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"Rules for Big ECW games?" Topic

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Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP01 Apr 2023 5:03 p.m. PST

A few years ago, my little group went into the ECW with a frenzy for a Show game. Lots of painted figures across 4 armies.

Since then, I think we've had one game.

This could be because of the rule set we use – Field of Glory:Renaissance. It's certainly serviceable but complex and rather dry. I'd really like to have the ECW figures out again as I really like them.

The last few nights, I've been contemplating possible replacement rule sets. Any suggestions are welcome.
However, one set of rules seems intriguing 'Pike & Shotte' by Warlord. I've read various reviews & watched two Youtube games. It seems to be what is required….with one or two issues.

Firstly, our ECW forces are based for FoG. We are not re-basing, adding figures to or, hopefully, taking away figures.
If both sides conform to the universal FoG 40mm wide bases, will this work?

The other issue is the making a P&S regiment of a pike element & two shoot elements, 3 separate units. I don't think I can abide this. Is there a "work around"?

I will happily read suggestions for other rule sets that might fit the requirements or cogent defences of FoG.

Shardik01 Apr 2023 5:19 p.m. PST

For King and Parliament should work well for large games.

Mirosav01 Apr 2023 6:24 p.m. PST

For King and Parliament.

alan in canberra01 Apr 2023 9:01 p.m. PST

Base width is of no consequence in Pike and Shot if both have the same frontage. Their is an option outlined in the To Kill a King ECW scenarios supplement where units can be fielded as combined pike and shot to speed up big game play.
Regards Alan

takeda33301 Apr 2023 9:35 p.m. PST

I use Big Battle Pikemens Lament. Most rule updates are house rules and have done Lutzen twice with over 100pts per side. Dux Rampant forum has lots of ideas for doing mixed units. Of course everyone is always looking for the ultimate rule set and not all will be satisfied but its worth a gander.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 12:06 a.m. PST

Thank you for the sage advice. I will delve further before purchasing as I think my bookcase has enough unused rule sets.

@ alan. Could you give the gist of the combined p&s units rules? Couldn't find anything in online reviews apart from stating these were allowed.

Also, as for frontage, as you know, FoG units all have frontages (they call them widths) of 60mm. So a Horse unit with 4 bases forms a line 240mm long. A P&S unit has 6 bases, in 2s, with a frontage of 180mm. So if Horse charge P&S, this will be OK?

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 12:08 a.m. PST

K&P has a grid I believe. Not for me, I'm afraid.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 12:16 a.m. PST

P'sL seems to separate P&S regiments into their components?

I'd rather not do this.

PandSSociety02 Apr 2023 12:26 a.m. PST

You could use the Twilight of Divine Right rules published by the Pike & Shot Society.

These rules are specifically for large battles and can be used with any figures or basing.

There is a scenario book for the English Civil Wars along with 5 more covering the Thirty Years War, Eastern European wars and other conflicts of the era.

Full details are here – link

And can be bought directly from the society –

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 1:02 a.m. PST

I've also found "Victory Without Quarter" which looks interesting & are FREE!

Any opinions?

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 1:08 a.m. PST


Thank you for your recommendation.
At a cursory glance at your link & some reviews online, they look suitably simple. I will read the online material carefully & get back to you if I have questions.

KeepYourPowderDry02 Apr 2023 1:47 a.m. PST

The four sets that readily spring to mind are:
Pike & Shotte
For King and Parliament (which you have discounted due to grids)
Twilight of Divine Right (an interesting take on casualties/morale)
Forlorn Hope (old school)

Personally I would say it is a toss up between the TwoDR and Forlorn Hope.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 3:07 a.m. PST

I looked at 'Forlorn Hope' & read a review by a no doubt eminent gentleman styling himself, "Keep Your Powder Dry".

Sadly, he wrote, "These are not fast play games."

As this is a requirement of mine (see OP), & because this unknown reviewer KYPD seems to be a person of much shrewdness, infinite wisdom and no little ability to comprehend the written word, I must reluctantly pass.

KeepYourPowderDry02 Apr 2023 3:18 a.m. PST

Crivens – KeepYourPowderDry, doesn't know what he is talking about most of the time. Complete numpty.

Mea culpa: caffeine intake very under par this morning

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 3:30 a.m. PST

"Crivens", indeed.

I'm sure FH is an amazing rule set but if it's complex, I may as well stay with FoG.

But I thank you for taking the time to reply & taking my gentle ribbing in a positive way.

signed, Oor Wullie

Timbo W02 Apr 2023 4:23 a.m. PST

I found 1644 worked well for big games as long as you can live with the high casualty rate.

bong6702 Apr 2023 5:17 a.m. PST

The Pike and Shotte rules would work OK I think. This website has stats for combined pike and shot units.


