Balmer David
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I waited, i hoped, i was thrilled when came the opening box time, i played during nearly 50 hours ...and pshhhiiiit ....

It was a "no miss" project, better map, better counters, better rules would lead to the better detailed Waterloo wargame ...

Why such a disappointment ?

1 The counters are glossy and slippy, too numerous because of the design choice to count losses with multi counters batallions instead of loss markers in Wellington Victory 1st edition.

2 The rythmn of the battle is not napoleonic Waterloo like,
with its "come again" against the crest of battered batallions after some reorganisation, because each batallion can put at his head a "fresh" counter and charge again.
It s a structural flaw.

In the 1st edition, losses downed the batallion morale value, and it was historical.

3 Too many cavalry reactions are possible in the game, changing Something evently possible in a near certitude.

4 No real and sound "crest" rules, the biggest Waterloo feature is walked over...

5 all in all the Waterloo "tempo" is doomed.


It s a real pity because the combat rules are very clever, perhaps the clever ones i have seen.
Because the activation rules are good, Players can t activate their army quicly, he must do it progressivly (it was a WV 1st edition flaw).

I don 't understand what happened...
Perhaps the necessity to get the game done for June 2015 overthrow everything else.
Or choosing multi counters batallions and squadrons prevailed over sound design.
For what ?

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Neil Mooney
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I preordered this during my Waterloo "binge" and now there it sits on my shelf. Nothing I've read makes me think it's coming off the shelf anytime soon (or ever?). Thanks for the thoughtful review all the same.
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Nolan Hudgens
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I can't say the review -if that's what it is- is especially thoughtful. Most of the points it raises are wrong. It's a pity that BGG doesn't allow readers to give it a "thumbs down" or Bronx Cheer. For the matters raised:

1 The counters are glossy and slippy, too numerous because of the design choice to count losses with multi counters batallions instead of loss markers in Wellington Victory 1st edition.


If you really feel nostalgic for the SPI counters your memory must be slipping. The originals' matte surface absorbed sebaceous oil easily so that the counters became worn and discolored with little help from spilled beer or the cat. And just how does using two counters for a single battalion increase the number of counters for a battalion counter with a step loss marker? Granted the formation markers in the 2d Ed add to the pile, but not very much. Indispensable once you're used to the new system.

2 The rythmn of the battle is not napoleonic Waterloo like, with its "come again" against the crest of battered batallions after some reorganisation, because each batallion can put at his head a "fresh" counter and charge again.
It's a structural flaw. In the 1st edition, losses downed the batallion morale value, and it was historical.


First, the rhythm of the historical battle wasn't compressed into a single period of 15 or 30 minutes. It lasted all day, and even the best of the French troops were literally exhausted by the time it ended. If you've been playing games with hourly turns that might have given you the impression that the battle was over quickly.

The reason the historical First Corps initial attack had heavy losses, and took a long time to collect its survivors and reform, is that the Anglo Allied force counterattacked vigorously. This involved their infantry as well as the Heavy Cav brigades. Four of the six participating French brigades were seriously damaged. In WV2 this can happen too. However the Anglo Allied player must work for it by actually counterattacking; the tactical success won't just fall into his lap. The French multicounter battalions are no panacea, since lower counters in a stack must retreat if the top unit does, and Disorder or Rout results can be assigned to them when the top counter is eliminated. Once D'd or Routed the stacks' recovery isn't automatic, but depends on morale checks (or use of Command Points or FOW awards) to succeed.

If you think the attacker is the only one that can put a fresh counter at the top of a battalion pile, you haven't been using the Command rules correctly. Even Fortunes of War awards allow recovery of lost steps. Also there are plenty of things a defender can do (yes, even mass cavalry into Close Columns) to give himself relief from a strong attack.

The first edition made morale loss much too linear. (and permanent) Here casualties also usually degrade morale ratings, though the loss is more moderate. It's the D results (or Routs) that -through the more immediate, temporary reduction of morale ratings- force an attacker to pause and reorganize, which takes time. That sounds historical to me. D'Erlon's corps actually did rejoin the battle even after the shattering heavy cavalry charges, though obviously at reduced strength.

The reviewer's comments make one wonder whether he bothered to learn the rules. Granted some of them need extra explanation or adjustment, but most of that is addressed in the two sets of Errata/ Clarifications from the desgner.

