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9Oct/170

Warlord Games – Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

This plastic kit of Landsknechts was finally released, after a very long waiting time, but I'll cover this a bit later in this review. Warlord Games provided the range of Pike & Shotte with this kit of 30 miniatures in 28mm scale.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

What is so special about this kit? The whole Italian Wars range was acquired by Warlord Games from Pro Gloria Miniatures back in December 2014 and the metal miniatures were sculpted by Paul Hicks. Back in Autumn / Winter 2014 this kit was planned as a crowdfunded project on Indiegogo. Coming short to being financed, Pro Gloria pulled the plug and decided to sell the range and prepared 3-Up sculpts by Michael Anderson to Warlord Games. I managed to take a few shots of the 3-Ups at Crisis back in 2014.

This set was intended as a 24 miniatures box (with 2x 10 soldiers core frames and 2x 2 command frames) for 24 Euros (~roughly 21 GBP) and was now released as a set of 30 miniatures (actually 31 miniatures, with 5x 6 soldier sprues and 1 command sprue) for 18 GBP (~roughly 21 EUR). So the final product got cheaper, but unfortunately was stripped of a few of the options. It was intended to include 10 different bodies + the command bodies and at least 20 heads. Some of these "missing" sculpts can be seen in the Indiegogo. But the biggest impact is the complete lack of advancing arm poses, as they were clearly finished as can be seen from the Indiegogo campaign and not a single one of them made it into the final released set.

But let us concentrate on what we have. This box covers 5 sprues with 6 soldiers each, an additional command sprue, a sprue with bases and a double sided leaflet. The later is only covering a bit of background about the landsknecht, but not assembly details and only a few banners. On the back of the box is a Robocop-styled unit champion to be seen.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

The two sprues are set up like this, a compact command sprue and a larger soldier sprue. Casting on both is superb and above average. Very crisp details and little to no mold lines. All parts are placed in a well-considered way inside the sprue, so the can be clipped off without damaging or putting to much tension on them (this is a topic with pikes or long spears / lances, as they might break).

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

Here are the six core bodies and with the command body in plate armour. The commander's body is a two piece cast, as you have to glue in the  left leg. The details are very plastic and made a clever use of the mold to minimize the undercut. The puffy legs are well casted all around.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

For the command group, you have two weapon options for the commander, a sword or two-handed halbert, the banner bearer carries the pole and a sword and the musician a drum wth two drum sticks.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

The remaining four bodies are build with pikes. You can choose from six different arm pairs, all of them holding the pike in one hand close to the body. I went with arms that resemble the uniform pattern of the body. In each of the soldier sprues is a single pair of arquebuse (musket), so you can either build 30 pikemen or 25 pikemen and 5 arquebusiers, and of course the commander.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

In the next step, the heads are added to the bodies. The core sprue covers 9 different heads, the command sprue another 4. It is a bit sad, that some of the very characteristic sculpts by M. Anderson from the Indiegogo didn't made it into the sprue, as there would have been space for them. Never the less, you're still capable of building are very dynamic and lifeful mob of landsknechts with them.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

As Landsknechts can be used for a variety of different historical rule sets, there are different types of bases delivered with them. But most prominent are the 40x40mm square bases. In Pike & Shotte (like the other mass combat systems Hail Caesar and Black Powder) it is recommended to field the miniatures on multi-bases. It is interesting, that Warlord didn't supply the regular Renedra base sprue but their own. It has bumps on the back, maybe for more grip or easier pick up.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

And the last building step is adding the final details, "Katzbalger" swords, daggers and pouches. Unfortunately it is not explained, where they are exactly placed. It is a good idea, to add the Katzbalger swords first and then the left arms, as they go in the way of eachother. The small bags are added to the belt up front, what I learned from the indiegogo pictures.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

If you want advancing poses or an alternate command group, there is the former Pro Gloria / now Italian Wars metal range. These were sculpted by Paul Hicks and have brass spears / pikes, which are quite sturdy.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

As you can see, they mix quite well with eachother - and are a good fit for multibases as well.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

So where is this plastic kit scale wise? Back in 2014 it did not only appeal to the historical wargamers, but was looked into by many Warhammer Empire players, as a cheap(er) alternative to the Games Workshop plastic range. The released kit is quite true scale, beside the rather large heads. The metal and plastic miniatures are on eye level and the scale is closer to the Perry Miniatures plastics (as you can see from the second and third picture) than to other Warlord plastics or the shown old 6th Edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles plastics.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

A final round up of a 12 men strength mob of landsknecht pikemen. Even as we have body doubles, you can barely see them.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Pikemen

Conclusion
At less than a pound per miniature, it is a good bargain for a plastic kit. The production quality is high, as the casting of the details is impressively good. Better than with other kits that I've seen and rated as good / sufficient. And on top of that, only very little mold lines to clean. So we get more miniatures, for less and a great quality. What else could a wargamer want? Well, that is the thing, the variety is good, but could be better and with the knowledge that there were more options prepared, that could have been added to this kit, it leaves a bit of a taste. Beside that, yes, there are metal codes / blisters for additional variants, but that is not what you're going for if you're choosing plastic. The advancing arm poses would have been great and I do miss them.

But as this is plastic and Warlord has produced variants in the pasts (Bolt Action Commandos), maybe based on this kit, we will see advancing arms as an additional sprue or even Doppelsöldner / Landsknechts with great swords. And if metal is an option for you, the range has a lot of very vital and dynamic miniatures of Landsknechts looting, gambling or otherwise spending their time. Warlord even released the former Indiegogo exclusive codes for general sales.

You can find the rules for Landsknechts and the Italian Wars in the Pike & Shotte core rulebook. If you want to find out more on Landsknecht, there is this Osprey book on that topic.

Pike & Shotte is a brand of Warlord Games.

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