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"Warlord Epic Units of Shotte query" Topic

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mysteron Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 4:33 a.m. PST

I know some of you havnt got the Epic Pike and Shotte rule book by Warlord but would still welcome your input .
In both the New Model Army and Parliamentarian Army lists ,there are separate entries for independent musketeer units . These are not Commanded Shotte as they have their own entry further down .

So my question is did such units operate or are these units aimed at players making their own ficticious army representation based on these lists ?

Steamingdave223 May 2023 9:07 a.m. PST

I think there is some evidence that the Parliamentary armies operating in Cheshire may have had units largely composed of musketeers. For example on 10th April, 1644 Parliament instructed that "the Lancashire Foot regiments of Colonels Booth and Holland, consisting of 2000 musketeers assemble" (for operations in Shropshire) and that " Cheshire do contribute 600 musketeers and all of their horse for the relief of Wem". At the battle of Montgomery it seems clear that the Parliamentary infantry had a lower ratio of pikes to muskets compared with their Royalist opponents.
Not sure that the Epic musketeers strips are really suitable though – no way those little men could effectively carry out musket drills crammed together like sardines in a can!

KeepYourPowderDry23 May 2023 9:56 a.m. PST

Whilst Steaming Dave is correct in mentioning RoF becoming musket heavy, they weren't 100% musket equipped fighting men, there were still pikes present. Some Royalist RoF probably came closest towards the end of the wars.

There were independent companies of musketeers, and companies of firelocks which were usually raised for garrison duties (there are some exceptions such as those independent companies that fought in Ireland, and then supported the King).

Not quite sure what the difference between 'independent companies of musketeers' and 'commanded shot' is. Historically they are the same thing.

As IBG states it is a game, there must be a difference written into the rules.

GurKhan23 May 2023 10:30 a.m. PST

There is a view that in the main Royalist field army the proportion of muskets increased to such an extent by 1645 that some units were composed entirely of musketeers. Thus "In June 1644 all the 2,500 foot with the King … were musketeers" and ""an increasing number of units were being armed with muskets alone".

(I found these quotes in link but the first is quoted from John Barratt's "Cavaliers: The Royalist Army at War, 1642-1646" and the second from Stuart Reid, "All the Kings Armies: A military History of the English Civil War 1642-1651".)

In so far as there is a (real, not rule) difference between "independent companies of musketeers" and "commanded shot" I would assume that it lies in command structure. Commanded shot were often drawn out of the musketeer component of ordinary pike-and-musket companies; I don't really know who would be in charge – who commanded the commanded?

takeda33323 May 2023 1:49 p.m. PST

Weren't Royalist pike at Naseby about 1 pike to 5 shot? And a number of units from garrison were indeed pure shot? Imo😄

Personal logo D6 Junkie Supporting Member of TMP23 May 2023 6:17 p.m. PST

I think they have them that way because originally in the Pike and Shotte rules, the two sleeves of musketeers and the pikes were all seperate units, that could work together. For Epic they added a combined pike and shotte unit option.

Steamingdave225 May 2023 1:31 p.m. PST

@D6 Junkie. The combined pike and shotte option predates Epic; it was in the "To Kill a King supplement" which, I think, Charles Singleton wrote. "Wargames Designs" also produced his own version, which we use in our games.

Steamingdave225 May 2023 1:50 p.m. PST

@Keep your Powder Dry.
I was specifically referencing three particular units in a certain area at a certain time, not making a general comment about regiments of foot. 2000 men in the two Lancashire regiments would make them quite strong regiments. If there were pikemen as well, surely the instructions from Parliament would have made reference to them? I realise that there are lots of gaps in our knowledge of the organisation of the armies of the period and answers agreed on by everyone are unlikely. After all, it's not that long ago that war gamers were painting Cromwell's Ironsides in something resembling rugby shirts!

KeepYourPowderDry25 May 2023 3:35 p.m. PST

Hi SteamingDave, an interesting quote, may I ask where it is from?

I know a bit about Holland's RoF as a relative was one of the captains, and have done a little primary source digging.

The quote is problematic to say the least. Holland and Assheton were ordered to march to the aid of Wem in 1643. They didn't go, as both were understrength, ill equipped and feared to be mutinous at the time. The Lancashire Committee rescinding the order on receiving word from Richard Holland on the poor circumstance of the Regiments.

In April 1644 both, still understrength, regiments were busy besieging Lathom House.

