The Dutch Caribbean Militia are a preexisting Blood & Plunder faction, but they get a new update in the Raise the Black Expansion. This article covers all the details on the faction, units and commander options, tactics and force lists suggestions.
While the Dutch are fading on the world stage in the early 18th Century, they still had a sizable presence in the New World! For Blood & Plunder players looking to defend their territorial holdings on land, but still don’t want to throw in with the Spanish and French, the Dutch Caribbean Militia are a great choice. Oil that musket, grab your finest wool coat and approach the battlements as we take a deep dive into the Dutch Caribbean Militia in the new expansion.
- Faction Special Rules
- Force Options
- Core Units
- Support Units
- Command Options
- Force Lists:
- Additional Recommended Reading
Faction Special Rules
The Dutch Caribbean Militia represents the presence of the Geoctrooieerde Westindische Compagnie, more commonly known as the Dutch West India Company or GWC in the New World. As a result, if you have played Dutch Privateers or Dutch Marine, they essentially gain the “West India Company” Force option as a Faction-wide rule. If you begin a turn with more Strike Points than a previous Turn, you remove 1 Fatigue on non-shaken units. This is very powerful and can be a big help if things aren’t going the way you planned.
Additionally, the commander of any Dutch Caribbean Militia Force gains the Castilian Special rule. This means that any other unit inside the same Fortification gets to reroll one failed Rally Test die. For those planning on playing with Fortifications this will be a solid Faction for your Fortification needs!
If this is your first time hearing about Fortifications, there are a few mentioned in the core rulebook. However, I highly recommend grabbing the Fire on the Frontier expansion book. It it is loaded with even more Fortification goodness like options for forts and blockhouses!
The Dutch Caribbean Militia have two different Force Options: Dutch Frontier Patrol and Dutch GWC Garrison. The Dutch Frontier Patrol option makes Vrij Compagnieen and Warrior Musketeers Core units. Both of which are great for a more Guerilla-Style Force. They also makes Zwarte Militie and European Regulars Support units. These units won’t hinder you if you’re planning on sitting back in Non-structure cover and shooting.
The GWC Garrison makes Zvarte Militie into support units. It also allows the commander to spend one of its unit actions to gain an additional command point. The ability is similar to the other “Professional” factions in Raise the Black.
One of the great things about this faction is high number of units it has available as Core.
Militie are the standard Dutch Militia unit, introduced in the No Peace Beyond the Line Expansion. They are a cheap, 3 point, Inexperienced musket unit. They come armed with a Firelock Musket, a 6/7 Fight, a 7/7 Shoot, a Resolve of 6, and the Drilled. This allows the unit to shoot as a dedicated action so long as the unit is in Formation. This option means that all the models must be within base contact with each other and there must be a minimum of 4 models in the unit. A unit is not considered in Formation if it is inside of a structure, unless the Structure is Open-Topped).
Militie may also upgrade to the Trained level for 1 point per model. Militie are great for hoarding up on and having lots of shooting options. Like most militia, they are fragile so they work best inside cover to compensate for their poor shoot save. Since they cannot take bayonets of any kind, make sure they steer away from melee engagements.
The real selling point for Militie compared to other nation’s militia units is the 7 Shoot Save! If you plant Militie in a Fort or some other form of Hard Cover, your 3pt models save on 6s! While 6 Resolve is standard fare, a 7 shoot save makes them 10% better at not dying than their English and Spanish counterparts!
Jewish Militia are a pricier alternative to the Militie. They clock in at 5 points a model, have a 6/6 Fight, a 7/7 Shoot, a Resolve of 5. The models’ equipment includes Matchlock Muskets, Standard Melee Weapons. They also come with both the Drilled and Tough Special Rules. Tough allows the unit to lose 1 Fatigue at the end of its activation if it did not Push or otherwise gain Fatigue. The unit can upgrade to Veteran for 1 point per model. They can exchange Drilled for Elusive (-1 bonus to its shoot save when in cover but not inside a structure of any kind) for free.
