Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Wargaming Waterloo 1815 : 2015 (6) Waterloo 200 Set-up (Part 1)

Having completed our bicentennial game of Quatre Bras, our attention is now fixed on plans for Waterloo 200. The orders of battle were compiled some time ago and painting of specific units for the game has been stepped up over the past few months, so we now turn to preparing the tabletop. This began last weekend.

We initially thought that we would use a ground scale of 1 mm to 1.5 m with an L-shaped table. We got so far as to create a map and laying out the main features on the table, but fortunately Mark, worried at the area that we had available for deployment, suggested that we try out a few troops on the table. Sure enough it was not going to work, so it was back to the drawing board!

Rough plan of the battlefield at 1 mm :1.5 m. At first looked okay, but we had insufficient area for our figures.

A ground scale of 1:1 was going to be needed, but could we do that and fit all of the necessary sections of the battlefield, the two ridges and Plancenoit, onto the table? We made a template of our available table at 1:1 and moved it around the map. It did not seem to work—damn!

Hang-on, the section of our table making the arm of the ‘L’ is moveable, so what if we changed from an L-shaped table to a T-shaped one (either regular or irregular)?

We moved the template of the table around the map, now in two sections of a rough ’T’ and it worked. In fact, a regular ’T’ was the best configuration so as to be able to fit the maximum amount of French and Anglo-Allied troops while leaving a suitable area for Plancenoit and to the east of that town.

Revise map at a ground scale of 1 mm :1 m. A millimetre on the map represents 30 mm on our table.

This weekend we’ll make the additional hill sections that we need for the ridges and start to layout those and other terrain features.


  1. Like Borodino, the troop density was unusually high. Interestingly, Ligny was the opposite - fewer troops spread over a much larger front.

    1. We are expecting and hoping that we'll have a fair representation of this Peter. At 1:33 we'll have a similar number of figures as Borodino on a narrower front.
      Hopefully it'll look pretty impressive.

    2. It should look very impressive, James!

  2. What you've come up with in your revised map looks good to me. Trying to get the slopes right is challenge, as is the woods and streams, or at least their impact on the troops. Then there is the challenge of getting the farms into a playable state. I've left out the hedges/sunken roads.

    Troop density, as Gonsalvo mentions, is a challenge. On factor effecting this is the start time. At 11:30 some of the French were still marching into position (specifically Durutte's 4th Division and all the 12pdr batteries, with later being on the main road keeping out of the mud)

    Great fun working this all out and it is going to be fascinating seeing how our two systems coincide and contrast.

  3. You've done well with this. We will need to shift Plancenoit because of the shape of our table but the angle of the road, and tilting north is how we aim to approach the problem, same as you. Good luck to the ANF in your endeavour!