The Scots are here (and by ‘here’ we mean ‘available now for your games of Pike & Shotte Epic Battles!’), and we can’t wait to see them all in action on the tabletop. We’re sure many of you will be looking forward to marauding around the Highlands and Lowlands, and coming South on occasion to wreak dice-based havoc, but there’s no need to confine your activities to Epic Battles-scale Britain! Scottish soldiers saw extensive service on the Continent during the Thirty Years’ War, making a contingent of Scotsmen the perfect addition to an early Pike & Shotte collection. Let’s find out more!

Scots who fought in Europe did so for a variety of complex reasons, but it’s important to note that while the majority were not ‘mercenaries’ simply fighting for pay, they were almost never in Scottish service. Instead, with the permission of the Scottish crown, they would serve in Scottish units in the armies of other nations, most usually on the Protestant side of the war. Many Scottish officers would command these and other units, and even go on to lead entire armies in the service of European nations. This would stand them in good stead when they returned to Scotland, with many of these men going on to form the core of the Covenanter forces in the English Civil Wars.

Scottish troops had fought in so-called ‘Scots Brigade’ formations in both the Swedish and Dutch armies before the outbreak of the Thirty Years’ War, and such formations were commonplace in most European armies of the period. In terms of Pike & Shotte, this means it’s perfectly plausible (and a great opportunity!) to include a battalia or two of Scotsmen in basically any army, including those on the side of the Habsburgs! With a reputation for being solid and capable troops, they’re a great option to add some flavour to your force.

Scots and Swedes stand side by side on the battlefield.
Alexander Leslie, 1st Earl of Leven, is only available within the Pike & Shotte Epic Battles Covenanters Starter Army boxed set.

Whilst Scottish infantry is an awesome addition to an army, the best-known contributions to the Thirty Years’ War were by the many individuals who would hold command ranks throughout the conflict. Alexander Leslie, Earl of Leven, would rise to the rank of Field Marshal in Swedish service, and then go on to lead the Covenanters at Marston Moor, while Walter Leslie would do enormously well out of his service to the Holy Roman Empire (which included being one of the murderers of Wallenstein), eventually becoming a Count, and going on to serve as the ambassador to Naples, Rome, and Constantinople. Men such as these are the perfect centrepieces for an army, and a great excuse (not that you need one!) to include a few units of Scottish soldiers! The Thirty Years’ War is a fascinating period to wargame, and with the release of these awesome plastic Scotsmen, you can add some real flavour by recreating some of the less well-known (but incredibly important) units that took part in that epic conflict!

Recruit Your Scots
Thirty Years’ War Reinforcements
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