The ultimate wargame set in the age of Pike and Shot is back. You are now in full charge of your nation’s armies, throughout a long campaign in the struggle for dominance.
User reviews:
Overall:
Very Positive (77 reviews) - 85% of the 77 user reviews for this game are positive.
Release Date: Aug 13, 2015

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Recent updates View all (5)

June 21

Pike & Shot: Campaigns 1.2.6 patch!

Hello everyone, we are releasing a patch for Pike & Shot: Campaigns, bringing the game to version 1.2.6.


Changelog:

1. MP server now sends notification email when challenge is first accepted.
2. Historical button is back to pulsing red when there are new user-created scenarios to download.
3. Major optimisation to prevent slow downs caused by large number of objects on the map (usually forests).
4.Improved campaign AI.
a. AI less likely to chase small raiding forces.
b. AI less likely to lift siege to go and do something else, unless that something else is more important.
5. In Campaigns, End Turn button no longer visible when there is a battle pending.
6. Added tooltip to unit list in the Editor, giving more information about the unit type.
7. Reduced dismounted men-at-arms AP to 10 as they should be.
8. Corrected rare campaign bug in which army reduced to 0 men was not eliminated.
9. Corrected rare campaign bug in which an army could be in two places at the same time. (Which was a consequence of the previous bug).
10. Corrected bug which sometimes caused heavy/medium artillery not to be deployed on the battlefield in very high points count skirmishes.
11. Corrected bug that prevented the adjusted victory conditions for asymmetrical MP historical scenarios from working correctly for the 60% condition.
12. Corrected bug that sometimes caused movement tile highlighting to flicker on during MP replay when moving unit received reaction fire.
13. Charge tooltip now correctly reports when a flank/rear charge will not cause a cohesion autodrop because the charged unit has already autodropped cohesion from a flank/rear charge this turn.
14. Corrected extremely rare bug that could cause AI units to move ridiculously long distances in normal movement.
15. Changed PlaceUnit() function to return the id of the placed unit. This is useful for Scenario scripts when expanding on the script fragment optionally generated by the editor for Reinforcements. (Previously it was necessary to use the PlaceUnitX() function instead).
16. Option to change Difficulty settings no longer offered at the end of campaign battles. You can still change the difficulty setting during a campaign battle if you really want, but it isn’t recommended because it won’t alter the difficulty for the current battle (unless you pick the highest or lowest setting) and it won’t alter the AI side’s strategic revenue advantage in the current campaign. It will, however, alter the force ratio at which each side will retreat rather than accepting battle

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April 26

Pike & Shot: Campaigns 1.2.4 beta patch

Fans of Pike & Shot: Campaigns rejoice! The developers are working hard on a patch containing many bug-fixes, balance changes and UI improvements and would like your contribution. The patch is now in open beta and all players are invited to join.

Instructions:
On Steam, go to your Library, right click on Pike & Shot: Campaigns, click on Properties, then under the Betas tab select the beta branch in the dropdown menu.

Version 1.2.4 Changelog:
1. MP server now sends notification email when challenge is first accepted.
2. Historical button is back to pulsing red when there are new user-created scenarios to download.
3. Major optimisation to prevent slow downs caused by large number of objects on the map (usually forests).
4. Improved campaign AI.
a. AI less likely to chase small raiding forces.
b. AI less likely to lift siege to go and do something else, unless that something else is more important.
5. In Campaigns, End Turn button no longer visible when there is a battle pending.
6. Added tooltip to unit list in the Editor, giving more information about the unit type.
7. Reduced dismounted men-at-arms AP to 10 as they should be.
8. Corrected rare campaign bug in which army reduced to 0 men was not eliminated.
9. Corrected rare campaign bug in which an army could be in two places at the same time. (Which was a consequence of the previous bug).
10. Corrected bug which sometimes caused heavy/medium artillery not to be deployed on the battlefield in very high points count skirmishes.
11. Corrected bug that prevented the adjusted victory conditions for asymmetrical MP historical scenarios from working correctly for the 60% condition.
12. Charge tooltip now correctly reports when a flank/rear charge will not cause a cohesion autodrop because the charged unit has already autodropped cohesion from a flank/rear charge this turn.
13. Corrected extremely rare bug that could cause AI units to move ridiculously long distances in normal movement.
14. Changed PlaceUnit() function to return the id of the placed unit. This is useful for Scenario scripts when expanding on the script fragment optionally generated by the editor for Reinforcements. (Previously it was necessary to use the PlaceUnitX() function instead).
15. Option to change Difficulty settings no longer offered at the end of campaign battles. You can still change the difficulty setting during a campaign battle if you really want, but it isn’t recommended because it won’t alter the difficulty for the current battle (unless you pick the highest or lowest setting) and it won’t alter the AI side’s strategic revenue advantage in the current campaign. It will, however, alter the force ratio at which each side will retreat rather than accepting battle.

