Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Tuesday Night Boardgame: Ligny From GMT's Battles of Waterloo

It’s a retro post tonight as I finally punched a game I’ve had for ages, GMT’s Battles of Waterloo, a 1994 game design by Richard Berg.   I bought it and three other titles through a sale after a friend of mine told me about this new, up and coming gaming company called GMT.  My newfound Napoleonics interest made me want to go back and give it a try.

I’ve decided to start with the Ligny scenario.  It’s a big game, played on two maps (the maps are clever back printed to allow four battles in one box.  The new house gives me a study with a door I can keep closed from the dreaded kitty cats.  Even so Ligny is a big game, taking up my entire desk.  Here’s the initial setup, with the Prussians in the centre and the French just coming onto the map.

Old “Vorwarts” Blucher ponders how he can extricate his army from the French tide and link up with Wellington.  It’s quite a nice map.

While Napoleon together with Grouchy plot the piecemeal destruction of the Allied armies

Here’s a bit of gaming history.


In the bottom of the box I found a GMT 1994 catalogue.  Billingsley, Berg, Herman - quite the lineup of talent that they were able to include as part of the GMT team.  The artwork already has that signature style of Rodger MacGowan that makes boardgames of previous decades look so dull.   A reminder of how long ago 1994 was, the game design notes mention that Berg and the play testers were able to collaborate using an awesome piece of technology called the Genie Information System.  Hands up if you remember GEnie.   Bonus marks if you ever played a game using GEnie.

Hopefully next Tuesday I’ll actually have something to say about the game itself.

Blessings to your die rolls!



  1. I'll be interested to see how this plays. Can you link all four battles like in SPI's Napoleon's Last Battles?

    I'm playing a one of GMT's monster WW2 games currently, Kiev to Rostov. Takes us around two hours per turn.

    1. Hi Mark:
      You can link battles if they fall on the same day, so Quatre Bras and Ligny, then flip the maps and do Mont St Jean and Wavre.
      I have GMT's Dark Valley and hope to try it soon. I have a soft spot for monster games, though not the room for them, unless I was to requisition the garage. :)

  2. Genie?? Not even me remembers (and I'm 53!!!)
    Sounds like Jurassic period in technology terms

    I have a lot of Avalon Hill games and although very old in terms of design, I still love them
    Actually I was introduced to wargaming with Panzerblitz in 1980

    1. We're the same age, Benito, so maybe GEnie was just a North American thing. I think it stood for General Electric Network & Information Exchange? It was an ASCII email network and bulletin board system with some gaming content. Jim Dunnigan of SPI fame had a multi-player game called Hundred Years War that I played a lot in the early 1990s. GEnie never had the popularity of AOL, and when the Web came along in 94-95 with Netscape Navigator, GEnie faded away.
      I still remember the sound of my 2400 baud modem connecting over the phone lines. :)\
      I still have some Avalon Hill, including the Breakout Normandy game I bought off you. :)

  3. Ahhhh...board games of the 1990s. It takes me back as well. It's good to see this veteran game on the table. Can it be 20 years? I'm sure it plays as well as it ever did. Best of luck, Michael and roll high!

  4. Yes, yes YES! Hex maps! Can't wait to see how this plays out. I had an old hex map of the Eastern Front (I may have mentioned it before) with some counters. As a child I didn't fully appreciate it, and now it's gone and I can't remember what it's called.

    Oh well. Looking 'vorwarts' to the next post!

    (Interestingly, my phone is very insistent on trying to autocorrect 'vorwarts' to 'worrywarts')


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