Normally overshadowed by a few myths and tourist-focused, trivial details such as Scotland versus England, the death of the hero Dundee, a Highland charge and Soldier's Leap, the Battle of Killiecrankie receives much less attention than it deserves.
The outcome was decisive, the tactical approach of both sides markedly different, the armies dramatically different in size, culture and leadership style, the terrain extreme and militarily atypical for the period and, it was all over extremely quickly. All of these factors make its appeal alluring from a gaming point of view.
|Dundee's Highland horde.|
Having refought Killiecrankie many times on the tabletop I became somewhat obsessed by trying to beat the AI on the Pike & Shot computer game even with the difficulty level set at its highest. I return to it frequently and spend time considering the ways to win (as the Jacobites obviously). Using wargaming concepts, tools and thinking, it's not easy!
|Scenario 3 in which Hastings English regiment protects its baggage.|
Preparing a scenario for the entire battle was a job for the new scenario book 'A taste of victory!' It appears in its entierety there. Adopting a different approach was the tack I took in presenting this 4Play pack. By dividing the battle down into three parts, it is possible to get a better sense of what went on where.
|Musketeer from The Earl of Leven's Regiment.|
This pack splits the action into left, centre and right of the battle from whichever armies' perspective you adopt. I chose 2 x 2 feet tables so that the units used could be sized normally with 12-18 models each. On a large table, double or triple sized units would be needed but apart from the aesthetic benefit, no others could be immediately driven out of such a set up.
|Pikemen a couple of whom wear the tradition red faced white of Scots regiments.|
There is some overlap of units between each of the scenarios but, as they are all stand alone, this detail is irrelevant. Each scenario is a four turn game with four units per side. The victory conditions of each are quite different and as a consequence, each game has a completely different feel.
Scottish themed scenarios have actually proved to be the most popular of all the content commercially released so far and there is now a little canon of work building which will continue to grow. Watch out for naval aspects of the Argyll Rebellion, the Haughs of Cromdale, the Siege of Bass Rock, The Covenanter Risings and the 1715 Rising, all coming up.
Meanwhile, enjoy the Bonnet's o' Bonnie Dundee!