¡El gran empujón! – a Nuts! AAR (Turn 1)

Today I’m doing a one-off scenario in Nuts! 4th Edition using Tabletop Simulator. This scenario is set in the Spanish Civil War and features a skirmish between low-tech platoons over a small farm next to a river.

Note: As there’s a lack of Spanish Civil War models for TTS, I’m using the following stand-ins from Bolt Action mods:

  • Partisans = Republican Spanish
  • Italians = Nationalist Spanish

Some terms worth knowing to understand this AAR:

  • Rep — Short for Reputation, which is an abstraction of a character’s training, experience, morale, and motivation. Higher is better.
    • 5 rep — Combat experienced officers and elite troops.
    • 4 rep — Reliable soldiers that are trained and motivated, bulk of most armies.
    • 3 rep — Newly trained troops, rookies, or those just plain not fit for combat.
  • In Sight test — Reaction test taken whenever any enemy units spot each other. This test is very important as the winner gets to act even if it is not his turn!
  • Infantry Crisis test — Reaction test taken when a unit takes fire or a nearby friendly is killed. Determines if a soldier breaks and runs from the battlefield.
  • Out of the Fight — Incapacitated, but not dead. Must be dragged to safety.
  • Duck Back — Seeking cover. Must spend next turn of activation recovering from Duck Back. Can still return fire.

Setup

Attack mission: Republican Spanish attacking Nationalist Spanish.

Setting: A farm house in the open plains of Spain, next to a river and a forest.

Objective: Take and hold the farmhouse or the barn (sectors 4&5 or 5&6).

I am using head-to-head rules to face off two randomly generated Spanish platoons. The Republicans are attacking — they deploy along the edge of sectors 7, 8, and 9, and must secure & hold two-thirds of the middle regions (i.e., 4&5 or 5&6) while inflicting more casualties than sustained. The Nationalists may place their units anywhere in sectors 1, 2, and 3, and must prevent the Republicans from completing their objective, and not sustain more casualties than inflicted in the process.

I used the same army list to generate both Spanish platoons, which is a mish-mash of the Finnish and Romanian army lists modified for pre-WW2:

  • Each side has a platoon of 3 squads plus the HQ squad and an attached medic.
  • The Nationalist platoon has lower-quality troops, but an advantageous start. They are the only side with a Sergeant who has less than 5 rep.
  • Each squad is armed with bolt-action rifles, 1 LMG, and 1 SMG. Each soldier carries 1 grenade.
  • LMG soldiers are armed with Hotchkiss LMGs (Range – 48; Targets – 3; Impact – 3). These do not require an assistant gunner, but have a lower target rating than the BAR.

Sector 9 is considered a lake sector — the sector is accessible but the lake is not fordable. The buildings I’m using are technically inaccessible, but if a unit enters a building, I place their model’s base against the building’s wall/window/door and consider them behind that cover.

Deployment

The Republicans start with their HQ squad & 3rd Squad hidden in the trees. 1st and 2nd Squads are in the plains ready to advance on the farmhouse.

The Nationalists decide to split their second squad into two sections and place the LMG on the hill overlooking the woods, hoping to catch the Republican attackers off-guard. The rest of their squads are hidden behind the farmhouse.

Each side’s medic is deployed on the activation following casualties.

Turn 1 – Republicans

I roll for activation and the Republicans win.

1st and 2nd Squads advance cautiously towards the barn. 3rd Squad and HQ advance together to the edge of the woods. When they reach the treeline, the advancing HQ squad is spotted by the Nationalist LMG section on the hill.

The advancing Republicans trigger an In Sight test, and barely fail due to the fact that they’re moving. The Nationalist LMG section has the chance to fire on the Republican HQ squad.

The LMG and two riflemen open up on the enemy squad, but Pvt. Maroto can’t get a good shot from where he was deployed.

A storm of led shreds through the woods. Cpl. Indiano and Pfc. Zoido are badly wounded by the LMG and knocked out of the fight. Pvt. Gaona and Pvt. Rouco both duck back for cover. Lt. Escalera stands his ground and returns fire from behind the cover of a tree.

Lt. Escalera scores a hit on his attacker with his SMG burst. However, Pfc. San Martin is lucky and manages to duck back without any permanent injuries. He takes an Infantry Crisis test and stays in the fight.

I roll an Infantry Crisis test for the Republican HQ survivors and all friendlies within 4″ who witnessed the casualties. Since Lt. Escalera is out of command range from the ducked back privates, he cannot apply his leadership die to help them stay in the fight. However, he is close enough to apply his leadership die to the friendlies in 3rd Squad who witnessed the casualties.

Lt. Escalera stays in the fight. Pvt. Gaona remains ducked back. Pvt. Rouco flees the battlefield through the tree-line!

