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JapLance

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New around here (and some Ebro 38 stuff).

Hi folks,

I've been reading these forums for some time, learning lots of things, and now the time has come for me to post for the very first time :salute:.

I decided to face the challenge of designing an scenario, and I opted for a Spanish Civil War battle, probably the only one that has still not been covered in TOAW (strange, as it is probably the best known of them all): The Ebro.

As it is my first scenario and I'm still learning the basics of the editor, I decided to limit the scenario to the first seven days of combats, that is, the Republican crossing of the river and the battle for Gandesa. Here you have a screen of the initial deployment for the battle:



Scale is 2.5Km/hex, and the time frame is 6 hours/turn. OOB is composed (until now, still researching) of 122 republican units and 111 nationalist units.

Well, my problem is that I'm not able to make the Nationalist defense very efective. The main objective of the game is Gandesa, located more or less in the centre of the sector, and usually the Republicans get there without problems.

¿Can any of the more experienced designers give me any tips on how to make a stronger defender?

Thanks a lot in advance.
 
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piero1971

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hello

ola and welcome here.

great initiative to start a scenario! and yes, The Ebro battle is great.

I don't know the battle that well but sure if you had the oob right and supply right, perhaps you must use variable shock events to play real events and what if.

post your scenario here in beta, so we can look at it and make feedback.

hasta luego
 

JapLance

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Thanks for the welcome, Piero.

Here is what I've done so far. I still need to add most mortars to the Nationalist batallions, but apart from that and any suggestions, it's mostly finished.

**** most recent version at the end of this thread ****

PD: don't be cruel, it's my first try... :D
 
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Secadegas

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I made a scenario about Ebro 38 (to my own consuption) some time ago. I also have lots of info about oob's and to&e's. If you want i can send my scenario for you to check. Gandesa isn't that easy to take on my scenario...
 

piero1971

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Here are my first comments after looking at the scenario, but remind that I am not an expert on the Spanish Guerre Civil.

- I find the Republicans quite strong. The proficiency overall seems high (70%). Were they that well coordinated, etc?

- I think that TOAW in the 30's makes planes' effect too small - the psychological effect of planes was high. so perhaps a shock bonus for nationalists for when the Kondor Legion arrives?

- I like the map

- perhaps too many pontooniers? makes crossing the Ebro easy for most troops - one trick I use is to make minor river+swamp as a river crossign instead of a major river+pontoons, as it slows down the crossing of units (crossing a pontoon is a slow process). But I dont' know how large is the Ebro and how fast did the Republicans cross it (I have the Osprey campaign series on the battle but havent' read it yet).

keep up the good work!
 

JapLance

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Thanks for the comments, mate. This is what I was looking for.

piero1971 said:
I find the Republicans quite strong. The proficiency overall seems high (70%). Were they that well coordinated, etc?
Well, The Ebro Army was supposed to be the best the Republic had, with some International Brigades as spearhead. Force proficiency is 65 right now, with units proficiency ranging mainly from 60 to 70.

Coordination is something that I still don't know exactly how to handle. To simulate some discoordination I gave diferent background red colours to the two different Corps, and different foreground to the different divisions. Maybe a more radical background difference would be better.

piero1971 said:
I think that TOAW in the 30's makes planes' effect too small - the psychological effect of planes was high. so perhaps a shock bonus for nationalists for when the Kondor Legion arrives?
That's a nice idea. A 5% shock perhaps?

piero1971 said:
I like the map
It's far from accurate. Apart from the roads, villages, and a general idea of where the main ridges are, the rest is just a suposition.

piero1971 said:
perhaps too many pontooniers? makes crossing the Ebro easy for most troops - one trick I use is to make minor river+swamp as a river crossign instead of a major river+pontoons, as it slows down the crossing of units (crossing a pontoon is a slow process). But I dont' know how large is the Ebro and how fast did the Republicans cross it (I have the Osprey campaign series on the battle but havent' read it yet).
In the beginning I thought about adding some river passes (e.g. Miravet), but I also want to give the Nationalist the option to destroy the bridges (which happenned quite often during the battle) to strangle the Republicans if they want to, and the Republicans to be able to choose where to settle their crossings, so maybe reducing the number of pontoons would be better.

secadegas said:
I made a scenario about Ebro 38 (to my own consuption) some time ago. I also have lots of info about oob's and to&e's. If you want i can send my scenario for you to check. Gandesa isn't that easy to take on my scenario...
Oh, that was very selfish, not to share a scenario :D :D :D.

