Now on to a quick review. The rules are most definitely a gentleman's game. Rules lawyers and grammar gamers need not apply. The rules are pretty broad in some areas; yet, are specific enough to not have large sized holes. If you want a set of rules for a hard-assed tournament setting, these rules are not for you. If you want a set of rules to enjoy an evening's game with enough give and take to challenge most historical gamers, you should pick up a set of these rules.
We played the game on an 8'x6' table with two players. The figure density was ok for the table space. One can play terrain as hard or as soft as one desires. You can slow down the game with a lot of terrain. Hopefully, someone that follows this blog might have some postive comments on how much terrain is too much. I found that a bit of 'this' and 'that' is enough. I've never been to England so I'm sure my "terrain eye" is not correct.
This is a bit unnerving at first but once you play a couple of games is relegated to the "normal course of events".
Disorder is critical in this game. Causing disorder coupled with "hits" on units keep units from acting in lock step. We forgot to keep up with disorder during the first game. It would have made major differences (I would have lost sooner...Ha!)
Foote units are independent units consisting of pikes, two (2) "sleeves" of shotte (Dutch Brigadas or Dutch system). I'm used to playing Gush's venerable "Renaissance" rules. Shotte units are subunits to the parent pike unit in Gush's rules. It took me a game to figure out this was not the case in Pike & Shotte. In the photo on the left, one can charge muskets only. Musket units have three (3) options when charged by horse. The optimal option is to form "hedgehog" (square to we old Napoleonics guys). Not a good idea for cavalry to charge frontally. Another option is to stand and fire; hoping to put casualties on the charging horse forcing them to go shaken. Again, not such a good idea but an action forced upon infantry by a poor command check. The last option is by far the worst option. Infantry fails its command and stands and takes the medicine. (Illustrated by the pic above-happened to my Yellow Shotte unit). When the melee is over and the hapless musketeers are scurrying away looking for a cold beer, the other units are taking break tests as well. This is not good if you're the infantry. Pretty good if you're the cavalry.
Artillery are a bit flaky as they probably should be in other rules sets. It takes a "5" on a D6 to hit another unit. No modifiers for "fast movers" or other stuff that gets in the way. One throws 3D6 at short range, 2D6 at half range and 1D6 at long range. Don't roll a "double one". If so, the artillery is out and does not function for the rest of the game. This illustrates the civilian crew and non professional nature of artillery in the 17th century.
Melee is pretty straight forward. Hits are not saved but totalled. The difference between both sides in the melee determines the winner. A straight up break test is made. If lost, the unit literally either retires or breaks off the table. Units that are supporting or to the flanks of the broken unit take a break test as well. The possibility of an entire batallia melting away is quite real. It happened to my cavalry wing twice.
Batallias that lose more than 50% of their components auto break off the table. When an army loses more than 50% of their original strength, they leave the table. Simple, fast and brutal. Brings a game to conclusion quickly!
Will I play this again? Heck yeah! I think there's a place and rules to play my French-Italian Wars and build out those 17th Century Polish and Ottomans I've always wanted to have in my collection.These rules are highly recommended. Get ready to have a great game.
Here's a gallery of the games and some shots of my English Civil collection. The collection is a mixed bag of Old Glory, Dixon, Warlord, Perry, and Foundry miniatures. Ebay is a good friend when putting a project together. Enjoy the "eye candy".
|Preparing a lead party for the King's Horse|
|Cavalry scrum down|
|Horse advances on the right flank|
|Horse turn 2 charging home|
|Commanded shotte peek around the hedges|
|Lobsters hit the poor bloody infantry|
|Commanded shotte face off against Lobsters|
|Dragoons line the hedges|
|Long range sniper! Warlord model|
|Rusty plots his smiting of the Parliamentary forces!|
|The hits add up as the horse moves home...maybe!|
|Horse units square off|
|traversing fire near the Rattye Palace pub|
|right flank view|
|sneaky commanded shotte|
|Death of the Yellow Infantry unit!|
|Miller's great morale rolls....but of course!|
|Hits...Shaken...not stirred....unit breaks!|
|more smiting of the Yellow regiment!|
|Artillery cannot stand....smako...|
|Essex tries to raise the ire of the Parliamentary lobsters|
|Good Clay sets up!|
|Good Clay #2|
|All the figures in the corner are mine. Broken..and mine! arrgh!|
|Blue regiment stands behind the wall|
|Cavalry smokes the artillery (unsupported of course)|
|Royalist Horse scatter the Parliamentary Lobsters!|
|More horse action|
|Miller's Horse moves to the attack|
|Old school cavalry battle|
|Miller's horse charge home|
|Push of Pike|
|The "Lambs" advance|