Tally Ho!

Tuesday 5 July 2016

Montrose Campaign - week 9

Aberdeenshire March 1645 - Montrose wins


Following a period of inactivity during the inhospitable Scottish winter (which it turns-out is much like the English summer of 2016) hostilities recommenced with a Pitched Battle for control of Aberdeenshire. A simple scenario in which the winner must route 50% of the enemy.

Covenanter Forces
8* Foot (1 * Vets)
5 * Horse (2.5 regts)
2 * Field artillery
1 * Dragoons

Montrose Forces
3 * Vet Foot (Irish)
5 * Gordon Foot
3 * Highlanders
4 * Horse (2 regts)
1 * Light gun
1 * Field artillery


The Battle

The Covenanters choose to anchor their position with one flank resting on a fast-flowing river and the other on a small wood. This meant they had ceded the high ground to Montrose. The wily Royalist commander could immediately see that this meant any attack by him would be channelled into a narrowing gap and would be subject to flanking fire. The Covenanters also had superior artillery which would be damaging at close range. So unusually Montrose choose to defend and nullify the advantages in the enemies position.    

Covenanters left, with troops sneaking across the river

Covenanter right with Horse in the distance

Irish Brigade lining the hills
Taking-up the challenge, the Covenanters advanced across their front, hoping to turn Montrose right flank by attacking the Highlanders.

On their right the Covenanter horse clashed with their opposite numbers in a cavalry battle that was to last the whole game, with both sides effectively cancelling each other out. We've found that cavalry melee can be fairly lengthy unless one side has some luck early on.

Horse meet head-on

The cavalry combat ebbs and flows. Stuart points out his lancers advance

In the centre, the Covenanters Foot moved into position  and began a firefight with the Irish and Gordon's Foot lining the hills. Honours were fairly even at first, with Montrose's artillery proving ineffective despite the short range

Covenanter Foot attacks

Montrose-eye view of the attack

The left of the Covenanter line

The Irish Brigade stands firm 

A long-shot of the centre

On the left, the Covenanter's attempt to outflank Montrose were thwarted by advancing enemy Foot and the unexpectedly strong resistance of the veteran Highlanders against the Covenanter trotters.

Covenanter flank attack is halted

Eventually the Covenanters began to waiver, with them being outshot for perhaps the first time in the campaign. For once Irish Brigade escaped serious damage and Alastair McColla was able to escape injury. The game ended as a rare defensive victory for Montrose as Covenanters streamed from the field to escape into the growing darkness.
Montrose achieves a flanking position

Covenanter centre is collapsing

Campaign Situation

With the first battle of 1645 going to Montrose he is now once again ahead by two territories controlling 7 to 5.


  1. How do you play the game without order cards?
    Pips? no orders?
    Impact on the game?

  2. Lex - I introduced a simple IGO-UGO turn sequence using an initiative dice to decide who goes first and making shooting / combat simultaneous. You need to make other mods too ofc e.g. being charged in the flanks should now hurt as you can avoid it etc.

    We found it works well for 3-4 a side games as everyone is kept occupied. If you send me an email address I'm happy to post you the modified version of the rules to try out plus a playsheet.