1815 Fight for Hougoumont using Man at War Rules

02 Aerial view of the assault

A view of the table and the magnificent model of Hougoumont


I was delighted to accept an invitation from Christian and Dominique to play a Napoleonic game in Brussels using Man at War Rules and based on the attack on Hougoumont during the battle of Waterloo in 1815.

The scenario is set out in the Man at War Campaign Manual “The Hundred Days” and the forces were set up accordingly. The rules are originally Spanish but the English translation is very good.  They are a hardback set with far too many words, photos, illustrations and empty space which makes it difficult to read the actual rules but the system is playable and the mechanisms are simple if somewhat a little unusual. I would be prepared to play them again but I don’t think I will re-base my existing armies quite yet.

The British were unlucky in that their reinforcements were slow to arrive whereas the French threw good dice and theirs arrived early.  Once the French got into to under-defended paddock the British garrison had little chance.


01 attack on the south wall

The French emerging from the south woods.

03 French arrive at the east wall

The French arrive at the east wall.

04 French reinforcements advancing

French reinforcements on the way.

05 British reinforcements arrive at last

British reinforcements were delayed but arrived at last.

06 The French are inside the paddock wall.

The French are now inside the unguarded paddock wall.

07 Serious French numbers build up

Serious French numbers start to build up.

08 French advance on the main enclosure

The French advance on the main enclosure.

09 British reinforcements arrive too late.

More British reinforcements arrive – but too late!




Overall an enjoyable game especially as I was one of the French players.

My thanks to Christian and Dominique.




This entry was posted in 1805 - 1815 Napoleonic Wars. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to 1815 Fight for Hougoumont using Man at War Rules

  1. Musketier says:

    Thank you for this interesting report. I hadn’t heard of Man At War before but will certainly take a look at the rules. Dicing for British reinforcements in a Hougoumont scenario seems odd though – the whole point was that Wellingtion’s main line overlooked the position, allowing troops to be fed in as required?

    • The Wargamorium says:

      Hello Musketier and thank you for your comments.

      I agree that the scenario as set out in the Man at War booklet did not work in the British favour on this occasion but we did try to play the game as designed rather than recreate what actually happened.

      Back to the drawing board I say.

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