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21Aug/180

Warlord Games – Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

In addition to the Landsknecht Pikemen, that were released last year, Warlord Games added two further kits based the puffy-sleeved soldiers to the Pike & Shotte range. I'll cover both boxed sets on here this week, beginning with the review of the Landsknecht Missile Troops.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

As I've covered the background of this range and the change from Pro Gloria to Warlord Games, along with the Indiegogo campaign in the Landsknecht Pikemen review, I won't bring that up again, but will give a brief introduction on the Landsknechts themselves.

The Landsknecht were dominantly German mercenaries, instigated by the Holy Roman Empire under Maximillian I, but fought for other European rulers as well. They were involved in battles in the 15th and 16th century, in wars like the Italian Wars. The idea of the landsknecht was to have an armed service similar to the Swiss mercenary pikemen. As they were a mercenary force and the orders by Maximillian were to give the troops the freedom to wear what they wanted, it resulted in very colourful bright colours, with slashed sleeves and plumes. The fancier, the better.

As the troops were inspired by the Swiss pikemen, pikes were set as weaponry. But beyond that an army needs more variety, so the Landsknecht units used crossbows and later black powder weapons like the arquebus long gun (Hakenbüchse), as well as close combat weapons like halberds and Zweihänder (two-handed long swords).

This box of Missile Troops covers the weapon options for crossbows and arquebus. You can build 30 miniatures with this plastic kit, armed with either of these weapons. The price is set at 18 GBP. There are 5 sprues with 6 soldiers each and a sprue with bases. There is no leaflet with assembly instructions, background or flags in there, or a command sprue. A bit of information about the landsknecht is written on the back of the box (see second picture above).

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

The sprue is similar to the one of the regular Pikemen, the lower part with the bags and Katzbalger was re-used, there are new bodies in this sprue and a couple of new heads. I've added a comparison so you can see which heads and bodies were replaced with less armoured versions for the missile troops. Casting is very well done, minimal mould lines and a very crisp finish on the details. I am not sure if this is actually the case, but these feel a bit sharper than the Bolt Action bodies (that might be due to the sculpting, not the casting). Still a good use of the space within the sprue.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

Let us begin with the 6 different bodies from the sprue. As you can see these are less armoured compared to the regular close combat troops. We have three "standing" positions and three marching positions with the left foot in front.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

To cover both weapon options, crossbows and arquebus, I split them into two groups of three each. The arm pairs are either loading or firing. Usually the left arm is shared by both weapon options. So you have enough parts to build the whole box either with crossbows or arquebus, but you will only have the right arms as spare bits afterwards.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

As for the heads, these have more feathers and hats and less helmets. I tried to use as much of the new heads as possible. I am glad that they added a few from the prepared options from the Indiegogo campaign into this kit and not just left them in a drawer somewhere in the office. These fit of course with the other kits as well, so you can mix them across the pikes, zweihänders and missile troops.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

Warlord Games added a square base sprue with this box, included are several options. Nine 40x40mm square bases, four 20x20mm square bases, two 40x20mm rectangular bases and a single 80x20mm rectangular base. Multibasing is common with a lot of rule sets like Pike&Shotte, Black Powder, Field of Glory, Kings of War and such, and makes it easier to move larger units at once. These bases are different from the Renedra bases. They are a bit thicker (as they are used with heavier metal miniatures) and have small studs on the bottom side, for easier pick up and better grip.

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

Now the shooters are only missing their small parts, like the daggers and swords, backs and ammunition pouches.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

A brief comparison in scale with a Perry Miniatures WotR crossbow men and a Fireforge Men-at-Arms, as well as in the second picture with the gunmen from the Pikemen sprue and a Warhammer Fantasy 6th edition musketeer.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

And of course the assembled missile troops from the front and back.

Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops Warlord Games - Pike & Shotte Landsknecht Missile Troops

Conclusion
At a price of 18 GBP for 30 miniatures, these are very well priced. 0,60 GBP per shooter is less than half of the average price of Landsknecht miniatures made from metal and you have all the benefits of plastic. So you can convert them, play around with the poses, mix the bits. The production quality is amazingly high, I am very satisfied with the details and the low amount of mould lines.

With the Pikemen box I criticized the few amount of options / variations. As they added new heads and bodies with this kit (they could have just switches the middle part with the weapons and not bothered about everything else), we now have more parts to choose from and to mix in within the plastic range, with is a good thing. I was a bit irritated, that this kit neither had a leaflet with flags nor had a command sprue with it. I assume as the missile troops are more of a support unit, these options will be covered in the other boxes. I'll cover the Zweihänder box as well in the next days and we will know for sure.

As there are currently three Landsknecht plastic sets available, and a larger starter army set, I can see these being used beyond the regular historical context. They still catch that Empire feeling quite good and there is an extended range of metal blisters with command miniatures available as well. So these might be a choice for some who want to play 9th Age or Kings of War humans.

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.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

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