Campaign Eckmuhl 1809

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Napoleon at Dresden -_ George Nafziger.

Charity shop purchase - in excellent condition - slightly pricey but well below E-Bay levels-. Lots of B&W pics and an extensive OOB in the back. Covers the battles of Dresden , the Katzbach , Gross-beeren , Dennewitz and Kulm.

27 Books......a good little library...formed.:)...

Had a look at the Wargames Design Studio poll - about 836 people responded. Good to see that Napoleonics and ACW is only a few percentage points behind WW2 in popularity.

The comments section has one guy mention a reaction cavalry charge option - this is necessary and should be done ....as for the A.I. - it's up in the air.
 
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Bought in a Bricks & Mortar bookstore as they shoved it into the sales shelf at 50% off . Very chunky book and only the first volume of three - will come in handy when I eventually get around to increasing my ACW collection.

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Grinding, bloody, and ultimately decisive, the Petersburg Campaign was the Civil War's longest and among its most complex. Ulysses S. Grant and Robert E. Lee squared off for more than nine months in their struggle for Petersburg, the key to the Confederate capital at Richmond. Featuring some of the war's most notorious battles, the campaign played out against a backdrop of political drama and crucial fighting elsewhere, with massive costs for soldiers and civilians alike. After failing to bull his way into Petersburg, Grant concentrated on isolating the city from its communications with the rest of the surviving Confederacy, stretching Lee's defenses to the breaking point. When Lee's desperate breakout attempt failed in March 1865, Grant launched his final offensives that forced the Confederates to abandon the city on April 2, 1865. A week later, Lee surrendered at Appomattox Court House.

Here; A. Wilson Greene opens his sweeping new three-volume history of the Petersburg Campaign, taking readers from Grant's crossing of the James in mid-June 1864 to the fateful Battle of the Crater on July 30. Full of fresh insights drawn from military, political, and social history, A Campaign of Giants is destined to be the definitive account of the campaign. With new perspectives on operational and tactical choices by commanders, the experiences of common soldiers and civilians.

( this book offers essential reading for all those interested in the history of the Civil War. )


You betcha......................Tick.............:)...........👍...
 
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Things I am looking forward to :...:)...

Atlantic Wall Board war-game - the detailed beach landings and full map set up; although you only need the top sections for about the 40% point.

Company Level Waterloo - getting to grips with it from start to very finish. From both sides perspective.....

Leipzig Battle 1813 -- never played before at battalion/ company level with large scale map. A more intense and expansive experience.

Blucher will be punished even if it is a bit ahistorical. 👍...
 
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29 Books..............WATERLOO - Battle of Three Armies - a well perused tome during my teen years....the go to book while playing SPI's Wellington's Victory....lots of pics and very atmospheric. Nostalgia............. buy. It has aged well !.

I would have hit 30 but I am still waiting for a super cheap book of Gill's German Allies in 1809.

The first book in Philip Dwyer's trilogy/ biography of Napoleon - chunky hardback book bought for 3 notes - in as new condition...........:).

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A play-through/Aar of Panzer Campaigns - Normandy is definitely on the cards, ( in between Napoleonic stuff and possibly concurrent ) - the German company level treatment is interesting enough and the Allied A.I. is not bad for the first phase..............I have only gone in a few days ..........there have been some surprises as I am still new to this treatment.

That is .......................- When I get back to normal functioning...................😞...
 
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https://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz/article-10596479/Joaquin-Phoenix-new-Napoleon-Oscar-winner-measures-diminutive-French-emperor-film.html

No surprise that they changed the Film title to - Napoleon.......Kit-bag sounds odd. They have started filming at Lincoln Cathedral which CGI doubles for Napoleon's marriage ceremony.

The 74 room mansion would be a great place to visit.....you can soak in the atmosphere - walk where the eagle walked and see what he saw through the windows and smell the wood and garden scent........ about as close to time travel as you can get.

Napoleon's rise to power as seen through his relationship with Josephine......novelty yes.............possibly a croc .............who knows ???...


They will have trouble outshining the soundtrack of a previous film with Isabella Rossellini..............it has to stand out and draw you in.......No made for TV stuff will be accepted..............only Hans Zimmer stuff etc......:).
 
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Hallelujah !............grow your side-burns down to your jaw line........ - Marshal Lannes is moving to the country.....leaving the big smoke............... the big choke................the big city..............and I have a big conservatory .......big enough to host Atlantic Wall...........or local dames.............who knows ?. ( the pic is similar ).

:)
I freakin ' hate apartment living.....................bird song and my own gut rumbling are the only noises I will hear.

Perfecto Mundo,,,,,,,,,,an Intermezzo of Grande proportions.................:)...


