Chris Harrod and Kevin Pridgeon played my Liberators HOTT scenario for Maipo. Chris was the defending Royalists and Kevin the attacking Patriots. It was Kevin’s first try with historical wargames and Liberators HOTT in particular. A good fun game but the HOTT timescale didn’t work.
Setting: Maipo, South of Santiago, Chile; 5 Apr 1818
The table was based on the map from the scenario but shrunk to fit a 3′ x 2′ table.
3′ x 2′ table
Unusually for us the game was accompanied by some light refreshments.
Patriots enjoy a beer before the battle
I was the umpire but as Chris and Kevin didn’t need one I drank beer while I watched.
Umpire providing unbiased advice
Kevin was new to HOTT and thought it worthwhile spending the few minutes of set up time skim reading the rules.
Kevin speed reading HOTT
Chris’s Royalists set up on the two hills. Chris massed his cavalry in the centre of the line on the big hill. Kevin put his cavalry on the wings with artillery and infantry across the centre.
The first few turns involved Kevin trudging across the open ground between the two big hills.
Royalist artillery nibbles at Patriot line
The long slow advance of the Patriots gave amble time for the Royalist artillery to try to inflict casualties.
View from Royalist Lines
View from Patriot lines
By 1230 the Patriots were half way across the open ground and Chris thought it time to redeploy troops. He got his left flank battery into a better position to fire against the advancing Patriots.
Royalists redeploy as Patriots advance
Chris also moved some cavalry towards his right flank.
Royalist Cavalry redeploy
Slow trudge continues
At 1330 hours Chris had pulled his line back from the crest of the big hill. This sheltered them from the guns of the advancing Patriots. He left his own guns on the crest line so they could continue to fire.
Royalists pull back from crest line
Royalists tidy their line as the Patriots climb the hill
On the Royalist left Chris’s guns were nibbling at the flank of the Patriot line.
Kevin couldn’t ignore this threat and diverted some elements to face the Royalists on the small hill.
Although the fight on the hill involved blood on both sides the Royalists triumphed.
But that was just a skirmish compared to the massed fire fight on the big hill.
Chris realised too late that he had forfeited a +1 bonus in combat by withdrawing from the crest line.
Massed fire fight on big hill
The Patriot cavalry on the Royalist left won quickly.
Royalist left with victorious Patriot cavalry
But the tipping point happened in the centre when the Royalist general was shot dead.
It was a good fun game that lasted about two hours.
Kevin won with fairly no nonsense tactics. Massed frontal assault.
Chris found that hills and their crest lines are a mixed blessing. You have to take care to both use crests to shelter your troops from the enemy and to give a +1 in combat at the critical moment.
The only thing about the game that niggled was that it took 4 hours of game time for the Patriots to advance to contact. Far too unrealistic given the distances involved. So rather than the HOTT time scale of one player bound is 15 minutes (one turn is 30 minutes) I’d be tempted by 5 minutes per player bound (10 minutes per turn). At that time scale it would have taken 1 hour and 20 minutes to cross the open ground between the big hills – which seems more reasonable.