FONTENOY USING MAURICE RULES

1745 Fontenoy Louis XV

Last night we tried out the Maurice rules again this time using the Fontenoy scenario from the rule book.   It took us a while to set up the game and, as neither of us are familiar with the rules, we did a lot of talking and reading before getting things started.

The rules are card driven which is a concept we are new to and so it took some time for us to get our heads around this – more time than we had in fact in one evening so the game remains set up until next week.

So far the allies have brought forward their artillery to bombard the entrenched French around the village of Antoing while they get the rather large columns in place and set them moving. This has proven rather cumbersome so far but they are getting there and should be in action during next Friday’s game.

A bird's eye view of the opening of the battle

A bird’s eye view of the opening of the battle

The Allied advance

The Allied advance

Allied cavalry moving up in support

Allied cavalry moving up in support

French reserves

French reserves

The French defence.

The French defence.

French infantry awaiting the onslaught.

French infantry awaiting the onslaught.

French cavalry in reserve.

French cavalry in reserve.

To be continued next week…………………

WEEK TWO AT THE BATTLE OF FONTENOY

After a week’s pause the battle continued with the Allied advance on the French lines. Although the Allies had the number of guns allowed under the scenario their continuous bombardment caused only one disruption to the French side despite at least ten rounds of fire by three batteries which represents 75 guns. This was very disappointing.  At first we thought we were not reading the rules properly and then we blamed the dice but in the end we felt that the artillery rules did not serve the infantry well so that when they reached the French lines they were severely repulsed by musket, canister and then the bayonet.  The French did not even need to move up their reinforcements. The Allies decided to withdraw and call it a day.

Overall we were very disappointed in the rules system.

The Allied advance on the French left.

The Allied advance on the French left.

The Allies move into musket range

The Allies move into musket range
On the other flank the Allied left advances on the French right

On the other flank the Allied left advances on the French right

The Allied left closes on the French left

The Allied left closes on the French right

The firefight and melee on the French left

The firefight and melee on the French right

The attack repulsed.

The attack repulsed.

Overall it was a sad end to the game so the hunt for a rule set continues.

 

 

 

 

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12 Responses to FONTENOY USING MAURICE RULES

  1. Phil says:

    Nice looking game, beautiful figures!

  2. wargamorium says:

    Thanks Phil. The game continues next week when I hope to get some better quality photographs.

  3. Musketier says:

    It should perhaps be explained that those splendid figures are based for the Wargamorium house rules – infantry on 30mm squares, cavalry on 40mm frontages, artillery close to the latter.
    For the purposes of this Maurice trial, where all arms should have the same basewidth (BW), we resolved the discrepancy by making 40mm our reference BW and building infantry brigades of five bases. Since 1740s infantry has no Massed formation, it really makes no difference in terms of game play, and 150mm is close enough to the cavalry’s 160mm.
    A firing template of 40x160mm should ensure that we don’t accidentally allow five bases to fire for a single unit; it’ll probably appear in next Friday’s pictures…

  4. That seems like an extremely atypical outcome in my experience of the game. When you closed to musket range, were both sides shooting? Did you modify shooting and combat with cards? I can’t recall ever playing a game of Maurice with such a one-sided outcome.

    FMB

    • wargamorium says:

      Hello FMB

      Musket fire was simultaneous as far as I recall but I will check with the Allied player as he was our rules “expert” for the evening. I do agree with you that the result does seem rather odd for a rule set which I am sure was playtested many times before it was published and which so many others seem to enjoy. I’ll come back to you. Many thanks for posting.

      Regards

    • Musketier says:

      Thank you for looking in, FMB! Your reports of Maurice games are a key inspiration in keeping up my attempts to make the rules work for us: You and your friends obviously have achieved a better grasp, not just of the rules, but of how the game should be played and enjoyed…

      As for the Fontenoy experience, I’m fairly sure we didn’t overlook any of the rules -musketry was definitely simultaneous, and Action Cards were used when available (and on those occasions, mostly cancelled each other out). My mistake, which our host has been too polite to mention, had been in misreading the set-up instructions, and giving his French 4 -units’- worth of field works, rather than 4 BW. As a result, their whole front was in cover, meaning my Allies scored too few hits in the first place for their Steady Volleys re-rolls to be of much use. So the final assault went in against pretty much undisrupted units defending an obstacle. We both knew the likely (and historically plausible) outcome, and played it more to test the mechanism for close combat.

      So I’m not blaming the rules for anything (except perhaps the largely ineffectual Bombardment), but I obviously need to work on managing my hand of cards – as well as on my scenario-reading skills…

  5. Caesar says:

    Ironic that I should read this battle report as I dust off my Maurice set of rules for a greatly anticipated game soon. Recently we have been heavily into Longstreet at our club, another card-driven game for the American Civil War, which I enjoy for the game mechanics more than the period. However, I found myself missing the entrancing simplicity and splendid uniforms of early 18th Century warfare. Maurice isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, particularly with its unique use of cards. That’s part of its charm for me, as I enjoy the challenge of planning my turn and managing army fatigue, which I find the game does excellently. It forces priorities upon you like no other system I’ve played. Horses for courses, I guess. Best of luck in your search for the ultimate game. Gladly I have found mine.

    • wargamorium says:

      Thank you Caesar for your comments.

      You will see that Musketier, who played the allies and was our rules expert, commented below in response to FMB and that he does not blame the rules but rather our reading of them. I do confess that I started the game with a bias against card driven rules but as this was our second attempt using the rules I did not find them to be as much a nuisance as I thought. Indeed I could see the advantages and disadvantages of the system as the game progressed. Even though I was the French player and had the advantage of the field works I do agree with Musketier that the artillery bombardment should have had more effect.

      I have this theory that all rules sets work if you persist with them but they do not work for all players. Simply put they did not work for us. However if they work for you then that is great but we have to keep looking.

      Regards

  6. 5thTroop says:

    King of the Battlefield uses 30x30mm bases. Three to a regiment but more if you wish. I would be interested in trying the same scenario with these rules.

    I have promised to play Maurice this year but when . . . The look of Longstreet, and the looks on players faces, did inspire me to play a few games of Fine n Furry last year.

    • wargamorium says:

      Hi 5th Troop.
      Sorry for the delay in responding to your post. Fontenoy is an interesting battle to play but Maurice just did not work for us I’m afraid. We were very positive and Stefan did a lot of preparatory work on the rules beforehand but nothing seemed to work on the day. Given there are so many happy Maurice players out there it must have been us that were wrong. Do give it a go and good luck.

  7. Joe North says:

    We played Fontenoy using Age of Reason at about 1/3 strength, it followed the historical outcome on the Brit flank and on the Dutch flank the French were able to roll them up enough to threaten a complete route of the allies. It was a fun refight.

  8. wargamorium says:

    Hello Joe North

    Many thanks for your comment. We have played SYW again – see above – but using our own home made rules. These worked out much better and we might have another go at the Battle of Fontenoy. If so there will be yet another report on the Blog.

    I played Age of Reason many years ago.but we did not thank that they were really geared for the linear tactics of the SYW. If you have a look at the latest SYW game in the Hessian Salient then you will see the effect we are after – linear tactics and long firing lines.

    Regards

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