Important: All multiplayer games will be hosted on the beta server. If you have any ongoing multiplayer games you can still play them, but you will have to revert to the release version to do so, by disabling the Beta patch under Properties -> Betas. This only takes a few seconds, so should not put you off trying the beta.

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Reviews

“Thanks to unusually capable TacAI, an excellent random map generator, and inspired combat mechanics I can honestly say I’ve enjoyed every battle I’ve orchestrated during the past six days.”
Rock Paper Shotgun

New game from the creator of Pike and Shot



Sengoku Jidai: Shadow of the Shogun is developed in collaboration between Richard Bodley Scott, the mastermind behind Field of Glory and Pike & Shot, and Jayson Ng an active member of the community. The game expands P&S’s epic turn-based battles with some tactical enhancements and a new and colourful unit mix, embellished with a perfectly chosen art style.

Battlefield generals are a major game changer and serve a hero role which players have to learn how to master. Units under the influence of their leaders will receive benefits, being less likely to break, and likely to inflict higher damage. The loss of an inspirational general can cause an entire frontline to crumble.

The game is available now :)

http://store.steampowered.com/app/397190

About This Game

In Pike and Shot you can march in the footsteps of the great leaders of one of the most amazing periods in European History as you take command in the mighty struggles of the Great Turkish War, the Thirty Years War and the English Civil War.

History can be rewritten as you use your genius to lead your armies from victory to victory in Pike and Shot’s uniquely realized tactical battles. Previous victories and defeats determine the state of readiness of your forces, and every single unit will count to win the final battle. As you progress through the campaign, you will make hard decisions on a brand new strategic map, where terrain, manpower, supply, attrition, sieges and economic damage will all be defining your choices and making the difference between glory and defeat.

Hundreds of hours of gameplay await you in the four campaigns, all with their own armies and tactics:
  • Gustavus Adolphus campaign, set in the “Swedish phase” of the Thirty Years War, allows you to play as Swedes or Imperialists.
  • English Civil War campaign allows you to play as Royalists or Parliamentarians.
  • Great Turkish War campaign, set in the period of the famous Siege and Battle of Vienna of 1683, allows you to play as Austria and Poland or as the Ottoman Empire.
  • Pike and Shot skirmish campaign allows you to match any two armies from 1494 to 1698 in a struggle for dominance.

21 new skirmish army lists for the rest of Europe during the period of the Italian Wars (1494-1559) - covering the armies of England, Scotland, Denmark, Sweden, German States, Austria, Hungary, Transylvania, the Ottoman Empire, Poland-Lithuania and Russia.

2 new skirmish lists covering Cornish and Scottish Royalist armies in the English Civil War.

37 new skirmish army lists for the period of the ascendancy of Louis XIV “Le Roi Soleil” - covering the armies of England, the Dutch Republic (and Anglo-Dutch “union”), Jacobite Scotland, Jacobite Ireland, Denmark, Sweden, German States, Austria, Hungarian Kuruc Rebellion, the Ottoman Empire, Poland-Lithuania and Russia from 1649 to 1698.

40 full-sized historical battles – 10 each for The Thirty Years War, English Civil War, Early 16th Century Italian Wars and Later 16th Century Wars (Tercio to Salvo).

154 different historically researched army lists, 20 playable nations and factions.

Stand Alone Battles and Scenarios
Stand-alone battle system allows unlimited “what-if” scenarios using historically realistic armies from carefully researched army lists, on realistic computer generated terrain maps, making every battle different.

Stand-alone scenarios are randomly generated and include open battle, attack on a defensive position, defence of a defensive position, awaiting reinforcements, enemy awaiting reinforcements, flank march.

