The Galleon and the Flame Scenario: Magellan
Magellan's Death at Mactan
(Philippines, 27 April, 1521)
        Introduction
        Forces Involved Historically
        The Game
        Forces in the Wargame
             Ashore
             Afloat
        Rules
        What Really Happened
        Sources

Download this scenario as a Microsoft Word Document

Back to the Early Colonials Page
Back to Trevor's Colonial Wargames Page

(Images: right, Ferdinand Magellan's portrait by António Menendez in the Museu Marinha, Lisbon. Below right , a map for this wargames scenario, a scaled to fit a 5 x 12 foot table.)

Introduction:
 
Cebu, Philippines, April 1521. Well, the good Fernão Magalhães has made it this far well enough. In spite of every obstacle fortune could throw in his way (contrary winds, Antarctic cold, shipwreck, mutiny, scurvey, starvation are but a few) he has managed to keep the Armada de Molucca together long enough to be the first Christian expedition to cross the Pacific all the way to reach the Indies - the real Indies this time - from the west to the glory of Spain, his patron; far enough, even, to meet his old foe, the Turk, from the opposite direction!

scenario mapThis has been a cause for celebration indeed. A stay at the Sultan of Cebu's palace has the Captain-Admiral convinced the cross will make a home in the east. Far from driving him out, the Cebuano Sultan has entertained him and his men with bountiful hospitality - all the rice, coconut milk, steamy baths and willing girls a disheveled Iberian ruffian like me who'd done nothing for months but sharpen his knife and count the weevils in his mouldy biscuit ration to judge whether the boot on his stinking foot would be more appetizing - on those days at least on which he had a choice - could ever want! And to top it all off, Fr. Valderrama has been jumping for joy to baptize 800 souls from among these Mohammedans, including Sultan Humabon himself with his whole entourage. His Majesty the Spanish King-Emporer could only be pleased... there might even be a dukedom in this. Not bad for an old luço, não é?

Well, we'll see about that. In the meantime the good Captain-Admiral has gotten himself and his whole party into a real embaraço. He has boasted continually in the company of the Sultan of the superiority of Spanish arms in battle, firing off harquebuses with frequency and challenging Cebuano warriors to try to kill a Christian bedecked in full plate with any weapon at their disposal. Ceaselessly he has stressed to Humabon the military value of an alliance with Spain and Spanish steel. Seu Fernão even burned a village for him on a small island neighboting Cebu to the south, Mactan, for failing to comply with the Sultan's invitation to join him in Our Holy Faith. The Sultan says that the Rajah of this island, Lapu Lapu, is recalcitrant by nature and generally not used to such intrusions, a man best left alone.

Yet only the other day the Armada received an outright invitation by a princely fellow, a king himself, from the same island - Zula was his name, I think - to come with a boatload of twenty Spaniards to help him fight Lapu Lapu, who is his rival, in the Christian ruler Humabon's name. The Captain-Admiral in his zeal for the Faith and mindful of the face that would be needlessly lost for his patron the Crown of Spain were he to refuse such an offer after so much brave talk, without hesitation offered the services of not one but three such boatloads: sixty of his best men (in fact his only men) trained in the use of arms, fully armed with Christian gunpowder and crossbow-bolts and clothed in the best Toledo steel curiats. He, Comendador of the Order of Santiago, would of course be right there at their head.

A lot of the luço's crew have been thinking the old man has lost his head for good this time - his most trusted officers have been trying to persuade him away from this foolishness, but he refuses to abandon his men or his allies at this place. Whatever the true case, there they are in their boats - the Captain-Admiral thought deceit beneath him and so though he arrived offshore well before dawn while the Mactanon were all asleep, he insisted upon announcing his presence and offering peace: "if his subjects would obey the king of Spain and recognize him as their lord, and pay tribute, he would be their friend; if they would do otherwise they would feel the iron of our lances." It seems to me though, the Rajah was not so impressed. He sent a message back with something in it about having plenty of his own "fire-hardened spears and stakes of bamboo." Que estranho. Anyway, we'll see what happens now.

Return to Top

Forces Involved Historically:

Magellan’s men:
The number and some of the names of Magellan's crew are known from a partial crew manifest preserved in the Archivo de Indias in Madrid and reproduced in Martín Fernández de Navarrete’s Colección de los viages y descubrimientos que hicieron por mar los españoles desde fines del siglo XV, con varios documentos ineditos concernientes a la historia de la marina castellana y de los establecimientos españoles en Indias, vol. 4 (1837), combined with the written accounts of Pigafetta, Elcano and others.

The following is my interpretation from all this of the make-up of Magellan’s party, man-for-man, in total on 27 April, 1521. Admittedly I have taken liberties where information has been lacking, but at least I’ve annotated them in the list as such. If anyone can correct me – please do!

A couple of things to note first –
After the Santiago ran aground on the Argentine coast on 3 May 1520, her crew rejoined the fleet, but no exact distribution is given. This I have only guessed at. I have also divided the 25 Cape Verde grommets taken on near the beginning of the voyage in September 1519 between the three ships, assuming none left with the mutineers Gómez and Guerra on San Antonio (this is Morison’s belief).  Also, Pigafetta reported 19 men starved to death over the course of the Pacific voyage, which figure I use instead of the official 11 and Gómara and Herrera’s 20 for no special reason other than the richness of Pigafetta’s description of the starving men.
 
