The Battle of Killiecrankie was the major battle of the 1689 Jacobite Uprising in Scotland, with a Jacobite Highlander force under James Graham, Viscount Dundee ambushing a Scottish government column under McKay. From a tactical point of view, it is thought to be the first use of the plug bayonet by the government infantry, thus eliminating the need for pikemen.
Andy Callan's rules and article on the Jacobite rebellions in Wargames Illustrated 003 features a skeleton description of the battle, which I supplemented with information from Wikipedia and from the Battlefields of Britain website. I revisited these rules in September 2019 when I re-fought Culloden.
The government forces outnumbered their Jacobite opponents and I settled on the following orders of battle for each side:
The Jacobite Army:
|The Jacobite Army on the high ground, mirroring the deployment of the Government forces, with the cavalry in the centre, foot to each side. The Government cavalry is in the foreground.|
|The Government Left. The four right hand units are the experienced troops, only the left-hand regiment is 'Raw'.|
|And the Government Centre and Right, with the cavalry, artillery and the remaining Foot (all Raw).|
|The battle begins in predictable fashion - the Jacobites advance! Note that the Goverment artillery has disappeared from the Government line, having fired it shots and become un-serviceable.|
|The left-hand troop of Government Cavalry becomes shaky...|
|Another view, from behind Government Left, as the Highlanders prepare to charge...|
|The left-hand Highland regiment (centre) is stopped by musketry as it crosses the path of the Government foot on the right|
|It is then broken by weight of fire (centre-right); the Government cavalry is all now looking distinctly shaky (left)...|
|The Government Left remains steady, delivering effective volleys as the Highlander Right charges home.|
|The disciplined fire of the Scots' foot breaks the spirit of the Highlanders|
|Although in the centre, the Government cavalry impotently turns and runs; the Highlanders pursue|
|The remaining cavalry of both sides is stuck in an ineffectual melee in front of Urrard House. However, the Government Right, obeying signals from their General in the house, begins to wheel around (right)|
|The Jacobite Army has collapsed - the Government cavalry is in full-flight too (bottom-centre) but the Government infantry has held on and won the day.|
Game Notes: In form the game wasn't too dissimilar to reality, except that in this refight the Government Foot held on and wasn't swept away. The classification of half the Government infantry as 'Experienced' rather than 'Raw' certainly increased the odds of this happening and if one wanted to refight the battle with the explicit aim of reproducing the historical outcome, then re-classifying all the Government infantry as 'Raw' would be the way to do it.
The rules themselves...all the individual mechanisms are basically fine. Working casualties out as percentages isn't amazingly immersive as a game experience but it isn't exactly difficult. The morale/reaction rules are quite well-calibrated I thought, as was the musketry and melee (generally). Where the whole thing really struggles is in game structure. I don't think I could tell you whether the game is meant to be by alternative or simultaneous movement. The 'charge' routine is good as an individual mechanism, with its tests for whether the Government Foot will open fire too early or not, and whether the Highlanders will stop to fire some quick disruptive shot; but it is very unclear how this interacts with other units not being charge being fired for instance. And in some cases the wording of the mechanism is unclear, for quite important stuff: how many times the Government Foot can fire when being attacked for instance (it could be anything between 1 and 3 times, with variations in effect between 1% and 15% per volley, so it really makes a difference).
I have mentioned before in the Comments on a similar subject that Andy Callan writes that he wrote these rules because:
1 - He prefers very period specific rules.
2 - He thinks that most C18 rules at the time (mid-80s) were designed for battles like Leuthen (C.85000 combatants, lasting hours) rather than Prestonpans (c.4000 combatants, lasting 20 minutes).
3 - He wanted to re-fight a solitaire map campaign with strengths expressed in individual soldiers, so he was committed to recording individual casualties.
Within those parameters, there is a set of useful ideas in there, but it needs some structural work I think to make it into a better functioning game. But it is very worth having a look through/play through and seeing if it could be used or adapted by a player of this period.
And, because "why not?", here is The Braes O'Killiecrankie
Figures by Baccus 6mm, I think the house is by Leven, the buildings in Killiecrankie by Timecast.