Thursday, 19 December 2019

The Dutch-Portuguese War

Obviously I love trawling through Wikipedia and similar sites looking for inspiration, and the other week I found this article:

Dutch-Portuguese War 

Essentially the Portuguese were pretty well the only European power in and beyond the Indian Ocean from around 1500-1600, and did very well out of it in terms of trade and dominating the locals. But publication of their Secret Sailing Directions allowed the Dutch to muscle in, and a series of conflicts ensued (with other powers getting involved on one side or the other). I mean have a look at the summary details, and look at the combatants:

Doesn't that make you think "Ooooh, there might be some potential there!". Read the article and see how it all panned out.

I think there's potential for a campaign of linked Galleys & Galleons battles. A lot of the fighting was naval, so that's obviously the route to go down. I haven't really got a detailed plan about how I'd run it, but at a simple level I'd have the Portuguese controlling a series of colonies of differing values, and have them assign resources to their defence. The Dutch then have to decide how to spread resources into attacking the colonies - do they target a few low- to mid-value ones, try to take them all, or simply go for one of the big prizes? Historically the Dutch picked their targets carefully, although their achievements impacted the value of Portuguese areas they didn't attack. I think any campaign would involve a series of games each centering around one of the Portuguese colonies which the Dutch have chosen to take. The results might feed back into the bigger picture, thereby influencing later games, so the order in which battles are played becomes important. Each colony would have its own particular local allies  or third-parties to add extra complexity and colour.

Anyway, as I said, it hasn't got further than the stage where things are bouncing around in my head when I'm out for a walk, but maybe I'll come up with something. I can still recommend reading about it, simply because it's colourful and has potential for something.

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