3 Too many cavalry reactions are possible in the game, changing Something evidently possible in a near certitude.


There's a trick to coping with cavalry reaction. Learn to use reaction formation change, along with holding your own cavalry back to layer on after the reaction. This game is about tactics. Learn them.

4 No real and sound "crest" rules, the biggest Waterloo feature is walked over...


It would clearly help you to read the Elevation amd LOS rules. Crests exist without any need for a special map symbol, in the fact that an elevated hex _or hexside_ can block LOS. (it's especially important that a hexside between two hexes can be higher than either hex itself) It's true that Sir Arthur had learned (probably the hard way) to use crests for cover, and that played a strong part in the historical battle. Players can do that too, as long as they bother to look for the elevation differences. Also note the LOS effects of Depression and Slope hexsides, which are marked.

Al Nofi's book has several modern photos of the battlefield as it now looks. Except for the Butte de Lion (post- battle tumulus for thousands of the fallen) the slopes are remarkably gentle. See for yourself.

5 all in all the Waterloo "tempo" is doomed.


As i said, the historical battle lasted all day. This game can too, if players don't throw away their troops on foolish things, and pay attention to the rules. The Prussian arrival is a key element of Anglo Allied strategy. That element can give them an important way to sap French strength, and ultimately lead to victory. As it did historically. (I can't say the English histories always give Blucher credit. There's some evidence that the old Marshal became demented as a result of Ligny, when his horse fell on him. In that condition he behaved bizarrely, e.g. claiming that he was pregnant with a baby elephant. [with its hint of indecent exposure] Maybe he was only drunk.)

I'm sorry the reviewer wishes this game were basically a reprint of the SPI game. I can understand the sentiment, since I took a lot of pleasure from the TSR reprint edition of the game. However I also understand that a game shouldn't simply repeat what the player already believes to be true. That's just solipsism. Instead a game needs to provide an accurate perspective, regardless of previous attempts. If something should change, let it do so.
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Balmer David
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I'm sorry to be negative in my review of the game, really.
I invested a good part of my 2015 summer holidays studying and playing WV2, and i would have prefered to be very positive with it.

I tried, played it and played it, have a 36 years wargame playing experience and hundred of games gamed, but if WV2 shows some interesting and furious combats, the Waterloo battle depicted is very different from the historical one.

In this one the French throwed 4 attacks against the Anglo allied crest line.
(i don t speak of the farm Fortressess: Hougomont and La Haie sainte)

1 The I st corps Attack
2 The Cavalry charges attack
3 The Bachelu division Attack
4 The Middle Guard Attack

The Cavalry charge Attack is the only one correctly simulated by WV2, the three other ones are not.

WV2 enables to hurl units turn after turns against the enemy, be repulsed and after some organisation hurl them again, with multiple waves of Attack.

I don t speak of skirmishers harrassment, i speak of formed attacks.

Historically the three infantry attacks were a "one shot affair" climb and flee down.
In the game it is a up down , up down, up down affair...unrealistic.
When defeated,historically the french infantry retreat and it s over until the next Attack will be mounted with fresh troops.

In the game the french player can mount too many of attacks, with a World war one tone.

The combined infantry/cavalry attacks are too easy to organise in the game.
Curiously , the great Napoleon was doing worse than the worst of the players who will systematically Attack with infantry stacks and cavalry stacks crossing the crest east of la Haie sainte with ease.

I would be interested to read an AAR with pictures of a WV2 game session
which would prove otherwise, but i doubt i ll see one.





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Nolan Hudgens
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Some of what you say is true, up to a point. One reads of four French massed attacks as you list them. (The Middle Guard also had a couple of Old Guard battalions along in their attack, which served to keep the defeat from turning into a rout.) However those weren't the only activity in which the First Corps, at least, participated. That infantry that wasn't lost or irretrievably scattered did form back up and engage to some extent. (as Frank Davis' original game notes point out) I don't think that worked out to annoying skirmish tactics alone. Naturally the losses incurred in the heavy cavalry charges prevented delivery of another attack similar in scale to the first one. However D'Erlon didn't simply roll over and beg to be raped. His folks did continue to press La Haie Sainte and La Haye throughout the afternoon. The 2d and 3d Divisions also worked back up the slope to carry on a lower intensity firefight with Wellington's center, supported by the revived Grand Battery. Ney's massed Charges ended that for a time, since infantry and cavalry can't share the same ground. (Ney saw the second firefight was encouraging the British center to pull back, which is what led him to commit the charges.)

