Sunday, January 3, 2016

One Hour Wargame Pike & Shot Game

     At the beginning of December I had planned to try a Pike & Shot OHW war-game using some Peter Laing Renaissance figures that Ross Macfarlane, of Battle Game of the Month fame, gave me. They were figures I really wanted to use but I know little of the Renaissance period. After reading a couple of articles about the French Wars of Religion 1562-1598 in old Practical Wargamer magazines, I got the idea of using Neil Thomas' ONE HOUR WARGAME rules. I would base the Peter Laing figures using blue tack on plastic bases. The figures wouldn't be painted, I would just mark the units on the bases.

   The week before Christmas, the husband of the niece we visit in Maryland called us. He informed us that our niece, who had been battling cancer, wasn't expected to make it until Christmas. We left 2 hours after the call. We spent her last day with her, along with her husband, son, and one of her sisters. She went peacefully surrounded by her family. We stayed in Maryland until her service was held. We arrived home the day before Christmas Eve. Life is just starting to get back to normal. Needless to say, I forgot completely about this project. When I got home and went to my work area, I found the Peter Laing figures on the desk. I decided once things calmed down I would get this project done.

   I finally got the figures based, reread the rules and decided to get a game in today. I didn't have a 3' by 3' space, so I used a 2' by 2' board. I cut the movement in half; the bases were half the recommended size for the game so it seemed right to cut the movement in half. I used the second scenario in OHW; the goal being to seize a hill and crossroads.

The Imperial army is on the left, the Royal army on the right. The Imperial army consists of 3 infantry units, 1 unit of swordsmen, and 2 cavalry units. The Royal army has 3 infantry units, 2 Reiter units, and 1 cavalry units. The Imperial army, with only 3 units armed with firearms, want to close quickly with the Royalists.

The Royal Reiter unit, lower right, fires on the Imperial cavalry closing in on them . They score 6 hits, but run out of ammunition.

On both flanks the Imperial cavalry close in on the Reiters, negating their firepower.

The Royal cavalry sweeps down off the hill and hits the Imperial cavalry in the flank( upper part of photo). The cavalry rolls a 5, which is doubled. Along with the hits from the Reiters, they are eliminated.

Closeup of the Royal cavalry attack.

The Royal cavalry swings around behind the Imperial line. The Imperial swordsmen  swing around to attack the  cavalry.

The Reiters  hit the swordsmen in the flank. The swordsmen are overrun.

Closeup of the swordsmen fighting the cavalry.

The Imperial cavalry eliminate the Reiters and turn on a Royalist infantry unit. In the upper left the Royalist cavalry attacks an Imperial infantry unit.

The Imperial cavalry eliminates the infantry unit and the Imperial infantry in the upper center eliminates a Royalist infantry unit.

The Imperial and Royalist cavalry attacks each other in the center of the field.

The Royalist cavalry and infantry defeat the Imperial cavalry and infantry. Only one Imperial infantry unit is left  fighting against the Royalist Reiters.

Close up of the last imperial infantry unit holding off the Royal Reiters. It also shows the quickie basing I did for this game. At this point I called the game. If it did go on the Royalists would have launched a flank attack, which in this game proved devastating.

This was the first time I used the rules.If you have never played the period or just want to try a period out, these rules would be a good start. I find when you play solo games, having some form of retreat rules makes for a more unpredictable game. As for being a ONE HOUR WARGAME, even with the basing of the figures and taking pictures and keeping rosters, the project from start to finish took about 2 hours. I assume that OHW means the game lasts an hour; it certainly lived up to it's name. And if in the future I want a one off game that I don't want to spend too much time on, this would be a good option to use.


  1. The OHW Pike & Shot rules are probably the most interesting set in the book, with the ammunition rule shifting the focus of the game as time goes on. Good to see them being played.

    1. I have several of Neil Thomas's books. I must admit that after this game I will be rereading his other books. The ammunition rule was one part of the rules that I especially liked. It did make for a more interesting game.

  2. Very enjoyable, I have just read the book and found it very interesting and full of possibilities for small scale solo games. Condolences on the sad loss your family have experienced

  3. Chris, thank you for the condolences. It was truly a hard loss, especially for my wife.
    As I mentioned, these rules are ideal if you want a quick project. I have many Peter Laing figures (and others) that need to see the light of day.