Tuesday, July 5, 2016

My First "Pike & Shotte" Game

First of all, I should have cancelled Sunday's game . . . I had a pinched nerve in my neck and was in too much pain to concentrate and play.

David's photo of me in neck brace -- visible figures are Rob's.

Fortunately David, Rob and Alex were understanding and put up with my many mind fumbles due to pain.  (Please note that physically I am feeling much better today -- and also that clicking on photos results in a larger image).

It was my task to handle the "cavalry" end of our 1644 Battle of Montgomery.  And, never having played "Pike and Shotte" I wasn't sure just what to expect.

I am ready to charge.

Well, my very first "Charge" order die roll was . . . boxcars!  A BLUNDER! . . . well as it turned out, I moved straight right and the charge was nullified.

Well not quite how I planned it.

Okay, well if I were to get a bit lucky, Trevor's two squadrons might just reach a Parliamentary unit.  So I rolled . . . snake eyes . . . yes the charge went it . . . and even though I had more dice charging a smaller opponent just standing to receive the charge, I rolled poorly and Alex didn't. So I needed to "test" . . . so I rolled . . . snake eyes again  . . .  my charging unit destroyed and gone!

Yes, my first three 2d6 rolls for the game were . . . 12, 2, 2 . . . about as extreme as possible.  And therein lies the story of the night for our cavalry.  Not that there were any more horrible die rolls, BUT that all of our charges and fall-backs emphasized the "volatility" of cavalry actions.

Moments ago the two sides were in a "fur ball"; now open again.

Because of my physical pain, I don't recall details but I think that the overall feel of this volatility seems reasonable . . . there certainly seemed to be a lot of "ups" and "downs" for both Alex and I as the lead changed back and forth.

As for the foot action to my left, you will have to take a look at David's blog since all I did was click a few photos when so urged.  I believe that they experienced some questions and difficulties on their end of the fight.

West end, where Rob (Royalist) faced David (Roundhead).

I think that the action moved fairly smoothly throughout the night.  Our major question on the cavalry end was when would Alex's flank march arrive.  He missed the die roll he needed for a long long time (I think it arrived about turn 7 or 8) by which time I was better prepared for it.

If I win this, I will force him off-table . . . and I did!

Eventually I defeated all six of Alex's squadrons while losing four of my six . . . but because of the Parliamentary successes on the field's west end, Montgomery 2016 ended in a success just like the Montomery, 1644/

Trouble on the left . . . *sigh* . . . we lost again.
  -- Jeff 


  1. Good looking game, Jeff! Despite enduring the pain you managed a victory on your wing. Congratulations! I gamed Montgomery several months ago and both games were good fun. In mine, each side scored a victory and the tally for Montgomery stands at 1:1. Maybe I need to hold a third and deciding game?

  2. I am interested in these rules, but due to table limitations would like to make a unit up from 3 X 50mm bases - is there any reason why that would not work?

  3. Norm,

    Due to my pain during play on Sunday, I am in now shape to try to answer your question.

    However the 3 x 50mm unit size will work well for the free "Victory Without Quarter" rules. Here is a link:


    One advantage of the VWQ rules is that they play well as a "solo" set of rules as well as face-to-face. I like them but our Parliamentary player does not, so we are trying other rule sets.

    Whatever you choose, have fun, sir.

    -- Jeff

  4. Can you describe what the 'hedgehog' formation is in these rules? I see references to them a lot but no description of it.

  5. Hi Dave, we were using a set of modifications by Stephen Wylde of Wargames Designs. In them the classic 'hedgehog' is discarded and the 'turn to face' rule is implemented. The major change is the combination of pike and shotte into one functional unit rather than keeping them separate. The WSS and European conflicts could do this as they had so many more men in each unit, whereas the ECW was fought with much smaller formations.

    Essentially the 'hedgehog' is the fore-runner of the Napoleonic square formation. It consists of the pike block moving to a pikes out set for defense in all directions. The shotte would then form up inside the block or lie down under the pike lines, getting of the occasional shot from prone or kneeling positions.


    1. Hi guys, Rob here. I just saw the comments and thought I should add that my interpretation of the "Turn to Face" rule only applies to Pike Blocks. Once we decide to go with Mr. Wylde's adaptations, the Pikes were no longer separate blocks, but part of the infantry line and therefore "turn to face" would not have been an option. Wylde's amendments discard the hedgehog rule in favour of flat out disallowing cavalry to charge regiments in their front.