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 [F] CSW Forum  / Boardgaming  / *INDIVIDUAL GAMES AND GAME SERIES Discussion  / Era: Gunpowder  / Napoleonics  / Waterloo (AH)

[Likevich, Steve]Steve Likevich - 05:38am Sep 15, 1999 EST

Noticed that this classic was still being played competatively at the WBC and thought it deserved some discussion.

Steve Likevich - Sep 15, 1999 6:00 am (#1 Total: 1148)  

[Likevich, Steve]
I had a break between games at the WBC and managed to get in a game of one of my all-time favorite classics. Even though I got my head handed to me by Rob Beyma, it rekindled my interest. Still very fun and very balanced.

For those who haven't played for a looong while, like me, there are a couple of significant changes/clarifications between the First and Second Edition rules and one Tournament change. The first Second Edition change is that soak-offs can be made at less than 1-6, thus enabling a lone PAA 1-6 Cav Unit to tie down three French 6-4 Infantry Divisions while the 4th gets hammered. The second is that units don't have to stop when they enter river hexes if they don't cross.

The additonal Tournament Rule change was the addition of a 7pm turn to each of the three days. According to Rob, this balances out the game and gives the French a bit more time for indirect maneuvering as opposed to forcing them to hammer away at frontal assaults, making it less of a "dice game."

Edward Sabatine - Sep 22, 1999 12:56 pm (#2 Total: 1148)  

All the games featured in the Wargame Survivor contest were nominated for awards.  
[Sabatine, Edward]
I had no idea there was a second edition. I'd love to see command and control rules with this.

I usually set up the Prussians in a way so the Prussian army is in the best position to run back up the central roads after the French hammer them at Ligny.

Joseph Geistwhite - Sep 22, 1999 7:42 pm (#3 Total: 1148)  

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them."...Albert (not the fat one)  
[Geistwhite, Joseph]
Is there anyone who I could I obtain a copy of the 2nd Edition Rules from that were mentioned in post #1?

Steve Likevich - Sep 23, 1999 5:18 am (#4 Total: 1148)  

[Likevich, Steve]
I'll see if I can reproduce some copies - I don't think that there are too many pages to them and I can't imagine that there will be much of a demand. E-Mail me your address.

Also, I just finished a pretty basic ADC2 gameset for Waterloo that Nick Bell will probably post to his Web Site next week. But if anyones interested prior, I'll be happy to send you the file.

Edward Sabatine - Sep 23, 1999 5:50 am (#5 Total: 1148)  

All the games featured in the Wargame Survivor contest were nominated for awards.  
[Sabatine, Edward]
When I was playing this one thing that always seemed to happen at the end was the complete destruction of all Coalition units, plus the entire French army except for a few counters. This of course meant a French victory, but it left the picture of a couple of guys jumping up and down in a sea of corpses yelling "we won! we won!"

There are many reasons for this, but suffice it to say that in real battles this did not happen. Once an army started taking sufficient losses, either the morale of its troops or its commanders would break and it would retreat. If there were not enough places to retreat to or the retreat was too disorganized the army would be wrecked.

What I'm saying is that the game could use a simple desertion rule. Now, there actually is a desertion rule in the game, in that for every French unit that gets through to Brussels a Coalition unit is removed. But if taken seriously this leads to things like the French army trying to slide around the Coalition and race for Brussels.

Don't the rules state how many combat factors are available for each side? I propose taking these totals and dividing them by five. Then each side will keep track of its losses (treating the Prussians and Anglo-Dutch as separate); every an army's losses exceed 20% of its initial attack strength then the player must remove another 20%. Units that are cut off or surrounded must be removed first, followed by units with enemy units in three adjoining hexes, otherwise its at the player's discretion.

Steve Likevich - Sep 24, 1999 6:13 am (#6 Total: 1148)  

[Likevich, Steve]
Hi Ed.

Yeah, the lack of specific morale, command and control and artillery rules bugged me years ago when I first played Waterloo. Then it was (literally)the only game in town on the subject. But soon other, more elaborate simulations of the battle appeared and I found myself turning to them when I wanted to play more in-depth treatments. But I continued to occasionally play Waterloo when those times when I didn't want to keep consulting a rule book or break out my stubby pencil.

And that's what attracted me back to it at the WBC. It had been over 20 years since I had last played it or even looked at a rulebook. But after five minute review of the rules, I was up and running and giving a multi past champ of the game a run for his money (well, for at least the first half of the game) and having a blast. You can never go back, but for a brief moment I was 15 again in my barely converted attic bedroom cussing the die for rolling a "2" on my 2-1 against the Prussian 8-4.

