Click the image to zoom in and examine the table.
Eight turns will take a minimum of eight hours, so it will be necessary to condense the action if we’re going to be able to include the fight for La Haye Sainte and Hougoumont, a mass cavalry charge or two, an attack by the Old Guard and the arrival of the Prussians. The last item is perhaps the hardest to get right in any refight of Waterloo – I’ve read plenty of Waterloo AAR’s where the players run out of time before the Prussians really get a look in and I want to avoid this. So the idea is to have the Prussians fully deployed on the French right flank in front of Plancenoit but to have them fixed in position until released as follows:
Turn 1 – skirmishers may move
Turn 2 – skirmishers and cavalry may move
Turn 3 – All troops free to move
Because the table is a rectangle we’re not able to place Plancenoit behind the French flank but the built up area is really a representation of Paplotte, Frischamont and Plancenoit combined to present an obstacle to the Prussian advance. This should mean at least five turns of fighting for the Prussians, enough to see them seriously involved in the action.
To balance things on the French side we’re going to allow them to move ‘reserve’ troops to any point on the table within their own lines. The maximum number of units that can be moved this way per turn will be four – starting from turn 2 onwards. This may seem a bit extreme but I think it’s a good way to keep the action flowing when we have a limited number of turns to play. It would for instance allow for the rapid redeployment of the Young Guard to Plancenoit or perhaps allow the French heavy cavalry or the Old Guard to move rapidly forward to attack.
Vintage Waterloo - click on the map to zoom in.
I’ve drawn up a map showing the troops as we deployed them for the playtest but there may be some tweaking before the actual game. One of the things I was pleased to find was that the OOB’s were surprisingly balanced considering that Roy and I have built up our forces independently. Roy of course is providing the lion’s share of the figures having pulled off the truly Herculean task of assembling and basing over 1,800 troops in five months!
Although fairly evenly matched in numbers to the French, the Allied and Prussian forces both have quite a few Landwehr troops (rated ‘C’ grade in my rules). The French have 10 Guard units of which 5 are Old Guard (‘A+’ rating) and this mixture of quality adds a bit of an unknown quantity to the way the game will play out - I really do think it could go either way.
Please feel free to chip in with any ideas for the game via comments.
I drew the map using MappingBoard an excellent bit of free software and well worth checking out if you’re into that sort of thing.