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Xaloc
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España: 1936, a beta AAR

Sun Sep 15, 2013 11:41 am

Hi everybody!

Here’s a little AAR about España:1936, to get into the game and know some things before its release. Those who are veteran AGEOD players won’t find any difficulty with game mechanics, which uses the advanced supply rules, but I will try to give some explanations for new players, too, who are interested in playing SCW.

This AAR is a joint effort by myself, playing the game as Republican in the Grand Campaign (the whole war from 1936 to 1939) and Durk, who will edit my texts (I’m not a very able English speaker), and will make his contributions, too, as experienced player. Of course if Leibstandarte wants, he may do any contributions of his own.

As a little historical introduction, Spain entered in its second Republican experience (the first being of less than two years of duration between 1873-1874), after the municipal elections of April 12, 1931. The parties supporting Republicanism won those elections in many province's capitals forcing King Alfonso XIII to abdicate. On April 14, 1931 the Spanish Second Republic was proclaimed.
During the five years of peace, the Republic lived with growing tensions between left and right wing supporters. Every time they clashed the sides became more radicalized. By February 1936 a national election was held with the left, which united in a great coalition, winning it. By then the high officers of the army began to prepare a coup d’etat that finally took place in Spanish Morocco on July 17, 1936, spreading to the Spanish mainland the next day. The coup failed leaving Spain divided into two zones controlled by the Nationalist insurgents (Galicia, Old Castile, Navarra, most of Aragon, and half of Estremadura in a North zone, and parts of Andalusia including the cities of Sevilla, Cádiz and Granada; plus the Canary islands and the Spanish African colonies in a South zone) while most of the main cities (Madrid, Barcelona, Valencia, and Bilbao) remained loyal to the Republic. With this situation war was unavoidable.

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Here is the scenario selection,as you can see there are three tutorials, one scenario and the grand campaign

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Our side will be the Republican

At the beginning of the game almost all our units are still locked. The military coup has failed and in many areas and cities the parties loyal to the Republican government started to field their own militia. In some cases, like Barcelona, these militia fought the insurgent military and forced them to surrender.
Madrid and Barcelona are the places where many militia are concentrated.

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In the case of Barcelona most of the units present are anarchist, shown in light blue, led by Buenaventura Durruti. At this time anarchism had strong support in Catalonia.

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The first menaces to the Republic come from the North. Nothern areas that have remainded loyal to the Republic are isolated from the rest of the Republican territories. From Gijón, in Asturias, to San Sebastián in the Basque Country there are several units mobilized.

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In the South there are several militias mobilized too, but the Nationalists will count on the Army of Africa that can be airlifted to the mainland in the next turns. It will be difficult to maintain our actual territory in Andalusia and still more difficult prevent a link between both rebel areas.

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Note: the first turn of this beta AAR (two posts) was done in Spanish, but as we're going to do the AAR in English you'll find the screenshots in English language from turn 2 onwards. Remember the game will be fully available in English

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Kensai
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 3:04 pm

Awesome! Thrill us!! :)
Any good and objective readings you can suggest about the Spanish Civil War (apart the obvious Wikipedia)?
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Leibst
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:25 pm

The first book about the war i read was La Guerra Civil Española by Hugh Thomas.
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Carnium
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:35 pm

Kensai wrote:Awesome! Thrill us!! :)
Any good and objective readings you can suggest about the Spanish Civil War (apart the obvious Wikipedia)?

http://ageod-forum.com/showthread.php?31974-SCW-period-books-movies-TV-series

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arsan
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 4:58 pm

Cool! I love beta AAR's!! :thumbsup: :coeurs:

PS: would it be possible to post bigger images we could open in full size and enjoy all the game details?? :) (like in the recent Ebbingford CW2 AAR)

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Random
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 5:19 pm

This is excellent, thank you. Really looking forward to trying this!

-C

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Xaloc
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:20 pm

Kensai wrote:Awesome! Thrill us!!
Any good and objective readings you can suggest about the Spanish Civil War (apart the obvious Wikipedia)?


There are some suggestions in the thread linked by Carnium. I haven't read it but it seems Beevor's "Battle for Spain" have some good praises.


arsan wrote:Cool! I love beta AAR's!! :thumbsup: :coeurs:

PS: would it be possible to post bigger images we could open in full size and enjoy all the game details?? :) (like in the recent Ebbingford CW2 AAR)


Thanks! I'm not very good editing images but I'll try :)

Random wrote:This is excellent, thank you. Really looking forward to trying this!


thanks Random, Leibstandarte has done a superb job :thumbsup:

romatrei
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:32 pm

Kensai wrote:Awesome! Thrill us!! :)
Any good and objective readings you can suggest about the Spanish Civil War (apart the obvious Wikipedia)?


