Saturday, 8 March 2008

Militia matters- pikes.

I was browsing the Holger Eriksson Great Northern War range of figures at the Spencer Smith website when I came across models 53E3 and 53E7 - Swedish infantry with pikes. I confess to a real lack of knowledge about the war itself but the photos of the pike-wielding figures did get me thinking! The Moscow militia of the Napoleonic Wars were armed with pikes: Why not so arm a unit or two of militia for my ImagiNations of Hetzenberg and Dunkeldorf-Pfühl?
I can see such a unit in my mind's eye. It's from a poor area, low down the scale of the military appropriations budget. It has obligations to meet but little money to spend, and even military-grade muskets may be in short supply. It has to equip itself somehow and opts for a mix of pikes and muskets in the style of English Civil War regiments. Do you have thoughts and opinions on this idea? Feel free to leave a comment!


Fitz-Badger said...

Go for it. Could add an interesting sideline to battles.

Bluebear Jeff said...

One big question . . . what will their normal use be?

Both the Swedes and the Russians had pikes in the GNW. The Swedes used them offensively -- seeing them as a "shock" weapon. The Russians used them defensively -- it is virtually impossible to get mounted troops to charge pikes.

Both were useful . . . you will need to decide which "philosophy" will work best for your imagi-Nation.

THAT being said, I certainly think that it is a good idea. I'd say to "go for it".

Incidentally, Clarence Harrison's "Victory Without Quarter" are a good free set of ECW rules that you might well be able to use for your imagi-Nation. They are available for download here:

Also, if it is still available, "Under the Lily Banners" has a good treatment of pikes. It may still be available for free on the "League of Augsburg" Fighting Talk Forum:

But because its successor, "Beneath the Lily Banners" should be released in hardcopy around the end of this month, the older verstion may no longer be available.

Hope these thoughts help.

-- Jeff of Saxe-Bearstein

A J Matthews said...

Fitz: I think I will go for it, once I have my regular units collected and painted.

Jeff: Thanks for the advice and the links. I'll look them up.

As the intended pike users will be militia I'd say their purpose would be purely defensive. Some honorable exceptions aside, militia tended to need a great deal of persuasion and leadership before they would act offensively. As for where they would deploy on the field of battle, well, I'll leave that for the players to decide.

Bluebear Jeff said...


While I'm thinking about it, "Beneath the Lily Banners" is supposed to include a section on the GNW. Hang on, let me see if I can find the blurb. . . .

"Price will be £15.00 sterling ex postage. 52 Pages, full colour throughout, 50 photographs, perfect bound, gloss cover, satin inners. Contains comprehensive rules for 1660-1720 period, supplementary rules for GNW & Eastern Wars plus two
illustrated scenarios one for Ireland and one for Flanders.

Should be available through my site within the next three weeks
payment by paypal. Distibution through trade outlets in UK,Europe,Pac-
Rim and North America will follow"

His website is at . . .

-- Jeff

abdul666 said...

An intringuing idea -and not unlikely at all, 'pikes' were issued to French 'Sans Culottes' and to the Irish of 1798. Anyway, 'obsolete' GNW clothes would be fitting for a 'poor' Militia. Looking forward to the outcome!