Monday, 27 July 2020

Battle of Fontenoy: The Austrian Netherlands 1st May 1745.

Prior to this battle, the French Army had not done very well in Northern Italy. It was decided in Council that the Austrian Netherlands being on France's Northern border would be an easier target. The King of France, Louis 15th was also keen to campaign with his army so this would allow him to do so without being in harm's way much to the relief of his Generals.

The French army at this time was being led by possibly the best General of the age; Maurice of Saxony. He knew where the Allied army was likely to advance South. Therefore knowing that his troops were not at their best when going toe-to-toe with the English, he set up a killing field to channel the allied attack.

If the French army were being led by the best, the Allied Army had one of the worst. The Duke of Cumberland was the son of King George 2nd, King of Britain and Elector of Hanover. He did bring in some much needed improvements to the life of his troops, however his grasp of tactics was limited to leading his men into the heaviest enemy fire and keeping them there!

The British army at this point in time was not the finely honed force it would become under the Duke of Wellington. It was, when on the Continent, an auxiliary force to the Hanovarian Army. The Duke of Cumberland was in command of the Pragmatic Army because his social rank. The Pragmatic Army was the name given to the nation's allied to Austria, these being ; Hanover ( with Britain ), Holland,( at this time known as The United Provinces ) and Piedmont-Sardinia.

The opposition consisted of Prussia, France/Spain ( a family alliance ) along with Bavaria.

The Pragmatic Army.

The British;
16,000 foot inc Artillery and Generals.
16 points x 2 = 32 points.
4,500 horse = 4.5 points x 2 = 9 points.

C-in-C Duke of Cumberland = 1 point.
General John Ligonier = 1 point.
2 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points = 8 points.
5 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points = 15 points.
2 stands of Scots light Infantry Skirmishers @ 2 points = 4 points.
2 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 2 points.
3 stands of Dragoon Cavalry @ 3 points = 9 points.

The Hanoverian Brigade.

4,000 foot inc Artillery and Generals.
4 points x 2 = 8 points.
2,000 horse = 2 points x 2 = 4 points.

General Zastrow = 1 point.
1 stand of Light Artillery @ 1 point.
2 stands of Line Infantry @ 3 points = 6 points.
2 stands of Lìght Dragoons @ 2 points = 4 points.

The Dutch Army ( also known as the United Provinces ).

22,000 foot ìnc Artillery and Generals.
22 points x 2 = 44 points.
3,000 Horse = 3 points x 2 = 6 points.

General Karl August, Prince of Waldecķ @ 1 point.
General Constrom @ 1 point.
2 stands of Grenadier Ìnfantry @ 4 points = 8 points.
10 stands of Line Infantry @ 3points = 30 points.
4 stands of Light Artillery @ 1 point = 4 points.
3 stands of Light Dragoon Cavalry @ 2 points = 6 points.

The Austrian Netherlands Brigade.

1,500 Horse = 1.5 points x 2 = 3 points ( inc a General ).
500 foot = 0.5 points x 2 = 1 points.

General Count Lothar Konigsegg = 1point.
1 stand of  Light Dragoon Cavalry = 2 points.
1 stand of Militia Line Infantry = 1 point.

The French Army.

32,000 foot inc Artillery and Generals.
32 points x 2 = 64 points.
14,000 cavalry.
14 points x 2 = 28 points.

C-in-C General Maurice De Saxe @ 3 points.
General Vauguyon @ 1 point.
General Lutteaux @ 1 point.

3 stands of Grenadier Infantry @ 4 points = 12 points.
11 stands Line Infantry @ 3 points = 33 points.
3 stands Light Infantry Skirmishers @ 2 points = 6 points.

4 stands of Heavy Artillery @ 2 points = 8 points.

8 stands of Line Dragoon Cavalry @ 3 points = 24 points.
2 stands of Light Dragoon Cavalry @ 2 points = 4 points.

Here is a map of the battle;

Here is the armies laid out;


● The ground in front of the British/ Hanovarians sloped up toward the French position. It did not seem to make any difference to the movement so I left it flat.

● The French troops facing the Dutch troops were positioned behind a raised track which ran between Anthoing and Fontenoy. As with the British, it didn't affect the battle in any way so, once again I left it flat.

● King Louis 15th was present at the battle but he did not take command.

● The French Artillery cannot move. If any model gets a "move-back" result from fire or combat, 2 points will be removed from the die roll of each gun model firing back during the same Game-Turn.

● The defense works are treated as trenches. Stands positioned behind them get cover from fire. In combat, both sides use the normal rules.

● The Duke of Cumberland dismounted to lead the British Infantry attack. The British player can have a dismounted version of Cumberland if desired. The model will move at infantry speed.  The Duke ignored advice from his Generals about the redoubt in the woods of Barry!.

● If any British stand has to move back as a result of Fire while the army is positioned on the board edge, the stand is removed!.

● Initial Moves;

On the British side, only the Dutch army moves on the first Game-Turn. From the second Game-Turn onward the game is played as normal.

The Solo Game;

On the British side, only the Dutch army is moved for the first two Game-Turns. From the third Game Turn onward, the British Player uses two thirds of their points for the British/ Hanovarian group first. This is because the Dutch attack was not pushed home.


The figures are mostly Miniature Figurines supplemented with Peter Pig and Essex miniatures. There are also a stand of Hallmark pioneers. The coach in the bottom corner is from Essex.

The defense works are from a company called Last Man Last Bullet, and supplemented by sections from the Fire and Sword company.

The buildings are from Total Battle Miniatures.

The little supply waggon and the tent base is from Peter Pig.

All the items listed are 15mm and the interpretation of the battle is my own. The flags are hand painted by myself on masking tape.