BY JINGO - Colonial History & Wargames Page

The Battle Of Baler

A conversion for "The Sword And The Flame"

By Ron Strickland

Recently, Jeff, Steve, and I were able to fight the BATTLE OF BALER scenario by JESUS MATEO. This is the same scenario that is featured in the BY JINGO webzine, or magweb, or what ever it is called in WWW speak.


But, since we have no access to a printer, we could not use the colonial rules that JESUS MATEO wrote. Soooo, we used the best rules around IMHO: THE SWORD AND THE FLAME, 20TH ANNIVERSARY EDITION. None of us had ever played this version of the rules, but I had been playing TSATF v1 since it came out, and they were both familiar with same too. All we needed to do was make a trip to the local gamestore , and buy those new dice!!!


For the Spanish Light Infantry we used the 28mm OLD GLORY troops from the SPANISH AMERICAN WAR range, SAW -16 and SAW -17, which are Spanish soldiers with command wearing straw hats. These are very nice soldiers, and a very minimum of preperation was required to make them ready to paint. AND THEY PAINT UP REALLY WELL TOO!!!!

The Phillipino Insurrectos were converted from some very ragged 25mm ACW Rebels of unremembered make that I had in the unpainted lead box for too many years. I removed all of the ACW headgear, some of the beards (this got to be old really fast!), and the bayonets from the ML rifles these troops were carrying. Then I added the upside down bowl shaped poppa-san hats worn by the Phillipinos with that wonderful blue and yellow epoxy ribbon that can be bought in hardware and DIY stores and from the game stores that carry Game Workshop products. This was a real easy job. I finished up by painting these guys in various shades of white. BE IT NOTED HERE AND NOW, that since these soldiers all had rifles,all of the Insurrectos used in the battle had rifles too! Oh, I thought about giving some of them spears, but decided it would be too much of a hassle and let the idea die a natural death.


The battle was fought on a 6 foot long and 4 foot wide table painted earth tones, that was terrained to represent the area of BALER around the the town plaza. For buildings I used the home-made 28mm scale Medieval buildings I had on hand. Longhouses with thatched walls and removable thatch roofs were used for the Phillipino peasant houses. Each of these is numbered (underside of the roof) to facilitate locating troops placed in side of them.

For the well at the center of the plaza, I used a home-made medieval well that uses a waist high, flat topped wooden palisade around the well hole.

For the church, police station, school, town hall, teacher's house, and the district HQ I used home-made medieval buildings with removable roofs as listed below:

  1. The church was a stone church with a tile roof.
  2. The police station was a wattle and daub town watchhouse with a thatched roof.
  3. The school was a wooden warehouse with a thatched roof.
  4. The teacher's house was a wooden townouse with a thatched roof.
  5. The district HQ was a wooden inn with a thatched roof.
  6. The town hall was a wooden village alehouse with a thatched roof.

To give the town a more "Asiatic look and feel" I added five (5) small rice paddies made from rectangles and squares of dark brown felt, with re-usable soft brown modelling clay dikes around them. The dikes were knee high on a 28mm soldier. For trees I used a number of terrained individual palm tree bases made with plastic cake decorating palms (very nice looking), and much taller BMC toy plastic palm trees (nice looking) that I got from STAD'S TOYS.These had to be assembled and painted before use, but the cake decorating palms are usable from the bag and just need suitable bases. The BMC trees are about 6" tall, one to a base, and the cake trees are 3"tall, two to a base.


The trees and buildings each represented a single tree or building. Each soldier or Insurrecto represented 1 man.


To facilitate movement of hidden units and pre battle planning, all of the players were given a scale map of the table top. The map showed the location of the well, each building, rice paddy and tree on a 12" square grid numbered 1 thru 6 horizontally and lettered A thru D vertically. Each 12" square is further subdivided into 3" squares.


