Introduction

  • Game: For Whom The Bell Tolls
  • Scenario: Full Game
  • Optional Rules: Variable Start to the Revolution
  • Players: Ken Newall, Solitaire
  • Time Played: January 2017 to

The rules used are standard with no optional or advanced other than 44H (Variable Rebellion). Errata is that “officially” distributed, the extensive document available on the Files section plus a couple of clarifications from my own enquires to the Rules Guru through this site. Happy to discuss any rules breaches you may detect.

I have played the historical campaign game about 4 times through to the end solitaire but this is my first Variable Rebellion play through. The advantage of solitaire is that the sides are evenly matched but are both played in the same style and I do not claim the moves to be optimal so any alternate strategies and tactics are welcomed.

The Narrative is part historical fact, part speculation and part artistic licence. Of course as the game progresses this is likely to deviate significantly from the historical flow of events.

Initially I intend to post at the end of each turn but by past experience may move to monthly reporting as things turn static and gains are fewer.  For brevity I will discuss only significant moves and actions rather than a blow by blow account of every unit’s disposition.  For example a rail bombing attempt without result is unlikely to be mentioned. As this is my first reported play through please let me know how you find the presentation and level of detail.

Acknowledgements

The primary source for the historical parts of the Narrative is taken from the excellent book “The Battle For Spain – The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939” by Sit Anthony Beevor, copyright Ocito Ltd 2006. My copy is a Phoenix paperback.

This weighty tome concentrates in great detail on the various political and factional machinations but does include some military details and has a selection of maps and photos.  Highly recommended to anyone interested in this campaign.  Generally speaking comments in the Narrative which are in quotes are from sources used in that book and details of the primary source are in the extensive bibliography within it. Other details are supplied by the omnipresent Wikipedia and other online sources.

The geographical names and places not on the FWtBT map are from my old school atlas “The University Atlas” by George Philip & Son Limited, London 1972.

The low level personages such as Miguel Abarca of the 2LE Legionnaires are entirely fictional and any relationship to real persons alive or dead is entirely co-incidental and unintended. The generals and other high ranking military and political figures are real but their actions in some instances have been changed to fit the events of this Variable Rebellion game. For example in reality De Villa-Abrille at Seville dithered and was immediately arrested by the Nationalists thus Seville fell with barely a shot fired.    Similarly some events may not be in strict chronological order but were selected to illustrate or support a game event.  I have in places simplified and merged certain events and factions to avoid a confusing plethora of political bodies, personages and locations. Where more knowledgeable readers spot any distortions as a result I apologise but hopefully this process will enable a reader with a passing interest to follow the narrative with a certain degree of understanding.