Be good to yourself...

The fleets approach looking from the northwest


..every day and every night... In the words of Glasgow's own Frankie Miller Be good to yourself

I promised myself a northern waters game last Christmas, it was going to be Öland but that never took place because the lurgy got me and it nearly did it again this year, however... this hobby of ours is a powerful stimulus. So, sick a bed, I planned this one and got it on the table today for playing over the next couple of days. 

Swedish ships sail into the Sound

It is the biggest 1/1200 scale Mad for War game I have yet attempted and it has intruiged me since I first learned about it. Protecting their own commercial interests and access to the Baltic, the States General has sent a fleet under Jacob van Wassenaer van Opdam to relieve Copenhagen then under sige by King Karl X of Sweden. To relieve Copenhagen the Dutch fleet had to push aside a larger and heavier gunned Swedish fleet under Rijksamiral Karl Gustav Wrangel.

van Opdam's Eendracht leads the fleet into battle

The battle is know in English as The Sound and it took place on October 29th 1658. It is appropriate to give it the proper name Øresund or Öresund. It was one of the hardest fought engagments of the period contained in an area less than 10 miles across and six deep. On one side was the coast of Denmark and the other, the cost of Sweden. the island of Hven sat right at the southern tip.

Karl X has already captured Kronborg Castle in the foreground - Hamlet will be doing grave flips

The Dutch fleet of  41 ships in three divisions faced a Swedish fleet of 45 in four divisions. I have worked out an order of battle using 24 ships on each side with the Swedes having a superiority in guns and points as can be seen in the accompanying photos.

Eendracht leads the centre division

Let's see how I get on with this beautiful looking game which pits two proud Protestant nations against each other with two others looking on.. the beseiged Danes and an English Commonwealth fleet observing from just close enough to remain neutral. This barely eighteen months before the Restoration of the monarchy in England and involves many major naval actors of the period.