 Trinidad & Concepcion 1Trinidad & Concepcion 2another nao

(Images above - two sketches of a pair of ships thought possibly to represent Magellan's Trinidad and Concepción, and a third of another ship almost identical, all appearing on Jaques Ribero's World Map of 1529)

Trinidad - ship of 100 tonadas, 8 bombards (guess), 81 men on board, and 2 prisoners
9 officers
    - Captain: Ferdinand Magellan
    - 2 Pilots:
            - Andrés de San Martín, also the fleet's astrologer
            - Juan Rodriguez (“Ginés”) de Mafra
    - Master: Juan Bautista de Punzorol
    - Contramaestre (assistant master) and flag pilot: Francisco Albo of Axio (Actium)
    - Alguacil (marshal, military commander): Gonzalo Gómez de Espinosa
    - Chief surgeon: Juan Morales of Seville
    - Escribano (secretary): Leon de Espleta
    - Chaplain - Pedro de Valderrema
5 petty officers
    - a barber-surgeon
    - a carpenter
    - a steward
    - a caulker
    - a cooper
5 artillery specialists (with addition of Santiago's gunners)
    - 1 Condestable (chief gunner) - Master Andrew of Bristol
    - 4 gunners
15 marineros (able seamen) (includes a postulated 5 added from the shipwrecked Santiago and 1 also postulated
       Pacific-voyage casualty subtracted)
18 grumetes (grommets, apprentice seamen) (includes a postulated 10 added between the grommets recruited early-on in the
       Cape Verdes and those transferred from the shipwrecked Santiago, and 3 also postulated Pacific-voyage casualties
       subtracted)
22 criados (servants), men-at-arms, and supernumeraries, including Antonio Pigafetta, gentleman-volunteer; the ex-mutineer
       captain of San Antonio, Antonio de Coca; Espinosa's slave "Antón de color negro"; Magellan’s bastard son Cristóbal
       Rebolo, cousin Martín de Magallanes, and Malay slave Enrique de Malacca. (3 postulated Pacific-voyage casualties
       have been subtracted to make this total)
2 Prisoners (Patagonian Indian men)

Concepción - ship of 90 tonadas, 6 bombards (guess),  70 men

5 officers
    - Captain: Juan Rodríguez Serrano of Seville
    - Pilot: João Lopes Carvalho, Portuguese
    - Master - Juan Sebastián Elcano
    - Asst. master - Juan de Acurio
    - Secretary - Sancho de Heredia
7 petty officers (ex- Santiago men added)
    - a barber
    - 2 caulkers
    - 2 carpenters
    - 2 stewards
3 artillery specialists
    - 1 chief gunner - Hans Vargue
    - 2 gunners
11 mariners  (includes a postulated 2 added from the shipwrecked Santiago and 1 dead from the Pacific voyage subtracted)
18 grommets (includes 11 guessed men added between the grommets recruited in the Cape Verdes and the transfer of the
        Santiago’s crew, and 3 similarly guessed Pacific-voyage casualties out of Pigafetta’s 19 to make this total)
20 servants, men-at-arms, and supernumeraries, including, presumably, Master Baltazar, Contramaestre Bartolomé Prior, and
        Secretary Antonio de Costa from Serrano's old caravel Santiago and their servants, assuming they accompanied him, and
        Captain Luis Alfonso de Gois, who succeeded Serrano when he was killed. (2 postulated Pacific-voyage casualties have
        already been subtracted to make this total)

Victoria 1Victoria 2
(Images above: Victoria, from Ortelius' atlas of 1589, and the modern model at the Aquarium of San Sebastién, Spain, the latter photo taken straight from S. E. Morison, Southern Voyages.)

Victoria - ship of 85 tonadas, 6 bombards (guess based on the engraving above), 60 men

6 officers
    - Captain: Duarte Barbosa
    - Pilot: Vasco Gallego
    - Master - Antón Salomón
    - Asst. master - Miguel of Rhodes
    - Secretary - Martín Méndez
    - Marshal - Diego de Peralta of Navarre
5 petty officers
    - a steward
    - a caulker
    - a carpenter
    - a cooper  (1 postulated Pacific-voyage casualty subtracted)
    - a blacksmith
3 artillery specialists
    - Chief gunner - Jorge Alemán
    - 2 gunners
11 mariners (Includes 2 guessed men added from Santiago and 2 guessed Pacific-voyage casualties)
18 grommets (Includes 11 guessed additions between the Cape Verde men taken on at the beginning of the voyage and the
        transfer of Santiago’s survivors, as well 3 similarly guessed Pacific-voyage casualties have already been subtracted
        to make this total)
1 boy - Carvalho's mamaluço son from Rio, technically a criado but not old enough to bear arms
10 servants, men-at-arms, and supernumeraries, including Mendoza’s old servants Simon de Burgos and Juan Martin de
        Aguilar de Campo, and probably also Captain Luis Alfonso de Gois (no postulated casulaties).

