Ground weather is automatically clear, as is the Med. In the Atlantic, a minor storm system runs along the northwest Iberian cost, causing some minor operations difficulties primarily to previous planned Loyalist naval ops (6 rolled for rough weather, so NGS will be ½ strength, should it matter.) Supply and isolation go into effect, per the normal rules. On the Insurgent side, units in Oviedo and southern Asturias go U-1 black, thanks to Mieres being unpacified and ungarrisoned. In the south, north of Almeria the line goes out of supply thanks to a number of unpacified towns along the low volume lines, as does Jaen, though a few units can draw supply via the port of Motril (unpacified, but with a unit sufficient for garrison purposes.) Lastly, near Teruel the one unit defending that front goes U-1 black as well, due to the rail lines in its rear still being unowned. On the loyalist side, only the PA III’s in Estramadura are U-1 black. No units on either side are isolated, though significant portions of the Northern Gobernito’s will be to PA units shortly (for the time being, there are holes in the Insurgent lines, so the ‘infinite’ LOC is sufficient to ensure non-isolated status, at least until the combat phase check.) No border garrisons are in place yet, as they won’t be checked till the Loyalist Sep I 36 turn. Throughout Spain, Insurgents begin tracking down Loyalist terrorists and fear-mongers, as pacification forces begin their work in Merida, Heulva, Jerez, Ronda, Jaen, Loja and Motril. These are all towns or small cities so all should be cleared of terrorists and communists next turn. There are no reinforcement or production activities, but there are 2 pts of Nat Inf (from drafting and specials) and 1 pt of arty available (via imports) for some replacement activity. Northwest of Malaga, as the Loyalists stayed in the mountains and left the 2 LE Inf III out of ZOC, the regiment becomes the bases for the Van Inf XX in 2-3-6 mode (this XX will eventually convert to one of the first XX’s with a cadre, so it gets used on a more offensive line of operations. Most of the other small XX’s get used in defensive sectors.) It is then equipped to supported 3-6 status at the cost of .5 Art. The destroyed 2 GC Sec III is rebuilt at Cordoba for use on the Malaga front, while its twin the 10 GC Sec III is rebuilt in Zaragoza, using up all available Nat RPs. Safety protocols remain in place in the Insurgent Navy (5 rolled for mine damage check.) Neither side declares CAPs or naval patrol and no harassment is flown by the Loyalists.
The CTV subs return to Ceuta, where they replenish and await the rest of the move phase. NT-1 loads the E Art III at Larache, then moves to Cadiz & unloads it. It then returns to Larache and loads the 1 LE Inf III, moves to Sevilla and unloads it, with 1 nmp left to return down river towards the sea. NT-2 loads the elite (meaning supported) 38th Inf III on Tenerife, then moves it to Vigo, moving back towards the Canaries whence it came. The BBTF and CATF move to Malaga, and prep for NGS, avoiding any potential reaction from Loyalist naval units at Cartagena via some coastal mov’t near Malaga itself. Once the prep is completed they await the combat phase.
In ground mov’t, 1 Tet Col III moves to invest Malaga on its western flank, while 6th Lt Inf II moves to the northwest of Malaga from Cadiz, and the rebuilt 2 GC Sec III moves in to attack from the northeast, these later two attacking from across the mtn hexsides. Meanwhile O Art III and 2 Lt Inf II move around Malaga’s north flank to take the anarchist X in the mountains in its eastern flank. They are joined on their right side by 2 Eng, assaulting the anarchists from their northeast, and ensuring that all forces reducing the Malaga pocket will have access to attack supply. Units on the Gaudix front, facing Lorca and Almeria remain in place for the time being. On the Guadalquivir front, near Jaen, 1 Lt Inf II from near Malaga joins the Col and Fal III’s current pacifying the city and the the 1 P Art III looking on. The O MG II rails in along low volume lines to join as well, with the whole stack planned for a cross river assault (while the 2 units pacifying may not spend mps, they can attack out of the city, so long as they remain in it for the upcoming pacification garrison check… a III in Loja will do likewise in the planned assault against anarchists in the Malaga mountains noted previously.) Meanwhile, the Van XX joins the river line and plans an assault to retake Linares on the east bank of the river. The recently shipped in E Art III and 1 LE Inf III join them by railing to a point 30 miles northwest of Jaen, then crossing the river to take the northern part of the Loyalist line in the flank. To their rear, two III’s of inf and engineers cartage attack