😃.............................................................................................................................................................................................😃
 
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Got me a sturdy wagon and a good pair of hooves...........should be in my new homestead by June. ..........



"Yee Haa ! .........................Geddup........... there.............. hoss !...".
 
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A blast from the past !.........I had the original version, ( 1980 ) with hardboard maps...........this one has been totally renovated with better maps and counters and sheets. I was only a strategic Napoleonic player as a kid.....would not interest me now.

Impressive looking 2020 remake- if I find one for a couple of notes...I can use the box to store magazines and Napoleonic stuff............................... Introductory - casual gamer material.................counters are a vast improvement on the originals and you have a lot of leader counters too.

The fleet world map inclusion is a nice touch but complexity is lacking............overall - the game mechanics are apparently the same........
 

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" I Say ...............Uh Saaaay ! "................30 Books.............I got this for a reasonable price in a second hand bookstore - I have seen it for twice as much and a bit on E-Bay - ( as new condition ).

Big grin on my face ..........this is really the crowning glory of my Napoleonic book collection.......425 large glossy pages of Waterloobilia..........the army orders of battle are luxury material along with the superimposed unit movements on modern field photos.....They will have to prise it from my dead cold hands, one day, along with Atlantic Wall....:).................................................................... Looooooooove it !..................


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This particular bookstore is being very generous - a brand new copy of the below at a quarter of the retail price............it is not a desperate buy but I was impressed with the color plate pics and battle maps and being published in 2005.....clinched the purchase. 31 Books.

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GMT's Pacific War game............New Version.

When the temptation is strong..............this ticks a lot of boxes but the operational upper level is still making me 50/50. This video could give the extra point to make it 51 to 49 which just could be good enough.........difficult to make up my mind.

Heavy box.....loads of counters ....complexity level 9 ...........20 phases of play...........80 Japanese task forces capability org sheet......lots of rules and scenario booklets.............Day and month sequence display charts............all capital ships included .....down to battalion level with land forces.................even reading comments does not help.

Since playing Hearts of Iron 3 Japanese Campaign.......the interest is there for a board game treatment.

It's like Nagumo at Midway.......finding the Yorktown Carrier.............should I or shouldn't I strike with all out force to the North.

Dammit !..........................Monster game but a chunky price...................maybe I should roll a die....:)...


Originally an SPI game ???????????????.......



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Screen 1......................................................................................................................................................................................................
 
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Looks like I am back into Board Wargaming....more about that later.........Pc gaming is great but staring at a PC screen for long periods of time and agitatively pressing the mouse button is not always conducive to relaxation.......and apart from that - I now have a large table area which makes things more hoochy.

The space has even opened up the possibility of figure gaming......but extremely limited in scope. Napoleonics, WW2 and ACW is more than amply covered by PC and board-games.

So ; I looked at the possibility of something fairly niche and that I would find interesting. I came across pics of the Warlord Games - Rorke's Drift stuff and thought - Wow - that looks great.....but I do not like the Goblin type figures....20mm scale is fine, especially for painting.........got a cheap and cool looking Rorke's Drift - Mdf laser cut Hospital and Storehouse and a wagon and things have ballooned from there. A fairly long term project........

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Project to be done............................................................................................................


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This is a Warlord Games repro of the Rorke's Drift battle.........it is extremely accurate with the terrain and they even put in a wooden ferry (A ), although in reality that was a mile or more away.

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Front view...with tents and even distant hill scenery..........Yep ! This is the standard.!


I was going to post a picture of another attempt at recreation which is - let's say, not so good - this is however the standard or a close approximation to be achieved/reached.

25156 Memoirs of a Polish officer in Spain and Russia...

32 Books.........

The postage was more than the price on this one......:)
 
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One of my favourite Napoleonic battles is Quatre-Bras....big enough and small enough to not overwhelm. The Strategy and Tactics (SPI ) magazine game is a basic staple and held its own until the release of the La Bataille game. Both have their plus and negative points........mine has always been the scale and size of the battlefield. The SPI version funnily enough felt less constrictive than the La Bataille game which added color but you felt more hemmed in.

Naturally ; it was a wonderful experience to delve into the John Tiller company level treatment - hordes of units but you still get a constrictive feeling. There has been a Quatre Bras mod by HB which opens up the battalion level treatment with the map extended to include Frasnes and feeling less constrictive with more play time, which is good. Overall , a nice level of choice.......so it came as a surprise to me........to accidentally find....and I have no idea why this has not appeared on my radar until now, something new. That said , I have referred to this game system somewhere before with regards to the Battle of Austerlitz ........but it has completely slipped away from my mindset until reecently.

