Saturday, 9 June 2012

Pike & Shotte rules - a quick review

Played my second game of P&S on Thursday night and again it went quite well, with less glitches than the first time.  The first game was a small ECW game with only two pike, five musket and three cavalry a side.  The second a much larger TYW game.  Less mistakes in the second game so here are my initial thoughts:

  • Plays very much in the same style as Black Powder (BP), it's picking the appropriate special characteristics that give the period feel. 
  • Musketeer units are far less powerful than BP only two dice for shooting and three for hand to hand, so very vulnerable to cavalry.
  • Forming "hedgehog" is a charge response where the muskets can fall back under the shelter of the pikes if close enough, but only if they pass a command roll, and if they fail the cavalry have fun.
  • Pike have six hand to hand dice and they're doubled if charged by cavalry so the latter will normally take the option of pulling up 6" short unless the pike is disorganised when they don't receive the benefit. 
  • Initiative distance is halved, which feels better than BP
  • Support distance is also halved and disorganised/shaken units cannot give support, again feels better than BP.
  • The break test table is similar to BP and I feel that the more graded version used in Hail Caesar is better, especially for Pike v's Pike.
  • The caracole characteristic seems a bit too ineffective, maybe it should cause disorder if a hit is scored, not just if a six is rolled.
  • Artillery is weaker than BP, but it's ability to disorder is unaffected and can muck up your carefully organised movement of mutually supporting pike and shot and of course supports.
Generally my impression is very favourable, but what I don't like is the move sequence and giving the advantage in firing to the player who moves into range before the stationary player.  I had the same problem with BP and used a revised sequence (link).  It's particularly a nuisance with hedgehog.  The cavalry can't attack until the hedgehog is disorganised, but if the cavalry get lucky and causes disorder with its single shot then the hedgehog can reform before the cavalry get chance to charge.

Definitely a fun game and will certainly be playing it a lot more

1 comment:

Bluebear Jeff said...

Thanks for your comments on these rules . . . I'm still not convinced about them so I appreciate your comments.

-- Jeff