Battle Report: Jarama 1937

The plan was always to play a game with completely painted figures at the beginning of April.

Alex and Ninja arrived and due to lack of time and space we had to go old school!  The dining room table was pressed into service and DVD's and long green cloth served as the board.  I added a few trees and Alex brought additional trees and track sections.  It all looked a little ropy but the point was to give AWA a bash and see how it worked as a rule set.

The British Battalion start the battle in the belly of the beast surround by Foreign Legion and the Moroccans outside the White House.

The Republican command lurked around the woods on the plateau with all the supplies and non-combatants.

And then the massacre began.  Heavily outnumbered and beaten down by superior Initiative scores (more of that later)  the British were cut down.

The Republican supply truck trundled off to reach supplies.  The only issue would there be anyone one left to hand it to?

On the left flank the Moroccans set off to seize the objective, the sunken road.

As the T-26's appeared at the reinforcement point, a sniper hides himself among the trees and spends the rest of the game picking off Moroccans at his leisure.

The survivors of the initial attack barricade themselves into the White House and seek to sell their lives dearly.

They are quickly provided with an opportunity.

The Moroccans seize the road and reinforce in numbers.  They are going to take some shifting.

With the British destroyed the much sought reinforcements finally arrived.


The Nationalists swarm the objective with heavy reinforcement.  The thin Republican line attempts to hold back the tide.

The Republicans seek to soften up the mass of National forces with artillery fire and air support and meet with some success.

The greater training and concentrated fire however proves too much for the gallant defenders.

And its all over bar the shouting.  Day Three sees the militia and International Brigade trying to gain the road but the number of rifles facing them proves too much.

The rest is mopping up.  A decisive Nationalist win.

The Conclusion:

There is much to like about A World Aflame.  I like the supply rules but a six turn day is far too short to feel this rule taking effect.  I'm thinking of twelve to eighteen turn days.
I love the chance cards.  They have a good period feel and increase replay.
I don't mind the aircraft rules, tank rules and artillery.  They could do with a few tweaks but nothing major.

What I didn't like are the initiative and movement rules.  AWA sells itself as company or battalion level game.  Its not.  It's a passable squad level game.  There are too many individual options to be a company game and there is far too much paperwork and dice rolling.

The Initiative rules don't work.  If you have higher initiative than your opponent you can wipe them out safe in the knowledge that they will be no one left to return fire.  I think I can fix that quite easily and get a more fluid game.

Small arm combat is a mess.  I know there was an intention to make this a Donald Featherstone type game but there is, as Ninja commented, a reason why we don't play Donald Featherstone games anymore (God rest his soul!).

I have placed my thinking cap on and I think that I have a couple of house rules that can fix these major errors and make the game a lot more fun.  At the moment the tactic is to run your best troops towards the enemy, wipe them out and move onto the rest.

In all, I was disappointed.  However I love a challenge.  Watch this space for future rule tweaks and we'll play test them in the next battle "Toledo: the road to Madrid".


  1. Thanks for posting - looking forward to seeing your house rules

  2. One of the few battlefields I've walked. Don't underestimate the steepness of the approach to the plateau with the sunken road running through it. The Case Blanca Hill is about a one in two/three incline, as is the slope up to the plateau. Oh and it's all very overgrown - one quarter movement as best! And that plateau is covered with olive trees spaced at every three or four yards. If you want to run it again those are some items which might assist in keeping the Republicans in the game.

    Depending upon whether you can make the rules/period work for you, you may wish to consider acquiring Miniature Wargames with Battlegames numbers 384, 385 and 386 which has a mini campaign framework for the March on Madrid. Also The Journal of 20th C Wargamers has a three game Jarama Campaign in issue 81
    That link is for the entire six issue subscription. You may be able to get single issues but it won't be much cheaper.

  3. Thank you for the comments. All great information which I will certainly bear in mind if I get around to a re-fight. I got a copy of the articles which you have mentioned and will certainly give them a browse. Glad you enjoyed the write up.


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