Sunday, 12 March 2017

Another First Carlist War Game

Today's game was a First Carlist War battle.

Because this needed to be a morning game only, so that a different game could be played in the afternoon, I kept the scenario simple. A combined British Auxiliary Legion (BAL) and French Foreign Legion (FFL) force is charged with clearing a Carlist force out of the monastery of Juan de la Carretera that dominates the road to Bilboa. 

The BAL and FFL force consisted of:
   2 battalions BAL infantry (Raw)
   1 battalion Royal Marines (trained)
   1 field battery (raw)
   1 rocket battery (trained)
   1 squadron of BAL lancers (raw)
   4 battalions FFL infantry (trained)
   1 mountain battery (trained)
   1 squadron of Polish lancers (trained)
   2 battalions of Spanish line infantry (raw)
   2 battalions of  provincial militia (raw)

The Carlists occupied the Monastery with:
   4 battalions of infantry (trained)
   1 field battery (trained)

A Carlist Relief force was approaching, consisting of:
   2 battalions of infantry (one trained and one raw)
   1 mountain gun (raw) 
   1 squadron of Ontorio Hussars (trained)
   3 squadrons of lancers (raw)

The monastery stood on a low hill while another higher hill rose to the east. A rough sketch of the terrain (North up) is below.

The Carlists Deploy in the Monastery

The BAL and FFL deploy

The fight was pretty straight forward. The Spanish moved to intercept the relief force while the BAL and FFL move to take the monastary. But the Carlists got the jump on their opponents and the Carlist cavalry dashed across the Spanish front. 

The FFL was forced to turn two battalions  and the Polish lancers to face right. The relief force infantry was getting the better of the Spanish infantry, but a charge by the Polish lancers turned the tide and drove off first off a battalion of Carlist infantry then broke through onto a Carlist cavalry unit, driving that off too.

The Polish Lancers Charge

But it all got too much for the French cavalry and they soon decided that they had had enough and quit the field, as did two of the Spanish battalions.

Two Spanish battalions face the Carlists relief infantry and artillery

Meantime a determined attack by two battalions of the FFL stormed the church yard, but a second attack failed to drive off the Carlist gun (although after continued round of fighting the gunners were driven off).

The FFL form up...


...and attack the churchyard

An attempt by the Marines to take the western face of the monastery ended badly, as did all other attempts to to drive the FFL from the churchyard. 

The BAL attacks.

Then, with a need to end at lunch time, we called the a draw, since neither side fully controlled the monastery.

The second game was ancient galleys. This was a bit of fun, but we struggled with a lack of knowledge of the rules. 

We had a fun time while parts of Auckland - not too far away from where we were playing - suffered from flash flooding after a sudden downpour.


  1. As usual, I really appreciate your wonderful figures and terrain...very nice report Mark!

    1. Thanks Phil. It was a fun game, but over all too soon.

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks. This is a wonderfully colourful period to play.

  3. Nice game - looked like a lot of fun while it lasted. If I wanted to replicate it I could manage the church. I picked same model off trademe a while back.

    1. Yes there are lots of those churches around...I designed it and we made it under the Military Miniatures brand way back in the late 1980's. It was always a great thumping thing. Regrettably the master split when the mould was being made and the master was destroyed in the mould making process so there was always a flaw along one of the roof lines.

  4. Please note the carlists were just as "Spanish" as their enemies, and very proud of it. It's completely wrong to talk about Spanish vs Carlists. The carlists enemies were the liberals, also known as "cristinos", as they supported the Regent María Cristina, mother of the heiress Isabel. The carlists were absolutists and supported Don Carlos right to the throne.

    1. Joacquin, you are quite correct and I would normally refer to them as Christino or Isabellino. In this instance, since the BAL and FFL both fought in the Christino side, I was trying to differentuate between the nationalities in that force - British, French or Spanish. I shall be more careful in the future.

  5. Beautiful terrain and figures, Mark. Wonderful collection and I always enjoy seeing them on the table. The FFL were stalwart defenders in this fight!

    1. Thank you Jonathan. Indeed they are a joy to see in the table. For once the FFL did remarkably better than the BAL. One day I will get my campaign going.

  6. Sorry I missed the game Mark, but I had a great weekend away including Friday on the Forgotten World Highway between Taumaranui and Stratford, which was a beautiful sunny day as opposed to the dreadful weather further north. Did not sound like the BAL did much in this particular game....

    1. Actually the BAL were quite heavily engaged. The rockets and the artillery fired away with very little effect. The marines charged a Valencian unit in the rear, but failed to break them and the Valencians turned and drove them off. The lancers charged uphill against an enemy behind a stone wall and were driven off - sounds a bit like their last outing - and one unit of the BAL infantry actually got engaged in a musketry exchange.

  7. Oh, ok, I stand corrected! Look forward to playing in another of these soon

    1. It wasn't the best start for the BAL, but they did manage to recover. They had a tough fight with three battalions (two of them raw) against two battaions uphill and behind solid stone walls. If their artillery had performed better they might have had a better time of it, but their powder must have been damp and in the entire game they only manage a few hits.

  8. Wonderful figs and table. A period I don't know much about--but have used some of the excellent Perry figs to represent other eras. The battle graphic--was that generated with a bit of gaming software of some stripe?

    1. Thanks Ed. Of all the armies I have built over the last 40 something years, I think this has been the most satisfying: first, the figures have great character and animation, second to paint because of the colourful mix of uniforms and third to play because the mix of troop types makes the game volitile and anything can happen.

      The map was drawn on Adobe Comp, an iOS app. I do all my blogging on the iPad these days so an iOS app is the way forward for me. This isn't the perfect solution, but if you know your way around such PC applications such as inDesign or Illustrator you can adapt.

  9. Great looking game Mark.
    You are so industrious, what's on the to do list next?

    1. Thanks Nick. This is such a fun period to play. I am really keen to play it some more. Next up is some more Russian Napoleonics - to finish off that project. Then a few WWI in East Africa pieces needed for Tarawera this year. Next is to join JB and KR in the War of 1812 project. Still keen on the GNW, but probably not this year.