A Short list of some of the best articles on WATERLOO to appear, over the years, in the General

While compiling material for previous posts on AFRIKA KORPS and STALINGRAD, I found myself continually getting sidetracked into reading unrelated past General articles on WATERLOO as well as a number of the other Avalon Hill “classics.” I had forgotten how interesting some of these old write-ups could be.

Since a few of you actually seemed to enjoy the two previous posts: “the General looks at AFRIKA KORPS” and “the General looks at STALINGRAD,” I have decided to go ahead with another short list of some nearly-forgotten articles that appeared, many years ago, between the covers of the General. So here is the latest installment in what I hope will become an ongoing series on the “best of the best” pieces from the old issues of the General. This short collection, in my opinion, includes some of the most interesting and entertaining articles on WATERLOO analysis, game variants, and Series Replays ever to see print. And speaking of Series Replays: although this sample “Replay” is a little cringe-worthy, it is still interesting because of the two, well-known adversaries and also because of the number of mistakes and rules illegalities that crept into the game.

So let me repeat my previous strong recommendation: To those of you who still have a collection of Generals gathering dust somewhere in their closet, or who have a friend who has a lifetime’s stash of old gaming magazines stacked up in his game room, this list is for you. Even if you read these articles a long time ago, I urge you to go back and give them another look. You might even find it hard to close the covers of some of these old Generals once you start turning through their pages!

For no particular reason, I have arranged this list in chronological order, from the oldest to the most recent.

  • Jerry Pournelle’s “Simulating the Art of War: Updating WATERLOO,” in the General, Vol. 8, No. 2 (Jul-Aug 1971) in which the author proposes an extensive and even radical overhaul to the standard rules of WATERLOO in the pursuit of greater simulation realism and a better game

  • Harley Anton’s classic six-part treatise “Campaign at WATERLOO,” in the General, Vol. 9, Nos. 4 – 6, and the General, Vol. 10, Nos. 1 – 3; in which the author presents the most detailed and comprehensive analysis of the different aspects of WATERLOO play ever to be published under one title in the General

  • A “Series Replay: WATERLOO,” featuring Bruno Sinigaglio (French) and Rob Beyma (P.A.A.) with neutral commentary provided by Harley Anton (after his previously published opus, who else would dare?), in the General, Vol. 11, No. 2 (Jul-Aug 1974) which, besides being an example of some very eccentric WATERLOO play, also demonstrates just how tough a time the French can have if the P.A.A. are allowed to beam their troops onto the battlefield

  • Robert Sledge’s innovative and quite interesting variant “WATERLOO – The 1704 Version,” in the General, Vol. 11, no. 5 (Jan-Feb 1975) provides all of the additional rules, deployment instructions, Turn Record Chart, and Order of Battle information necessary to begin the play of a “might have been” War of the Spanish Succession battle in 1705 between Marlborough and the French Marshal Villeroy using the WATERLOO map and counters

  • Thomas E. Hilton’s article “Second Thoughts: A Briefing on the Changes in the New WATERLOO Rules …,” the General, Vol. 13, No. 1 (May-Jun 1976) offers a thoughtful and thankfully brief explanation for the rules changes that were part of the then new 2nd Edition WATERLOO Rules

  • Elwood Carlson’s long-overdue variant, “East of Waterloo: A Wavre Scenario,” in the General, Vol. 15, No. 4 (Nov-Dec 1978) which provides all the information necessary to simulate French Marshal Grouchy’s unlucky campaign against Marshal Blücher’s retreating Prussians

  • Elwood Carlson’s very intriguing “Crossing the Sambre: WATERLOO from the Beginning,” the General, Vol. 17, No. 2 (Jul-Aug 1980) which offers an extensive “state of the art” overhaul to the regular WATERLOO rules, as well as providing all of the information necessary either to play “Crossing the Sambre” as a free-standing scenario, or as an extension to the full game by beginning play on the 15th of June rather than on the 16th

As is always the case when you try to compile one of these “compendia,” there are many articles that didn’t make it into this list, not because they weren’t worth reading, but mainly because I wanted to provide a representative cross-section of different types of essays, and really didn’t want to publish too many pages of article citations in the same post.

And by the way, for those of you who don’t have any old Generals lying around, there are always copies surfacing on eBay so, given a little time, you should still be able to track most, if not all, of these gems down.


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