I highly recommend Antony Beevor's book too. Great read and great overview of the war if you are not familiar with it.

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Xaloc
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Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:41 pm

Let’s finish the first turn making a review of some of the functions we can find in España:1936.

With the keys F1 to F8 we’ll find important screens for the game. With F1 we get the force list screen with a lot of information about our field forces (size, location, strength, locked or not…). There are several filters to roster the forces and get an exact idea of the state of the army.

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F2 is a vital screen. With it we can buy replacements for the army and recover losses from combat. If a unit is not at its maximum number of elements, buying these replacements will allow the unit reach it maxium. The flags shown belong to the differents sub-factions of the Republican side as each sub-faction requires its own replacements.
When new units are purchased and recruited the time, expressed in turns, to be available will show in the half left of the screen.

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F3 to F5 is where the Military, Political and Diplomatic options can be chosen, but for the moment there are no options available. With F6 a map of Spain is shown, with our forces marked in red and identified enemy forces in grey (enemy forces under fog of war will not be shown here).

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F7 is the objectives screen, and gives a general idea of how the war is going. The objectives cities of the game and who’s controlling them are shown. Information about losses and prisioners taken can be found here too, and a comparation with the other faction's relative power. The Nationalists are stronger than us for now. We have plenty of militia formed with highly motivated men, but with no military experience, untrained and lacking discipline and armament.

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Note for Leibstandarte: maybe in this screen in Spanish “hombres perdidos” can be changed for “pérdidas”, what do you think?

Finally with F8 an historical background is shown.

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Before ending the turn, a couple of things more. On the bottom left corner of the main screen you will find a propaganda poster with a fist and a helmet. The poster activates the Regional Decisions mode. Some Regional Decisions are available at the very beginning. Each one has its own cost in EP’s and in some cases Money, National Morale or Victory Points.

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At this moment we don’t have any EP to spend so we’ll have to wait until we have enough EP’s and then we will take some of these decisions.
The helmet activates the construction mode. Only Republican militia and supply and Basque militia are available for now. The Basques were led by the conservative Basque National Party, but allied with the Republic, so they have their sub-faction too.

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Dortmund
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Mon Sep 16, 2013 4:30 pm

Surprise AAR!!! :blink:

Thanks for your time explaining us the new game with this AAR!

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Xaloc
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:25 am

Once turn 1 finished, many forces became unlocked on both sides, so take a look at the situation.
Here's the game map zoomed all the way out with the military control filter active.This gives us a quick reference of the results of the failed coup d’état and the areas controlled by both factions. The enemy territory is concentrated mainly in the Northern half of the country, with some cities in the South. But it’s in the South where the enemy will make its biggest effort with the best units of the Spanish Army at this time, La Legión, so the main threat for Madrid will come from the South.

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Almost all Republican troops are militia, but a regular regiment, formed with three battalions, is present at the naval base of Cartagena. Unfortunately these forces are understrength.

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Let’s make our first moves. Zaragoza has fallen to the rebels, like all the capital cities of Aragon, and it is an important junction blocking the way to link the Republican territories. So, the milita from Barcelona a Lerida will take positions in Aragon. Durruti merges the column under his command with the Lenin Column and begin to march to Barbastro, their final destination where a mountain infantry battalion is placed, but for the moment they head to Balaguer.
The Columns Sur-Ebro and Ascaso will merge as well and march by rail to Amposta. From there they’ll attack the Falangists of Alcañiz and then continue their advance to Belchite.
Finally, the Hilario Zamora Column, will take positions around Bujalaroz. The plan is to form a consistent front to sweep enemy forces in Aragón.

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The forces in Madrid are unlocked and a force is gathered around Perea that will march with Segovia as target. They’ll have to pass through the mountainous area that surrounds the capital.
The Peire Column in Cuenca will march to Guadalajara, to cover the Northeastern flank of Madrid.

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In the North most of our forces are still locked, and only units in Santader and in the Basque Country (the red and light blue units in Bilbao – San Sebastián) are available to move.

