"¡Battles of El Dorado!"
A Flintloque Background Article by Danny O'Hara
Image from ''Look and Learn - Simon Bolivar' by Ron Embleton*
We take a look at some of the other battles and campaigns of El Dorado's rebel hero, Bovrilar and his Patriots.
Ballchucca - Carabuboe - Pinchingcha
The Battle of Ballchucca
This, Bovrilar's first major success in battle, gave him control of Nueva Grenada, and set him on the road to final victory over the Royalists. His Army consisted of:
- General Tintinder
- Battalion of Cazadores
- 1st Line Battalion
- 1st Squadron, Guides of Impure
- General Avagoatim
- Marracas Rifles Battalion (Orcs)
- Albion Legion (Orcs)
- Infantry Battalion Borstallones
- Infantry Battalion Bravos de Pizza
- 2nd Squadron, Guides of Impure
- General Bovrilar
- Infantry Battalion Milicianes de Tuna
- Infantry Battalion Milicianes de Zorro
- Regiment of Lancers Vamos o Arriba
- Squadron of Dragoons Cojones
Facing them were the Royalists of General Bolero:
- General Chimichanga
- 2nd Infantry Battalion Nomolestar
- 3rd Infantry Battalion Nomolestar
- Regiment of Dragoons
- General Bolero
- 1st Infantry Battalion Del Boy
- 2nd Infantry Battalion Del Boy
- Infantry Battalion Cazadores de Tango
- Regiment of Mounted Grenadiers
- Artillery (two 7-pounder howitzers, one 4-pounder gun, and crews)
Having landed with his Orcish mercenary force and extra guns in Nueva Grenada, Bovrilar built up a Rebel Army based around his Orcs, with the Dark Elves being organised in Ferach fashion. From the malarial coastal plains, he needed to advance through the inland hills and jungle to reach Bogoftar (the provincial capital). He found out that General Tintinder had raised a guerrilla army to fight against General Bolero (the local Royalist commander), and that these guerrillas were active around Bogoftar.
Rushing to join up with General Tintinder and quickly liberate Nueva Grenada (he was worried that Tintinder would succeed before he arrived there!), Bovrilar force-marched his army through all sorts of rough terrain. They lost many elves and orcs, and most of the horses... Therefore, arriving in a poor state, this "Army of Liberation" settled down to reform (and find some more horses!). However, the Royalists under Bolero arrived and their forward units began to cause trouble for the Rebels. So Bovrilar ordered an assault on the Royalists in their camp at Pantaloons de Bargos - a strong position in swampland. The Orcs in particular won Bovrilar a victory, but the Royalists were able to retreat in good order, and most of Bovrilar's wounded died of disease! (This included Col. Rorc, senior Orcish officer). The Rebels could not pursue, due to lack of cavalry, and were now seriously depleted in numbers. Therefore Bovrilar rounded up all the local male elves and formed them into militia units (on pain of death!). With these dubious reinforcements, he resumed the advance on Bogoftar. By night-marches, and perhaps a bit of luck, the Rebels crossed the Womble River, and seized the town of Tuna. The Royalists, meanwhile, had decided that Bovrilar was not in pursuit - so they became very complacent and lax in their security. The vanguard of the Royalist Army was sent to secure the important bridge over the Womble at Ballchucca (which they did), but then General Bolero declared a siesta for the army, leaving them split astride the river valley...
With the bloodthirsty Orcs in front, Bovrilar's Army surged up the Womble Valley, and cut the Royalist Army in two. The Orcs held the bridge and saw off the Royalist Vanguard in some fierce fighting, while the rest of the Rebel Army attacked and destroyed the remaining Royalist force. Following this engagement, the Rebels paraded through Bogoftar with Bovrilar at their head. He was in total control of Nueva Grenada, and could now head for Marracas! Installing Tintinder as the new President of Nueva Grenada, his Army crossed over into Marracas Province to liberate Marracas City...
Wargaming the Battle
Bovrilar's Army is vary variable - the Orcs are Albion Army veterans (dressed in Albion-style uniforms - Green for the Rifles, Redcoats for the Albion Legion) and fight as such. They are both of Elite status. The Milicianes Battalions are Militia (these are the levy raised after Pantaloons de Bargos) and all of the cavalry should be classed as Militia due to their recent treatment and losses! (They are all Light Cavalry). The remaining Dark Elf units are Regular, trained in the Ferach manner. The Dark Elf "uniforms" are mainly civilian wear, so they appear pretty much as Catalucian guerrillas.
