Saturday, November 25, 2023

Field of Battle 3 - Malplaquet at Ulster Wargame Society and at home and a purchase !!

Monthly Society meeting today and I put on a FOB3 game of Battle of Malplaquet 1709 (conversion of scenario from Lace Wars set I have but never used - an oft told story !) using my seldom seen 10mm stuff.

Had 2 French (Mike and Bryn) and 3 Allied (Dave S, Dave T and Dave B !) commanders playing with some 88 units (39 French and 49 Allied) on table, with units being nominally Foot Brigades and Cavalry Regiments as Malplaquet is rather a big battle.

Game played very smoothly and was great to watch events unfold on par with history (Allies maybe took less casualties overall) as Allies attack both flanks drawing French reserves from center.

French had some poor luck in early going both with dice (Mike could throw nothing but a 2 on any dice) and card sequencing, but did put some hurt on Allies later in game.

Some great narrative type events in game including a delayed Dutch assault and an early penetration of French lines by 2 units of Dutch cavalry who then sat ineffectually refusing to obey orders for what seemed ages until engaged by some French mounted. 

An untimely wounding of French general d'Artgnan on left saw a mass of French foot (some 12 units) go out of command (disordered) and thwart their efforts to slow the Dutch infantry.

A real slog in the Woods of Sar and Lanieres on both flanks saw several units destroyed, routed or damaged with edge going to Allies who managed to capture several of the field defences.

French morale (40) dropped to zero quickest and they handed several morale chips to Allies (who had lost 36 of their initial 50) and quit the field on first Army Morale card then turned.

FOB shone for sheer playability once more with 5 players and around 70 of the 88 units engaged in just over 4 hours of playing time resolving the action on a plausible manner with all players seeming to enjoy proceedings, cannot really ask for much better than this of any rule set.

Action mid game with French left wing being turned in Woods of Sar and Dutch assault on Laniers Wood (at top). Note erstwhile Dutch cavalry on road behind French lines but isolated

Allied Imperial infantry pushing French ever backward

French defences in Sars wood being overrun

French cavalry redeploying to deal with those daring Dutch chaps

Dutch heavily engaged in Lanieres wood as Allied horse push up in support

Game end with French right still in disarray after wounding of general (yellow Disorder markers abound)

French quit the field at this juncture after a hard fought encounter

Also at club was a nice 20mm run by Phil & Son with Japanese vs Russian I think in Manchuria 1939 ? several eye catching aircraft but no idea how it turned out ?

In preparation for Society game I play tested the scenario with Stephen on Thursday and it went much worse for French (under yours truly so no surprise !) as they could not cause much hurt on Allies who carried both flank positions in woods fairly easily.

Overall its a tough one to 'win' for French but they can if they can damage the Allies early and often.

A few pics from test game

And lastly a purchase of a set of wargame rules (been awhile by my standards !) these being 'Glory Is Fleeting' which are the new set based on Field Of Glory: Napoleonic which arrived whilst I was away so not had chance to peruse them as yet.


  1. Enjoyed the Malplaquet report and pics.

    1. Cheers did not have time to do more in depth AAR but hopefully you got the gist

  2. Replies
    1. Was great both times just more one-sided vs the 'dice demon' :-)

  3. Great to see FoB getting some play at the club, Gary!