This is my Waterloo. No, not my great undoing, just the way that I play Pub Battles Waterloo. I have played it several dozen times, as well as having done an in depth study of this most famous battle.
I believe Pub Battles’ out of the
box tube is a great game, and I heartily encourage anyone who plays, to play it that way a few times. However, some students of history may find my embellishments give it a slightly more authentic feel. My homebrew tends to focus on command, not combat.
I have made two additions to the French command structure. I have added a “Ney” HQ, as well as a “Druout” HQ. Neither have a corresponding chit, and they are handled a little differently from a regular HQ block.
Druout can act as combat command for any Guard unit. He moves whenever Napoleon has been activated.
Units of the Guard were active all over the battlefield wherever a little more oomph was needed.
The Ney HQ can be flipped and attached to any French unit that is in contact with an enemy unit and allow it to immediately resolve its combat (similar to the “Charge” ability).
Although Ney had no official command during the battle, as Napoleon’s “bravest of the brave,” he was wherever the fighting was heaviest, providing elan and initiative.
The Old Guard
The French Old Guard ignores the first hit in every round of combat.
If the Old Guard ever suffers a retreat result, the French lose immediately.
The French win if the Old Guard occupies Waterloo at the end of turn eight.
The Old Guard had almost legendary status and could accomplish miracles if required. They were the Grande Armee and Napoleon all in one. Such a reputation does come at a cost. When the Old Guard broke before the British volleys at Waterloo, the battle was lost. As such, these special rules account for that. Although Waterloo had no specific significance at the time, Making the occupation of Waterloo by the Old Guard the focal point of victory gives a flavorful feel to the game. Like Napoleon, one must save the Old Guard for the critical moment, and if it fails…So does France.
I have made a profound change to the British army in that I have removed all the HQs except Wellington, but I kept all of the command chits.
Once per game turn, Wellington can activate when any British chit is drawn.
When a British chit is drawn, the British player can decide whether or not to activate. When Wellington is activated, the whole British army (all of the red blocks) can move and bombard. If the British player elects to not activate, play proceeds to the next draw.
Wellington can be used to Alter Turn Order as normal. Additionally, if fresh, the HQ may be flipped and placed adjacent to any British unit and that unit may immediately rally. This can be done at any time (even during the combat phase when a unit has just suffered a hit!).
Wellington had the capability to always seem to be where he was most needed, stabilizing the line. His famous quote was “It would not have done, had I not been there.”
So give this version a shot and let me know how it works for you!