I am talking about Grognard Simulations - Quatre-Bras which is one of four games of the 1815 Campaign and they have also published about five games for the Austerlitz 1805 Campaign and one for 1809. What drew me in was that the battle was portrayed at company/squadron level and it had a large map area. Why not give it a go..........ordered it and got it promptly. Heavy box.........always a good sign..........a mass of countersheets........charts and tables and two rules/scenario booklets............

The battlefield is huge......and I mean huge and apart from that........the detail of the maps is above and beyond anything I have seen in a Napoleonic games....there is stuff there which does not exist in the SPI and La Bataille versions......hedges, tracks, long slopes ,streams, sunken roads, orchards, fields etc ......displayed to great effect by the coloration - the clear hexes have a just about visible, distinct green patchy patterning which is remarkable in it's design......this with hexes which are delineated by only 50% line marking is also innovative and after getting used to it , works well.

This is what Napoleonic battle-maps should look like and what you imagined and cried out for to have in the heyday of board-wargaming. Apart from La Bataille de Dresde, which is the pinnacle of La Bataille map art - this has knocked the La Bataille series out of contention with their limited slopes and for the most part ,fairly featureless terrain............things move on.

These games are designed for Napoleonic nuts by Napoleonic nut/s.....there is no equivocation about that. The maps signal this to great effect....you spread them out on your ( large table ) and you think that you are looking at a battle-map for Waterloo......No, this is the relatively small battle of Quatre-Bras.........keep your potatoes safe and snug.........there are 8 map-sheets of 11" by 17" equating to 4 of the normal 22" by 34" mapsheets used in big games...........there is a Battle of Ligny game available and it has 20, 11" by 17 " mapsheets or 10, 22" by 34 " big game map-sheets; so it is two and a half times as big as Quatre-Bras...........and, Oh Yes !, the map-sheets are designed to be joined together to create the Godzilla of Napoleonic board-gaming - a total play surface of 28, 11" by 17" or 14 , ( normal) big game map-sheets of 22" by 34".....or two and a half times the size of the original Wellington's Victory SPI map surface area, so you need two huge tables for this with all the charts,...........I do not use the word , NUT glibly...............Forget the Charles S Roberts Award for wargaming......The Marshal Lannes Nut Award.......has been awarded to Grognard Simulations for achieving excellence in the field of Wargame Nuttery ( First Class ).........They have also nuttified the battles of Wavre ( 12, 11" by 17 " map-sheets ) and Waterloo ( 8, 11" by 17" mapsheets)- I think they ran out of steam here - it should have been 12 mapsheets for Waterloo , ( very curious, that one, Wavre bigger than Waterloo ).

To appease the whiney - whingers in society....I present the following.

  1. The counters have the unit designations in small print lettering on the side which is really annoying and somewhat difficult to read. The formation symbology is also a bit small.... you have to get used to it.
  2. It does use a Level of Order reduction system which replaces step loss or number casualty loss indication - basically ; you define LOO loss as step/number loss; most companies have 5 of these and more elite units have 6 or even 7......so a company can take a lot of hits before elimination and even then they can be regenerated over time back into play.
  3. You can play at regimental or battalion level - there are counters for this , so you have the choice to upscale or downscale.
  4. There are a lot of leader/ minor leader counters which some may find irksome.
5)The usual 2 front , 2 flank and 2 rear hex-side facing a hex vertice is brought back into play.....rather than facing a hex-side.

Further to this -
  1. You are not overwhelmed by rules .......cavalry have offensive and defensive and reaction charge capacity and the feature of reacting to enemy cavalry who are reacting to your offensive charge against another unit is also recreated.....parameters and die-roll being favourable.
  2. Only the Quatre - Bras game is stand alone - you need it to play any of the other 3 games....and it is not cheap.
  3. Artillery is not annihilated totally in out of battery melee combat- there is an opportunity to escape with half the guns or maybe not, depending on die-roll.
  4. Uses a general order system........wherein orders can not arrive or be misintepreted....no more shoving in units gung ho until they are shattered.......if they have defensive orders - they stay like that until new orders are relayed/given , even if a juicy attack opportunity is available. Specificity of orders is encouraged, to enhance this.
  5. As mentioned, the map is big.... it includes Frasnes and all of the Bois de Bossu which stretches down to a gap and tails into the northern section of the Bois de Revettes which is never shown in any Quatre-Bras games or general situation maps...so you can, if desired, bypass the Bois de Bossu and hit the Allies further west.......possibly with D'Erlon 1st Corps flanker which would be game over for Wellington........in effect - the larger map is more conducive to D'Erlon's 1st Corps arrival and usage.
  6. There are situation maps for set-up purposes, so you do not have to read endless text hex co-ordinates to place units.
  7. You can use variable combat strengths orstick with formal- and as with any board-game , alter and use your own rules and parameters of play..........
  8. Because the map-sheets are about half size of normal ones , plexi - plastic would be a good idea or just be handy with the tacky gum stuff.
Warning: this is not La Bataille..........pretty colors and red lollipops are not provided....you have depth and size scaling specifically designed for Napoleonic NUTS......casual gamers....keep sucking La Bataille................OK !.