In stand-alone games players can pick their armies from the army list or allow the computer to pick the army for them.

And also....
  • Effective AI makes sound tactical decisions. Historical battle AI customised to the historical tactical situation.
  • 5 difficulty levels allow the challenge to increase as you develop your battlefield and strategic skills.
  • 20 troop-types, 25 “capabilities” and numerous different unit organisations allow full representation of tactical differences and developments throughout the period.
  • Detailed model that accurately represents any substantial 16th or 17th century battle world-wide as scenarios are developed.
  • Mod friendly game system with built-in map editor.
  • Multiplayer mode allows historical scenarios and “what-if” scenarios to be played by two players using Slitherine’s easy to use PBEM server.
  • Large library of user-created single-player and multi-player historical scenarios that can be directly downloaded in-game.

System Requirements

    Minimum:
    • OS: Windows® XP/Vista/7/8
    • Processor: Pentium 4 or equivalent
    • Memory: 1 GB RAM
    • Graphics: 128Mb DirectX video card
    • DirectX: Version 9.0c
    • Storage: 500 MB available space
    • Sound Card: DirectX Compatible Sound Card
Customer reviews
Customer Review system updated! Learn more
Overall:
Very Positive (77 reviews)
Recently Posted
Der_Richter
4.7 hrs
Posted: August 13
Very good. It has a very in depth system of "unit dynamics" where careful consideration is to be taken for what goes againt what. This can be learned by studying the strengths of the varius formation types. I would also say that the game plays a lot like a miniatures board game, both in how it applies its rules and how it presents itself. It is a slow, thought provoking experience. Also, you will learn a lot about period warfare formations. I have only played tutorials and some skirmish but i can see this being a good time waste for when you need something a bit different, and down to earth, as opposed to the WW2 trope, being the norm for operational level games. Note: You WILL need the manual, to actually read. And it will require patience and learning to be successful. I lost a skirmish game, but then went back and studied the various formations more closely, and also reevaluated my strategy based on terrain present. Next time i was able to crush my opponent easily. This is the kind of expereince you will have... Lose, learn, redo. If you have an interest in warfare in the period modeled, there is a veritable gold-mine of campaigns in there as well. Good, well executed, optimized system, and a decent UI (better than most in this sub-genre) and lots of content. Price might seem steep to some, but to me it is worth it.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Yarev
29.7 hrs
Posted: August 12
Pike & Shot has the best battle system I have ever seen and I have played a lot, from TWshogun1, Lords of the Realm to Genghis Khan. I know its turn based battles compared to most of the titles in real time but I prefered it that way! In real time strategies I play in pause most of the time anyway.

I will reapet myself but the battle system is just great !!! Feels so realistic especially cav pursuit, the battles never go according to my plan.

So my only but huge problem with this game is the campaign. It is as basic as could be. No economy, buildings or managment of any kind. The armies "jump" from province to province like in TW Shogun1. The battles alone become repetetive.

This game literally begs for a proper campaign map. The battle system can be with some obvious changes applied to any period (Alexander the great, Punic wars, Vikings, Medieval). A bit better graphics wouldn't hurt as well but its not a priority.

So fingers crossed maybe devs will think about it


Helpful? Yes No Funny
Rook
35.1 hrs
Posted: July 3
If you are into the period, this game is a must.
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Michaelus
28.3 hrs
Posted: June 29
tldr - buy on sale if you are into hardcore strategy games. I have hard time recommending it, but even harder not recommending if you like the genre.


The game is hard, real hard, don't expect to win any battle on normal difficulty the first or second or third or even 4th try. It's frustrating slog at times, but very rewarding when you finally manage a win. When you lose you can see what worked and what didn't, then the next try you can lose by a good dice roll or two, so you know you can win with a bit of luck.
Be warned - tutorial isn't too useful, manual is much better, but a bit lacking.
What's good about it then? (Not so) Fresh meat -> tactics, challenging AI and immersion - somehow it has a feel of pike & shot era.
There's an editor and quite good amount of user designed historical battles.

Graphics? It's still 90s.
Music? Very good.
Sound effects? Passable.