Bolero's Royalists are standard Catalucian units, in white uniforms (with white shako-covers) for the infantry and artillery, while the cavalry wear dark blue coats and black bicornes. Most should be Militia units, as per usual Catalucians.
The Battle of Carabuboe
From his liberation of Nueva Grenada, Bovrilar and his Rebels crossed into Marracas Province and prepared to take on the Royalists under General Miguel de la Vatorre. Bovrilar had made contact with the unreliable General Pizza and his wild grouchos, and (previously loyal to the Royal cause) these fierce horsemen swapped sides to fight in the Nueva Grenada campaign...Thus the Royalists had lost an important source of troops, but Bovrilar found that Pizza would only fight when and where he wanted. The Royalists dug in on the approach to Marracas City, and it looked like Bovrilar's Army might fall apart...
Managing to persuade the grouchos to stay with him, Bovrilar decided on a typical plan - attack La Vatorre's position frontally and hope for the best! The Royalist position cut athwart the road to Marracas, at the point where it emerged from hills and jungle onto the plain of Carabuboe. The wide Carabuboe Stream lay between Bovrilar and the Royalists, the ground was covered by dense thickets, and the Royalists were uphill with excellent fields of fire. The two armies comprised (letters in bold refer to positions on map):
Commander: General de la Vatorre
- Colonel Gracias
- 1st Infantry Battalion Fallacia P
- Light Infantry Battalion Del Barberia Q
- Light Infantry Battalion Del Hostelleria R
- Regiment Hussars Rey Fernando S
- General Morones (Not the famous Morones of Chihuahua!)
- 2nd Infantry Battalion Burgers J
- Light Infantry Battalion Infantile Don Francisco de Paula K
- Regiment Lanceros del Boy L
- Colonel Wherareia
- Light Infantry Battalion Porcupina M
- Infantry Battalion La Vatorre N
- Regiment Dragoons Rey Fernando O
- Horse Artillery Battery (2 4-pounder guns and crew)
Commander: General Bovrilar
- General Pizza
- Infantry Battalion Bravos de Impure
- Albion Legion (Orcs)
- Regiment Hussars De Pizza (Grouchos)
- Regiment Murkey (Grouchos)
- Regiment Cazadores Vamos a Caballo (Grouchos)
- Regiment Lanceros de Pizza (Grouchos)
- General Canduno
- Infantry Battalion Fernando de Bargos F
- Infantry Battalion Ballchucca G
- Infantry Battalion Tiredalways H
- Squadron Dragoons Sequinada I
- Colonel Plasterdo
- Infantry Battalion Avagoatim E
- Infantry Battalion Vencedor en Ballchucca D
- Grenadier Battalion C
- Rifle Battalion (Orcs)B
- Regiment, Guard Lancers A
[Sadly the original map of the Battle of Carabuboe has been lost to the ravages of the time, if I manage to find it I will update this article. - Craig Andrews, OITW Editor]
A "War Council" of Bovrilar's officers managed to persuade him that perhaps a frontal assault was not the only option, and so the Liberator compromised by sending the I Division on a flank march (through hills covered by jungle) while the remainder continued as previously ordered. The Rebel Army advanced on the Royalist position, but La Vatorre had observed the flank march, and sent the Vanguard Division to block/repulse this. The rest stayed in position and fired on the advancing Rebels as opportunities presented themselves. Unfortunately, the artillery proved to have little effect...
On the flank, the faster moving Bravos de Impure broke through the tree-line first and were met by withering fire from the Royalist infantry of Burgers and the Light Infantry. This close-range fire broke the Rebel battalion, and they routed back through the advancing Albion Legion, disrupting the Orcish formation. The Royalist lancers then charged into the Orc and Dark Elf infantry, causing havoc until the Lanceros de Pizza (and their General) made a half-hearted charge and scattered them...but where were the rest of the grouchos?
Apparently, these had dispersed into the jungle, and only Pizza and his lancers were on site - but the Legion had managed to reform, and bayonet-charged the Royalist infantry - both battalions broke at this point, and the grouchos then decided to follow the charge into the Royalist rear.
Still fighting to their front, the main Royalist force now tried to withdraw into buildings behind their initial line, but were cut off by the Orcs and grouchos, who cut down many of the routing Royalists.