  1. Spanish Light Infantry soldiers are treated as non-Sudanese Egyption infantry in all ways. Armed with bolt action magazine rifles and bayonets.
    1. The Spanish Captain is the C-in-C for the Spanish forces by reason of rank. He is armed with a revolver and a sword.
    2. The Lieutenant is the 2-in-C for the Spanish forces by reason of rank. He is armed with a revolver, and a bolt action magazine rifle with a bayonet. He has no sword. The Lieutenant may fire either his rifle or pistol in a turn but not both! The Lieutenant is actually the officer commanding the Light Infantry Detach - ment assigned to Baler, but junior in rank to the Captain.
    3. All Light Infantry and Police NCOs are KEY FIGURES!!!! Note that these NCOs can be used as Leaders for units if no Officer is available, or if all of the Spanish officers are dead, wounded, missing, or captured. Any Infantryman, or Policeman carrying the weapons of a killed or wounded comrade, or the weapon recovered from killed, wounded, or captured Insurrectos also count as KEY FIGURES!!! Only 1 extra weapon may be carried by a soldier or policeman, who may fire only one of them in a turn. Any policeman or soldier carrying extra weapons CANNOT CARRY A WOUNDED COMRADE!!!!!!!!!
  2. The Civil Guard (the Colonial Police) are policemen, not soldiers! They use the movement and firing cards of the Spanish forces. They are infantry, and move as the Spanish infantry. The police are armed with breech-loading singleshot rifles but do not have bayonets.The Civil Guards may use any formations used by the Spanish soldiers. The below apply to the Civil Guard only:
    1. Leaderless Policemen movement score is 1 thru 3.
    2. To pass a Major Morale test, the Police men need a score of 2 thru 6.
    3. To pass a Critical Morale test with a Leader (or NCO) the Policemen need to score of 2 thru 7. Without a Leader (or NCO) the Policemen need to score a 2 thru 6.
    4. To pass a Pinned Morale test with a Leader (or NCO) the Policemen need to score a 2 thru 7. Without a Leader (or NCO) the Policemen need to score a 2 thru 6.
    5. The Rally Score for the Policemen with a Leader (or NCO) is 1 thru 3. Without a Leader (or NCO) the score is a 1 thru 2.
    6. In Close Combat the Poilicemen are counted as BOER INFANTRY!!!!!
    7. Charge Completion score for the Police - men with a Leader (or NCO) is 1 thru 3. Without a Leader (or NCO) the score is a 1 thru 2.
    8. The Stand -and - Fight score for the Po - licemen with a Leader (or NCO) is a 1 thru 3. Without a Leader (or NCO) the score is a 1 thru 2.
  3. The Phillipino Insurrectos are all Infantry. They are basically inexperienced local peasantry armed with single shot breech-loading rifles and bolo knives. The scenario also calls for both spear armed and bolo armed Insurrectos, but as I had none of these in my collection, in our battle ALL INSURRECTOS have rifles.
    1. The Insurrecto C-in-C is "EL GUAPO". He is also the leader of one of the 4 bands of Phillipino patriots who have infiltrated Baler to attack the Spanish garrison. There is no Insurrecto 2-in-C!!!!
    2. Each of the Insurrecto Bands has a Leader but NO NCOs!!!! There are no key figures in an Insurecto band unless Insurrectos carrying more than 1 firearm are counted as such! Any Insurrecto carrying more than 1 firearm is assumed to be carrying is own weapon plus the weapons recovered from any killed or wounded comrades, or from the Spanish enemy dead, wounded, or prisoners. Note that only 1 weapon may be fired by any Insurrecto. Place a marker by any insurrecto that is carrying more than one weapon. Only 2 weapons may be carried by an Insurrecto. NOTE: an Insurrecto carrying more than one weapon, MAY NOT CARRY ANY WOUNDED COMRADES!!
    3. Insurrectos may use the mass and open order formations and may go prone.
    4. Insurrectos pay no penalty for moving in rough terrain! All cross country movement is 3D6 inches, and charge movement is 4D6 inches.
    5. Leaderless Movement score is 1 thru 3.
    6. Major Morale score is 2 thru 6.
    7. To pass a Critical Morale test with a Leader a score of 2 thru 7 is needed. With out a Leader the score is 2 thru 6.
    8. To pass Pinned Morale with a Leader the score is 2 thru 7. Without a Leader the score is 2 thru 6.
    9. The Rally score with a Leader is 1 thru 3, and without a Leader it is a 1 thru 2.
    10. Morale Modifier is -1 if Insurrecto wounded are captured by the Spanish or abandoned bytheir unit.
    11. In Close Combat Insurrectos have an additional -1 modifier for raw troops facing bayonets!! Otherwise count as "ALL NA - TIVE RIFLES" troop type.
    12. Charge completion score is 1 thru 3 with a Leader and a 1 thru 2 without a Leader.
    13. Stand-and-Fight score is 1 thru 3 with a Leader, and 1 thru 2 without a Leader.
  4. In the MORALE PHASE of a turn I have added a NIGHT NOISES AND PANIC FIRE test for any Spanish, Police or Insurrecto units without leaders AFTER THE FIREFIGHT BEGINS.
  5. UNITS There are 7 Spanish units in the game. These units are:
    1. The troops in the HQ are considered to be one unit ( Captain, 2 NCOs, and 18 Privates).
    2. The troops in the Teacher's house are considered to be one unit (Lieutenant, 2 NCOs and 17 Privates).
    3. The police and troops in the Civil Guard Station are considered to be two (2) units (1 NCO and 4 Police Privates; 1 NCO and 9 Light Infantry Privates).
    4. The Spanish sentry is considered to be one (1) unit. See special rules.
    5. The Wandering Spanish Soldier is considered to be one (1) unit. See special rules.
    There are four (4) Insurrecto units in the game. Each consists of a Leader and 14 insurrectos.
    1. The "Libertads" Band, led by El Guapo.
    2. The "El Tigres" Band.
    3. "Aguilar" Band.
    4. "Bienevidos" Band.


