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Subject: What's the best Waterloo game? rss

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Ferro Ostil
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I've been playing three games about the Waterloo campaign, or the battle itself.

Fading Glory (Waterloo20)
Commands & Colors: Napoleonics
Napoleon: The Waterloo Campaign, 1815 (4th ed)

Now I am not obsessing about the history of the battle (but I have read accounts), and I can't rattle off names of commanders. But it is tremendously fun to see three different takes on the same battle (and the days leading up to it. Throws the different design choices in the games into sharp relief.

I love CC:N and Fading Glory (such an elegant design), but I think my favorite is Napoleon TWC. Very tough to win as the French and incredibly tense game.

Which of these do you prefer, and what other Waterloo games should I look for? There must be dozens.

P.S. I have Field Commander: Napoleon but have only played the Italian campaign so far, not the 100 days.
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Kris Van Beurden
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I very much like Napoleon at Waterloo.

I also liked the Waterloo scenario of Field Commander Napoleon.

Haven't played many other *Waterloo* games ... I made a variant scenario for 100days for The Napoleonic Wars CDG and own (but haven't played) Beyond Waterloo, but both are not really Waterloo games.
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Nicola Ciabatti
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It seems you tend towards not too complex games, so one of the games of one of the Kevin Zucker's series:

Napoleon's Last Battles
The Last Days of the Grande Armee
The Emperor Returns

depending on the scale you prefer.

Another game you could try is L'Armée du Nord.

My favourite Waterloo wargame is La Bataille de Mont Saint Jean, but La Bataille is a rather tough rule-system.
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Barry Kendall
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I'm presently playtesting a new edition of "Wellington's Victory" for Decision Games.

I own the original edition and like the new iteration even better. Instead of regiments, cavalry is now represented by squadrons. Skirmishers are handled in a far more streamlined manner. Unit morale does not decline with every "hit," and there are no longer strength markers--larger battalions are represented by multiple counters which are flipped to the reverse side when hit.

The battlefield is still represented on four maps, as the original. The game has a truly epic scope and feel, but Chris Perello, who is handling the re-design, wants the game to be complex in its tactical challenges but accessible in terms of mechanics (though these are not "simple-minded" by any means).

If taking up one's entire dining room table )or more) is not an option, one could do far worse than Martin Wallace's "Waterloo," a recent game on the battle itself which takes a very creative approach--and imparts a better "feel" for the major chapters of the battle and why they unfolded as they did than most more-detailed simulations of the day.
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Edward Pundyk
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For a very unique take on the 100 Days, you really should have a look at ATO's Beyond Waterloo. It gives you a whole different perspective than a lot of Waterloo games.
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Ferro Ostil
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Thanks for the great suggestions. Looks like copies of Napoleon's Last Battle are easy to find. I remember playing Quatre Bras back in the 80's, which is one of Kevin Zucker's but don't have any specific recollections of the game. Wallace's Waterloo looks interesting (with meeples surprise). I think I'll check that out on the recommendation that it conveys a sense of the battle in what seems quite an abstract format. My issue with CC:N is that given the impact of the command cards I often feel like I'm scrambling all over the place rather than being able to follow a battle plan; which is probably my lack of expertise rather than the system's fault.

Beyond Waterloo seems fascinating but the game length is listed at 960 minutes... which reminds me of playing Empires in Arms. That required an amount of time I haven't been able to muster since my student days (I think EiA is still my favorite game ever, though). Not sure I can do it these days, sigh.
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Osprey
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Errg...Argh..
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The Battles of Waterloo
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john guthrie
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i think there's a Waterloo Fluxx in the works. i also think i am kidding
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Mike Smith
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I can recommend the Wallace game in every respect but one. There is no fixed stacking limit, just a penalty for overstacking that kicks in at intervals. If you twig the benefit of it you can overstack deliberately to create killer infantry assault forces. The penalty for doing so is smaller than the advantages gained from doing so. However, such a juggernaut does need cavalry to protect it from cavalry charge (cavalry can devastate a force in column). This tends to favour the French heavily (they outnumber the Anglo-Allied forces, can season the killer force with Imperial Guard, and they have a marked cavalry advantage).

Its worth trying variant rules to fix this by setting a stacking limit, because the game features excellent rules for the interaction of the three arms and formation. As usual Wallace comes up with innovative ideas.
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Kent Reuber
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I like C&C Napoleonics, but the Waterloo scenario feels a bit abstract for my taste. I assume we'll see a double-board scenario at some point.

You might have a look at Advanced Vive l'Empereur. Waterloo is the main scenario with the terrain pre-printed. AVE started as a Battle Cry variant for the Napoleonic era, and it retains the left/right/center sector layout. But, you get to choose which command cards you use every turn within certain limits. Command cards are simultaneously revealed and players alternate giving and executing orders for units.

Another simple game is Richard Berg's Waterloo: Napoleon's Last Battle.
 
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Isaac Citrom
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I was looking into this in depth at one point, and it seems to me (as well others have noticed the same thing), that there is no one golden Waterloo game. Each seems to be flawed in one or more important ways.