Jewish Militia make a great gun-line unit. If you swap out Drilled for Elusive, you have a sneaky unit that fits in a Guerilla Style list. The only real con is a 5 point per model cost, which is pricey for a unit with a 7 shoot.
Zvarte Militie are a new unit for Raise the Black and are very versatile. They cost 4 points per model, have a 5/7 Fight, a 7/6 Shoot, a Resolve of 6, and come equipped with a Lances and Standard Melee Weapons. The unit has the Brawlers, Quick, and Elusive Special Rules. They may upgrade to Trained for 1 point per model, may swap out their Lances for Matchlock Muskets and gain the Poorly Equipped and Drilled Special Rules for free, or swap their Lances for Firelock Muskets and gain Drilled for 4 points (not per model).
Zvarte Militie can fill just about any role you have. They make for a good melee unit (when supported by either musket fire or another melee unit due to their 6 Resolve) at their base equipment, but can be armed if you’re looking for more firepower. In this regard, arming them with Firelock Muskets is better because Poorly Equipped means they will not be able to reload as fast as your other gun line units if you are trying to get the most out of your Drilled rule (Poorly Equipped makes the unit take an extra reload marker if the unit is activated on a Club).
For 7 points a model, these new, professional soldiers come with Firelock Muskets, Socket Bayonets, melee weapons, and are Trained.. They have a 5/6 Fight, a 6/7 Shoot, and a Resolve of 5. Latere Soldaten come with a plethora of fantastic Special Rules as well in the form of Tough, Expertly Drilled, Fast Reload, and Unwavering. They may upgrade to Veteran for +1 point per model, or they may swap out their Socket Bayonets for Plug Bayonets for -4 points (not per model).
Latere Soldaten Abilities
Latere Soldaten are your choice if you wish to run a more professional list. While expensive, they can decimate much weaker units if used correctly. Expertly Drilled grants the unit all the benefits from the Drilled Special Rule, but if the unit makes a dedicated shoot action on a Spade or a Heart, the unit that it shoots at must roll an additional dice when it takes its Fatigue Test. Fast Reload gives the unit a free Reload Action at any point during the unit’s activation, which is great for keeping the rate of fire up (A Veteran unit activating on a Spade with no Reload Markers can shoot then reload twice).
Unwavering is a great Special Rule for Fatigue Management because it allows the unit to shrug off a point of Fatigue upon activating Shaken. If this drops the unit down to 2 Fatigue, it may act as normal. This, along with their 5 Resolve, makes them very difficult to lay Fatigue on.
in order for your opponent to make a unit of Soldaten “useless” on its next Activation, they need to score at least 4 Fatigue. This will make them spend an entire turn Rallying.
Fixing Bayonets and charging is also a solid tactic with Latere Soldaten. You can even decide to save on points with the Plug Bayonets. Just make sure you keep them in cover as you approach. Losing a whole unit of these guys to a 3pt Militia unit in the open hurts (don’t ask why!).
European Regulars (Unaligned)
European Regulars are another flavor if you are looking for a professional soldier unit. They are another new unit from Raise the Black!. A unit costs 7 points per model, come Trained, have a 5/6 Fight, a 6/7 Shoot, a Resolve of 5. They are armed with Firelock Muskets, Socket Bayonets and Standard Melee Weapons. They come with the Battle Hardened, Expertly Drilled, Fast Reload, and Unwavering Special Rules.
Costing the same points as Latere Soldaten, the only real difference is that Latere Soldaten are more aggressive since they have Tough instead of Battle Hardened. If you are planning on holding out inside Fortifications, take European Regulators instead of Latere Soldaten. They can also fix bayonets and charge like their Dutch counterparts and are just as effective.
