Tuesday, November 22, 2022

Hundred Days Campaign...

I've been doing some (further) prep work for a Portable Wargame Hundred Days' Campaign. In possession of a very fine campaign map from Columbia Games Napoleon, methought it would form a fine basis for a campaign map were it contained in a field of hexes. Now, I could have scanned a hex-field I have on file onto a transparency, then scanned the map with the transparency covering it.  I might do that yet. But in the meantime, I created this cartographical masterpiece:

My hand drawn map on a hex-field.  The thing is printed on a 
single A4 sheet. As someone suggested, I may be forced to create
game counters for this thing. 

The original seemed to have two classes of road, so I have outlined the 'better' class with black. I think this will work in the same way as my Kavkaz Campaign, that is to say, using the Portable Wargame campaign system outlined in the Portable Colonial Wargame.  

Having looked at the Hundred Days carried out by others (notably Murdock's Marauders and Blunders on the Danube blogs) the problem I run into is that it is hard to improve upon Emperor's opening strategy of the 'central position'! However, if I use Bob Cordery's card driven system, and the opening dispositions of the respective armies the thing might take some unexpected courses.

What I propose there is that if we assign the Allies the RED suits and the French the BLACK, we can further split the Allied suits:
♠ - French Moves - may be split between Right (Grouchy) and Left (Ney) wings
♥ - Prussian Moves
♦ - Anglo-Dutch Moves

My map with starting positions... just to show 
the concentration of the French Armee du Nord
against the dispersed Anglo-Prussian armies.

As there are quite a lot of formations involved - we might have to be a bit more generous with what may be activated per turn. 

The French (Napoleon) have the Imperial Guard - horse, foot and guns; five Army Corps, and four Cavalry Corps(unless the four are retained collectively under Marshal Grouchy);
The Prussians (Blucher) have four Army Corps;
The Anglo-Dutch (Wellington) have three Army Corps (one of these under Wellington's own hand), and one Cavalry Corps.  

Same pic - different angle.  Shows where the 
army commanders are (more or less)

We might have to take into account the possibility of detaching/re-attaching Division-sized formations from their parent Corps, although the form of the map seems to indicate that a Divisional level of formation is probably not appropriate.  
The Columbia Games Map with starting positions.
It's a really nice map.

Before closing, I will admit to placing this article here because this thing is what I've been thinking about lately. And that might well be due to my recent finishing off my Plastic Prussian army. A couple of mumfs back I bought a couple of Prussian-looking metal 12 figure cavalry units, thinking that my army was deficient in this arm. Turns out I was mistaken - discovering a whole bunch of unpainted plastic figures I didn't know I had. These were the horrible Italieri chappies, but, biting the bullet of  fear and loathing, I finally painted them up to an OK-ish standard, and now have SEVEN units - far more than this army needs. But, of course, no more than this army can use! I'm betting that, just to show me, these fellows will fight like demons...

I don't know when this campaign will get started. The Kavkaz Campaign must (of course) take priority.  And there's the vexed matter of the suspended Byzantiad saga to consider.

To be continued... some time.


  1. I have put a few hex maps together and know that it takes a lot of effort to get something as good as yours looks, though I think I would be tempted to either get it blown up to A3 for easy use or get some heavy card (like from heavy duty corrugated cartons) for backing and use pins with numbers or flag type things attached to represent units and their movement.

    The playing cards are a great idea, so simple. One could influence the deck by removing some cards to represent an army that is slow to react, so for the 100 days, on day one, the Anglo-Allies could have some of their cards taken out of the deck as they were slow to appreciate what Napoleon was up to.

    1. Thanks, Norm -
      I was fortunate in the size of the original map, though it did mean cropping a little off the top and bottom to 'fit' my hex field. As for blowing the thing up - well, I'm hoping that once my 'War of the Nations' gets under way - a project for the more distant future - we might see something of the sort. I have a fine campaign map for that!

      I have considered doing something about tinkering with the card system in order to modify the pace of the game, but it's hard to anticipate what the real effects would be. However, I am very tempted to allow any activation of Grouchy's Cavalry to apply exclusively to all four cavalry corps wherever and however they might be severally located. Something to think about anyhow.

      The effect would be that the French have 6 commands to activate, the Allies 8 (4 each). This alone I hope would have the effect of the French being slightly more agile than the Allies collectively.

      The French should probably start first. One way to effect this would be, after shuffling, the campaign begins with the first BLACK card drawn, any RED cards to precede it are ignored as they are placed in the discard pile.


  2. Fine work there Ion and some good ideas for the campaign, with Norm chipping in with useful suggestions too.

    1. Steve -
      Norm's always good for giving me useful insights and points to think about. Anything likely to help the thing along I appreciate, even if I don't always follow them up. The map board thing thing I like, but have nowhere I can keep it permanently set up.

  3. Your artistic flair shines through Ion. 👏👏 Your hand-drawn map is lovely. Very impressive, as we’ve come to expect.
    You certainly have quite a few campaigns to “juggle”. Good luck with all your efforts.

    1. Geoff -
      I have half an idea I'm really procrastinating, and not getting any battles on the table. But it's fairly productive procrastination... sort of... Thanks for your comment on the map. The rendition is really very basic, but I admit to liking the result myself!

  4. Hello there Ion,

    Oooh, Waterloo! Love the map and Columbia Games Napoleon is a great game to play. The orbat in the version you have is ideal for use with a PW set up - even the strength points could morph straight over. I shall be watching this very closely as it looks a blast! I may well hit you up for a copy of your map if possible….hint, hint….

    Lovely job!

    All the best,


    1. Actually David, I would regard it as something of an honour if you - or anyone else - did copy it. I've been doing a lot of research (well, Wikipedia) into the OOBs for the three armies, with the view to simplifying them down into the sort of formations I used earlier. I've done this work before and have the EXCEL files to show for it, but this is by way of a 'second pass'. I must admit that from an organisational point of view, the Prussian is the most elegant army.