French concede. Touch and go for 4 turns! Very interesting and this opposed play exposed some interesting additional choices that need to be evaluated as you play. All the time you are faced as both players with the hard choices of activation versus stagnation, and using or not the initiative disk etc …. really thought provoking.
Kevin and I tried out the new Waterloo 200 yesterday at the Emerald Tavern. After about a half-hour of set-up and explanation, we made it through four turns of a five-turn game in about three hours. We played to conclusion as the Prussians sacked the VP town of Rossomme—with Napoleon in it! Congratulations, Kevin!
W200 is a block game with some standard-ish block-game mechanics with a big exception: combat is diceless. This gives the game a “Napoleon’s Triumph” impression as you count the factors going into the attack and compare it against the defender and their terrain to determine if you had any effect.
Movement is area to area and units are ordered by activating their corps commander. There is a “Strategic” option for ordering some units or bringing in reinforcements, but it gives your opponent “the Initiative”—which can be important. There is a Reorganization step when you pass play for the turn. This helps to “refresh” your leaders and bring up reinforcements, but takes a toll on the big commanders (Napoleon and Wellington).
In our game, I pushed hard to get around the Allied left by bringing in the Guard to assault Papolette, pin the forces at La Haye Sainte, and using a small force to cover Hugoumont. Three turns of assaulting Papolette got nowhere, other than masking the place while the French army swung around it and into the rear of the Allied lines. Combat in La Haye Sainte was also disastrous, though it also kept the British from attacking through there and also pinned down the Allied center. The Prussians also turned up on eastern edge of the board and made a bee-line for Plancenoit.
Eventually, units managed to push into Waterloo, pinning Wellington’s HQ but not making much headway. This is because towns and key pieces of terrain allow admit a limited number of units and offer defensive bonuses besides. The game starts with the Allies holding a lot of good terrain. It is possible to break through, but it did not happen in my game.
On the the fourth turn, Prussians captured Plancenoit and even drove cavalry into Rossomme, catching Napoleon in his carriage before he could make a break. Inflicted a lot of casualties upon one another, but I don’t think it was the near-run-thing, casualty-wise, that the actual battle was. Instead, both armies maneuvered into one another’s rear areas and made grabs for the enemy’s HQ. In our game, the Prussians pulled it off.