supply from Sevilla to Cordoba, while trucks move A/S already in Cordoba south to supply the Malaga front. In Morocco, units continue to move to air and sea ports for mov’t to the front. The 2 Mel Col III and 2 II’s of Lt Inf and machinegun units are airlifted from Tetuan to Jerez. Tetuan is a better airlift spot now that Malaga is expected to fall. In southern Estramadura, 4 Lar Col III rails in to engage the PA’s 3rd III at 2821, just southeast of Almendralejo, with the Nat 6th III supporting to its east, while the 1st Sev Fal X and supporting 3 L Arty III move around the PA unit, enter that town and attack the 3rd in the rear. The unit in Merida remains in place, screening the PA’s 11 GC Sec III north-northeast of Badajoz. 7thBdr remains in Caceres defending that town, joined by 21GC Sec III on its northwest side, essentially trapping the PA Sec unit against the Badajoz-Portuguese border area. On the Madrid front, two units from near the rail junction at 2217 move down the line and take up positions east and southeast of Talavera, leaving that city unpacified in their rear. 15 L Art III rails in from Galicia to hold the mountain pass at sector 2412. 4 P Art and 28th Inf sit on the arty unit’s right flank at the wooded rough sector 2513, while to its left, 2nd Cav shifts a hex eastward. The Insurgent line runs due east in the clear hexes through to 2407, which is empty, whereupon the line doglegs southeast down to 2706. To the rear, 6GC admins to a point 30 miles east of Salamanca, while the 35th Inf III admins to just behind the gap in the line at 2407, taking up residence in 2307 and minimizing the chance of any raiders. However, 13 L Art III still holds a salient in the Loyalist line at mountain hex 2510. This whole line is somewhat weak, mostly made up of 1 pt units, including a few scattered arty III’s, but only the wooded rough at 2513 actually has an arty unit & infantry in support. The line’s flank sort of hangs against the wooded rough of eastern Castilla la Nueva. Through this same wooded rough, the Insurgents send a cavalry raid. 9th Cav moves due southwest from 2706, converting ownership of Cuenca on the low-volume Aranjuez-Valencia line, then putting at least a zoc on the high volume Aranjuez-Alcazar line, thereby cutting access to Madrid from the south, albeit temporarily to be sure. (I was one mp shy of being able to occupy hex 3111, or better yet, putting a zoc on the Alcazar-Albecete line, which would have prevented rail reinforcement of the critical Linares-Ubeda front, which ultimately leads to Valdepenas and thence to Alcazar. IMO, the fall of Alcazar is the death knell of Loyalist Spain, as Madrid cannot be easily supplied or reinforced but through that one line, assuming the Loyalists don’t control nearly all of Aragon, which is a difficult prospect in a standard start game.) Over on the Teruel front, 20GC Sec III moves west into the mountains flanking the pass, with 17th Inf moving into its previous positions from near Calatayud. This opens up the rail line and supply, and allows 24th Inf III to admin in from Galicia to help join the front. In Aragon, Insurgent GHQ faces a bit of a choice. They are currently outnumbered 2:1 or worse, but the PA has decided to form lines essentially behind rivers. The Insurgents can advance a bit and form a line based on terrain and rivers, or back up a bit, but without that terrain for protection. It’s decided to advance to contact, more or less, and put some zoc pressure at least on the Catalunian line. Should Loyalists attack on this front, they will likely make some gains, but it’s believed the damage will be contained at least a bit as no hex appears to be over-runnable, and besides, units attacking southern Aragon aren’t helping hold the line btw Valdepenas and Linares. The line runs from the wooded rough at 4631 into the rough at 4630, then due northwest eventually along the Cinca river, with a salient at 4428. This salient is occupied by 2nd Mech and 9 L Art III’s, and while attackable from 4 sides, all such sides face rivers. To its rear are single small units, protected by rivers themselves, while the rail line hex at 4530 has 2 pts supported. No hex appears to be overrunnable, as noted, but the line is otherwise not particularly strong. Still, even facing the best Loyalist forces not near Madrid, it should hold a turn till next turn’s reinforcements arrive (to include a planned build of the 1st Cas XX, plus others that can be built up or show as reinforcements (a pair of 2-3-5 XX’s, the Caceres and Oviedo XX’s arrive next turn, so should the Loyalists choose to launch an offensive on the Aragon front, the Insurgents can get at least 2 or 3 good defensive units into the area quickly via Zaragoza (given that a 3 pt unit is huge in the early game of FWTBT!)