I have high hopes for the upcoming opus La Belle Alliance


The battle of Waterloo, as part of the IGS-series from MMP. The game uses a new regimental scale system of medium complexity, inspired by the NBS-system. La Belle Alliance will include all four battles of the Waterloo Campaign as well as the whole campaign as one big game. Ground scale is 250 m per hex.


The two important points here are:

MMP
Adam Starkweather
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Eric Brosius
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My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
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My favorite is the simple but tense Napoleon at Waterloo, which I received as a freebie with my S&T subscription in 1972 or 1973.

I'll admit that it's not a high-fidelity simulation, but it's a ton of fun to play.
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Bradley Fletcher
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I really like Napoleon's Last Battles (DG in print) and blew up the area of the battle to 11 X 17 so it is large adn with large hexes--makes for a very fun battle game.
I also enjoy Wallace's Waterloo. The fix he suggested to French overstacked attacks is to increase the damage hits by one for each unit overstocked--which seems to work pretty well. Great games.
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Alan Sutton
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Napoleon's Last Battles is a timeless classic. The full campaign works very well. A bit too tough for the French to win though. Try reducing the VP target.

L'Armée du Nord is a mess. I'd avoid it if I were you.

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Jeb
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OSG is doing a Waterloo game. I picture it as a modernized version of Napoleon's Last Battles.
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Cpl. Fields
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Barry Kendall wrote:
I'm presently playtesting a new edition of "Wellington's Victory"


Yes!

Quote:
for Decision Games.


Noooooooooo!

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Andy Daglish
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Moruya23 wrote:

Napoleon's Last Battles is a timeless classic. The full campaign works very well. A bit too tough for the French to win though. Try reducing the VP target.

but the Quatre Bras game seul is better, and not for the first time.

Quote:
L'Armée du Nord is a mess. I'd avoid it if I were you.

It is accurate. I'm uninterested in Napoleonic military history because infantry and cavalry weapons of 1815 were as weak as they are portrayed in this game. Artillery had some little killing force, which was enhanced as far as possible by the formation of grand batteries -- Buonaparte however was not a tactical innovator. Even his artilleryman's endeavours were in place and developing before he came to power.

Whilst weapons efficiency stagnated for centuries, all other military utilities had advanced in step with modern technologies, and various of these made the weapons problem worse by increasing the power of the defence. The result is over-elaboration with a comedy element.

Waterloo was the shocking exception, though it was the final battle. The casualty level of 27% caused the professionals to consider their longevity, but one reason for this quantity of injury was its one-sided nature. In a Waterloo game there shouldn't be a great deal for the Allies to do apart from the obvious, which in most part consists of standing and dying.

The good one is supposed to be The Thin Red Line, though it is detailed, and takes a while with all those optional rules.
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Roger Hobden
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Le Vol de l'Aigle
 
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aforandy wrote:
The good one is supposed to be The Thin Red Line, though it is detailed, and takes a while with all those optional rules.


I've had this one for years and have set it up but never played it. The graphics are crude, and looking at it you'd guess that it was an introductory-level game: low counter density and quite a small map. Once you start reading the rules, you realize it's actually a very detailed treatment of the battle.

It's in my "I really should play this" pile. Sadly, the pile is currently 16 feet high.
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Alan Sutton
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zuludawn wrote:


It's in my "I really should play this" pile. Sadly, the pile is currently 16 feet high.


Mine is only 12 feet high but I sympathise.

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john f stup
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Victory at Waterloo by Attactix is an old out of print game that is a favorite of mine.
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Ferro Ostil
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Thanks all for the great input and discussion. I picked up a copy of Napoleon's Last Battle (3rd ed by DG), and can't wait for it to arrive. I think I'll also pick up Waterloo by Wallace but it's harder to find at a reasonable price. In the meantime, I'm getting the Gettysburg game based on the same system.
 
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Bartow Riggs
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nhojput wrote:
Victory at Waterloo by Attactix is an old out of print game that is a favorite of mine.


I've had that game for 25+ years and never played it. It will hit the table tomorrow based in a couple of recommendations here.
 
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Alan Sutton
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aforandy wrote:


It is accurate. I'm uninterested in Napoleonic military history because infantry and cavalry weapons of 1815 were as weak as they are portrayed in this game...... The result is over-elaboration with a comedy element.



This is the reason I like the period so much. The weapons were deadly enough to make war dangerous but not so devastating that individual heroism and determination could not make a big difference to events. Napoleonic warfare seems colorful and potentially heroic unlike The Somme, for example, which does not.

Warfare then was deadly enough. Borodino claimed the highest deathtoll for a single day until the aforementioned 1st day on the Somme, 103 years later. I know you made the point about artillery being advanced enough to be really deadly and Borodino took that to some sort of deadly conclusion. However, not everyone killed there died under artillery bombardment.

Straying far from the OP here...





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Russell King
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best Waterloo game?
Napoleon at Waterloo is wonderful and free.

Napoleon's Last Battles is a timeless classic.
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