Please note I will not be hosting any Public events from 31st January 2023. Nothing too drastic from our side, just need a break.

I’ll be providing updates when we’re back, here and on my social media platforms.

Thank you for all the custom and friendship this has brought me to date.

I look forward to seeing you all again soon, both new and old customers.

Hi guys,

Another addition for the W.H.C. This time the very nice “Perry Miniatures” is the focus.

The vignette is straight from the Mural at the Waterloo visitors centre.

Painted and based by Julian Wates, I hope you enjoy the images as much as I have taking them. It is a stirring piece.

Hi there guys, back in April we ran a day game using Rapid Fire rules, the game was about the crossing of the Rhine and all that goes with this particular offensive. There were bridgeheads, air drops and glider landings along with the usual tank battles.

Here are a few of the photos of the day, all you need do is hover your cursor over the image for it’s title.

As this was our first venture using these rules in seriousness, my thanks go to Mark Herdman and Paul Goodwin, whose help in setting this up was invaluable.

Thank you Guys.

We will be holding more later in the year.

A new range of figures coming out soon from those very nice chaps ove rat Empress Miniatures.

Take a look, their 28mm modern warfare range is very good and is as you may have come to expect very nicely turned out and comprehensive.

Their Zulu range is very, very good as well!! Something the Wargames Holiday Centre may well be looking into hosting soon.

Well the anniversary of the famous Battle of Waterloo is today.

The Battle rages!

Last weekend we took the opportunity to re-enact this landmark in history with a host of plucky gamers taking sides as the Allied troops, Prussians and of course the French.

The gamers turned up as usual on the Friday afternoon, chose sides and then conversed over maps and detailed O.o.B. The plans were then drawn up for defence and attack, dependent on the area being fought over and the troops deployed.

The Plan from the French perspective nearly followed the French original plan to the letter, the II Corps of Reille, deployed on the western side of the Brussels- Genappe road and D’Erlon to the East of this. The Allies had the 2nd Division of Henry Clinton deployed in and around Hougoumont, then following the line along the ridge the 4th British Division, the two Dutch Belgian divisions occupied the sunken road all the way to La Haie Sainte, along with the 1st British Division with the Foot Guards. The centre was occupied by the 3rd Division with the KGL Light Battalion occupying La Haie Sainte. Pictons 5th division held the ridge between the Brussels-Genappe road and the end of the sunken roadways then the Brunswick Corps under Olfermanns and the Nassau contigent under von Kruse held Papelotte and the surrounding area. The guys downed tape measures and retired to the hotel to discuss further plans for the Saturday.

On the Saturday morning the Battle started with a resounding duel of artillery across the valley. The defenders of La Haie Sainte sat quietly awaiting their chance once the advancing columns of Donzelot’s division came within range. Quiot took his division up to the east of the sunken roads and attempted to drive a wedge between Picton and the Brunswickers. Durutte and Marcognet advanced rapidly upon Smohain and Papelotte.

In the west, Bachelu began his demonstration upon Hougoumont, the musket shots ringing out from the woods to the south of the Chateau, the intensity increasing as we came toward the Orchard which housed British Light infantry. The rest of Reilles corps steadily advanced with a view to pressing the British line and keeping them in place.

As the day wore on the French received word that the Prussians were visible, Marcognets division was far enough over to be the first to see the advance guard of Bulow’s cavalry. They responded by halting their engagement of Smohain and advanced toward Frischermont. A turn later the French VI Corps under Lobau moved out, one division under Simmer heading east toward Plancenoit the other under Jeanin moving off to engage the defenders of La Haie Sainte and press the ridge to the east of the Brussels- Genappe road. The troops under Donzelot had managed to clear the guns from the ridge here to the east of the road however, some of his regiments were wavering due to the losses suffered advancing up the slopes. Quiot had also gained significant ground and was advancing under significant Artillery fire.

The field to the east of the Orchard of Hougomont was fast becoming a huge cavalry battle ground, Kellermann led his Elite Cuirassier and Carabinier, preceded by Pire’s light cavalry division. The defenders of the Orchard moved to engage this huge cavalry formation, two battalions of the Kings German Legion pouring fire into their flanks as they rode past. This wasn’t without cost to them though, Bachelu had deployed his foot battery within effective range and was pouring shot into the German lines.
Coming out to meet the Cavalry came the Dutch and Belgian Cavalry, led by the Belgian Light Dragoons. Repeated charges by the Dutch Carabinier saw one of the French regiments broken through. Reille’s Corps was doing it’s job though, it was holding the Allied troops in place and allowing the divison of Foy time to advance up the slope to the Dutch Belgians holding the ridge.

Over the next few hours more Prussians arrived, Bulow was now coming on in full and was pushing his way through Frischermont and Marcognet’s division. Jacquinot’s Light Cavalry were thrown at the advancing Prussians, hoping to buy time for the Young Guard divisions to take up defensive positions within Plancenoit, this was easier said than done.

Durutte’s division just to the south west of Smohain and Papelotte was under increasing pressure from the Brunswickers and Nassau troops. Durutte was steadily withdrawing, however some of his troops were beginning to buckle and regiments were streaming to the rear.

