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The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939» Forums » Rules

Subject: The map rss

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Jonathan Cornthwaite
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I have some comments on the map, as follows:

1. The map depicts Lérida as part of the region of Aragon, but this is contradicted by Playbook Rule 19.0, which lists it as one of Catalonia's provincial capitals. The latter, I believe, is the correct alternative.

2. Another inconsistency relates to the region of León. The map depicts this region as containing the five provincial capitals of León, Salamanca, Zamora, Palencia and Valladolid; yet Playbook Rule 19.0 lists all five capitals as part of Old Castile. Neither position, in my opinion, is correct. In 1936 the region of León contained only three provinces, namely León, Salamanca and Zamora; Palencia and Valladolid were two of Old Castile’s eight provinces. (A useful map of Spain’s regions and provinces in 1936 may be found on page 15 of Hugh Thomas’ classic and definitive The Spanish Civil War (Penguin, 2003).)

3. Most of the Balearic Islands are shown on the map, but they are marked as ‘unplayable’. In the final paragraph of Playbook Rule 22.0, Mr Romero explains his decision to exclude the islands from the game, but (with respect) I think that the decision is regrettable. After all, the Balearics (unlike the Canaries) saw active campaigning during the war, including one of the Republic’s relatively few offensives, and it would have been interesting to have simulated this. And, since the rules already permit sea movement, amphibious landings and naval gunfire (Rules 11.5-11.8 and 12.2.6), the inclusion of the Balearics in the game would presumably entail little if any complication of the rulebook.

I also have a general observation on the map. It is obviously desirable for any board war-game map to be not only functional but also attractive, especially where (as in this game) even the shortest scenario requires the players to spend hours poring over the map. In my opinion those responsible for the design of the map have succeeded admirably at their task, for the map is not only clear, self-explanatory and easy to use, but also very nice to look at. And I have had the great pleasure of looking at it for quite a long time, as I have recently completed a solitaire play of the full Campaign scenario. So I would like to take this opportunity of congratulating the map designers on what is in my opinion a really first-class piece of work.

Jonathan Cornthwaite
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Kevin Bernatz
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Thank you for the compliment on the map. Charlie and Javier were the primary architects on the map and they did excellent work in balancing "playability" and "look", IMO.

In terms of the Balearic Islands, Javier took much flak over his decision to leave the islands off; and, ultimately, it is a "you can't please everyone" situation. His game, his rules, his decision :-). And, yes, I think the rules could cover a map expansion including the Balearic Islands...maybe we should look at that as a GMT expansion for TSCW?

As for the other map questions, I'll have to let Javier answer those. I'll let him know to check here, as I don't think he frequents BGG much these days.

-K
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Jonathan Cornthwaite
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Many thanks for your swift response.

Jonathan Cornthwaite
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Javier Romero
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Quote:
1. The map depicts Lérida as part of the region of Aragon, but this is contradicted by Playbook Rule 19.0, which lists it as one of Catalonia's provincial capitals. The latter, I believe, is the correct alternative.


Yes, the latter is correct.
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Javier Romero
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3. Most of the Balearic Islands are shown on the map, but they are marked as ‘unplayable’. In the final paragraph of Playbook Rule 22.0, Mr Romero explains his decision to exclude the islands from the game, but (with respect) I think that the decision is regrettable. After all, the Balearics (unlike the Canaries) saw active campaigning during the war, including one of the Republic’s relatively few offensives, and it would have been interesting to have simulated this. And, since the rules already permit sea movement, amphibious landings and naval gunfire (Rules 11.5-11.8 and 12.2.6), the inclusion of the Balearics in the game would presumably entail little if any complication of the rulebook.


Ground operations in Mallorca lasted only a few weeks: the conquest of Ibiza (only one month in Republican hands) and the failed Republican landing in Mallorca (august-september 1936) an operation that reminded Gallipoli. That's less than one game turn... this is why I opted to simulate everything in an event chit ("Balearic Islands landing").

IMHO, it wasn't worth the effort including the rules, map and counters to simulate what amounted to nothing more than a sideshow that distracted badly needed resources in the central front. Anyway, the summer of 1936 everyone on both sides though that the war would last only a few months. No one though in the long term about the necessity of conquering the Balearic islands to protect the Catalan and Valencia coast from air raids, and to protect naval traffic, both coastal and coming from the USSR. The "Balearic Landings" event chit does not only saves counters and additional rules: it serves to simulate the "midset" so to speak, of both sides during the summer and early autumn of 1936.

A game about the Mallorca landing would be very interesting indeed, but I don't think it would fit within the scale and design philosophy of TSCW. It would fit if we had included more detailed air and naval sub-systems, but this is not the case.

If you can read Spanish take a look at this article by Enric Martí at librosywargames.com

http://www.librosywargames.com/index.php?page=estelas-de-val...
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Javier Romero
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2. Another inconsistency relates to the region of León. The map depicts this region as containing the five provincial capitals of León, Salamanca, Zamora, Palencia and Valladolid; yet Playbook Rule 19.0 lists all five capitals as part of Old Castile. Neither position, in my opinion, is correct. In 1936 the region of León contained only three provinces, namely León, Salamanca and Zamora; Palencia and Valladolid were two of Old Castile’s eight provinces. (A useful map of Spain’s regions and provinces in 1936 may be found on page 15 of Hugh Thomas’ classic and definitive The Spanish Civil War (Penguin, 2003).)


Yes, that's correct. Palencia and Valladolid should belong to Castilla la Vieja, not León. A mistake when adjusting border lines to the hexgrid that went unnoticed, I guess.
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Jonathan Cornthwaite
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Many thanks for your replies, and for the link to the article by Sr. Martí. Sí, leo español, y el artículo es muy interesante - gracias.

And may I take this opportunity of very warmly congratulating you and your colleagues on what is, IMHO, a meticulously researched, beautifully designed, excellently produced and utterly absorbing game - verdaderamente sobresaliente!

Jonathan Cornthwaite
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Javier Romero
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Muchísimas gracias
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Joseph Moore
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I couldn't agree more. The game is beautifully produced and creates the feel of the conflict. While I too would have liked to have seen the Balearics included, I understand the logic of their omission given the scale of the game. Hey! I also like individual ships and named aircraft in games but if I'm in the mood for that level of detail I will play "For Whom the Bell Tolls".

This game is great and would be especially good for anyone with an new interest in the period. Similarly, newbiesmight want to look at Antony Beevor's book "The Battle for Spain" before moving on to Prof. Thomas' enduring work that still holds up after all these years and despite his pro-Republican bias.

Kudos to the designers and producers of the game. It's an instant classic.
 
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Javier Romero
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Kudos to the designers and producers of the game. It's an instant classic.


Thank you very much.
 
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