It seems to me, trying to modify this game would be sort of like putting a CD Player in a 65 Mustang Convertible. Yeah, you would get better sound, but do you really care when all you want to do is take it out for a cruise on an occasioanl Saturday night?

So I guess what I'm saying is when/if I would ever have the priviledge to play you in this dated classic, I would prefer to do it using those original inadequate rules, preferably on that ugly unrealistic board, using those ugly innacurate pieces.

Edward Sabatine - Sep 24, 1999 7:37 am (#7 Total: 1148)  

All the games featured in the Wargame Survivor contest were nominated for awards.  
[Sabatine, Edward]
I like the simplicity of the game too, but I have a different perspective.

My understanding is that Napoleonics games in particular tend to suffer from the inclusion of an enormous amount of tactical detail in their systems, which I attribute to the minatures influence. Then you have Waterloo . There are a few games in the middle, where the army commander is actually worrying about things an army commander has to worry about, and doesn't act as quartermaster or artillery sergeant, but there are not enough.

So frankly I'd rather play Waterloo , with the addition of one simple rule for desertion (see above) and one for command and control (I haven't come up with it yet). No, I don't have the time to design my own game on the subject.

Also, Waterloo RAW is not a fun game. The French storm Quatre Bras, then outflank successive Coalition positions until the last Coalition units are removed in a big brawl around Mount St. Jean. I find this to be tedious, so the "who cares about history, I just want to have FUN" argument convinces even less than usual here.

Steve Likevich - Jan 25, 2000 6:36 am (#8 Total: 1148)  

[Likevich, Steve]
Tilly corridor. After getting the opportunity to play it a few times now after a long hiatus, I'm having problems determining the right Prussian force mix between the Tilly corridor and Quartre Bras. I find I either commit too much to the corridor and the French punches thru at QB and beats me to Waterloo, or I don't commit enough and he outmaneuvers and/or destroys the blocking force.

Any pointers from the Grognards?

Steve Likevich - May 30, 2000 7:10 am (#9 Total: 1148)  

[Likevich, Steve]
A question for any Waterloo Grognards with easy access to a Board - are hexes W13 and Y12 playable? I always thought not, but before I give my opponent my definative ruling, I'd appreciate some input. Thanks.

Joseph Geistwhite - Jun 3, 2000 7:43 pm (#10 Total: 1148)  

"Intellectuals solve problems; geniuses prevent them."...Albert (not the fat one)  
[Geistwhite, Joseph]
In the 2nd Ed. Rules, Page 1, It says "PLAYABLE SQUARES- only those hexes that show all six hexsides are playable". The map edges in this map are 'offset' more than other maps. No doubt there were enough inquiries about this situation to prompt AH to include the 'answer' in the 2nd Ed. Rules

Steve Likevich - Jun 5, 2000 10:12 am (#11 Total: 1148)  

[Likevich, Steve]
Thanks Joseph. That's what I thought also, but I appreciate the confirmation.

Steve Likevich - Jun 28, 2000 6:35 am (#12 Total: 1148)  

[Likevich, Steve]
Engaged in a weird PBM game at the moment. It’s 5pm on the first day (and we are playing with the optional 7pm turn). Total attacks thus far have been 22 for my PAA and 10 for the French. And 8 of the French attacks have been Auto Elims. The French are definitely employing the “indirect approach” – ie going for the flanks and now attempting to piece the woods south (?) of QB in the center. I have countered by attempting to eliminate his wings so I can then concentrate against his center. I funny thing is to date I have lost 4 more factors than he has. Thus I appear to be destroying my army for him! So much for my attempting to take the initiative.

Rob Beyma - Jul 9, 2000 7:08 pm (#13 Total: 1148)  

[Beyma, Rob]
Waterloo Tournament:

There will be a Waterloo tournament at the BPA convention in Baltimore next month. All you grognards that are interested in some good Waterloo games, check out the Waterloo page at the BPA site.

Randy Heller - Aug 18, 2000 8:11 pm (#14 Total: 1148)  

I only play in hard core mode when protecting the black soulstone.  
[Heller, Randy]
I agree with Bruno's comment, "Waterloo is a great game, but of all the classics it is the worst simulation." Just prior to the Hasbro purchase, rumors were circulating on the hill that TAHGC was going to do a new version. I wonder how far along that project was and if anything will eventually surface.