My overall impression is that it is a bit different from the usual , so if you are a dedicated La Batailler , it may not be to your taste......so very dependent on your level of Napoleonic nutdom........:).

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( Double- click to enlarge ).


Quatre - Bras battle-map - please note that one small section of the map is folded and you can see the entire extent of the Bois de Bossu and not the Bois de Revettes, which is hidden. So, it is in reality, slightly bigger..........:):).
 
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This was not an impulse buy......a definite Christmas present buy. I still have not taken the protective plastic off.....nothing worse than smearing or marking something you have just bought.

I decided to put it on a large painters easel stand and by sheer luck , it fits exactly and snug. The debate of which wall to stick it on and possible exposure to direct sunlight meant that putting it on a portable, large painter's easel stand was a better move. Apart from that , I have told my Californian female interest that I have taken up painting as a hobby.....:giggle:.

It cost less than the average La Bataille game.......thanks to modern printing technology.
Another item to be buried with me...........I can readily understand why the Egyptian Pharoahs wanted their worldly goods to be buried with them....you can take the point of view that they wanted said goods to be used in the afterlife, but I am positing the reasoning to be more simple ; namely, to stop greasy fingered troglodytes from getting their paws on their goodies................makes sense to me.............:)......👍...
 
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I do like the revamped Waterloo Campaign - having to endlessly click formations to find your commanders is mitigated by lettering ( A, D and B ) on map - a very good idea. 👍.

Have fished out Decision Games - Wellingtons Victory - really want to see the different system dynamics from the old version.........seen a lot of comments which are divided in opinion.....get into it before 18th June........?.
 
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So, I have enough figures to do Rorke's Drift on a 1:1 scale for the Brits and about 1:4 for the Zulus. Doing Isandlwana will have to take some thinking as the scaling will be about 1:4 for the Brits and Allies and 1:20+ for the zulus. But I want 1:1 scale..............the Isandlwana battlefield is about 40 times the size of Rorkes. Need a basketball court to set it up..........so, let's use the Total War methodology but use counters and 2D map. I can easily get a map of the Isandwana battlefield terrain online......

I parcel this up into rectangles that reflect one large table space. I use my Rorkes Drift boardgame counters to represent both sides. British counters can equal anything from one compamy to 10 men or 10 to 100 zulus or more. I movbe the counters on the battlefield map and when they meet each other - I transfer the action, like in Total War - to the figure battlefield.......a large table. This can easily accomodate in 20mm scale terms about 2-300 Brits ( Allies ) and 500 to 1000 zulus.........you have the 1:1 scaling.

You set up your terrain and figures for that portion of the battlefield.....flanking assaults are shown on the battlefield map and can be transferred also, if necessary.

There is also the possibility of doing things on the cheap....you can get a large white paper sheet or wall lining paper and draw the configuration of terrain ,the Isandlwana mountain , coppes , hills , rises and donga - dry river beds without forking out for semi expensive terrain - 3d figures work just as well on 2d terrain.

I have a dozen white tents - how do yo recreate a hell of a lot more...again 2d terrain mixed in with 12 3D tents.

What about the rules for 1:1 gaming.......there are skirmisher wargame rules but quite limited , so hybridizing the Rorke's Drift boardgame , ( Brits at 1:1 scale ), with them and using sword and spear ancients stuff should work. I am not a fan of block units and losing blocks of figures or stupid points systems or you can only move units with which cards have been drawn..........

With historically 3 column incursions into Zulu-land, there is a lot of nuance for campaigning. Even just scenarios , like Cetshwayo being defeated and a rogue Zulu leader with 1000 -4000 renegades starting a guerilla war of revenge , attacking Afrikaaner homesteads, cattle stations or even towns in Natal Province or supply trains........the list is endless. 🤞...

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Isandlwana Battlemap.............



:)..........👍.................................................................................................................................👍.
 
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Another itch scratched.......not a bargain , but a reasonable price and unpunched. Once I have brain-celled the Goss system rules - it is all systems go for this and Atlantic Wall....in fact - I will be using this as a dummy run play test as it is more reasonable in size/scope.
It still has 2250 counters.....so ; definitely Monster category.......and surprisingly, 95 days of battle which is subdivided into ( 3-4 ) turns ; Am , Pm, Night and possible extra night turn, which makes a total of 285 - 380 Game turns..................the sweat drips slowly off.

As usual........detailed map............great looking counters...........lots of charts/tables.......but you have to download the updated Goss system 2020 rules set............Niiiiice !. :)...
 
