Waterloo Colors

What colors should we use at Waterloo? 

I love the contrast for the British at Brandywine:  bright white and royal red. 

By Waterloo, trouser colors changed to grey. 

These don’t look as sharp.  What should we use? This grey?  White?  Maybe a lighter shade of grey?

This is what we have for the Prussians:

We were a little concerned at first that blue might be a problem distinguishing Prussians from French:

The French blue is much darker.  I don’t think this will be a problem at all.  Here they are next to each other:




What do you guys recommend?  What would look best?  What would you like to see?



Here is a new color test.  What do you think of these?

The outside British stickers are a very light grey.

19 thoughts on “Waterloo Colors”

    • Ah yes. I was thinking the black is a little hard to see. Either a lighter shade of grey or go with white text.

  1. Maybe lighten the grey up, or, as Steven Davis suggests, make the text white on the darker grey.

    Steven James is suggesting the traditional colors for just about every Waterloo game every published. There’s definitely an argument for the traditional in that it will be instantly recognizable to experienced Napoleonic gamers.

    OTOH, the blue for the Prussians looks nice and isn’t tough to distinguish from the French at all. It is more in keeping with the uniforms of the time, which seems to be the desired look. Personally, I like the blue on the Prussians. It’s a nice change.

  2. The Prussians should be in the darker blue and the French in the lighter blue. You have the color pairing backwards.

    Try using a very light shade of buff instead of white.

  3. I would think the Prussians should be dark blue and the French a medium blue. I think the pigment favored by the Prussians was darker in reality. The Indigo/Prussian Blue is often mistaken for black.

    I think the Grey label looks classier and reflects the uniform change well. White letters would help for sure.

    As a color blind gamer, let me say that the colors are less important than the difference in tone. No problems with the upcoming games from what I see.

  4. I never understood why other games always make the Prussians black. ??

    I found and just posted some pictures at the end of some Waterloo re-enactors.

    The Prussian and French jackets look about the same.

    We could reverse the colors for the Prussian blocks: Dark Blue labels on Grey blocks. Would that be better?

    OR would it be too confusing to just use the same dark color blue blocks for Prussians and French? Just with grey & white labels?

    If I remember right, there was some confusion on the field as to some Prussian units being mistaken for French. Maybe a little confusion would be historical. ??

  5. Please don’t use the same color blocks for French and Prussian units. Remember, the label isn’t always showing.

    I think you are right about the French and Prussian uniforms being identical, at least in many circumstances. I still say the French should be a lighter blue not because of their uniforms but because of the color of the flag. It is recognized as French blue.

    As long as the blocks are clearly distinguishable it works. Black, dark blue, medium blue, or other.

  6. The nationality indicator on the French leader cubes uses the wrong flag. While the 1804 pattern flag looks quite striking, it was no longer in use after 1812 in all but a few Imperial Guard regiments, which eventually switched over to the 1812 pattern in 1813. The 1812 flag looks a bit like the tricolor we’re accustomed to seeing, but with a lot of ceremonial gold grafitti.

    But even 1812 pattern is not right because there was a new flag pattern issued for the 1815 campaign, which was probably the least interesting flag of the Napoleonic period: the traditional tricolor devoid of most of its ceremonial text.

    Not sure if I can post links here, but you can find details on the French (and most other nations in this period) at the Napflags website.


    • Perfect! You are just the fellow I’ve been looking for.

      These look like regimental flags. What did the Corps use? What about Napoleon’s HQ? I’ve been having trouble finding these. What about the regular French national flag? Did they fly the regular French flag as it is today?

      Even if they are regimental flags, I kind of like the idea of using them anyways just for the look.

  7. I like the grey for the Prussians with the dark label and white lettering. The British in the other picture look best with the grey label. Much classier looking.

  8. If you were not constrained by production concerns, would you look at putting colored bands on the blocks going all the way around?

    How trapped are we by our design habits and what are we missing?

    • Bands all the way around would be tough. We did do some experiments with 2 color that worked pretty well. So we painted the red British block white on 1 side. That was much easier than we expected.

  9. I prefer the traditional Waterloo colors of red blue and grey for the three armies. If the infantry blocks had canvas strips on one side and the blocks built of four segments, then the infantry could form columns or square to provide that unique napoleonic battlefield look.

    • We’ve been debating rules for square and testing them out on Marengo. We had little, ornate, metal squares that we placed on top of the piece to designate formation. They looked cool. In the end we dropped the square rules. With 1.5 hour turns, units should be able to change formation many times. It didn’t seem to fit the scale.

      We have accounted for it with a combat modifier. Cav suffers a -1 mod when fighting fresh infantry. They get a +1 mod when fighting spent infantry. If the infantry is fresh, we figure they are able to form square in time. If spent, we figure that they are too disorganized to be able to form square effectively.

      Note, this also accounts for some nice combined arms effects. If you use your artillery can flip the enemy infantry, then you can charge the spent infantry with Cav. A deadly combination.

      Note also how this makes ineffective status much more dangerous. If your units can’t rally anymore, they are always vulnerable to cavalry charge. Not good to be on the receiving end of this!

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