While breakfasting with my friend Rick at BJ's Brewhouse in Redmond, WA a Saturday or so back, he alerted me to a new video game for IOS (and PC) called Pike and Shot produced by Slitherine Ltd. in the UK, the same people who brought us the miniatures rules Field of Glory: Renaissance, as well as the Field of Glory ancients miniatures rules (and the video game also for IOS, PC, Android, and Mac). What could I do? I went to the App Store and bought it for $19.95.
I'm instantly hooked. I've mentioned before, I think, that the pike and shot era was one of my first loves as a wargamer. Even though I've always been an indifferent video gamer, Pike and Shot is fun and beautiful. The game is turn-based/alternate move, you playing against the AI. There is also a PBEM server you can use to play against friends. There are five difficulty levels. The default is level 2, but even at that, the AI is kicking my hiney.
The graphics are fairly nice, though not stunning. On the iPad, you can use the standard IOS pinch/spread finger resize to zoom in and out of detail. You can also maneuver around to get different perspectives, so you can see your troops from every angle. Getting around the action is pretty easy after a bit of practice (or with no practice at all if you were born after 1990 and video gaming is like breathing).
|The tercios advance|
|Swedes vs. the Empire 30 Years War|
|30 Years War|
|Dutch vs. Imperialists Map View|
|Let's see, I think I'll move my gend'armes...|
|Dutch vs. Imperialists Battle View|
|Biccoca: The Swiss Attack|
The system includes one add-on (so far) called Tercio to Salvo, which covers the period from the end of the Italian Wars to the start of the Thirty Years War. It costs $9.95. I've played the Battle of Dreux scenario from it. It's another one of those where my side (the Huguenots) were man-for-man a bit better than their opponents (but just a bit); however, they were outnumbered considerably.
The French Catholics had a lot of raw pike and shot, but a couple ringers in blocks of elite Swiss pikemen. My average pike and shot could deal pretty well with their raw opponents, but I had to gang up 3:1 on the Swiss to no avail. I'm looking forward to (a) getting better so I don't constantly lose, or (b) finding scenarios where the numbers and entrenchments are on my side.
Overall, Pike and Shot is a good game. I'm looking forward to more modules, such as late 17th century (Dutch War, Scanian War, Nine Years War).