Again, Bovrilar's forces had won the day - and now Marracas lay undefended before him! He entered in another triumphant parade, and had himself proclaimed President of Marracas (again!). Forming a new local government, he decided on a new (and unpopular!) venture - there was, he stated, a need for the previously separate provinces of Nueva Grenada, Marracas and Gran Chaco to be united into a single state (Bovrilaria) under the command of Bovrilar himself. It was pointed out that the Nueva Grenadans and Marracans were not (despite their recent co-operation) particularly friendly, that neither liked the Gran Chacoans, and that Gran Chaco was still in Royalist hands. But, ignoring all arguments, Bovrilar made his proclaimation and prepared to liberate Gran Chaco. In capturing Marracas, he had released an old friend - Antonio de Azucar - from Royalist gaol, and made this ardent Patriot his Commander in Chief for the forthcoming campaign.
Wargaming the Battle
The notes on Ballchucca are still relevant here - the Orcs are Elite, as are the groucho cavalry (these are Dark Elves wearing ponchos and large brimmed hats, wielding lances, swords, bolos and other weaponry - they are generally not in uniform, but most wear at least some red). Most of the other Rebels are trained, while the Royalists are mainly Militia. The Royalists are standard Catalucian troops, the Rebel Dark Elves fight as Ferach, and the Orcs as Albionites.
The main items which need to be covered are the Carabuboe Stream (which is wide, but fordable everywhere) and the groucho behaviour. For each groucho unit, roll 1D6 at the start of the game (including Pizza). On a 5,6 they are with the I Division as it arrives on the battlefield, otherwise they are elsewhere...Every turn after that, re-roll for missing units to rejoin the Division.
The Battle of Pinchingcha
This battle, the climax of the Gran Chaco Campaign was fought by the "Bovrilarian" Army under General Antonio de Azucar against the Royalist Army of Gran Chaco (General Aycaramba). It was a hard fought engagement, following a somewhat arduous campaign. For most of the time, Bovrilar was more active politically than militarily.
The Gran Chaco Campaign
Entering Gran Chaco Province from the south, Azucar began to move through the sierra towards Labamba (under the control of Colonel Luppeze with 1,500 Royalist elves), occupying the town of Quencha on the way, this town swearing allegiance to the Bovrilarian constitution. The Marracan Colonel Diego Itmarra with his Cavalry surrounded the town of Alousi, opening the way to Labamba. It seems that the officers of Dragoons of the Patriot army had been invited by the mounted officers of the Royalist force in Labamba to dine with them. Thinking that this invitation was part of the truce which Azucar had made with Colonel Carlos Tollbootha after the defeat at Huachi (the Royalist garrison held out bravely here, but were later defeated by Azucar's forces), the Patriot officers accepted.
While the Cavalry officers were in the midst of their fiesta, the Royalist Infantry attacked the Patriot troops. Fortunately Colonel Itmarra had maintained himself on the alert with the remainder of the Cavalry and at the first sound of firing, charged into Labamba at the head of the mounted Grenadiers and Dragoons, whereby the town was evacuated at once by the Royalist forces and occupied by the Rebels. The Squadron of Prattigonian Mounted Grenadiers under the command of Lieutenant Colonel Juan Leveller took advantage of a faulty manoeuvre by the Royalist Cavalry under the command of Colonel Tollbootha. Leveller charged them in the flank with his Mounted Grenadiers and drove them in confusion upon the positions held by their infantry and then retreated at full trot.
He was then joined by a few Nueva Grenadan Dragoons who arrived in time to assist with the counter-attack which the rallied Royalist Cavalry were already making at full gallop, Leveller wheeled his troops around and charged into the onward rush of Royalist Cavalry and completely routed them - the Royalist Cavalry were of no further use in this campaign.
The Patriots, some 3,000 strong, occupied the town of Danceaconga, which forced the Royalists to start work on defences in the vicinity of Muchacha as a way of stopping the advance of the Patriots, rather than fight here. Azucar carried on marching, reaching the Valle de los Chilles - close to Quilto, having crossed the eastern barren plains of Cotopaintxi and Singasongua. The Royalist being informed of this maneuver had been withdrawn and had headed directly for Quilto, reaching there at night and taking up advantageous positions at Pungenti at dawn.
The Patriots arrived to be again confronted with defence works thrown up to block their way, this time Azucar tried another flanking move to the plain of Caramba, and stationed his troops at Chilliguilli, hoping that the Royalists would attack him. They did not comply, so that night in heavy rain, Azucar again moved his troops over the slippery narrow road that crossed slopes of the volcano called Pinchingcha. This time with the aim of closing the northern roads from which the Royalists were awaiting reinforcements coming from the direction of Pesto. Only the Cavalry under the command of Colonel Cystitis was able to accomplish this directive, the Infantry were to be confronted by the Royalist Army on the heights of Pinchingcha. This mountain side and terrain was covered by a forest and brushwood.
