Thursday, October 6, 2011

Waterloo in Plastic: A Brief Battle Report

Earlier this summer I met an interesting guy called Charlie Miller, a retired gunner and Mountie with some interesting hobbies, including reenacting a NW Rebellion (ca 1885) Canadian artillery troop, which he talked me (it wasn't a hard sell) into joining.

Last Friday night I was over at Charlie's place for a wargame before he and his wife took off to spend the winter in Mexico (who can blame them?). Charlie has been collecting wargames figures and models for years, including 1/76th or HO scale Napoleonics, mostly Airfix with some rather ancient metal figures thrown in. Such a collection may not sound that enticing to wargamers used to playing with larger and better sculpted figures, but on the table, it works.

Charlie's idea for the game was to do the center and British left of Waterloo. Here are some pictures taken with my iphone.

The hexmap is something that Charlie had printed, and gave the game the air and feel of an old Avalon Hill or SPI Quad game. It certainly eliniated the need for tape measures.

Close uo of French infantry and artillery.

The rules we used were Charlie's own homebrew set, and very much a work in progress, but they were simple and made for a quick and interesting game. The most notable feature of the rules was a simultaneous movement system, with both players starting on the same side of the table and working across it. You might think that this approach would be problematic, given the temptation to watch what the other guy was doing and then readjust, but we both seemed able to resist that temptation and it flowed nicely.

In retrospect I started with my infantry too far foward, beyond the range of my supporting guns on the hills behind. On my left I moved my forces back and was mostly ably to withstand the French cavalry. On my right we had a glorious donnybrook with French and English Guards regiments pouring volleys into one another and some swirling cavalry charges. Here's the final view on the right.

We had to call it at 10pm and declared it a draw. Hopefully once Charlie gets back from Mexico in the spring we can spend a day at it. A very enjoyable night of old school wargaming.


  1. Yes, totally retro, and it worked. I've also introduced Charlie to Lardies rules and he's tried TW&T once this summer. Hoping to bring him closer to the Lard next spring.


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