Sunday, January 5, 2014

1815, The 100 Days project: Planning for Waterloo

    My long range plans include running the Battles of Waterloo and Ligny (and possibly Wavre) in 2015, and Joe has been planning on running Quatre Bras for many years. He has just about completed all of the units he needs, while I am just starting out. Several Christmases ago, our good friends gave me The Waterloo Companion, by MarkAdkin, (2001, Stackpole books). It isn't the first time that their books have provided the background and inspiration for games that I later ran, such as The Battle of the Nile. Anyway, there isn't much you could want to do Waterloo on the tabletop in terms of detailed Orderes of battle, numerous maps, and narrative that isn't included ij this excellent book. 

Taken from the book, here is the overall breakdown of the forces. I am going to game it using Brent Oman's Field of Battle, 2nd edition, published by Piquet. I will do it scaled down by 50% (In FoB, a unit typically represents about 600 infantry, 400 Cavalry, or 6-8 guns).

Anglo Allied Army  73,200 men

53,850 Infantry (30% British, 21% Hanoverian, 9.5% KGL, 15% Dutch, 10% Nassau, 9.5% Brunswick, 5% Belgian)
 @ 1200/unit  = 45 units*, 540 figures
15 British - 3 Footguards, 9 Line, 2 Light, 1 Rifle
 9 Hanoverian - 1 Light, 8 Landwehr
3 KGL - 1 Light, 2 Line
6 Dutch - 1 Jager, 4 Militia, 1 Line
4 Nassau - 4 Line
6 Brunswick - 3 Light, 3 Line
2 Belgian - 1 Jager, 1 line

13,250 Cavalry (49% British, 17% KGL, 15% Dutch, 10% Belgian, 5% Brunswick, 4% Hanoverian)
@ 800/unit = 17 units*, 136 figures
9 British - 2 Household, 3 Dragoon, 2 Light Dragoon, 2 Hussar
3 KGL - 2 Light Dragoon, 1 Hussar
2 Dutch 1 Carabinier, 1 Light Dragoon or Hussar
1 Belgian - 1 Carabinier
2 Brunswick 1 Hussar, 1 Uhlan

5,000 Artillery w/ 157 guns and one rocket section
(49% British, 12% Belgian, 11.5% KGL, 10% Dutch, 10% Brunswick, 7.5% Hanoverian
@16 guns/unit = 10 units*, 60 figures, 20 guns
6 British - 2 9# FA, 1 6# FA, 2 9# RHA, 1 6# RHA, + Rocket section?
1 Belgian - 6# FA
1 KGL - 9# FA
1 Dutch - 6# HA
1 Brunswick  - 6# FA

* I have somewhat exaggerated Brunswick forces at he expense of Dutch/Belgian/Hanoverians, as we have a surplus of Brunswickers already (I myself have 4 infantry, 2 cavalry, and one battery), and the Hanoverians, Dutch and Belgians are really only usable here and for Quatre Bras.

(Engineers, staff, medical, train etc accounted for another 1,000 men); about 30 figures.

French Army  77,500 men

53,400 Infantry  @ 1200/unit = 45 units, 540 figures
4 Old Guard
2 Middle Guard
4 Young Guard
28 Line
6 Light

15,600 Cavalry @ 800/unit = 20 units, 160 figures
5 Guard Cavalry
2 Hussars
2 Chevau-Leger Lanciers
2 Chasseurs a Cheval
2 Dragoon
6 Cuirassier
1 Carabinier

6,500 Artillery with 246 guns @ 16 guns/init = 16 units, 104 figures, 32 guns
3 Guard 6# FA
2 Guard 6# HA
2 Guard 12# FA
4 Line 6# FA
3 Line 6# HA
2 Line 12# FA

(Engineers, Staff, Medical, equipment train etc accounted for another 2,000 men)  41 figures

Prussian IV Corps  31,000 men

20,900 Infantry  = 17 units, 204 figur\es
7 Prussian Line
9 Prussian Landwehr
1 Shutzen

3,920 Cavalry = 5 units, 40 figures
1 Dragoon, 2 Hussar, 1 Uhlan, 1 Landwehr Cavalry

1600 Artillery with 86 guns = 5 units, 32 figures, 10 guns
2 6# HA, 2 6# FA, 1 12# FA

Plus 21 generals/staff.

