Monday, 18 June 2012

Waterloo Game

This Sunday the 17th June a handful of the faithful gathered at the Hall of Heroes, our local FLGS, to celebrate the Waterloo anniversary (well close enough!) by having a  Waterloo game...We used Black Powder rules, which enable an ambitious game of this size to be finished in an afternoon...Troy and Bryan played the French side, ably assisted by Richard, who came along innocently enough to view a participation game he'd heard about, only to find himself conscripted to defend Plancenoit against the vengeful Prussians! These folk were led by your faithful scribe, whilst Philip took charge of the Anglo Dutch army, kept busy in restraining his colleagure Dave, aka 'Rommel', from charging everything in sight!

Owing to fairly massive scenery preparations for our forhtcoming Borodino game, which appear to have taken over Matt, the HoH's genial propreitor's house and garage, as well as most of the shop, we were constricted to a 10' x 6' table, a mere handckerchief by our usual standards!

The Anglo Dutch. The allied contingent here represented by the gallant 27th Dutch Jagers, of Quatre Bras fame, and Stevenaart's Battery in the left foreground.
'Raise high the Black flags, my Children!'
The scenario therefore was something of a generic one, based on the latter half of the battle with the French Heavy cavalry attacks exhausted and the Prussians arriving on the scene...Thus the British and French forces no longer had their 'steady' attributes, and would have to take the first break tests of the game, whilst the comparatively fresh Prussians, despite their epic march to the battle, would skip the first such test. However, as it happened, the dashing French team made effective use of their remaining Light Cavalry....

The game started with the Anglo-Dutch army drawn up in classic style on the ridge, the forward slopes of which were liberally dotted with light troops and artillery, and the French 'coming up in the same old way'...

'They came on in the same old way...'
The French were given a fairly generous numerical superiority in infantry and guns, but the Allies had the only heavy cavalry in the game. The French objective was to break through the allied ridge within 12 moves, the Prussian objective was to take Placenoit, and the British one, by default, was to hang on...

Intial French infantry attacks were beaten back easily enough, the British Infantry enjoying a 'Sharpshooter' attribute which allowed them to reroll a miss every time.

The French adapted by a well coordinated use of their remaining light cavalry regiments to  force the British infantry into square, and were then able to lauch a series of infantry assaults into those squares, assaults which had all the odds in their favour....

However, the dice gods were not with the Emperor this day, and none of these attacks succeeded, and the British squares held out against both cavalry and infantry.

Meanwhile, across the other side of the battle at Placenoit, our newcomer Richard, despite being less than mobile owing to a Rugby injury (Union I'm glad to say, made me feel quite homesick!) was doing a sterling job of defending Placenoit against the flowing Prussian tide.

Into the muzzles of the guns...
It was taking me some pretty desperate measures to gain a foothold in the village, including ordering the Silesian Jaegers to take on a French 12 Pounder battery, but once my own artillery had come up and subjected the village to a short bombardment, my gallant West Prussians were able to storm, and just about hold onto, the Eastern half of the village...

Shooting them in...Teutonic dice by Nero Gaming Dice.
The Allies on the ridge, however, were feeling a little less desperate as their squares held on, and decided that the time was ripe to seize the initiative. Dave, aka 'Rommel', is always itching to launch a cavalry charge, and spotted an opportunity to unleash both his light and heavy cavalry in a series of spoiling attacks. He eventually gained permission from Philip, despite my pleas for caution, to commit the only allied reserves into the attack!

Thus the 10th (Prince of Wales's Own) Hussars, the 6th (Princess Charlotte's) Light Dragoons (a fictional unit from the Hervey books), the Brunswick Hussars, AND the 6th Inniskillen Dragoons manoeuvered against the flank of a hapless French infantry Bde....

'Get yer bleedin arm up O'Rourke!'