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In the South there are many forces locked on our side, but the enemy has begun to move and strengthen its southern position. As we can see with the circled forces, regular colonial troops from Morocco have been detected.

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Now we have a total of 24 EP’s and it’s time to take the first Regional Decisions. At the moment we have six available: Propaganda Campaign (only can be done in the capital), Requisitions (gain money at the cost of losing loyalty in the target area), Persecution (lowering the enemy’s loyalty in the area selected), Regional Campaign (gain loyalty in the target area), Breguet Bombardment (use of the obsolete Breguet bombers to attack the enemy) and Proletarian Revolution (gives the chance of gaining money and VP).
We’ll take two Regional Campaigns, for Madrid and Valencia. In these same cities we’ll start a persecution too, and we’ll try a Proletarian Revolution in Lerida.
On the map when we point the mouse while an RGD is selected, the regions where these decisions are available are shown in green, and in red if the decision is not available for that area.

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EDIT: correction of Proletarian Revolution RGD effects

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arsan
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:25 am

Looks great! :thumbsup:

I have some game system questions... :)
How long are turns?? Seems 10 days by looking at the screenshot...
Does it have the Army/Corps/Division system used on AACW, NCP or RUS with "marching to the sound of the guns"??
Thanks!

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Leibst
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:36 am

7 days turns, and yes. :gardavou:
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http://headquarter.es/wp/

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arsan
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 8:41 am

Nice! :thumbsup:
I guess gameplay will be more similar to RUS than to any other AGEOD game, but i have never played RUS :bonk:

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Leibst
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 9:16 am

It is similar to RUS but with the AJE decisions system.
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bob.
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 1:37 pm

It's great that you included the decisions system, it really adds a lot to the game if well done.

Screenshots look awesome so far, I'm just a bit worried that it will be very limited in scope. I don't know enough about the Spanish CIvil War but comparing it to the Russian Civil War AGEOD game, it seems tiny in scope and it is also way shorter. How many different "scenarios" are there, eg. is there the possibility that one country that historically intervened doesn't and vice-versa? Or some really major decisions that can change the game a lot?

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Leibst
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 2:37 pm

In may 2012 i start modding RUS trying to add a new map and just step by step i find myself developing a new game. Firts time for me doing a thing like this, so i'm very happy with the result. I agree it could be better but believe me, for me this task has been huge. Now we have a game about this war.
And make it grow is possible.
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romatrei
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Tue Sep 17, 2013 10:05 pm

bob. wrote:It's great that you included the decisions system, it really adds a lot to the game if well done.

Screenshots look awesome so far, I'm just a bit worried that it will be very limited in scope. I don't know enough about the Spanish CIvil War but comparing it to the Russian Civil War AGEOD game, it seems tiny in scope and it is also way shorter. How many different "scenarios" are there, eg. is there the possibility that one country that historically intervened doesn't and vice-versa? Or some really major decisions that can change the game a lot?


In my opinion, you don't have to worry about the scope of this because there's a lot in it with political struggles, foreign interventions etc. So the history in itself is interesting enough (to me at least).
But it's true that I wonder if some in-game "What if" are possible, like getting a more serious french intervention in the war or stopping the communists in the Republic. That would create some interesting strategic choices.

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Taciturn Scot
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 3:03 am

The 'limited' scope of this game is incredibly attractive for me. Sometimes, smaller is better, as long as there are plenty of decisions to make in the course of a game. I'm really looking forward to playing this one.

Not only that but now the AGEOD engine is poised on the brink of the 2nd world war. I'd love to see this game engine move to WW2.

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Durk
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 5:02 am

I agree, the focus is really nice. Complex, but not overly complex.

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Xaloc
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 6:10 am

The war has reached its third week. Nationalist forces from Granada have advanced towards Jaen, where a Republican unit, the Ramón Casanellas Column, is defending it.

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Let’s take a more carefully look at this unit. It’s formed with four battalions, one of them is a battalion with militia from Alcoy (or Alcoi), a small industrial city in the province of Alicante. Federico Borrell was anarchist and was attached to this unit. We can see him at the left of this picture cheering for the camera with fellow militiamen.

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Although his identity was unknown for several years after his death, Borell became famous, sadly, when Robert Capa captured the fatal moment of his death in one of the iconic photographs of XX Century, but if the picture was staged or not is still controversial.

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In the center, Perea is ready to attack Segovia after his march from Madrid. It seems only an artillery and a garrison unit defend the city and should not be a problem for our troops.
The Peire force will arrive at Guadalajara this turn while another force is formed in Madrid with general Miaja as commander. They’ll march to Segovia too.

