Tuesday, 19 December 2017

17th Century [Hypothetical] Anglo-French v Dutch Naval Clash (Part 4) Finale

"Run for home" as the Flying Dutchman tears away from the teeth of the storm (top right). The French and British desperately clasp and claw at the coat-tails of the Dutchman, but with a running wind behind them the Dutch seem homeward bound. The second Dutch man-o-war is now quite out of the reach of the Royal Navy as a British battleship exchanges fire with her (see below):

Brutal vengeance is taken on the second and third man-o-war in the Dutch line of battle. The disabled Dutch third ship is doomed, exchanging shot with both British and French facing over 2:1 odds and being much more static due to the loss of much of their sails (see below):

The crowded middle and flotsam and jetsam of torn and shredded sail litter the sea. Critically the second Dutchman has lost her some of her sails. Escape for her is now highly unlikely. Her Captain knows his duty to his Admiral and is prepared to exact a dear price for the life of his ship and crew (see below):

In these final moment the British and French Squadrons form line of battle to sail by the de-masted Dutch ships and mercilessly pound them into submission. This is more of a punishment to the insolent Dutch who have stolen their treasure from beneath their very noses (see below):

Looking more like a yacht-race than a formed line-of-battle the wind gathers in the sails of all sails as the (futile) stern chase begins. Dutchman number two is still fighting like "a fury" (see below): 

As the British and French Squadrons are no longer capable of catching the Dutchman they call a halt to the chase. They are more likely to meet additional Squadrons of Dutch or the Dutch coastline. The French Admiral is the more despondent as he now fears he has lost the "most". His explanations (or rather excuses) will probably fall on deaf ears. The Royal Navy Rear-Admiral can lay the blame on his counterparts shoulders. He tried to close with the enemy but was hindered by the Dutch fire-ships and the (lack of) tacking ability of the French who (in the British Admiral's words) both endangered his ships and lost him valuable time (see below):

The final wreckage of battle lays strewn across the playing cloth. The Dutch flagship has escaped with the "treasure" (material, moral and perhaps even more of the personal variety) and the French and British Admirals are left distinctly red-faced. Naturally they will try and make the most of the two captured Dutch warships when towed into home waters. For official consumption the treasure was "chests of silver and gold" from the Indies but in reality? As previously mentioned, though sailors are notorious in their tall-tales but some swear oaths on Davy Jones Locker that the most precious form of treasure taken that day was the mysterious lady and the "man in the (iron?) masked cowl". Sailors speculate how much (if any) treasure you could really load from a ship in the midst of battle? (see below, the final watery battlefield): 

A riveting little scenario that completely immersed all the players and umpire into a gripping story line. It also served to introduce another two players to these naval rules allowing perhaps for bigger battles in the future. As it is I will end it in true Jack Sparrow (Pirates of the Caribbean) fashion with the waving figure of the Dutch Admiral and damsel at his side, not forgetting cast of cut-throat (or noble - delete as applicable)  musketeers swords raised disappearing into the sunset (or rather the murky North Sea gloom).

I now have the sudden urge to make more ships ;)


Archduke Piccolo said...

That Charles Ogier de Bats de Castelmore d'Artagnan certainly got about didn't he just? Seems he wasn't killed at the 1673 Siege of Maastrict at all, but deserted the King's Musketeer Regiment and joined up for service in the Dutch Navy. Or so some believe. But a very few state that buried in the Papal archives in the Vatican lies the real truth. They allege that he did not defect at all, but, as his pledge was to the true king of France, his service to the impostor Louis XIII, and to the son of the impostor, Louis XIV, was a sham until the throne of France could be restored to the true line. Having gained the ears of the Bourbon kings, Cardinal Mazarin worked tirelessly in secret to effect a Restoration, but never did succeed in bringing the Man in the Iron Mask to Paris and the long-awaited legitimate coronation. The Comte d'Artagnan was a faithful clandestine ally of the Cardinal until the latter's death in 1661.

Enjoyed the naval action!

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

History is shrouded in mystery
Glad you enjoyed it

We are planning much bigger multi-player battles in 2018
Personally I would like 20+ ships per side


Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

PS There is a link to the Duke of Marlborough here as he too fought in the Battle of Maastrict as a daring young John Chruchill if I am not mistaken, storming a redoubt in a Forlorn Hope with the Duke of Monmouth (saving his life by some accounts)

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Charles Ogier de Bats de Castelmore d'Artagnan:

John Churchill the Duke of Marlborough: