I was going to post another theme and suddenly I realized it was the 18th of June. So what? Well, first thing first, when you have dedicated the best years of your wargaming life to Napoleon and Wellington -the later specially related with Waterloo- you need to acknowledge the fact. It is true that I did collect all nations at the very end of my Napoleonic period, adding Austrians, Russians, Spanish, Swedes and what not… but the main interest was for years the battle of Waterloo. It became an obsession, of course the more I read about it and the more I studied the thing it become evident that Napoleon’s days were over since 1812, and that the decision to invade Spain in 1808 to get to Portugal was a huge mistake, but as a whole, for all the might of France and his leader you simply can not take all Europe against YOU and expect to win in the end. I could talk about Leipzig but for what purpose?… My myth and the myth of so many other wargamers round the world is the final showdown at WATERLOO. There are even those who ignore the Hundred Days campaign and forget about Ligny and Quatre Bras… it is always WATERLOO!. And nobody cares about Wavre and Grouchy… have an excellent book about it by the way.
I was fascinated reading about it by the way the British have done an excellent propaganda job about it, only digging a bit you understand the real number of Brits in it, the Allied Army and so on… you finally understand that as the joke says “you can not have enough Prussians”. German books insist that they won the battle. But what was even more puzzling is that the French stop short to call it a Victory!, only a cumuli of circumstances makes them retreat at the end after having won the battle at 18:00… damn Ney, damn Grouchy, damn the Prussians, damn whatever and anybody but The Emperor who as you know never did nothing wrong… that is the stuff of legends.
So, I do not apologize for being so mesmerized by it for so many time, it was great fun, and I did paint all those minis myself (to know the right uniforms was a joy and time well spent), French, British&Allies and Prussians. No painting services used excepting some ADC’s. Boxes of unpainted lead on top of the cupboards for years, trips to Southampton and chats with Mr. Neville Dickinson included when annual vacations permitted (later they become compulsory… 30% less because no postage, no bayonets broken in transit, see for yourself, etc. The MINIFIGS Catalogue was my bedtime read companion for years.
Ok, that’s enough. You all know how it was ad nauseam and how the British used “his victory”as a jumping platform to build an Empire (another myth because it all started with the Seven Years War and later with Naval supremacy after Nelson’s Victory at Trafalgar!). I add some pics and that would be it!
Almost forgot to mention the immense pleasure for me that is “bath- tubing”, how to get proportional forces present in the field was a hobby inside the hobby. It would be easy with my experience to do it again in 6mm because even if the packs from Peter are a bit oversized in matters of numbers for say the Guard Cavalry… you can use the redundant figures as Elite Dragoons of the Line (bearskin), and Elite Chasseurs of the Line (colpack), a couple per stand do the trick and enhance your wargames table with the real flavour, making the units so true to life!
I still buy books about the Napoleonic era, and only a strong will refrains me to go Napoleonic again with Baccus (of course), the sheer magnitude of the task, the long span of time, the different uniforms in many campaigns and the idea it will all be for nothing -because he really stood no chance against the whole lot of them- helps me to it. I will only indulge in that with a Club like the Little Wars TV chaps… but none to be seen for miles around!