By Jim Rohrer
I have been reading a science fiction trilogy by Pournelle and Greene (“Lord of Janissaries”). It is priced at $8.99 on Kindle and contains 896 pages (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013RCXRNY/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_d_asin_title_o00?ie=UTF8&psc=1). Jerry Pournelle (1933-2017) has always been a favorite of mine so I do not know how I missed the Janissaries series.
You might ask how this is relevant to solo wargaming. The protagonist is a 20th century mercenary transplanted to a world in which the military technology is about at AD800. What would you do in this situation? He is a student of military history, so his first step is to introduce the pike and drill units to work in close formation. He also remembers the formula for gunpowder and starts a longer-term project to manufacture it.
The battle scenario in the first volume pits heavy cavalry against the pike. The opposing forces are Roman Empire legions. They have armored cavalry, as well as infantry units. Our hero trains Celtic hill fighters to use the pike.
Barbarian horse soldiers migrating due to climate change will offer another challenge later.