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Wargaming the Battle of Gavilan 5 May 1817
Posted 18 Feb 2012
Setting: Gavilan Hill, Conception, Chile; 5 May 1817
John Fletcher has published a scenario for the Battle of Gavilan (5 May 1817). These are my notes related to wargaming that scenario.
Ordonez attempted to defeat Las Heras's 1,300 patriots before O'Higgins could join with his Chilean forces (Manly, 2008). After leaving Talcaluano the royalists headed for the rebel redoubt on Gavilan Hill (northwest of Concepcion) in two columns. Colonel Morgado had 600 men and two field pieces on the Penco road whereas Ordonez approached from Chepe with 800 and three guns.
Nine royalist gun-boats opened fire on the insurgents within Conception at 0645 hours (Manly, 2008). Ordonez arrived at the insurgent lines first and immediately assaulted Las Heras's left flank. Ordonez's column was decimated storming the rebel lines. Morgado arrived an hour and a half later and launched his own attack but with no more success. When the advance guard of O'Higgins army arrived on the field, two Chilean companies, the royalists abandoned the assault and retreated behind the Talchuano trenches. They royalists lost 118 killed, 80 wounded, four guns, and 200 muskets. Patriot casualties were six dead and 62 injured. O'Higgins arrived by nightfall and assumed command over the siege operations, which were to last seven months (Fletcher, 2005).
The scenarios more or less recreate the historical battle. The Patriots on Gavilan Hill are trying to stop the Royalist columns from reaching Conception.
Scenarios, Games and Battle Reports
John Fletcher's article on the Battle of Gavilan includes a scenario.
I've got notes on how to use that Scenario for two rule systems:
Fletcher, J, (n.d.) The Battle of Gavilan - May 5, 1817. Grenadier Productions. [Available on-line at Liberators 1810-1830 Yahoo Discussion Forum in the Files page.]
Fletcher, J. (2005). Liberators! Volume 1: The War in the South. Grenadier Productions.
Marley, D. (1998). Wars of the Americas: a chronology of armed conflict in the New World, 1492-1997 [2nd ed.].