First let's look at the table
The plan for my room is that the space is for flexible use, including figure painting, tabletop model making and 2D oil painting. So the tables are all foldable and give me various configurations. The test game set up is completely removable but, subject to Paul finding the space suitable for his "whole battle" refight, the boards will form the core of all four weekend Waterloo games. So I was keen to have a test of the space and size as well as the rules.
Here is an idea of the table layout with boards, this is 12 feet x 6 feet
Then with an add-on to make use of the way the room widens out. This is another 5 feet by 2 feet. But we still have to ensure we can get round to maintain the functionality.
You can see I have started to place some high ground. This is spare wooden boards covered with shaped cardboard and taped and then smoothed with magazines and newspapers.
Once I was happy with that I covered the whole lot with layers of plain paper left over from our recent unpacking. This helps the smoothness which at this scale is pretty important as the terrain is mostly "what you see is what you get" and not really representational like most non-skirmish level wargames.
Who are we?
Now ranging between Bristol, the Cotswolds and Cheltenham, Gloucestershire, we have 6 wargamers who are putting resources into this project. Four of us, me, Mike, Richard and Paul, have been gaming together for decades, mostly in Cheltenham, then Kevin came back into our lives after 35 years, full of Waterloo fervour. He was the catalyst for the project and in the search for cheap figures we found James of Fergscalemodelsuk in Aylesbury, who not only proved a useful source for plastic figures, but practically blagged his way into participating too (see James' blog here napoleonicwargamesblog). Mike and Paul have yet to try out the rules so I've organised two days of gaming to fit their schedules. I'll be umpiring Mike and Kevin who will kick it off next week and then a couple of weeks later the others will join Kev while Mike is away. These two days, with the first leading into the second, will simulate what we want to do over a weekend for the real games but with more figures and players.
Above is a general view of the terrain I've chosen and the starting positions of the first day's troops (just for Colin the photos are before the arrival of the Wargamer Aide de Camp statistic trays! :-)). It's about 1100 figures and it's worth remembering that the ground scale is 1 inch represents 3 metres, so musket range is 36 inches and effective rifle range goes up to 72 inches. Consequently I make some allowance in the starting strengths to allow for casualty infliction and morale effects as units approach. What you see on the right is a French brigade of 3 infantry battalions with a small company of line engineers/sapeurs, and two squadrons of cuirassiers. A squadron of line lancers is just off the table. Further back there is a battery of horse artillery 30 inches off table, and a battery of heavy foot artillery about 90 inches off table. We actually have the models set up on shelves representing high ground! (Though they were not in position when these photos were taken)
|Above and below:|
Luneburg battalion faces a formidable force of cuirassiers while in
column of companies, but both sides have enough distance and options not
to just confront each other like this.
|View of Kevin's beautiful resin farm buidings from the RFA battery position. |
We have used about half of his entire Hougoumont model for this test game;
the whole lot takes up about 4 feet of table just for the main buildings.
Well the stage is set. My intention is to bring you many more photos after our first day's play. Later, when the second day arrives, these forces will get reinforcements of about 60% more each.
(PS. In case anyone is wondering that is a large canvas print of "Natalie" on the back wall. The original was much smaller and as far as I know her owner is still allowed to have her on display even though he seems well hooked now!) (See right hand side bar for info on Hussarettes)