I'd love to have it, as well as any info you may have gathered to make it (info on the SCW is harder to get than I expected). My e-mail is japlancegp500*yahoo.es

Thanks a lot for the help.
 

Secadegas

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JapLance said:
Oh, that was very selfish, not to share a scenario :D :D :D.

I'd love to have it, as well as any info you may have gathered to make it (info on the SCW is harder to get than I expected). My e-mail is japlancegp500*yahoo.es

Thanks a lot for the help.
You are right about the selfishess but i just don't have the guts...

I'll contact you during weekend

Saludos
 

Joao Lima

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JapLance said:
That's a nice idea. A 5% shock perhaps?
On a first note beware when using shock effects, because it affects almost everything (supplies,reinforcements, proficiencies), it's not exactely 'shock'...

Second a question, you want a stiffer defense by the PO ?
 

JapLance

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Tim McBride said:
You might want to check out http://www.TDG.nu

One of their members is making a spanish civil war scenario
Yep, I know of JMS's Agonia y Victoria scenario (got it from Rugged Defense), though never played it due to its big size (I always prefer smaller scenarios). I checked it in order to look at proficiencies and things like these. Looks very nice indeed.

Joao Lima said:
On a first note beware when using shock effects, because it affects almost everything (supplies,reinforcements, proficiencies), it's not exactely 'shock'... Second a question, you want a stiffer defense by the PO ?
Thanks for the note. Things like this are not explained in the help file.

I'm trying to get the Nationalist PO rush to defend Gandesa when it's threatened. Many Batallions entrench away from the front while the Republicans are marching on Gandesa with almost no opposition. Obviously I'm doing something wrong in their objectives, but I'm not sure of what.

Thanks everybody for helping me with this.

PD:Secadegas, scenario received. Seems like a nice one. I'll try it tonight probably :laugh:.
 

Joao Lima

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JapLance said:
Many Batallions entrench away from the front while the Republicans are marching on Gandesa with almost no opposition.
Another note, in defense the PO goes from the highest numbered objective to the last, that is, let's suppose ýou have 3 objectives for a unit to defend, if you place Gandesa as the first objective, those units will dig-in in objective number 3 and will only move to the others if they are attacked, by then it's probably to late, I personaly always number the objective I want the units to defend a number down from the highest objective number, so in the example above, objective 1 would be on the way to Gandesa, 3 very near to Gandesa and 2 on Gandesa itself, that way the units are always near to then main objective in defense and the objective 1 would be a 'trip wire'.
 

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air shock would definitly be an idea, I read that the german and Italian air assets really created havoc on the river crossings slowing down the republican armies.
 

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To lend a hand, check this site:

http://personal.menta.net/stonewall/

Specially, this: http://personal.menta.net/stonewall/docs/gc/gc3.pdf

There you have the TOE info you need.

As for the OOB, if possible check issues 41,42 and 43/44 of Revista de Historia Militar Española, if not I'll post the relevant info.

You can go on here:

http://www.iespana.es/orden-de-batalla-gce/epr/grupe_epr.htm
http://www.iespana.es/orden-de-batalla-gce/en/divisiones/5_div.htm
http://www.iespana.es/orden-de-batalla-gce/epr/grupe_epr.htm

Can't help with the map :(
 

JapLance

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Gracias JMS, I've already tried to reflect all this information in the scenario, as it was not unknown to me. The site with the OOB has been specially useful, and the webmaster offered me some data about the 50th Nationalist Division which at that moment was still not available in the site. And the PDF document with those TOE has also been very rich in info.

