Wednesday, 29 June 2022

Waterloo Warm Up Games - Part 1

In less than two weeks Keith Flint will be hosting a bathtubbed Waterloo at his local community centre where he can stage larger games than is normal in our average British house. As I will be taking on the part of his Grace, the Duke of Wellington (aka The Sepoy General), I thought it wise to get some games in beforehand to reaquaint myself with the rules. A few really simple tests were played yesterday to get the mechanics broadly off pat, so now felt the right time for something more akin to a game, but nothing too big or fancy.

To this end I pulled out my 2' x 2' board, a few items of terrain and relatively even and 'vanilla' forces. Again the aim is to get the basics nailed down before adding in various bits of 'chrome'. In essence the Red force (British) are defending a village and hill, with the Blue force (French) trying to evict them. Whilst the British will be in line, the French will be using Order Mixed or Company Columns, to see how this plays out. The British have a Light Battalion in skirmish order and the French will be using skirmish screens.

Nothing too fancy on the AAR front, just some annotated photos of the game.

An overview of the table, with the French just arriving.

Their horse artillery will move and support the attack on the village to add much needed firepower.

Cavalry on the right wing.

The French quickly move forward using the additional speed of being in Company Column.

The cavalry have clashed, with no clear winner and both sides had to withdraw.

The attacks go in by the farm and in the centre, with the British Light Battalion having withdrawn through their Line Infantry. One French infantry unit has formed into line to add extra firepower whilst one is still in company column ready to assault the British line.

As the French shoot at the village, they lose their C-in-C to enemy musketry.

More cavalry attacks, this time with the French gaining the upper hand.

Both sides are accruing hits in the centre and it is precarious for both infantry units in and by the village.

The French horse artillery add much needed forepower to try and shoot the infantry into the village.

Neither side can quite gain the upper hand. The Light Battalion has formed into skirmish order again to try and support the Line Infantry to their front.

The British have lost a cavalry unit but the French have had to pull back to let their units recover.

And it's all over! Suddenly the British break, but it could have easily have gone the other way.

The British flee the village but the French are almost routing too.

Ditto in the centre.
Post Game Thoughts
Well I was happy with how that played, as it gave a good mix of challenges for both sides and allowed my to try a mix of the rules too. A few quick thoughts:

  • Even though this was only a 2' x 2' table, it didn't feel that small. So easy to set up I really should use this option more often.
  • I need to learn how to use Napoleonic cavalry to be honest, as I still see them on the flank as per the SYW. Time to refer to Nosworthy's excellent book.
  • Using the Company Columns worked well, especially when one unit formed into line to add more firepower, ready for the other units to assault the British line. More work needs to be done on this, but it is coming together nicely.
  • I need to make my own aide memoire of little points that are not on the QRS to aid and speed up play. This should all fit on an A4 sheet and I can't see why it wouldn't.

Next up is a slightly bigger game, but still on the 2' x 2' table, but more on that in another post. 

So until next time, stay safe and keep healthy.


  1. Steve, your table looks handsome with your troops deployed. Amazing what can be accomplished on a 2' x 2' table. A practice session or two before a big game to solidify rules in mind is always a recommended approach in my book.

    Good luck in the Big Game!

    1. Thanks Jon and I'm still surprised at what I can fit in on a small table, even after all of these years. I think we as the Allies will need Lady Luck on our side!

  2. Nice one there Steve. I trust you will have honed your skills (dice throwing abilities?) by the time you come to re-fight Waterloo. Wellington needs to be at his very best to ensure little Boney and the Frenchies are given a drubbing.

    It’s always good to see your little MDF fellas on the tabletop. Commission Figurines are bringing me a small order (to collect at the Joy of Six wargames show in Sheffield next Sunday) for my US/ British War of 1812 project. Of course, I’ll have trouble matching your well painted troops.



    1. Well fingers crossed I'll time my warm up to perfection when I confront petit Boney and friends! Have fun at the JoS show. I would love to go but have a prior commitment plus it's really a bit far, given the cost of petrol now. I reckon I can order nearly two Cold War armies for what I would spend in petrol!!!

  3. A good idea to do a couple of practice runs, for sure. The trouble with refight ini a real battle is the players may know what mistakes commanders made, leading to the outcome ....and can avoid them! Maybe the luck you need is the timely arrival of the Prussians.....?!

    1. It will be interesting to see how the French approach the battle, given that we know the mistakes they made and that the Prussians will be arriving on their right flank. Keith will have some surprises planned to give a bit of friction and avoid the we all what what will be arriving where and when bit.

  4. A practice game is always good. The 2x2 tabletop setup is looking good.

    1. Thanks Peter and I do like the minimalist/old school look of the 2' x 2' table.