Totals:
17 “naval officers”
1 priest
2 military officers
17 “petty officers”
11 artillery specialists
37 marineros
54 grumetes
1 boy
52 criados, men-at-arms, and sobresalientes (supernumeraries)
2 prisoners

Thus, 192 altogether plus 2 Indian prisoners.

The Landing Party (subtracted from the above):
Now, Magellan is reported to have had 60 men with him at Mactan. I speculate that he probably just took out all the “idlers” – the criados, men-at-arms, hidalgos, sobresalientes, etc., except for  the known mutineer Antonio de Coca, who was being kept an eye on, and make them all members of the landing party. Of those I have classed as such we know Cristóbal Rebolo, Magellan's bastard son who signed on as a gentleman-volunteer, possibly was appointed Captain of Victoria not long before, and who died at Mactan; Antonio Pigafetta, gentleman volunteer/chronicler who played a prominent part in the skirmish (by his own account); and Magellan's slave Enrique de Malacca who subsequently turned traitor all were present alongside Magellan at Mactan. The two alguaciles, Espinosa and Peralta, would probably have come also, a gunner for each of the launches’ swivel guns, and say, a couple of spare petty officers from Concepción. That is one way the total of 60 might have been reached..

The rest would have stayed on the ships. The gunners are important for any use of the bombards under The Galleon and the Flame, and if it should come to a boarding action on the ships for some reason (say the Mactanon abscond with the launches), at least you’ll know what figures you will need.

Arms and Armor
According to Morison, The Armada de Molucca left Seville carrying 50 harquebuses, hundreds of pikes, halberds, and swords, several hundred crossbows and many more longbows, 100 complete suits of armor, the personal suits of mail and the plumed helmets of the leading officers. Two harquebuses were left with the mutineers whom Magellan marooned in Patagonia, and some number must have been carried off with San Antonio back to Spain in the conspiracy of Esteban Gómez and Hierónimo Guerra at the Strait of Magellan, so I should doubt the entire landing party had firearms - perhaps half is a safe bet. All however, were armored from the waist up, for Pigafetta wrote that only their legs were bare.

Sultan Humabon of Cebu

Cebuano Balanghai
(Images above: Pigafetta's illustration of Cebuano he saw on Magellan's voyage "short and fat and tatooed in various designs", and a modern sketch of a balanghai)

1000 Men, in  20 -30 balanghai vessels

Lapu Lapu, Rajah of Mactan
Cebu scene
(Image above: A village scene on Cebu with a native prao in the foreground,  straight from Morison, Southern Voyages)
 
"More than 1500 men" armed with "fire-hardened spears and stakes of bamboo."
 
Return to Top

The Game:

Starting Dispositions:
The game begins with Magellan his tiny landing party on the beach 2 feet in front to fthe village, the longboats with their three swivel gunners well behind them in deep water, the Mactanon in three divisions anywhere they like in the jungle up to the edge of the village/beach, the Sultan's fleet placidly bobbing at the far northwest corner, and the naos still too far away to appear on the map.

Objectives:
The Spanish win if the landing party can make it to the village, occupy it for one turn, and make it back to the longboats or any of the ships or balanghais in good order with Magellan or anyone else of the party still alive. The Mactanon win if they can kill 15 Spaniards, or just 10 if one of them is Magellan himself. If both or neither of these things come to pass, the game is considered a draw.

Reinforcements:
Additionally, as soon as the Spanish break two Mactanon units so that they retreat Shaken, the Sultan of Cebu may start disembarking his men to join the fight on behalf of his Christian allies.

The three naos of the Spanish fleet will arrive at the northwest corner regardless of whatever else happens on Turn 6. Their crews may not disembark but they may sail anywhere in the deep water and provide gunnery support from their bombards.

Scale:
I use 15mm figures for this particular scenario - to use 25s you really would need to crop the area represented on the board for the miniatures not to take up a ridiculously large portion of it. Anyway, using the map I have made at the top of this page, here are my calculations:

Map scale: 1:663.75
 (1 nautical mile = 12 feet)

Figure ground scale: 1:240

Why this funny double scale? Assuming a figure base would take up a 54-inch square in real life, and that one's 15mm figures are based on half-inch  (12.7 mm) bases, then with a ground scale of 1:240 (1 inch = 20 feet) we can postulate a figure-to-man ratio of about 1:5. Additionally, were you to use 5 mm or 6 mm figures, you could do the whole thing 1:1.

This is gives Magellan's men a large enough force to use in a wargame, but it still should give the Christian player the feeling of utter aloneness the situation no doubt inspired when both Zula and Humabon failed to show, and is still not too hideously out of proportion with the map (arrayed 10 deep the Mactanon still only take up 27 inches to their proper 12.2).

A note on the ships - in the original scale the naos would each be about 2 inches long, the Sultan's balanghais roughly half that, so you may just want to put small representative models on the table and only break out the figures if  the Cebuano disembark or a boarding action takes place. (Incidentally, the new 1/300 "pataches" from the Old Glory Armada range are really splendid for this, as is Heller's 1:270 Santa Maria, and in the 'States, various dollar store plastic caravels appearing around Columbus Day).

