Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Wellington’s Battles

In November 2009 Jan and I decided to wargame Wellington’s battles in the Peninsula as an occasional series of fun wargames.   We had just started our 1813 campaign, and these battles were planned as a break from the more serious campaign battles.   It was never intended to be a serious attempt to recreate the historical battles.  We would use the scenery we had on the shelves and the wargame figures available for the campaign.

I decided to start a blog to record the games, partly so that I could look back on them but also in the hope that they might prompt other wargamers to attempt something similar.   We have 6mm, 18mm and 28mm but we decided to use the latter because they would photograph better.

We played 13 games from Rolica to Toulouse, and I had planned to stop there.   I considered Waterloo, but decided that it was too well known.   Everyone has read about it, everyone knows the main features of the battlefield, everyone knows the outcome.  We could not create Hougoumont and La Haye Sainte, even if we had the buildings we did not have the table space in 28mm.   We did not have the figures to field the same order of battle, and even if we did table space would be a problem.  So we decided to stop the series at Toulouse.

However it seemed a little strange to end the series without Wellingtion’s best known battle.   So we have decided to go for it.  

The wargame attempts to recreate the tactical problems faced by Wellington on 18 June 1815.   There is a building with a walled garden and woods called Hougoumont.   There is a nearby building called La Haye Sainte.  There is a ridge, of sorts.  There is no sign of the Prussians; I have the figures but not the table space.   Napoleon’s army is similar in size to Wellington’s.  This makes for a better wargame, and I justify it on the grounds that the troops available for the attack on the ridge were similar in size.

I hope that you will have a look at the blog.  I hope even more that you will be tempted to try something similar.  We have greatly enjoyed the games, and it would be nice to think that others were prompted (inspired is too grand a word) to try something similar having seen them.

You can find the blog here

The next step may be a series of Napoleon’s battles.  


Phil Broeders said...

I will check it out - but well done for playing them all! We've done some of them but certainly not all!

thistlebarrow said...

Hi Phil

Its been great fun to play a series of wargames all on a central theme over such a long time.

Jan and I have visited all of the battlefields fought, which added a little interest.

I shall miss the series, and am considering a series of Napoleon's battles. They are much larger battles, and not so easily converted to a 6x6 foot table using 28mm. I could always do them in 18mm or even 6mm.

The number of battles for Wellington was manageable, those for Napoleon not quite so.