Highland – All Factions

In its current state (and it will probably remain so for the foreseeable future) the highland forces ended up with command pieces for ten clans – two Covenanter (Campbell) and the rest Royalist (including four MacDonald). In addition there are two highland musket and pike regiments.

All told I painted 84 highland warriors, 24 highland bowmen, and 36 clan levy to make up the various types of highland warband combat pieces. The highland regular levy combat pieces consist of 18 pike and 36 musketeers which can be used to form two or three musket and pike regiments or to form hybrid infantry regiments with some of the warband pieces. These 198 figures can combine to form a highland army of about 2600 men should I decide at some point to do the battle of Killiecrankie or other battles from the Jacobite wars.

In addition to fighting the wars of Montrose, they will certainly see service in Ireland as Redshanks and will also allow for the possibility of doing some of the interaclan warfare of the period As well. However, I’d probably need to double the number of clan levy figures if I attempt to do clan battles in the islands and highlands.

The picture below shows all the present assortment of figures. The MacDonalds and their allies are in the foreground with the dreaded Campbells are advancing across the burn toward them. Two regular highland levy regiments (the MacKenzies and the Gordons) support the Campbells on the hillside to the rear:

Hiighland Clan Army - all factions

The chart below names the clans represented by the command pieces in the picture above. The standards shown usually come from some aspect of the associated clan’s heraldry but those for Glengarry and Clanranald pay tribute to my A Song of Ice and Fire fetish:

Clan Ensigns


The standards of the two highland levy musket and pike regiments are shown below. As with the clan standards the colors and devices used are representative of the associated clan’s coat of arms.

Highland Clan Levy Regiments

To complete the highland forces I made a Campbell field officer command piece which carries the banner of Argyll:

Campbell Field Commander

This piece will probably represent the Covenanter commander at the battle of Inverlochy and possibly the Marquis himself from time to time.

Update 02-21-2016
I decided I need a few more regular clan levy which I treat as conventionally armed (musket&pike) shire or local fencibles. These are Campbell/Argyllshire along with some skirmishers.

I have pretty much run out of regular Scots foot (which I modify to wearing kilts and plaids) so took it a step farther and used regular figures with soft hats which I cut down to bonnets:

Argyll Fencibles

back to Armies of Scotland


2 thoughts on “Highland – All Factions

  1. I hope you dont think i am being confrontational but as a wargamer who has just started with Baroque i think the
    highland charge thing is totally unwarranted and based on a myth
    Only very poor troops succumbed to these charges and stuart reid make the point that most of the highland mass wasvery poorly equipped (knives and scythes) while montrose used the irish at first and later the gordon horse and the strathbogie regt as his shock troops.
    In this era the highland charge wasnt used to effect until killiekrankie where again it was levies who dissolved and ran
    I would appreciate your opinions as i am modifying this list to let highlander be ‘feared troops’ no salvo no special rules as at the moment they are too effective i think


  2. Hi Chosroes,

    Thanks for your thoughtful comments which I don’t find at all confrontational. As wargamers one of the great joys of our hobby is discussing how we think things actually worked and the reasons why we think the way we do.

    I am the first to admit that the “Highland” charge has taken on mythic proportions, first from 19th century romanticism and more recently in pop culture. James Hill’s Celtic Warfare (1986) takes a rather “high” view of it and finds it uniformly employed through out nearly three centuries on the Celtic Fringe.

    Stuart Reid has applied a very necessary corrective to this view (much to the distress of some traditionalist it seems) taking a rather “low” view of the fighting ability of Highlanders. I use his many books as a starting point for much of what I am doing (including relying on him for developing the OoB’s for Montrose’s battles). I also rely heavily on David Stevenson’s 1980 book on Alasdair MacColla (who sees him neither as demigod nor Montrose’s useful idiot). Stevenson takes a “middle” view of Celts and their tactics.

    “Highland Charge” (in my mind at least) is a catch all name for a tactic that is employed in the transition between mainly two-handed weapons and bows to the total dominance of firepower (say 1600 to 17??). Basically, the Highland Charge (HC) is implemented in Baroque with the “Salvo” characteristic – get close – fire everything you’ve got – then charge to contact – and I including the HC bonus as well. You have, quite reasonably, mentioned that this is overkill. Maybe, but basically I do it to level the odds toward achieving a historic result (Montrose – on paper at least – should loose nine time out of ten).

    I have wargamed in detail so far the first four of Montrose’s traditional victories. The first two with my own rules and the next two with Baroque. Incidentally, Fyvie was the worst possible battle in which to introduce Baroque (and the Covenanters won!). I now create Baroque custom army lists for each battle that I do. I’m not sure that a single, all-inclusive army list will work for any faction anywhere in the British Isles during this period, particularly on the Celtic Fringe.

    Finally as to the effectiveness of the “Highland Charge”. The Irish employed it decisively at Tippermuir and the Scots and Irish at Inverlochy. The Irish also likely finished with it at Aberdeen (Justice Mills). Admittedly, all against fairly green troops (for the most part). Killiecranckie was (from what I’ve read so far) a near run thing. MacKay had a sizable proportion of veterans troops and were perhaps one volley away from stopping the Highland Charge dead in its tracks (but that’s best discussed over a beer 🙂 )

    I will email you soon (from my hotmail account) with the subject “Baroque “.
    I’ll add a couple more notes on how I am presently conceptualizing Highlanders of the period and how I am trying to implement them in Baroque.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s