The following morning , the Royalist having seen this flanking movement by Azucar's men were forced into attacking the moving Patriot troops from the heights of Panecillo. The Cazadores del Playa were the first troops to clash with the main body of the Royalist division, being reinforced by the Trutypo Battalion and two Companies of the Tamagochi Battalion, with General Miralda and the rest of his infantry entering the fight a little while later.
Colonel Jose Maria Cordouroya with two companies of the Alto Madonna Battalion tried unsuccessfully to out-flank the Royalist positions, while after some time the Battalions Trutypo and Tamagochi had exhausted all of their ammunition and began to retire to the top of the volcano. Lieutenant Abdon Calderon Cherrycola in command of the 3rd Company, Tamagochi battalion, had received four mortal wounds, although he refused to accept any medical treatment until his unit was in a safer position.
Encouraged by this withdrawal, the Royalist troops began to attack these units. But, unknown to the Royalists, the Playa Battalion was in position to provide covering fireand managed to repulse the Royalist attack. Another attack on the left flank by three Companies of the Arrogant Battalion was beaten by the three Companies of the Albion Battalion who had been escorting the ammunition train at the rear of the Army, causing great losses to the attacking Royalists. (Captain Thesaurus Orcish, one of the company commanders, later reported that it was a "Bladdy good scrap, what! Those Elfy beggars were good sorts really - you know, stamp on your nuts in the scrummage, then pretend to be dead when it was your turn to hit them! Jolly good fun!").
After this Colonel Cordouroya with his Alto Madonna Battalion received orders to follow up the Albion success and attack the Royalist line. This attack, which began a general advance by the Patriot troops, brought about the final victory at Pinchingcha. On such ground the cavalry on neither side could come into action, but the Royalist Cavalry were in reserve in the suburbs of Quilto and were later attacked by the Patriot Cavalry and dispersed.
After this Azucar summoned the city to surrender. The next day Aycaramba capitulated
The Order of Battle for the Battle of Pinchingcha is:
Commander: General Antonio José de Azucar
- General José Miralda
- Albion Battalion (Orcs)
- Infantry Battalion Cazadores del Playa
- Infantry Battalion Alto Madonna
- Infantry Battalion Tamagochi
- Dragoon Regiment Azucar
Sento Cruise Division
- Colonel Andres de Sento Cruise
- Infantry Battalion Trutypo
- Infantry Battalion Kiaora
- Squadron, Mounted Grenadiers (Prattigonian)
- Squadron, Cazadores a Cabello
- Artillery Battery (3 4-pounders and crew)
- General Aycaramba
- 1st Infantry Battalion Arrogant
- Infantry Battalion Tiredones de Cadavres
- Loyal Infantry Battalion Cojones
- Regiment Dragoons Reyna Catydogga
- Squadron, Hussars El Rey Fernando
- Artillery Battery (3 4-pounder guns and crew)
Wargaming the Battle of Pinchingcha
Again, the previous notes are useful here. The Royalists are all Militia Catalucians, while the Rebels/Patriots are Elite (Orcs and Prattigonians) or Regular. The Dark Elf Rebels are organised as Ferach, while the Orcs are Albion troops in Bovrilar's pay.
The battlefield is a bit difficult to portray, as most of it was the slopes of a steep volcano! I would suggest that one half of the board be covered in steep hills (impassable to cavalry or artillery) and that the Rebels set up on the "flat" end of the board, with the Royalists dug in on the lower slopes volcano.
Apologies to Terry Hooker and Charles Bogart (authors of an excellent article on the real battle of Pichincha, in "El Dorado" Magazine, Vol. VII, No.4) for mangling their description into the Pinchingcha piece above!
The above Flintloque background was originally published on Danny O'Hara's excellent Flintloque website, Weird Wars, way back in November 1999.
The scenario was first published on Orcs in the Webbe in February 2006. It was absent for several years due to a prior regeneration of the website not transferring everything over correctly. That wrong has now been righted and it returned in it's original form on the 20th December 2023 as the seventeenth entry in that year's Advent Calendar and, of course, is part of Orcs in the Webbe's ongoing Flintloque Archive Project.
Danny passed away a few years ago now and I miss both him and his fantastic contributions to the world of Valon.
Any comments in maroon in the article above have been added by me either to provide additional information or clarity. I may also have made small changes to grammar and layout but have not marked these.
* Note that the image has been used without permission and will be removed if requested by the copyright holder.