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"Advice for the new SCW gamer?" Topic

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Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 11:48 a.m. PST

I am a new entrant and know very little about the details of the war. I have to admit that I am tempted by the Empress Miniatures and vehicles range.

Currently, I am watching an old British made documentary on the war from the 1980s. I have the Osprey books and the Jose Bueno book on the uniforms. I have Charles Esdaile's and Hugh Thomas' book on the war.

My Spanish is about good enough to read Bueno's text with a dictionary and thus, I probably need mostly English sources unless there are lots of pictures. I am curious about a book covering all the different and eclectic vehicles.

Are there any other sources or resources whether it is gaming blogs, books, movies, flags, rules/scenarios that I should know about?

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 1:16 p.m. PST

Nick is selling a number of SCW books in the general/misc section of the marketplace.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 1:30 p.m. PST

Yes, I have quite a few titles for sale, older and newer, all $5.00 USD each. Plus media mail shipping.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 1:55 p.m. PST

Might want to look for the most recent edition of "La Ultima Cruzada", Bob Cordery's guide to the SCW…all the troops…factions…aircraft and naval assets.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 1:58 p.m. PST

"La Ultima Cruzada by Bob Cordery, Paperback | Barnes & Noble®" link

stephen m05 Aug 2022 3:09 p.m. PST


Still like to contact you wrt SCW gaming.

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 4:00 p.m. PST

Thomas is a good start, but slightly right leaning. I have a few focused histories, as well as a few memoirs, which I feel give the best look at the war.
I also have a dvd of the film There Be Dragons.

Londonplod05 Aug 2022 4:47 p.m. PST

Land and Freedom is a good film to watch, They Shall Not Pass by Ben Hughes is a very good account of the British Battalion at Jarama with good scenario potential.

Figure wise, North Star have a small range in 28mm that are quite nice and fit with Empress.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP05 Aug 2022 6:10 p.m. PST

I must confess, I have started to become interested in the period.

I am currently working on a RCW convention game, and during my planning phase, I was talking with Steve from Age of Glory who managed to get me interested in the Empress SCW line.


gbowen06 Aug 2022 5:58 a.m. PST

To die in Madrid (French) is a thinky film. There is a Spanish documentary made at the time in colour – Defenders of the faith.

PeloBourbon06 Aug 2022 10:47 a.m. PST

Hi Au pas de Charge ,

May I suggest you this link:


You can find here a lot of pictures and information on the equipment used.

Trebian Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Aug 2022 2:22 p.m. PST

Before you commit to 28mm, have a look at Peter Pig in 15mm. The scale of the war is such that you can end up wanting to play games that are bigger than just a skirmish, especially if you want to mix in all the interesting troop types.

As suggested above Bob Cordery's "Ultima Cruzada" is a must own.

Trebian Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Aug 2022 2:25 p.m. PST

I should say that for uniforms and so on, I posted scans of Bueno's paper soldiers on my blog. This is part 1. The others are on subsequent days: link

If you visit the blog, check out the page for "For Whom The Dice Rolls", which are Brigade level wargame rules.

epturner Supporting Member of TMP06 Aug 2022 5:09 p.m. PST

Well I have your "It's Getting a Bit Chile" and I was looking at "For Whom The Dice Rolls", when this evil idea of doing a horribly pun'd up RCW game came along and I bought "Triumph Of The Will" from The Lardies.

I much prefer 1/72nd scale/20mm and the darn PP figures are getting harder to see, never mind paint.

More to think about, as I paint Whites and Reds.



khanscom06 Aug 2022 6:48 p.m. PST

Arthur Landis' "The Abraham Lincoln Brigade" was the book that first sparked my interest in the SCW. He served in the Brigade so it's obviously from a Republican POV.

Martin Rapier07 Aug 2022 1:47 a.m. PST

Wilsons "Tanks and AFVs of the Spanish Civil War" covers pretty well all the vehicles, but as it is an old A5 booklet, I imagine it is hard to find.

Martin Rapier07 Aug 2022 1:51 a.m. PST

Thomas is a decent foundation (although he is a Little more 'slightly right leaning' it doesn't detract from the text).

Beevors book on the SCW is very good, but get the second version not the first. He admits himself that the first edition was pretty awful.