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Grognard Simulations Quatre - Bras.......( Dbl click to enlarge ).

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Clash of Arms Quatre - Bras.......

Simple reason why I prefer Grognard's Quatre-Bras battle map compared to the Clash of Arms one. Ignoring the size differential, which is a heavily complicit factor. The Grognard map takes a level step up.

  1. The majority of the green terrain; don't worry , there are yellow cornfields, is made up of a very light creamy green with just about perceptible greeny flaking ......this is genius and aesthetically pleasing to the eye......I have never seen anything like it before.
  2. Elevation of ground is demarked simply and seamlessly with color variation configured heights.
  3. There are 2 types of road embankments with longer ones delineated - causing units to go further to find a way around.
  4. There is a hell of a lot of terrain/features shown and not included in previous Quatre - Bras games and even within some popular battle diagrams.
There is a stream there ??? Huh !
There is a track there, no ,two ??? Huh ! There are more heights , hedges, trees , gardens, etc. you get the idea. If I had a time machine; I would go back and alter the SPI game with what I know now........
5. It just looks right.............

For the sake of repetition......the small , squiggly, italicised unit designation presented vertically is freakin' annoying.............
 
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Only 70,000 big ones with 2000 postage...................a snip ........methinks that the seller may be a cousin of the guy who runs that games company that sells old wargames at 3 to 5 times what they should sell for.............Boney in 1797....as good as a photo. ! .;)...

Until today this piece was only known through an engraving (see our images) and a mention in (published in 1911) "Schweizerisches Künstler-Lexikon" by Carl Brun (see images). This round horn box with (mounted into its lid) miniature portrait of the 28-year-old General Napoleon Bonaparte (signed by the artist and dated 24 November 1797) resurfaced (as portrait of a "young gentleman in black coat with red collar…" - see our image) in the online catalogue (of September 20th 2014) of Zurich auction house "Schuler Auktionen".
In his biographical article about the author of this miniature, Basel miniaturist Marquard Wocher, Carl Brun refers to this work as to one of Wocher's best.
As it is known, on his journey from Italian Campo Formio to the Congress of Rastatt (November 1797), General Bonaparte made a stopover in Swiss town Basel, where he, in spite of his busy schedule, found time to seat for this small portrait, which had since been considered ONE OF THE MOST RESEMBLANT REPRESENTATIONS OF NAPOLEON FROM THIS PERIOD....👍.
 
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Screen 1.,.....................................................................................................................................................
( Dbl- Click to enlarge.. )...

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Screen 2.


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Screen 3.


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Morning of Battle




" Vive L' Empereur ! "


 
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( Dbl click to enlarge )

" Uzooo !... Uzooo !...........Uuzooooo ! ", " Do up your top tunic button,.....you...slovenly soldier ! ".

Ha ha , Ho ho, Hee hee ! Managed to get the large stone kraal at the southwest perimeter of Rorke's Drift where Lt Chard left his supply wagon. Nice piece.....looks really cool.....difficult booger to get your mitts on. Reasonable price too.......if I was gonna sell it ....I would charge at least double; as I know what people would use it for....:).

Just finished reading - Rorke,s Drift and Isandlwana - Minute by minute - Chris Peers - 2021.
The book is a very concise relation of the two battles; three quarters dealing with the preliminaries and Battle of Isandlwana and the last quarter with Rorke,s Drift.

Because of the paucity of stuff on Rorke,s Drift; it would be better advised to get a specific book on that topic. I comsider this as a general overview. That said ; there are some interesting pics.

My chief criticism is that it is not an emotional read.....I am sure that there are better out there that give you the smell and adrenaline rush like the films. To stay concise and be an overview ; it also did not delineate the characters and background of the main commanders to any significant extent which can help to draw people in.

Things that stand out in the memory: Zulus hiding effectively behind ant hills: Lord Chelmsford's inability to send precise orders or know where exactly major elements of his forces are or even heading to. Zulus used a fair number of muskets at Isandlwana. Zulu leaders rode horses;....when lookouts at Rorke's Drift saw horsemen at a distance leading natives...they initially thought they were allied troops. Those that escaped Isandlwana were hunted down mercilessly by the Zulus and disembowelled. Durnford who was superior in rank to Pulleine at Isandlwana should have taken control but was busy riding around and playing the role of Custer.......and ended up the same way.


If Napoleon had commanded....he would have sent at least 2 messages to each commander at a time and would know the approximate locations of all his forces and more so of the enemy........even at the age of 110. :p.


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Another contender for the 🐿 Marshal Lannes Napoleonic Nut Award. 🐿 .

La Bataille de Leipzig - Pratzen Games ( 2010 ).

