Boina: A Shako Variant for the First Carlist War

I like Shako so I set myself the challenge of adapting it for use in the First Carlist War. I called this variant “Boina” in honour of the berets worn by the Carlist troops.


There are some differences to normal Napoleonic wargaming which have to be reflected in house rules:

  • The Carlists suffered a shortage of ammunition so relied instead on bayonet charges – similar to Confederates in the American Civil War.
  • The British Artillery had an advantage over the Spanish artillery in the form of shells that could explode over Carlist positions.
  • Although Spanish Infantry were trained in forming square when attacked by Cavalry they – particularly the Carlists – were just as inclined to retreat to some some natural or artificial defence and rely on shooting.
  • Carlist Infantry would have started the war as skirmishers only, but later would have the option of fighting formed.
  • Cristino Infantry would have started the war fighting formed and only later had the option to fighting as skirmishers.
  • In general the authorities make a big deal of the differing flexibility of the various infantry. Carlists and Cristino volunteers were the most flexible, then other Spanish units, then the British Auxiliary Legion and finally the stolid British Regulars.

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