Tuesday, 26 July 2011

A Forest of Pikes

I thought I would take some shots of my Landsknechts with the addition of my Old Glory figures. The below photos are of a block of 256 Landsknechts, a square of 16 by 16. It would be a complete nightmare to try and game with as the thing becomes a porcupine of pikes and even though alot of them are on multi bases it take ages to move them. Although impractical I think it gives a good impression of how formidable one of these squares of flamboyantly dressed mercenaries would be. Any Gendarmes would certainly think twice about taking them on. On the other hand it would be a hell of a target for any artillery!

The banners are surrounded by the command figures and some two handed swordsmen to protect them. I recall reading that contemporaries often felt two handed swords and halberds were good for protecting the flags if things got nasty for the pike block. There are also 32 Arquebusiers skirmishing around the block, so in total its 288 figures. Manufacturers are mainly Foundry, Old Glory and Artizan although there are also a couple of TAG, Pro Gloria Miniatures and even an old Marauder miniature in there somewhere.

The Pike Block

A Forest of Pikes


The below photo shows the centre of the block with the banners being protected by the Two Handed Swordsmen and Halberdiers.

Centre of the Pike Block

The Pike Block from behind

The sharp end



12 comments:

  1. Wow! No words to describe! They do look sooo wonderful! You should play with them :D I really don't want to know how long a combat takes....

    Anyway, halberds and greatswords are used in the first lines as when two pikeblocks hit together it was really statical. Take a look at this picture where you can see the Doppelsöldner tactics. http://i295.photobucket.com/albums/mm146/Regulator0/Unbenannt-2-1.jpg?t=1311707415

    But of course they were also used to protect the (more or less) 'holy' banners. It's a shame to loose one! The use of halberdiers to defend flag went on to the napoleonics as to the left and right of the eagle bearer a halberdier fought.

    Stephan

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  2. Bloody hell, now that's what I call a pike block, veeeeeery nice!!!!!

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  3. Thanks guys, I dread to think how long I have spent painting them all over the last couple of years.

    Stephan thanks for the link re the Doppelsoldner. I have come accross a few different opinions as to what Dopplesoldners were. I agree they would have been very useful in the front ranks, infact I think the more heavily armoured pikemen in the front of pike blocks would have been dopplesoldners, I don't believe they had to be armed with halberds or swords, and they certainly would have dealt with the brunt of the fighting. I think they may also have been used in assaults on fortifications and in supporting the shot in more open fighting when they were armed with the swords and polearms. I know in the second half of the 16th century the double handed swordsmen and polearm troops were seen as useful for defending the colours, Ian Heaths armies of the the 16th Century mentions this quite a bit, although he is talking about tactics later in the century.

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  4. I think tere are few things more impressive on the wargames table than a block of pikes, with broad banners flying, etc. Of course most of them are a lot smaller than this one! Great post.

    Peter

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  5. They look awesome. Simply awesome.

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  6. Damned impressive looking unit there, well done indeed!

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  7. Replies
    1. Just found your blog,what can i say except outstanding,superb,you must be mad,i bet you needed an asprin afterwards!!!
      I am planning my own pike block of landsknechts of about 60 figures which has been giving me the jitters just thinking about it,but looking at your wonderful effort of 256 figures my plan is starting to look like a walk in the park.
      200% out of 100%.
      Chris

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    2. Thanks Chris, I definitely agree there is a bit of insanity in it all! Please post pictures of your landsknechts when they are completed, I have seen your stuff on the WAB forum and would love to see how they look

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    3. Thanks Oli,will do.I will do it with artizan figures with 2 front ranks attacking pose and next 4 ranks in advancing pose with about 3 banners.Your stuff has given me the insperation to make a more attacking looking block!Albeit a wee bit smaller in number.I have other stuff to do and i am pretty green at painting Landsknechts but hopefully will have them done by August or September time.

      Chris

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  8. This is what it should look like. I'm very jealous.

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