Based primarily on the size of the map. Ten map-sheets which are 36 by 21 Inches which makes the battle-map two and a half times the size of the big La Bataille battles. I was surprised to learn that it is scaled at regimental level. That said , the hexes are larger than normal to cover the larger than normal counters of which there are 960.

Would I buy it....... No !

Regimental level scale immediately imposes shorter levels of loss taking and terrain limitation, as well as overbearing Command control restriction. Apparently the Command control system is only workable for the large , all map scenario.

The map itself is quite bare and uses the old style terrain fits the hex mode which was being phased out in 2010. It uses 3d houses which look amateurish. Little 2d square blocks would have sufficed.
The counters are very innovative but as usual with Nutty stuff ....have limited designation which divorces your mind from knowing or caring about a unit. Also a number of these have been misprinted...................Hello, Mr Errata sheet ! .

My opinion is that this game is innovative and could be a Masterpiece of Napoleonic gaming with the following improvements.

  1. More detailed map. ( terrain not adhering to hex-sides ).
  2. Some option for battalion breakdown - this can be generic. ( So counters would be about 1200.....same as La Bataille big games.
  3. Stream lined Command Control system.
  4. Counters with proper designation of units.
  5. Victory points for objectives.
  6. Greater loss parameters for units , so they last longer. It looks like the French can wallop the Allies quite easily, early on and the losses stack up on both sides in counter tray terms.
  7. One large red lollipop..........( Not necessary ).
Turning a great thought and enthusiasm into practicality is always met with constraints. This could be something special.........A revised edition, maybe ?????????........ If so: my wallet will begin to creak open....................as will others. :).


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Both have been on my radar..................!


Rorke's Drift continued

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My camera phone is crap and dilutes coloration but never mind. The stone kraal is the right size. I also managed to get some dirt cheap stone walls; these are perfect for the stone kraal actually attached to the Rorkes drift perimeter defence.
They can also be used in other battle scenarios. And as I post; a Rorkes drift bridge is winging it's way to me.....this is also dirt cheap as they use some 3d printing technology.

Never start anything like this ....it just snowballs.......if I manage to get something approaching 70% Museum Diorama quality.....then I will be happy. :).

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Incredible Courage - Ligny.

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So,.........Santa's reindeers 🦌 dropped off a copy of Incredible Courage - Ligny. I was definitely in two minds about this one; mainly because of the logistical nightmare of using counters with small italic lettering on the side of a counter....as mentioned previously. I have managed to set up Quatre- Bras but because it takes a good few hours of squinting....my enthisiasm diminished on that particular day and I just marked up some plastic baggies to make life easier next time.

Again - the draw factor here is that it is huge in scope as befits a Napoleonic simulation.

It always surprises me that the back of the box always approximates the number of counters. Ligny is designated at approximately 2600 which is short about 208 as there are in fact 2808 counters of which about six are unprinted spares.

As for the map...........It makes Quatre- Bras look like a weeny game. It links up directly to the Quatre-Bras map to give a Godzilla game which combined uses approximately 4000 counters give or take 4-500 extra.

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There is another battle game of Ligny which has amazing counters.. ( above )...small lettering, easy to see and not in freaking italics on the side.......and of course.....Nice pictograph leaders instead of large flags with again small lettering....the issue being that you are not dealing with 100's of counters but thousands on a large map.........good for teenagers or Superman but nobody else.......I have invested in a magnifying glass !!!!. ( I have considered binoculars due to linked map size ).

Looks like the only solution is to design and print your own pictographic leader counters for Army, Corps and Divisional commanders........................as all those similar flag units get on my nerves too. :mad:.

The Last Eagles game counters show what should be done and act as a template of sorts.......unfortunately the small lettering on the combat counters has to be tolerated. You try telling the difference between the 56th and 58th regiment at a 3 foot distance.

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These are from the Waterloo game and only slightly smaller than real life counters......Hmmmmm ! That's right - you have to twist your head and squint to read......the pic is slightly out of focus but it illustrates the annoyance aspect of playing this game...............it would have been a dream ticket just to have normal horizontal lettering; even in italics...........Am I asking for too much ?.........................I am definitely not going to redesign 4000+ counters..............( Maybe A.I. can do it in 5 years time ).
 

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Incredible Courage -100 Days - Waterloo.

As it's my birthday next month - Santa also delivered a copy of the above game.
Erratta : I mentioned previously that this Waterloo game had 8 mapsheets compared to the Wavre game which has 12. This was not my error as the particular website I took the information from did originally say 8 but they have changed this to 12 map sheets, and as I have the game - it definitely has 12 half map sheets.
Along with that are 12 countersheets comprising 2592 counters. There is a penchant for giving an approximation of the number of counters on the back of the game boxes; ( 2400 in this case ) and in the case of Ligny, there are 2800 counters , ( 2600, shown as approximately on back of box ).
This is , I suppose, not to scare " wargame weenies " who cannot take Monster wargames in their full descriptive form.