Whilst you might expect this mass of horseflesh to have put paid to the French Infantry Bde that it was attempting to charge in the flank, by dint of a little foresight by the French team, they managed to form a credible defence and held off the attack, but at least the hard pressed allied line gained some respite...

By now the French team were getting frustrated, and only had a few more game turns left. But to their credit, they calmly took stock, and marshalled their forces to mount a third wave of attacks, these being even better coordinated than before, so that each assaulting Battalion was given the maximum amount of supporting units to its flanks and rear...

'Remember England men! Remember England!'
'Thats the way Sir! Thats the way...'
The pressure was starting to mount on the allied line, with unit after unit either shaken or disordered, or both. But, on our traditions we rely, and for these Regiments, that tradition is victory...

'Enfin...enfin...La Victoire et a nous!'
Truly, for any Black Powder afficionado, these last French attacks were a thing of beauty, and deserved to succeed. However, despite the ability of the French team, and the grim determination of their veteran troops, the fates were still conspiring against the French, and, although they gave the allies a few tense minutes, the dice were against them and they never quite managed to break through the ridge...

So more by good luck than judgement, the glorious allies managed to keep history to its true course, dependent as always, of course, on our steadfast lead and plastic soldiers:

Stand by your Colours, Lads!


  1. Cor, what a fantastic looking game!

  2. Wow, that is really amazing, I would love to see the actual OB. Like how many units of what are on the table.


    1. Flanders Field Force 1815
      Lord Wellington, Commander of Forces Staff Rating 10
      First Infantry Brigade : Brig Gen Coleburne - Staff Rating 8
      Unit Type Size Armament H-to-H Shooting Morale Stamina Special Rules
      Half Bn 3/95th Rifles Light Infantry Standard Rifles 3 2 3+ 3 Sharpshooters, Skirmishers,
      27th Dutch Jaegers Light Infantry Standard Muskets 3 2 4+ 3 Sharpshooters, Skirmishers,
      59th Foot (2nd Nottinghamshire) Line Infantry Standard SB Musket 6 3 4+ 3 Sharpshooters, Superbly drilled
      35th Foot (the Sussex Regiment)
      2nd Bn 30th Foot (Cambridgeshire)
      Shop Unit
      39th Foot (Dorsets)
      Second Infantry Brigade : Brigadier Hoghton - Staff Rating 8
      Unit Type Size Armament H-to-H Shooting Morale Stamina Special Rules
      Half Bn 3/95th Rifles Light Infantry Standard Rifles 3 2 3+ 3 Sharpshooters, Skirmishers,
      55th Foot (Westmoreland) Line Infantry SB Musket 6 3 4+ Sharpshooters, Superbly drilled
      57th Foot (W.Middlesex)
      79th Cameron Highlanders
      87th Foot (R. Irish Fusiliers)
      Third Infantry Brigade : Brigadier Myer - Staff Rating 8
      Unit Type Size Armament H-to-H Shooting Morale Stamina Special Rules
      71st Highland Light Infantry Light Infantry Standard Rifles 3 2 4+ 3 Sharpshooters, Skirmishers,
      7th Foot (The Royal Fusiliers) Line Infantry SB Musket 6 3 4+ Sharpshooters, Superbly drilled
      42nd Foot (the Royal Highland Regiment) 'The Black Watch'
      26th Foot (Cameronians)
      5th Bn King's German Legion
      Netherlands Foot Battery Artillery Smoothbore Cannon 1 3-2-1 Range 9' 2 (Canister/Grape range 9") FF
      Royal Artillery Foot Battery
      Cavalry Bde : Lt Gen Sir Stapleton Cotton - Staff rating 8
      Unit Type Size Armament H-to-H Shooting Morale Stamina Special Rules
      Royal Horse Artillery Battery Artillery Standard Smoothbore Cannon 1 3-2-1 Range 9' 4+ 2 Elite (Canister/Grape range 9") FF
      6th Inniskillen Dragoons Medium Cav 9 3 Heavy Cav +2
      10th (Prince of Wales's) Hussars Light Cav Marauders
      6th (Princess Charlotte's) Lt Dragoons
      Brunswick Hussars

