Friday 5 June 2020

Waterloo A La Carte....Game Number 56, Part 1

The map from the original scenario. It was on an 8 x 6 hexed map which I needed to convert to fit on an 8 x 8 chessboard. The full details can be found here.

I know, I know...Waterloo AGAIN but I offer no apologies! I fully intend to refight the action in a bigger way using one of the gamer designed versions available from the Command and Colours website at some point, but for now I am making use of the excellently designed Waterloo A La Carte by Jay Ward.

In order to game this the first thing I needed to do was to convert the set up to squares. By dint of some nudging about I eventually settled on the picture you see below.

An overview of the battlefield with the allies deployed in the north. The three buildings in a rough line from left to right are of course, Hougomont, La Haye Sainte and Papelotte. The red roofs and walls serve to indicate fortified status. The ridge and other raised ground I have indicated using movement trays stacked one on top of the other.

The forces used for the battle are of course taken from the DelPrado collection. I opted to use 3 figure  infantry units, 2 figure cavalry and for the artillery, a gun and two gunners. This is about the maximum number of these figures you can comfortably fit in a 6cm square - this is of course after I had previously said that 75mm for a square was too small!

The allies. The Guards are deployed in Hougomont with the ridge occupied by two units of Belgians infantry, two of British and with the Rifles occupying La Haye Sainte in the centre. A unit of Belgian infantry is deployed just above Papelotte whilst the cavalry has taken up station to the rear of the ridge.

The allied army consists of the following units.

British Line Infantry x 2
Dutch-Belgian Line Infantry x 3
British Guards/Highlanders x 1 (I fielded the Guards, hence in bold)
British Riflemen x 1
British Heavy Cavalry x 1
Dutch-Belgian Light Cavalry x 1
British Artillery x 1
Prussian Infantry x 3 (these are reinforcements that can arrive from turn 7 on a d6 roll of 4 to 6)

The French army looking suitably imposing. Note the massed artillery deployed to face between  Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte.

The French army consist of the following units.

Line Infantry x 4
Conscript Infantry x 2 (I have used the French Infantry figure advancing for the conscripts)
Voltigeur x 1
Cuirassiers x 2
Chasseurs x 1 
Artillery x 2
Imperial Guard Infantry x 2 (these are reinforcements available automatically - one unit on turn 7 and one on turn 8. There is one unit of Old Guard and one of Young)

The scenario is very flexible in terms of the initial deployment in that the allies set up first anywhere on and north of the row including La Haye Sainte and Papelotte with one unit in Hougoumont. The French are deployed basically anywhere south of the allies and not adjacent to any allied units.

The Rules - an overview

Each side has a number of action points that can be modified by a dice roll and these are expended to order units. The units them selves are rated for attack dice - the number of dice rolled when in combat, defence score - the number an attacker has to achieve to score a hit and movement, in this case in squares.

I have allowed diagonal movement and and also for firing (only artillery has a range, all other combat is adjacent) but only at the rate of one square per move or range calculation. All units are destroyed by their second hit so using the removal of a single figure for the first hit will suffice for recognition purposes.

The game can last 14 turns and the victory conditions are quite simple. The French win by destroying 7 allied infantry units AND exiting 3 French infantry units off the northern edge of the map by turn 14. The allies win if the French fail to meet their victory conditions.

Part 2 will see the action taking place but in the meantime I would to extend a big thank you to Jay for giving me this wonderful toy to play with!


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...


I think that you’ve done a great job converting the original hexed board into a square gridded one ... and the figures look good. I must admit, I didn’t expect that they would fit into a square on a chessboard ... but they do!

Roll on part 2!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Bob,

It was very much a spur of the moment thing and originally I was going to use Command and Colours Napoleonic blocks but opted to use the figures instead - and I am glad that I did! It looks a little crowded but then so did the actual battlefield by all accounts.

All being well I will be fighting the battle over the weekend - the system looks rather good and certainly has some potential for use with other actions.

All the best,


tradgardmastare said...

Really like the look of things , the chessboard works so well. I imagine you listening to Abba’s Iconic hit as you play dancing around the wargames room...

Maudlin Jack Tar said...

Great looking version of Waterloo. I'm keen to see how it plays. Enjoy the game!

arthur1815 said...

Absolutely splendid, David! And using roof colour to signify the degree of fortification is so simple, yet elegant.

A much better portrayal of Waterloo on a chessboard than the Franklin Mint Waterloo Chess set, in which the most powerful pieces (Queens) were Kitty Pakenham and the Empress Marie Louise - neither of whom were present at Waterloo, and would probably have had 'a fit of the vapours'and fainted clean away if they had!

Have you considered adapting his other game on Quatre Bras for a chessboard?

Perhaps one could have a chessboard Waterloo Campaign, with simultaneous games of Ligny and Quatre Bras, and then of Wavre and Waterloo, with movement between the boards being a dice-determined number of game moves.

I look forward to reading the battle report.
Best wishes,

David Crook said...

Hello there tradgardmastare,

Many thanks old chap but as to the dancing around the room listening to ABBA....I couldn’t possibly comment....

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hello Maudlin Jack Tar,

I am really looking forward to running this and if it works out I may have a play around with some other Napoleonic battles using the same system.

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hello there Arthur1815,

Many thanks old chap! I was quite surprised at how well it looked considering it was very much a lash up. If the system works as well as it looks then it could readily be used for some other battles as well and I like the idea of tying the other battles of the 1815 campaign in.

I need to fine tune the look but I reckon this could be the start of something interesting.

The AAR will be up as soon as I have fought the action.

All the best,


Archduke Piccolo said...

... and he's me, wondering if I can fit Waterloo on my 11.5 x 15 hex board...
You realise what you have done, of course. I'll just HAVE to do it now...

Some time.

Geordie an Exiled FoG said...

Now this looks really sexy!

BigLee said...

Very nice...tempted to do something like this myself (you know, because it's not like I'm doing half a dozen different game systems and periods already...)

David Crook said...

Hello Archduke,

Go on old chap, you know you want to!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi Geordie,

It does look rather nice!

All the best,


David Crook said...

Hi BigLee,

Ahh the curse of multiple projects - something I am trying to keep to a sensible level....mostly that is....

All the best,