Warlord Games have released their Epic Waterloo miniatures and game system this weekend just gone. I was lucky enough to pick my French Starter Set from SCN Hobby World yesterday and I was eager to take a peek and see what was inside.
It’s one of the largest starter boxes I’ve seen, and one of the heaviest! I picked mine up at 20% off for £72 through Sarah at SCN Hobby World.
Lifting the Lid
Theres a tonne of sprues inside. Ten infantry, three heavy cavalry and three light cavalry. Along with the meaty full colour rulebook, a scenery piece, painting guide and flags. I
It was all very nicely packages tightly inside. Warlord must have learnt their lesson form the ACW version Starter Set here, as a common complaint was that everything was a bit loose inside that box and often some of the contents would arrive damaged.
They have coloured the plastic of both starter sets, (blue for french and Red for British) so if you’re eager and know someone with the other set you can play straight away without the need for painting.
Sprue 1– Light Cavalry
There enough here for 11 bases of Light Cavalry, as well as 3 artillery. Made up of 4 Lancer bases (one spare model), 3 Hussar bases (3 spare models) and 4 Chasseur bases (1 spare model). None of these models are command models but the addition of two Imperial Eagles on each sprue allows you to convert some in to standards. You can also use the spare models for ADC’s or for diorama pieces on your Brigade Commander stands.
Geek Point 1: The standards were made optional as none of the French Cavalry had their standards on the Waterloo campaign.
Sprue 2– Heavy Cavalry
These are the other 10 bases of Cavalry, but these make heavier versions of the Cavalry regiments. Here you’ll have 4 bases of Cuirassiers, 3 bases of Carabiniers and 3 bases of Dragoons. Again, you have the inclusion of an artillery piece on each sprue and two french eagles. There were a lot more Cuirassiers and Dragoons at Waterloo than Carabiniers but I can understand why Warlord have included one of each type on the sprue.
Sprue 3– Infantry
There’s loads of infantry… all told just over 800 men. The detail on the sprues is incredible given their size, and time has been taken to differentiate the flank companies of Grenadiers and Voltigeurs from the centre companies.
This sprue is packed. You’ve eight stands of infantry and enough skirmishing Voltigeurs for another stand, as well as some foot artillery and a command figure.
Of course, none of these would play well without the basic addition of bases… just look at that pile! It’s huge.
And some dice… as if wargamers don’t have enough to build their own fort! Still a good inclusion for a starter set.
Decoster’s House – Building
Warlord games have teamed up with Sarissa Precision to bring some scenery with the boxset which also comes with its own painting guide and stencil.
Flags & Painting Guide
A great addition is a full colour sheet of French flags. This will really add to the colour and make the regiments individual on the tabletop. Well done to Warlord games for this inclusion.
The full rules book for the Waterloo Campaign in Epic Battles. This appears to be a full rulebook at 260 pages. It’s in glorious full colour as well and means you don’t need a separate copy of any of the existing Black Powder rule books.
This is a great box, and real value for money. It should draw many GW fans looking to get into Napoleonics. Declan and I are just two of them.
In my excitement for receiving my Epic Waterloo French Starter set from Warlord Games, I’ve been perusing the internet looking for painting guides. The below are a collection of the best videos I have found. All of these videos have been published on YouTube by Miniature Realms, Miniature Wargaming Warriors
So the results of last weeks votes are as follows:
Now we’ve got most (if not all) of the basic information in place for our game we can start getting our hands dirty with some of the nitty gritty stuff. Firstly, should we have pre-made ready to go factions or should players have options to construct their own units for their own faction? This would make the game miniature agnostic but it would also require players to take the time to build a faction from the ground up, i.e. this is a leader unit it needs this particular weapon, with this armour and these special rules.
Of course we could always have a mixture of both pre-made and create your own. But what do you think?
This is about how the players determine who goes first. There are many options for this, but I’ve narrowed this down to two or three, but bear 🐻 in mind these can also have vary to some extent. For example, while AoS is a UgoIgo system it also implements the turn priority in terms of a dice roll before each turn.
I Go You Go
This is the first and possibly most common option used. Players use a mechanic to determine who goes first and then play is simply alternated between the players until the end of the game.
