On 18 July 1936, various generals in the Spanish army rose up against the government of the Second Republic. The failure of the coup as it had been originally planned gave way to a civil conflict between the defenders of the democratic government and the backers of the military coup. Machado’s two Spains fought each other for nearly three years in a battle which reflected the political and social tensions affecting the world at that time.
The opposing armies were very different: on one hand, the Republican army possessed a limited number of professional soldiers and many popular militias belonging to political parties and labor unions. To this were added the International Brigades, formed from foreign volunteers of diverse origin; a fighting force which was highly motivated, but poorly coordinated and typically poorly organized. On the other hand, Franco´s army had most of the professional military, along with Carlist and fascist militias, many native Moroccan troops, and the volunteers of the Condor Legion and the Corpo Trupe Voluntarie sent by Hitler and Mussolini respectively.
From a military point of view, the Spanish Civil War presaged the global conflict which would soon erupt. In the mid-1930s, military high commands from all over the globe theorized on the possibilities of motorized armies and “lightning war”. Both Nazis and Soviets rehearsed armored tactics in Spain, and tested various types of weapons. In addition, the importance that air superiority would have on all later conflicts was made clear. All of these elements make the Spanish Civil War a fascinating conflict from an historical point of view and with regard to military strategy.
A las Barricadas!, the first title in the War Storm Series, is a game that simulates the battles which took place on the different fronts of the war, at platoon and company level. The rules are oriented towards the tactical simulation of combat involving armored vehicles, infantry, artillery, and aircraft, and as such are especially suited to represent almost any 20th century armed conflict as it actually happened.
This new edition of A las Barricadas! is a major upgrade over the earlier game. With updated and rewritten rules, improved and illustrated examples, a new scenario, nearly double the number of counters all with updated graphics, the Compass edition is a must-have for your gaming collection.
The War Storm Series is a game series designed to simulate combined arms company level combat. Each game in the series has numerous scenarios allowing players to simulate a number of company or battalion level combats.
All War Storm Series games are of moderate complexity with good solitaire suitability. The system emphasizes the role of officers. Officers can activate units, coordinate with other officers and their units, call for artillery support, air support, smoke screens, influence moral checks, coordinate assaults, and much more. Rules for special actions, include create improved positions, entrench, replace officers, road-blocks, clear wire, units in Reaction, double time movement, load-upload, minefields, fortifications, rubble, barbed wire, dragoon teeth, anti-tank ditch and pontoon bridges. The various units include leaders, infantry, political commissars, priests, MMGs, mortars, artillery, AT guns, vehicles, armored vehicles, tanks, aircraft close support squadrons, aircraft bombardment squadrons, and even cavalry.
War Storm Series games are based on the principle of simultaneous execution, or simply "WE GO", a hybrid system of turns and "real time". The players must activate unit leaders to perform many actions (fire, assault, move, coordinate, etc). A turn ends when both players have completed all their activations. The scale is company level with units representing groups of between 30 and 40 soldiers, weapons units represents groups of 3-4 weapons and their accompanying crews (20-25 soldiers), and the AFvs-Transports representing groups of 3 to 5 vehicles and their corresponding crews. Scenarios are divided into turns representing about 12-15 minutes of action. Turns are divided into the following phases:
- Command Phase
- Initiative Phase
- Activation Phase
- Marker Removal Phase
The game uses isomorphic maps, each of which are aligned to any edge of equal length on any other map. This allows for an almost unlimited number of combinations to create any terrain situation, including player designed scenarios. Each map hex represents a distance of approximately 150 to 200 meters.
The series rules are easy to understand but each game’s scenarios require a solid application of various strategies to win. The result is a good balance of fun, fast-paced, and exciting game play, using realistic game mechanics.War Storm Series games are highly re-playable due to their variety of unit types, numerous scenarios, varying leader capabilities, and random leader selection, and therefore represent great value for your gaming buck.
- Complexity: Medium (5 out of 10)
- Solitaire suitability: 8
- Time Scale: 1 turn = 12 - 15 minutes
- Map Scale: 1 hex = 150 - 200 meters
- Unit Scale: Companies & 3-5 vehicles
- Players: 2
- Playing Time: Small Scenarios: 45 minutes and up
- Designer: Juan Carlos Cebrian and Niko Eskubi
- Artist: Niko Eskubi
- 4 Isomorphic Maps
- 3 Sheets of Counters (2½ of 5/8" and ½ of 3/4")
- 1 Rulebook
- 8 Scenario Cards featuring 16 scenarios
- 2 Charts and Tables Cards
- 2 six-sided dice
- One box and lid set