Waterloo! There are only a few battles in history whose names have become so famous as to mean something even to those least interested in military affairs. The epic showdown that ultimately brought down the French empire erected by Napoleon Bonaparte is so well known that it has even entered into common language. Phrases such as "he met his Waterloo" now signify ultimate defeat and the end of all hopes. On June 18, 1815, south of the small Belgian hamlet Waterloo, in what was then the Kingdom of the Netherlands, one of the bloodiest battles of history occurred. Napoleon hoped to destroy the European coalition arrayed against him by means of a quick, decisive victory over one, or preferably both, of his main antagonists. These were the Anglo-Allied army under Field Marshal The Duke of Wellington, and the Prussian army under Generalfeldmarschall Gebhard Leberecht Fuerst Bluecher von Wahlstatt. Admittedly, preparations for the campaign took a couple of months and after its conclusion some more weeks were needed to bring the French empire to its knees, and there were other theaters of war besides the one in Belgium. Yet the Waterloo campaign proper, the just four days between the crossing of the Netherlands border by the Armée du Nord on June 15, 1815, and its disastrous defeat at the hands of the combined Anglo-Allied and Prussian armies on June 18, decided the fate of the emperor, and by implication, the Empire.
Historical Scenarios Covering:
Twin Battles: Ligny & Quatre Bras
Twin Battles: Waterloo & Wavre
Entire Campaign - single scenario
What If Scenarios Covering:
Braine le Comte
61 scenarios are included in the main section with another 109 being created for the campaign specific situations.
Main selection menu.
There are five different approaches to the campaign covered in this title. The first uses the "Campaign in a battle" approach allowing each player to make one of three choices for the disposition of his forces. Then the engine randomly selects one of three scenarios to use for the determined outcome. In other words there's a possibility of playing 27 different scenarios when playing this format.
The other four campaigns take a linked battle approach, ranging from the narrow historical path only covering the battles that were actually fought, to two variants which alter various troops involvements that could have been there, and finishing with a fourth option that allows the campaign to swing well out of it's historical path, depending on the players decisions.
Campaign selection menu.
There is one main map that we created for this campaign, it measures 560 x 400 hexes (that's 224,000 hexes...) and it covers from Charleroi in the South, to Mons in the West, to Gembloux East and finaly to the village of Waterloo, just south of Brussels. Almost three times more ground than was historically covered, to allow many what if situations to be explored. From this many sub-maps have been created, and can be created for future use.
Some New Game Features:
- Disordered defenders now defend at 2/3 strength instead of full strength.
- Disordered attackers now attack at 1/3 strength instead of 1/2 strength.
- Cavalry charge continuation
- Multiple melees on the same unit are now possible, as an optional rule.
- Battle termination feature added for those playing a campaign against the AI.
- Random scenario selection within the campaign engine.
Some comments on the weather feature:
Within the game the weather entries display like this in the pdt interface:
Clear (100% at 00:00 06/15/1815) Visibility: 40 Move Cost: 100%
Attack Mod: 0% Artillery Mod: 100% Flags: None
And within the PDT file they look like this:
1 1815 6 15 0 0 100 40 100 100 0 0 Clear
1 = Weather entry
1815 = The Year
6 = The Month
15 = The Day
0 = The Hour
0 = The Minute
100 = The % of probability this entry will take place on the time set.
40 = Visibility
100 = % cost to move, for example in light mud we used a value of 150, or 1.5 times the normal rate.
100 = % modifier on artillery effectiveness, 100 being no adverse effects.
0 = % modifier on assaults, 0 being no adverse effects.
0 = special flags used. (This effects the ability of cavalry to charge or not)
Clear = Text name assigned to the condition, we created 6 for use in the campaign.
Beyond the normal use of this feature to replicate the effects of weather on the terrain and combat I also used it for two other things.
1) To gradually decrease visibility as the major battles progressed. This is to simulate the gathering smoke from the various weapons used.
2) To gradually increase and decrease visibility for dawn and dusk, so that it goes from 1 hex, to 2, then to 3 then 4 and vice versa as the time frame changes.
Prelude to D'Erlon's Attack on the Allied Center.
- play by e-mail (PBEM)
- on-line single or multi-play
- single play against AI
- losses carryover between battles
- fatigue carryover between battles
- leader promotion/replacement
- straggler return between battles
- limited reconstitution of destroyed regiments
Where to go to order the game
HPS - http://www.hpssims.com
Want more information?
Want to read more? Go here for the Scenario Designers notes.
Historical Background Notes
Detailed breakdown of the Napoleonic PDT file.
Find others to game against with Campaign Waterloo, and the rest of the Napoleonic Series at the Napoleonic Wargame Club.
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This site updated on 05/09/05.