Speaking of coordinating infantry and cavalry attack, that's something that is IMPOSSIBLE in WV2, except to the extent that infantry might hit a given hex while cavalry hits an adjacent defending hex. OK, there are a few Commanders who have authority (i.e. direct chain of command, as with Reille commanding Pire's division) to coordinate both horse and foot, though that still can't occur during a Charge, even with other cavalry. In basic Assault the cavalry would add nothing that other infantry wouldn't do better.

Moreover a Charging stack in WV2 must be able to see its target when it begins to move. That almost always prevents Charges (either kind) against defenders deployed on a reverse slope. That means that the Anglo Allied force has a far better chance to use Charges than the French. Therein lies the true tale of the Historical British defeat of D'Erlon's early attack. Their heavy cavalry scattered the leading infantry and then pressed on (could be Pursuit or part of the basic combat result in game terms, depending on how the French are deployed) to hit the following troops. The damage was so severe that it took the French a couple of hours to reassemble their infantry that hadn't surrendered. (Rally of D'd and Routed units, and Recovery of a few lost steps, in game terms) Meanwhile Jaquinot's Lancers countercharged and hurt the British heavies before they could recall.

The afternoon attacks by Bachelu and the Middle Guard came from the Emperor's wish to have a "last chance to win" quick decision as the Prussians deployed in increasing strength on his flank. Once they were driven off the British counterattacked in earnest, so that continuing them was out of the question. (yes in this game system too)

It looks like you have placed a lot of reliance on other systems' forcing the action into an "inevitability" version of historical events. You've also given considerable reduction of detail in the actual events. It's true that WV2 doesn't seek to make it predestined. (Can't say I'm fond of Calvin.) Players have numerous choices, and the decision to manage the battle differently can have many downstream effects. An attack has better chances if delivered in depth, with --yes-- cavalry available behind the infantry advance to countercharge (game reaction) enemy cavalry that penetrates the front. More infantry can be a tactical reserve behind the leading battalions as well, though a player should take care to leave gaps for retreats. D'Erlon's attack failed because he ignored those principles.

Even with an attack in depth the defender can do many things. The infantry can deploy to avoid artillery preparation. The Cavalry can deploy in Close Column, in locations from which it can deliver Charges of its own. (Hint: even the Belgian Light Cav is a force to be reckoned with in CCol) In this system the key to a successful defense is counterattack. Other systems don't require this, which is blatantly non- historical. Remember Picton was shot while leading his own foot charge. That in turn was coordinated with Ponsonby's horse charge. Also remember that a multicounter battalion can't change the stacking order of its counters in an enemy Reaction Zone without triggering enemy reaction. Reaction Fire can be damaging, especially since it's "free" in the sense that there's no corresponding return fire by the opposition. A unit that's marked Engaged can't make any status changes at all.

A defender need not have his infantry force cut down by successive enemy attacks unless he does nothing to protect his position. Remember the Command rules allow for recovery of eliminated steps, using Command Points and Replacement Steps from the Trains. More steps can be recovered using the Fortune of War rules: every enemy Rout, Surrender, or Leader Loss causes one or more FOW; long range artillery fire against an enemy HQ can also cause FOW. (not to mention deactivating the HQ) [hint: horse artillery is good for that] Thus the defender can more than hold his own, if only he doesn't adopt a passive posture. I'm VERY glad that this new system doesn't favor a passive defender. If you've been having trouble mounting an effective defense that could be the result of overlooking some of the actions the rules provide for the defender.

While I'm not really an expert on Napoleonic warfare, I've been a gamer since 1963, and have played several Waterloo and other Napoleonic games. [among them AH Waterloo; SPI Nap at W; Berg's (3W) Battles of Waterloo; La Bataille de Mont Saint Jean (et autres batailles), and the original Well Vict] I've also spent a good amount of time learning the WV2 system.

I'm very sure that there are numerous good histories of this battle. Some wargames also have decent historical accounts. Among these are Ed Wimble's account in La Bat de MSJ, and Chris Perello's account in the game materials within the box. It was also an article in S&T a year or two ago. (don't remember the issue number) I heartily recommend both of these mini- histories.
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Balmer David
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Nolan

I have said that WV2 has very good ideas,often better ones than WV1 and other battalions Waterloo wargames.

It s the overall picture which gives something excessivly action heavy.

