By Guy Rheuark
This is the fifth battle in the The Buccaneer’s Companion Vol. I. It has been a long campaign for the brave Spanish defenders. We defended against the English buccaneers in Portobello, killing them to almost a man. They retaliated and took one of our ships, in what is now known as The Navio de Aviso. The packet ship brought them to one of the Spanish forts, and The Battle of El Real Santa Maria, and another Spanish defeat. At the waters of Percio, the Spanish stalled the English Buccaneers.
Now that the English Buccaneers have landed, they are making their way to Arica, and must be stopped at all cost.
After two large games, we decided to build our own forces at 200 points for this game. This point level is one of my favorites because the games will feel larger and cinematic compared to 150 to 100 points.
The Spanish Militia
The Spanish have an interesting restriction. They are asked to have more mounted units than units on foot. Benerson Little also put an interesting note at the bottom of the Historical Account, “Game Notes: The fighting is entirely mounted Spanish versus buccaneers afoot.”
While I own 18 painted cavalry, I knew that they wouldn’t be enough for a 200 point force. Once again I asked Joseph to borrow some of his painted miniatures, this time 10 cavalry.
Now that I had 28 cavalry models, I looked over the historical list. It used an Experienced Militia Commander, so I did the same.
Here is my Spanish list.
- Experienced Spanish Militia Commander with a horse and attached to 8 Veteran Caballeria Lanceros with Carbines
- 9 Veteran Caballeria Lanceros with Carbines
- 10 Inexperienced Caballeria with Carbines and a Grizzled Veteran
The English Buccaneers
The English have the amusing restriction of not being allowed any cavalry. English Buccaneers can’t usually have cavalry, but this future proves this campaign for later released pirate horses. Joseph kept the commander and character from the historic list, and built his list around them.
Here is the English list.
- Bartholomew Sharp – Commander attached to 10 Freebooters
- 8 Flibustiers with John Coxson as a Character
- 7 Sea Dogs with Firelock Muskets
- 6 Sea Dogs with Firelock Muskets
The Spanish in this scenario have learned of the English approach and are trying to stall them.
This The La Serena Scenario is a modified version of Take and Hold, with three objectives in the center of the board. We played on a 3′ x 4′ game mat, and put a large road across the center of the area.
Since the English were not able to board any of my ships in the last scenario, they had to deploy all of their forces before any of mine. The English mostly kept in close proximity, in cover, and near the edge of their 15″ deployment area.
I deployed my cavalry in my corner, tucked behind a copse of trees.
The English made the first move. A small group of sea dogs trudging through the brush in a tight group. The sound of horses seemed to come from all sides.
Nearby the Spanish commander marshalled his forces around him. He had been told by the governor of La Serena to distract and harass the Buccaneers. This didn’t sit well with him, and he wholly intended to leave no English man alive today.
Finally sighting the cavalry, John Coxson drew in his breath. They were almost upon him. He moved with the Flibustiers and shot at the ones closest to him. The Caballeria Lanceros survived the long range onslaught.
The Caballeria Lanceros that had just been shot sprung out from behind the trees with a burst of gunfire. One of the Filibusters was laid low by the attack, and the Caballeria sprung back behind the trees.
Running forward, a small group of Sea Dogs took aim at the retreating Caballerias.
Their aim was true, and three of them hit, even at the extreme range.
One of the Caballerias died, but the other two pushed through the pain and stayed in the saddle.
Bartholomew Sharp rallied those around him and took a shot at the same Caballeria. Each missed, and they reloaded their buccaneer guns.
Sensing an opportunity, the Caballeria Commander sprung forward, leveling carbines at the tree line. Another Filibuster died and John Coxson and his men ran further into the tree line, away from the advancing Caballeria. The rest of the cavalry around him advanced on the English position in the trees.
The wounded Caballeria Lanceros galloped forward and released a barrage of shots towards the trees that seemed thick with Buccaneers. Two freebooters fell into the mud, while the Caballeria Lanceros centered back into cover.
Bartholomew Sharp, fearing a charge, ordered the nearby Sea Dogs to reload and move near him. The free booters around him were able to shake off their fatigue and reload their buccaneer guns.
The Caballerias then sprung forward and panicked the left flank of Sea Dogs, sending them into a panic out of the woods. The Caballerias pushed forward and took their place.
John Coxson saw this though, and after rallying his men, fired at the Caballeria, striking a horse and man, and driving them from cover.
The Buccaneers knew that it was do or die, and braced for the charge.
The Caballeria Lanceros and the Spanish Commander moved forward and shot a burst of carbine fire at the Freebooters, killing one. Then his nearby allies shot towards the freebooters as well, laying one low again. With a shoat the commander ordered a charge towards the wavering Freebooters.
Then everything fell apart for the Spanish. The crackshot Sea Dogs behind the freebooters raised their muskets at the approaching Caballeria, breaking their charge. Three more Caballeria died and they fled in a blind panic.
The nearby Sea Dogs rallied and killed more fleeing Caballeria.
Then the Filibusters moved up and shot at the smaller group of Caballeria Lanceros.
Four Caballeria Lanceros died. John Coxson then pulled out an arrow he was given by King Golden Cap, and threw it into the chest of the lead Caballeria, killing him instantly.
Trying to regain some initiative, the Caballeria charged the Filibusters, and killed two of them in sporadic pistol fire. The charge though killed all but one of the Filibusters and John Coxson.They held firm though.
The Sea Dogs charged forward and drove back the rest of the cavalry.
The rest of the Caballeria fled the field, routing, as the Spanish commander surrendered.
In the end the Spanish took twenty one casualties.
The English only had twelve casualties.
Victory by strike test goes to Bartholomew Sharp. The English Buccaneers are free to loot and pillage La Serena!