Tuesday 23 September 2014

Amazing free 1:600 scale 54-gun warships - Easy to build as well :-)

Hello all,

So our re-creation of the 1426 Battle of Brouwershaven (scenario here) was a success and great fun. But one thing I wanted to show immediately is an amazing source of free ships which also look very good.

Printable, warships, ship, 17th, gunships, cannons, warmaster, scenario, pdf, easy, free

These are examples built by J. Knudsen while those below represents my limited abilities - but only using twenty minutes or so for all three.

A talented guy named Jeffrey Knudsen has a link on his website (Wartisan.com) where from you can download a pdf containing the necessary parts to create these very nice ships:

Printable, warships, ship, 17th, gunships, cannons, warmaster, scenario, pdf, easy, free

 They are 17th century warships in 1:600 scale (although this is quite easy to change by altering the printed size) and the instructions are very easy to follow.

Printable, warships, ship, 17th, gunships, cannons, warmaster, scenario, pdf, easy, free

It should be noted that I completely botched these - mixed up the sails, couldn't be bothered with the last mast and the rigging, and yet they still looked very, very nice.

If you set aside more than the twenty minutes or so I used (while watching Supernatural :-)) the results could be quite amazing.

So if you are looking for some quick to build, free ships I simply cannot see why you wouldn't chose these :-).

All the best,

Saturday 20 September 2014

Warmaster Scenario: Battle of Brouwershaven (1426)

Hello all,
So by chance I stumbled upon a campaign I had never heard of before - The Hook and Cod Wars. It involves all the best of things; England invading the continent, interesting terrain, and fleet involvement. What's not to like? So in anticipation of our game of Warmaster this weekend I have gone through the various sparse sources for this terrible defeat of the British troops. In fact, most of the army was wiped out - driven into the ocean - and it was a serious loss. Philip the good was (once again victorious and as he later became an ally of England, these two factors may help explain why there has been so little written on this battle.

Below you will find a brief history of events leading up to the battle, historic maps of the area of the idyllic town of Brouwershaven, and the historic armies and the order of battle. At the end of the document, I have converted the information into two army lists using that of the House of York for Warmaster.

The two armies were more or less equal, but I have given the British more foot troops and their opponents more cavalry, to represent the invading forces having travelled across the sea. I have also had some fun by including the actions of the British fleet - mainly a few cannons and the possible landing of much needed reserves (perhaps behind the lines of Philip?). In the real battle, these troops were allowed to land, only to be wiped out, but their inclusion allows the British commander some tactical options which should prove interesting.

A short note of thanks and theft: Most of the text below has been 'stolen' from Wikipedia, while I am indebted to janwillemboots for additional information - why not go and visit his nice blog?

The Battle of Brouwershaven 1426


1.       History
2.       Maps
3.       Order of Battle
4.       The Battle in History
5.       The Battle in Warmasterian terms – forces, special rules and army lists

The Battle of Brouwershaven was fought on January 13, 1426 in Brouwershaven, Zeeland. The battle was part of the Hook and Cod wars waged over control of the Low Countries and resulted in a significant victory for Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy.
The Hook and Cod wars (Dutch: Hoekse en Kabeljauwse twisten) comprise a series of wars and battles in the County of Holland between 1350 and 1490. Most of these wars were fought over the title of count of Holland, but some] have argued that the underlying reason was because of the power struggle of the bourgeois in the cities against the ruling nobility. The Cod faction generally consisted of the more progressive cities of Holland. The Hook faction consisted for a large part of the conservative noblemen. The origin of the name "Cod" is uncertain, but is most likely a case of reappropriation. Perhaps it derives from the arms of Bavaria, that look like the scales of a fish. The Hook refers to the hooked stick that is used to catch cod. Another possible explanation is that as a cod grows it tends to eat more, growing even bigger and eating even more, thus encapsulating how the noblemen perhaps saw the expanding middle classes of the time.

Margaret of Bavaria vs William V

After count William IV was killed in 1345, his sister Margaret inherited the county. She was married to emperor Louis IV of Bavaria, and resided in Bavaria. She appointed their second son William (the later count William V) as ruler of Holland, which meant that he ruled as her representative.
In 1350, the nobles of Holland asked Margaret to return to Holland. As a reaction, the Cod league was formed on May 23, 1350 by a number of supporters of William. On September 5 of the same year, the Hook league was formed. Soon afterward, these factions clashed, and a civil war began.
Edward III of England, Margaret's brother in law through her sister Philippa of Hainault, came to her aid, winning a naval engagement off Veere in 1351. A few weeks later the Hooks and their English allies were defeated by William and the Cods at the Battle of Vlaardingen, which ruined Margaret's cause. Edward III shortly afterwards changed sides, and the empress saw herself compelled (1354) to come to an understanding with her son, he being recognized as count of Holland and Zeeland, she of Hainaut. Margaret died two years later, leaving William in possession of the entire Holland-Hainaut inheritance (July 1356). William was married to Maud of Lancaster, sister to Blanche of Lancaster.