Overall the game is mainly for grognards, who don't care about glamour. It also has some questionable design decisions as I see it and is a bit too much luck dependent. Imho not worth asking price, but on sale it's bearable, especially if you like similar games.
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st.stephen59
68.5 hrs
Posted: June 25
I dont't know much about 16th Century warfare but I'm pretty damn sure a pike phalanx will beat a line of crossbowmen in melee. Not in this game. The AI consistently out scores you in every department. You could charge a bunch of unarmed women with your Heavy Lancers and the AI will still come out on top. Yoyr cavalry units manouvre like slugs, whilst the AI has no trouble attacking you in the flanks through a forest area. This game is so lop sided in favour the AI no matter what tactics you employ you will always come off second best.
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hotspur59
14.7 hrs
Posted: June 25
If you like table-top wargames even slightly, then you're going to love this game. It's an historically accurate tactical/strategy game (battles and campaigns) set in a period that has been pretty much completely ignored by gaming companies and covering everything from the English Civil War through the various wars of religion and the 30 years war in Europe - very refreshing. You'll get to fight completely new tactics and formations than any other wargame you've played on pc with mixed formations of infantry such as pikemen and musketeers that vary from nation to nation, all types of cavalry from mounted gunners to armoured cavalry. Artillery is also making a bigger impact than games set in the medieval period.
If you already own the brilliant WWII Battle Academy series then you'll slip into this quite easily - just remember to adapt your tactics! If you haven't got BA then just play the tutorials first and all will become clear, in fact play the tutorials anyway as they contain the secrets of success and the ai is pretty adept.
Probably my favourite feature is the way your victorious troops, cavalry especially, but sometimes even infantry too, will pursue a routed enemy off the map often to not return several turns later if at all! Anyone who has read military history from antiquity will know that this is a very realistic feature, especially in the case of cavalry. Wellington often remarked that once the British cavalry charged at the enemy "that's the last we'll see of them for the day". In the case of infantry King Harold's Saxons cost him the battle of Hastings by pursuiing a feigned retreat by the Normans, So anyone who complains about this feature needs to read up on their military history because the Devs have got it spot-on.
The turn-based system works a treat too and the graphics are fine. Highly recomended for SP as the game has a pretty competent ai.
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Duncan
26.2 hrs
Posted: June 20
You won't enjoy this game if you want graphics. You will love it if you want to take your time, learn the units, and play the period. Lots of community created scenarios. A good group of head to head players can be found on the server.
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934587911
23.0 hrs
Posted: May 26
I would recommand this game for those who had played previous title like field of glory / battle academy.

I would not recommand if you do not like wargames.
Personally, I do not enjoy this game much. The skirmish is too ease for me. You can win easily by concentrate your cav on one flank. On the other hand, the historical battle and campaign are difficult for noobs like me. (Yes, you can win New Port and a few other battles, but most battles are difficult because you are out numbered) So I would not recommand it to noob wargamers.
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adam.steiner
173.7 hrs
Posted: May 4
Excellent single player wargame. Most of the time feels like a real battle rather than playing against the rules. Morale and control system is great. The latter two campaigns are unplayably hard though.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Ismael
134.3 hrs
Posted: May 2
Pike and Shot is a turnbased tactics wargame, and its a beautiful beautiful thing, that in my opinion is absolutely worth its seemingly steep pricetag. I love tabletop wargames, I love turn based strategy and tactics. This game is everything I wanted in a wargame for a long long time. Enough praise, lets look at some pros and cons:

Pros:
+ simple basic systems with a ton of depth. Most Units behave pretty much like you would expect them too, at least if you know their historic usage and context. But there is a lot too learn and a good amount of mastery and optimization to be accomplished

+ tons of replayability. The game spans a huge timeline and gives you a ton of amy lists to play with and against. I to this point can not say that I have played every single army in this game, with over a hundred hours of time spent on the title, and I would probably claim to have mastered only a handful of the ones I tried

+ tons of historical scenarios. For the history buffs and scenario players out there, theres a lot of stuff to tackle. Some of the most iconic and famous battles of the covered era are in the game, and while some of them are really tough, they add just so much more content. I personally am a skirmish player though, so I cannot say too much about their overall quality.

