This Sunday, a few days short of the 199th Anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo, a dozen members of the Waterloo 200 project met at the Hall of Heroes for one of our regular practice games.
The main purpose of this game was to trial our concept of playing our mega game next year, to commemorate the 200th Anniversary of this epic and iconic battle, playing up and down, rather than across, the planned five 12x6 tables.
This game swung the focus to the West of the action, in the area around Hougomont and the Westernmost two tables of the five we envisage using. But it was also exciting as it was the first time that Philip was able to unveil what will undoubtedly be the focus of the western most table, his gorgeous model of the Chateau itself.
Unfortunately, because some lazy bugger* had neglected to prepare a proper orbat or scenario for the forces confined to the Western 2/5ths of the armies involved, we took quite some time decanting our armies and deciding who would deploy where.
This was complicated by the fact that we are only at the half way point of this two year project, and so much of the armies remain to be painted...In particular there was a major shortage of commander figures, which with Black Powder rules, can be awkward...
|'Well there was a General there somewhere...'|
Another aspect of playing up and down the tables was the mental challenge of translating firing and movement from one table to another. Unfortunately for my poor old brain I was the French player with the command that straddled the two tables. Fortunately my gallant opponent, young Austin is a law student with a brain the size of a planet, so all was well, and after a bit of creaking my brain was able to adjust.
I think we were all impressed by the Hougomont model, and it took some time to sink in that the area we were playing over represented less than half the total area we will be playing over in a year's time...
Dividing the chateau up into discrete garrisons to ease the pain of working out FIBUA also seemed to work well.
|Photo courtesy of Buckeroo Banzai|
But it struck us that, as well as labelling our unit movement trays, we will need to develop some sort of 'Corps Card' system to keep track of units and formations over the 360 square feet of terrain we will be fighting over!
One thing that struck me was that, on the French side alone, we deployed an entire Heavy Cavalry division on each table! This thing is going to be huge!
* Erm, that would be me, actually....