Micromanagement is a necessity in this game and leads to complex interarms attacks and defense with infantry and cavalry mixed (not in hex but in a zone)which would have been impossible in the real battle, even difficult todays with modern communications capacity.

Yes, French Ist corps after his failure Attack and Attack until the end, but it was skirmish firefight not close firefight in formation who were quite few in the battle of Waterloo.

The multi counter battalions is the problem ( a false good idea, i think)
it offers too much capacity in OPEN TERRAIN, it will be the case fifty years later but not yet in 1815.

Perhaps new rules like a -1 morale value in open terrain for infantry units not in battalion strength could help.

The ability to use cavalry at will in small independant units near infantry, walking until opportunity arise then charging in small holes, is the second problem.
Historically at Waterloo it was rare, in the WV2 it s a necessity to effective playing.

Too much interarms cooperation in WV2, so far away from the Waterloo chaotic nature.


It could be a very interesting (but very long) puzzle problem solving and a very good game in itself, but it s not Waterloo, i speak of the dynamics not of the historical developments which could have been différents.

 
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Nolan Hudgens
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Please keep in mind that a multi- counter battalion _is_ a battalion. The convention just allows the battalion to have extra steps in its hex, or spread out for coordinated fire without a leader. While this can give the battalion extra staying power, that isn't guarranteed since D results can be referred down the stack when the top counter is destroyed. Retreats affect the entire stack. (Piling additional battalions into a hex does no good. It might even hurt, since it can cause a stack to have a new top unit available to surrender or rout where the top counter is eliminated.)

This convention correctly shows battalions being able to recover good order and return to the fight even with moderate losses. Think of Bijlandt's brigade, which was scattered by the artillery fire, but collected itself and rejoined the line following the heavy cavalry counterattacks. That even included some of the militia. It's incorrect to believe that a battalion was useless after a single combat when the historical record shows otherwise. Even D'Erlon was able to rally his shattered divisions. WV2 shows very clearly what occurred. The 2d and 3d divisions took very heavy losses in the cavalry attacks and so could muster only roughly half strength afterwards. What units can be recovered (several surrendered) won't have the aggregate power of the unbloodied divisions, but they can still fight. Firing from Line at a range of 2 hexes -LOS permitting- is a likely representation of their subsequent action. (It has the added advantage of letting the artillery fire beyond them.) That's not just skirmishing, even though it doesn't involve Assault.

You also say that it was impossible to have infantry and cavalry attacking in close proximity. The history clearly shows otherwise. While the French massed enough cavalry to fill their entire frontage five times over, that wasn't the usual way in which cavalry attacked. Instead it represents a breakdown in command, since some divisions (Garde Cav) apparently joined the advance without orders. (Incidentally their infantry was forced to temporarily square up to avoid commingling with the massed cavalry, which was so numerous as to take up all the available space.) The British cavalry operated closely with their infantry in some places, with telling effect. Picton's brigades attacked right behind (among in game terms) Ponsonby, finishing off whatever French infantry withstood the cavalry attack. The Light Cav brigades even counterattacked the Frengh cavalry among the rows of Anglo- Allied squares. This system shows that well enough.

I'm not sure where you get the idea that infantry in Open terrain has too much capacity. A stack rises or falls based on its topmost counter. (exception in cavalry wave combat) While losses can be assigned to lower counters of a multicounter battalion, the top counter still takes the D results, and the counters can't change stacking order in enemy reaction zones without taking reaction fire (or charge). As the D results mount (even rally can cause enemy reaction) the stack loses effectiveness and eventually retreats. (each successive level of D reduces strength and morale rating by 1) Naturally that assumes the enemy doesn't retreat first; even then the stack must rally to remove the D levels.

A defender has the added advantage of being able to counterattack when one of his stacks retreats. That lets him choose between his weapon types after the attacker has committed, and often where the attacker's stack has some D effects. (once combat has occurred in a turn it's too late to rally without a FOW)

These dynamics seem very much like the historical ones. Units didn't simply melt away, never to be heard from again. Instead they were pretty resilient, and most battalions on both sides fought all day despite mounting losses. (consider the Belgian Line in Bijlandt, which reformed after its scattering in the barrage and continued to fight)
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Mark Sterner
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ulzanaraider wrote:

The ability to use cavalry at will in small independant units near infantry, walking until opportunity arise then charging in small holes, is the second problem.
Historically at Waterloo it was rare, in the WV2 it s a necessity to effective playing.

