was split in two by a massive eruption in 1889...but it is well and truly dormant now. We have been so lucky over the years to have been able to hold this event there. My only complaint is that I ate FAR too much and managed to put on 2kg over the week...and my liver hates me!

      The final report of the week will be a wonderful beer and skittles type of game. With any sort of luck I shall get it written up tomorrow night.

  6. Looks like another great game Mark. I love those tankettes!

    1. Thanks Nathan. I liked them too. The one with the flamethrower caused the demise of one of the T26s...payback for taking out twomof my infantry units.

  7. Stunning pictures, what a wonderful looking game!