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Hougoumont» Forums » General

Subject: A capsule overview of the game, with component manifest rss

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Rock of Waterloo
(1991, $13)
Designed by Ralph Braun & Shawn McEvoy

Players: 2
Period: Napoleonic
Scale: Tactical
-- Turn: 10 minute
-- Map: 25 yards
-- Unit: 50-100 men

Magazine Game: Command magazine, No. 11

Components: 16 page rulebook and postcard bound into magazine. 34x22" unmounted mapsheet, 200 die-cut counters.

Summary Counter Manifest: 123 blue, 71 red, 3 black, 2 white; plus 1 counter for Command #10 (Alexandros).

XTR says: "[A] simulation of the first two hours of the fight for the Hougoumont Chateau during the Battle of Waterloo. From 11:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., the only serious fighting at Waterloo occurred at this farm. What Napoleon had intended as a demonstration in the middle of the Allied line became a French bloodbath as brigade after brigade of his troops assaulted the fortified position. It was a desperate fight, with the French even managing to enter the chateau compound at one point before being counter-attacked and cut off. Wellington later remarked that the outcome of the entire battle rested on reclosing the gate the French had used to enter."

The reviewer says: "[ I]t was critically important that the chateau be taken before the main attack. Despite its importance, both sides fed troops into the battle piecemeal. It is this piecemeal reinforcement that makes it a workable game. Otherwise it would simply be a French bloodbath, or simply overrunning the walls . . . [ I]t is a simple system . . . experienced players will find nothing unusual . . . The problem with the game is that there is really only one practical strategy for the French to take the chateau . . . The result is a game that is fun and exciting, but with tactics that tend to fall into a repetitive pattern." Terry Rooker, et al., in Fire & Movement #79.

Mapsheet excerpt featuring the Chateau

Comments: Despite my lack of a strong interest in Napoleonics, I am tempted to give this one a try in light of the interesting and unusual scale at which it tackles the subject.

Collector's Notes: I recently [2001] acquired a few dozen issues of Command magazine which brought my collection from zero XTR games to, well, dozens. Up until getting my hands on these I was pretty much oblivious to Command, but I have since become aware that several issue games are highly sought after. Although Hougoumont does not seem to be as one of those, that works for me as it sounds like my kind of game. Boone's Internet Wargames Catalog (3rd edition) lists low/high/average prices of $4/$46/$9 at auction and $5/$20/$12 for sale.

Other games from these designers: None that I could find!

This article was originally published in issue issue 12 of Simulacrum, July 2001.

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Bill McGuinness
United States
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Also I'm of the opinion that this does not work very well for solitaire play due to the howitzer firing needing to be secret information.
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