Too much interarms cooperation in WV2, so far away from the Waterloo chaotic nature.

Except the French did use this very practice at Waterloo, and did it very effectively. Reference the cuirassier detachments assigned to Col. Crabbé to support D'Erlon's attack on La Haye Sainte.
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Balmer David
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Your exemple of Cuirassiers Under Crabbé was an independant cavalry action
not attacking with the infantry (which was targeting the La Haie Sainte)
but charging a reinforcing Hanoverian batallion.
Cavalry and infantry were not attacking together in a right sense.

And it was one of the rare effective french "interarms" opération.

In the WV2 game a micro manager player would make interarms attacks nearly all the time...that s the problem...make the (sometimes) possible as the normal way.


Nolan

The problem with the multi counter battallion is the capacity to Attack, be repulsed, then Attack again after some reorganisation in formation, three times or more successivly and independantly from other battalions of the division.

In the WV2 game The 1st corps Attack can be a two or more hours of multi attacks "up to the crest and down the crest" independant battalions attacks, with numerous FR cavalry actions between infantry battalions.

It s an interesting game situation "per se" but historically weird for Waterloo.

Waterloo offensives in open terrain were "one wave of formed units" like actions (max one hour) not multi chaotic infantry skirmish and cavalry raids during hours.

In WV2, Players can do things their historical counterparts could not even imagine, in the coordinated way, thanks to micromanagement.

The WV2 design is about "what could be done" in an ideal battlefield with IPhone communications on a 14th july parade ground.

In the real battlefield, covered with smoke and noise, fatigue and fear,
near total fog of war, there are not micromanagement, rarely any infantry/cavalry coordination.

Uxbridge did it, yes he could, but he was in defense behind a crest, waiting for the counterattack, with known holes in the hedges, officers serving as lookouts for the right moment.
Even with all these advantages he thrown all the two heavy cavalry brigades, without any reserves, to their destructions.
who, among us , players, would even do that in a WV2 game session ?












 
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Nolan Hudgens
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1) Micromanagement
This is a battalion scale game, so that a player makes decisions for that level unit. Perhaps you'd like a different scale, such as the regimental scale of the Hexasim games? (I haven't tried them yet, but I hear they're pretty good.) It's possible here in WV2 to let cavalry brigades or regiments cover a lot of ground, by deploying single (or doubled) squadrons in line abreast. That would approximate the Extended Line formation used in Les Batailles for cavalry regiments. (only Light Cav benefits) The point is that this is a choice that's up to the player, ideally made the same way a commander on the ground would do it. (i.e. what can he see?)

2) 14 Juillet parade ground
Interesting you'd mention that. Once all of the Armee du Nord was up, the Emperor deployed the forces just as one might have seen them on the Champs de Mars. I suspect he wanted the "shock and awe" factor, to let the Allied forces at least see something of French power.

3) Infantry and cavalry attacking together
That is definitely not allowed in WV2, unless they're attacking different hexes. Don't tell me that fellows who could handle pistols, lances, and sabers from the saddle couldn't keep their formation within bounds. Trained horses usually needed only a little guidance from the rider. I take the British cavalry's counterattacking actions (not just the Heavies) as good proof that non- militia cavalry could easily take on narrow- frontage attacks without trampling their neighbors. Think of the care with which Cuirassiers and their mounts were selected. The difficulty you mention regarding the ability to select targets for a charge is well taken care of by the prohibition of charging a target that can't be seen when the stack begins its move. (Ordinary Assault is OK, but the lack of LOS precludes speedy attack.)

Also, cavalry that wants to Charge can't bob and weave around friendly infantry stacks. Instead the stack must move either forward or obliquely (which costs an extra MP) while remaining in the Charge Zone, without changing facing. The Infantry needs to keep gaps between organizations so as to let the cavalry through. (this was part of doctrine historically, though not universally followed among troops that were still only partly trained) Thus friendly foot troops do present some obstacles to delivery of an effective cavalry charge near them. (cavalry conducting ordinary Assault is rather weaker, and can be highly vulnerable to a defender that stays in Line)

4) Multicounter Battalions reorganizing
The defender need not let the attacker simply flow back down the hill unimpeded. A brisk counterattack can inflict more losses and hopefully drive them back further. It's the defender's fault if he lets the only attacker's retreats be those that occur in the attacker's own turn. I've tried to explain that the historical I Corps attack was flawed in execution, and could have given a better account of itself by using better mutual support. (including accompanying cavalry) Chris' historical account in the game materials (more in the Support Booklet file) shows how the French failed to support their forward infantry. His explanation rings true to me. A defnding player will find plenty of help in these rules.
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One more thing I overlooked:

Even with all these advantages he thrown all the two heavy cavalry brigades, without any reserves, to their destructions.
who, among us , players, would even do that in a WV2 game session ?