For the map I've found a site with satellite pics of the area, but I'm afraid it's something out of reach for me.

I've replaced the file with a new version, keep the suggestions coming! :)
 

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JapLance said:
Gracias JMS, I've already tried to reflect all this information in the scenario, as it was not unknown to me. The site with the OOB has been specially useful, and the webmaster offered me some data about the 50th Nationalist Division which at that moment was still not available in the site. And the PDF document with those TOE has also been very rich in info.

For the map I've found a site with satellite pics of the area, but I'm afraid it's something out of reach for me.

I've replaced the file with a new version, keep the suggestions coming! :)
De nada. Volvamos al inglés :)

I have been playing a bit with the scenario. You can achieve a lower historical rate by making hexsides besides the Ebro escarpments, as the sides were quite steep. In addition, you can use events to replicate the flood waters destroying the bridges:
Turn X - Withdraw unit - % of destruction

In addition, you can replace the trucks with porter squads so the battalions move at foot speed. To replicate that the heavier bridges needed for tanks were more difficult to build you can give the tanks Fixed orders and successive % of releasing them through the event editor, so they won't go off on the first turn. Also, to allow the Nacionalist to blow the bridges make the bridging units composed only of ferry-bridging teams and place them with garrison orders in the crossing sites, so they don't go on their own somewhere else.
 

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there is an intresting article in this months Vae Victis magazine (in French) on the Ebro... which means a game in the next issue.
after reading it,
I definitely think that in the early phases of a Ebro battle, the Nationalist air force should have a strong Schock bonus, which slowly disappears and that bad supply should harm Republican forces, especially during crossings...

after all the Republican attack did and could succeed more. the real problem was that after the battle the Nationalist counteroffensive pinned down and used the best republican troops...
 

JapLance

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JMS said:
To replicate that the heavier bridges needed for tanks were more difficult to build you can give the tanks Fixed orders and successive % of releasing them through the event editor
I like the idea, but I'm not sure of the way to implement it. I've set the formation into DELAY orders with activation in turn 5, but I don't know how to randomize this with an event.

I've added escarpments by the river, and also set the pontoons fixed, as JMS suggests. I think it's more historical than letting the bridges be set wherever the Republican player wants them. Also added some replacements for the Republican Ferry Engineers to reflect the capacity to fix the damaged bridges, and a chance of a few more by capturing Corbera, where in the real battle the Republicans captured some Nationalist pontoons.

I'll post the new file with all these changes soon :). By the way, merry X-mas everybody :).
 

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JapLance said:
I like the idea, but I'm not sure of the way to implement it. I've set the formation into DELAY orders with activation in turn 5, but I don't know how to randomize this with an event.

I've added escarpments by the river, and also set the pontoons fixed, as JMS suggests. I think it's more historical than letting the bridges be set wherever the Republican player wants them. Also added some replacements for the Republican Ferry Engineers to reflect the capacity to fix the damaged bridges, and a chance of a few more by capturing Corbera, where in the real battle the Republicans captured some Nationalist pontoons.

I'll post the new file with all these changes soon :). By the way, merry X-mas everybody :).
A good resource for the map:

http://mediambient.gencat.net/cat/el_departament/cartografia/docs/cartografia_referencia.jsp?ComponentID=7169&SourcePageID=3351#7093

There you have everyting, water courses, cartography, etc.

To have then tanks go off when the bridge is ready do this:

1) Create a different formation for the tanks (for example, Brigada tanques)
2) Set all the formation to fixed deployment, activation turn 999
2) Go to the event editor and create the following event:
Turn: 2
Event effect: Formation orders
Turn range: 2 (for example)
Probability: 20%
Orders: Advance
Loss setting: Ignore losses
Formation: Brigada tanques

To reflect the increased probability in the next turns, simply repeat the even, increasing probability every time:
Turn: 4
Event effect: Formation orders
Turn range: 2 (for example)
Probability: 40%
Orders: Advance
Loss setting: Ignore losses
Formation: Brigada tanques

etc.
 
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