Friday, April 27, 2012

Planning the 1815 Campaign - maps

Quatre Bras
I am working towards is doing the 1815 campaign in 10mm for the 200th anniversary. Obviously there is recreating the battles that took place, but there is also the option of a "what if" campaign to play with.

Looking for a suitable campaign map was a bit of a challenge. I decide to look for some old board games that covered the campaign. The bonus would be getting the unit counters to plot the movement. I was not interested in playing out the combat in the board game, just using it to track movement and to work out the OOB's of the battles that took place.

Wonderfully detailed map of  "L'Armee Du Nord"
I found two suitable board games, both by Clash of Arms Games, - "The Emperor Returns" (1986)  and "L'Armee Du Nord"(1993). They were both a bit difficult to get, but some patient watching on eBay and paid off. I got both sets unpunched and BNIB!

Both move divisions around and cover the Belgian campaign. The artwork on the maps is the same, done by the talented Rick Barber,  but the scale differs. "The Emperor Returns" is 1 hex = 3200 metres using one 34" x 22" map. "L'Armee Du Nord" is 1 hex = 700 metres using three 34" x 22" maps. They are both fantastic maps.

I think the "L'Armee Du Nord" is the map I will use as the detail makes setting up a table of terrain a breeze.

Board template to translate to tabletop
To help translate the hexes to my game board I made up a clear plastic template the size my game boards would represent using 1 mm = 1 yard. This allows me to move the template over different parts of the map to see how this would translate into the terrain I have.

One option to consider in the future is mounting the boards on a metal backing and magnetise a set of counters. This would allow the campaign to be safely stored on the wall of the War Room saving some space.


  1. If you ever choose to use historical maps rather than hex maps designed for wargames, you can do no better than the historical maps of Belgium at They are truly marvels of the cartographic arts, at a scale that provides a lot of inspiration for the wargames table

  2. Look forward to seeing this develop. Did you come across any boardgames of the 1809 Danube campaign?

  3. Dr Mark, I have seen these maps before. I agree they are really good. Is there any way of downloading and printing them? I couldn't seem to work this out.

    Col Mendoza - I didn't find any 1809 ones, mainly because I wasn't looking. Maybe try looking up and search on 1809. I am sure you will find a few there

  4. The "Napoleon" board-game that was done in 1973, published by Avalon Hill, by Dalgleish - now of Columbia Games - has an excellent scaled map of the principle action region done in a style that is very reminiscent of the period (though with more green than the ink sepia).

    There are loads of supporting resources for this map online, including such detail as the correct pronunciation of all the named towns on the map.