Discussions were held and the remaining French division (Jeanins) from Lobau’s Corps was thrown forward to take La Haie Sainte and reinforce Donzelot in taking the fight to the British 5th Division.

After a heavy days fighting it was time to retire to the hotel and then on to the local pubs for some deserved food and ale.

Sunday morning saw the French spring into action, time was of the essence, it was determined that Prussians were now marching through Smohain and the lead elements of Pirch and Ziethen’s Corps were arriving.

The French hold Frischermont against the Prussian Juggernaught

The French troops in front of La Haie Sainte were engaging the Kings German Legion inside and the musket and rifle duels were taking their toll. It became apparent that the farm house must be taken, this timed with the release of the French Guard would surely secure a French victory. The Young Guard with Simmers division were heavily ensconced in the Plancenoit area, how long for would remain to be seen, the fighting around Frischermont had been particularly brutal with a French Battalion being wiped out trying to hold the farmhouse.

Prussian Dragoons from Calpe Miniatures engaging the Lancers from Jacuinot’s Light Cavalry Division.

The French Guard Light Cavalry Division under Lefevre Desnouettes thundered across toward Papelotte, aiming to reinforce Milhauds Reserve Cavalry Corps. Passing in front of the Allied front line their artillery rained death upon all the cavalry passing along to engage the Brunswickers and Prussians.

Outside Hougomont, word had come of an attempted flanking manoeuvre by a brigade of Hanoverian cavalry. Bachelu sent two battalions of infantry off to hold them while Domon’s Light cavalry were sent to engage and drive them back, eventually turning the tables and looking for their own way around the Chateau.

In the chateau itself the Light infantry poured fire into the troops in front of them. Two Battalions rushed the Orchard managing to fight their way into the light wood only to be repelled with heavy losses.

Up on the ridge the British Cavalry was appearing and charging into the fray with Kellermanns heavies. Kellermann was now supported by Guyot and the Grenadiers et Cheval, the charge up the ridge took them headlong into the Household brigade, neither side gave quarter nor asked for it! After three rounds of bloody combat both sides withdrew to lick their wounds. As this cavalry duel evolved a huge cheer went up along the line of the French Combatants….the Old Guard were advancing, La Haie Sainte was still hanging on but was heavily engaged by the French divisions around it. Word had filtered back that the British Guard was behind the ridge to the west of the farmhouse and this was where Le Grognards were aimed! The drums beating , the Eagles resplendent in their finery, the finest troops in Europe were once again advancing to administer the coups de grace!

On they came, the beat of their drum carrying them up the slope, the last remaining Dutch Battery poured fire into the huge columns, only succeeding in drawing the attention of a squadron of French Dragoons that charged headlong toward them. The plucky Dutch gunners stayed their ground and pouring canister into the furious charge managed to unhorse over fifty percent of the horsemen, the commander spurred his men on, they responded, only forty dragoon (two figures) reached the battery saving the Guard from another round of fire, reigning in they killed a gunner but were in turn wiped out!

Over at the Farmhouse of La Haie Sainte the German defenders grimly hung on, over seventy percent of their number were out of action, but Baring encouraged his men to hold at all costs! They did!!

As the Dragoon charge went in the remnants of Donzelot and Lobau crested the sunken road east of Brussels- Genappe road, closely supported by a horse battery they were met by a volley from the Highlanders from Pictons division. Returning fire several highlanders fell. Eventually the highlanders gave ground but not before sending two thirds of the Frenchmen reeling back down the slope. Out came the Union brigade, thundering down the Brussels- Genappe road, toward the French engaging the eastern side of the farmhouse. Artillery fire from the ridge thinned their ranks, then the French broke further, adding to the numbers reeling down into the valley! Riding forward Napoleon rallied these troops.

Seeing the Guard going up the slope west of La Haie Sainte, the drums now beating the “pas de charge” it was all too much for the Dutch battery, they limbered their pieces and withdrew in some disorder through the British Guards lined out in the sunken road. On the Guard came, through the smoke onto the ridge of the sunken road, the first battalion of the first foot guard opened up, shor range, ranks, their first volley! The whole front rank of both lead French Guard battalions fell, the cry went up “Vive Le Empereur” and they charged!! Down into the sunken road, there was no time to line out and engage the Foot Guards, time was of the essence, it was gone nine in the evening in game time and the French flanks were under pressure. The melee was immense, the British Guards lost a total of thirteen figures while the French lost nine. The British Guard flinched, sensing victory the Old Guard pushed on, the centre was collapsing. The British Guard broke, fleeing out of the sunken road and through the supporting battalions. Although there were another three battalions of Foot Guards in reserve, the game had come to an end. It was five o’clock on Sunday evening and everyone had played their heart out.

The Battle was very close, the French commanders came up with a plan and stuck to it! The Allied commanders remained stalwart throughout while the Prussians were relentless in their onslaught on to the French right wing.

At Hougomont both the French and Allied commanders played a very good game of cat and mouse and the use of the cavalry in this area was exemplary.
The Germans holding La Haie Saine were inspirational, the constant high rolls for their morale ensuring they were a constant thorn in the attacking French columns side!
Last but not least the attack and defence from both Guard formations was fantastic!

I believe all the combatants had a great time, many coming for their first time, acknowledged they would be back!

I have many more photos of the weekend hich will be released here over the next few days.