Mother of all Battles

Keen readers of the current issue of Wargames, Soldiers and Strategy will know about MOAB and Professor Tony Pollard's article on page 22 of the latest WS&S. In there, Tony lays out his vision on recreating Waterloo in 28mm.

Tony asked me to come onboard as an advisor for the project. His remit for me was simple - how to make a massive game like Waterloo playable by a large number of players, many of whom would be wargames novices. The rules set I chose was Black Powder - this choice might be controversial to some, but for me, it is quick and easy to learn.

Tony invited a few friends along.

With this in mind, I suggested we arrange a date to playtest. Tony and his friends arranged a venue - the National Army Museum in Chelsea (no less). So in mid-December, I drove to London with some 2000 borrowed Napoleonic miniatures in my car (my sincere thanks to Brent and Mal for the lend!).

The French team advance their forces forward.

Tony had arranged for members of the Waterloo Uncovered team to be there, all but one were complete novices to the wonderful world of wargaming. I was very pleased that they all picked up the basics of Black Powder really quickly.

Mats by Cigar box. Trees and scenery by 4Ground and Paul's Modelling Workshop.

The scenario consisted of a French attacking force of two infantry brigades and a heavy cavalry brigade against a mixed force of a British Brigade and a Prussian brigade. Each had attached artillery and both Allies had a small contingent of cavalry attached.

We played for four hours, with an hour break for lunch. The French won by a whisker, as the Allied force reached break point first. Everyone, however, had a great time and really enjoyed themselves. Now the real work begins, scaling it up to the big battle, Waterloo itself.


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