+ Historical accuracy and flavour. For some bizarre reason there are not many gamesset in any of the periods covered by the game. So that alone is a unique selling point. The dynamics of the game change fundamentally with the development of arms and armor and tactics as well. And since it ranges from Landsknechts and the ver first Arquebuses to the first Bayonets, your in for a lot of variety and rarely seen Armies. As far as I can tell the historical accuracy is also very high, with the few units I or armies I felt are performing different then I expected, the community and developers were quick to cite historical sources for their actual performance (Haeselrigs Lobsters come to mind immediately) Which leads me to the nxt point.

+ Developers are active in the forums. While not the most prolific and active steam group around, if you have bug reports, questions on game mechanics or historical stuff, a developer usually enters the thread. This is always a plus.

+ Smart AI. The AI in this game is one of the most capable I've seen in a Tactis game in a long while. Especially, and to my personal preference this is really important, in Skirmishes. Everybody can fully script an AI for a premade scenario that works on predefined paths, but the AI of this game "understands" enough of the systems and balance involved to adapt to almost any battlefield and situation its handed. Especially when you are new to the game, expect to loose battles, get outmaneuvered and outsmarted by the AI a few times at least. Its not without its flaws, but still one of the best programmed and adaptable AIs I've seen in a Videogame that is not a chess simulator. It know which units are strong against what, looks for flank and rear charges with deadly efficiency, and seems to be recognising terrain features quite decently. It'll also shift its reserves to where they are needed. Compare this to a lot of mainstream and niche titles where the AI isnt even able to handle the most basic battleplans outside of scripted scenarios, and you are in for a good time.

+ Limited Randomness. While there is a lot of RNG involved in the game, the conditions of battle and units involved count a lot more then dicerolls. While extreme dicerolls do of cause happen, 90% of the battles end up being decided by the better executed plan and troop composition, not by extraordinary heroics or catastrophic failure of your troops.

+ Editor and easy moddability. The Game comes with a great looking editor for maps and scenarios, that I honestly havent delved into too much as of yet, but there is a lot of additional content for download straight in the game. Including a few additional nations and a mod for the war of the roses.

+ Campaigns. As in the title of the game, there are campaigns with a strategic map. Which add just that much more planning, strategy and consistency to your skirmishes. Its no total war, but its definitely an enjoyable addition to the game. The big historical ones also include a few unique conditions and special elements (like starting with strong swedish forces as gustavus adolphus during the 30 yeas war, but only being able to recruit from a german list after the start of the campaign).

+ Multiplayer PBEM. I love playing by email, it fits my schedule much better than sitting down for hours at a time just playing a game. And in my opinion no turn based game has an excuse to ship without this function.

Cons:

- Graphical fidelity and Polish. I personally do not care about this one at all, but I see how it might put a lot of people off this game in an instant. While I personally like the clear visuals and the reference of historical battle paintings in the style of units, its by no means a pretty or spectacular game. The Menus, Tooltips and UI are also very basic at best.
There are some unnecessary or misleading stats in the game as well (like the melee power value, which is just an abstraction of the actual system and should not be trusted). So prepare to read the manual.

- Repetition. Again not a con for me personally. But if you are looking for variety, you wont find it here. P&S does tactical turn based battles. It does them very well. But its the only thing it does. If you want a ton of different things to do in your game, or you are looking for a lot of special and unique mechanics to diversify playstyles and factions, this is not your game. Also while I praised the variety of army lists under pros, some nations, as in history, dont really change that much throughout the game. If you are playing ottomans, you are getting the same stuff in most timeframes for example, just with variances in terms of armamane t(bows, arquebus, muskets)

- Limited Campaigns. The Campaign Mode, while a fun addition, is definetely not as deep as many other games who offer a strategic layer. There is no building or development involved, no special actions or setups. The kind of battle situation you get is completely up to the AI. And sometimes it seems a little occult if you get a dug in defense or your trrops just run. Again: it is all about the actual battles. The strategic layer is a nice addition, but if you want this to be your core experience, this is not your game. Also no multiplayer campaigns :(

- Some Weaknesses in the AI. While overall the AI is excellent, as any AI it still has a few weak points. It absolutely refuses to perform any kind of organized retreat and can be goaded into attacking superior formations. Its also very very very bad at using and countering skirmishers in my experience. It does rarely fight skirmishers with anything that is not a skirmishers. Its also a bit passive at the beginning of many battles

- sometimes limited control over your units. While I personally enjoy this a lot, a lot of players don'T. your units are limited by zones of control and priority charge targets, and you loose direct control for a few turns after they win a melee fight. I think this makes battles a lot more tense, and it feels more like commanding an actual army to me, but some people hate not having full control. Some of these Interactions feel a little awkward sometimes as well.