Figures:
All the figures you would need are available in 15mm from Falcon UK and Chariot Miniatures' Southeast Asian lines, and the Renaissance and Mughal ranges of Essex, Freikorp 15, Two Dragons, and Irregular. Some of the London War Room Dyaks will work as well. All you need, really, are some renaissance musketeer and crossbowman types in corslets (conquistadors maybe?) and a lot of clean-shaven spearmen and bowmen in dhoti-style loincloths and turbans.

In 25mm, if you want to do boarding actions in that scale, suitable armored Spaniards can be had from Foundry, Ral Partha/Wizkids (special order), Naismith, Hincheliffe, Redoubt, and Essex. Unarmored sailors are harder to find, but Foundry Swashbucklers and various Pirate and Napoleonic naval types from Old Glory, Eureka, Abbotts, Steve Barber and Redoubt are usable or can be converted with a little imagination.

For Cebuano and Mactanon, The London War Room makes one pose suitable without modification in its "Fighting men of India" range among the peasant spearmen; the Scheltrum Dayaks include a few good open-handed poses; for Mactanon leaders try the Hindu fanatics from the Falcon UK "Wellesley in India" range or else various Classical Indian ranges. The Redoubt "Wellington in India" range includes a couple of suitable knife-armed poses in their two-part castings, Old Glory a single usable swordsman pose in their pack of unarmored Moros.

Otherwise, the best option would probably be to take the "Rebel Peasant Mob" pack from the Old Glory Indian Mutiny range and start making conversions, starting with head transplants from the rest of that "Unarmored Moro Tribesmen" pack from the same manufacturer. Wargames Foundry IND203 "Warrior spearmen at the ready" and IND231 "Peasant Warriors" include some nicer but dearer figures which would work all right if treated in the same fashion.

The Forces

Ashore:

The Landing Party
Nevertheless, I recommend arbitrarily doubling the number of Spaniards to 24 so that they will at least have a chance to make it through the first part of the game alive, keeping, however, the restriction that they may never take up more than 6 inches of frontage. This single unit includes:

3 gunners left to defend the longboats (see "Ships' Boats" below)
Magellan himself, with sword, lance, plumed gendarme helmet, half-armor of plate, and the livery of the Order of Santiago.
1 other officer with arquebus
9 arquebusiers
10 crossbowmen

All carry swords and wear "heavy armour" of plate back-and-breast.

The Mactanon
Start with about 300 men with bows, spears, and javelins in fifteen 20-man units on the table anywhere in the jungle. My purely conjectural breakdown is as follows:

1 general with attendants - Lapu Lapu (?)
3 sub-generals with swords
15 war leaders with swords
95 bowmen
95 men with iron-tipped bamboo spears and javelins
95 with fire-hardened wooden-tipped bamboo spears and javelins

Return to Top

Afloat:

The Cebuano have 20 balanghai boats, each with 5 sailors who stay on-board and 50 unarmored spear- and javelinemen. Should they feel compelled to disembark and do something (See Special Rules below), they will appear as 200 figures in ten units of 20 starting at the edge of the shallows near where they are closest the shore, and plod their way landward through the brine as normal to help. My purely conjectural breakdown is as follows:

1 general
2 sub-generals with swords
10 war-leaders with swords
57 bowmen
123 men with iron-tipped spears and javelins

The naos' crews may not leave the ships, or shouldn't anyway, but I have listed them above in case for some reason the Mactanon make off with the boats and the game turns into boarding action, and someone wants to do the whole thing 1 figure = 1 man on scale models (yeah, I know, "Go take your medicine, Trevor"). It does also help when keeping track of the firing from the bombards.

As to who would have been on board just then, all the “idlers” – the criados, men-at-arms, hidalgos, sobresalientes, etc. - will have been put to shore for Magellan's landing party except for Carvalho's boy and, I would imagine, the known mutineer Antonio de Coca.  I should also assume by a guess also that 3 gunners would have been needed for the launches' falconets, so for the game, pluck two artillerists from Trinidad to man the boats, leaving 3 left on board, and one from Victoria, leaving two. Finally, take away the alguaciles from Trinidad and Victoria, the spare ex-Santiago caulker, carpenter, and steward from Concepción, and of course Magellan himself. The rest are as per my interpretation of the historical crew lists above.

As to their starting locations aboard ship, I should say that for these rules to crew a gun you need 3 men, one of whom must be one of these artillery specialists, meaning of course that Trinidad and Concepción can never fire a full broadside in this scenario. These men start belowdecks manning the guns. The guns take 3 turns each to reload after the firing turn, meaning on the 4th turn you can fire them again. Half the rest of the crew (including petty officers) and all the officers on board are considered to be on deck, the rest biding their time belowdecks between watches. All are considered to be armed only with swords and knives, perhaps pistols for some of the officers, but none have armour. They count as "Sailors" in the rules, should it come to that.

Number of Bombards:
Trinidad has 4 bombards to a broadside,  Concepción and Victoria 3 each.

Harnessing the Sailors
Any nao captain may outfit up to half his crew with light armor (hauberk, brigandine, leather jack etc.) by putting the figures belowdecks for 3 moves doing nothing else.

