Auldearn is a great place to start a foray into the Campaigns of Montrose, and not just because it is one of the most well know battles of the campaign. For the wargamer and modeller the armies that fought in this battle on both sides were incredibly diverse, as was the terrain over which they fought.
The royalists had the usual infantry core of Irish veterans, as well as a mix of lowland and highland regular foot. But what is most remarkable is that for the first time in the campaign the royalist could field a large force of good quality cavalry under Lord Gordon and the Viscount Aboyne (they had recently defected from the government).
The Covenanters brought several regiments of quality foot, including veterans from Marston Moor, as well asraw lowland conscripts and highland clansmen levies, some of which were bow armed. They also had some horse of variable quality.
The battlefield that was fought over covered some of the most interesting and varied terrain of all the battles in the campaign. There was the long narrow ridge and open killing ground of Garlic Hill, surrounded on 3 sides by boggy marsh, and along which the covenanters advanced towards the village of Auldearn. The village itself, on a seperate ridge, protected from advance by a narrow boggy stream and cluttered with the homes, gardens, walls and fences, as well as the old kirk, through and around which there was some desperate street fighting. The village is flanked at its northern end by the steep flat-topped stump of castle hill, the remnants of a long gone Norman motte and bailey fort, and the lofty position from which the royalists ploughed flanking fire into the covenanters attack.
Orders of battle and battlefield layout to follow...