- Multiplayer limited to company servers.
While there are no problems or limitations to the multiplayer functionality, the PBEM is handled through servers by the developer. If at any day or time they discontinue support for this game, you might be left without MP functionality in the worst case.

Overall 9/10. Great SP experience, and playing it with a friend in MP is the closest I've been to a good tabletop wargame session in a long time. More than worth the pricetag.
Helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  In the past 30 days
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
4.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 13
Very good. It has a very in depth system of "unit dynamics" where careful consideration is to be taken for what goes againt what. This can be learned by studying the strengths of the varius formation types. I would also say that the game plays a lot like a miniatures board game, both in how it applies its rules and how it presents itself. It is a slow, thought provoking experience. Also, you will learn a lot about period warfare formations. I have only played tutorials and some skirmish but i can see this being a good time waste for when you need something a bit different, and down to earth, as opposed to the WW2 trope, being the norm for operational level games. Note: You WILL need the manual, to actually read. And it will require patience and learning to be successful. I lost a skirmish game, but then went back and studied the various formations more closely, and also reevaluated my strategy based on terrain present. Next time i was able to crush my opponent easily. This is the kind of expereince you will have... Lose, learn, redo. If you have an interest in warfare in the period modeled, there is a veritable gold-mine of campaigns in there as well. Good, well executed, optimized system, and a decent UI (better than most in this sub-genre) and lots of content. Price might seem steep to some, but to me it is worth it.
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
2 of 2 people (100%) found this review helpful
Recommended
29.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 12
Pike & Shot has the best battle system I have ever seen and I have played a lot, from TWshogun1, Lords of the Realm to Genghis Khan. I know its turn based battles compared to most of the titles in real time but I prefered it that way! In real time strategies I play in pause most of the time anyway.

I will reapet myself but the battle system is just great !!! Feels so realistic especially cav pursuit, the battles never go according to my plan.

So my only but huge problem with this game is the campaign. It is as basic as could be. No economy, buildings or managment of any kind. The armies "jump" from province to province like in TW Shogun1. The battles alone become repetetive.

This game literally begs for a proper campaign map. The battle system can be with some obvious changes applied to any period (Alexander the great, Punic wars, Vikings, Medieval). A bit better graphics wouldn't hurt as well but its not a priority.

So fingers crossed maybe devs will think about it


Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
Most Helpful Reviews  Overall
53 of 60 people (88%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
9.1 hrs on record
Posted: August 16, 2015
A suprisingly well made game that has a very interesting setting that unfortnately is not used often enough in video media.

Pros
+Strong Ai
+Well crafted campaigns
+Multiplayer works well
+Modding support with a custom mod browser
+Hard
+Works well on any computer
+Easy to understand unlike other Siltherine Games
+Interesting setting (English Civil War, Italian Wars, 30 Years War etc.)
+Dozens of scenarios to play that take like an 1-2 hours to beat each
+Good tutorials
+Appealing graphics

Cons
-Bit of a steep price
-No leaders in field battles
-No way to tell the difficulty of scenarios
Was this review helpful? Yes No Funny
45 of 50 people (90%) found this review helpful
6 people found this review funny
Recommended
151.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 27, 2015
Pike and Shot... I resisted trying this game for quite a while because of the price. All that wasted time I could have been playing. Got it on my birthday. Instead of letting my wife take me out to dinner that night, i ordered pizza and played P&S all night. After 16 hours of game time, I finally completed the final tutorial. Each of the four tutorial missions were themselves emotional rollercoasters of "I got this" to, "oh crap, I'm screwed" to, "oh my god, i might just pull this off." No, i'm not being sarcastic. Instead of feeling screwed by a random number generator, every misteak I made was a quick lesson in how not to do that again. I would try a different approach, only to see the AI adjust and respond. "Why won't the enemy advance into my specially designed killing zone? Damn!"