The Ships' Boats:
There are three of them at game's beginning. Each is armed with one swivel gun and holds 8 figures total, including a gunner who can also fight as an harqubusier remaining aboard when the landing party is away. If it comes to a boarding action with the naos and you want to represent it 1:1, multiply the number of figures by 5 - and use bigger boats!

Return to Top

The Rules - restated, modified, and abridged for this scenario:

Basing and Formations:
Using 15mm figures, basing is individual on half-inch bases. Magnetic movement trays would come in very handy. You could use multiple DBx style stands for the Cebuano and Mactanon if you used casualty rings and kept a few figures individually based for leaders, stragglers in movement, and runaways in melee, and for smaller scales no doubt the same bases could be used, but with 4 figures to the base or some such arrangement.

All troops must stay in Mass, Close, or March column - i.e. all figure bases less than a base width/diameter apart. When wading in water, only Mass can be maintained, and only Spanish can maintain Close or March Column when on dry land. The only advantage of Close for Spaniards in this variant is that when charging, they may get a bonus for impetus in Melee.

Ship Statistics:

Hull Points-

Trinidad: 75 hull points
Concepción: 70 hull points
Victoria: 65 hull points
Each balanghai: 40 hull points

Ships’ boats always have 5 points and canoes 3.

Rigging Points- Equal to vessel's length in inches. This number is the number of rigging
points per mast. Rigging points must be kept separately for each mast.

Trinidad: 15 rigging points
Concepción: 15 rigging points
Victoria: 13 rigging points
Each balanghai: 10 rigging points

Sailing Class
Ship Type
Sailing Class
Cebuano Balanghai
3
European Nao
2
Seaborne Movement:
There are two ways to move a vessel, Sail, and by rowing. The
rules governing movement are detailed below.

Movement rates-

Oared Vessels
Ships Boat- 1D6 inches (normal) 2D6 inches (charge to contact)

The above speeds are assuming a rowing crew of 8 men. A vessels speed should be reduced by the same percentage that it is short of crew (i.e. a ship with half of a rowing crew could only make half speed).

Sailing-
The wind is coming from the east.
The speed of a ship moving under sail depends on the wind speed and direction in relation
to the vessel. The Diagram below shows the 4 possible directions that wind could come from.
Wind template
To determine the movement distance for a sailing vessel roll the approprite number of dice indicated
for its sailing class and wind direction. The result is the total movement distance.

Sailing Speed
Wind Direction: Direction A Direction B Direction C
Sailing Class 2 1D6 inches
2D6 inches
1D6 inches 
Minus the high die
Sailing Class 3 2D6 inches 3D6 inches 1D6 inches
If the wind is coming from direction "D" the vessel cannot move but it can turn.
If a wind direction change causes the vessel to be headed into the wind, it must turn in the
direction that will get it moving the quickest.

Turning- A vessel can only make 1 turn per move. The turn must take place within the last 1/2 of
the distance to be moved. Ships under steam power or sail can turn up to 45 degrees. Oared vessels
can turn up to 90 degrees.

Collisions- If one vessel's movement will pass through another vessel, the ships will collide. The
moving vessel will stop at the point that it contacts the other vessel.

If the moving vessel has twice as many Hull Points or more than the rammed vessel, the rammed
vessel sinks instantly. If the moving vessel has 1.5 times as many Hull Points as the rammed ship, the
rammed ship loses 2D6 Hull Points.

Grappling- If both vessels are still afloat, the moving vessel may attempt to grapple. To grapple roll
1D6, if the result is even then the ships are tied together. If the result is odd, then either vessel may
move off or attempt to grapple during its next move.

Once ships are grappled, the moving ship may move boarding parties to the other ship. Boarding
parties use 2D6 for movement.

Cutting Grapples- If there is no melee taking place on the grappled vessels, then the moving crew
may attempt to cut itself free. Roll 1D6, if the result is even then the ship is free and may move this
turn. If the result is odd then the ships are still connected and another attempt will have to be made
next turn.

Land Movement:

Quicker Movement:
To compensate for the large numbers of figures and very slow movement rates, each time a movement card is drawn, roll a D6. The Christians (including the Cebuano once they are activated) may move that many units if it was a red card, the Mactanon may move that many if it was a black card.

MOVMENT CHART - Roll the indicated number of D6 for Unit's move in inches.
UNIT TYPE FORMATION OR POSTURE
OPEN
CHARGE 
SHALLOWS/
JUNGLE
EMBARK/
DISEMBARK
European Foot Close
2 Minus 
the high die
2
-
-
European Foot March Column
1
-
½ Move
-
European Foot Mass
1
2
½ Move
1 Move
Cebuano/ 
Mactanon
Mass
3 Minus 
the high die
2
½ Move
1 Move
All Prone Prone
2 Minus 
the high die
-
No difference
-
Charge Evasion:
-During the movement phase of any game turn that a Mactanon unit is charged by armored Spaniards attempting to close into combat, the Mactanon unit may immediately attempt to evade by announcing "I am evading" and pointing to the unit evading and rolling 1D6, failing to evade only on a result of "6." If it fails, it must stand in place, "disordered," meaning only half its figures (if in mass, only half those of the front rank) may shoot in the shooting phase, and its figures take a modifier of -1 in close combat.

