GAJO Games

GAJO Happenings and Ramblings Blog

2012 - Number 34


The Protestant Left at Deployment

Intro Game:
Pike & Shotte from Warlord Games

Many of the regulars at the shop have built up collections of 28mm pike and shot era forces over the past several years, and we've run a number of increasingly larger games using the venerable DBR rules by Phil Barker.

With Warlord Games releasing Pike & Shotte, a Renaissance rules set using the core mechanics of their very popular Black Powder rules for the Horse & Musket era, a number of folks were quite eager to try them out.

The Protestant Cavalry Mass on Their Right

A Unit of Scots Anchors One Flank

After reading through the rules, I arranged an intro game for those interested. The rules are written in the same entertaining, conversational style that make Black Powder so popular, but with a strong emphasis on Renaissance period flavor. I was excited to see how they worked on the tabletop.

Our first challeng on the day was to organize our forces. Pike & Shotte uses quite different mechanics from DBR, so the way our units were organized needed some tweaking. Fortunately the rules work quite well with differently based figures, having been designed from the ground up with that in mind.

The Mass of Swedish and German Troops Advances

Protestant Heavy Guns in Action

We settled on standard units of 3 or 4 bases of pikes deployed on a one base front, standard units of 4 bases of shot deployed on a two base frontage, and standard units of 4 bases of horse, again deployed on a 2 base frontage. This gave a nice look and worked with our collections, although it did introduce the temptation to paint up some more bases to flesh out our units...

For the game itself I designed a simple encounter action on a relatively open table, with elevated positions on each side giving deliberately good fields of fire for guns as we wanted to get a good sense for how artillery worked. With the mechanics being so similar to Black Powder, the players were stuck in to the action almost right away.

Imperialist Forces Advance on Their Left

Catholic German Foot Move Up to Some Hedges

How did it play? Quite well is the short answer. The rules have lots of tweaks that really do make it feel like a Renaissance action - your artillery can explode if you are quite unlucky, and is much less maneuverable that it will be later. Pike units are quite tough in melee, but shot can blunt their charge or even see them off if their defensive fire is effective. And the "hedgehog" mechanic, which allows shot units to shelter in the protection of a nearby pike block, works well defensively.

The rules also do as promised, as they are quite "bloody", which means you can get to a meaningful conclusion in quite a short time period. All in all a very successful introduction for these new rules. Everyone agreed we would like to play again, so I'm off back at my drawing board dreaming up our next scenario...

Imperial Guns in Action

The Protestant Left Seizes the Enclosed Fields

While The Main Imperial Assault Goes In

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