Return from Casabona

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RichardB
Posts: 138
Joined: April 21st, 2020, 12:38 pm

Return from Casabona

Post by RichardB » June 13th, 2022, 4:06 pm

Return from Casabona

After I posted the original scenario Alan Hamilton suggested I revisit the table and fight the return journey, so here we go.

The scenario
This game follows straight on from the Convoy game I played earlier, after a few hours unloading supplies and loading up the wounded the convoy must make its way back to Spanish lines. The various picket groups must defend the convoy and then fall back in echelon with it to the start line. The Berbers and their Arab allies must try to prevent this if possible.

Spanish forces
All units received casualties in the first game, some returns have been given representing lightly wounded, lost, etc
Elements of Companies No5 & No8 (support), II Bandera La Legion
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1st Mia (Company) – 2nd Tabor de Regulares de Melilla
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“A” Squadron of Regimiento de Husares de la Princesa (this unit down to one half troop of mounted troopers)
Company: Regimiento de infanteria No31 “La Corona” – one platoon from this command has volunteered to remain at Casabona to replace casualties
Coy Hq plus 1st & 2nd platoons
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Convoy with: various wagons, mules and an ambulance
Photos of the convoy forming up, you can also see the remaining Husares and half a platoon from La Corona here
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Support
2 x 75mm batteries

The Spanish can also call: 2 sortees from 2 bi-plane fighter bombers armed with machine guns and bombs, these arrive 1D6 turns after being called and will attack targets as required (guided by heliograph). The planes can deliver one turn of strafing and one bomb run either 2 x 15pdr high ex OR on a roll of 5-6 (1D6) mustard gas!!

Riffi & allies
For the purposes of the game the Berbers already on the table as they have been skirmishing with and sniping at the various Spanish units. These are all the warriors available and must be used sparingly. Initially some are considered concealed from line of sight and cannot be fired up until they move or are spotted!

Concealed Riffi can only be spotted once they are within rifle range on 5-6 (1D6) OR via binoculars, etc up to 30” (again 5-6 on 1D6) - obviously once they fire their position is exposed

Initial Riffi present on tabletop:

4 x 10-figure Hamsein (one has a Lewis LMG)
1 x MMG team
1 x 70mm mountain gun
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The Riffi commander has spotted what he thinks is a fatal flaw in the Spanish defensive pocket, the Spanish right has moved up beyond the lumber yard exposing this whole flank! So on turn 10 a large number a lowland Arab cavalry which has slowly been moving into position over the last few hours will charge onto the table on the Spanish right with plan to envelope the track at the lumber yard and catch the Spanish column!!

Arab cavalry (average morale)
1 x 9 fig group, 2 x 10 fig groups
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Turns 1 & 2
The convoy slowly made its way down the track escorted by the cavalry, the Riffi began sniping at the various Spanish positions, casualties occurred on both sides.
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Turn 3
The withdrawal continued the rear most Spanish units (both part of La Corona), take quite a few casualties this turn, the Riffi press towards these positions. Good news for the Spanish as the airforce arrive over the table.
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Turn 4
The Spanish planes fail to bomb anyone! Legionnaires on the far left break up a Berber attack scattering the survivors!
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Turn 5
The Berbers move their 70mm mountain gun to try and open a route to the track and convoy
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Fighting and casualties right across the table, the convoy moves further down the trail.
Turn 6
The aircraft return strafing the old lookout tower and actually killing a few Berbers
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The Riffi cannon misses its first shot and watches helplessly as the Hotchkiss wipes out a group of Berber in front of it.
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On a positive note Berbers attacking the Spanish rearguard on the left manage to cause a morale check which the survivors fail and they flee down the track after the convoy abandoning their duty!
Turn 7
The Riffi gun misses (again), Spanish artillery try and find the hidden (from their perspective) gun unsuccessfully.
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A Legion Lieutenant decides to take his command and attack the gun himself
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Turn 8
Having noticed the rearguard breaking the remaining Husares de la Princesa turn and charge the Berbers to protect the convoy
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The convoy reaches the saw mill
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Mounting casualties finally crack 1st platoon of La Corona who break and join the general retreat – luckily for the Spanish the Berbers have no more warriors to commit in that area so cannot take advantage
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The Spanish guns continue to target the hidden Berber cannon unsuccessfully, but the Legionnaires can now see it and with cries of Viva la Muerta! they Charge!!
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Turn 9
Although sniping continues, the Berbers can`t get close enough to the column which plods along
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On the left the legionnaires charge the gun and fight hand to hand with the Berber, some excellent roles later see the legionnaires all killed except one (who will soon join his mates) – such is the luck of the dice!!
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Turn 10
The Arab horsemen burst onto the tabletop – but the convoy is well down the table!
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Turns 11 – 14
Spanish artillery lays down effective covering fire, whilst the convoy rushes to get across the lines to safety. Even though the Arabs reach the track they are unable to get close enough to attack the convoy. Spanish win.
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[URL=https://app.photobucket.com/u/Richard_B ... 453e-aaca-
cd5d8b48effc]Image[/URL]
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Of course this did leave a lot of Legionnaires, Regulares, Husares and infantry out on the table, but covered by the artillery I saw no problems with them withdrawing back to Spanish lines.

