Pike & Shotte

Pike & Shotte is a game of massed combat in the 16th and 17th centuries, predominantly featuring formations of pikemen and musket armed infantry.

The bow and crossbow remained a prevalent feature right through the battles of the Middle Ages. These weapons were highly effective but required a great deal of skill and practice to wield. The introduction of Black Powder weaponry in the early 16th century soon put a stop to this – with troops now being able to be trained easily and equipped cheaply. Europe was thus thrust into the age of ‘Pike & Shotte’.

Though there are differing opinions on the exact period covered by the term of ‘Pike & Shotte’ warfare, for the purposes of our game we define them as the European conflicts that occurred between 1500 and 1700, against a backdrop of near-ceaseless upheaval and conflicts. The book covers the Italian Wars of 1494-1559, through the English Civil Wars, and Wars of Religion, to the Wars of the Sun King (1688-1697).

Pike and Shotte warfare encapsulates the popularisation of the use of close combat infantry (often armed with the eponymous pike) in conjunction with musket armed missile troops. The classic formation of the period would comprise a central core of pikemen, with wings of musketeers to pour fire into the enemy, supported by flanks of horse and thundering artillery at the rear.

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