Grenadier Soldaten are a part of the brand new Grenadier Units. They arealso a new addition to the game in Raise the Black. Grenadiers are the most elite troops of their time period. These grenadiers cost a whopping 8 points per model at the Veteran level (no need for upgrading!). They armed with Firelock Muskets, Socket Bayonets, Standard Melee Weapons. Additionally, 1 out of every 4 models may take Explosives for free. Their core stats have a 5/6 Fight, a 6/6 Shoot, a Resolve of 5. Plus they come with the Tough, Expertly Drilled, Fast Reload, and Unwavering Special Rules.
To lower their cost, they may downgrade to Trained for -1 point per model. You may also exchange their Socket Bayonets for Plug Bayonets for -4 points (not per model). If the unit decides to carry no explosives, but did not swap out their Bayonets, then the cost of the unit is reduced by 4 points (not per model).
Grenadier Soldaten are the most elite troops you can field in this faction. While expensive, they are great at shooting and fantastic in melee. The Explosives they can carry allow you to dish out some pain with Grenadoes, and Firebombs. Or you can throw a Stinkpot to prepare for a charge with fixed Bayonets! While you can reduce their cost, to get them down to 7 points per model, just field Latere Soldaten with Plug Bayonets.
Vrij Compagnieen are a brutal, frontier ranger unit for the Dutch. The Vrij Compagnieen cost 5 points per model,are armed with Firelock Muskets, Standard Melee weapons, and have a 6/7 Fight, a 6/6 Shoot, and a Resolve of 5. They come with the Scouts (ignore the effects of rough terrain), Tough, and Ruthless. You can upgrade to Veteran for 1 Point per model. And can also take Pistols as Sidearms for 4 points (not per model).
Vrij Compagnieen can sneak between natural cover and terrain and shoot at units with Fatigue already on them. A 6 Shoot is nothing to scoff at. If you attach the Sharpshooter Fighting Man to this unit, they become sneaky Freebooters! If you choose the Dutch Frontier Patrol, VC become Core Units, adding to that frontier/ranger flavor.
Zeeliden are the sailor unit of the Dutch Nationality. While they are great at sea, they lose lots of their usefulness on land, especially as a Support Unit. The unit costs 4 points per model and have Pistols and Melee Weapons. Zeeliden have a 6/6 Fight, a 7/7 Shoot, and a Resolve of 5. They have the Expert Sailors (Gives a -1 bonus to Advanced Maneuver Tests on ships as well as a -1 bonus to changing the sails setting on a ship), Expert Artillery Crew (This grants the unit a free Reload action when assigned to Artillery on a Spade or a Heart), and Hard Chargers (-1 Bonus to the free Fight action when Charging) Special Rules.
They can drop Pistols for -1 point per model, 1 out of every 3 models may exchange its Pistol for a Blunderbuss at no cost. Plus, 1 of every 8 models may take Firepots or Stink pots for 2 points per model, or Grenadoes for 4 points per model, and the unit may upgrade to veteran for +1 point per model, but not if you’ve taken away their Pistols.
On land, these guys are mainly here to man any artillery you have placed in any Fortifications, as the Expert Artillery Crew rule is great for a fast rate of fire. Take away their Pistols and they now cost the same as Artillerymen, and are better at manning Artillery inside of Fortifications.
This unit from the Native Americans Nationality adds a bit more flavor to any Dutch Caribbean Militia list. These hard-hitting guys are 4 points per model, are armed with Heavy Melee Weapons and Standard Melee Weapons, have a 5/7 Fight, a 6/6 Shoot, and a Resolve of 6. They have the Quick (Free move action when activated on a Spade), Skirmishers, Hidden, and Scouts. They may upgrade to veteran for 1 point per model, take Pistols for 1 point per model, take Musket Sidearms for 4 points (not per model), take Bows for 1 point per model, or exchange their Heavy Melee Weapons for Thrown Weapons at no cost.