Steamingdave226 May 2023 5:29 a.m. PST

@ Keep Your Powder Dry.
Page 64 of Andrew Abram's book ‘More like Lions than Men". Helion, Warwick, 2020
His footnote is "CSPD 1644, pp41, 106" I.e Calendar of State Papers Domestic 1644, pp41, 106.
I don't know anything about the author, but the book has a very extensive bibliography, including many primary and contemporary sources and he is very clear about the date being 1644.

KeepYourPowderDry26 May 2023 9:41 a.m. PST

Thanks SteamingDave. Andy is normally very reliable.

I don't know much about Booths, but Holland's was so understrength that it was brigaded with Assheton (who was equally understrength and equally lacking equipment). The Lancashire Tracts transcripts have '43, but then reference the storming of Bolton which was definitely '44.

So that would appear to clarify the date. The CSPD and Lancashire Tracts do appear at odds with one another, but Holland's letter warning of possible mutiny exists. Coupled with Holland's/Assheton's not actually going to Wem would suggest wishful thinking on the part of CSPD.

A little more digging is required, certainly the 2k musketeers is on very thin ice.

Steamingdave226 May 2023 11:13 a.m. PST


Quite possibly a case of central authority not having a clue as to what was actually going on at the "front line"? They may have issued the instruction unaware that the were already engaged elsewhere. We often see such situations in accounts of 20th century warfare, when communications were so much better than in the 17th century.
I can see some sense in asking for musketeers to be used in a siege situation, a pike would probably be not that much use for most of the time.
A little earlier in this chapter Abrams deals with the run up to Nantwich. "on 21st January, Fairfax left Manchester…… towards Nantwich. Sir Thomas, assisted by Brereton and some of the Lancashire commanders had at his disposal a composite force comprising 1800 horse….. 500 dragoons. The 3000 strong foot was drawn from the Cheshire regiments ( 4 named) plus the Lancashire commands of John Booth, Assheton, Holland and Rigby, and Bright's Yorkshire and Lancashire infantry."
Clearly if 9 RoF made up 3000 infantry, then there was a ludicrous degree of optimism in asking for two regiments to supply 2000 musketeers a couple of months later, particularly as seems clear from your research that they were committed at Lathom

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP28 May 2023 1:06 a.m. PST

Thanks guys

You have given me a lot to read .

@Steaming Dave . Thanks for the book reference too

Timbo W28 May 2023 10:10 a.m. PST

Just a one-off really but Royalist Colonel William Ashburnham's regiment was equipped with muskets only. They were issued 1000 muskets from Weymouth by February 1644. This was due to an administrative error at the Bristol Ordnance Office but when discovered, Ashburnham refused to return the excess muskets. Ashburnham's were engaged in the siege of Lyme and became a garrison regiment based around Weymouth and Portland.

Personal logo Dye4minis Supporting Member of TMP29 May 2023 8:03 p.m. PST

I am far from knowing! I had always thought that the term "Commanded Muskets" were akin to a "Forlorn Hope" where a body of men were tasked to perform a specific task. (Hold a specific terrain feature; cover a body of horse to discourage horse in pursuit so the friendly horse could regroup without fear of being attacked while doing so, etc. I understand that each cav unit has a company of dragoons attached to perform this task so regrouping could happen closer to the enemy and save on the number of blown horses. Later, those dragoons were stripped off into one combined Dragoon Regiment.

But again, I have just once again started to do research into the ECW/TYW (Gee thanks, Warlord!). My 3rd attempt to do ECW! Maybe this time my painted troops will see some action?

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP01 Jun 2023 2:56 p.m. PST


I am a dyed in the wool WW2 gamer/collector .

This is the first other period that I have got addicted too. I dont know what it is but its just fascinating and interesting to read about and for me in the UK a lot of the history surrounds you and you sit in it like my local which is the Man and Scythe Pub in Bolton.

Not played the game yet as I am still assembling my troops but a couple of guys have had basic games and they luv it .

So a lot to look forward to .

mysteron Supporting Member of TMP19 Jun 2023 2:03 p.m. PST

There are 3 entries for musket units in the New Model Army list which is what I am using .

Musketeers- these are the normal musketeer units to be formed with blocks of Pike men . But there is no reason why one cant field them separately .

Commanded Shotte- Can be upgraded to Firelock muskets

Storming Party – As Commanded shotte but with Firelock muskets and slightly better in Hand to Hand.

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