1817-18 Chilean Project for the South American Wars of Liberation

You have to start somewhere and I’ve decided to start my venture into the South American Wars by focusing on the 1817-18 Chilean Campaign. Argentines and Chileans facing the Royalists.

The Grand Plan

I want to be able to recreate all the battles of the 1817-18 Chilean Campaign using the Quick Play Rules from the Liberators Supplement (Fletcher, 2006) using this Basing system.

Phased Approach

Although in the past I’ve gone for rather a “big bang” approach to new periods, i.e. get everything before I do anything, I thought for this project I would do it in phases. The phases correspond to the battles and I’ll only get the the stands and figures I need to do each phase in turn. This reduces the initial outlay, gets me playing faster, and allows me to stop at any time with something useful.

This campaign lends itself rather well to this approach as:

  • It starts out small (Chacabuco) and ends up large (Maipo)
  • The same units that appear at the start (Chacabuco) are still in battle at the end (Maipo), but new units appeared throughout the campaign.

The table below shows the phases and the stands and figures I need to do each phase. This data is based on the orders of battle listed in the sources at the bottom of the page.

Phase To be able to Play Patriots Royalists
Stands Men Horses Guns Total Stands Men Horses Guns Total
1 Battle of Chacabuco (12 Feb 1817) 60 159 45 6 210 51 135 39 8 182
2 Assault on Talcahuano (6 Dec 1817) 36 104 11 6 121 34 128 0 26 154
3 Battle of Cancha Rayada (19 Mar 1818) 16 40 0 8 48 42 117 18 4 139
4 Battle of Maipo (5 Apr 1818) 10 38 0 2 40 0 0 0 0 0
Totals Totals 122 327 56 22 405 127 380 57 38 475

Maximum Unit Size

My principle was to get all the figures I need for a unit for the entire campaign the first time the unit appears in a battle. This is basically so I get consistency in painting.

For example, the Cazadores de los Andes had 500 men at Chacabuco, none at Talcahuano, 839 at Cancha Rayada, and 639 at Maipo (Fletcher, 2005). Rather than get five stands for 500 men in Phase 1, then another three stands to take the unit to 839 men in Phase 3, I have opted to get enough figures for the largest (eight stands) in Phase 1. That means, for example, that most of my infantry battalions will have 8 stands and 24 figures.

Wargaming Figures to Use

I had a look at the Wargaming Figures available and decided to use those from Grenadier Productions as much as possible. That applies even if that means waiting until the appropriate figure is released – I’ve marked these as “Wait GP” in the lists below. If Grenadier Productions aren’t going to make the figures then I’ve used the nearest alternative.

Painting Guide

The references section lists the full range I have used. Unfortunately the sources disagree on uniform details so this section outlines the priority order.:

  • Luqui & Puliafito: Drawings from a collaboration between Prof. Julio Luqui Lagleyze and the artist Cesar Puliafito that appear in Fletcher (2005, p. 28 – 36). John Fletcher has said to give these drawings priority over his own offerings.
  • Luqui & Manzano (1998). I’ve put this second as Prof. Julio Luqui Lagleyze is one of the authors and the illustrations are as detailed as the above.
  • Fletcher (2006): This is the supplement to Liberators and reflects Fletcher’s continued research and better abilities with the illustration tools.
  • Fletcher (2005): The original Liberators.
  • ROA: Uniforms of Maipo: Has illustrations of uniforms from Maipo. He mistakenly assumes the Argentine 7th Infantry were white, so I rank this below Fletcher’s work.
  • Hooker (1991): The Osprey book. Nice pictures but the Chilean campaign was not Hooker’s priority so there is only one plate of four pictures. I can’t comment on his quality, but on quantity I’ve put Hooker last.

Flags are based on my best guess Flags for 1817-18 Chilean Project.

The Spanish adopted the Gribeauval system in 1792 but in the Americas some Valliere’s probably stayed in service. Most paintings show varnished wood carriage for all cannon.

Current Status

All done.