The gameplay is NOT what I thought it would be. More chess than "Total War" but that's a good thing. The odd thing is the battles somehow feel more real than the "Total War" series. Initial set up and planning are much more important and changing can be diffacult. Planning is more important than timing and the battles feel back and forth instead of just tipping point. The tutorials will take you though open battle, assaulting fortified positions, ambush and gurella tactics. Not the usual, "take point A in X number of turns" nonsense. I assume this is how tabletop miniature wargaming feels, if you're patient enough to do that kind of thing. Apparenlty P&S is based on an esablished tabletop game, so the mechanics and balance are spot on, you just dont have do math or have all day for a turn(though you'll spend all day playing anyway).

I havent even touched the campaign and skirmish generators, so if i ever compleate the four huge historical campaigns I can generate endless hypothetical conflicts. I don't like to use the term "endless replayability" but that how alot of people describe chess right? I don't think I have ever bothered to write a "review" on here, much less a novella trying desperatly to persuade you to buy this game with my crap spelling and run on sentances.

TL DR_ If you think this is the kind of thing you might like but you just don't know if its worth the price, let me tell you it is! Cant recommend enough if you like history and strategy!
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42 of 50 people (84%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
115.8 hrs on record
Posted: August 15, 2015
Pike and Shot is a turn-based wargame set in an era of devastating wars between Protestants and Catholics, King and Parliament, Turks and Christians, Habsburg emperors and French kings. Backbone unit of most armies being a combined Pike and Shot formation that has evolved from huge 2000 men pike squares by adding the shot and making them smaller.

Main focus of the game is on battles which are challenging and chaotic. Player choices for each unit are seemingly simple: move, shoot or charge into melee. Charging removes control from the player: melee continues until one side breaks and is automatically pursued. Automatic pursuit can be bad or good: pursuers can run into the thick of the enemy and expose their flanks, wander off for several turns until control is regained or they can chain charge and rout a big chunk of enemy battle line.

Units have a momentum: turning takes time and can expose flanks, ZOC and priority target rules drastically reduce options when close to the enemy and charge takes all control from the player as unit tries to hammer its way through the enemy lines. Main attack directions must be well planned as opportunity to disengage vanishes rapidly.

AI is very good. Historical battles have a great variety: offensive, defensive, unit types evolving from Swiss pike squares to Swedish salvo, from Gendarmes to Cromwellian horse. Completing all 40 historical battles in the original version took me over 100 hours.

New campaign aspect seems to be a great addition: not too complex (majority of the time is still spent fighting battles) but still offering some real choices. Random battle generator used in campaign and skirmishes is pretty good.

Basics are learnable from the tutorial battles but these will leave some important things unclear: ZOC and priority charge target rules, cohesion effects of artillery fire, interactions between terrain and different unit types etc. Reading the pdf manual is recommended.
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31 of 34 people (91%) found this review helpful
4 people found this review funny
Recommended
59.4 hrs on record
Posted: September 5, 2015
So I have over 40 hours in so far, and likely to be increasing that number substantially. Bought this as a BD present to myself a week ago, and if it weren't for other committments of time, I would easily be closing in on 100 hours by now.

This game is somewhere between the tactical simplifications of Paradox and the complications of Total War, with just a whisper thin strategic overlay and persistent universe that makes one battle matter because its effects carry over into the situation you will face whatever happens afterward in both the strategic and tactical conditions.

Battles may be small, or may be enormous, and the feel of the era's formations is authentic and immersive (I cannot count the number of times one or another of my son's have come in to see what is on my monitor that has called them away from theirs because of loud, and I hope, at least creative cursing). If you like the time period you _will_ get carried away with the simple to learn but hard to master game mechanics, and fairly granular difficulty levels.

You won't be seeing individual sprites like you would in TW, so have a look at some playthroughs and if you aren't hooked, this may not be for you... If you think to yourself 'that looks like fun' - dammit man, it is. I can't see the end of this time sink, so if you have classes or projects, or something that HAS to be done by a spcific date, LOOK AWAY!

Quickly.

Seriously you don't really need more than a couple of these reviews, just find a couple of playthroughs on YT, and you'll figure out whether you should get this. You'll know if you find yourself looking for more after the first one or two playthroughs, whether you should probably be a player not.

