In many ways this has an air of inevitability. It is the culmination of over 45 years of wargaming experience, of armies collected, painted and discarded; of rules used and filed away never to be seen again and of wistful flights of 'what if?' It represents everything I got into wargaming for in the first place. It is a small rain swept and muddy field in Belgium in June 1815. It is Waterloo.
OK, dramatic introduction over with - I am going to use the Del Prado collection to fight the battle of Waterloo at some point this year. I shall be trying the armies and rules out on a much smaller action to begin with but a refight of Waterloo based on the above scenario is the ultimate aim.
There is a basic scenario for the battle during the 11am to 3pm phase contained within the base game but I am looking at the fuller version that is available on the Command and Colours: Napoleonics website. This covers the whole day and includes the arrival of the Prussians.
There are a number of things that need to happen before I get to this stage. First and foremost the figures need to be completed which is currently in hand. I need to work on the terrain to go with the new mat - this is more generic than strictly Waterloo based - and is also in hand. Finally, there is the small matter of the rules I will be using as currently these exist as a series of scribbled notes and loose ideas.
For sentimental reasons it would be nice to fight this on June 18th but for practical reasons this will not be happening - it falls on a Thursday for one thing - so the plan is to look to do this at some point during the summer months.
The Reason Why
You would probably need to go back to the early 1970s to know why I am doing this and in truth it is very much a personal thing. I cut my wargaming teeth on Airfix Napoleonics back in the early 1970s and so tackling the battle using painted 25mm metal figures was an aspiration then as it is now. The Del Prado collection has given me the wherewithal to realise this and whilst the battle itself was the end of a historical era for me it heralds something of a Napoleonic renaissance as I plan to explore the latter years of the period in more detail - 1812 until 1815.
I have mentioned previously that I will own representative forces for the Anglo-Dutch, Prussians and French once the current refurbishment work is complete. I have the beginnings of a Russian army which would not take too much work to get to fighting trim which leaves our old friends the Austrians. In effect I would be raising one and a half armies from scratch. With the armies coming in at slightly larger than Portable Wargame size even I would not have too much trouble raising the appropriate forces. The great thing is that the Del Prado collection features figures painted in a simple flat colour style that would be easy enough to replicate which in turn means that my own efforts will not look too out of place.