Wednesday, April 29, 2015

HAHGS 200th Anniversary Waterloo Campaign - Opening Moves

Team France - Rob, our Napoleon made it easy to for me to identify him by wearing his 1804 pattern flag shirt!

The Anglo-Allied Team. With Joe as Wellington, I didn't need any help identifying him; we've been friends and wargaming together off and on since 1973!

Team Prussia; Mark, our Blucher, is the one in the rear rank - not exactly Vorwarts here, though! 

Table L after initial deployment - the city of Liege is in the foreground, and Von Bulow's IV Korps is deployed in its vicinity. I'm pretty sure James did the terrain for this table. 

Table G - the city of Ghent is in the distance. Hills II Corps started w/in 12" of the city, while Uxbridge's cavalry Corps started within 12" of Ninove. Joe did this table - a short post on how he did the mat is on his blog at: LINK

Table C - the town of Ciney is in the distance, with Thielmann's III Korps seemingly deployed to move in any direction! Another of Joe's nice tables. Note the yeloow "C" label in the distance - this was a late but brilliant idea of James' to assist the GM in keeping track of which table was which - no small task given the random scatter and orientations of the tables!

Table Q - Charleroi is to the right front of the table, with Quatre Bras to to the left front. The great windmill model is Ligny, and that is Ziethen's I Korps deployed to its Southwest.  Another of Joe's tables.

The suspiciously empty Table W, with Waterloo in the center, and two small, parallel ridges to its South.. This one used my terrain. I have a La Haye Sainte model I was going to use for it, but I just ran out of time to find it on the day of departure!

Table N - the town of Namur is in the distance, where Blucher and Pirch I's Prussian II Korps both begin.  Another of my tables - I am very pleased with how my newest table cloth looks in this picture!

Table R, with the city of Brussels in the foreground, and Picton's Reserve Corps.

Table M, with the town of Mons to the far left (West). One of my tables. Empty at the start... but not for long!

Table B, with the town of Beaumont.... and about 75% of the French army at the start of the game. 

Table T, with the town of Tirlemont in the distance. I don't believe anyone ever entered this table, although it could easily have been used at the end of the day. One of Greg's tables, I believe.

Table P, with the town of Philippeville and Gerard's 4th Corps, supported by the small 2nd and 3rd Cavalry Corps of Exelmans and Kellerman

Partial overview of the venue with the tables set up - the Miniatures Room of The Portal gaming space, part of The Time Machine Hobby store, in Manchester, CT.

SAnglo-Allied forces start to march onto the Waterloo table.

Prussian forces begin to fan out from Ciney

Anglo Alllied troops move out from Ghent an Ninove.

Von Bulow's Corps ventures out from Liege. Look at that Artillery contingent. Great canon balls of fire!

French (left) and Anglo Allied troops ()right) in a race for Mons!

French congestion departing from Beaumont.

Anglo Allied troops awaiting events near Brussels. 

Pirch's Corps also awaiting events around Namur.

The French  (Gerard's 4th Corps and Exlman's Dragoon Corps) have crossed the Sambre in strength at Charleroi, but Ziethen is ready to oppose them!

Vandamme (played by Russ Lockwood, author of the Snappy Nappy rules being used for this "Campaign in a Day) deploys near Phileppesville. 

French and Anglo -Allied troops converge near Mons; With both in March column, it will be critical who gets the initiative next turn!

Anglo-Allied troops are established in the pleasantly British sounding town of Waterloo...

as well as going to Hal and Nivelles on table W!

The French try to expand their bridgehead at Charleroi, while Zithen's Prussians deploy in front of Ligny (windmill). Ziethemn's Corps was partly proxied by Greg's Saxons - I packed the box with Ziethen's Corps, brought it, set it out, and it became buried under a stack of papers. In a panic,we called on Greg's extra troops to make up the Corps on the fly, only to discover them again after the Saxons were all set out - c'est la vie!)

Prussians deploy, but do not move much as Blucher waits for the early French moves to become clearer

A brief Prussian probe from Namur to Fosse ends with the Prussians heading back to from whence they came!

With the congestion around Beaumont gradually thinning out, Drouot and the Imperial Guard set out on the March as well.

Here's my best guess at the reconstruction of the opening moves of the Campaign; doubtless some (or many) of the details are off!  Dark Blue = French Moves, Dark Red Anglo=-Allied, Dark Grey Prussian. 


  1. The tables and armies do look rather grand, don't they?

    1. Absolutely, and thanks in no small part to your efforts, Joe!

  2. Outstanding day, there must have been some really amazing efforts in the game running team.

    1. It turned out to be a very good thing that James and Greg were "promoted to Assistant GM's!

  3. Nice pictures and a wonderful organisation!

  4. Looking forward to the next post, especially as it appears as though Mons may potentially be replacing Quatre Bras, and Charleroi Ligny. It will be fascinating to see how this unfolds...

    1. Thanks, Lawrence. Next post coming in about 7 hours...

  5. Tremendous undertaking. How long did it take to set up and organize?

    The stage is set; now we wait...

    1. On the day, Greg, James, Joe and I arrived shortly after 9 AM, We had some help setting out terrain by early arrivals. Got the sides organized and the players set the troops set out. First turn started at about 10:40 AM. We finished up a little before 56PM. We ha the last of it packed up by about 6:15PM, and I was home by about 7:30PM.

      Pre game work - lots of painting by Joe and Greg, some by myself. Terrain work by Joe, Greg, James, and myself. Planing time for me for the game - probably about 50 hours over the past 4 months.

  6. In awe at the amount of effort it must have taken to achieve this. And what a satisfying result.

    1. It helped that the 4 principals in this project (Joe, James, Greg, and myself) have been running convention games for many years - indeed, we figured that between us we have over 150 years of wargames experience, and 10,000 25/28mm figures. The excellent venue was a big help. Each of the four of us were responsible for setting up 3 or 4 tables (early arrivals helped too), as well as organizing and bringing some of the troops. Ja,es helped with the Tabl;e transition rules and the big maps for the C-in-C's, and James and Greg the warm up Katzbach game... very much a team project!

    2. 10,000 28mm figures! My head just boggled.

    3. Heh, heh... well, at this point I have well over 10K painted 25/28's myself alone counting all eras, just not that many Napoleonics by themselves. I started out in this hobby circa 1967, and the oldest figures still in my collection date back to at least 1973.