Restoration & Dutch Wars


Book review: Wars and soldiers in the early reign of Louis XIV : Bruno Mugnai

This first volume of a series is another example of the gusto with which Helion's Century of the Soldier series managing editor is attacking his subject. A decade ago finding books like this was like looking for hen's teeth, these days Charles Singleton is issuing them like the belt feed of an MG42.It's a weighty tome with more than 250 pages and a broad spread of content from period background through organiztional history, uniforms, campaigns, standards, orders of battle and many illustrations.The period plates are chosen well and there are several modern and excellent black and white line drawings. Bruno Mugnai's text is crisp and to the point and the centrepiece of the book is sixteen pages of colour plates of the Dutch army and its flags from 1660 - 1687 by the author.This period is directly before the Nine Years War and includes the Dutch Wars. I was particularly interested in the plates as the representation of Dutch Marines of 1667 (the year of their formation) is excellent if open to interpretation.A

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The Chatham Board - the tide is coming in

Looking north(down river) and from the west bank.Things are progressing. I have concentrated on the western bank of the river and focused on flora and dwellings.The perspective on the landscape is better with trees and buildings in place. The wooded areas and hedges are glued down with slow setting Bostik.Some 2mm troops on this base - Dutch Marines face off local militiaThe village is place on and can be flocked in. This will make any potential transportation easier. I might take this to a show or two in the future but I am not certain about that yet.I enjoyed this work. It was fun to do and every little of extra detail encourages more work.Nice shot looking down river

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One Saturday at mine... Building 1/2400 terrain

I have been researching how to bring this important campaign to the table top for a while now. That activity has paid off. I originally planned to build the entire river in 1/2400 which would have been a mammoth task however, I have now identified five important stretches:1.The Mouth/Sheerness2. Musselbank3. Gillingham Reach and St Mary's Creek4. The Chatham Dockyard stretch5. Chatham to Rochester BridgeThe river complete from The Dutch in the Medway- P.G. RogersAction of some sort or another took place at each. Studying old maps, contemporary sketches and very importantly, Google Maps gave me a good feel for what I needed to achieve in recreating the terrain.My first challenge - to build the Chatham stretch to look like thisAs per usual, my plan was more in my head than on paper. I bought some 6mm and 9mm thick MDF from the DIY store and decided to do a 2' x 4' test board which is what the piece features. I bought but dismissed various materials to represent the land , the most hopeful being 25mm thick polys

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Verbrand hun slagschepen! (Burn their battleships!) June 13th 1667: Part 2

The battleships lie at anchor watched over by the Eastern Shore Battery commanded by Spragge.Turn 1.The Dutch sailed upriver from Upnor Reach in line ahead with the frigate Harderwijck leading the way followed by the Fireships Catarina, Pro Patria, Rotterdam and Drak  in that order. Ahead lay gun batteries on both the east and west bank consisting of heavy artillery transported from Gravesend and positioned to guard the anchored warships.Sailing in line astern in the narrow eastern channel the Fireships head upriver on their one way mission.Turn 2.The leading Dutch veseels came under the muzzles of the shore batteries which opened up with a hot fire causing damage to Harderwijck and Catarina. The Dutch frigate returned fire against the nearer east shore as the squadron was sailing in an eastern channel. By the end of the turn Rotterdam and Drak had altered course and were pointing toward their respective targets HMS Loyal London and HM

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Verbrand hun slagschepen! (Burn their battleships!) June 13th 1667: Part 1

Restoration idyll. Lying at anchor in the calm of a June morning - Three men o'war in ordinary.I was keen to run this scenario and determine whether it made an exciting  two player wargame or, whether it was a 'play against the house' type affair.I have explained the background in a previous post - During the Medway Raid  (Tocht naar Chatham) the ultimate phase was the Dutch attack on the pre-sunk men o' war anchored in the stretch of the river between Upnor Castle and Chatham Royal Dockyard.On paper it looks a bit one sided and even lightweight. Three anchored and decommissioned English ships of the line take a pounding from a single Dutch 4th Rate and four sacrificial fireships. The English defenders have two static land batteries forming a gateway through which the Dutch must pass. From this description the English role seems very passive and depressingly inevitable.I wanted to play it pretty true to form but introduce enough interest both ways to make it exciting and unpredictable. It was both b

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Down Medway-way: Dangerous predators or sitting ducks?

