Hernan Cortes had a number of relative technological advantages during the Spanish Conquest of the Aztecs in the 16th Century. One of these was the availability and use of weapons such as arquebuses and early artillery against a foe that had never seen steel let alone gunpowder. Cortes initially was to be given a charter by the Governor of Cuba (Velazquez) in 1518 to explore and gain territory in Mexico for colonization by the Spanish.
However, Velazquez distrusted Cortes and was in the process of revoking his charter – but before he could – Cortes absconded from Cuba with 500-600 troops, as well as 15 cavalry and 15 cannons in February of 1519. He initially went to the Yucatan and encountered the Maya. He fought them, won a battle claimed the Yucatan for Spain, gained strategic intelligence, as well as was given several native women by the Maya. These included a key translator La Malinche, who would make a major impact on the history of Mexico )(and later also bear him a son Martin). Cortes had heard from the Maya of the reputed wealth (especially in terms of gold) of the Aztecs. He reembarked and sailed north to land and found the first Spanish town in Mexico in May of 1519 – Veracruz.
At this point, Cortes then found himself facing a small insurrection among his Spanish troops who had loyalties to Governor Velazquez – and not to Cortes. He discovered the plot, and in response, he executed a couple of the ringleaders, and had a few of the others whipped or mutilated. Then, to make sure his men would have no further option of rebellion, he either scuttled or burned his ships (sources disagree on which happened). They unloaded everything at Veracruz, to include several types of cannon. One of the types commonly used at the time was a small cannon called a falconet. It was useful for clearing boarders from the decks of a ship. Think of it as a big shotgun or a swivel gun. As ammunition, it could use solid shot or langridge. Langridge is described by Wikipedia as “bags of any junk such as scrap metal, bolts, rocks, gravel, old musket balls, etc. fired to injure enemy crews”. Spanish sailors would have been the crews in the use of these pieces.
Moving these pieces inland would have been a challenge. As Cortes made his march towards the Aztec cities, his horses were saved for use as cavalry (a good decision given how effective his few cavalry would prove to be). Anything else was man-packed by native allies. The falconets had been ship-mounted, so therefore were the smallest and easiest to move on hastily-built carriages. Other cannon, such as culverins, were too big to easily move like this. Based on this, and the Osprey images I have seen, I decided to field one small falconet for my Conquistador forces.
The one metal 28mm kit I found was, like the Sword and Buckler Men from my last post, from Outpost Wargame Services via Badger Games. The SKU is #CONA1 “Falconet and Crew”, and consisted of two crewmen and the gun on a carriage. I did a few WIP shots which I’ll share – and then some close ups of the finished crew. Then I’ll list (as usual) my reference section.
At this point, I thought I needed to add a marker to designate that the gun had fired on the tabletop.
I designated the crew as CFA1 and CFA2, and the gun as FA. I will be formalizing the rules for its use in my Civilizations Collide scenarios for games of Feudal PatrolTM – I will be slightly modifying the rules written by Duncan Adams for the Combat PatrolTM supplement he wrote called Horse and Musket. It will be slow to reload but could be a very useful weapon against a massed Aztec charge.
Here are some shots I hope that you enjoy – click on any for a larger view.
This crew and gun also count as yet another entry into Dave Stone’s Painting Challenge “PAINT WHAT YOU GOT CHALLENGE”. Next up will be the cavalry and dead horse markers – and that’s it for my Conquistadores. As previously posted, if and when I’m able to (or if I did already ) finish my personal challenge contest, I’m going to announce the winners. I will possibly run a similar guessing challenge to “Mark’s Conquistador Contest” for the terrain that I have – and yes, if I do, I’ll be giving away prizes. But this is DEFINITELY GETTING CLOSE TO THE END!
Interested? Stay tuned…let me know your thoughts about this post!
Total figures completed to date for this project: 206 figures: 109 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans, 65 Spanish Conquistadores (just 24 more to go in Mark’s Conquistador Contest!)
Miscellaneous details and references for those interested in that sort of thing:
Previous posts on games, units, and other projects for my 16th Century Spanish Conquest supplement for Feudal Patrol – “Civilizations Collide”
- Conquistador Falconet and Crew (Artillery) (this post). 3 figures total Outpost Wargame Services #CONA1 “Falconet and Crew”.
- More Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men. 8 figures total Outpost Wargame Services #CON001 “Sword and Buckler Men”.
- Conquistador Sword and Buckler Men (Wargames Foundry). 18 figures total in three blister packs: Wargames Foundry #SB015 “Swaggering Swordsmen”, #SB016 “Brutal Sword and Buckler Men”, and #SB017 “Bold Bladesmen”.
- Perro de Guerra (Conquistador War Dogs). 13 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONS6 “War Dogs” (8 war dogs); Eureka #100CON13 “Dog Handler and Dogs” (1 dog handler/pikeman and 4 war dogs)
- Conquistador Foot Command, Crossbowmen, and a Couple of Officers. 11 figures total: Outpost Wargames Services #CONC1 “Conquistador Foot Command” (a leader, a banner bearer, a drummer, and a bugler); Eureka #100CON04 “Crossbowmen” (5 crossbowmen); and Eureka CONC1 “Conquistador Officer” and an unknown SKU officer (2 officers)
- Merciless Adventurers (this post) – Wargames Foundry #SB014 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
- Audacious Arquebusiers! – Wargames Foundry #SB012 (6 Conquistadores with arquebuses)
- Mark’s Conquistador Contest – for my loyal blog followers!