      Sa Majeste L'Emprereur Napoleon I
      French Cdr - Marshal Ney 9 (Charging 10) Brigadiers 8
      Unit Type Size Armament H-to-H Shooting Morale Stamina Special Rules
      6 Pdr Horse Artillery Battery Artillery Standard Smoothbore Cannon 1 3-2-1 Range 6' 4+ 1 Elite (Canister/Grape range 6")
      6 Pdr Foot Artillery Battery
      12 Pdr Horse Artillery Battery 3-2-1 Range 12' Elite (Canister/Grape range 12")
      Cuirassiers Hvy Cav Hvy Cav +3
      Dragoons (3 Regts) Medium Cav 9 3
      Lancers Light Cav Marauders, Lancers
      Hussars Marauders
      Ligne (15 Bns in 3 Bdes of 5) Line Infantry SB Musket 6 3 3+ Steady in column
      Legere (3 Bns - 1 per Bde) Light Infantry Standard 3 2 Sharpshooters, Skirmishers,

      Prussian Bde Cdr - Gen Blutwurst 8
      Unit Type Size Armament H-to-H Shooting Morale Stamina Special Rules
      Foot Battery Artillery Tiny 6 Pdr – (12” – 2.5’ - 5’) 1 3 2 1 4+ 2 Reliable
      Fusiliers Light Infantry Small Musket (18) 3 2 4+ 2 First Fire, Steady
      Silesian Jaeger Light Infantry Small Rifle (24) 3 2 4+ 2 FF, Steady, Elite
      Musketeer Bns Line Infantry Normal Musket (18) 6 3 4+ 3 Steady in Column
      Landwehr Line Infantry Normal Musket (18) 6 3 4+ 3 Unsteady
      Lancers Lt Cav Normal 6 1 4+ 3 Lancers, Marauders

    2. Sparker, I am a little confused about the Prussian OB. There is a total of 4 infantry battalions right, 2 small and 2 regular right?


    3. Hi John, No, I'm sorry to say that time precluded a specific orbat for the Prussians and French, so these are generic for Musketeer and Landwehr Bns. On Sunday there were 2 Musketeer Bns and 3 LW bns, (all standard size), a Fusilier Bn (small) and the Silesian Schutzen (small). I have much more work to do on my Prussians, hopefully in time for the 200th fun to begin in 2013....

    4. Thanks Sparker that makes sense, as I did not see that many Prussians in the photos.

  3. Really great looking game - so many figures. I love the Prussian Jaegers - I need some for my own small Prussian force.

    A few months since I had my Brits out - so must do a Peninsular game soon. Salamnaca 1812?

  4. Thanks all! Yes I must try and figure out how to post ORBATs... The 200th of Salamanca is indeed coming up and we also hope to mark the occasion with a game!

  5. Great report of what sounds like a brilliant game. You certainly made best use of that 6 x 4 table!

    1. Thanks James. Actually it was 10' long, but still resulted in a rather abbreviated scenario...We'll be better organised for the big one in a 2015!

  6. Nice write up Sparker and great photo's to go with it. Kudos to you and all involved

  7. Great report and a truely lovely game!

  8. Quite the spectacle Mr Sparkles and it sounds like all had fun with the result in doubt until the end. More ... more.

    My favourite picture is the Silesian schutzen/jagers?

    von Peter himself

  9. Awesome looking game! Beautiful figures too.

  10. Thanks for your kind comments, I will pass them on...

    "My favourite picture is the Silesian schutzen/jagers?"

    'Quelle Surprise!' - I put that one in for you, your Vonship!

  11. great looking game mate!!!!


  12. What a cracking looking game Sparker!!!

  13. Very very impressive Sparker......well done mate.

  14. Lovely looking game and nice write. I'm am truly jealous! Thanks for sharing all the great pics.