So, if you are going to go full hog and acquire all 4 battles of the 1815 Campaign, as I plan to do.......look away , " wargame weenies "; you will have - 52 half size map sheets and a total of - 7134 counters depicting the armies involved at company/squadron/section level.

Let's have a looksee at the battle-map done by Rick Barber. For the sake of repetition ; this is what an adult , I know what wargamers of the Napoleonic period want. No huge blank spaces and mostly featureless terrain; no hobbitown graphics for buildings......smooth, seamless integration of aesthetic coloration with eye friendly motif; and of course, greater detail without being overwhelming. Lovely.... !
The sins of the revamped Wellingtons Victory game are not reproduced here. Neither are the sin of the Tiller company level game of Waterloo.

The Incredible Courage Waterloo battle map has the Lasne ( river ) defile depucted in full. ( as did the original SPI Wellington's Victory ). Firstly, this presents the Prussians with a choke point which they had to navigate through, which gives a more realistic time delay detailing if you are playing lazily and god forbid, if the French have any troops nearby who could potentially block the Prussian Army for 2 -4 precious hours, which would be decisive.

I freaking hate Waterloo games which stop short in their maps with the Bois de Paris which allows the Prussians to arrive immediately in big chunks on Napoleons right; whereaas in real life, they were more staggered , tired and took time to wait and reform before moving ahead.

The French also have the possibility of deploying further west ; giving valuable time with terrain loss rather than troop loss, which does not happen if the right flank only depicts the Bois de Paris. ( which in itself gives the advantage to the Prussian player with defensive terrain if the French choose to attack )

All the main Chateau and farms are depicted nicely and you get cemeteries with rows of little graves and other small terrain touches. The town of Braine L' Alleude, north-west of the Chateau of Goumont is depicted in entirety; where the Dutch - Belgians had 2 divisions. You get all the main points and you do not feel hemmed in.

I believe that La Bataille de Mont St- Jean game had a single mapsheet to connect the battle of Waterloo map with their Wavre map game. Incredible Courage joins effortlessly the two battles which explains, not as I thought, that the Waterloo game should be bigger but that the Wavre game has to be the same size to account for the joining of the two battle maps ; not in a piddley one map section but the whole of the eastern section of Waterloo with Lasne to the large Wavre map, which is bigger than the Quatre - Bras map by a third. This is chunky stuff.

It is even possible to be more ahistorical with Gerard's IV Corps heading to aid Napoleon by intercrpting the Prussians on the road from Wavre to Plancenoit.

For the serious grognards - you could make your own mapsheets to link the road from Quatre - Bras to Waterloo and that from Ligny to Wavre. Nothing fancy - just to give a spatial dimension and more accurate time distillation effect. ( giving more opportunity to harass the allies on their retreat back from Ligny or Quatre - Bras ).

You can also use units that were left behind by Napoleon and his carriage personal guard are even depicted.

I am still overlooking the unit designations being printed in small lettering on the side of the counter...........however the drool bucket is still full to within one inch of the rim. If they change this anomaly for future games - then it will definitely overflow.

I do not find the individual battles intimidating but the whole 1815 campaign is a stretch. That is probably what Napoleon was thinking as he crossed at Charleroi. :).

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Yes - my camera phone is crap..........! I only use it for making and receiving calls - it's very good at that.
The entire battle-map is too big to photograph............here is the town of Braine L' Alleude which is north west of the Chateau of Hougomont and the subsequent map edge. '


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Here are the points of Rossomme ; Le Caillou and Maison du Roi............the southern edge of Napoleon's position and it is unforgiveable that some Waterloo games miss out one or two of these.



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And above is an example of what my phone does best.....blue out the screen....Never mind....as can be seen.....you have the town of Lasne and the choke point of the defile.
So; if you have the Wavre game - the terrain continues westwards without the invisible barrier to the battle at the maps edge.


The river running south from Lasne and eventually below Plancenoit is forbidding to look at and to a degree nullifies movement with it's detail and coloration unlike SPI's Wellington's Victory game which was more simplistic.

This game is definitely a nod to the old SPI game in size terms.....which is good.


You cannot see from these diluted pictures the slope configuration/level colours,....... so as I have said before...there are no featureless terrain /blank , clear hexes as such.

Happy bunnies all round. :) . 🐰🐰🐰...

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The good news is that once I have Wavre - it will be the first time in my life that I will be able to recreate the entire 1815 Campaign in board game terms- something I could only dream of in my younger days........If I was a teen now ; I would not be able to do so, as the prices are out of reach............so it is a twisted reality.

