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Saturday, 30 May 2015

Painting tip: Pike & Shotte: English Civil War

The following was posted by Rook Heath in answer to a how to paint p&s:ecw query by someone on the pike & shotte Facebook group:

Rough rule for English troops. Infantry : Don't use the Highland bonnets. Footwear brown shades, breeches greys and browns, armour black or gunmetal, equipment undied leather, shirts unbleached linen to white. Only the jackets were uniform colours. Go reds, blues, greys and green. Mutted yellow too. Nothing garish. Powder bottles on the bandoliers were generally recorded as painted black. Powder flasks (triangular ones) wood or leather covered with brass fittings probably.
Horse. Equipment and jackets as infantry. Leather 'buff coats' anywhere between dull yellow through undied leather to mid brown but I tend to go paler rather than darker. Buff coats could be long sleeved or for variety paint a few with jacket sleeves showing. No evidence of uniformed saddle cloths. Footwear black through brown.  Btw facing colours (cuffs and collars)  and shade you like but they would be used to identify regts. Eg skippons foot, red coats yellow facings, blue regt London red coats lined with undied linked. Hope this helps
Artillery. Not uniformed so think as infantry but muted colours, plenty of undied linen for shirts etc. Dragoons as infantry.
Armour and helmets were on the way out so for English Civil War avoid helmets in anything but pike. Montaroes (the funny looking peaked hat) were almost exclusively royalist except perhaps officers. Monmouth caps (wool bobble hats with or without peaks) were very common especially for pikemen with helmets removed.used as helmet padding.
I hope Rook doesn't mind me posting this as I know its a general query that comes up a lot.
This isn't exactly how I paint mine, although I follow some of the principles; I'll be posting an article on how I do mine shortly.

Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Pike & Shotte: English Civil War - For King and Country Starter Set

After watching a documentary on Napoleon's Russian campaign I got a spark of interest for Napoleonics, so looked into Black Powder. That lead to a journey of investigation into the world of historical wargaming where I found myself looking into Pike & Shotte, which covers (amongst others) the English Civil War.

Having an interest in ECW; thanks to living in various towns that played major roles in the war, I decided that it was time to invest.

So as a good starting place I bought "For King & Country"

I bought directly from warlord. Now I'm not going to go into detail about the issue I had with my order, suffice to say warlord resolved it fairly promptly...again (this was my second order with them directly, with my first also encountering issues)

so what do you get?

  • A box - with everything in.
  • Pike & Shotte rulebook
  • Quick start guide
  • 82 miniatures.

So lets review these one by one:

The Box

Good sturdy box, nice pictures and details around the side however no overall picture on the back to get an idea of what the end result should look like.

Pike & Shotte Rulebook

Hardback rulebook, which in my opinion is always a plus as I do love a good hardback rulebook,
The quality of the paper is good with great pictures and diagrams. The rulebook itself is a mixture of history and rules, with some tongue-in-cheek thrown in for good measure!
The rules flow nicely and allow for simple games to be played prior to adding in the advanced rules.
At the back of the book is a nice quick reference guide, which can also be downloaded.
However there isn't an index! now this bugs me no end, there's nothing worse when trying to look up a rule that you can't go to the index and find the exact page. The closest you get is the contents page, which sometimes doesn't take you where you need to be.

Quick start guide

I was told by my mother if I didn't have anything nice to say then not to say anything at all......so moving on.
In all honesty it's good as a reference sheet for the units, but you can't pick this up and use it without first reading the rulebook.
I think I've been spoilt by Flames of War: Open fire, Infinity:Operation Icestorm etc which have a slimmed down version of the rules that you can pick up in play straight away without fully reading the book.

The Miniatures

82 multi-part plastic miniatures that make the following:
58 pike and musket including command
12 Cavalry
12 infantry with Firelocks
The models look good and are quite sturdy, any flash is cleaned up easily. 

The 12 infantry with firelocks go together nicely, giving you two different poses with the arms, and a choice of two hats.

The 12 cavalry consists for 12 horses in two halves, with pistol accessories that can be added to the saddle. Then there are the 12 riders, three of which can be made into a command group (Standard, Musician & Ensign - this is only for unit facing and doesn't provide any benefits) 
The riders have a selection of arms with swords and pistols, although only certain arms fit the bodies. Also on the sprue is a selection of hats, and accessories.

Then I come to the Pike and Muskets.....the pikemen are nice and straight-forward with specific arms and pikes going to specific bodies, but leaving an extra man on the sprue with no pike arm. 
The muskets however are multi-part models most of which require the aligning of the arm holding the gun with the other arm and this becomes a fiddly pain in the posterior. 
As per the other sprues this sprue includes various hats and accessories, although I am unsure where the accessories fit on these infantry as there doesn't appear to be space. 
Then there are two command sprues, which allow you to build a musician, standard and ensign with each, with several accessories also on the sprue.

Overall the models are good quality however there isn't any instructions on how to build these and how they fit together as a unit. 
I have several years of experience with building models but even I had some issues when I was building the cavalry and Pike & Musket infantry. 
The lack of instructions left me bemused as to why I had 4 models left on the Pike sprue with no arms left to be able to use him.* 
Also there aren't any bases, so you need to purchase these on top (or use any bases you have laying about), although they have stands so they can be used as they are off the sprue.

In summary this box set is a good starting point but with areas of improvement - some of which I have addressed with Warlord Games, I await their reply.

*I have since learnt, thanks to the purchase of a parliament infantry box set, that the spare man is to go towards the command group, using the arms from the command sprue

Monday, 4 May 2015

The return...

You may have noticed that I haven't updated my blog in some time; to be honest life and wargaming just got in the way. But I'm back and I hope to make more frequent entries.

As for the necromunda campaign I was covering; I lost. Essentially the club I was playing at didn't impose any game restrictions so other players just played as much as they could so those of us who have restricted gaming nights were at a disadvantage....Oh well.