These are 28mm units with a frontage of about 200mm so if you are using FoG units with a frontage of 120mm all you would need to do is use 2/3 measurements.
Twilight of Divine right would also work. Pike and shot units in these rules are made up of two bases of 60mm frontage but there's no reason you couldn't use your FoG units as they would have the same 120mm unit frontage and I know people who play ToDR with FoG units with no problems. ToDR also has an ECW scenario book which covers Edgehill, Landsdown, Cropredy Bridge, Marston Moor, 2nd Newbury, Naseby, Knocknanoss, Winwick Pass and Dunbar.
My club also use a 30YW set of rules which were written by one of our members and which are sold by Caliver Books. The rules are called "Through the Square Window". In these rules a standard pike and shot regiment is made of three square 30mm bases but there's no reason they couldn't be used with units with bases of a 40mm frontage (so they should work with your FoG basing with 2 FoG 40 x 20mm pike or shot bases equalling one "Square Window" base). The rules are quite cheap and allow a fairly large battle to be fought in about 2 – 2 1/2 hours. There are many battle reports of games we've done with the rules on the 17th Century Wargaming Facebook Group. Although written for 30YW we've used them for ECW too with no problems.
Hope this helps.
All the best,

John Leahy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 5:39 a.m. PST

I am also interested in Victory without Quarter. They do look good to me. I like the idea of large bases for them. I have 10mm, 1/72 and 28mm figs for ECW/30YW. I sold off my painted 6mm ones many years ago. I also own The Pikeman's
Lament. We like his rule sets and do normaLly scale them up to do much larger battles.



KeepYourPowderDry02 Apr 2023 8:50 a.m. PST

Ochoin, FoG is a whole next level of drudgery in comparison to FH.
FH does speed up with familiarity (but then all rule sets do).

I must confess that I haven't found what I am looking for with rules yet. Lots of bits that I think are brilliant, but so far never a complete set of rules that I think is 'wow'.

I, like you, am not a fan of grids. Don't mind casualty markers but not really a fan of lots of chits and markers. I'm sort of a closet railway modeller I think. The look of a game is really important to me, I don't want distractions.

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 12:14 p.m. PST

For what it's worth, checking my rule book spreadsheet here are all the rules I categorize as Renaissance.

  • 1450 Quick Play Renaissance
  • 15xx Renaissance (Play test) Renaissance
  • 1676: Skirmishes in the time of Prince Phillips War Renaissance
  • Age of Marlborough Renaissance
  • All the Cardinal's Men v3.1 Renaissance
  • Athena Wargames Rules: ECW, TYW Renaissance
  • Bad War: Warfare in the 16th Century Renaissance
  • Baroque: Europe At War 1550-1700 (Impetus) Renaissance
  • Bello Ludi: Pikes Renaissance
  • Beneath the Lily Banners : Fastplay 1660-1721 Renaissance
  • Beneath the Lily Banners 2nd Ed. Renaissance
  • Beneath the Lily Banners 3rd Ed: The War of Three Kings Renaissance
  • Blood and Snot Renaissance
  • By Fire & Sword Renaissance
  • By Fire & Sword: The Deluge: Northern War 1655-1660 Renaissance
  • Captain General Renaissance
  • Cavalier Renaissance
  • Condottiere Renaissance
  • Constantinople to Vienna (1450-1700) Renaissance
  • De Bellis Renationis Renaissance
  • Dell'Arta Della Guerra, 1st Ed. Renaissance
  • Donnybrook Renaissance
  • Dutchman, Spaniard, Switzer, Swede Renaissance
  • English Civil War Sieges Renaissance
  • Father Tilly Renaissance
  • Field of Glory: Renaissance Renaissance
  • File Leader Renaissance
  • Forged In Blood Renaissance
  • Furioso Renaissance
  • Ge Koku Jo: The Low Overcome the High Renaissance
  • Give Fyre Renaissance
  • Gott Mit Uns Renaissance
  • Hackbutt & Pike Renaissance
  • Have Pike – Will Travel Renaissance
  • Hot Trod and Red Hand Renaissance
  • Invictus Maneo: Border Reiver Skirmish Rules Renaissance
  • Irregular Rule Box Ren to Marlburl Renaissance
  • Irregular Wars: Conflict At the world's End Renaissance
  • King's War: Wargame Rules for the Pike & Shot Era Renaissance
  • Lace Wars (2004) Renaissance
  • Liber Militum Tercios Renaissance
  • Mars Redux Renaissance
  • Mars Redux (ECW Skirmish) Renaissance
  • Matchlock Renaissance
  • Maximilian! Renaissance
  • Musketeer 2nd Edition Wargames Rules 1490-1690 Renaissance
  • Never Mind the Billhooks Renaissance
  • Never Mind the Billhooks: Deluxe edition Renaissance
  • Odds It's A Pikeman Renaissance
  • Pike & Shotte Renaissance
  • Pike & Shotte: The Devil's Playground Renaissance
  • Pikeman's Lament Renaissance
  • Plucky Pikes & Stalwart Shot: Two Page Rules Renaissance
  • Poleaxed Renaissance
  • Principles of War: Renaissance (2000) Renaissance
  • Principles of War: Renaissance (2004) Renaissance
  • Reiver: Renaissance Period Skirmish Rules Renaissance
  • Repent or Die – Renaissance Wars Renaissance
  • Ridiculous Vanity 1st Ed. Renaissance
  • Ridiculous Vanity 2nd Ed. Renaissance
  • Spanish Fury, Battle! Renaissance
  • Sword and Pistol Renaissance
  • Sword and the Pike, The Renaissance
  • Sword, Cross and Gold, The Renaissance
  • SwordPoint: The Hundred Years War Renaissance
  • Tercio 5th Ed. Revised Renaissance
  • Tercios: Liber Militum Renaissance
  • Test of Resolve: Wars of the Roses Renaissance
  • Tilly's Very Bad Day Renaissance
  • To the Banners Renaissance
  • Twilight of Divine Right Renaissance
  • Ultima Ratio Regum: 1689-1765 Renaissance
  • Virtue 'gainst Fury: Gaming the Italian Wars 1494-1529 Renaissance
  • War Games Rules: Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries 1490-1660 Renaissance
  • War In El Dorado Renaissance
  • Warfare in the Age of Discovery Renaissance
  • Wargames Rules (1420-1700) 2nd. Ed. 1979 Renaissance
  • Wargaming the Age of Marlborough Renaissance
  • Wars of the Roses Renaissance

