The Waterloo Campaign seen through several wargames I own.
Ben Bosmans
Belgium
Mechelen
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For me this celebration is a kind of an opportunity to see all these different Napoleonic games on Waterloo.

In June this year it will be 200 years that The Allies fought a final Battle against Napoleon south of Brussels.

I have several games on the matter and so I'll be playing them all, once or even several times to compare them and get "the feel of the battles" again.

Actually the Waterloo Campaign consisted of 4 seperate battles: Quatre Bras, Ligny, around Wavre and Waterloo.

During all these wargaming years I collected several games on this topic and so it is good to look back what tools we have had to simulate this final Napoleonic piece of history.


The game(s) I'll start with is part of the VERY FIRST wargame I acquired back in 1978: Napoleon's Last Battles (NLB) from SPI with a Dutch/French translated THE LUXE Edition (even on the map!) that was produced for the Benelux/French market.

One of the shortest wargames ever came out of it: Quatre Bras

I'll play along the different incarnations of these battles and while I don't have "all" games on the subject, I still have a very decent number of wargames that cover the subject.

What are they? Apart from the NLB system above, I will use the Napoleon's Battles miniatures system from AH, the Ney vs. Wellington system and of course the new Commands & Colors: Napoleonics system.

While Wellington's Victory: Battle of Waterloo Game – June 18th, 1815 (WV) uses the same system as Ney vs Wellington, the latter is far more easier and quicker to handle than the "monster" game.

I will also include 2 "strategic" games as well that will cover the period: Age of Napoleon and of course the solitair Field Commander: Napoleon.

I may also include the Hundred Days Battles as it is rather small and handy to play (vs its real intimitating sister games of Kevin Zucker).


I realise this might probably be too much of a challenge, but the purpose is not so much to compare end results or fun of these games but which game will have the most "lasting" impression after playing it all.

Why ? Well I want to see if complexity within a wargame justifies its historical value as a wargame. Or ... could it be that just a small simple wargame like SPI's Quatre Bras already gave enough insight and pleasure to play it as such.

Or if, at the other end of the scale, you really need to dig deeper into the chrome and added rules before the games becomes a valid study on the campaigns being simulated and played (hopefully with a lot of fun).

I'll keep dates between games so to ensure, I will have had several sessions before June 16th 2015 ...

I know, with all the other solo challenges I took already, this one needs to find some serious holes in my time schedule. But hell, that's why it is a challenge.



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1. Board Game: Quatre Bras [Average Rating:7.10 Overall Rank:7837]
Ben Bosmans
Belgium
Mechelen
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Played: 08 march 2015: Time: 1 hour. French win.

I played the first Quatre Bras scenario with basic but all optional rules and the French won a deceisive victory on the last turn by breaking the Allied Army (42 Combat points destroyed).

Although the French themselves were very near demoralistaion themselves at one point (around 1700 PM).

The difference with the historical battle was clearly the fast combat in the first hours on the Dutch/Belgian troops, rapidly followed by a massive asseult in the center to Quatre Bras and 2 French Corps of Cavalry that sought space on the right flank, threatening the flanks of a very thin Allied force.

Also the only French Gd Cav Desn was sent to the West to halt the British reinforcement across the small stream near Hautain. That led to at least 1 to 2 hours of time gained on the last reinforcements for the Allied. The Gd unit sacrificied itself for this, but the action was worth it.

On the last turn, just before nightfall, Quatre Bras fell a second time and with it destroying 2 British Brigades. The Allied Army was left broken and fleeing the field to Brussels.

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