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Saturday, March 13, 2004

Tactics for the Dutch

The one thing that I can absolutely say is that, at least in Privateers Bounty, you cannot fight in a single line, with the Dutch, at least if you allow the English to close, so that they can fire broadsides. The Dutch cannot handle that sort of fire, with impunity.

In certain scenarios, the Dutch can keep the range long, in which case, if the English try to close, they can be engaged with massed gunfire from the Dutch line.

The Battle of the Kentish Knock scenario is one place where this is feasible. The Battle of Portland is a different situation. At Portland, if the Dutch try to engage in a single line, the converging Dutch fleet and Monck's squadron will make it impossible to fight at long range. Instead, other tactics are required for the Dutch to win.

The most reliable strategy is for the Dutch to engage Monck's squadron, first. The Dutch ships need to get in position to deliver concentrated, raking fire against the largest English ships. The Dutch can well fight in small groups that are in line formation, or that are at least on the same course. If needbe, ships need to be maneuvered individually, to avoid broadside gunfire, as much as possible.

These sort of tactics, massing ships against individual ships, has the best prospect of success. Ideally, an English ship should be attacked at both the bow and stern.

Once Monck's squadron (in the Portland scenario) is defeated, then the Dutch need to attend to the main English body. Again, the same policy should be followed, to concentrate gunfire against the largest English ships, preferably from a raking position.

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