Thursday, 12 January 2012

Work on the Dutch–Portuguese war (1602–1663) begins

My last Colonial project (Egypt 1882) is languishing, but out of the blue has come something new! I've been looking at the Grumpy Miniatures Colonial Portuguese for some time. I really like the stripped-down look of these Europeans fighting at the ends of the earth (if you have a Eurocentric worldview). So finally I've realised I can indulge my growing passion for the 80- and 30-years wars with a bit of a local flavour (being an antipodean).

The Dutch-Portuguese war largely consisted of the Dutch looking to take over Portuguese possessions in Americas, Africa, India and the Far East. Given the Dutch armies seem to be better-equipt versions of the Portuguese (although the Dutch seem to have pike where the Portuguese do not), I can use the same figures and supplement both armies with suitable 'native' allies / slaves. Seeing Botswanafury's great Dutch Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie on Fanaticus recently has only strengthened my resolve.

So, [drumroll please] here are the humble beginnings of my Colonial Portuguese army for DBA-RRR.
Colonial Portuguese general and skirmishers (powder pot throwers) for my DBA-RRR army

I have gone to town with the basing a bit drawing on anything I had to hand that gave it a bit more of a lush, Far East feeling long grass needs a trim). In fact, the whole project challenges my Eurocentric approach to collecting wargaming armies so I need to work out how to do tropical bases and terrain. Ahhh ... new horizons.

PS: Thinking back now, I realise the seeds of this project were sown when I was involved in a pike and musket display for the arrival of the replica of the Batavia when it came to Sydney.
The Pike and Musket Society in action at the Batavia exhibition (source)


  1. I to have purchased some "Grumpy" Portuguese.

    I have only read a handful of books on the campaigns but enough to spark interest. I will be using the DBR rules and the normal scale. Initial playtests indicate small 100 point games are interesting but I will expand the army to around 300 points when allied contingents are included.

  2. Sorry I somehow missed your comment - not like I get 100s!

    I need to get the reading going too - have purchased a copy of C.R. Boxer's 'The Dutch Seaborne Empire: 1600-1800 (1965) but it's still in the reading pile. I think the DBR 100 point games may have a lot to offer and have been pawing over the lists. While a lot of this is going to be fairly hypothetical, I'm mulling over how I might fight more dispersed action rather than large pitched battles? In part I think terrain and command rules might need some tweaking there. But for now, painting and terrain building. Cheers

  3. By dispersed actions do you mean skirmishes?

    Even a 100 point army will likely have well over 1000 men aside, depending on the troops selected. If you do decide to try DBR and you are playing small games reduce the number of compulsory troops for the smaller actions.

    I also recommend you consider using the alternate points system. You can find it here:

    Here is a link to a sample nominal 100 point game between to Maori tribes to give you an idea of a smaller game: