On saturday we had a 2nd refight of Fontenoy with a slightly different OOB and a different result.
OOB. Cumberland (Dep.) Ilten (Dep.) 3 x han. Inf., 1 light artillery Ligonier (Dash.) 3 x brit. Inf., 1 x brit. Elite Inf. (guards or highlanders), 1 x med. art. Campbell (Dash.) 1 x brit. Cav., 1 x han. Cav. - shot at a 8-12 (replaced by Rothes (Dep.)
Waldeck (Dep.) 1 x hol. Elite Inf., 1x hol. Inf., 1 x Art.(light) - Special rule for Waldeck: he can Rally off hits like a CinC. Cronström (Dith.) 2 x hol. Inf. Hessen-P. (Dith.) 1 x hol. Elite Cav., 1 x hol. Cav.
Saxe (Dash.) Independent 1 x light Inf. (Grassin) Grammont (Dith.) 1 x Elite Inf. (Gardes F.) - shot at a 8-12 (Charbanne/Dep. would replace him) D‘Estrées (Dep.) 3 x Inf., 1 x light Art. Lutteaux (Dash.) 1 x Elite Inf. (Irlandais), 1x Inf., 1 x light Art. Montagne (Dep.) 2 x Inf., 1x drag., 1x Elite Inf. (Swiss), 1 x med. Art. Herouville (Dash.) 4 x French Cav. Clermont-Tonerre (Dash.) 2 x French Elite Cav.
French Special: Units near the king Rally off hits as with the CinC.
The battlefield: 2,00 x 1,20 m
Fontenoy + Antoing heavy cover
Both Redoubts light cover
River Scheldt not fordable
Marsh in front of Fontenoy and the Bois de Boulogne: halved movement for all cavalryunits
Allied Major victory: Allies occupy Antoing and Fontenoy until the 8th turn and capture the French king.
Allied Minor victory: Allies occupy Fontenoy or Antoing until the 8th turn
French Major Victory: destroy half of the enemy's Units or one ally completely
It was a complete different battle. We were 4 Players, 2 new with the game and one of us played it very long ago. I shared the French command with my father in law, who had most of the troops and moved de Saxe around. I had just Grammont, Lutteaux and the Maison du Roi.
First important step was, that Waldeck got the chance to occupy the redoubt near Fontenoy, while the Swiss nearby Fontenoy were soon blown away by british gunshots and dutch volleys. Waldeck was faster (double move) and that had a very strong influence on the battle in this section. The dutch commander used his horse units in the most brutal way. They charged for example Montagne's 8pdrs and were shot with canister or whipped out by constant crossing volleys from Antoing. The Goal was easyly to make it. It was all to get his infantry forward with allmost no losses at all. But when Hessen-Philippsthal's horse were finished, Cronström's assault on Antoing was repulsed. The first line had to retreat and the second had to retreat too. Waldeck and Cronström by pressing Montagne's forces back missed every chance to fall back to Rally troops.
The French commanders were very different. I decided to use the gardes Francaises to defend the redoubt d'Eu because the gardes were the most relyable troops we had at this moment. The defenders of Fontenoy had now no chance to deal with the eager british line and artillery. My colleague refused to pull the defenders back and than they were done fore in one turn. Cumberland acted in a very clever coldblood temper. He left Campbells horse where it was, only sometimes to irritate me. I did'nt know if Ilten and Campbell finally would pass throu the Boi de Barry to roll up our defensive line. But in the end - in turn 4 - I decided that there was no serious thread from there and it was a lot more important to send Lutteaux with his artillery to support the humiliated French infantry at the center of the battle. Before I had decided to pull back the valuable gardes francaises before they were destroyed, however that meaned that we could loose the redoubt.
Cumberland still enjoyed to roll slowly forward, relying on his superior musketry. No british bayonet charges yet.
But our Commander in Chief, the maréchal de Saxe was eager to stop the redcoats. Therefore he send in our fine cuirassiers du Roi charging the first british infantry. The British had to retreat but the French horse were done for. However this was not enough of a lesson for my dear CinC. No, he send another French brigade of cavalry to Charge the Dutch. The result was not better. Oh no. The poor horsemen were done fore even before they could use their swords.
At this moment everything seamed lost for the French. Fontenoy and the redoubt nearby lost and Antoing defended by some French heros. But even heros have just one life to loose.
Now the player who played Cumberland had to go home and we had time for beer & brezeln - just german wargame's classics.
De Saxe and me run out of options how to deal with the enemy. The arquebusiers de Grassin had lost a astonishing deadly firefight. The hanoverians now could fully support the British attempt to storm the last French stronghold - the redoubt d'Eu. The defenders were diven out by British volleys. No need to charge. But to miss to charge the redoubt gave Lutteaux the chance to occupy the redoubt with his Irish brigade. Now better troops were here and the time was running out for our opponents.
However at that moment the Dutch finally made their way into Antoing pushing back the defenders. Later the new owners of the town of Antoing could destroy Montagne's 8 pdr.s by a combination of musketry and canister. Poor Montagne now could not do more than wait and look. His last unit fit for battle was the brigade of dragoons, who had to stay were it was.
Fortunately Cumberland now thought that he needed just a last crucial hit on the crumbling French to achieve a most glorious victory. After a first Dutch brigade of infantry was destroyed by d'Estrées artillery Ligonier perhaps decided that the British in Fontenoy sat around long enough. The advanced and were destroyed. Well. Now the battle was a lot more balanced - both side could break in one or two turns.
The French made the first step. It was unwillingly but decisive. The Irish defenders of the redoubt d'Eu had the Impression that it was a good idea to charge the highlanders in front of them. No doubt, the highlanders were fearsome opponents again and again advancing, shooting and destroying French hopes. The Irish charged and destroyed the highlanders immediately. Now everything happened very fast. The hanoverians used the chance to take the abandoned redoubt d'Eu. But they decided at the final turn to charge in the back of the Irish (who already had 3 hits). Charged in front by british and back by hanoverians the Irish had no chance. But so did the hanoverians, who had eagerly left the redoubt. Because now it was the final moment "de gloire" for the French horse. De Saxe saw his opportunity and send the Berry-brigade. They charged into the rear of the poor hanoverians. They were ridden down and now the Berry-brigade made the pursue move and crashed into the british who had destroyed the irish before. Now they had no chance and were done fore immediately.
At the same stage I decided to use the gardes francaises for a final heroic assault. They had to attack Antoing. Although they were repulsed by superior numbers, they destroyed the Garde de Voet before.
That turned out into a very strange result. Although the allies still held Antoing and Fontenoy they were broken.
They lost all their 9 points, while the French lost 8 points.
Es marschierten drei Regimenter wohl über den Rhein...