|The games that started it all: SPI's NLB Quad,|
I'd continue to summarize the historic action, but I don't think I could improve on the excellent posts at JJ's Wargames (here are his posts on the initial contacts of the campaign, the first battles, and the Allied retreat).
Instead I'll continue my catalog of the treatments this campaign has received in the wargaming realm. In my last post, I mentioned The Emperor Returns, Kevin Zucker's game on the campaign published by Clash of Arms Games. Of course, the name Kevin Zucker translates into the common tongue as "obsessed with the Napoleonic Wars", so it's no surprise that this was neither his first nor his last game about the Hundred Days.
|Zucker's mini-game of 1815.|
A few years later, Zucker and two other authors created Hundred Days Battles. This 1979 game The Emperor Returns in 1986. I used to have a copy of Hundred Days Battles, though I forget if I played it other than solitaire.
(republished in 1983) was a smaller treatment of the same subject, beginning the use of some of his systems seen in larger form in
In 1998, Zucker came back to Belgium with The Last Days of the Grand Armée. While TER and HDB are both in the 1x (or each turn = one day) family of Zucker's Napoleonic titles, LDGA is in the "Days" series, in which turns are six hours. I've played LDGA only once so far, a learning game with a friend in which the French were ruthlessly pounded. But, playing the Allies, I had the advantage of having played the system before (The Seven Days of 1809), so I don't think this was a representative run-through. Luckily, my friends are intrigued by the series, so I think we'll be playing these and other games in the series again before too long.
|SPI's prequel to WV.|
Zucker is not alone in addressing the battles of the campaign, of course. Of the two great battles of June 16th, Quatre Bras has received more attention, at least in the boardgame world. I count at least eight other Quatre Bras games in addition to that in SPI's quadrigame. Of these I have three: Battles of Waterloo by the prolific and irascible Richard Berg, which includes a Quatre Bras engagement; Ney vs. Wellington, Joseph Balkoski's chip off Frank Davis's Wellington's Victory system, making the smaller battle a good taster for the WV system; and the visually unbeatable La Bataille des Quatre Bras by Ed Wimble.
|A detail of the gorgeous LBdQB.|
But what of the other battle of the day, widely billed as Napoleon's last triumph? Ligny seems to get short shrift compared with Quatre Bras, perhaps reflecting the fascination of English-speakers (long the dominant segment of the wargame design community) with "the English battle" at the crossroads. Though an Anglophile, I've grown fond of the Prussians in the context of the Napoleonic Wars, and I find it sad that while QB gets nearly a dozen titles, Ligny subsists on only four.
|Would Ligny get more games if Wellington had spoken German?|