Up in the north in Euzkadi, San Sebastian is cut off from the rest of Basque territory… there are only 3 pts of units capable of attacking out of the city, and no attack supply in it, so single units can probably hold the line directly in northern most Navarre… however, 3131, the hex btw San Sebastian and the rest of Euzkadi is held ‘in force’ with 2 pts of supported troops. Other units nestle up to the Basque lines as well, so they are complete up through 1703, just shy of the PA held mtns at 1603. Santander province is screened mostly at a distance, though zoc’s hem the territory in while the rough terrain gap btw the mountains at 1604 is held directly. In Asturias, despite my recent battle losses, the Insurgents remain aggressive. The 2nd MG II advances to the coast to take 1106, while 8th Mtn II moves out of Oviedo to take up position in the vacated mountains at 1206. Seventh Mtn II also departs Oviedo, taking up position in the mountains at 1207, while the 38th Inf III (supported), just delivered to Vigo, rails into Meires’ hex. The 32nd Inf III (supported) sends out patrols to gain ownership of the town of Tineo in northern Asturias (it moves out and back into the city, gaining ownership via zoc). In this way, Gijon is nearly encircled, and no attack supply is currently in the city. The MG II is likely going to be attacked, but the Asturians will be halved for lack of attack supply (the factory at Gijon does not produce a/s until later in the game when it upgrades.) The Loyalists must attack the II, using NGS I’m sure, otherwise they risk leaving themselves unable to link up with the rest of the Gobernitos. However, if they are attacking along the coast they are not attacking the mountain hex at 1206, which zoc’s in the southern part of Asturias (when I get a unit with a zoc there… for now, I’m still keeping myself at 4 RE’s or less in the province, by using the II’s and the supported III’s for strength. Next turn I’ll need to make the call on whether to release the Asturian garrison by sending in more than 4 RE’s. I have too many hexes (5!) to hold with a meager 4 RE’s of troops, especially when the intrinsic defense of Oviedo counts as ½ of one of those RE’s. Again, letting the Asturians attack in the south ensures they aren’t coming up with plans to improve on any sort of attack against Oviedo (even with pulling units out of the city, the Loyalists would need their whole AF to get even a 2:1 -2 against the city, what with their being no attack supply available to them for the moment.) Lastly, up in Galicia, nearly all the units in that backwater have been railed or admin’d out, the exception being the 30th III, which was used to finally connect up the rail lines.
The Loyalists fly DAS to a threatened hex near Madrid, ensuring no attack would be launched (I probably wouldn’t have attacked there anyway, since even the 5:1 odds I might have gotten would have risked exchange losses I wasn’t interested in (they would have necessitated taking losses in troops that would have left arty units alone in the hex, and I didn’t have attack supply in the area to ensure very high odds attacks.) The first Nationalist attack goes off without difficulties, when Bre19’s scare off the “Independent Republic of Malaga” Anarchist infantry brigade. The anarchists panic a bit despite their excellent terrain and are destroyed to a man, with the 2nd Eng III taking their works by assault (5:1 -2 attack, w/ a/s, Anarchists ½’d by morale effects, odds go to 11:1 -2, 4 rolled for a DE.) Next, the guns of the fleet open up on Malaga proper, while the 1stTetuan Col III and 6th Lt Inf fix the defending 8th PA III in place on their west and northwest sides… 2nd GC Sec III sneaks in from the northeast, across the mounts using local guides to find routes through the peaks. The defenders are caught surrounded by forces on every front, with their only retreat routes eliminated thanks to the collapse of the anarchists to the east. The city falls quickly as the defenders rout (6:1 -1, with a/s and 3 pts of NGS supporting the otherwise unsupported units attacking, 4 for no effect on PA morale, but 6 rolled for DE.) Next the Guadalquivir river position is taken in turn. Ubeda is seized, but the attack is mishandled by newly arrived troops and the defending PA 18th GC Sec II manages to escape eastwards (8:1 -1, some a/s, but just 1 RE shy of enough to ensure a 9:1, no morale for PA, 1 rolled for a DR.) Linares however changes hands for the third time, as units assault from northwest and west across the river, with the Van XX in the lead (9:1 -1, some a/s, no morale for PA, 6 for a DE.) Lastly, the rail lines near Almendralejo are cleared of the patrols of the PA 3rd III, when a mixed bag of Nat Arty and Nat, Col and Fal Inf assault and force the soldiers of the 3rd into captivity (5:1 +0, some a/s, no morale for PA or Fal, 3 for a DR zoc kill.)
SS-1 and -2 wait till the end of the turn, and then slip off out of Ceuta and arrive off station, 30 miles off the coast of Almeria, arriving at night time. Naval units in Cartagena choose not to respond (-1 on success roll, no reaction attempted.) NT-1 moves down the river to the Atlantic, heads to Ceuta where it replenishes, then moves to Larache to await next turn’s mov’ts. NT-2 moves to Las Palmas de Gran Canaria, replenishes, and then awaits the end of the turn. The BBTF with low ammo moves to Ceuta, replenishes, and then waits, while the CATF moves north towards El Ferrol, slipping into the port using night movement and the rough seas to ensure the Loyalist BB at Gijon can do nothing to respond (-1 mod for rough and -1 mod for night mov’t ensure no reaction could be successful…) It is now positioned to receive additional cruisers next turn (Sep I 36 is an NRP receiving turn for the Insurgents, and the unit being reinforced has to be in the port at the start of the turn and remain there the entire turn to be brought up in strength. No ground mov’t occurs in exploit and neither side flies any exploit turn air missions, so the turn ends at this point.