If the unit passes its evasion roll, it can move 1D6 inches away from the charging enemy, but if still overtaken by the Spaniard's original charge move, it must stay and fight a normal combat in the melee phase, rolling to stand and the Spaniard rolling to close, again as normal. In this case there is no extra close combat penalty for the overtaken unit, but it still can only fire from the front rank if in mass for having moved. Evasion can only be used once per unit per turn. Additionally, the unit can always use any inches of unused movement left over from the movement phase to evade a charge with the same penalty if in mass only.

Shooting:

A unit with loaded weapons and ammunition left may always shoot at a unit charging its front.

Firing Charts - Roll 1 D20 for each figure firing. The listed numbers inflict one casualty.
Firing Element Range 
Inches 

ship length 
 

Class I 
Troops in close or mass, wagons,  in open.
Class II 
Troops/ wagons in open order or in rough, art. crews. Troops on ships boats
Class III 
Infantry, cavalry, crews in rough and in open order 
Class IV 
Any in Buildings, Entrenchments, Walls, or ships using small arms or swivels
Arquebus 5 1-6 1-4 1-3 1-2
Crossbow 9 1-5 1-3 1-3 1-2
Pistols 3 1-5 1-3 1-2 1
Javelins 3 1-4 1-3 1-3 1-2
Bows 6 1-4 1-3 1-3 1-2
Swivel Guns 18 1-6 1-4 1-3 1-3
Bombards  --- Short 40 1-5 1-4 1-3 1-2
--- Long 132 in. 
(11 feet)
1-3 1-2 1-2 1
Swivel guns can have up to 1 crewman who must be an artillerist, and throw 3 D20 each at 1 card per hit.
Bombards can have up to 3 crew, one of which must be an artillerist throw 1D20 and draw 8 cards per hit
At less than ½ short range, roll two shots instead of one for every bombard or swivel gun shot.
 
Target Class Modifier
Prone – shift up one class. If in class IV, -2 to be hit and cannot shoot.
To Hit Modifiers
Bows and Javelins over ½ range -1
Bows or Javelins vs. Lightly Armored -1
Bows or Javelins vs. Heavily Armored -2
Figures wearing armor in mixed light/heavy units are
only hit on face cards. They are treated as key figures.
Use the lightest figures' modifier for the "to hit" roll in that case.

Effects of Fire on Land Troops
Draw a card for each hit.

Jack, Queen, King = key figure
Ace = highest ranking leader

There is no real reason to keep track of wounded.

A Mactanon unit tests Critical morale any time a casualty is taken from an arquebus or swivel gun.
A Mactanon unit tests Critical morale any time it is fired upon, whether hit or not, by a ships' bombard.

Shooting at ships - Use the special "shooting at ships" rules for these below.

Reloading-
For each crew below optimum, add one turn to reload a bombard.
Swivel guns take 1 turn each to reload after the firing turn, meaning on the 2nd turn you can fire them again.
Bombards take 3 turns each to reload after the firing turn, meaning on the 4th turn you can fire them again.
Firearm- and Crossbow-armed figures cannot fire if they move in the preceding movement phase (i.e. on the same turn).
Javelin- or bow-armed figures in mass which move in the preceding movement phase can only fire if in the front rank.

Otherwise up to 4 ranks of figures can fire any small arm.

Limited Ammunition
The Cebuano and Mactanon have unlimited numbers of javelins and arrows, and the bombards and swivel guns have unlimited amounts of shot and powder to shell out. However, the Spanish landing party has only 4 shots per figure altogether - i.e. each figure can only fire four turns in the game.

First Fire:
Spaniards armed with harquebuses, crossbows, or swivel guns may claim right of first fire in any turn on which their target moves - meaning they may fire before any firing cards are drawn.

Shooting At Ships
When firing small arms or swivel guns at a ship’s crew count them as a Class 4 target.
When firing at a crew on a ship’s boat, count them as a Class 2 target.
Casualties will be inflicted as normal.

When firing a bombard at a ship or boat count the target as a Class 2. Use only one die per gun, and for each hit turn up 8 cards and apply the results as follows:
 
Hit Effects On Ships
Hearts
Any Card - Crew Hit- roll 1D6: 1-4 = Wounded. 5,6= Killed.
                Face cards are key figures, the ace is the leader.
Diamonds
2-10 - Lose 1 Hull Point
Jack - Waterline hit, lose 1 Hull Point every turn.
Queen - Lose 1 Hull Point and Rudder damaged roll 1D6
           1,2= Must turn Left next move.
           3,4= Must turn Right next move.
           5= Must go straight next turn.
           6= Must go straight until a "6" is rolled. (Roll at the end of its move)
King - Lose 3 Hull Points.
Ace - Serious Waterline Hit, 2 Hull Points every turn.

Spades or Clubs*
2-10 Lose 1 rigging point.
Jack – King Lose 2 rigging points.
Ace Lose 1D6 rigging points.

The mast that is hit should be randomly determined.

*If the vessel is not rigged for sail then, read Spades and Clubs as Hull Hits (Diamonds).

