Setting: Hernani, Biscay, Spain; 16 Mar 1837
From 10-17 Mar 1837 the Cristinos attempted a grand three-pronged attack on the Carlist Army of the North. The British general De Lacy Evans advanced from the fortress of San Sebastin, Espartero from Bilbao, and Saarsfield from Vitoria. The Anglo-Spanish of De Lacy Evans were the only force which pushed their advance with determination. On 10 Mar Evans crossed onto the right bank of the Urumea River by a bridge of boats, and took the Carlist trenches and barricades on the hills of Ametzagaña (about 3km from San Sebastián) and those in front of the nearby position of Alza. In pouring rain on 12 Mar Evans ferried Chichester’s Brigade across the Urumea to capture the ruined village of Loyola. On 13 Mar British sappers and miners built a second bridge of boats across the Urumea, thus securing the British communications. Evans ferried his forces across, less a battery on Ametzagaña, and one and a half battalions split between Ametzagaña and Passajes. Heavy rain prevented further advances over the next two days. On 15 Mar Evans attacked the Oriamendi Ridge. By evening the Anglo-Spanish force was in possession and looked over the town of Hernani. On the morning of 16 Mar the British force was dispersed and their brigades intermingled, having failed to reorganise after the previous days battle. Nonetheless, success looked assured against the numerically inferior Carlists.
Map produced in CC2
Generally the battle was fought on the plain between the Oriamendi Ridge in the north (including Bertizarán and La Venta hills) and Hernani and Santa Barbara to the south. The Oriamendi Ridge was steep and craggy with bushes for cover. At different times the 8th Regiment of the British Auxiliary Legion was hidden in a depression and charged through an orchard before being shot at by Carlists behind a stone wall – all of which is suggestive of the terrain. Similarly the charges of the British Lancers on the right were hampered by the general rough ground. Farm houses and woods are also mentioned.
Note: Gonzalo Campos Peral kindly pointed out that my map is wrong. I’ve missed labeled Oriamendi Hill. There is a hill in the location marked, but the real Oriamendi Hill is about where the “O” in “Oriamendi Ridge” is. Fuerte O’Donnell should move with it. I’ll update the map when I get a chance – the master is corrupted so I’ll have to recreate the whole thing.
The map is for a 6′ x 4′ table. Map scale is nominally 600 m to 12″ on the map.
Key features are:
- The town of Hernani – four sectors.
- Two redoubts: Fuerte O’Donnell on Oriamendi Hill and La Venta Fort
- Santa Barbara and the entire area covered by Oriamendi Ridge, including Bertizaran, Oriamendi Hill and La Venta, is steep.
- The unnamed hill in the north-west (bottom-left) corner is gentle.
- The River Urumea is only fordable at the marked ford.
The Anglo-Spanish force is trying to take Hernani town and destroy the Carlist forces.
Lieutenant-General George De Lacy Evans (Army General)
Chichester’s Brigade (Brigadier Chichester; British)
2 x Regular Battalions (1st and 4th British Auxiliary Legion)
1 x Light Infantry Battalion (Rifles, British Auxiliary Legion) – can be deployed formed or as
1 x Skirmishers (British Auxiliary Legion)
1 x Rocket Troop (British Auxiliary Legion)
1 x Mountain Gun Battery (British Auxiliary Legion)
Vanguard Division (Brigadier Rendón; Spanish)
3 x Regular Battalions (Spanish, nominally 4th, 14th and 19th
2 x Second Rate Battalions (Spanish (nominally Jaen and Oviedo Provincial Regiments)
1 x Skirmishers (Spanish)
Godfrey’s Brigade (Brigadier Godfrey; British)
2 x Regular Battalions (6th and 7th British Auxiliary Legion)
1 x Elite Light Battalion (Chapelgorris) – can be deployed formed or as Skirmishers
1 x Skirmishers (British Auxiliary Legion)
Fitzgerald’s Brigade (Brigadier Fitzgerald; British)
3 x Regular Battalions (8th, 9th and 10th British Auxiliary Legion)
1 x Skirmisher (British Auxiliary Legion)
(Brigadier Jáuregui; Spanish)
3 x Regular Battalions (Princesa Line Regiment)
2 x Light Battalions (2nd Light Infantry) – can be deployed formed or as Skirmishers
1 x Skirmishers (Spanish)
Commodore Hay (British)
1 x General Cavalry (1st Lancers British Auxiliary Legion)
1 x Elite Battalion (Battalion of British Royal Marines)
1 x Foot Battery (British Auxiliary Legion Artillery)
1 x Foot Battery (British Royal Artillery)
1 x Foot Battery (British Royal Marine Artillery)
Both Chichester and Rendón have two deployment zones. Chichester’s units must be divided evenly between both of his two deployment zones. Similarly for Rendón.