Game Totals: 1284 Infantry, 336 cavalry, 196 artillery crew with 62 guns, 92 officers/staff.
Grand Total: 1,908 figures with 62 guns.


Main Battlefield - 4000 meters along French/Allied front; roughly 1200 meters between the lines.

Length: at 1" = 25 meters, 4000M = 160" or about 13 feet  (at 1" = 33M, 120" = 10 feet). We will use 12 feet.
Width: at 1" = 25 meters, 1200M = 48" or 4 feet. We will use 5 feet.

so the main table will be 5 feet wide by 12 feet long.

Placenoit Front - about 1200 meters across. 5 feet = 1600 meters; 8 feet deep =  2400M deep/long

Table - 5 x 12 feet along main front, with 5 X 8  foot Placenoit wing offset on French right; total 100 square feet. This corresponds well to the available table sizes for Historicon as well.  We probably need one extra table (s) for Reserves, etc.

Overall table layout for Waterloo; obviously will need to develop the specific map for the game!

Anglo-Allied Army:
Field Marshal the Duke of Wellington

I Corps, William, Prince of Orange

1st (Guards) British Infantry Division, Cooke
3 Units British Footguards
1 Unit British 9# Foot Artillery

3rd British Infantry Division. Lt. General Charles, Count Alten
2 British Infantry
1 KGL Light
1 KGL Line
1 Hanoverian Light
2 Hanoverian Militia
1 Unit KGL 9# Foot Artillery

2nd Netherlands Division, Lt General Perponcher
1 Dutch Jager
1 Dutch Militia
4 Nassau Line
1 Dutch 6# HA

3rd Netherlands Division, Lt. General Chasse
1 Belgian Jager
1 Belgian Line
1 Dutch Line
3 Dutch Militia
1 Belgian 6# FA

Netherlands Cavalry Division, Lt. General de Collaert
1 Dutch Carabinier
1 Belgian Carabinier
1 Dutch/Belgian Hussar
1 Dutch/Belgian Light Dragoon

Corps Reserve Artillery
1 Battery 6# RHA

II Corps, Lt General Lord Hill

2nd British Infantry Division, Lt General Clinton
2 British Light Infantry
1 95th Rifles
1 KGL Line
2 Hanoverian Landwehr
1 British 9# FA

(part) 4th Infantry Division, Lt. Colonel Mitchell
2 British Line

Reserve Corps

5th British Infantry Division, Lt. General Picton
3 British Line
2 Hanoverian Landwehr
1 British 9#  RHA

6th British Infantry Division, Lt. General Cole
2 British Line
2 Hanoverian Landwehr

Brunswick Division, Colonel Olfermann
3 Brunswick Light
3 Brunswick Line
1 Brunswick Hussar
1 Brunswick Uhlan
1 Brunswick 6# FA

Cavalry Corps, Lt. General Earl of Uxbridge

1st British (Household) Brigade, Major General Lord Somerset (strength exaggerated)
1 Lifeguard
1 Horse Guard

2nd (Union) Brigade, Major General Ponsomby
1st Royal Dragoons
2nd North British (Scotts Greys) Dragoons
6th Iniskilling Dragoons
(I have deliberately overstated strengths here as well, in order to have the "Union")

3rd British Cavalry Brigade
1 KGL Light Dragoon

4th British Cavalry Brigade, Major General Vandeleur
2 British Light Dragoons

5th British Cavalry Brigade, Major Genera; Grant
1 British Hussar

6th British Cavalry Brigade, Major General Vivian
 1 British Hussar
1 KGL Light Dragoon