Jacqueline of Bavaria vs Philip of Burgundy

Although there were a number of smaller fights in the period after 1356, the main battle re-emerged at the death of William VI, Count of Holland and Hainaut in 1417. Both William's brother John and his daughter Jacqueline claimed the county. The Cods chose the side of John, and, after his death, of Philip the Good, Duke of Burgundy, while the Hooks supported Jacqueline.
The result of these battles and especially of her defeat at the Battle of Brouwershaven, was that Jacqueline was allowed to retain the titles of countess of Hainaut and Holland, but that Philip would rule the county. Philip was named heir to the county, and Jacqueline, who was childless, was not allowed to remarry without Philip's consent.
The treaty became void when Jacqueline remarried in 1432 with Frank van Borssele, and she had to hand her territories over to Burgundy.

The Bishopric of Utrecht vs Burgundy

The period between 1430 and 1450 remained reasonably calm, but when Philip the Good tried to expand his influence into the Bishopric of Utrecht by appointing his natural son David of Burgundy as Bishop, Hook resistance re-emerged in Utrecht. This led to the Siege of Deventer (1456), and two civil wars, (1470-1474) and (1481-1483), concluded in favor of the Cods and Burgundy after the Battle of Westbroek and the Siege of Utrecht (1483).

Frans van Brederode vs Maximilian of Austria

When the House of Burgundy had died out with the death of Mary of Burgundy in 1482, the Hooks revolted one more time against her husband and successor Maximilian I, Holy Roman Emperor. The revolt was led by Frans van Brederode, but crushed in 1490.

The factions
The origins of the conflict lay in a succession dispute between Jacqueline of Hainaut and John III, Duke of Bavaria over the Counties of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland following the death of Count William VI in 1417. Jaqueline had originally been married to John IV, Duke of Brabant but in complex circumstances, had had this marriage set aside and, in 1422, married Humphrey, Duke of Gloucester, brother of Henry V. Jaqueline's second marriage left Hainaut in the hands of John of Brabant, who had reached a rapprochement with John of Bavaria. John had made Philip of Burgundy his heir and this led him to take a role in the dispute. In 1424, Jaqueline and Humphrey had landed with English forces and quickly overrun Hainaut. The death of John of Bavaria in January 1425 led to short campaign by Burgundian forces in pursuit of Philip's claim and the English were ousted. Jaqueline had ended the war in the custody of Philip but in September 1425 escaped to Gouda, where she again asserted her rights. As leader of the Hooks, she drew most of her support from the petty nobility and small towns. Her opponents, the Cods, were drawn largely from the burghers of the cities, including Rotterdam and Dordrecht

Events leading to the battle
Jaqueline requested support from her husband Humphrey, who was in England, and he set about raising a force of 1500 English troops to reinforce her, led by Walter FitzWalter, 7th Baron FitzWalter. In the meantime, Jaqueline's army had defeated a Burgundian force of city militia at the Battle of Alphen on 22 October 1425. Duke Philip had plenty of notice of the assembly of the English force and raised a fleet to intercept them at sea. Although he did succeed in catching a small part of the English force, consisting of 300 men, most of the English force made landfall at the port of Brouwershaven, where they rendezvoused with their Zeeland allies.
2. Maps

3. Order of Battle
Battle of Brouwershaven
13 January 1426
Burgundian victory
Jaqueline, Countess of Hainaut, Holland and Zeeland
Philip, Duke of Burgundy
Commanders and leaders
Floris, Lord of Heemstedt, Walter, Lord Fitzwalter
Philip, Duke of Burgundy
c. 4000, inc. 1200 English
c. 4000
Casualties and losses
c. 3000 killed, 200 + captured

The composition of the armies
The Duke of Burgundy personally led the Burgundian army landed at Brouwershaven, consisting of his own feudal retainers and municipal militia from Dordrecht, The Hague, and Delft. The force consisted of about 4000 combatants, including gunners from Dordrecht and over 1000 militia crossbowmen.
The Zeelanders, led by the Lord of Heemstede, numbered about 3000 men, reinforced by the English, who were reduced to about 1200 men.


