Thursday, 25 December 2014

Layout for Waterloo refight

With the Highlanders completed [ see previous post ], this (almost) completes what I need to do a tabletop game of Waterloo.  Woohoo.  Let's consider it a Christmas present to myself.

With the 200th anniversary coming up next year, there will be a flurry of games by individuals, bloggers and clubs.  It should be interesting to tally the results and see if Napoleon indeed had a chance.  I don't think the manner of the rules will have much bearing.  I would hope that most will start with the historical set up and play out the game from the actual deployments; but as I plan to do, will also try the 'the French can do whatever they want' game.  Both added together should give a good idea whether Welly was good, lucky, really needed the Prussians, or Napoleon played it all wrong.

For the 8 x 5 foot table space available at the conventions I will only use simple green mats.  The buildings are paper models and the rye fields are cut up straw feet mats and are just to fill in some empty space.  A modelled ridge line is not used as it was certainly not considerable and did not impede or slow movement and does not form any defensive importance but rather only as a slight rise for line of sight. Thus the road forms that feature.

I took a few overhead shots to help with future set-ups

Historical deployment.  Looking north from behind French lines - above Rosomme like in some fictional balloon.  Hougomont is the brick complex on the left, LaHayeSainte upper middle, LaBelleAlliance building with the red roof, lower centre, Papalotte/Fischermont upper right and finally Planceoit lower right.
The French deployments:
Reilly's Corps facing Hougomont, with Kellerman's heavy cavalry to their rear.  Barely visible within Hougomont's woods, are the Nassau defenders  
The centre of the French deployment showing Lobau/Mouton's Corps across the road from LaBelleAlliance, and the Guard infantry and cavalry to their rear, along the road to Brussels. 

Continuing east-bound, we have D'Erlon's Corps in column masse ready to attack and with the "Grand Battery" made up of his and a Guard artillery model.  While perhaps not visually massive, it does have a lot of firepower, but with only Bylandt's brigade and the Netherland artillery exposed on the ridge, one can understand that they would be hit hard.
* the green stick indicates a move distance.  
 The Allies positions:

We view the Allied left flank from the French point of view.  The road runs along the "crest" of the ridge and thus, all those units north of the road cannot be seen from the French positions.  While sketched deployments can be used or better yet dummy markers for more accurate placement, I will chose, at least for the historical version, to have everything on the table.  Looks prettier!  French artillery can hit units over the crest but with a harsh modifier and only try once per unit per turn to replicate the indirect thus random fire to these hidden units to the French. Should still help a bit as it still did on that day. 
The Allied right, again from the French point of view. Hougomont on the left and LHS on the right, does not allow much room for attack.  Historically the French cavalry attacked through this area.

Now looking south from the ridge:
From above the Allied centre, we can see Picton's infantry of Highlanders and Hanoverians deployment just behind the ridge line and the British heavy horse of the Scots Greys and Households with the Dutch and Belgian Carabineers behind.
Note that I have added the lone "Wellington's Tree" to keep up with the mythology of this battle! 
From above the Allied right flank showing the brigades deployed behind Hougomont
The camera seems to find lots of open green space while the human eye does not. Why is that? The tabletop appears much closer and better I must say, as I admit spending more than a few minutes gazing upon the whole scene, seeing the results of about a few years effort, made among other projects and painting.....

....Right, enough of that.  Where are my primered Russians.....


  1. Replies
    1. Thanks. I really do want to have a few games of this.

  2. Very exciting. I can feel the tension building. The units and layout look most impressive. It looks very different to how I expect my set up for Waterloo in 15mm will look. Fascinating to see the differences (and similarities).

    1. With so many games of the same battle which will be played in the next year, it will indeed be interesting to see how the battle comes out on the wargame table.
      Each rules or more accurately, each scale/ratio used will determine the overall look and deployment of the figures. I make no claim to correct frontages or distances between topographic features. We had our base size and made it fit onto the table space we know we must adhere to. That this looks very much accurate is quite the bonus!

  3. Stunning work, I may have a go at Waterloo myself next year ;-)


    1. Yes, along with the other 8, 238 other Napoleonic wargamers, eh?
      I think, even without the 'proper' troop types, anyone with say a Russian and Prussian armies could recreate the battle. What is important is the type and assessed quality of the troops, not the nationalities to produce a Waterloo battle.
      Indeed, I have done many other battles using 'not-the-right-troops' to success. Helps in the fog of war by having the players confused about the battle.
      So, Ian, even without Dutch-Belgians/Netherlanders for example you still could "do Waterloo" with other nationalities.
      Anyway, thanks for the kind comment and have a good new year.

  4. As you say, it's gonna be great to see all the versions of Waterloo 200.
    Trying to link to as many as possible here:

    1. Good idea. Perhaps send out word from popular war-game sites as TMP and the other forums and ask to have your fellow wargamers put their Waterloo games including winner and AAR on that site so everyone can compare notes. Be interesting to have a tally of games done during the year.

  5. Looks wonderful! The painting, the setup and all nicely photographed too!

    1. Thank you. As I mentioned, there appears to the natural eye less open green space than the camera produces, thus it looks much tighter/better than in the photos. I am a believer in getting into it quickly. I have been in too many games where the forces are alined on each side of the table four feet distant taking six turns or much real time just to engage marching more or less straight forward in any case. The so-called 'maneuver space' is really just wasted time.
      ahhh, rant over
      Again, thanks for the kind comment.