Warhammer Historical Waterloo - a quick glance

I've just received my package from Warhammer historicals crazy 50% off sale and the first book that really caught my eye was the Waterloo book.
So far I've only had a quick read though the basic rules, but I thought that I should write a few lines about what I've seen so far.

The book is very well presented, it's filled with drawings form the time and more newly produced (you can for example find some of the artwork  from the Perry boxes in there) mixed in with beautiful photos of well painted miniatures and terrain.

The game is written with 28mm miniatures in mind, but have some suggestions of how you could use other scales, but they do boil down to "do whatever suits you" and they are written to work on a 4'x6' table, so in comparison with games like Black Powder, they are kind of compact.

The rules then, well they do in part remind me of warhammer fantasy battles, you have fixed movement speeds (4" for infantry, 6" for heavy cavalry and 8" for light) you have complete control of your army, and you can't premeasure anything. Cannons and the like have guess range and round shot bounces. So far so good, but they have removed single figure casualty and instead based the whole idea around companies.

A company is one base of about 6 infantry miniatures and a unit or regiment, is normally made up of 3 to 8 companies. A company can then take a number of hits before it's removed from play, a infantry company can take 6 damage points and a cavalry company (or squadron) can take 2. But not only that, but each unit has a resilience value, and this is the number hits that it take to make a single damage on the company. This vary between the different types but normally a infantry unit only has a resilience of 1 and cavalry have 2. If a single volley only does 2 hits on a cavalry unit, then they will be discarded as it wasn't equal to it's resilience, quite nifty and reminds me a lot of how warmaster works.

When it comes to stats on units you only have a few to worry about, there is a Fighting skill, this is used to determine who fights first in a melee situation
Attacks, the number of dice rolled when fighting in melee
Resilience that I described above
Command that is used for morale checks, basically 2 dice plus you command, minus any modifiers > 10 and your OK
Tactical points used to determine how much you can do with the unit in a turn, all actions have a cost in tactical points, such as move, reform and fire.
Strategic points used by commanders to do special orders.

The turn then, this is  divided into 6 phases

  1. Initiative
Both players roll off to see who gets the initiative and therefore selects who starts in every turn
  1. Artillery fire
Here the players takes in turn to fire all of their artillery.
  1. Movement
Any units that wants to be moved is moved here, the player with the initiative selects who moves first and that player moves his entire army before it's the next players turn.
  1. Shooting
And basically the same here, initiative determine who fires with his units first, then the other player gets go shoot
  1. Melee
All units that is in base contact fight it out, with the order determined by the player with the initiative.
  1. End phase
Here you handle all effects that's remaining in play, see if any player has won, and everything else that's not included in the other faces

Quite simple, but nice that each player gets do to one phase at the time and not having one player sit around forever while the other gets to move, shoot, charge and everything else. I also like the idea that artillery fires first as guess ranges are used and you get to do all of them before any measurements is done at all.

When it comes to hurting units all weapons have a "to wound" roll, this is more or less the standard GW to hit and to wound rolls in one, after this the receiving may get a "save" roll, but normally there isn't one as most units don't have any type of effective armour, but a unit can be granted one if they take cover of some sort.

Army building follows a point based road, where a small army will amount to about 1000 points and will give a game of a few hours and a 2000 point battle will take you the better part of a day.
In a 1000 point you should get about 4-6 infantry units, 2-3 cavalry units, 1-2 artillery units and 2-3 independent officers, so from a Napoleonic gaming perspective it's not to bad, and you can get a decent game without painting hundreds and hundreds of miniatures.  

And that's about it, naturally the strategic points will get some flavor in you games, and I think they can be a game changer if used at the right time.

Other than this there is a bunch of scenarios in the book, I haven't read though them all, but they do look nice, they have also a campaign system in there, and a campaign over the waterloo battle with battles such as Hougoumont. But thats not all, there also is a brief history of the Napoleonic wars. All in all they have manage to get a fair amount of information into the pages.

And a verdict then? Well on a rating of 1 though 10 I'll give it a 7, it's a beautiful book, but it weights a ton and I got tired in my arms when I sat down to read it, I would not recommend dropping this thing on your foot. The rules feels a bit old, there are some new things in here, and while its not a one side does all kind of deal, I still miss some sort of Fog of War in there, you can always count on you unit to move and you can predict exactly when they will get from A to B. It is a bucked of dice kind of thing, you will roll lots od dice to determine the outcome of you actions, and while some will like this, other will not. It is a bit set in base sizes, while the game tries to give you free hands, they way some things are handled it's not really practical to have your nice 80mm round base with commanders on.

But overall I like it, I will have to get some miniatures together and try it.

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