The inspiration for the game was the Battle of San Francisco. A combined Bolivian / Peruvian force was attempting to seize the nitrate mine and also the town with the water supply, the river being dry. The Chileans had a couple of battalions on the nitrate mine, and a Division marching to reinforce, plus one more close by.
We had a delayed start due to traffic problems as Richard took 4 1/2 hours to do a drive that shouldn't take longer than two, so we ended up starting after lunch not at 10 am. Shouldn't complain, however, at least we weren't the poor devils in the accident.
The Peruvians are to the right, the Bolivians in the distance. The village has white walls, the mine mud ones. Chileans to the left.
These are the brave defenders of the mine.
And these are the Division marching to occupy the town. Chris A had command of the Chileans.
This is the Peruvians, or most of them. Phil was leading them.
Which left the Bolivians to Richard.
Richard started off by rushing his cavalry to the village, with the aim of dismounting and occupying it. This was good for me as I've never really run a FIBUA scenario with these rules, so they needed a test.
Phil advanced steadily on the mine.
Richard got into the village and dismounted. You will note his troops changed uniform colour when they got off their horses. I was forced to use a spare infantry battalion as I've never got round to painting enough dismounted foot.
Chris launched a heroic cavalry charge through the narrow streets of the village, and caught the Bolivians before they had got themselves properly into position (in order to get full use of cover you have ot take a turn occupying it properly).
This bold move was greeted with complete success. These Chilean cavalry led a charmed existence for the entire game, pursuing their prey through the entire Bolivian army.
Phil was taking a more measured approach with his objective.
Richard and Phil press forwards.
The dismounted cavalry have been chased almost to extinction, but President Daza attempts to catch the Chilean cavalry in an exhausted state by leading his bodyguard in a charge.
Phil's attackers and the Chileans in the mine start to exchange shots.
Chris has thrown more men into the village as the Bolivians emerge over the hill top. In the distance we await the outcome of the President's heroic charge.
The cavalry clash, and dice are rolled. The sun glints off the breast plates of the Presidential Guard...
...who turn and run because...
...Chris has just rolled 15 on 4 d4. This is a typical roll for those cavalry. Richard didn't even come close, and he was rolling d8s with commander modifiers.
Elsewhere, not so good for Chris. The Bolivians have been able to concentrate fire on a couple of battalions, who break and flee.
The President and his men are being pursued across the table top. Bolivian might have an opening for a new President.
The fighting in the village intensifies. Chris' guns come under heavy rifle fire, and start to take a lot of damage.
The defenders of the mine are managing to hold off the Peruvian attacks.
The President has abandoned his men and galloped off into the hills.
The Chileans have fortified themselves into their corner of the village, whilst the Alliance forces gather round them. The defenders are being badly battered. They will surely break soon.
The men at the mine have thrown back one assault, but they are starting to get a bit ragged. It will only be a matter of time.
At that point we called it as an Alliance victory (at heavy cost), and decided to clear the table to set up the evening game before we headed off down the pub.
I got a lot out of the game as I have been making a few changes and I saw my way clear to fixing a couple of issues. Overall the mechanisms are holding up okay, but I don't think I'll ever be able to fight a corps level, two Division a side, game in 2 hours. At least not without reducing the whole thing to a caricature where you roll one d6 per unit, hitting on a 6 or similar.
Late 19th century warfare is a lot more complicated than pre-Biblical Sumerian. It's not only that weapon systems have got more complex, but we also know a lot more about formations and tactics, and that cries out to be bin the game. Publication of "It's Getting a it Chile" is a month of two off yet, at least, but it'll be worth it.