Last time, we lifted the lid on the brand-new Scots Covenanters starter army for Pike & Shotte Epic Battles, and today we’re looking at their staunch Royalist counterparts, the forces of Montrose! This force is rather unique in the period, being primarily infantry-focussed, and lacking in cavalry and heavy artillery, but more than makes up for it in fighting spirit, disciplined infantry – and highlanders! Let’s get that box open!
Right out of the gate we see some old friends – a trio of the original infantry sprues nets you three regiments of combined pike and musket, a perfect ‘core’ battalia that you can build the rest of your force around, with officers to lead them. Supporting them is a regiment of hardy Scots, built using the brand-new infantry sprue, led by a mounted commander and accompanied by a handful of dismounted Scots Dragoons (you can never have too many rough and ready types lurking around!). This already gives the core of your army a unique mixture, but it’s about to get even more different (and far, far wilder!).
The highlanders are coming, and the first place you’ll be able to get your hands on them is in this starter army! Four regiments, each of forty wild and woolly clansmen, provide some serious muscle to your army and are a genuine threat to pretty much anything at close quarters. These fierce men, although using outdated weaponry (favouring the broadsword, targe shield, and fearsome Lochaber axe) and institutionally allergic to ‘proper’ military discipline, are keen to get stuck into the enemy. Line ’em up and watch ’em go – but don’t expect too much in the way of fancy manoeuvring from them – you’ll want to keep them well-supported with your more regular troops, and well away from massed enemy gunlines. Quite aside from their martial prowess, check out how awesome the sculpts are! Packed full of character, these are some of my favourite Epic Battles miniatures yet, and I’ll definitely be picking a few up to terrify my opponents on the tabletop!
While Montrose’s forces were notably lacking in cavalry or artillery, they weren’t totally without support, and the starter army includes a small contingent to protect your flanks or harrass your foes. Twenty plastic Harquebusiers are accompanied by six mounted and ten dismounted dragoons, plus four Cuirassiers – I like to use these armoured heavies to make extra-fancy officers in old-fashioned kit, as well as a pair of mounted cornets to accompany your commanders. For artillery, however, you’ll need to make do with a brace each of light Falconets and medium Sakers, with eight commanded shot to guard them. It’s hardly the most fearsome ordnance park, but it’s certainly better than nothing, and you can always expand it if you like! It is, however, absolutely representative of the under-equipped but courageous soldiers of Montrose!
Speaking of Montrose, naturally the Marquis himself is included as an awesome exclusive Warlord Resin figure, as is the fearsome (and terrifying, and generally absolutely horrible to face on the tabletop!) Alisdair ‘the Devastator’ Mac Colla. This claymore-wielding lunatic is accompanied by a pair of bodyguards, all in Warlord Resin, and is the natural choice to lead a screaming horde of highlanders full-pelt into the enemy’s ranks, wreaking havoc and, well, devastation, wherever he goes! I once had the misfortune to run up against the 28mm version of Mac Colla at a big game of Pike & Shotte at Warlord Bossman John’s house, and… it went poorly for me!
Grab your targe and broadsword, rally the clans, and prepare to march in service of the King – the army of Montrose is coming!