Someone who has read the rules would recognize the effects of a failed Recall Roll. (The British Heavies have mediocre or worse recall ratings, printed on the counters. [the true effect of "...the playing- fields of Eton"...]) Moreover, Uxbridge did in fact have some reserves of cavalry available in the Light brigades and the Niederland division. (Collaert) Yes, Somerset and Ponsonby took a hit, but other cavalry was on hand to keep up counterattacks where they were needed. (and the Heavy Brigades collected their survivors and reformed) That's who countered the French attacks against the rows of squares. That can also happen here in WV2.arrrh
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Balmer David
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1) Micromanagement
This is a battalion scale game, so that a player makes decisions for that level unit


True, doing battalion scale Waterloo leads to micromanagement.
I recognize it would be difficult to escape it.

Perhaps, this scale is hard to simulate without too much coordinations and
optimisations.

Chris Perello s team job could be seen as a good design job.
But it goes too far away historical possibilities for me...
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Charles Sutherland
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The biggest issue with this game is the use of the Title Wellington's Victory to sell a completely different game. Imagine going to a book store and buying a classic book only to find that inside the classic is completely and utterly gone!!! If the game had been a great game it still has nothing to do with Wellington's Victory.

All DG has done is make sure that Wellington's Victory will never receive the proper attention it so richly deserves. Had they taken the player generated additional rules and merged them into an updated corps morale driven game it may have been the best Waterloo simulator out there.

Instead all it did was assure a great game design will forever be dead and players of that game forever disappointed in a quick scheme to cash in on the anniversary.

Disgusted is the only word that properly serves my feelings!
 
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Mark Sterner
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Not so! A Wellington's Victory progeny game has been designed and will be published soon.
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Progeny game? Tell! Tell! What battle; which publisher; and will it use the DG system or the SPI one?arrrh
 
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Winter's Victory (Eylau), New England Simulations. SPI (apparently modified).
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Joseph Youst
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Yes, but apparently there were some problems with the NES Eylau game that have delayed it. Relating to the game mechanisms (using the old SPI system with an upgrade) and how the battle plays out.
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joeyoust wrote:
Yes, but apparently there were some problems with the NES Eylau game that have delayed it. Relating to the game mechanisms (using the old SPI system with an upgrade) and how the battle plays out.


Understandable. I think there may be "issues" in the way many simulated battles play out compared to history. I have waaaaay too many wargames so a delay to better tune a product to historical fidelity appeals to me.

Thing is, Eylau was a close fight, and that is how many wargame battles play out -- close fights are what wargamers want, rather than walkovers. However, wargames usually have trouble producing historical walkovers in what should've been close fights on paper. Like Austerlitz, say. So I'd say it's odd that Eylau, a close fight, would have problems with the resolution, but who knows.
 
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Kev.
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The Crestline where D Erlon attacked where higher and had very thick foliage. So not all where gentle. Lots of steel stuff near Pappolotte as well.
 
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Nhudge wrote:
1) Micromanagement
This is a battalion scale game, so that a player makes decisions for that level unit. Perhaps you'd like a different scale, such as the regimental scale of the Hexasim games? (I haven't tried them yet, but I hear they're pretty good.) It's possible here in WV2 to let cavalry brigades or regiments cover a lot of ground, by deploying single (or doubled) squadrons in line abreast. That would approximate the Extended Line formation used in Les Batailles for cavalry regiments. (only Light Cav benefits) The point is that this is a choice that's up to the player, ideally made the same way a commander on the ground would do it. (i.e. what can he see?)

2) 14 Juillet parade ground
Interesting you'd mention that. Once all of the Armee du Nord was up, the Emperor deployed the forces just as one might have seen them on the Champs de Mars. I suspect he wanted the "shock and awe" factor, to let the Allied forces at least see something of French power.