Phillius Sponsoring Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 12:33 p.m. PST

For King and Parliament, hands down.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 2:43 p.m. PST

The 'Pike & Shotte' rules are not cheap. So before I lash out, I'll explore some of the free options.
I'll try to get a solo game up next week (I've just started a fortnight's holiday) using the 'Victory Without Quarter' rules.
If they are as good as they look, that'll be me sorted. If not, 'P&S' will get a run.

Thanks for all the help.

Legionarius02 Apr 2023 3:05 p.m. PST

Just a clarification. The grids used in For King and Parliament can be so subtle as to be almost invisible. You can mark them with small dots or crosses or even a combination of bushes and stones and other terrain. Some companies make mats that are very nice with a very subtle grid. The rules are fast and provide very good results. If you try it you might like it.

alan in canberra02 Apr 2023 3:34 p.m. PST

The combined units effectively mean that the shot will always benefit from the support of the pikes with the combat and shooting factors for what were the individual units averaged across the whole unit. So no fussing about with shot seeking cover or pikes being unsupported in the face of musketry. And each unit looks like a regiment rather than just a unit that is in proximity to others that might belong to the same regiment. And you can still if you want field units entirely of shot or pike but they are there own units not sub units. In my case a standard sized unit in 15mm is 8 pike and 12 shot, or 24 pike or 18 shot. Regards Alan

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 4:43 p.m. PST

"almost invisible". Close but no cigar, Legionarius. Undoubtedly my loss.

Personal preference is king & whilst I would never claim any superiority for my views, grids, average dice & P&S regiments in 3 separate units are all deal breakers for me.

I won't be sampling EC's impressive list as I figure I only have 3-4 decades more to live. I'm fairly hopeful either the VWQ or P&S rules will meet my expectations.

Dexter Ward02 Apr 2023 6:21 p.m. PST

Another set which we quite liked is ‘To Die for a King'

DisasterWargamer Supporting Member of TMP02 Apr 2023 9:35 p.m. PST


Don't forget Cavaliers and Roundheads

nickinsomerset03 Apr 2023 12:32 a.m. PST

We have played Marston Moor using FOG(R)a number of times, with 6 per side, it works well,

Tally Ho!

KeepYourPowderDry03 Apr 2023 11:03 a.m. PST

There is a new 'tweaked' version of P&S due out when the Epic range is released. Don't know if it will be for sale separately, if it is it might be cheaper than the A4 hardback version.

gengulfus05 Apr 2023 12:05 p.m. PST

A friend and I got very interested in the battle of Dunbar a few years ago and played it with various rules.
The rules that gave the most historical result were without doubt Pike and Shotte.
None of the others modelled the difficulties the Scots had doing anything with their left flank. Most rule sets had the Scots army moving fairly evenly towards the English, which didn't happen in reality. But with Pike and Shotte we just put the troops and generals where they were historically, and the battle unfolded like it did historically, with an English attack on the Scottish right and the Scottish left flank sitting around doing nothing (actually it did result in a Scottish victory – Cromwell rolled good dice at Dunbar).
So Pike and Shotte unreservedly – never had a bad game, easy to learn but models the things that matter.

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