This unit is for those looking to fight from the brush and use a combination of cheap militia with competent melee units. Musket Sidearms are great if charged, but pistols are cheaper and serve the same purpose, and are reusable. Their Heavy Melee weapons confer a +1 Penalty to an enemy unit’s fight save, but the Warriors using them also take +1 penalty to their own save when they are hit in turn. Since their resolve is 6 and their Fight save is 7, make sure you charge weakened units so you don’t get hit back. Skirmishers will help you pull some “Charge out of cover and fight then go back” Shenanigans that can frustrate an opponent who isn’t used to fighting Native units.
Warrior Musketeers are the ranged counterpart to their Warrior allies, and are more suited to be used at range than in melee. For 4 points a model they come Trained, are armed with Firelock Muskets and Standard Melee Weapons, have a 6/8 Fight, a 6/6 Shoot, and a Resolve of 6. They have the Evade (when the unit is charged or is activated in melee combat, the unit may take a Fatigue to move 4” away. If this would cause the unit to become shaken, they do not fall abc a second time or Go Prone), Slow Reload (whenever the unit gains reload marker, it gains 1 extra marker), Hidden and Scouts Special Rules. They may upgrade to Veterans for 1 point per model, and the unit may add Pistol Sidearms for 4 points, (not per model).
As a support unit, they are not very good as you have other units that are cheaper that can at least shoot more reliably since Warrior Musketeers have the dreaded Slow Reload Special Rule. However, if you select the Dutch Frontier Patrol Force Option, Warrior Musketeers become Core! They do well alongside VC as the Warrior Musketeers can help try to set up units with fatigue so the VC can take advantage of Ruthless.
Artillerymen exist to bring a Field Gun to the Dutch Caribbean Militia. These cannon junkies are 3 points each and come Trained. They have a 6/7 Fight, a -/7 Shoot, a Resolve of 5, and have the Artillery Crew (Free reload for Artillery the unit is assigned to when activated on a spade) and Field Gun This unit may bring an Light, Heavy, or Medium Field Gun to the fight) Special Rules. They may upgrade to Veteran for 1 point per model. These are big upgrade from most of the 17th Century Artillery Crew since they usually came inexperienced and could only ever be Trained.
If you need a Field Gun, this is who you bring. If you need to man cannons inside of a Fortification, just use Zeeliden and take away their pistols since that makes them cost the same as these guys.
The Dutch Caribbean Militia only has 1 named character, and the Standard Dutch Commander. The Standard COmmander has a plethora of Special Rules to choose from! Being a land faction, you should avoid Commodore, Broadside!, and Sailing Master. Cold Blooded and Elan are for those looking to play aggressively. Strict can be used for an aggressive Force, and can help gain a -1 bonus to a crucial Fight or Shooting Test.
Battle Hardened is a solid choice if you play as the Defender. Inspiring is always good for extra Fatigue Management. Don’t forget that your commander automatically gains Castilian for free!
Jeremias Van Collen
Jeremias Van Collen is the only named Commander for the Dutch Caribbean Militia. He is 30 points, has 3 Command Points, and has a Command Range of 16”. He comes with Very Inspiring (All units within the Commander’s Command Range may reroll failed Rally Test dice). This ia a solid rule for managing Fatigue! Delay Tactics allows the Commander to spend a Command Point to force an Enemy Commander to roll a D10 and on a 7+ the Enemy Commander cannot use command points for that turn! Resilient (-1 bonus to all Strike Tests so long as the Commander is alive) will keep you in the game!
Be sure to attach him to a unit with good resolve! Van Collen is expensive, but Very Inspiring and Resilient allow him to be played Defensively or Aggressively. Since he will also gain the Castilian Special Rule, taking Fortifications with him is a breeze as well.
The Dutch Caribbean Militia has three main ways to play:
- The Fortification List
- The Militia List
- The Ranger List.
All 3 are viable, and offer different flavors of play. Lets go into each in greater depth.