Effects Of Damage To A Vessel-

Hull Damage- Ships that are reduced below half of their starting Hull Points lose 2" from their
movement rate. Ships that are reduced below three-quarters of their starting Hull Points lose 4" from
their movement rate.

When a vessels Hull Points are reduced below half that ship must make a Critical & Pinned Morale
Test each time it is hit. If the test is passed the ship can move normally (with a -2" for the damage).
A vessel that fails will move away from the enemy by the fastest route.

Mast Hits- When a vessel loses all of the Rigging points for a mast, the mast is lost and the vessels
sailing speed is reduced by the percentage represented by the mast. For example: If a single masted
ship loses its mast then its sailing speed is reduced by 100%. A two masted ship that loses a mast
has its sailing speed reduced by 50% and so on.

Crew Hits- Morale effects that cause a mandatory movement apply to the ship as a whole. If the
move requires the figures to go prone, then the ship can not move closer to the enemy.

Repairing Damage- At the end of each turn, every ship that has petty officers/craftsmen remaining, or a balanghai with sailors remaining, may attempt to repair one point  of damage. The player specifies the type of damage to be repaired (hull or rigging) then roll 1D6:

     - Even = Damage repaired
     - Odd = Damage not repaired

Note: Repairing a Waterline Hull hit does not recover a hull point, but it does stop further damage
from that hit.

Swimming
When a vessel sinks entirely (as the ships' boats especially are often apt to do when hit with cannon) in deep water the crew must sink or swim.

*Roll for each figure aboard:
Nationality Result
Europeans 4,5,6 drown instantly  
3 can tread water 2 turns until drowning. Maymove up to 2 inches any direction, one per turn. 
1,2 catch hold of some flotsam - may stay in place indefinately or paddle ashore at 1D6 halved per turn
Filipinos 6 drown instantly 
5 can tread water 3 turns until drowning. May move up to 3 inches any direction, one per turn. 
3,4 can swim 18 inches in any direction before drowning at a rate 1D6 halved per turn 
1,2 catch hold of some flotsam - may stay in place indefinately or paddle ashore at 1D6 halved per turn
*Modifier for Heavily Armored figures, +1.

In all cases involving swimming, anything heavier than a knife or a wooden spear is considered lost if the figure arrives on shore or is recovered. Otherwise he may fight as normal until game's end, by which time he'll be thoroughly knackered.

Melee:
Charge Completion* - Roll 1 D6
Charging Unit  Charging Unit has Leader figure Charging Unit has no Leader figure
Landing Party 1-6 1-5
Sailors 1-5 1-3
Cebuano/Mactanon 1-3 1
* -1 if outnumbered by 2:1 or more
All charge moves must be in a straight line.
Units charge in their formation at the beginning of the charge.

Stand and Fight - Roll 1 D6
Charged Unit  Charged Unit has Leader  Charged Unit has no Leader 
Landing Party 1-6 1-5
Sailors on ships 1-4 1-3
Cebuano/Mactanon 1-3 1
Close Combat Modifiers
Die Number Results
+1
Leader
+1
Lightly Armored (mail, leather jack, etc.)
+2
Heavily Armored (plate armor)
-1
Filipinos with wooden weapons only
+1
Higher ground than enemy
+1
Defending wall , barricade, or bulwark
-2
Attacked from rear or flank
-1
Prone
-1
In (shallow) water
-1
Shaken or Disordered unit
Mactanon fighting (lighty or heavily) armored Spanish lose a casting when they lose a close combat roll on 1,2, or 3.
Mactanon fighting Cebuano and unarmed sailors or vice versa lose a casting when they lose a close combat roll
        on a 1 or a 2.
Armored Spanish in melee lose a casting only when they lose a close combat roll on a 1.

There is no real reason to keep track of wounded.

Spanish Impetus
If the armored Spanish of the landing party charge in close order they may add an additional +1 to their close combat dice until they lose their first die roll, then they drop to their regular melee dice. If the Spanish win 6 out of their first 6 melee rolls the Mactanon unit is so shaken that it breaks off the melee and retires 1D6 shaken. The Spanish may follow them or attack any other unit within 45 degrees to front and in range if their unused movement distance allows. They must pass their "to close" die roll, and their target must pass their "to stand" (no evasion allowed).

Morale:

Morale - Roll 2 D6
No Major Morale! Critical and Pinned Critical and Pinned
Unit With Leader Without Leader
Landing Party Fight to 
the last!
2-9
Sailors 2-9 2-7
Cebuano/Mactanon 2-8 2-6
Rally -  Roll 1 D6
Unit
Unit has Leader 
Unit has No Leader 
Landing Party
1-6
1-4
Sailors
1-4
1-3
Cebuano/Mactanon
1-4
1-2
Losers in melee, and those that did not stand for combat,
are “shaken” and must attempt to rally each turn. If they fail
to rally they must move 2D6 towards the closest table edge.

