A remarkable life - Prinz Ruprecht von der Pfalz

First release in the series on Prince Rupert's campaigns

I have enjoyed reading and exploring the exploits of a quite remarkable figure form the 17th century. Not the fairly well trodden but brief path of his adventures in the land campaigns of the War of Three Kingdoms between 1640-1647, but the far more sustained period of his contribution to history. His activities as a naval commander between 1648 and 1678.

Portrait around the time of his first naval command

From a beginning in 1648 which saw him hold a mutineer over his head and threaten to throw the man and his all of his followers into the sea till his ascension to high command and participation in some of the greatest sea battles ever fought in the Anglo-Dutch Wars, Rupert, cousin to the Stuart Kings, was a remarkable figure.

Wapen von Ruprecht von der Pfalz

In command of the Royalist fleet on an epic three year voyage covering perhaps 30,000 or more miles - he led from the front. Involved in brawls, fights, skirmishes, sea battles, boardings, beach rescues, harbour raids and ship wrecks, his breathless adventures make for a life which should excite any movie producer with an eye for an epic tale. 

His early flagship - Jacobean era Constant Reformation - lost off the Azores

Honest, loyal, trustworthy, highly intelligent, brave, indomitable and tireless, he epitomizes a certain kind of nobility. It is certain he was a difficult character. Headstrong, challenging, intolerant, sometimes blunt to the point of rudeness, mistrustful of sychophants, detesting fools and cowards - he made many friends and also, many enemies. His men were loyal and that seems to have been reciprocated.

Scenario 1 - Fighting Robert Blake off the mouth of the Tagus

His staunch devotion to the Protestant cause does not seem to have affected his loyalty and devotion to his high-church, crypto-Catholic cousins - James and Charles. He sought only to restore and protect their right to the throne.

Link to the Rupert's Run Battle rport video form the League of Augsburg YouTube channel:

He was perhaps no master tactician but he made up for that in terms of sheer application. That he suffered a mental breakdown after nearly four years at sea and fighting when he reached France in 1653 is no small wonder.

Shaking off the Parliamentarian pursuit in the Mediterranean - Scenario #2

In reading deeply about his life in order to create scenarios for the LoA canon of rules, the problem has been what to leave out! Originally, I intended to produce a single three-scenario pack detailing his naval battles with Commonwealth squadrons between 1649 and 1653. 

Skirmish at Dakar in 1652 from a forthcoming Donnybrook at Sea pdf on Rupert's campaigns

That has morphed into a majoe work over a series of 4Play packs, the first of which is released today - The German Vagabond #23. It was originally finished over four months ago but since then, I have extracted one of the scenarios for inclusion in a linked pdf and replaced it with a new one.

An already published scenario featuring Royalists in the Scilly Isles 

4Play #21 contains Royalist versus Dutch action in 1650

 This initial release deals with three naval encounters involving the prince and his ships. The first is his failed dash for the Atlantic from Lisbon. The second, the Parliamentarian hunt for his squadron in the Mediterranean and the third, a final chapter when he sets sail back to Europe from the Caribbean.

New 4Play scenario matching the Royalist Fleet against the Thames Squadron in 1648

What will follow in the series and on which I am working right now:

2. ECW Fleet actions 1648 and 1651. Thames Estuary, Scilly Isles and Atlantic. Mad for War

3. ECW Skirmish actions 1648-1651. Hellevoetsluis, Scilly Isles, Senegal. Donnybrook         at Sea/Donnybrook

4. ECW small naval actions 1648-1653. Ireland, The Gambia, Caribbean. Donnybrook at Sea and/ or Mad for War

5. The Dutch Wars 1665-1678. Rupert during thr Restoriation. Mad for War

There is also the possibility of covering Rupert's Civil War land exploits using either Victory without Quarter or The War of Three Kings.

Constant Reformation v Constant Warwick 1648

The new German Vagabond pdf is available in the League of Augsburg store here;

The German Vagabond

If ever you wanted to game the life of a swashbuckling man of action - this is the fellow!

In later years Rupert commanded the very ships which had hunted him in 1650-51