Saturday 4 February 2017

1680 English v Arabs Pike and Shotte Game

Went over to Bob's for a game this week. He diced for the position of the troops before I arrived  and amazingly all the brigades ignored the centre of the table, except for the English Guards.

I was commanding the English force made up of 4 regiments of British Infantry on the right flank, a Guards Regiment in the village, 1 Brigade of 3 regiments of foot on the left, a regiment of Dragoons and 3 regiments of horse.

Opposing them was an Arab force consisting of a lot of foot and archers, 'the Black Guard' and 2 units of heavy cavalry and 3 units of light cavalry.

Bob won the initiative and failed to move any units for the first two turns.  This gave me the opportunity to move forward and dismount my dragoons to support the Guards.

The heavy cavalry surged forward crashing into Bob's light cavalry


The first Arab unit collapsed and fled under the weight of the English heavy horse.  A sweeping advance brought them into contact with the second Arab unit which in turn suffered, past a break test but retired having lost the melee. We decided that the edge of the table oblivion was getting too much and retired the losing units to the edge, rather than off of it!

My supporting infantry in grey with black facing representing the undress uniform at Tangiers advanced to support the Guards and the dragoons.

My right hand brigade also advanced, moving from column to line to support the Guards.

After 2 moves of inactivity, the Arabs finally got moving in style.

 The Dragoons were forced to mount up and withdraw to avoid a fight.

With the advance of the Arab heavy cavalry, I had to decide whether to fire and take the benefit of 'first fire' and only roll 4 melee dice, or go for the Plug Bayonet give up first fire and roll 6 melee dice instead.  Bob and I discussed this for a while and also why they wouldn't have 'formed square' during this period - or a 'hedgehog'.  I decided to fire on the chance of stopping the cavalry.

It didn't work and the cavalry hit my infantry causing mayhem  Bob graciously agreed to rerun it with my infantry using plug bayonet instead just so we could learn for the future.  The cavalry caused the same damage!  Still not sure what is the best option.

Fortunately me for me, Bob's best infantry got slowed down moving through the palm trees 

The rest of the Arab infantry moved forward charging into the infantry on the right and the Guards in the centre. I decided for the purposes of these engagements to 'fix bayonets'!

This worked well and the irregular Arab infantry bounced off my infantry regiments, suffering casualties and failing their break test.

The Guards beat off their opponents and followed up their victory they inflicting sufficient casualties to break the their Arab opponents stamina.  The Break Test which they in turn failed resulting in them fleeing, but not before they caused the Guards some serious casualties.

Having dealt with the threat to my centre, I was able to reverse my right flank which brought my infantry with a pike unit to face the threat of the Arab heavy cavalry. 

On the left, the reorganised heavy horse charged forward into the remains of the Arab light horse, driving them from the field.

The next move the Horse hit the archers and at the same time the rest of my infantry on the left with 'plug bayonets fixed' charged into the ill equipped archers driving them from the table as the broke and fled.

The game was effectively pivoting with Bob's right flank (my left) collapsed and my right falling back.  Given that it would take time for me to reorganise my left flank cavalry and infantry to get them back into the game and that I would have to keep falling back to keep avoiding the threat of  Bob's heavy cavalry and 'Black Guard' we decided to call it a draw.

 We had a chat about the best tactics for the Arab infantry and archers and the ranges for bows which to me having been an archer for a few years seem short compared to the English muskets of the time.  It was nice to see Bob's 1680 English army take the field and the rules seemed to work for the mix of troop and weapon types.


  1. Very nice - lovely pics and an entertaining report - a very exotic looking game - I am a sucker for palm trees anyway!

  2. Hi, many thanks for taking the time time to post a comment, glad you liked the game and pictures