Pike And Shot: Tercio To Salvo [official site] is an intimidating name for an expansion. You might know what a pike is, you almost certainly know what a shot is, but what the devil is a Tercio? An abrupt Italian Count? And what about Salvo? A cut-price branded soothing skin ointment?
Fear not. Even if you don't know a keil from a kurassier, Pike And Shot is a splendid wargame and will help you to familiarise yourself with the intricacies of European warfare from the Italian Wars through to the early 17th century. Tim Stone applied his considerable knowledge to the original release last year and, judging by the too-few hours I've spent with it, I'd highly recommend it as well.
Here are Commander Stone's conclusions regarding the base game:
Overlook the strict melee rules and the odd occasions when cannons pull off remarkable line-of-fire feats, and Pike & Shot battles are convincing affairs. More importantly perhaps, they never feel like foregone conclusions. However large and numerous the pike-quill porcupines advancing towards you, there’s always a glimmer of hope, a faint memory of that time when you dismantled a similar force with a combination of pluck, luck, and inspired manoeuvres.
The expansion costs £7.99 direct from Slitherine or £7.49 through Steam, and adds two new nations (Dutch and Russian), ten historical battles, 49 new army lists and increased customisation options for skirmishes. Pike and Shot is one of the best wargames I played last year and, as is often the case, I wish I'd been able to spend more time with it.
This is the point where, traditionally, I say that the release of an expansion is a good excuse to reinstall and put in more hours. One look at my Sequoioideaen backlog is enough to convince me that's really not a good idea right now. One day though. One day I'll defeat evil Count Tercio and bring the soothing Salvo back to my people.