May 19, 2024

#UnBoxingDay ~ A real page turner in Waterloo Solitaire from Worthington Publishing

RockyMountainNavy, 20 January 2022 ~ #UnboxingDay

If there is one thing you can depend on in wargaming, it’s that you will find a wargame on the Battle of Waterloo. Much like you can always count on a Battle of Gettysburg game for the American Civil War or a Battle of the Bulge wargame for World War II, you don’t have to look far to find a game of Waterloo either. In 2021, Worthington Publishing gave our wargaming hobby yet another Waterloo game. Well, more precisely, a “Bookgame.”

What is a “Bookgame,” you ask? Here is how designer Mike Wylie explains it:

“The design of this Bookgame came about as we looked at some of our board game designs that could be delivered quickly in a book format during backlogs of worldwide shipping and supply chains caused by a pandemic. Waterloo Solitaire fit well. It could do all a board game could do if 1 die and a pen could be provided by the gamer.” (“Designer Notes and Strategy”, Waterloo Solitaire, p. 56)

click images to enlarge

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Waterloo Solitaire is a standard, magazine-size, perfect-bound softcover of 56 pages. It is a solitaire wargame system depicting—you guessed it—the Battle of Waterloo.

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There are 24 games inside Waterloo Solitaire. That’s a bit of a misleading statement; what you really have are 12 scenarios where you play the French side and 12 as the Allies. Within each set of twelve there are three levels of difficulty (“BOT”) with each scenario repeated four times…but with different names.

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The rules to Waterloo Solitaire, including a detailed Example of Play, are presented over six pages and do not use the SPI Case System. The game itself is very straight-forward and, while not deep, has enough decision space that you feel in charge as compared to many solo games that are repetitive with few decisions but lots of die rolling.

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Each battle of Waterloo Solitaire is presented in landscape orientation on two facing pages. The various tables are on the “top” page while your battlefield map and various units are on the “bottom” page. Like the rules say, all you need is, “a die, a pen, and a sense of adventure to play.”

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Waterloo Solitaire is sold via Amazon ($27.94 at the time of writing this post). It is a print-on-demand booklet produced once ordered. My copy was actually printed the same day I ordered and arrived two days later.

Waterloo Solitarie is no competitor to the numerous Napoleonic games that fellow Armchair Dragoon Jim “The Gascon” O puts up on TableTop Simulator, but it is a fine travel game. I’m probably going to throw my copy in my travel bag so if I ever get on the road again I’ll have a little something to pass the time with.


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