Players use coloured dice or chips to represent their individual units on the table e.g. one players units are represented by red dice while the others are blue, when a red dice is drawn the red player chooses a unit to activate. This system will be familiar to those who have played Warlord Games Bolt Action.
This could either be an army wide initiative rating or individual initiative ratings for units to decide what order they act in. For example, elite units may have a much higher initiative than conscripts meaning they’ll always act first.
One of my personal favourites is using bidding systems to determine who acts first. This can take various forms such as rolling a number of orders each side can take on two or three dice then giving up a number of those orders to try and claim the priority that turn.
So which is your favourite? Perhaps there’s one I’ve not even thought of, I’d that’s the case why not add a comment below?
I really like Warmaster. Seeing the 10mm units and models on the board gives a real sense of the scale of the ‘rank & flank’ battles. It allows for sweeping cavalry advances, heroic defences of massive woods and sacrifices of critical units… for the greater good!
I have an Empire army (since the release of Warmaster) and a Goblin army (built and painted last year) and am always on the lookout for some new toys. I’m not really interested in learning resin printing at the moment, so buying resin toys is a great way to see what it out there and what is available.
I recently picked up 2 new units from Etsy – a Goblin Pump Wagon (from MGS Painting) and Empire Sisters of Sigmar (from WM&Things). Both models came well wrapped and safely through the post, with the Goblin Pump Wagon needing some supports cut off, but no supports on the Sisters of Sigmar.
I tend to go for simple painting schemes on Warmaster as I can’t paint eyes and detail on models this small, but instead aim for battle ready!
Goblin Pump Wagon – MGS Painting
Great model, and they do another version of the model as well, so I’ll likely be picking this up in the future – there are also some other great models in the shop – oooo temptation!
Empire Sisters of Sigmar – WM & Things, Etsy
As with the Pump Wagon, I wanted a scheme that was easy to do, but tied the unit together – much like the Sisters of Sigmar would be! They are also great models, with lots of different poses, and weapons and simple robes which is where I spent most of my painting time … picking out the grey & silver of the weapons for accents.
WM & Things do lots of other toys as well, so another shop favourited to look at later. I don’t know yet what I’ll use them for but as alternative Halberdiers in Empire (perhaps with a magic weapon) or in a Witch Hunters army would work. We’ll see.
So my issues of Wargames Illustrated arrived this week with their accompanying sprues.
I managed to get hold of three copies of the British Heavy Cavalry sprue.
I’ve started by painting the Scots Grey’s and first off these models are really easy to paint straight on the sprue. You just need to clip away any armatures of the sprue that are connected to the horse or riders directly.
I may have gone a little too detailed considering their size but this is only because I’ve enjoyed painting them so much.
I can’t wait to see the unit finished and on its base. I’m also looking forward to painting the cannon and seeing what that looks like. Once I’ve a few units done I’ll post again.
The pre-order of Waterloo Epic Battles has reignited an urge to play this period.
However it can be daunting to approach this period. I want to put together a few thoughts on how to get into Napoleonic Wargames.
Your first thought before perhaps even considering the rules, is what scale do you want to play?
Napoleonics can be played at any scale with manufacturers producing miniatures at everything from 2mm to 54mm and beyond.
So to answer this, how do you imagine your battles to look? Do you want small skirmishes between groups of soldiers? Or would you like to recreate the battle of Waterloo in detail? If the former is your option then perhaps look at 28mm miniatures and up. If you’re inclined by the latter then perhaps try 15mm and smaller.
To give you an idea of how these different scales look on the tabletop I’ve included a gallery below to show games at each level.
Your next question is what type of game are you after? Would you like to play an accurate simulation of the battles at the time or would you like a game you can play in a couple of hours?
There are so many different Rulesets on the market for Napoleonic wargames you’re spoilt for choice. I’ve included a list of the most popular systems below.
Black Powder by Warlord Games (Rick Priestley & Jervis Johnson)
Black Powder is a game which can be played in a couple of hours and is designed really for Brigade or Division level games. What does that mean? Well a brigade is a small army of perhaps 3-5 units in total (up to 5,000 men roughly). A Division is perhaps two or three Brigades.
To give you more of an idea of what this means the Battle of Waterloo involved nearly 200,000 men across three armies. The French had five Corp (being 5+ Divisions each) and four reserve Corp.