Pierz_BA-64
Posts: 75
Joined: December 30th, 2021, 9:23 pm

Re: Return from Casabona

Post by Pierz_BA-64 » June 13th, 2022, 6:40 pm

A great follow-on to the previous game, the crashed aeroplane is an eye-catching terrain piece.

RichardB
Posts: 138
Joined: April 21st, 2020, 12:38 pm

Re: Return from Casabona

Post by RichardB » June 13th, 2022, 9:07 pm

Pierz_BA-64 wrote:
June 13th, 2022, 6:40 pm
A great follow-on to the previous game, the crashed aeroplane is an eye-catching terrain piece.
Thank you :)

dadlamassu
Posts: 16
Joined: November 4th, 2021, 3:31 pm

Re: Return from Casabona

Post by dadlamassu » June 14th, 2022, 3:15 pm

Great report of an exciting action. Really enjoyed that.

RichardB
Posts: 138
Joined: April 21st, 2020, 12:38 pm

Re: Return from Casabona

Post by RichardB » June 14th, 2022, 3:23 pm

dadlamassu wrote:
June 14th, 2022, 3:15 pm
Great report of an exciting action. Really enjoyed that.
You get full credit for kicking me up the arse :lol: It was an interesting game to play :D

RKKA
Posts: 347
Joined: April 28th, 2020, 12:58 pm

Re: Return from Casabona

Post by RKKA » June 14th, 2022, 4:40 pm

Yes another interesting game. :D

It also throws up an issue for wargamers when it comes to linked games like these or campaigns. That is whether to field forces for the later games as they finished the first game (with perhaps an allowance for lightly wounded returning and/or any available reinforcements) or, assuming it is a historical scenario, the forces as they started the succeeding battles in reality?

In the RF "Red Book" for the Eastern Front there is a handy orbat for a Reduced Strength Soviet Rifle Regiment reflecting the fact that they were quite frequently very much below the official establishment. Similarly we rarely field late war German armoured units, for example, at full strength because they rarely were. The Germans were surprisingly meticulous in filing regular status reports on unit strengths as I was able to find for the recent Lauban game we played.

RichardB
Posts: 138
Joined: April 21st, 2020, 12:38 pm

Re: Return from Casabona

Post by RichardB » June 14th, 2022, 5:38 pm

RKKA wrote:
June 14th, 2022, 4:40 pm
Yes another interesting game. :D

It also throws up an issue for wargamers when it comes to linked games like these or campaigns. That is whether to field forces for the later games as they finished the first game (with perhaps an allowance for lightly wounded returning and/or any available reinforcements) or, assuming it is a historical scenario, the forces as they started the succeeding battles in reality?

In the RF "Red Book" for the Eastern Front there is a handy orbat for a Reduced Strength Soviet Rifle Regiment reflecting the fact that they were quite frequently very much below the official establishment. Similarly we rarely field late war German armoured units, for example, at full strength because they rarely were. The Germans were surprisingly meticulous in filing regular status reports on unit strengths as I was able to find for the recent Lauban game we played.
In the 45 or so yrs I`ve played wargames, I tried various sets and stole bits which i thought would be useful - Command Decision (version 2) plus its supplements - Barbarossa 25 & Bastogne had interesting concepts on returns during larger campaign style games, we stole and adapted these.

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