27 February 2015

Book Review: With Pike and Musket

 With Pike and Musket: Sixteenth and Seventeenth Century Battles for the Wargamer 
by Charles Wesencraft

OOP 'classic' edition cover
This 204 page classic gives a basic overview of the period, provides rules with which to fight battles and sets out a number of battles to be refought.  As such, its a great primer but with lots of detail for the Pike and Musket veteran too.

The book starts by describing the weapons and their uses, the generic tactics of the day and the typical formations, troop types and how they were used.  The organisation and structure of Elizabethan, Irish, ECW and New Model armies are included. Very good and simply explained for the genre novice.

The book then goes on to include wargaming rues for the period, which are typical of the time when they were written in 1975.  Very much in the Featherstone/Grant style, they were of passing interest but would no doubt work most capably.

The highlight of the book is that no less than twenty-seven battles of the period are described, including the numbers engaged, types of troops, battle maps and objectives.  These battles 5 pre ECW in Europe, then every major ECW engagement from Edgehill to Naseby, with four battles subsequent battles:

Pinkie 1547
Yellow Ford 1598
Curlieu Hills 1599
Nieuport 1600
John Curry reprint- available from Amazon here
Moyry Pass 1600
Newburn 1640
Edgehill 1642
Syon House 1642
Hopton Heath 1643
Ripple Field 1643
Stratton 1643
Lansdown 1643
Roundway Down 1643
First Newbury 1643
Winceby 1643
Nantwich 1644
Newark 1644
Cheriton 1644
Cropredy Bridge 1644
Marston Moor 1644
Lostwithiel 1644
Castle Dore 1644
2nd Newbury 1644
Naseby 1645
Rowton Heath 1645
Dunbar 1650
Worcester 1651

Each battle has 4 or so pages dedicated to it, with detailed suggestions for refighting them including special rules where applicable.  Very gaming focused vice historical analysis.

Overall this is a well written, enjoyable and very informative book which I'm glad I bought.  Thanks again to Millsy for the recommendation (I bet you've got the 'classic' edition in that great collection of yours haven't you!)

5 stars based on its information content, clarity and wargaming utility.

1 comment:

  1. "Thanks again to Millsy for the recommendation 9I bet you've got the 'classic' edition in that great collection of yours haven't you!"
    Guilty as charged :-)

    Glad you enjoyed it. Definitely a favourite of mine. I imagine given the scale you are doing that the battle information will be of more use as well.