The Siege of Zutphen
A scenario for
Left, Robert Dudley, Earl of Leicester; Right, Alessandro Farnese, Duke of Parma
Empire seemed on the verge of European hegemony. Having just brought her
only real rival for worldwide monopoly on the lucrative spice trade, Portugal, into the Empire,
Philip II of Spain turned his attention to that ever running sore, the Netherlands. His commander
in the region was his nephew, Alessandro Farnese, the reknowned duke of Parma. Thru his
efforts the union of the North and South Netherlands was shattered forever, and his conquest of
the great city Antwerp sent chills through the courts of Europe, especially in England.
of penny-pinching measures and a trickle of aid to the Dutch Rebels, Elizabeth
finally brought to understand that their struggle is hers. With the assassination of the great
Stadthouder, William of Orange, it is plain that no head of state is safe from the pistol shot
financed by Philip of Spain. With the Dutch on the verge of collapse, the English realize the
mask of neutrality must come off and full participation in the wars take place, before they become
the next piece of the Spanish Empire.
of Robert Dudley, the Earl of Leicester (the Queen's favorite) to the Dutch
as Captain-General with an army has been met with wild enthusiasm by the local population.
It is not long, however, before their joy turns to dismay, as the "Courtier-General" seems to
expend all of his energy in organising tounaments and knighting friends, while entertaining
thoughts of becoming King of the Netherlands.
for his inertia, and heeding the entreatments of his more experienced
commanders (including the indomitable Sir Roger Williams, who's character has so much in
common with Shakespeare's Captain Fluellen of the play "Henry V" as to make one wonder.
stop reading this and read that if you haven't yet!!!!!!!!), Leicester has chosen the wealth
town of Zutphen on the river Ysel as the site of his first campaign. Unfortunately for him, the
Duke of Parma is in the vicinity, and has no intention of letting such an important town fall to an
enemy who has more experience at the dance than in the field.
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In the Op OBz
regiment of Spanish Foot, 8 coys
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and Dutch Allies-
Field Ring Defense is Average
English were divided as to whether
Town is on a River (the Ysel) and it is surrounded by a Wet Ditch.
Roll for Terrain normally.
The siege began
well enough with the English setting up siege lines, but it soon became
that the town was not efficiently cut off, Parma himself riding into town at one point! Food was
running out, however, and the English noose was at last tightening. It was resolved to run a
huge convoy of supplies into the city which would enable it to last indefinitely. The plan however,
fell into English hands, and a warm reception was organized. In the early morning fog, a large force
of Spaniards supported by Albanian light cavaly escorted the supply train in secret, or so they thought.
The English fell on them with a shout and in moments English Demilancers were tearing the enemy
Cavalry to pieces. Not enough foot had arrived to support them, however, and their valour was no
match for spanish pikes. After a long skirmish, in which both Hannibal Gonzago and Sir Philip Sidney
were killed, the English were forced to draw back, and allow the supplies to reach the town.
were assaults on the the outworks of the town, in which some were captured,
English realised the game was up. They decided on holding onto the captured sconces and putting
troops into surrounding towns and villages to enforce an economic blockade of the town. The town
was to fall five years later while the Spanish were distracted by the civil wars in France, which
eventually drew the Duke of Parma there only to die in a minor skirmish.
From The Captain
Although the siege
of Zutphen was not to be a knock-down, drag out struggle to the finish,
that doesn't mean that it couldn't have been. The scenario offers a lot of scope for some good
stategy; The English must strike before their resolve is sapped in sorties, while the defender
must get supplies into town as quickly as possible. A large relief force might try to break the
siege by offering battle to the English Corps D'Observation (you will be able to resolve this
with our soon to be released "Pistolado" rules).
This is the second
scenario we've come up with for our game, but we've yet to have any real
feedback on the first! If you are playing this scenario, or even one of your own, please
consider writing us!
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