3) Infantry and cavalry attacking together
That is definitely not allowed in WV2, unless they're attacking different hexes. Don't tell me that fellows who could handle pistols, lances, and sabers from the saddle couldn't keep their formation within bounds. Trained horses usually needed only a little guidance from the rider. I take the British cavalry's counterattacking actions (not just the Heavies) as good proof that non- militia cavalry could easily take on narrow- frontage attacks without trampling their neighbors. Think of the care with which Cuirassiers and their mounts were selected. The difficulty you mention regarding the ability to select targets for a charge is well taken care of by the prohibition of charging a target that can't be seen when the stack begins its move. (Ordinary Assault is OK, but the lack of LOS precludes speedy attack.)

Also, cavalry that wants to Charge can't bob and weave around friendly infantry stacks. Instead the stack must move either forward or obliquely (which costs an extra MP) while remaining in the Charge Zone, without changing facing. The Infantry needs to keep gaps between organizations so as to let the cavalry through. (this was part of doctrine historically, though not universally followed among troops that were still only partly trained) Thus friendly foot troops do present some obstacles to delivery of an effective cavalry charge near them. (cavalry conducting ordinary Assault is rather weaker, and can be highly vulnerable to a defender that stays in Line)

4) Multicounter Battalions reorganizing
The defender need not let the attacker simply flow back down the hill unimpeded. A brisk counterattack can inflict more losses and hopefully drive them back further. It's the defender's fault if he lets the only attacker's retreats be those that occur in the attacker's own turn. I've tried to explain that the historical I Corps attack was flawed in execution, and could have given a better account of itself by using better mutual support. (including accompanying cavalry) Chris' historical account in the game materials (more in the Support Booklet file) shows how the French failed to support their forward infantry. His explanation rings true to me. A defnding player will find plenty of help in these rules.

Making me excited to get this to the table.
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Nolan Hudgens
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hipshot wrote:
The Crestline where D Erlon attacked where higher and had very thick foliage. So not all where gentle. Lots of steel stuff near Pappolotte as well.


I don't think the foliage was all that thick or extensive. It's my understanding that there was a hedge along the ridge east of La Haye Sainte that could have partly protected Bijlandt's position. I take the LaBat de MSJ map as a guide to its location. (Bijlandt deployed in front of it, aparently to tempt attack.) This hedge didn't fully cover the ridgeline (again from MSJ) but ran for only about 4-500 yards. Some of the British Heavy Cavalry charged through this hedge, so it couldn't have been very thick.

This game shows a sunken road in that area. It gives about the same degree of cover and obstruction that a hedge would. I can't say why Joe didn't draw in the hedge. I suspect that it would have been overkill.

As to the height of the ridge. part of it rises four to five elevation levels above the "bottom" area to its south. Even the low part is 2- 3 Levels above the bottom area. It just wasn't that steep. Only the low part fails to shield nearby British units behind it from the Grand Battery. (They need to be lower to be protected.)
 
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Kev.
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Landscape today


Such a gentle slope! Likely steep in 1815




Looking East From Pictons Brigade at cross road.
The Road, with Papolotte 1600m away. The Road was more sunken back then as lots of soil was removed for the Lions mound.



Kempt's location

Overview of the area from Waterloo companion:
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Mark Sterner
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That blasted Lion's Mound! I remember cursing it when I was there. Never would've been allowed in the U.S. We preserve our hallowed ground as it existed. shake
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Nolan Hudgens
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Unfortunately preservation of American hallowed ground has been the exception rather than the rule. All too often commercial development has spoiled even the most renowned battlefields. E.g. at one time there was a Hardee's right in the middle of the ground traversed by Pickett's Charge. Nowadays the Park Service controls the better- known fields, even though most of these "parks" began as land set aside by private organizations. Whatever else one might think of Dan Sickles, it was he who began the movement to hallow Gettysburg, and only part of the historical field is preserved. Even worse I remember some noise about the Manassas battlefield, on which developers had put up a series of strip malls that all but covered the area contested in the second battle.

The Butte de Lion was always meant as a monument to the then newly created Belgian Army. (completed in 1826, it also commemorates the Dutch forces) I can't blame William of Orange for wanting such a celebration. It's unlikely that such a tiny hill took enough soil from the adjoining ridge to alter the ridge's slope and overall shape very much. It's my understanding that it's located on the eminence where Ompteda's and Kielmansegge's brigades fought. (as one of the pictures shows) It does block the view along the ridge to some extent.
 
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