The Battle of Waterloo, 18th June 1815
The decisive battle of 'The Hundred Days' campaign, with Wellington's Allied army attempting to block the road to Brussels while anxiously awaiting the promised Prussian reinforcements, regrouping after their defeat at Ligny.
Brigade level, 20 half hour turns (IGNORE THE AUTOMATIC CALENDAR, the time is shown as a News String at the start of each turn). This uses the XIXth Century database which allows for ranged artillery and infantry fire - unzip the attached file into your graphics folder, it won't affect your other scenarios. PO for both sides but FAR better against a human opponent - even with Defend orders, and its only objective in Waterloo, the British PO has a disconcerting habit of abandoning the ridge to meet the French in the open. 1% replacements for infantry and cavalry only, representing a trickle of reinforcements, and lightly wounded and deserters returning to the fight: destroyed infantry and cavalry - never artillery - are set to reconstitute to the rear of their starting positions. Each infantry and cavalry squad = approximately ten men (and horses), each gun = one piece. RES are those brigades or regiments with a high proportion of militia or Landwehr, and consequently lower proficiency/readiness/range. I've similarly restricted guard units to a range of one to encourage bayonet attacks rather than sitting off and using musketry.
See Events for Prussian reinforcements (and how to stop them).
No entrenching, apart from the previously fortified villages, farms and Hougoument, so Tactical and Local Reserve settings are very important
25VPs for holding Waterloo village, which controls the main road to Brussels, 25VPs for the crossroads at 26,13 - the centre of the British position - 25VPs for La Belle Alliance, Napoleon's HQ for most of the battle, and 25VPs for Charleroi, the main road back to Paris. An otherwise drawn game may be decided on casualties, so kill everything that you can.
There are small fixed sub brigade level garrisons in some strategic locations to prevent nimble enemy HQs or horse artillery units simply galloping around and occupying them: they won't stop brigade level infantry or cavalry.
As this is very much a tactical game I've tried to give the units the best approximation of their historical uniform/armour colours
- French infantry - white on blue
- Imperial Guard infantry - black on blue
- French foot artillery - blue on blue
- French horse artillery - red on blue
- Light cavalry - hussars and chasseurs - white on green
- Lancers - red and white on green
- Dragoons - white and black on green
- Cuirassiers - black and white on grey
- Carabiniers - yellow on white
- Guard heavy cavalry - black and white on blue
- Guard artillery - black on blue
- Polish lancers - black on red
- Guard chasseurs - red on green
- Guard lancers - black on green
- Prussians: white, brown, red and green on black
- British infantry - white on red
- King's German Legion infantry - black on red
- Hanoverians - red on red
- Dutch-Belgians - dark blue on light blue
- Nassauers - black on light green
- Riflemen - black on green
- British foot artillery - red on blue
- British horse artillery - red on light blue
- Brunswick Corps - blue on black
- British heavy cavalry - black and white on red
- British light cavalry - white on red
- King's German Legion light cavalry - black on red
Allies: all roads to the north, and to Wavre, Mibre-Braine, east of Pajeau, and in the Bois de Paris. 50% supply from the supply train at the central crossroads at 25,13
French: all roads to the south, and the roads to Nivelles and the Bois de Virere. 50% from the supply train at La Belle Alliance at 25,33
Both sides can draw 50% supply from Chateau Hougoument, La Haye Sainte farm, and the village of Papelotte
- The British on the ridge cannot move before turn four, nor can their fixed garrisons in Hougoument, La Haye Sainte, and Papelotte and the surrounding villages (they'll be released on turn four to stop the French ignoring them completely). Do note that this doesn't prevent their artillery batteries bombarding the advancing French.
- The Prussian I and IV corps will start entering from the east around turn eleven unless the French have broken through the British centre (see below for details)
- There is a 75% chance that two Prussian brigades will withdraw towards Wavre - i.e. be disbanded - if (i) Waterloo village (ii) Mont St. Jean village (iii) Mont St Jean Farm and (iv) the centre of the British line at 26,13 are lost to the French (cumulatively). This represents the nervous Prussians deciding to fall back towards the Rhine as they see the French advancing north along the road to Brussels. This was a very real possibility, and one of Wellington's greatest worries ("Give me Blucher or give me night!").
- The infantry of the French Imperial Guard were always kept for a decisive breakthrough, or to retrieve a desperate situation. They will be released if (i) the French take Chateau Hougoument (ii) the French take La Haye Sainte (iii) the Allies approach to within seventeen hexes of Napoleon's GHQ (iv) turn ten
- If either the infantry Grenadiers or Chasseurs of the Imperial Old Guard are destroyed the French will suffer a 10% shock penalty ("La Garde recule!")
- There is a decreasing chance of rain showers, which will worsen the already present mud
- There is a 75% chance that the entire Netherlands Cavalry Division will refuse to fight for a turn or two, then they will recover, which they did.
- There is a 75% chance that the Duke of Cumberland's Hussars will lose their nerve and flee the field (disband), which they did
- Visibility (i.e. theatre recon) will start to decline in the evening, and fall to zero by eleven o'clock as the scenario ends
- The French PO is initially set to advance on Waterloo village. Once the Prussians enter the French I, II and III and IV Cavalry Corps will still press forward, but IV Corps, the Imperial Guard and the detached cavalry divisions will attempt to cover the right flank, with the Old Guard holding the road to Charleroi. The Allied PO is initially set to defend, with the emphasis on Waterloo village (although it has a tendency to race forward anyway!): once the Prussians enter the whole Allied army will advance towards La Belle Alliance - Charleroi.
- This is a fairly straightforward tactical game, the map and OOBs should be reasonably accurate. The French are more numerous and of higher quality than the British/Dutch-Begian/German army, so have a narrow time window to force their way along the Brussels road before the Prussians arrive from the east and tip the balance. The further the French get, the more chance that Prussian brigades will withdraw to the east (disband).
- It isn't possible to simulate the different nineteenth century infantry tactical formations - line, column and square - but this scenario still gives a satisfactory brigade level game.
Mark Stevens December 2013
Thanks to Jason for playtesting
Comments and criticism welcome