Thursday 25 April 2019

Dash for the Duoro - a BKCIV SCW AAR

Following on from the game a couple of weeks ago, we played out the next logical scenario, which was 'Pursuit', with my Republican forces making a fighting withdrawl across the river Duoro and relative safety. The forces were pretty much identical from last time, with the Republicans being down a Company and some Support, with the Nationalists re-inforced with the troops from the train as well as an Italian bomber.

This time we were using BKCIV, the latest version from Pendraken, more of which in another post. The scenario was played pretty much as written, with the addition of the first Turn being Dawn, with limited visibility and a -1 to command rolls. Also, any air support was unavailable in the first Turn.
The Republicans deployed first, broadly in the same postions as the close of play in the last game. They had to deploy in the central third of the table and to the left of the Duoro river.

An overview of the table, with the Republicans already deployed. The Nationalists would enter from the left hand table edge and could also deploy along either flank.

The Republican cavalry on the left flank, mounted and raring to go.

The Republican right flank, with some troops dug-in.

The Nationalists view of the enemy.

Turn 1
The Nationalist armour got going right from the off, moving smartly onto the table and engaging the enemy, resulting in the loss of a Republican cavalry unit. Other units didn't want to play ball, with only the Militia arriving on their left flank.

Frankly the Republican die rolling was shocking. Apart from the cavalry on the left wing Initiative moving away, everyone else failed, leaving them feeling like sitting ducks. To say this was not a great start would be an understatement...

An overview of things at the end of Turn 1.

The Nationalist armour in a great position to turn the Republican flank.

The cavalry retreating over the Duoro.

Turn 2
The air was filled with the sound of planes as the Condor Legion appeared in the early morning light. Dodging the desultory flak, they then reeked havoc on the Republican troops. As if that wasn't bad enough, the Nationalist armour once again caused chaos on the Republican left flank, destroying two more cavalry units, a mortar and the Trubia Naval. The rest of the Nationalist troops arrived, threatening the beleaugered Republicans right across the board.

With their right flank suppressed, the Republican left flank managed to withdraw a bit, but things weren't looking good as the Nationalists had already achieved a Minor Victory due to the losses already inflicted.

The Condor Legion flies in low over the trees...

...and bombs and strafes the Republicans...

...leaving what looks like a measles outbreak in their wake.

The end of Turn 2

The Nationalist armour in a commanding position, with the Republican flank wide open.

The Nationalist right flank.

The Republicans have already taken a lot of hits...

...and are under pressure from the advancing Nationalists left flank.

Turn 3
The Nationalists continue their relentless advance and pressure right across the board, with Republican losses continuing to mount. The Republicans fought back as best they could, but it was too little and with them one away from their breakpoint, wisely chucked in the towel.

The end of the game with the Nationalists in complete control.

The Republican left flank had all but ceased to exist.

The Nationalist left flank has pinned the Republicans as well as turning their flank.

The Republicans in complete disarray.

A lone FT-17 fighting a losing battle against the overwhelming tide of Nationalist armour.

Post Game Thoughts
Well that was a brief, brutal and bloody game to say the least. At the end we were both a bit shocked at how quickly the Nationalists had won. So how did they do it? Some thoughts;
  • Dave was uncertain as to whether to mass his armour or to penny packet it out across the board. His decision to mass his armour certainly paid off. Guderian would have been proud. It was also helped in no small way by some excellent die rolling.
  • In contrast the Republican failure in the first turn pretty much sealed their fate as they were either pinned in position or had had their flank already turned by Turn 2. For the rest of the game, what little there was of it, was hampered by poor die rolling throughout.
  • The Condor Legion bombing run inflicted so many casualties that some units were almost hors de combat .
At least it allowed us to have an early bath as they say, so not all bad. With the Republicans so comprehensively beaten, the mini-campaign came to a natural conclusion. So what next?

We decided to stick with BKC and to continue to give the latest variant a run out. As mentioned earlier I will give some thoughts on the rules in another post. I mentioned that I have a plan for a mini-campaign based upon Operation Husky and Dave was happy to give this a go. I need to finish off some units but at least the bones of the campaign are already their, I just need to flesh them out. So until next time.


  1. Steve, enjoyed the report and your table. Look forward to your observations after a couple of games. I feel BKCIV could do with something of a steady and reasoned look at some 'real' play to bring some balance to the posting at the Pendraken Forum, which seems so far to have concentrated on niggles with army lists / stats, with the unintended consequence, that the voice of criticism is louder than the voice of support and what really matters to most of us - game play.

    1. Hi Norm,
      glad you enjoyed it. I've just posted my thoughts on BKCIV on my Blog and will be interested to hear your thoughts.

  2. Excellent battle report

    Take care