- Montezuma and Chieftains – Wargames Foundry #AZ011 for Feudal Patrol – 6 Aztec figures (Montezuma, 4 Chieftains, 1 Warrior Priest)
- Aztec Shock Troops – Cuachic Warriors aka The Shorn Ones – 8 Aztec cuachicqueh warriors
- Tloxtoxl and the Priests of the Great Temple, Wargames Foundry AZ021 – 2 warrior priests, 1 priestess, 1 priest, 1 leader, and 1 signaler
- Civilizations Collide – The Wars of the Aztecs, the Inca, the Maya, and the Conquistadores is now available as a FREE Download for Feudal Patrol – plus a Feudal Patrol review!
- 18 Aztec Novice Warriors for Feudal Patrol Walk into a Bar – 18 Novice Warriors
- Aztec Warrior Priests (painted as Tlaxcalans), Ral Partha 42-302, circa 1988 (this post) – 6 figures – 6 Tlaxcalan Warrior Priests
- Tlaxcalan Novices, Elite Warriors, and Command Group – 18 figures – 8 Novice Tlaxcalan Warriors, 8 Elite Tlaxcalan Warriors, 1 Tlaxcalan Captain, 1 Tlaxcalan Conch Blower
- Tlaxcalan Archers – 8 Veteran Tlaxcalan Archers
- Aztec Game for Feudal Patrol across thousands of miles – via Zoom!
- Aztec Snake Woman and Drummer – 1 Aztec General, 1 Aztec Drummer
- A June and July Jaguar Warrior Frenzy (plus some Aztec Veterans and a Warrior Priest to Boot) – 3 Aztec Veteran Warriors, 17 Jaguar Warriors, 1 Aztec Warrior Priest
- Doubling Down – Aztec Veteran Warriors – 24 Aztec Veteran Warriors
- Aztec Arrow Knights, Ral Partha circa 1988 – 6 Aztec Arrow Knights
- Aztec Eagle Warriors from Tin Soldier UK – 6 Aztec Eagle Knights
- Aztec Novice Warriors and a few Frinx – 12 Novice Warriors
Total figures completed to date for this project: 206 figures: 109 Aztecs, 32 Tlaxcalans, 65 Spanish Conquistadores (24 more to go in Mark’s Conquistador Contest!)
PAINTS, INKS, GLAZES, SHADES, WASHES, PIGMENTS, FLOCKING, GLUES AND MORE THAT I USED ON THESE CONQUISTADOR FIGURES:
- Gorilla Glue
- 1/8″ x 1″ and 1/8″ x 1.25″ Everbilt Fender Washers
- Poster tack
- Vallejo Mecha Primer “White”
- Vallejo “Flow Improver”
- Vallejo “Airbrush Thinner”
- Citadel “Nuln Oil” (wash)
- Vallejo Model Air “Weiss” (off-white)
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Cygor Brown”
- Battlefront “Sicily Yellow”
- Army Painter “Tanned Flesh”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Black Templar”
- Citadel “Ironbreaker”
- Vallejo Model Air “Gun Metal”
- Secret Weapon Washes “Armor Wash” (wash)
- Vallejo Model Air “Wood”
- Citadel “Seraphim Sepia” (shade)
- Citadel “Agrax Earthshade” (shade)
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Snakebite Leather”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gore-Grunta Fur”
- Vallejo “Thinner Medium”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Flesh Tearers Red”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Space Wolves Grey”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Creed Camo”
- Vallejo Mecha Color “Off-white”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Iyanden Yellow”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Contrast Medium”
- Vallejo Model Air “Brown”
- Vallejo Model Air “Armor Brown”
- Vallejo Game Air “Wolf Grey”
- Battlefront “Worn Canvas”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Apothecary White”
- Citadel “Nuln Oil GLOSS” (wash)
- Vallejo Model Color “Brown Rose”
- Vallejo Game Color “Bronze Fleshtone”
- Vallejo Model Color “Sunny Skin Tone”
- Army Painter “Flesh Wash” (wash)
- Citadel “Drakenhof Nightshade” (wash)
- Army Painter “Red Tone” (shade)
- Vallejo Mecha Color “Dark Steel”
- Vallejo “Gloss Varnish”
- Vallejo Game Air “Black”
- Citadel “Runefang Steel”
- Citadel “Contrast Paint – Gryph-Charger Grey”
- Vallejo Model Color “Vermilion”
- Vallejo Model Color “Neutral Grey”
- Battlefront “Dark Leather”
- Vallejo Model Air “Bright Brass”
- Vallejo Model Air “Dark Brown”
- E6000 Epoxy
- Battlefront “Flat Earth”
- Elmer’s PVA Glue
- Army Painter “Brown Battlefields” (flocking)
- Vallejo “Dark Yellow Ochre” (pigment)
- Vallejo “Burnt Umber” (pigment)
- Citadel “Steel Legion Drab”
- Citadel “Tallarn Sand”
- Citadel “Karak Stone”
- Americana “Desert Sand”
- Vallejo Mecha Varnish “Matt Varnish”
- Army Painter “Grass Green” (flocking)