7th British Cavalry Brigade, Colonel Arenschildt
1 KGL Hussar

Army Artillery Reserve, Lt. Colonel Mc Donald
1 British 9# HA
1 British 6# HA

Armee du Nord;
Emperor Napoleon I

Imperial Guard, Compte Drouot

Grenadier Division, GD Friant
2 Old Guard Greandiers
2 Middle Guard Grenadiers
1 Guard 6# FA

Chasseur Division, GD Morand
2 Old Guard Chasseurs a Pied
2 Middle Guard Chassuers
1 Guard 6# FA

Young Guard Division
2 Voltigeurs
2 Tirailleurs
1 Line 6# FA

Guard Light Cavalry Division, GD Lefebvre-Desnouettes
1 Guard Chasseurs a Cheval
1 Red Lancers
1 Polish Lancers
1 Guard 6# HA

Guard Heavy Cavalry Division, GD Compte Guyot
1 Grenadiers a Cheval
1 Empress Dragoons
1 Guard 6# HA

Guard Artillery Reserve, GD St. Maurice
2 Guard 12# FA

1st Corps, GD Compte d'Erlon

1st Division, GD Baron du Passage
4 French Line

2nd Division, GD Baron Donzelot
1 French Light
3 French Line
1 6# FA

3rd Infantry Division, GD Baron Marcognet
3 French Line

4th Infantry Division, GD Compte Durutte
3 French Line
1 6# FA

1st Cavalry Division, GD Baron Jacquinot
1 Hussar
1 Chevau-Leger Lancier

Corps Artillery, Baron Delcambre
1 12# FA

2nd Corps, Compte Reille

5th Division, Baron Bachelu
3 French Line

6th Division, GD Prince Jerome Bonaparte
3 French Light
3 French Line
1 6# FA

9th Infantry Division, Comte Foy
1 French Light
4 French Line

2nd Cavalry Division, GD Compte Pire
1 Chasseur a Cheval
1 Chevau-Leger Lancier

Corps Artillery Reserve, Baron Pelletier
1 6# HA

6th Corps, GD Comte de Lobau

19th Division, Baron Simmer
3 French Line

20th Division, GD Baron Jeanin
1 French Light
2 French Line

3rd Cavalry Division, GD Baron Domon
2 Chasseurs a Cheval

5th Cavalry Division, GD Baron Subervie
1 Hussar

Corps Artillery, Baron Noury
1 12 # FA

3rd Reserve Cavalry Corps, GD Comte Kellerman

11th Cavalry Division, GD Soubeiran
2 Dragoon
1 Cuirassier

12th Cavalry Division
1 Cuirassier
1 Carabinier

1 6# HA

4th Reserve Cavalry Corps, GD Comte Milhaud

13th Cavalry Division, GD Comte Watier
2 Cuirassier

14th Cavalry Division, Baron Delort
2 Cuirassier

1 6# HA

Army of the Lower Rhine
Feldmarschal von Blucher

(part) 1st Army Corps, Lt. General von Ziethen

1st Infantry Brigade, von Steinmetz
2 Line
1 Schutzen
1 6# HA

1st Cavalry Brigade, von Treskow II
1 Dragoon

(part) 2nd Army Corps, Major General Pirch I

5th Infantry Brigade, Major General von Tippelskirch
2 Prussian Line

6th Infantry Brigade, Major General von Kraft
2 Prussian Line
1 6# FA

2nd Cavalry Brigade, Lt. Col von Sohr
1 Hussar

4th Corps, General Bulow

13th Infantry Brigade, Lt. General von Hake
1 Prussian Line
3 Neumark Landwehr

14th Infantry Brigade, Major General von Ryssel
1 Prussian Line
3 Pomeranian Landwehr
1 Battery 6# FA

