On 5 Apr 1818, in one of the bloodiest battles in the Wars of South American Independence, the Patriots under San Martin decisively defeated the Royalists under Mariano Osorio. Although I posted a draft of this back in January 2012 I completely updated it so have reposted it.
I have rebased my Argentine Army of the South American Wars of Liberation on Big Bases. All infantry and cavalry on 80mm x 40mm bases. 12 figures per infantry base; two bases to a battalion. 6 figures per cavalry base/squadron. Guns stayed on 40mm x 40mm bases; one gun per base.
A while ago I put together some thoughts on Using 15mm Liberators Figures of 1817-18 for 1815. That was for my old armies on bases 30mm wide. I’ve now gone for Big Bases so I thought I’d revisit what I need to do for the third campaign in Upper Peru (Jan-Nov 1815), featuring the Battle of Viluma / Sipe Sipe.
Back on 10 Oct 2012 Andrew Coleby and I had a go at Bob Cordery’s Portable Wargame. I didn’t write it up at the time because I was busily converting this site to WordPress. Nominally the game was for the Battle of Maipo. I like the idea of wargaming on a chess board but the rules themselves need refinement.
I’m interested in using Lasalle for the South American Wars of Liberation. In that theatre infantry, when faced by superior cavalry, would often head for rough terrain. But the standard Lasalle rules don’t encourage this – the cavalry will just charge into the rough after the infantry. So I’m exploring a house rule to rectify the problem.
I gave March Attack a go for Liberators when I fought Alternative Chacabuco. March Attack are a battalion level set of Napoleonic rules from Crusader Publishing. They appeal to me for a variety of reasons, not least because each unit is two stands, just like my big base armies.
But to do the refight I had to translate the orders of battle from Liberators QPR, the game I’ve used most for big battles in the Liberators period, to March Attack. The main issues are Troop Quality and Commander Ratings.
I quite like the Alternative Chacabuco scenario from Fletcher (2006). It isn’t historical but it is small and reasonably balanced so is a good choice to try out a new set of rules. As it happens I’ve been wanting to try out March Attack by Crusader Games for a while so once again Chris Harrod and I faced each other around Chacabuco Farm. Chris was the Royalists / Spanish. I was the Patriots / Argentineans. It was the first outing of my Liberators armies now they are all on Big Bases.
I’ll describe the battle and then make some observations on the game, March Attack and the scenario. The summary about March Attack is that the rules are optimised for Corps level actions and hence gloss over of details at the level of the manoeuvre unit (battalion, regiment). That speeds up the rules but at the cost of flavour that is significant for the small South American Wars.
War is merely the continuation of politics by other means
Chris Harrod and I played the Gavilan scenario for Liberators QPR. I was the defending Patriots and Chris the Royalists. It was great fun but Another epic in terms of play time. The Patriots won. We’re not sure the Royalists can win even with beefing up Morgado’s forces.
Setting: Gavilan Hill, Conception, Chile; 5 May 1817