In the words of Robin WIlliam's in Dead Again: "Cozy Carlisle: Someone is either a smoker or a nonsmoker. There's no in-between. The trick is to find out which one you are, and be that. If you're a nonsmoker, you'll know. "
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42 of 53 people (79%) found this review helpful
1 person found this review funny
Recommended
50.9 hrs on record
Posted: August 13, 2015
An incredible sucessor to "Pike and Shot" Campaigns gives you the ability to truly customize and fight your very own campaign. You can even raise armies from the ground up, and ultimately even customize the units! This also includes ALL of the Historical Battles from the original Pike and Shot plus a few more. If you need me i'll be deep in my PC room for the next few weeks, completely unreachable as I fight the thirty years war xD. Remember the "Campaign" feature means you can recreate your very own epic battles, some that may even rival the incredible battles already available. The PIKE is in your hands!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YBq8VIn5gBM
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37 of 46 people (80%) found this review helpful
2 people found this review funny
Recommended
20.7 hrs on record
Posted: August 13, 2015
I almost never buy games at release. Even if I know I will enjoy a game, I typically wait for patches and a large sale. Not with this game, though. I bought it the morning it became available, installed it as quickly as I could, and have enjoyed it immensely.

This game is great, but not just because it offers in-depth historical detail for twenty different nations over around 6 time periods each (some nations have even more time period options than that) or because the battles with those units give so many different viable tactical options. This game is great because there is that complexity (at both the campaign and battle level) in mechanics, yet everything still feels intuitive and easily understood, and very few games really manage to walk the line between complex and confusing.

Because of the stat system, terrain system, and excellent A.I. battles and campaigns feel more "real" than in many other video games: when a tactic works, you know why, and it seems like the same events would plausibly have happened in a real battle using the same units and tactics.

Overall, I recommend this game because of the excellent job it does both at demonstrating the warfare of the time period (which is not often represented in popular culture of any kind) and as a wargame in general.
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29 of 36 people (81%) found this review helpful
8 people found this review funny
Recommended
18.2 hrs on record
Posted: August 14, 2015
A whole lot of fun. I've pretty much been playing it straight for about 8 hours now and for a turn-based strategy with simple mechanics, the game is tough as nails. Trust me, the AI knows when it's soldiers are stronger than yours and will not hesitate to either force you into melee or keep it's shooting distance. The key of the game is to utilize the various units you're given and to force around 60% of the enemy army to rout. The campaign is the newest addition and it operates rather simply, you've got manpower, you've got money and you've got supply limits. The more territory, the more money and manpower but because of supply limits, it's almost impossible to completely overpower your enemy with sheer numbers. You'll have to succeed with brain and unit composition. Highly recommended game!
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LngIwcxgFEc
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18 of 19 people (95%) found this review helpful
3 people found this review funny
Recommended
77.6 hrs on record
Posted: December 12, 2015
Well the first thing to say is, if this game is on sale, and you are remotely interested in battlefield tactics/maneuver, BUY IT.

Pike and Shot Campaigns is a great game that in my situation, has the same sort of ''one more turn'' menatility that you see in the best of the life-destroyingingly relationship-ending sun-shunning quality games. It covers the less well known Italian Wars, English Civil Wars and Thirty Years Wars. The nation's have their own indiviual flavours, from the flamboyant Royalist Cavaliers to the all-but-tercio-crushing Polish Winged Hussars.

The campaign feature adds a whole new dimension to the game that concentrates more on the raising and movement of armies, so it's definitely NOT like Total War Campaigns.

The battles are in my opinion, brilliant. There are several difficulties you can choose from, from having to think about deployment and flank maneuvers to begging that kuirassier unit to destroy the enemy's horse unit so you can charge into the enemy's flanks in the next turn or your line is broken.

In this game the battle can rely on a lone skirmishing musket detachment sit atop a hill fending off a right wing attack whilst you struggle to hold your left flank, or you could watch your pike and shot unit chase their vanquished foe, leaving said flank vulnerable to exploitation to greedy hussars.

Inevitably in the endgame the battles turn to swirling melee's in the confusion of gunpowder smoke as you mop up/get mopped up by the enemy, but it is an enchanting game in it's simplicity and effectiveness nonetheless.

It's a yes from me
20/15
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