  1. The FIREARM RECOVERY RULE from the BALER SCENARIO is in effect!
    1. This is a NIGHT ACTION!!!!! It is a dark and moonless night with VISIBILITY restricted to 10" maximum!!! A figure must be facing in the right direction with an unblocked LOS to see another figure.
    2. Everytime a figure with unbloccked LOS moves within 10" of an enemy roll 1D10. If the roll is equal to or greater than the distance between figures (or units), the enemy has been spotted!!
    3. Muzzle flashes and fires can be automatically spotted anywhere on the table by figures with an unblocked LOS, who are facing in the right direction.
    4. All figures have the 180 degree zone of observation as per TSATF rule book.
    1. TSATF Spotting rule is suspended for moving with 4" and calling visibility for theis game.
    2. 3x5 Cards ( for units), and counters (for individuals) IDed as real or dummy, are in use to aide in the concealed movement of units and individuals in the game with out mapping and noting each move. Each side has a real marker for each unit, as well as 1D10 dummy unit markers.
  4. WEAPONS RANGES; These are the same as in TSATF rule book.
    1. Soldiers, Police, and Insurrectos may return fire at muzzle flashes of unseen enemies. Casualties are handled as per the TSATF rule book.
    2. Small arms fire into areas of conceal - ment at the enemie as yet unseen is handled as TSATF rule book. Neither unit actually need to divulge whether there are any hidden units in the area taken under fire until they are revealed!
    3. All troops in the open beyond 10", RE - GARDLESS OF ACTUAL FORMATION, are counted as CLASS III TARGETS!!!
    4. Troops inside the native houses, or any other building (except the stone church!) also are counted as CLASS III TARGETS when shot at from the OUTSIDE! Troops inside the church are counted as CLASS IV TARGETS when shot at from OUTSIDE!
    5. TO HIT NUMBERS for FIREARMS are REDUCED BY A -2 at all ranges due to darkness. SPEARS are handled as normal.
    1. Leaders as per TSATF rule book.
    2. NCOs count as KEY FIGURES for the Spanish Soldiers and Police if the unit Leader is alive and unwounded!
    3. If the unit Leader is dead or wounded, any NCOs then take HITS as Leaders and KEY FIGURES. Note, if there are 2 or more NCOs in a unit without a Leader, 1 will become the Leader and the others will remain KEY FIGURES. As each NCO is wounded or killed, the another NCO automatically assumes the post as unit Leader until all of the NCOs are dead, wounded , captured or missing from the combat !
    1. The Spanish Sentry is represented by a soldier standing atop a counter marked real or dummy. This counter is placed faced down, and revealed only if the sentry is spotted by the Insurrectos or if he fires, or sounds the alarm(by yelling a warning, etc). The sentry does not move about on patrol. If the sentry sees any Insurrectos he will automatically sound the alarm.
    2. The Spanish Commander must place 1 real counter under a soldier and a dummy counter under each of 5 dummy sentries. All are pace in the plaza area, outside of the buildings,, and within 12 " of the center of the well during his deployment.
    1. The wandering private is AWOL from his quarters. He is wandering about BALER searching for a woman. Asise from the Sentry, he is the only Spanish soldier in town who is awake, out, and about.
    2. The MAP OF BALER is divided into 12" squares numbered 1 thru 6 horizontally and lettered A thru D vertically. Roll 1D6 and 1D4 to randomly determine a location for the Wandering Lothario's arrival on Turn 2 after the Insurrectos movement is completed. (read the 1D4 as 1=A, 2=B, 3= C, and 4=D). Dice to determine direction of movement.
    3. The wandering soldier will not appear inside any building, or within 6" of the HQ, the Police Station, the Teacher's House, or the Church! He is horny, maybe drunk, and nost definately AWOL!! He will avoid these locations like the plague!
  9. Both the Sentry and the AWOL Soldier are treated as Leaderless units for all purposes.
    1. After the firefight begins, any leaderless troops with firearms may be "jumpy" and develope "itchy trigger fingers", blazing away at noises, wandering animals, trees that are sneaking up on them, or charging at them waving bolo knives, or even suspiciously quiet spots. To represent this, during the MORALE PHASE, add the situation " D. NIGHT NOISES AND PANIC FIRE" to the MORALE PHASE of each turn.
    2. Check each unit or portion of a leaderless unit, individually on the CRITICAL AND PINNED MORALE TABLE.
    3. FAILURE RESULTS IN A WILD AND UNCONTROLLED BLAZE OF FIRING in the FIRE PHASE of the Players next turn BEFORE any other units are shot, when the FIRST FIRING CARD is turned up.
    4. PANIC FIRE replaces a unit's normal shooting during the firing phase of the turn.
    5. PANIC FIRE lasts only for 1 turn, although the unit may be required to check again next MORALE PHASE.
  11. DEPLOYMENT; Spanish deploy first, then the Insurrectos.
  12. MOVEMENT; Insurrectos move FIRST for Turn 1 and Turn 2 . Spanish Move the AWOL soldier only from Turn 2 until the alarm is sounded or the firing starts. Sentry may move on the turn he spots the Insurrectos and sounds the alarm or fires his weapon.

Each large square can be further divided into 3" squares, as shown below:
Division Of Map Squares
1 2 3 4
5 6 7 8
9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16

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