Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Back to the Carlist Wars!

Vidal and I met Sunday for the first time in a while and decided to pull out the Carlist Wars collection. I've had a hankering of late to go back to Sharp Practice and what better collection than the Carlists (where I think my first experience with TFL rules occurred). The full scenario outline is at the end of this post. I modified it from Scenario 15 in the Compleat Fondler, TFL's scenario companion to SP.

For now, some pics...

Overview of the table with the Isabellino blinds deployed. 

 Vidal deploys the BAL redcoats across the road, personally commanded by Major Fondler. 

The general's gold-laden carriage arrives in the village while Carlist infantry deploys to clear the way. 

Carlist cavalry wends its way excruciatingly along a narrow track. Cavalry off the track is no better than infantry (and actually much worse). This proved a futile effort to get around the Isabellino defences.
Another shot of the Carlist infantry clearing the immediate environs of the village. 

Unfortunately, the carriage never made it farther than the village. Major Fondler's rifles and redcoats effectively blocked the way north. His Status IV rating, combined with the devastating fire of the rifles, was difficult to counter. Ultimately, General del Pene Grande escaped back south with his gold. A victory for the Isabellinos but marred somewhat by their inability to capture the gold.

The good news (or bad, depending on one's perspective) is that the game inspired me to order more Carlist infantry from Perry Miniatures. I think next time a higher level game using Field of Battle.

Isabellino Briefing

With just forty men of the British Legion, Major Fondler is patrolling high in the mountains in search of General del Pene Grande who, it is said, is attempting to return to Don Carlos, abandoning the Carlist forces still in Northern Spain.

Fondler must place his men to cover the numerous paths that cross the mountains in this area. He may deploy anywhere on the table on blinds from the farming hamlet upwards to the northern edge.

The Isabellino force is made of Major Richard Fondler, status IV, Sergeant Paisley, status III and Lieutenant Harry Cost, status II. They have 18 British and Isabellino riflemen (in three groups of six) and 24 redcoats. One of the British rifles is a chosen man.


Major Richard Fondler rates a Cock o’ the Walk, is a strapping fellow and a handsome Devil. He is a popular cove despite his background in the orphanage and as an enlisted man. He is a fair hand with the sword but is a novice in the saddle. He is honourable and lion-hearted but, being something of a ladies’ man, is lecherous.

Lieutenant Harry Cost is a fine, strapping fellow with a handsome face. He is a popular cove, a general’s son who is a fair hand with the sword and an accomplished horseman. He is charismatic and something of a ladies’ man; however, he manages to suppress the results of that with mercury.

Sergeant Paisley is not an officer; however, it is important to note that he is a giant of a man who is capable of feats of strength beyond ordinary men. He should get +2 when attempting tasks involving strength.

Carlist Briefing
General del Pene Grande is not sorry to be leaving northern Spain. He has been fighting there for several years and whilst the good times were indeed good, the bad times were truly abysmal. The Isabellinos (and especially their foreign mercenaries) never knew when they were beaten; had they been sane and reasonable men they would have sued for peace and returned to their dismal capital but they did not. They fought on and in the end they are on the verge of winning this heinous war.

So now the remaining Carlist garrisons of northern Spain will have to fend for themselves. The General will return to Don Carlos and report that northern Spain is lost. What will become of Don Carlos’ claim to the throne now?

General del Pene Grande is leaving northern Spain by the mountain passes, taking with him his war chest of 12,000 gold pieces and a small escort. Eighteen cavalrymen and 18 light infantrymen lead the way, with 24 infantrymen guarding the carriage with the money.

The cavalry are organized into three groups of six men under Capitaine C├ęsar Herrara del Estomago, status III. The light infantry are in three groups of six under Sargento Primero Baldomero, status III. The 24 infantry are in three groups of eight under Teniente Primero Gutierrez-Enfermo, status II and Sargento Valderemo, status II. The French begin the game on blinds on the road on the southern table edge.


General del Pene Grande is a Jolly Good Chap with an average stamp. He is a handsome Devil (although fading now with years to be Fair of Face) but is disliked by his men. He is new money; he was a knife sharpener in a small village, until Don Carlos put forth his claim to the throne when his father made a fortune producing bayonets for the army. He is a fair hand with the sword and an accomplished horseman, apart from when he has an attack of hemorrhoids. He is a Cad, both lecherous (undoubtedly a ladies’ man) and proud; however, he does not directly control any troops in this game, so this is not a problem for him.

Capitaine del Estomago rates as a Jolly Good Chap, is of average stamp but is very proud of his boyish looks (although they are fading after several years of war). He is from a well-to-do family who made their money selling arms to Don Carlos but try as he might his men do not like him. He is, however, an accomplished swordsman and an excellent rider. He is also chivalrous and a man of letters.

Teniente Primero Gutierrez-Enfermo is a fine fellow and a giant of a man with a fair and open face who is popular cove. He is from new money; his father trades horses and he has done well form the war. He is a fair hand with the sword and an accomplished horseman. He is an honourable man of letters but bitter that he has been passed over for promotion countless times. Maybe this is his chance to get his reward, maybe save the life of the General, maybe saving the gold for Don Carlos?

Game Notes

The mountains are notoriously rugged and the general has chosen one of the harshest areas to cross them. Already frost can be seen at this altitude despite it being September.

Only the roads and paths are passable to mounted cavalry and the carriage. The money is heavy enough to ensure the carriage may not be abandoned without leaving behind most of the money. Cavalry may only ride faster than a walk on the road itself. The off-road areas are broken and rocky, reducing all movement by -1 pip per movement die, with the rocky areas shown reducing it by -2 pips per movement die. Anywhere off-road can give light cover to troops operating in it. The few bare trees are ornamental, providing no cover. The buildings are solid stone and provide good cover, albeit with small windows and doors from which to fire.

The Isabellinos may deploy anywhere on the table as far south as the farm itself. The Carlists begin the game on blinds on the road on the southern table edge.

Game Cards

Major Fondler (IV)
General del Pene Grande
Lieutenant Cost (II)
Capitaine del Estomago (III)
Sergeant Paisley (III)
Teniente Primero Gutierrez-Enfermo (II)
Grasp the Nettle II
Sargento Primero Baldomero (III)
Grasp the Nettle III
Sargento Valderemo (II)
Sharp Practice
Captar el Gazpacho II
Captar el Gazpacho III

Bonus Cards


  1. Great post, Dave - very good to see some more Carlist War action.

    Best wishes


  2. Not sure if the names are taken from the supplement, but they fit right along side with my typical naming scheme.