4. The Historic Battle
The Zeelander forces allowed their opponents to land unopposed from boats, perhaps hoping for an Agincourt-like triumph with the aid of their English allies. However, when the Burgundians were still disembarking, the English led an attack, advancing in good order, giving a great shout and blowing trumpets. The English troops were bombarded with a cannonade and a volley of arbalest bolts from the militia. The well disciplined English longbowmen held firm and then shot back with their longbows, quickly scattering the crossbowmen in disarray. The well-armored and equally disciplined Burgundian knights then advanced and came to grips with the English men-at-arms. Unable to withstand the fierce attack of the knights, the English men-at-arms and archers were driven onto a dike and were virtually wiped out. The Chronyk en Historie van Zeeland of Janus Reygersberg records that three thousand of the Zeeland army were killed, and many captured. Duke Philip himself noted 200 Englishmen were captured. A number of the local nobility are also recorded to have been killed in the battle, though the Lord of Heemstede was captured and Lord Fitzwalter escaped.
The loss was devastating to Jacqueline's cause. Duke Humphrey was increasingly preoccupied with politics at home, and had become infatuated with Eleanor Cobham, one of Jacqueline's ladies-in-waiting. In 1428, he married Eleanor after the pope annulled his marriage with Jacqueline. Without foreign support, Jacqueline was unable to resist the full strength of Burgundy, and she was compelled to surrender the administration of her territories to Philip.

6. Forces converted to Warmaster (app. 2000 points on each side, using the House of York army list) and special rules for the battle

Special rules:
Attack! The Burgundian army automatically receives the honour of beginning the battle.
Fleet! The English Fleet begins the game at sea. The three ships contain the remaining troops. Each ship carries two units of Billmen. The admiral is in command of the central and largest ship. From here he operates as a normal Character with a LD of 8. Each turn he may issue orders as usual, although to the fleet only. Each ship needs one order to move, and can move up to 20cm per order. The troops may be put ashore whenever the English commander wishes to do so. Once a ship is close enough to the shore line (touching) the troops may disembark. They will count as confused on their first turn ashore. After which they will operate as normal. Each ship is also considered to be armed with the equivalent of a single cannon (1x40, Cannon), just because that is fun.
Lengthy Campaign! The heavily armoured Knights on Foot were essential to the long term plans of both sides. If these units are destroyed (or reduced to one stand), they are worth double their price when calculating the winner of the battle.
Zeedijk! The location of the battle is dominated by the town of Brouwershaven, the sea and the Zeedijk. For this game the dike will count as one long hill – thus offering the infantry valuable protection. To make the game playable the dike is considered to be app. 12cm wide, wide enough to offer an infantry brigade a valuable location.
Protect the Zeedijk! Before the battle begins, place a counter on the Zeedijk half way between the two armies. At the end of each turn the side with a non-confused, healthy (more than one stand left) infantry unit positioned closest to the marker will receive a bonus of 50 vp.

The Hoeken army 
– England and her allies 
Led by
      Walter Fitzwalter and Jacoba of Bavaria    

 Walter Fitzwalter, (General (LD 9)) lieutenant to the Duke of Glouchester, leading 1200 English troops:
2 x Sergeants                        220
3 x Men-at-Arms on Foot     255
6 x Longbowmen                 270
2 x Crossbowmen                100
Floris III van Haamstede (Commander (LD 8)), leading 2000 troops from Zeeuwse:
8 x Billmen                           360                
Hendrik van Nijenrode (Commander (LD 8)), leading 1000 troops from Zeeland:
4 x Billmen                           180
The English Fleet, led by admiral Dickson (LD 8), commanding three ships, each containing the last reserves of the English army:
                                                                 3 x 2 x Billmen                                           (3x) 180 (540)

Unit Type                             Att                 Range             Hits                Save               Special Rules
Billmen                                 3                    -                     3                    6+      Combined Arms,
Longbowmen                       2                    30                  3                    -          Combined Arms, L.Bows
Crossbowmen                       2                    30                  3                    -          Crossbows
Men-at-Arms on Foot           3                    -                     3                    4+       Combined Arms
Sergeants                              3                    -                     3                    5+       Shock, Cavalry


The Army of the Cod
Led by
                               Philip the Good       


Philip of Burgundy (General (LD 9)) leading 4000 troops:
Heavy Footknights (Kabeljouwse)                  8 x Foot Knights                  720
Bowmen and crossbowmen                           4 x Archers                           180
4 x Crossbowmen                180
                      Heer van Dordrecht (Commander (LD 8)), leading 1000 troops:
Knights from Dordrecht                                2 x Retainers                         220
Infantry from Delft                                        4 x Billmen                           180
Heer van Leiden (Commander (LD 8)), Leading 1000 troops:
Knights from Leiden                                     2 x Retainers                         220
Infantry from l’isle Adam, Flemish troops    4 x Billmen (merc. Inf.)          240

Unit Type                             Att                 Range             Hits                Save               Special Rules
Billmen                                 3                    -                     3                    6+      Combined Arms,
Archers                                2                    30                  3                    -          Combined Arms, L. Bows
Crossbowmen                      2                    30                  3                    -          Crossbows
Foot Knights                        3                    -                     3                    4+       Combined Arms
Retainers                              3                    -                     3                    5+       Shock, Cavalry

That is it. Hope someone can use it. A battle report should be up sometime this week - shall Philip triumph once again or will the British have more luck and avoid a wet grave? Stay tuned :-).

All the best,

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