I did consider La Bataille........but I prefer the scaling and maps and having enough counters to sink the Titanic and above all ; having ahistorical options due to map linkages.

Wellington is going to get it....there will be a 50-50 chance that D'Erlon's Ist Corps will arrive a little bit late at Ligny but will bruise Blucher's Prussians more and there will be a 50-50 chance that Gerard's 4th Corps will flank the Prussians moving towards Wellington. This could happen somewhere south-east on the Waterloo map as there is enough room or more likely on the south-west of the Wavre map.
These maps are long enough in width............as historically; it's all a matter of good fortune and circumstance.

It begins with Quatre-Bras this summer.........losses for both sides will be transferred to the Waterloo battle and then the huge Ligny battle whose map is the same size as Waterloo and Quatre -Bras combined....Epic in scale, ...................as it should be. :).

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I have a book on Ligny but nothing on Wavre...............Tick . Like his other books; they have more recent research and perspectives. 33 Books. Reasonable price......

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I am going to say it...............This wargame battle map is the definitive map of the Battle of Waterloo.........La Bataille is second best. I do not say that with any pleasure or vindictiveness as La Bataille has done an amazing job with Napoleonic battle simulation over the years.
It's like looking at your wife/girlfriend and then looking at Eva Green and then looking back at your wife/girlfriend. It's called the silent acknowledgement that can never be expressed. The same thing with La Bataille. :) .

So; the board wargaming, Plan of Action is to play Quatre-Bras and Hurtgen Hell's forest this spring/summer. They both can fit on my main table-space. I get to grips with Quatre-Bras rules and gameplay and then I am good for Ligny later on in the year which occupies all the table space. With Hurtgen, I get the rules and gameplay into the brain cells and I am good to go for Atlantic Wall which unfortunately has to be rescheduled for Summer 2026, which means that Waterloo and Wavre have to be put back to late 2027. Time is always against you. ⏰.

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Decided to invest in some dice....these are a good size and I prefer them to spot dice. Blue for the French: Red for Wellington - the Duke of hiding behind hills and Black for the Prussians.

Once I have the Wavre Game - it's all go for the monumental 1815 Campaign at Company/ Squadron/ Section level. :).

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" Come in Houston - the Eagle has landed ". I have acquired the battle of Wavre- as it's by far the cheapest of the four battle games ( Grognard Simulations ) - I have added it to my Birthday Gift list.
It has 12 mapsheets; and one countersheet which is made up of markers.
It fits directly to the Waterloo battle map for a seamless movement of the Prussians from Wavre to Napoleon's right flank at Waterloo.



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This is how the maps join up.

Much better than the La Bataille system that has a bunch of boxes which is not really seamless/realistic.

The Allied player has to put in the effort to move his forces with efficiency across roads and trails simulating the real situation rather than terrain box jumping which only simulates terrain box jumping...... Hmmmm !

Why be a Chipmunk brainer 🐿 when there is an alternative.

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Box jumping in La Bataille games. 🦔...

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( Dbl-click to enlarge ).

Preparations for the Great Campaign 1815 are underway. I am really waiting for warmer and brighter weather. The Quatre-Bras mapsheets have been gummed down. ( I might gum down some of the Ligny mapsheets to give a more epic feel and maybe a French cavalry division might make a long diversion around Wellington's left flank , ostensibly for reconnaissance purposes and maybe hit the Allies with a surprise. Sending an Infantry Division would be too ahistorical and would be easily picked up by Allied cavalry patrosl;. giving them time to prepare ).

I did not opt for the plexi-glass option as the touch of the glass is cold and weird - I prefer the card stock feel. Anyways ; the dough I save can go on other stuff - say the 300 small plastic baggies I had to get.

The small printing on the unit designations means that I have had to label and place individual battalions in their own specific baggy. Saves a lot of time. I strongly recommend anyone to organize your units straight from the countersheet to the labelled baggies.
I have noticed that the French units are slightky easier to read from the Allied.

I also am not a big fan of the deployed artillery unit counters. Like , Napoleon - I like to know where my guns are - so a few old 6mm cannons come in handy for an atmospheric feel and ease of recognition - no mistaking them.

After seeing some online videos with people using small transparent colored discs - I also could use these for artillery definition or a myriad of other purpose. In a large game like Ligny - potential melee attacks can be designated easily.

Again - with the money saved from plexi-glass; I have instead, bought some grey velvet material to line a medium sized tray/box to use for rolling my numbered dice- for that professional , luxury feel. The days of dice knocking over counter stacks or falling off the edge of the table are long gone.

Wading through Grouchy's Waterloo book.......a lot of chapters dealing with the build up before Charleroi and first encounters with the Prussians . :)
 
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