The Battle of Fontenoy 1745

A game using 10mm figures and Maurice rules

General view of the battlefield from the French right, Allied columns in the foreground

This re-fight of the famous battle of the War of Austrian Succession (1740-1748) was played in the first week of August 2020. We used Sam Mustafa's Maurice rules and followed the historical scenario guidelines set out on pages 94-95 of the rule book. The game was played using 10mm figures on a 6' x 4' table. Sides were decided by chance and so it was that Bryan and Terry were the defending French and Dave, commanding the Pragmatic Army (with minor assistance from Neil) had the difficult task of attacking and seizing the game objective - a point on the French table edge, just left of the river, that represented the location of their baggage train and main line of communication. The French deployed to the west of the town of Antoing, one unit of infantry in garrison and the cavalry massed in column on the far left. The Pragmatic Army approached in column from the east, their cavalry arrayed on the right.

The order of battle for each side was as follows:


Commander Maurice de Saxe

Elite Regular Infantry 3 units

Trained Regular Infantry 8 units

Elite Regular Cavalry 2 units

Trained Regular Cavalry 4 units

Artillery 3 batteries

The town of Antoing on the French right

Pragmatic Army

Commander Duke of Cumberland


Elite Regular Infantry 1 unit

Trained Regular Infantry 3 units

Elite Regular Cavalry 1 unit

Trained Regular Cavalry 1 unit

Artillery 1 battery


Elite Regular Infantry 1 unit

Trained Regular Infantry 6 units

Elite Regular Cavalry 1 unit

Trained Regular Cavalry 1 unit

Artillery 2 batteries

The Allies begin the assault on the town

The Allies began the battle by advancing their infantry columns in the direction of Antoing , occasionally pausing while the artillery batteries bombarded the town, to little effect. Two units of infantry crossed the stream in an attempt to get behind the French lines, suffering some disruption as a consequence. The French generals were content to sit and wait until the Allies began to bring their cavalry forward and then responded by swiftly deploying their own mounted troops in the centre. As the Allied infantry struggled to form into line to assault Antoing (due to restrictive nature of the terrain) the cavalry forces clashed. A series of charges, melees and counter-charges then ensued that basically decided the outcome of the battle.

Cavalry combat in the centre

As the troopers fought it out, the Duke of Cumberland finally managed to dress his lines of infantry and began the assault on Antoing. The garrison offered spirited resistance but was eventually broken by sheer weight of numbers. Meanwhile, however, the French cavalry had gained the upper hand against their counterparts and all four Allied mounted units were smashed and broken. The Dutch and Anglo-Allied infantry gamely carried on the advance but the cards in the pack had gone and it was clear, as night fell, that there was no way to take their objective. The field belonged to the French.

This was an enjoyable game but, as is often the case with Maurice, large numbers of units on both sides saw no action and, as usual, artillery was useless. The view was that the scenario was extremely difficult for the Allies to win and Dave was also not helped by the game cards running out more quickly than expected. Still, lots of fun for all who took part.