The Fortification list is (obviously) centered around Fortifications. You can build a list and plan for being the Defender (make sure your opponent signs off on Fortifications!). You have plenty of musket units to man the walls! Zeeliden can man any cannons your Fortification of choice can bring. Latere Soldaten, Grenadiers, and Warriors can all help fight off melee units should they breach your Palisade Wall.
The key here is Fatigue Management. Make sure your units are close enough to counter charge should your opponent get into melee with you. Should your opponent move someone up too close for comfort, focus fire on them and send them packing. If you bring the Standard Commander, make sure you bring Inspiring and Strict or Cold Blooded. Inspiring will help with Fatigue (since resolve 6 is hit or miss). Strict or Cold Blooded will help you get the most out of your harder hitting units. For Force options, the GWC Garrison is your best bet. Van Collen is also a solid choice for a commander here.
Militia Gun Line
The Militia List is what I call a gun-line. You bring loads of units with muskets, and 1 or two more expensive units for support. Hoard up on Militie for volume of fire. Make sure you have a unit of Jewish Militia or Latere Soldaten to lay down especially effective fire on problem units. Zvarte Militie are a good meleeunit. Be sure to get them to get within stabbing distance! For the Standard Commander, Inspiring will help loads, as well as Cold Blooded. Avoid Strict as your Militie’s 6 resolve is terrible. Either Force option can be taken, but for a traditional gun-line, the GWC Garrison is a little better. If you want to bring Van Collen, he is useful here as well.
The Ranger List is for people who wanna fight from the trees, bushes, and mud holes. The Dutch Frontier Patrol Option is key here. Then load up on VC, Warrior Musketeers, and Jewish Militia (as they can trade Drilled for Elusive). If you want to bring other units, try and include the Local Guide Hostage/Advisor. This will help any units that don’t have Quick or Scouts (use on Latere Soldaten or European Regulars for hilarity).
Inspiring and Cold Blooded work best for these lists because being able to give out Ruthless like candy. Inspiring, as always, will help with Fatigue management. Focus on staying in cover and picking off weaker units through focused fire. Use your better units to flush enemies out or tie up your enemy’s better units in melee or stack on Fatigue with Expertly Drilled. Warriors work really well in this regard as they will hit like a truck when charging.
No Force Option? No Problem!
The best part of playing the Dutch Caribbean Militia is that if none of the Force Options seem amazing to you, just leave them at home! This will keep Zvarte Militie as core units and your Commander still gets Castillan for free! This will keep all your options as open as possible, with little to no downsides! This allows a Force to be made up of cheap Militie and Zvarte Militie for a really cool Lance and Shot sort of list!
This will work as a “baby’s first game” with the Dutch Caribbean Militia. It covers all the bases to be aware of within the Faction while maintaining the simplicity of “shoot and flank”.
If you haven’t used a Palisade Fort before, this will give you a taste of what it’s like to be inside a fortification! Use the Militie to shoot your enemies when they are in the open and should anybody charge over the walls, those European Regualrs will repel them no problem!
For those looking to play a larger game, this is solid. The Militie form the backbone while the Latere Soldanen and Grenadier Soldaten can help plug holes or support the inexperienced Militie. Send the VC into cover and shoot at fatigued units to activate Ruthless for easy pickings!
The advantages of this Faction are the staggering amount of ways to play. Between Frontier Sneaky Shooty Lists, the Militia Gun Line, Lance and Shot, and Palisade Goodness, this Faction’s replayability is staggering! This allows Lists to be kitted out if you’re aware of what scenarios you’ll be playing! Its like there are many factions blended into one!
For Dutch Veterans of No Peace Beyond the Line, the Dutch Caribbean Militia offer new play styles to satisfy the Old Guard. If you are a newer player looking for a militia force that is more unique than the other major powers, you will find much enjoyment in list building for the Dutch Caribbean Militia. While the sun is setting on the Dutch in the 18th Century timeline, you can help keep them relevant by playing the Dutch Caribbean Militia.
Article written by Dan Carlson