Waterloo simple game

For the use of anyone who is interested, here is a set of simple rules for a gridded game representing the Battle of Waterloo. Copied from a plain text document with no formatting.


A game based on the battle of June 18th, 1815

The dice are marked I,I,C,A,X and blank.

Units are 4 infantry bases (line or guard) including one with a flag, or 4 cavalry bases (light or heavy) including one with a flag, or 2 artillery bases.

Red army represents the Allied side, Blue army represents the French.

The winner of the game is the first player to occupy both squares of both villages and 2 of the 4 farms.

Red casualties may be recycled. When the casualties total:

4 infantry including 1 with a flag, or

4 cavalry of the same type including 1 with a flag, or

2 artillery

then a new unit may be formed and brought onto the table on 1 of the 3 squares marked X, using the appropriate die roll to activate the entry of the unit.

Blue casualties may be recycled in the same way at the square marked Y but require two dice for activation.

An open square holds up to 4 bases of the same type of one side.

A village, large farm or wood square holds up to 2 bases of one type of one side.

A small farm holds one base.

A unit of 3 or 4 bases may occupy adjacent squares. It must be clear which bases belong to which unit.

Guards bases may be up to 2 squares from their flag base.

The play is in alternate turns, starting with Blue.

The play sequence:

Roll 5 dice from the cup into the bowl.

For each A 1 artillery unit may be activated.

For each C 1 cavalry unit may be activated.

For each I 1 infantry unit may be activated.

Place the dice in the squares to be activated.

Activation is in any sequence the player wishes.

Artillery have 1 Action Point (AP)

Infantry have 2 AP

Heavy cavalry have 3 AP

Light cavalry have 4 AP.

An AP is used to:

Move forwards 1 square,

Change direction (left turn, right turn or face about),

Form square or reform from square (infantry only),

Fire once (not for cavalry).

Note that if a charge is made to contact the enemy it must be in a straight line ahead.

If Infantry fire they cannot charge.

Artillery cannot charge. Infantry cannot charge cavalry.

Charging units are marked with a sword token for each square moved in the charge.


Infantry firing range is 1 square, directly or diagonally ahead.

Infantry fire with 1 die per base in the front row only (maximum 2).

Infantry units with bases facing in different directions fire each base individually.

If the target is in a village or wood, reduce the dice rolled by 1.

If the target is in a walled farm, reduce the dice rolled by 2.

Artillery firing range is 4 squares. The target must be visible (not behind woods, hills or buildings).

At range 1 square they fire directly ahead only, with 2 dice per gun base.

At range 2-4 squares they may fire at the closest target straight ahead, or 1 square to each side of that line, with 1 die per base.

Artillery on the front square of a hill may fire over friendy troops in the square to their front.

If the target is on the rear square of a hill, or in a wood, farm or village,

reduce the total dice rolled by 1.

For dice results, see “Casualties”

Close fighting

After all the movement and firing, units in a square directly adjacent to and facing an enemy must fight.


Units marked with a sword token are charging. Resolve this first.

Artillery and infantry charged from the front may fire once with the front rank before fighting,

as described in “Firing” above.

Infantry charged by cavalry roll as many dice as the sword tokens placed by the cavalry.

An X means they were able to form square.

Results are applied immediately (see “casualties”).


Roll 1 die for each base in the attacker’s square.

+ 1 die for each of these:


attacking from the flank or rear of the enemy.

-1 die for each of these:

attacking a village or wood,

light cavalry aganst heavy cavalry,

cavalry against infantry in square.

-2 dice for attacking a walled farm (a farm has no flanks).

Results are applied immediately (see “casualties”).

Defender turns to face the enemy if necessary.

Roll 1 die for each base in the defender’s square.

– 1 die for each of these:

infantry not in square against cavalry,

light cavalry against heavy cavalry.

If neither side is eliminated or retreats, continue the combat with no bonus or penalty dice

until one side retreats or is eliminated.


Every A removes 1 artillery base if targeted.

Every C removes 1 cavalry base if targeted. Remove the flag base last.

Every I removes 1 infantry base if targeted. Remove the flag base last.

For every X the target unit retreats 1 square directly away from the enemy unit,

ending with their backs to the enemy.

If a friendly unit is in the way it is pushed back.

If an enemy unit is in the way the retreating unit is eliminated.

If a village, farm or wood is in the way of a retreat it is not counted as a square

and the retreat continues the other side of the obstacle.


Infantry in a walled farm require two dice showing “I” for a casualty and two showing “X” for a retreat.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

One thought on “Waterloo simple game”

  1. Waterloo on a card table is a splendid idea! Thanks for making this and your Battle Chess rules available for download. I’m a follower of Bob Cordery’s Portable Wargame rules [see his blog http://wargamingmiscellany.blogspot.com/%5D , which also use a gridded battlefield, but a very different shooting/combat system derived from Joe Morschauser’s 1962 rules. If only such simple, playable wargames had existed when I was a boy, so I wouldn’t have had to endure WRG and its ilk.
    Best wishes, Arthur

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