Tally Ho!

Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Montrose Campaign - week 4

Selkirkshire - July 1644. Montrose Wins


This battle saw the Covenanters out-manoeuvred by Montrose and facing a possible double envelopment. As with a Flank Attack upto 1/3 of the attackers forces can be sent on a flank march, but in this variant both sides may be attacked not just one.

Covenanter Forces
8 * Foot regiments in 2 brigades
4 * Horse squadrons in 2 regiments
2 * Field artillery
1 * Forlorn Hope (Vet)
Montrose Forces
3 * Veteran foot regiments (Irish Brigade)
3 * Foot Regiments (Gordon Foot)
4 * Horse in 2 regiments
1 * Field artillery
1 * Dragoons

The Battle

Somewhat fearful of the double envelopment the Covenanters deployed in a slightly deeper than usual formation with guns between the brigades. Cavalry guarded the more open right flank, whilst the Forlorn Hope occupied the manor house. Montrose decided to forgo the flank march and instead focus on a two-pronged attack. The Irish Brigade and Horse would attack the likely corner on the Covenanters right and the Highlanders would  manor house with flanking support.

View from Montrose right flank

View from Montrose left flank. One of the Covenanters clearly visible keeping busy with his painting

The Horse - view on Montrose left
The battle began with an all-out assault by the Highlanders on the Forlorn Hope in the manor house. The Forlorn Hope's shooting was fairly ineffective but Montrose artillery had a rare success causing them to be become Shaken. With a skirl of the pipes the Highlanders fell upon the unfortunate musketeers and quickly routed them. Their blood clearly up they contained their attack and managed to eject the supporting infantry regiment from the grounds of the manor house.
The calm before the storm

The Highlanders make a dent in the lines
On the Covenanters right both sides advanced their Horse and executed a charge, as is often the case with cavalry combat it was a to-and-fro affair. Montrose lancers smashed their way through their opposite numbers assisted by some excellent saving throws. Conversely Montrose trotters failed to charge and were pushed-back by their opponents. Honours fairly even in the cavalry melee.
If you can nt be good be luck....
Over on the Covenanters left the Highlanders completed their captured of the manor and with the support of the Dragoons and some infantry managed to rout a further two units, turning the flank.
The flank attack presses home 
The flank is turned
In the centre and right Montrose managed to execute his attack on the dog-legged Covenanters line. On the flank itself the attack went pretty well, with the Irish Brigade managing to outnumber the enemy and score significant hits.  However you can nt be strong everywhere and Montrose had deliberately weakened his centre to enable the flank attacks. Unable to withstand the Covenanters advance the centre eventually collapsed.
The successful flank attacks were however enough to rout more than 50% of the covenanters, forcing them to withdraw from the field.  
The flank attack moves in 

Montrose centre crumbles

The Covenanters right flank vanishes
A close-fought battle with the Highlanders for once proving successful, aided as they were by some poor morale for the Covenanters which meant they were always Shaken when attacked.   

Campaign Situation

Montrose scored his third victory of the campaign and so now controls 5 territories to 3.


  1. A good victory for Montrose. For once the Highlanders were good value for money. They were able to get two units onto one and then take out the regiment that was behind the routed forlorn hope that had occupied the built up area. The Covenanter unit on their left flank beyond the manor was too far out and was outnumbered by the rawpike and shot unit and the dragoons and shot down. The Royalists had determned to get local firepower superiority wherever possible and wherebyey achieved this thay established dominance.
    Its a moot point as to whether built up areas are best defended by occupying them or by forming well behind them and using them to disrupt the enemy. In this game putting units into the bua one at a time only served to get them beaten in sequence.
    Once again the aggressively handled Montrose cavalry seized the initiative and drove into their opponents.

  2. When you have a Forlorn Hope in your army (as the Covenanters did) and some terrain on the half-way line, its very tempting to plonk them in. Had they not been shaken it would have been tougher, and certainly a fresh infantry regiment would take some shifting