15th Infantry Brigade, Major General Losthin
1 Prussian Line
3 Silesian Landwehr

15th Infantry Brigade, von Gartringen
1 Prussian Line
3 Silesian Landwehr

1st Cavalry Brigade. von Schwerin
1 Uhlan

2nd Cavalry Brigade
1 Hussar
1 6# HA

3rd Cavalry Brigade, Major General von Sydow
1 Landwehr Cavalry

Corps Artillery Reserve, Major General von Braun
1 12# FA

"Waterloo" by Abba, performed at the Eurovision competition, April 1974

    As I have related previously, in May, 1974, I toured Europe for oveer 3 weeks, along with most of the rest of the University of Connecticut Marching Band, playing in Germany, France, Switzerland and Austria. This song was hugely popular in Europe at the time, and we heard it several times a day on the radio while we were riding in the tour buses. Noe the vaguely military inspired costumes!


  1. I guess we will see a few of these battles in 2015, will follow yours with interest, will it be a display game or based at home?


    1. Yes Ian, you should see them all here. We will playtest it locally, and run it at Historicon 2015 in July, just about a month after the 200th anniversary; possibly elsewhere.

  2. Great project, Peter and a lot of work ahead of you! I look forward to seeing this come to pass. As Ian suggests, I bet we see many anniversary games in 2015. One of my goals is to be on the battlefield in 2015.

    1. It should be quite manageable, especially compared with Borodino and Wagram. I should need little or no additional French, a few additional Prussians (I'll know more about that when I start planning Ligny), and I have made a good start on the British already. Both Joe and I have quite a few Brunswick troops.

  3. That's a big project but look forward to seeing each battle develop

    1. As noted above, it should be pretty manageable; if possible, I'd also like to do a Snappy Nappy "Campaign in a Day" based upon June, 1815.

  4. Abba in '74. Lots of playtime for that record, heard it on our honeymoon all the way to Colorado and back again.

    Looks like you've got the battle pretty well schemed out. Certainly don't have to worry about the Dutch, Belgian or Hanoverians, either. And not much of the British.

    1. Yep, lot's air time for them that year!

      Good re: the Dutch, Belgians, and Hanoverians; I am largely counting on you there!

  5. I look forward to seeing your armies come together Peter, you have a good lot of Prussians and French done already I would think?

    1. Thanks Paul. Yes, as above, I have most of the Prussians and all or nearly so of the French I need already. Of course, if it seems too easy we could cut the scaling factor down to 1.5 x FoB standard instead of twice, LOL! That would increase everything 50%. Probably not a good idea!

  6. This is verrry dangerous ground here. Using the excellent groundwork you've already done, I might just have to reignite my long-dormant 15mm Waterloo project. Oh, the pain of it all. The pain. . .

    Best Regards,


    1. "Painting is such sweet sorrow", to badly mangle the words of the Bard!

  7. This is excellent work that makes everything so clear now! I might just have to reignite my own long dormant 15mm Hundred Days project.

    Best Regards,


    1. Why not? You have 17.5 months to prepare? :-)

  8. I love Adkin's book. It was great inspiration for my Waterloo project from several years ago. I did it on the Divisional level for my Command & Colors inspired Homebrew rules.
    I used Mostly Perry 28mm Miniatures for the French and British Allies, Front Rank for the British, and Calpe for the Prussians.
    I eventually ran Waterloo and Ligny at Little Wars, and Ligny at Fall In, and Quatre Bras on my own table.
    I enjoyed all three battles quite a bit and will probably do them again soon (at the Brigade scale now that I have more units).
    Enjoy! It seems like you are off to a great start on your project!

    1. Sounds good. Any tips, having run them yourself already, Glenn?

  9. Is this in 15mm or 28mm? Should be epic, regardless.

  10. GN: This is 28mm; all my figures are in that scale; keeps terrain, etc a lot simpler (if heavy).

    The plans is to do Ligny as well, and Joe has been planning Quatre Bras for years! It is possible i might do Wavre as well - events there were central; to the final outcome, after all!