Alternative Tucuman – A Liberators HOTT Scenario

This is a “What-if” Liberators HOTT scenario related to the Battle of Tucuman 24-25 September 1812; the deciding battle in the War of Argentine Independence.

Belgrano was expecting the Royalists to march directly on Tucuman so initially deployed where the road from the north entered the plain. As it happens Tristan chose to outflank Tucuman and approach from the south-west. What if Tristan had marched south down the direct road to Tucuman and straight into the Patriots waiting for him.

Historical Situation

Setting: San Miguel de Tucumán, Argentina; 24-25 September 1812

The Royalists are trying to destroy a smaller and dejected Patriot army retreating in front of them. This will open the road to Buenos Aires and enable the restoration of royal authority throughout the Viceroyalty. Unexpectedly the Patriot general, Belgrano, decides to make a stand at San Miguel de Tucumán.

Belgrano is expecting the Royalists to march directly on Tucuman so deploys where the road from the north enters the plain. Keen to bring the campaign to a decisive close Tristan marches south down the direct road to Tucuman and straight into the Patriots waiting for him. Tristan does, however, have an option to send a flank march down a parallel road.

See also my full description of the Historical Battle.


The table is 4′ x 4′ with Big Bases and 2′ x 2′ with small bases. This is Map 2 of the three options from my notes on Wargaming the Battle of Tucuman.

Table Alternative Tucuman - Map 2
Table Alternative Tucuman – Map 2

The key features are:

  • Two steep hills
  • Two dirt roads leading south
  • Point A is the entry point of the main Royalist army
  • The Royalist flank march can arrive at either Point A or Point B

Pre-game preparation

The Royalist player secretly records the off table reinforcements will arrive at Point A (i.e. is just following the main body) or Point B (a flank march).

Patriots (Defending)

Deploys first and takes second turn.


Destroy the Royalists.

Forces Available

Patriot Order of Battle

  • 1 x General @ 0 (General Manuel Belgrano)
  • 3 x Infantry/Shooters @ 2 (Pardos & Morenos Battalion; 6th Regiment; Cazadores Battalion)
  • 4 x Cavalry/Riders @ 2 (Militia; Tucuman; 2 x Patria Drogoons)
  • 1 x Artillery @ 4 (4 x 4 lb)
  • AP = 16; Break Point = 8

Note: The Patriots have no Stronghold in this scenario.


Deploy first in the blue box.



Royalists (Attacking)

Deploy second and takes first turn.


Destroy the Patriots.

Forces Available

The full order of battle is as follows:

Royalist Order of Battle

  • 1 x General @ 0 (Brigadier General Domingo Pio Tristan)
  • 5 x Infantry/Shooter @ 2 (Abancay Battalion; Cotabamba Battalion; Royal Lima Battaion; Paruro Battalion; Fernando VII and Chicas Militia)
  • 2 x Cavalry/Riders @ 2
  • 1 x Artillery @ 4 (A fraction of the 13 x 4 lb with the supply train)
  • 1 x Mob/Horde @ 1 (Supply Train)
  • AP = 18; Break Point = 8


Deploy second in the red box. Basically the on-table troops are marching along the road.


Two elements from the order of battle must be kept off table as reinforcements. They arrive on any bound where the Patriot player rolls a 6 for PIPs.

Victory Conditions

First side to destroy enemy 8 AP or the enemy general wins.

The onus is on the Royalists to attack. So if neither side destroys the enemy army, then the Patriots win.

Scenario Specific Rules

Use my Liberators HOTT Rules including “Straight HOTT” and these recommended house rules:

  • Better artillery
  • Infantry column
  • Infantry square
  • Dead hordes are dead
  • Attachable Generals – which is why they are not given a HOTT troop type

In addition the Royalist Supply Train is simulated by a Horde and comes with some special rules

  • Although Hordes are normally only 1 AP to buy the Supply Train is 2 AP to reflect the distress if lost
  • “Defeat” in combat by the Supply Train does not indicate the enemy is recoiled or destroyed, merely that they are occupied in looting so other wise unavailable.


The Royalists were tired when they reached the field of battle. I’ve simulated this, slightly, by making the Royalist and Patriot breakpoints equal despite the fact the Royalist army is marginally bigger.


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

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