Sunday, 25 November 2018

Wellington’s Battles Blog

This was a one off project which was inspired by my visits to Wellington’s Iberian battlefields.   In preparation for those visits I had done a lot of research, and had gathered with a lot of information and maps.  

Although quite busy with my four main blogs, I decided to wargame thirteen of his battles in Portugal and Spain and also Waterloo.  

As with my 1813 campaign these would be wargames, not an attempt to recreate the actual battles.   There were two reasons for this decision.   First my armies were already organised for use in my campaign.   Second my wargames table did not allow recreation of actual battlefields.   I is based on a 2x2 foot scenic squares with permanent hills, rivers and roads. 

Having decided to record each wargame using the blog, I wanted it to be a permanent reference source for anyone wanting to game themselves.   I started a new blog, and again used the Labels system to give access to each wargame.

Each game has a short introduction.   This includes a map, a short background and historical totals of infantry, cavalry and artillery.  There is then my own order of battle and a photograph of the table at the start of the game.  The actual game is recorded in text and photographs.

I started Rolica in November 2009 and finished Waterloo in May 2012.   This may seem a long time to wargame just 14 battles.  But it was always intended to be a break from my 1813 campaign.   As that campaign grew from solo to PBEM I found that I had less and less time for the Wellington project.   But because I already had the maps, order of battles and knowledge of each battle, it was easy to set a game up when I needed a break from the main campaign.

I was quite disappointed when the series came to an end.   I experimented with doing something similar with Napoleon’s battles.  But the problems with the table and my wargame order of battle discouraged me.   However I have recently returned to this subject with my proposed “Nearly Napoleonic” series.  

If you would like to see the Wellington series click on “Wellington’s Battles” under My Blog List on the right.


  1. Clicked on and read with interest!

    All the best,


  2. Hi Paul,

    How do you balance your love of balanced actions with the flavour of the historical battles, which often appear very one-sided (e.g. Bussaco)?

    And how do you balance the sides - is it your wargamer's coup de oeil, knowing what is roughly balanced in your rules?

  3. Hi JWH

    In the campaign games, and indeed even in our pre campaign games, I always design them to give both players an equal chance of winning. Or at least some chance of winning. I know some players insist it can be a great challenge to fight for a limited objective, but I suspect that they have not played those type of games very often. We game most days, and would soon tire of the prospect of almost certain defeat in each game.

    We find that the element of surprise provided by the dice is sufficient to upset the more or less even balance orbats.

    However in this series of games I have tried to recreate a more historical feel to each battle. For example at Busaco we gave the French more infantry and cavalry, in fact the British had no cavalry. But they did have a very strong defensive position and could hide their infantry behind a line of ridges.

    Worked well for a one off game, but would be boring if repeated too often.



  4. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comments

    The Peninsula is well suited to this type of project.
    Most battles were small by Napoleonic standards

    But perhaps the rules are more important than in non historical wargames.

    Gaming an historical battle there is an expectation that it will follow the actual battle, providing the players use the same tactics. However I have found that wargames actually rely much more on the luck of the dice, than the tactical ability of the player.

    It is frustrating enough to roll a 1 twice in succession in a fictional battle, even more so having set up a historical refight.



  5. Useful reading for me Paul as I plan to visit those battlefields. I have to admire your enthusiasm for the historical side of the hobby and your research.

  6. Hi Lee

    I must admit I quite envy you having he battlefield visits to look forward to. As with wargaming the actual visit was the end result of months of preparation and research. And the more preparation the more enjoyment when you get there. I really enjoyed the project, though I don't think I would want to do it again.

    I hope that you enjoy it as much as I did

    best regards



I have set the settings for comments to come to me before posting so that I will not miss any