Oh, Slitherine.. just take my money, you canny bastards. You had me at Pike & Shotte

A fairly recent development over at Slitherine Software, essentially the epicenter of turn based computer wargaming for multiple platforms, was the announcement and screenshots for their upcoming turn based game PIKE AND SHOT (P&S).  P&S will be using the Battle Academy engine, which is robust,  reasonably well tested and more importantly ALREADY PORTED TO TABLETS.  I balked at a 20 dollar Ipad game but something tells me I won’t balk at P&S if it comes in that high (though, realistically, if you’ve made the investment in the engine, I would anticipate that you gain some price efficiencies for reusing it, that’s how it works in other industries)>

The game is turn based and has a bunch of scenarios.  I don’t know much more than Slitherine’s product announcements and the basic look and feel from the screenshots.

(From product page, I’ve bolded the items that make me grin with anticipation)

  • Accurate simulation of battle in the 16th and 17th century Age of Pike and Shot.
  • Unique graphic style based on 17th century styles and battle paintings.
  • 10 full-sized historical battles in each campaign- The Thirty Years War, English Civil War (expansion) and 16th century Italian Wars (expansion).
  • Classic Turn-based, tile based gameplay.
  • Easy to use interface, hard to master gameplay.
  • Battalion-sized units.
  • Single player and multiplayer modes.
  • Stand-alone battle system allows unlimited “what-if” scenarios using historically realistic armies from carefully researched army lists, on realistic computer generated terrain maps.
  • 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.
  • 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 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.

All great stuff, but a picture is worth a thousand words.  To wit:

Click to enlarge.

The game developers did their research and certainly appear to have the formations correct. I would have expected more linear groupings on a 30 years war battlefield but this wasn’t always the case, so I’ll give Slitherine a lot of slack.

I’m quite excited… dammit, just send me the pre-order information, Slitherine, you nailed this one. Official release date is “TBD” but the company forum says “Later this year“. NICE. After the rather disappointing “closest thing to a Pike and Shot game they make” from HPS Simulations (essentially Panzer Campaigns with Musket and Pike graphics– who thought an operational game would work for this subject matter, HPS?), I was very pleased to see a tactical engine that looks like it will do justice to the subject matter.  You know, with formations that matter, and facing, and troop differences.  Pike and Shot looks like a lot of fun.