Republican turn 1 has ended with the HQ squad in tatters, but their leadership alive. On their next activation, the Republicans must attempt to recover their casualties while pushing their advance on the farmhouse or the barn. But first, it’s time for the Nationalists to activate their first turn…

Turn 1 – Nationalists

The Nationalists begin their first activation by recovering Pfc. San Martin from Duck Back. Since he retained cohesion with his Rep 5 squad leader, his squad can activate right away. San Martin recovers and the squad stays in their position on the hill.

2nd Squad/Section 1 moves up to the base of the hill to cover the side entrance of the farmhouse. HQ Squad moves up behind them.

3rd Squad initiates a fast movement. Their goal is to enter the farmhouse and reach the windows that face the advancing Republican forces. I roll for fast move, and the entire squad passes 1d6 — this means they get a bonus 4″ to their movement. Just enough to get them where they need to go.

Note: Figures positioned at the edge of a building facing outward are considered to be in cover in that building. For LOS purposes, I consider the Nationalist 3rd Squad to be about 1″ behind their actual positions, visible through all windows and doors.

Squad 3 has now moved into view of the entire Republican force, triggering an In Sight test from parts of every squad. The next 3 pictures show LOS for each squad (crossed out soldiers have blocked LOS):

I roll the In Sight test. The Nationalists beat the Republican 1st and 2nd squads, but the Republican 3rd and HQ squads ultimately win the test. They open fire on the Nationalist squad.

The HQ Squad acts first. Pvt. Gaona recovers from Duck Back, but cannot do anything else. As the lone functioning member of the squad, Lt. Escalera fires a burst at the enemy Sergeant and two privates.

He misses and draws return fire from all three.

The riflemen both miss, but Sgt. Villa manages to force Lt. Escalera to duck back.

Back over in 2nd Squad, the three front soldiers fire on the Nationalists.

They score hit on 3 Nationalists: Sgt. Villa, Cpl Romero, and Pvt. Maroto. Unfortunately, the damage rolled is only enough to make them duck back. They flee the house and seek cover in the back yard with their friendly forces.

Four Nationalist privates return fire. Three of them miss and draw a second volley of fire, but Pvt. Ignacio manages to score a pitiful lucky headshot on Pfc. Leguizamo!

Pfc. Leguizamo is Obviously Dead. Sgt. Venegas and Cpl. Espinar return fire on their attackers. On the Nationalist side, Pvt. Fernandino is hit by LMG fire and badly wounded, knocking him out of the fight. Two more privates duck back and run to join the Sergeant behind the farmhouse.

This leaves the farmhouse occupied with nothing but three green Nationalist privates armed with bolt-action rifles.

Now that all reactions have been resolved, it’s time to roll Infantry Crisis tests for both sides.

The entire Republican 2nd Squad is subject to the test due to sudden death of Pfc. Leguizamo. Sgt. Venegas fails his leadership roll, and the following crisis roll causes the all the privates in the squad to panic and drop prone. Everybody rep 4 and higher is unaffected.

The 3 remaining Nationalist riflemen occupying the house take the test and pass.

From the Republican perspective:
The state of the game at the end of the reactions caused by the Nationalist 3rd Squad moving into the farmhouse.

The Nationalist 1st Squad is the final squad to activate for the first turn of combat. They decide to press their advantage and continue the onslaught of the Republican 2nd Squad. They move out to the edge of the map next to the barn, where they can ambush the enemy squad.

Time for another In Sight reaction! The above picture shows the LOS breakdown for the Nationalists.

The front four men are in sight of the enemy squad. However, Pfc. Jairo is blocked from firing by his teammate. The Nationalist 1st Squad is relatively weak in that their Sergeant has only 4 rep, but they are attempting to ambush an exhausted squad who has been shot at and returning fire.

Despite an overwhelming advantage at winning the In Sight test, the Republican squad fails the test!

The Nationalist 1st Squad opens fire. A chaotic firefight ensues with both sides desperately exchanging potshots. The Nationalist Sergeant ducks back after an effective return fire, and the Republican privates who dropped prone now Duck Back under the heavy fire. No losses incurred in this firefight.

I roll the Infantry Crisis test for everyone who took fire. The Republicans pass. The Nationalists fail — Cpl. Montes and Pfc. Miralles duck back to join their sarge.

This ends the action of Turn 1. On the next turn, I’ll re-roll for activation and start the process over again. The Republicans desperately need another activation!

Part 2: https://alinfierno.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/el-gran-empujon-a-nuts-aar-turns-2-3/

Platoon lists: https://alinfierno.wordpress.com/2019/04/06/platoon-lists-el-gran-empujon/

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