Cruachan! The Covenanter Army At Inverlochy (1645) – Configured for FK&P

Cruachan! is the battle cry of Clan Campbell. Cruachan (pictured in the header) is a mountain peak rising above Loch Awe in the heart of the clan’s domain. The photography is from Trip Advisor United Kingdom.

The Battle of Inverlochy (1645) is fairly unique in the history of The Wars of the Three Kingdoms and singular in Montrose’s campaign in that a substantial portion of both armies are Highlanders. It should prove an interesting test for the For King and Parliament rules.

I had wargamed Inverlochy using Baroque about a year ago (here is the resource page with links to posts). It is a fairly straight forward battle to set up and is essentially an all infantry battle. The grid boxes are 10cm squares, twelve wide by nine deep but the two back rows could probably be eliminated without ill effect. If the length is a problem, the two edge columns (assuming Inverlochy Castle is reduced into a single box) can also be eliminated.

The Battlefield of Inverlochy on February 2nd, 1645 <click to enlarge>

For visual interest I have seriously compressed the distance between Torn Na Faire (the slight hill in the center of the Covenanter line) and the western slope of Ben Nevis.

In addition to the large percentage of Highlanders, Inverlochy has two other major dynamics:

First and foremost, it is an ancient blood feud between two rival and quite substantial clans – Clan Donald (stretching from Antrim in Ulster to the Western Highlands and Islands of Scotland) and Clan Campbell (the ascendant political and military power in what is now Argyllshire – much of the selfsame area claimed by the Clan Donald). To say there was no love lost between the two would be an understatement.

Second, it is a Catholic army going up against a Protestant one and I believe this dynamic is often under emphasized. Alasdair MacColla, second to Montrose, was an ardent Catholic (as was most of Montrose’s rank and file at Inverlochy). MacColla had taken as one of his goals to strongly reestablish the faith in the lands conquered by the Covenanting Campbells.

The order of battle below is set up to meet the requirements of FK&P. The Commanding General is Duncan Cambell with four brigades of foot and one (or two) field guns:

Covenanter Order of Battle for Inverlochy, February 2nd, 1645 <click to enlarge>

The list of clan names of those known to be present is derived from reports of the notable clansmen that were killed or captured. I have used some of those names for the units that appear in the order of battle. The actual deployment within the array is unknown.

The Covenanter Center

The Covenanter center consists of two brigades. The first line (which includes an additional unit to either flank) is the brigade consisting of the Clan Campbell array. The second line (on the rise of Torn An Faire) is the commanding general’s Argyll brigade <click to enlarge>

The Campbell Clan Array (Brigade)

In the center of the array is the levy of Clan Campbell of Auchinbreck, here armed as a pure pike battalia harkening back to the pike schiltrons of their ancestors. There is no evidence that they would be so armed but it lies within the realm of the possible. They are there to game test an all pike unit since such units were certainly used in Ireland. The pure pike battalion has some special advantages in the attack.

Flanking the pike battalia to left and right are the levy warbands of Campbell of Innera and Campbell of Parbeck. According to Patrick Gordon of Ruthven they were armed with guns, bows and axes. Likely they also had a variety of polearms, half-pikes and other make-shift weapons. Although physically larger units than the better armed retinue warbands and having some of the same abilities, they are weaker in their ability to absorb hits.

All three of the levy units in the center are raw and untried. They might not respond well to any number of actions and are units that are most likely to break quickly. Further complicating things is that in FK&P terms, this is an “empty” brigade. It does not have a brigade commander and will suffer immediately with command and control issues.

Incidentally, a minor clarification is required concerning the Gallant Gentleman attached to Campbell of Auchinbreck’s pike battalia. John Campbell was the son of the Captain of Dunstaffnage (Sir Archibald Campbell) not the Captain himself. He would soon inherit the position, however, and as he was taken prisoner for ransom at Inverlochy he was likely fulfilling the Captain’s role on the field.

Duncan Campbell’s (Argyll) Brigade

In the second line in the center is Argyll’s Foot (here divided into two battalions  for scaling purposes). It is not completely clear which body of Argyll’s men these were. The prevailing opinion seems to be that they are the Marquis of Argyll’s “Irish” Regiment (that is to say the one which served in Ulster). If so, they had campaigned against Montrose back in the Autumn and fought him at Fyvvie. They had been sent home in November of 1644 but probably re-mustered for the current emergency. They are the closest thing the Covenanters have to veteran troops.

Between the two battalions is a field gun battery of one, possibly two guns. I am showing them as falconettes but they may have been lighter still.

The Covenanter Right

Detached battalions of two Lowland foot regiments had been transferred to Argyll in late 1644 and were present at Inverlochy.

Rouge’s (called a brigade for command purposes in the game) regular musket & pike battalia is placed on the Covenanter extreme right. To their left is the retinue warband of Clan Cambell of Glencaddell, part of the Cambell clan array in the center

Although smaller, the retinue warbands are better armed than the levies and somewhat more capable.

Rouge’s Brigade

Perhaps there was some intention to have Glencaddle serve as part of Rouge’s command, but likely no clan warband would be inclined to serve under a Lowlander. Next to Argyll’s foot, Rouge’s (and Cockburn’s on the opposite flank) were probably the best trained Covenanter units on the field and were placed on the flanks for that reason.

The Covenanter Left

The left flank mirrors the right with the lowland battalion again placed on the outside.

Cockburn’s musket & pike battalia (like Rouge’s, designated a brigade) fills the small gap between Inverlochy Castle and the Covenanter line of battle. To their right is the retinue warband of Clan Campbell of Lochnell, which is also part of the clan array in the center

Cockburn’s Brigade

In addition to his battalion, Cockburn also commands the small commanded shot detachment that holds Inverlochy Castle. For game purposes it is a medieval fortification but was, however, in complete disrepair. Its capture is one of two victory point positions on the field.

The Camp (listed with Auchinbreck’s Brigade) is the other victory point target available to the Royalists. In the game it is classed as rough terrain which blocks line-of-sight.

11 thoughts on “Cruachan! The Covenanter Army At Inverlochy (1645) – Configured for FK&P

  1. Can you do your down looking view for the whole battlefield? – I nearly caused myself a serious injury trying to do it for my new Montgomery 1644 scenario! Really looking forward to your AAR view of this one – I have identified my castle – Total Battle Miniatures Ligny Chateau. Not an exact match, but a lovely model!


    • “Can you do your down looking view for the whole battlefield? – I nearly caused myself a serious injury trying to do it for my new Montgomery 1644 scenario”
      My arms aren’t long enough! To get every thing in I have to shoot from the side which destorts the pic.
      I have an idea, however, which I’ll try when I have the light back in the morning.

      I really like TBM models and have thought of using 6mm structures from time to time to better use table space. The Ligny Chateau will look better than my toy blocks. Send pics when you get some.


  2. Once again the amount of research shown is impressive. It’s obvious this is your passion and not just a game.


  3. Pingback: A Dice Tower For Cards | In Red-coat Rags Attired

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