Blucher by Sam Mastafa
Blucher is focused on giving you a game at the Corp level. In this each base represents a Brigade rather than a Battalion, meaning the amount of men that can be represented on the battlefield is much greater.
Blucher, again, is fast play rather than simulation meaning that you should be able to complete a game on an hour or so.
Polemos by Baccus (Chris Grice)
The Polemos series have rules for perhaps every era of historical Wargames. They have two sets of rules in the one book for Napoleonic. Marechal d’Empire focuses on gaming at Corp level or above enabling you to recreate the big battles of the age. General de Division gives you rules for fighting smaller encounters of Division level. The game is focused on using the Baccus 6mm miniatures as a basis.
Polemos has a fantastic army building system where the army you use is generated through dice rolls. Meaning that your armies may not be balanced, after all many battles in the Napoleonic age weren’t balanced themselves.
Sharp Practice by Too Fat Lardies
Aimed at giving you an experience of small skirmishes with heroes full of character much like the beloved TV series Sharpe from which it derives its name.
A game of Sharp Practice will take an hour or two to complete.
The benefit of Sharp Practice is that through using a relatively low model count you’re not going to be painting the same colour scheme and model for 100+ times.
There are again do many great companies out there. Here are a selection of the most popular.
Victrix do both 28mm and 54mm miniatures for Napoleonic wargames. With a pack of 16 54mm miniatures costing £25 and a pack of 56 28mm miniatures will set you back around £25-£30. A Brigade would cost roughly £100-£120 through Victrix.
Old Glory produce excellent 10mm and 15mm miniatures. With 100 10mm miniatures setting you back £15 and 30 15mm miniatures costing £16 (command is separate at £6). Meaning a Brigade at 15mm will cost around £80-£90 or at 10mm around £40-£50.
The minis came very well packaged with plenty of padding around them.
Before even opening the bad you can tell that these miniatures are very detailed for their scale. Excellent miniatures has printed these off at an extremely high standard, you’re unable to see any of the usual print lines you can get from 3D prints.
The models come with the supports from printing still attached, but it’s simple work to remove these before washing and undercoating.
I’m very pleased with the order and I will be going back again once these are painted.
I’ve been writing my own set of Napoleonic war game rules for a while now, the idea for which has been formulating inside my head for roughly three years.
There are many, many different sets of rules for Napoleonic wargaming, but none of them quite got to the itch I was feeling for the period. I wanted a wargame, which was accurate to the time in terms of weapon ranges, unit movement and formations. As well as having a command and control structure that could fairly accurately represent the command structures of the time.
The biggest issue, is that I want all of these thing, but I also want the game to be fairly simple and quick to play. I therefore set about writing my own set of rules, which I’d also wanted to do for some time.
Below I’ve set out a brief overview of the rules and how the game mechanics work. If people are interested further in the game development, then I may post further articles on the subject in the future.
The game is designed to be played on a 6′ x 4′ table, with 30cm equating to roughly a mile of battlefield.
Base sizes are set to 40mm wide, with a base representing a Battalion of Infantry, a Squadron of Cavalry or a Battery of Artillery. These bases are banded together into larger units known as Brigades. Brigades are ordered around the battlefield by Divisional Generals and the Commander-in-Chief of your army.
The game is not a traditional igo-ugo system and instead relies on coloured chips which represent your generals actions for that turn, of which there are thirty in the game. For example, at the start of the game there may be five red chips representing General Wellington’s actions that turn, and five blue chips representing Napoleon. Depending which chip is drawn allows the relevant player to act.
Players then activate units and other Generals inside their army by sending orders to them on the tabletop, these orders represent the objective that the unit has been assigned. Once assigned to an objective, the unit can only score victory points for being near that objective. They cannot score victory points for being near an objective they have not been assigned to.
Generals and Brigades have command ratings, with a combination of the two determining the roll a player will need to use that unit that turn. For example, a Brigade of British Infantry may have a command value of 4 and a British General may have a value of 5, meaning that the player would need to roll 9 or below on two D6 to use that unit, that turn.
All units and Generals have five actions as standard, however these can be modified by how far away the unit is from the General and also by how much the command roll was failed.
Once units are activated, they may move and fire using their actions that turn.
If you want to know more about Clausewitz, then please let me know in the comments below and I may summarise different aspects of the game in future articles.