Return to Top

What Really Happened:

Well, I am afraid this was not a great day for His Highness, but a most pitiable defeat, not only for him but for the True Faith, for the Sultan had seen with his own eyes the human weakness of the fidalgo who spoke so boldly of the invincibility of the Holy Cross, and not long after renounced it. Anyhow, though I myself was not there to see - ah, let us say I found instantly business muyto importante belowdecks when I heard the crazy old man (may he rest in peace with angels and archangels) ask for volunteers - I yet have it on very good authority that Seu Fernão and his 49 guerreiros christãos leapt out of the longboats at first light that morning. They waded up to their loins "two crossbow-flights" before they reached the spiaggia as that italiano joker insisted on calling it, at any rate well beyond the range of the falconets of the 11 lucky men left to guard the boats. By the time the men had reached this beach, there were 1500 or more leaping Mactanon to their front, divided into three battles, in front and to either side of the village that was there. My Italian friend - I think his name was Piganetti, Piga... Piga-something anyway - he remembers that "When they saw us, they charged down upon us with exceeding loud cries."

Levinus Hulsius' MactanSeu Fernão, composed as ever, split his band in two, and commanded his men to fight back the índios with handguns and crossbows, but the affair was useless - they were still too far away, and since the bullets and crossbow bolts merely bounced off their shields, the islanders yet had reason to mock the luço and to celebrate with impunity. All the ammunition was lost in this foolish manner, for when he told his men to stop shooting, they did not listen but shot away all as if at great effect. When the firing stopped, the Mactanon found they could move in close; they "leaped about, covered by their shields... shooting so many arrows and hurling so many bamboo spears (some tipped with iron) that we were put on the defensive," my friend says. But by a feat of amazing fortitude, the Christians reached the village, and stayed long enough to set fire to it with flames of Christian fervor.

But far from becoming terrified at the fearful display of the Sprit's wrath, these benighted Hindus merely howled louder and leapt higher com muyto calor, such that our Captain-Admiral decided it would be best to start back for the boats again. The Italian says that our Knight of Santiago had already been hit in the right leg with a poisoned arrow when he gave the command.

"He ordered us to withdraw slowly, but the men fled while six or eight of us remained with the captain. And these people shot at no other place but our legs, for the latter were bare. Thus for the great number of lances and stones they threw and discharged at us we could not resist. Our large pieces of artillery that were in the ships could not help us, because they were firing at too long range."

Bravely making a stand knee-deep in the shallows and still beyond the range of the ships' guns, the Captain-Admiral guarded the flight of the others almost singlehandedly - now these fellows could see who led our men, and began letting fly their arrows and spears at him only.

"But as a good captain and a knight, he still stood fast with some others, fighting thus for more than an hour. And as he refused to retire further, an Indian threw a bamboo lance in his face, and the captain immediately killed him with his lance, leaving it in his body. Then, trying to lay a hand on his sword, he could draw it out but halfway, because of a wound from a bamboo lance that he had in his arm. Which seeing, all those people threw themselves on him, and one of them with a large javelin thrust it into his left leg, whereby he fell face downward. On this, all at once rushed upon him with lances of iron and bamboo and with these javelins, so that they slew our mirror, our light, our comfort and our true guide. When they wounded him, he turned back many times to see whether we were all in the boats. Then, seeing him dead, we wounded made the best of our way to the boats, which were already pulling away. But for him, not one of us in the boats would have been saved, for while he was fighting the rest retired."*

Yes, Pigaletti was good friend to that man all right. As he and the last of the poor souls who felt compelled to stand by the old man to his fool's death rowed away watching the dancing islanders spit and howl with derision from the beach near where he fell and the pall of smoke rising from their village he burnt, we on the ships at last hove close enough to actually hit something with the bombards. Remembering the death of the Captain-Admiral and the many grievous disasters which subsequently befell us, those few of us who made it back from that murderous voyage like to think now we dropped a few before we left the old cavalheiro to his heathen's grave on that wretched isle of Mactan.

Casualties according to Navarrete: 8 Europeans, inc. Magellan and Cristóbal Rebolo, plus 4 baptized Cebuano, and 15 Mactanon.

* Antonio Pigafetta, quoted in Morison, Southern Voyages.

(Image above: Magellan's death at Mactan depicted by Levinus Hulsius in a 1603 engraving)

Return to Top

Sources:

Calderon's Company: A 16th Century New World Garrison at De Soto National Memorial. Ed. Timothy Burke. [Web site on-line] (Bradenton, Florida: De Soto National Memorial, 2004, accessed 28 June 2004). Available from http://mywebpages.comcast.net/calderon/index.html; Internet.

Humble, Richard. The Explorers. From series The Seafarers. Alexandria, Virginia: Time-Life Books, 1979.

Morison, Samuel Eliot. The European Discovery of America: The Northern Voyages A.D. 500-1600. New York: Oxford University Press, 1971.

---. The European Discovery of America: The Southern Voyages A.D. 1492-1616. New York: Oxford University Press, 1974.

Navarrete, Martín Fernández de. Viages al Maluco: Primero el de Hernando de Magallanes y Juan Sebastian de Elcano. Vol 4, Colección de los viages y descubrimientos que hicieron por mar los españoles desde fines del siglo XV, con varios documentos ineditos concernientes a la historia de la marina castellana y de los establecimientos españoles en Indias. 4 vols. Madrid: Imprenta Real, 1837.

Back to Top
Back to the Early Colonials Page
Back to Trevor's Colonial Wargames Page

 For Questions or comments, please email Web Page Author Trevor Brabyn