The fascinating Dutch raid on the English fleet at anchor in the Medway in June 1667 is full of wargaming potential.One of the most spectacular incidents occurred on June 13th. Having broken the English defensive chain at Gillingham, the Dutch rounded a bend in the river and were faced with the straight stretch between St Mary's Island and Chatham Royal Dockyard. This strategic installation was one of the main factories of naval production and if destroyed, English sea power capability could have been set back by a couple of decades.For reasons of economy, the King had put much of his battlefleet to sleep over the winter of 1666/1667. The technical term for a warship which has been rendered unoperational is 'in ordinary'.This usually amounted to partially dismasting the vessel and removing the sails and spars. Guns were often taken off the ships and the crews reduced dramatically. This ships were effectively removed from active duty and anchored somewhere safe. All along the Medway from Gillingham Reach to Ro

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Back down on the river...... Medway project update

At the weekend I got a chance to push on with the Medway multi scale project. One of the little (appropriate description) pieces I was keen to finish was my very first foray into 2mm figures. I must again refer to Mark Backhouse's 2mm Siege of Portsmouth project as I used this as inspiration and my template for a little experimentation.These pieces may be deployed for limited tabletop gaming but are more likley to be used in the macro movement of troops around the Medway towns area. This first piece represents country militia in civilian garb and representing an indeterminate number of men.In total there are 150 men, three mounted officers and two wagons on the base which is 60 x 40mm.I thought of it as a 1:1 scale piece representing three or four understrength  companies. The shot above shows the finished base beside Sheerness and Garrison Point Fort to scale it a little.I added a few extra flags to the 2mm Irregular Miniatures figures blocks. In total I used eight 15 men blocks of musketeers and t

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Tocht naar Chatham 1667 - The 28mm bit begins

The first unit of Dutch Marines - uniform colours from colonial naval infantry of the same period.Having co written Donnybrook and produced an as yet unpublished extension for Beneath the Lily Banners dealing with small unit actions it was always the plan to deal with some of the 1667 Medway fighting in 28mm.Other units will have different flagsThere appears to be no concensus regarding the long sleeve/elbow length cuff debate nor, the apostles/bullet bag debate. As an example consult the following works covering the period 1660 - 1691 and you will see long sleeves and bullet bags as early as 1667 with short sleeves and almost elbow length cuffs as late as 1691! -  Wars and soldiers in the early reign of Louis XIV (Mugnai - Helion), Charles XI's War (van Essen: Helion), Battle of Aughrim 1691(McNally:Helion).A mob of sturdy English Yeomanry - probably called peasants anywhere else!By way of explaining my choice to use Warfare's earlier period ie 1680+ Military Civilians for the combatants this goes part

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Garrison Point Fort in 1/2400 completion

The finished piece is about 100mm square.I finally got a chance to build Sheerness today. It's not often you get to type that! Took about 90 minutes to finish the first major piece of terrain for the 1/2400 part of the Tocht naar Chatham (Medway Raid 1667) project.Here is how it all started.I used some of the simpler country style buildings from Brigade Models lovely range to to this. These required a minimum of preparation to slot in to the final corner of the piece. I decided not to make Sheerness look too big as it was described as a cluster of workers dwellings at the time.Floating in the sea - just to provide a perspective with some 1/2400 Tumbling Dice yachts.I had not real game plan to fit the civilian dwellings and just used the most appropriate for size and look. I managed a couple of  setting mock ups just to get a feel for how it will fit when I finally build the custom terrain. I will probably give the fort the firepower of a 4th or 5th rate ship with an as yet to be decided defensive value.T

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Building Garrison Point Fort in 1/2400 scale

Rough mock-up shot of Garrison Point Fort in 1667. Van Ghent's squadron attempting to sail past.My ideas for the Medway Campaign 1667 involve it being conducted by map, in 1/2400 scale and finally, in 28mm for small land and naval actions.I thought I would begin building the small scale terrain with the first significant defensive work encountered by the Dutch.On the north western tip of the Isle of Sheppey is Garrison Point Fort. It appears that the settlement of Sheerness grew directly out of the fort's location at the mouth of the Medway and that the first dwellings were probably houses or more likely shacks, for the few labourers who could be found to work in this inaccessible site. Apparently workers were so hard to find that often less than six were working at the same time building it! This may account for the fact that it was incomplete when the Dutch attacked.Position of Garrison Point Fort and the mouth of the MedwayMany fascinating aspects of this place can be woven into the campaign. It appears it

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