Tuesday, 21 June 2016

Blucher - Waterloo 'the Full Monty!'

This Sunday the Wollongong Wargamers met to refight Waterloo using Blucher rules and 15mm miniatures. Yes, all of it, all brigades, at full strength!

Blucher rules gives a very high-level, strategic view of the battle, which is very fast and satisfying, but perhaps not as photogenic as 28mm games of a more operational nature, such as Black Powder...

However my mate Alan has given a very good blow by blow account of how the game developed on his blog: hordesofthethings.blogspot.- Blucher-at-waterloo

I had prepared a scenario which tried to make what is potentially a very one sided battle, if you reflect the orbats and arrival of the Prussians...

A quick way of providing an orbat - distribute photos of the cards! (I & II Corps were combined to speed play)

into more of a playable game...

I knew from experience no-one would bother reading the scenario, but my pre-battle summary of the objectives and victory conditions also fell on deaf ears as everyone concentrated on getting their armies on the table...

With the net result that the Anglo-Allied team hastened to abandon most of the objectives in the first few moves of the game...

Assuming they only had to hold the ridge for victory....

..thereby handing the French a glorious victory as they swept over La Haie Sainte, Hougomont and La Haie!

That's not to say there wasn't still some very hard fighting, particularly between those French units sandwiched between the Prussians of IV Corps...

and the Allied cavalry reserve...

In fact the Allied cavalry was handled with an adroit mix of coolness and verve throughout the game, calmly being held in reserve until needed...

but then taking a very aggressive role...

The Prussian advance on Plancenoit was also stymied by the bold use of cavalry...

With the advanced deployment of a couple of Brigades ending the French ontable 'Reserve' march well short of Plancenoit, with only 3 moves left before night fell...

As always the Blucher rules delivered a fast paced and memorable game which was enjoyed by all, including a novice player who handled a very large and very heavily engaged corps with very little difficulty in terms of applying the rules.

The game has sparked interest in revisiting this most ambitious of battles, probably with a less demanding scenario, and it was great to see what a large collection of superbly painted 15mm minis we have - even though my photography isn't up to capturing it!

I hope it may become an annual event, on or around the 18th June!


  1. My dearest Sparkles

    It's good to see that you and your associates reaping maximum value from the Battle of Waterloo with yet another fine game based on that most famous battle.

    I cannot but smile at your efforts on the scenario and victory conditions being ignored by the players to the extreme cost of the allies. What can one do?! This of course is not a unique experience. There really should be a wargames staff school or something! 8O)

    von Peter himself

    1. Thanks your vonship! A wargames staff school? Now that would have a great faculty dinner!

  2. Terrific game, and in hindsight I believe you devised a cleverly balanced scenario. We just need to pay more attention next time! Having said that, I think everyone had a great day's wargaming. Many thanks, Caesar

    1. Thanks Caesar - yes a great game and the best way to spend a wintry day, amongst friends moving toy soldiers. Regarding the scenario, Waterloo is a hard battle to refight historically and still give both sides a fair chance. As it fell out it was still an exciting game with lots of action!

  3. A great game Ralph. The photos look great as well.

    1. Thanks Peter, and well done for stepping in with a great venue at the last moment!

  4. Once again a very nice looking game. I could only wish for a club to enjoy games like this.

  5. A terrific looking game. I would agree that the Blucher rules are ideal for handling a large game like Waterloo.

    1. Thanks Michael - yes they really made the game run fast and smooth.

  6. Great post, your pictures are fantastic. I hope it does become annual!