Personally I'm a 15mm SCW gamer as it lends itself to anything from skirmishes to big battles. There were a lot of big battles (multiple Corps) in the SCW.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2022 6:05 a.m. PST

"Stephen m"…are you talking to me?

Trebian Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Aug 2022 8:08 a.m. PST

@epturner: "It Rolls For Ivan" will be out next week.

There's some good 1/72 stuff about. I have lots of it for Ancients & WSS. The PP range is the most complete.

Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2022 10:40 a.m. PST

Some very good resources listed, thanks all around.

Wilsons "Tanks and AFVs of the Spanish Civil War"

What are A5 booklets? Wilson who?

I have been skimming through for whom the dice rolls blog already and I am enjoying it.

On a sort of specific side note, did the Army of Africa have any heavy weapons like anti-tank guns or mortars?

The regular army split its allegiance? They each continued to wear the regular army uniforms? I assume the Nationalists removed the red star?

Trebian Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Aug 2022 11:59 a.m. PST

The AoA (as no one calls them) have mortars attached to Tercio HQ. Anti-tank guns is a bit of a stretch for them as a colonial force.

The Peninsula Army split, so regular uniforms for both sides. "La Ultima Cruzada" needs to be on your shopping list.

Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2022 2:01 p.m. PST

Thank you for that. I was looking at that La Ultima Crusader book, I can get the Kindle edition too.

Were there any armored trains in the SCW?

nnascati Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2022 5:14 p.m. PST

The conflict was one full of what ifs. Had Germany and Italy not supported and supplied Franco, I believe it is likely that the Republicans would have held and defeated Franco.

stephen m07 Aug 2022 5:54 p.m. PST


Yes please. Looking for potential opponents in Ontario. I am about an hour north of Toronto but willing to travel. What SCW games or rules are you into?

Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP07 Aug 2022 6:31 p.m. PST

I guess there were armored trains. I suppose there was something for everyone


Those are great links @PeloBourbon.

PeloBourbon08 Aug 2022 1:41 p.m. PST

You're welcome.

Trebian Sponsoring Member of TMP08 Aug 2022 2:06 p.m. PST

Very little evidence of the armoured trains being used in anger. The Russians were keen on them, but they aren't really relevant to the style of warfare. The one in Malraux's novel "Days of Hope"/"L'espoir" spends the entire book hiding in a tunnel.

Au pas de Charge Supporting Member of TMP09 Aug 2022 7:41 a.m. PST

Very little evidence of the armoured trains being used in anger.

Yes but as nnascati mentioned, the SCW is full of "what ifs". They may not have used them but they existed and we can game where they feared to tread.

Trebian Sponsoring Member of TMP09 Aug 2022 9:56 a.m. PST

@Au pas de Charge: There's no reason why you can't use the Armoured train rules from my recently published RCW rules "It Rolls for Ivan", which are compatible with "For Whom the Dice Rolls".

The issue will be determining what sort of doctrine applies to the deployment of the trains. Russian doctrine was quite clear. Light & heavy Trains (based on gun size) supported railway echelons consisting of infantry, cavalry and armour that gave strategic movement over large spaces, because the Russians had poor access to motorized vehicles and fuel. None of those drivers existed in Spain, and try as the did, the Soviet advisers couldn't get the Republic to adopt a train based strategy. The Nationalists didn't need one. The most likely use would be with heavy trains, mounting big guns. That's what the train in Malraux's book does. Pop out of the tunnel, fire a couple of times, then goes and hides. Because of the closer terrain in Iberia the trains will be very vulnerable to surprise attack, and of course everyone knows which way they have to go!

Still, if you want to do it, why not?

Major B10 Aug 2022 2:03 p.m. PST

If you have an interest in the International Brigades there are several excellent sources on the web. My personal interest is in the North American volunteers. The Abraham Lincoln Brigade Archives hosts a data base on the American volunteers. There is also an ALBA Blog that has numerous articles that may be of interest. On Canadians see Canada and the Spanish Civil War, it also has a database. SIDBRINT is another interesting site with a data base on volunteers from across the world. Also the Empress figures are beautiful. My figures are mainly HPC the late Pat Condray's figures.

Dave Jackson Supporting Member of TMP11 Aug 2022 1:46 p.m. PST

stephen m, you can email me at

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