In hindsight, tt was a great plan but didn’t quite work out the way I intended. The problem was that the figures available from Grenadier Productions at any particular time didn’t match my phases. When I started Grenadier didn’t have many figures available so originally I thought I would heavily supplement their offerings with figures from other manufacturers. As it turns out I waited until Grenadier produced the correct figures before purchasing. So my phases got shot to pieces. If I started now it would be possible to follow this sequence.

Argentine886 7th Battalion.jpg (205647 bytes)

Argentine 7th Regiment

Units that appear in the Orbats that I don’t need

In the attempt to reduce the number of figures I need to buy and paint I’ve left some units out of the plan.


Origin Name Comments
Chilean 2nd Militia Cavalry Regiment of Santiago 1 Squadron. Only appears as optional reinforcement in Alternate Orders of Battle for Cancha Rayada and Maipo, so don’t need
Chilean Lancers 1 Company. Good chance this is just a company in the Chilean Cazadores a Caballo, so might not need it. If you include it, then don’t have a command figure as it is only one stand.
Chilean 4th Infantry Battalion Only appears as optional reinforcement in Alternate Orders of Battle for Cancha Rayada and Maipo, so don’t need
Chilean Ad Hoc Assault Party Formed from other units so don’t need this separately. Just use spare stands from other units.
Argentine and Chilean Cazadore Battalion and
Grenadier Battalion
Formed from other units so don’t need this separately. At Chacabuco the mixed Cazadore and Grenadier Battalion was formed from the flank companies of the Argentine 7th and 8th Infantry Battalions. At Talcahuano the Cazadores and Grenadiers deployed in separate battalions, but once again they were formed from the flank companies of other units both Argentine and Chilean.
Chilean National Guard Battalion The Chilean Infantes de la Patria Battalion and Chilean National Guard Battalion seem to have had the same uniform, and didn’t appear in same battle so I only need one.
Chilean Santiago Military Cadets (Esculea Militar) Can probably use other figures so don’t need this unit.


Origin Name Comments
Mix Ad hoc Skirmish Battalion Use stands from the parent units.
American Valdivia Regiment Blue uniform. Use two stands from Chiloe. They had similar uniforms.
Mix Cazadore Battalion and
Grenadier Battalion
The Royalist Granadero and Cazadore battalions were composites built from the flank companies of the 4 battalions in the army: Burgos, Arequipa, Infante and Concepcion. Given this, I don’t need this unit separately.

Variations on Orders of Battle



Fletcher, J. (2005). Liberators! Volume 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.

Provides the majority of the orders of battle I used for my calculations. Also features excellent painting guides including drawings from a collaboration between Prof. Julio Luqui Lagleyze and the artist Cesar Puliafito (p. 28 – 36).

Fletcher, J. (2006). Liberators! Supplement 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.

Grenadier Productions specifically:

Alternate Order of Battle: Battle of Maipu, Apri 5, 1818. Fletcher cites “Las Fuerzas Armadas de Chile” as the source for the data in these orders of battle.

Alternate Orders of Battle for Cancha Rayada and Maipo. Fletcher cites Soria (2004) as the source for the data in these orders of battle.

Argentine Flags of the War of Independence, 1810-1824

Uniform: Argentine Cazadores a Caballo de la Escolta del General.

Hooker, T. (1991). The Armies of Bolivar and San Martin [MAA 232]. Osprey.

Liberators 1810-1830 Yahoo Discussion Forum

Luqui Lagleyze, J. M., and Manzano Lahoz, A. (1998). «Los Realistas» (1810-1826): Virreinatos del Perú y del Rio de la Plata, y Capitanía General de Chile [Hombres en Uniforme No 5]. Quiron Ediciones. [Spanish]

Regimientos de América specifically: ROA: Uniforms of Maipo specifically:

ROA: Argentine Infantry
ROA: Argentine 8th Infantry Battalion
ROA: Chilean Infantry
ROA: Argentine Cavalry
ROA: Chilean Cavalry
ROA: Royalist Cavalry
ROA: Argentine Artillery
ROA: Chilean Artillery
ROA: Royalist Infantry Plate 1
ROA: Royalist Infantry Plate 2

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