Monday, January 6, 2014

The basic plan (Mats)

With a bit of luck I might squeeze four instead of three infantry regiments out of my pile of miniatures. I will then be able to field a brigade according to the 'Dutch system' as seen in the diagram. 

'A Brigade or Tertia, the Third Part of an Army, according to the Prince of Orange'. After Richard Elion's The Compleat Body of the Art Military, 1650. This shows a later development of Dutch practice: 'battalions' are only six deep, and are supported by light guns, both features indicating Swedish influence (M = musketeers, P = pikemen). 

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Organizing my pile, Part I (Mats)

Okay, let's see what I have here in terms of numbers. As I want a solid infantry chore for my part of the army I will leave the cavalry and artillery aside for now. The Starter Battalia box contains 80 pike & shot infantry (including 2 command sets) and 10 firelocks. The Imperial infantry box counts for 44 pike & shot infantry including command. Mixed with the blisters (swordsmen, pikemen, command) there's room for three infantry regiments.

Barry and I are still discussing the make-up of the units. By 1632 Dutch infantry regiments were of widely varying size, from nine companies up; Colonel's companies were 200 or 150, the rest 120 strong. Anyway, time to clip, glue and assemble.

Who was this Ernst Casimir fellow?

Ernst Casimir of Nassau-Dietz (1573-1632) was stadtholder of the Dutch provinces of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe and an outstanding military leader during the Dutch Revolt, aka the Eighty Years War. He served under his cousins Maurice (1567-1625) and Frederick Henry (1584-1647) of Nassau, Princes of Orange.

He became a field marshal in 1607 and was second in command of the Dutch army. He was killed at the siege of Roermond while inspecting the trenches.

Portrait of Ernst Casimir, count of Nassau-Dietz
Circa 1609-1633
Workshop of Michiel Jansz. van Mierevelt (1567-1641)
Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam

My Pile of TYW Lead (Mats)

Over the years I've collected -by chance- miniatures of the TYW/ECW period, from a wide range of manufacturers. There was no coherence nor focus as they were just 'coming my way'. Yet, last year I stumbled upon a substantial collection of unassembled Warlord Games 'Pike & Shotte' plastics and bits and I just couldn't refuse. I will use them as a starting point. Here's the muster:

- Starter Battalia (boxed set)
- Imperial Infantry (boxed set)
- Cuirassiers (boxed set)
- Pike & Shotte Command (blister)
- Saker Cannon (blister)
- Thirty Years War Swordsmen (blister)
- Armoured Pikemen (blister)
- Sir Thomas Fairfax (blister)
- Casualties (blister)

Now for a cunning plan...

How it all began

In 1624 a sketchbook was presented to Ernst Casimir of Nassau-Siegen, stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe. It contains sketches of 48 company colours and 6 cavalry squadron standards of the stadholder’s Frisian, German and Swiss infantry regiments and cavalry regiments. The sketchbook still survives in the Archives of the Royal Family in The Hague, The Netherlands.

When we saw the vivid designs and vibrant colours, set against the Thirty Years War raging in Europe, we immediately knew we finally had a destination for the pile of unpainted ECW/TYW miniatures in our collections. Our aim is to recreate some of Ernst Casimir’s forces in miniature, (probably) based upon the Pike & Shotte rules by Warlord Games. This blog is intended to record our progress.

Barry & Mats