The Carlists are trying to hold Hernani town, push the Cristino forces off Oriamendi Ridge, and inflict as many casualties as possible.
Infante Don Sebastián Gabriel de Borbón (Army General).
3 x Regular Battalions (4th, 7th and 8th Guipúzcoa)
2 x foot batteries (9 pdrs) with Limbers
Brigadier de las Vacas
1 x Skirmishers (Navarra)
2 x Regular Battalions (1st Navarra, 1st Castilla)
1 x Elite Battalion (5th Guipúzcoa)
1 x Regular Battalion (1st Guipúzcoa)
1 x Skirmishers (Vizcaya)
2 x Regular Battalions (3rd and 5th Vizcaya)
The Carlist Player must write initial orders for his off table brigades before deployment. All off-table brigades have the option to arrive on the baseline (T1 or T2), but at most two may Flank March (Shallow on T1, T2 or T3 or Deep on T4+). The Army Gun must be attached to a Brigade for arrival on table, but after that operates as a normal Army Gun.
1 x battery of mountain guns (4 pdrs)
Teniente General Villareal (2nd-in-command)
1 x Guards Battalion (Granaderos del Ejército)
1 x Elite Light Battalion (Guías de Navarra) – can be deployed formed or as Skirmishers
1 x Regular Battalion (1st Alava)
1 x General Cavalry (Navarrese Lancers)
2 x Regular Battalions (1st and 2nd Aragon)
1 x Skirmishers (Guipúzcoa)
1 x Elite Battalion (6th Guipúzcoa)
2 x Regular Battalions (2nd and 3rd Guipúzcoa)
1 x Skirmishers (Alava)
3 x Regular Battalions (2nd, 3rd and 4th Alava)
The battle is a draw unless either side achieves one of the following victory conditions:
|Level of Victory||Cristino Victory||Carlist Victory|
|Limited Victory||4+ Carlist Brigades Broken and 3 Cristino Brigades||4+ Cristino Brigades Broken and 3 Carlist Brigades|
|Victory||4+ Carlist Brigades Broken and 1 or 2 Cristino Brigades, plus Carlists hold Hernani town||4+ Cristino Brigades Broken and 1 or 2 Carlist Brigades, plus Cristinos hold either Fuerte O’Donnell or La Venta Fort|
|Glorious Victory|| 4+ Carlist Brigades Broken and no Cristino Brigades or
4+ Carlist Brigades Broken and at most 2 Cristino Brigades, plus Cristinos hold Hernani town
| 4+ Cristino Brigades Broken and no Carlist Brigades or
4+ Cristino Brigades Broken and at most 2 Carlist Brigades, plus Carlists hold both Fuerte O’Donnell and La Venta Fort
12 turns or use the variable game length rules.
Scenario Special Rules
The key event was the flanking movement Don Sebastián ordered in the east. Six Carlist battalions from Iturriza’s and Sopelana’s brigades advanced up the east bank of the River Urumea and crossed the Astigarrage bridge behind the Cristino left.
The Carlist’s historical deployment was:
|Location||Brigade||Boina/Shako Deployment Orders for Reinforcements|
|East||Iturriza’s Brigade (Astigarrage bridge)||Deep Flank March (T4+)|
|Sopelana’s Brigade (Astigarrage bridge)||Deep Flank March (T4+)|
|Villareal’s Brigade||Baseline (T1 or T2)|
|Centre||Artillery in redoubts (Hernani)|
|De las Vacas’s Brigade|
|Qúilez’s Brigade||Baseline (T1 or T2)|