When Irregular Miniatures announced their new “micron” scale, I was hooked immediately! It finally put in reach a project I had long wanted to do - the 100 Days on a single game map. Finally, I could game the four great battles, with space for those off-map events like pursuit of the Prussians, on my dining room table! This is the result of a solo run through, done in preparation for putting it on at a convention, perhaps Micron-con 2005.
The map itself was fairly easy to make. I photo reduced a map of the campaign, then printed it on to an iron-on transfer sheet. This was then applied to a piece of green railroad velour (unfortunately, I cannot find a micron-scale manufacturer of micron-scale flocking). I whipped up a few buildings using some ultra-fine salt crystals, and I was done.
For rules I decided to use General de Brigade and double the figure count to 72 figure battalions. If you’re going for mass effect, go for mass! Fortunately, micron-scale miniatures are inexpensive even when ordered from England. Even the P&P was reasonable as Irregular were able to simply tape the figures to an ordinary postcard (a word of warning - be sure to conduct a thorough molecular scan of the tape to ensure no minis remain stuck to it BEFORE you throw it in the trash bin!).
I decided to use the historical set up, as of 16 June, 1815. Here is a look at the table just after the set-up has been completed. Since the map is a bit small, I indicated with arrows the center of each army’s deployment area.
Gaming in micron scale has it’s own challenges. First of all, line-of-sight can be a problem. While I don’t grasp all the physics myself, with items this small, you can know their velocity or their position, but not both. As a result, I used position for LOS, and assumed every unit moved full speed every turn.
Second, calibrating your microscope can take a long time. If you’re gaming with a group, please have the courtesy to do this before showing up, otherwise everyone will get bored as you fiddle with your settings. I prefer the Jedl 5200 Electron Microscope as it is better able to function in conditions of changing light:
It costs a little extra (I got mine used for $28,790) but it speeds game play up significantly.
The Opening Moves
The 16th opened in much the same way as the historical battle. Napoleon attacked the Prussians around Ligny, while Ney attacked Quatre Bras. The major difference was that Nay pushed to the cross roads forcefully, instead of attacking piece-meal. Ney was able to take the vital junction by early afternoon, despite stout resistance by the British and their allies.
Napoleon sent Vandamme in pursuit of the Prussians, while he turned to join in the pursuit of the British. While the Prussians were in full retreat, the British were managing an effective fighting withdrawal. By the end of the day Vandamme was in contact with the Prussians around Walhain, Napoleon was facing the rapidly gathering British army at Genappe. Here is a shot of the battle just as Ney launches his decisive attack on the right flank; meanwhile the Prussian center has begun to buckle.
The Second Day
Vandamme caught the Prussian rear guard at Vieux Sart and shattered it, catching the main body at Dion-le-Mont. Attacking several isolated detachments, the appearance of the French caused a panic in the ranks, and fully half the remaining Prussian army routed. It was during this attack that disaster was nearly avoided: an errant die nearly wiped out the British army:
Meanwhile, Napoleon pushed the British out of Genappe and down the road toward Waterloo. Wellington continued to gather his army, and began to occupy his prepared position at Waterloo. Napoleon deployed his army in preparation for an assault in late afternoon. With the news that the Prussians were thoroughly beaten and his flank uncovered, Wellington conceded the field and the day. L’Empereur would live to fight at least one more campaign!
The table at the end of the game looked like this: