Pike and Shot: Campaigns 1494-1698

Erm, 1494-1698? Surely the wrong dates for the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, I hear you ask. You'd be correct. 'Pike and Shot: Campaigns 1494-1698' is the title of a computer game that, amongst other things, covers the Wars of the Three Kingdoms.

Produced by Slitherine, one of the co-producers of the Field of Glory stable of miniatures rules, they appear to have shifted completely to their computer game business, leaving the FoG miniatures rules for others to pursue in the process.

Field of Glory lives on with Slitherine, but in a different guise - with a whole raft of computer game titles and variants.

Slitherine offer two games that cover the Wars of the Three Kingdoms, this one is very reminiscent of real time strategy games such as Dune 2, and Age of Empires. However, rather than everything happening all at once there are game phases, very reminiscent of FoG:R. This very definitely feels, and plays like a computerised miniatures game.

The game package covers the Thirty Wars Year, The Turkish Campaign, and the Wars of the Three Kingdoms (albeit centred upon the English Civil War bit), the Italian Wars, Le Roi Soleil, and 'Tercio to Salvo'.

There is a learning campaign, that if you are new to the game, I strongly recommend you play. The games gives you tips and hints, as you learn to move and fire.

My Parliamentarian horse movement options

When you start a campaign, you are given the choice as to which side you play, and which degree of difficulty you would like to choose (there are five degrees of difficulty, I'm hopeless at level 1, so I dread to think what level 5 is like). A map is generated that gives you options to pick as your focus for battle. You can deploy the troops yourself, or have the computer do it for you.

The Royalist Army I have to face

The game plays as IGOUGO, with turns subdivided into movement, residual shooting, followed by shooting and melee. Shooting produces animated powder smoke. Hits show up as red numerals on units as they take fire. Right clicking a unit will show you their stats.

Objectives are not 'wipe out the enemy' they are usually rout a percentage of the enemies forces. When a unit routs they may rally if they pass close to a friendly unit, otherwise they will almost certainly leave the field. A word of warning, your cavalry will probably chase routing troops from the field and follow them in pursuit.

The Introduction to the Stratton scenario

There are also a number of historical battles tucked away in the menus; the ECW battles covered are:

  • Stratton
  • Adwalton Moor
  • Edgehill
  • Storming of Bristol
  • Nantwich
  • Cheriton
  • Marston Moor
  • Lostwithiel
  • Second Newbury
  • Naseby
Should you be brave and competent enough, you can always go online and pit your skills against others, or even set up a multiplayer game with your friends. Or if you are completely hopeless (like me), you can of course just play against your computer.

I really like this game, although I do find it a bit difficult (in that I expect unit control to be more like Age of Empires, but I'm sure I'll get over this). Highly recommended if you fancy a 'wargame' without an opponent, setting everything up, and tidying away afterwards.

Available here, but be warned keep an eye on the price as it fluctuates wildly. Currently listed at full price of £33.99, I bought it when it was on offer at £8.99. Available as a download, or as a boxed game on CDROM direct from Slitherine (it is also available on CDROM from Caliver Books, who list in their Pike and Shot rules section).

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  1. I've had this for a couple of years now. You are right that it's a quick and easy activity in the absence of an opponent. I quite like the campaign option, even if it invariably is the biggest side winning!
    (If I've seemed away for a while, it's nowt personal. I've had some software issues being able to comment on Blogger which, evidently, I think I have resolved now)!

    1. A much more enjoyable way of spending a couple of hours than falling down a social media hole.

      And good to hear that you have resolved your blogger issues.


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