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In Aragón, the Ebro Column will attack the Falangists of Alcañiz, and Durruti will reach Binefar. Artillery units have been received in Girona and will move by train to Binefar and merge with Durruti Column.

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In Valencia, the milita present in the city are now active, and Gamir Ulibarri forms a force with Republican and Anarchist elements and marches to Teruel.

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Finally some military and political options are available. A disembarkation is ordered on the Nationalist-held island of Mallorca in an attempt to conquer it.

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At the same time a call for reservists is choosen and with a cost of 3 EP’s we’ll gain 60 conscripts. There are some options to build factories in Madrid, Barcelona and Valencia but for the moment they are too expensive for our weak war economy.

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The first fighting of the war takes place. Nationalists try to take Jaen, but our forces maintain the control of the city despite losses twice as high as the enemy's.

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Our attack on Segovia is succesful! There was only light resistance and now Segovia is in Republican hands.

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We succeed in Alcañiz too, forcing the enemy to withdraw.

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Leibst
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:21 am

I'm trying to solve that lack of interest in Segovia by the AI. Not always do the same Mrs Athena.
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Carnium
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 9:04 am

Very interesting AAR Xalox.
More about The Falling Soldier and a documentary about it (unfortunately just in Spanish) called La sombra del iceberg.

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Kensai
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 10:38 am

Great AAR, so far. Every now and then, please post overall (zoomed out) screenshots of the battlefield with the military control filter on, so we can notice the progress. In the default terrain view it is sometimes to discern which side has or gained what.
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arsan
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 11:53 am

Very nice! Love the Borrell photo detail! :thumbsup:
By looking at the first screen (the milita unit detail window) it seems elements have a lot more hits than in other AGEOD games.
Is this to better represent XX century combat??

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Lindi
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 1:03 pm

Very good!

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Leibst
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 2:31 pm

arsan wrote:Very nice! Love the Borrell photo detail! :thumbsup:
By looking at the first screen (the milita unit detail window) it seems elements have a lot more hits than in other AGEOD games.
Is this to better represent XX century combat??

It took me several weeks to feel ok with the combat system and that's the result of different tests.
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arsan
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Wed Sep 18, 2013 7:39 pm

That's what is important! that battles results "feel" ok :thumbsup:

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Xaloc
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Thu Sep 19, 2013 8:54 pm

Thanks for your kind words and contributions :thumbsup:

Kensai, I'll try to post more screens of the map with the military control filter on. But well Nationalists forces are gaining terrain mainly in the South. :gardavou:

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Xaloc
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Fri Sep 20, 2013 6:11 am

Finally the Republicans have disembarked in Mallorca with a mixed force of loyalist and anarchist militia. It won’t be easy, our troops don’t have their cohesion at maximum after disembarking and Palma is well defended. Republicans try to make a strong foothold in Manacor before advancing towards Palma.

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In the Aragon Front, the Anarchist column of Ebro will attack the Falagists this time in Belchite. A good position for them, supply allows this, reaching Calatayud an establish a defensive position south of Zaragoza with the Ebro River as natural defense.
Durruti and his large column are still advancing slowly to Binefar and Barbastro.

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In the Central Front, after the conquest of Segovia, Perea will be awarded with a promotion for his skills shown while capturing the city. General Miaja will reinforce this position with more forces while Pozas will march from Madrid to Sierra de Madrid. Ávila could be a good objective as well.

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In Badajoz, general Puigdendolas takes command of the forces defending the city. Militias of Castilla la Nueva, based in Ciudad Real will reinforce Puigdendolas marching by train.

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In the South, more units of the Army of Africa are detected. This time they are elite infantry units of La Legión, in Osuna and Dos Hermanas. These units are clearly superior in quality to our militia, so it will be very difficult trying to stop their advance.

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Some battles occur this turn. Córdoba was left undefended by the enemy and we tried to take advantage of this. Unfortunately the enemy return to garrison the city and the battle was not favorable for the Republic. The conquest of Córdoba will have to wait.

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On the Northern coast a Nationalist force advancing from Galicia attacked our units in Cudillero, defeating them. This will effectively lift the siege of the city of Oviedo.

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Fortunately, good news come from Aragón, where the Anarchist column destroys the Falangists and captures their supply unit. Now we will be able to threaten Zaragoza from the South.

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