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Sunday 24 May 2015

Pike and Shotte - our first game

Today, we tried a game of Pike and Shotte, a Black Powder supplement. I had been cautious about it as I really didn't think much of our ACW game using BP. My problem had been mainly with the (to me odd) random movement system, where, based on a die roll, units either don't move or move 1-3 moves! - Now, I can rationalise like anyone else why delays happen, but that IMHO is a stupid level of movement variation.

Rant over!

Andy, who ran the game for us, has made modifications to this, so I agreed to give it a go!

Lawrence (left), Andy and Rod, who played the Royalists.
Ian (saluting!) and Phil, joined me on the side of Parliament!
I commanded Parliament's left, 2 dragoons regiments supported by some commanded shot, with 2 good horse regiments behind.
Phil commanded our centre, 4 regiments of foot supported by a Saker field gun.
Opposite me was Lawrence's army of Montrose.
They were supported on their left by the massed Royalist foot, under Andy's command.
Rod held the Royalist left wing, good infantry...
...and loads of Horse (commanded by Andy)
Lawrence's Irish began by marching out of their enclosure towards my position.
Their dragoons and commanded shot followed.
Montrose's infantry regiments advanced on Phil, parallel to the Irish advance. 
Some commanded shot were tasked with capturing the inn at the centre of the battlefield.
The Royalist left wing also began to move forward to engage Ian on Parliament's right.
Opposite the Irish, my dragoons, supported by commanded shot, took the wood to my front.
My Ironsides were not quite ready though, and stayed still!

Phil, in the centre, moved forward on my right.
On Parliament's right, Ian advanced a small group of muskets.
His infantry stayed back, supported by their cavalry.
Back on my flank, the Montrose Irish advanced toward the wood I was investing.
Both infantry centres came within artillery range.
On Ian's wing, a small band of commanded shot emerged from the woods to his front.
Some horse and Newcastle's regiment supported them.
Soon, the whole Royalist cavalry wing (almost!) was in motion.
The Royalist skirmishers opened fire on Ian's artillery in an enclosure.
Their fire was effective!
I was still trying to get my 'Ironside' cavalry to advance!
Fortunately, the Irish were having problems too, and only one group entered the wood facing me.
I had three groups, facing one, what could go wrong?
The Irish opened fire...

My commanded shot took a casualty and were disorganised...good start!

The Royal infantry stopped by the inn to open fire with their gun.
On our right, Ian had advanced some shot to support his gun against their tormentors in the wood to their front.The Royalists attacked Ian's infantry nearby with a regiment of horse...
...Ian's shot fired...
The Royal cavalry decided to leave!
Phil, now,advanced his foot regiments and began to exchange fire with the Royalists.
The Royalist infantry took little hurt from this...

...Not so the Parliamentary foot, who suffered greatly.
Back on Parliament's right, Ian deployed against the advancing Royalist hordes!
Things were looking difficult for him!
His muskets managed to drive another squadron of Royalist horse back with their accurate shooting, however. Maybe luck would make up for numbers?

Back in my little wood, my dismounted dragoons were still trying to dislodge that unit of Irish!
The Irish now (finally) got reinforced by their dragoons.
The last unit of Irish STILL hung back and would not engage!
My dragoons were holding their own against the Irish...

...but fearful of being outflanked, I charged in!

All the Irish were now in the wood, I had my work cut out for me!

In the centre,one of Phil's regiments was shaken and retired from the fire of the Montrose Royalist foot.
My disclosed horse, now took their fire... 

...and were forced to withdraw too.

On Ian's flank, Rod's Royalist foot now exchanged musket fire with his infantry.
The Parliamentary foot took a little damage.
They returned fire.
Unfortunately, Andy's commanded shot now reinforced his dragoons in the wood opposite Ian...
The light gun in the enclosure was destroyed.

Andy, seeing the cavalry not being much use on his wing, now began to send them to support the Montrose troops facing me.
In my wood, against the odds, my dragoons finally routed the Irish...

...however, my men were shot about after the melee and fell back-straight into the line of fire of the Montrose dragoons, which routed them too!
My remaining 2 units were now gaining the upper hand against the Irish.

My brigadier made all the difference, encouraging and rallying his men.

The Irish were now shaken, and were no threat to me, though they steadfastly refused to retreat!

I was eventually forced to physically push them back!

Ian was having good luck too, and drove one of Rod's Royalist regiments back.
Left unsupported, Newcastle's Whitecoats broke and ran from the massed Parliamentary fire.

In the centre, Phil, with difficulty, managed to restore his line.
His brigadier began to rally the retreated, shaken unit behind.
One of Andy's cavalry regiments was now behind the Irish.
The second was making slow progress...
...and decided to make unexpected detours en route!

Phil now came a cropper with the 'Blunder' rule too. He tried to get his rallied unit back into the firing line, but it decided to march left instead, leaving a big hole in the Parliamentary line!
Ian's infantry now began to advance on the weakened Royalists facing him.
The Royalist horse had other ideas though!
The battle was finally decided in the centre, when one of Phil's regiments routed under fire.
Then the Royalist horse that had come from Andy's wing managed to break a hedgehog formed by another regiment!!!!
With the centre gone, the Parliamentarians withdrew, though they so easily could have won!

So, what did i feel about the rules? - They certainly produced a good ECW battle 'feel' for me, thanks to Andy's modifications.I think we all had a good game out of them today, and I would happily play them again...especially now I know what I am doing better!

I think I will still stick with BTLB2 for Marlburians though....!!


  1. Nice pics and a great AAR :)

  2. Would you be able to describe the modifications that Andy made to the rules, sir, so that others might try them out?

    -- Jeff

    1. Hi Jeff, I will not be seeing Andy again for a couple of weeks, but I remember these modifications:
      1) combined pike and shot units have a shaken point of 5 (more or less for elite or raw) they throw 5 dice for musket fire.
      2) Commanded shot have a shaken point of 3 and throw 2 dice when shooting, or 3 if a larger unit, like the Irish I was facing!
      3) Failing a command roll = no move, as normal
      Equalling command roll meant 1 move, and fire.
      1 or more below meant 2 moves, and fire.
      4) We counted dismounted gragoons and commanded shot as skirmishers.

      That may be correct, but its all I remember from the game!

      Thanks for the comments guys, its always nice to get feedback!

    2. PS: sorry about the typo! Gragoons for Dragoons!

  3. I'd also be interested in reading more about your friend's modifications to the rules. I too have found the rules lacking something-although the random nature of the orders isn't what bothers me.

    1. I found a discussion on this very subject on TMP today.
      Its at: http://theminiaturespage.com/boards/msg.mv?id=385183

      I hope you find it useful?

  4. We've had a blast with P&S ECW. A unit becomes shaken when it accumulates more than it's allotted amount of casualties. ie: a unit is rated at a 3, it won't become shaken until it accumulates 4. We've found this to be interesting too as units must be rallied rather than using them up in traditional wargamer's fashion. One thing I did not care for was the individual melee dice for each component of the pike block. Our rule for that is that the entire unit (pike and two sleeves of shotte) melees with 7 dice ala later 17th century armies and from Argument of Kings supplement (AWI). This works quite well. Play it some more. You'll like it!