23rd May 2015. As part of their “100 days” exhibition and tied in with the French Market in Horsham, England, the museum invited the 45eme Regiment de Ligne reenactment group to put on displays.
My own contribution was acparticipation game of the Battle of Waterloo. While I had many interested visitors during the day, including some gamers, nobody took up the offer to take the rôle of Wellington for a turn.
As you can see the battle is reduced to the size of a card table. 6mm figures are used on a gridded table. A full strength unit occupying one grid square is 4 x 18 infantry, 4 x 8 cavalry or 2 guns with 3 crew each.
For Waterloo the squares were 1/4 mile (400m) across and each figure represented 100 men (1gun:25 pieces).
I, as Napoleon, tried to copy the original battle action, but it soon went awry. Wellington lost half his artillery in the first hour. Hougoumont fell at around 1:00 pm. An entire division was wasted trying to get into la Haie Sainte. The Allied heavy cavalry charged d’Erlon before he had moved and then d’Erlon attacked and we had the spectacle of the Union Brigade attacking French squares on the Allied ridge on their way back.
Napoleon failed to make any progress on the right or centre, but did get a brigade of cavalry to the north edge of the board on his left. Mont St Jean was still strongly held, and the other strong points held by the allies, but the centre of the ridge was bare when dusk fell.
Blücher never arrived, and the Imperial Guard never budged.
Casualties were 32,000 allies and 33.400 French.
The Eagle in the picture is that of the 45eme – a copy of the one the Scots Greys stole at Waterloo. This one is scripted to be taken again four weeks from now.
One thought on “Waterloo game demo at Horsham Museum”