Rob Beyma - Aug 18, 2000 10:31 pm (#15 Total: 1148)  

[Beyma, Rob]
It's been over two years but I believe that AH decided not to publish the one that they were evaluating. AH looked at my area movement operational Waterloo game, with Titan like battle maps, but sent it back for further work shortly before Hasbro bought them out. My research could be transferred to a hex based game like the original. Or, it could function in its current area movement form.

I believe that Waterloo is the best game of the 5 original classics. The rules are simple, there is lot of maneuver and combat, both sides attack and defend, and it plays quickly. It is a poor simulation as it does not differentiate among inf, cav, and art nor does it have morale and leader rules. My design has all of these but retains a simple, playable game system.

As much as I respect Bruno's gaming knowledge, I will have to disagree that it is the worst simulation of the 5. Stalingrad takes that prize in my opinion.

Bill Eldard - Aug 20, 2000 12:52 am (#16 Total: 1148)  

[Eldard, Bill]
As much as I respect Bruno's gaming knowledge, I will have to disagree that it is the worst simulation of the 5. Stalingrad takes that prize in my opinion.

I haven't played WATERLOO in many years due to its dated rules and appearance. I wsould put it on par with STALINGRAD as a simulation. One wonders why AH didn't use the original GETTYSBURG system -- with unit facing offering tactical advantages and disadvantages -- for WATERLOO. This battle -- like Gettysburg, the Bulge, and D-Day -- has been done better many times since its release. It's because of its failure to differentiate capabilties between infantry, cavalry, and artillery that it does not excite as a game; it's pure counter pushing -- little or no strategy.

A far better game with the feel of the AH 'classics' is the latest edition of Columbia Games' NAPOLEON, which abandons hexes for a point-to-point system and adds a left-center-right flank battle resolution system. P2P and area systems are very similar.

An area movement Waterloo game using a STORM OVER ARHNEM/BREAKOUT: NORMANDY system might be an improvement over NAPOLEON in terms of simulation. Spearhead Games released two American Civil War games which applied that AH system to the 19th Century battlefield; they were BLOODIEST DAY (Antietam) and THEY MET AT GETTYSBURG. Maybe they offer some ideas.

- Sep 13, 2000 7:27 pm (#17 Total: 1148)  

The rules of this game say that HQ units are provided for historical purposes only. Even Napoleon has no role in the battle. So, why bother putting these units on the board? Has anyone come up with a use for them?

In seeming contradiction, the rules further state that additional HQ units may be used as subordinate commanders' HQ units if more than two players are playing. If such a unit is eliminated in an attack, the controlling player is out of the game even though any combat units under him remain in play. So, these subordinate HQ units are apparently critical. If the same reasoning is followed for a two-player game, does a player immediately lose if his Wellington, Napoleon, or Blucher HQ unit is eliminated?

Steve Likevich - Sep 14, 2000 5:23 am (#18 Total: 1148)  

[Likevich, Steve]
Regarding Leaders, We have never used them nor are they used at any of the Con's I've been to (WBC, Origins) I think they are there for chrome and an-less-than sucessful attempt to provide a multiplayer diminsion. But I'll admit, in the distant past, we did have some fun making up leadership bonuses and employing some panic rules for leader loss.

Bill Eldard - Sep 14, 2000 3:55 pm (#19 Total: 1148)  

[Eldard, Bill]
B. Jones, you might use the HQ units similar to ACROSS 5 APRILS. Write the names of the HQs/Leaders on chits (one each) and drop them into a cup. Draw a chit, and all units within a proscribed radius of the HQ/Leader execute movement and combat. Napoleon, Wellington, and Blucher have greter radii, and when their repsective chits are drawn, all HQ/Leaders (and units within their command radii) move and attack. It is possible that 3 forces of the same side may move before the other side gets to go, but this could generically reflect command and control problems.

- Oct 2, 2000 11:05 am (#20 Total: 1148)  


Re: your query about an AH Waterloo re-issue.

Kevin Zucker was approached by AH some time ago about a revamped re-issue of the original AH Waterloo. AH wanted it on 8 sides of rules, Kevin couldn't get a sensible game down to less than 12 (or thereabouts). Result: no new AH Waterloo.

I understand that Kevin's 'Last Days of the Grand Armee' was partly a dusted off version of what AH would have got had they relented over the issue of rules length.

Allan Mountford.

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