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"The Largest Wargame Ever Played?" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2020 7:58 p.m. PST

"Could this be the largest miniature wargame ever played? The British news media certainly believe so! In June 2019 organizers at the University of Glasgow staged a 120 player Waterloo game, fought with over 22,000 miniatures on 2,000 square feet of table space. Who put this event together? What rules did they use to play the game? Did the French manage to rewrite history?"

YouTube link


RudyNelson05 Jun 2020 8:32 p.m. PST

In October 1977, at Fort Hood, we conducted a Leipzig battle using 10,000 15mm castings. We used the Empire 2 rules. We had a segment on TV and articles in several newspapers. I was on my honeymoon and my wife was not happy about me playing in the three day event. The allies won.

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2020 2:23 a.m. PST

From the topic, I was going to go with the Louisiana Maneuvers.

arthur181506 Jun 2020 3:13 a.m. PST

Is the mere number of figures involved the most significant thing about a wargame?

Only for the Guiness Book of Records or games of Trivial Pursuit!

Allan F Mountford06 Jun 2020 3:40 a.m. PST

What scale was Empire 2? Was it 1:60 figure scale and 1":40 yards ground scale?

RudyNelson06 Jun 2020 7:26 a.m. PST

Yep that was the ground and troop scales. Some played it in 25mm but we did it in 15mm

Allan F Mountford06 Jun 2020 8:08 a.m. PST

That must have been quite a spectacle. Coincidentally, in 1977 our own group here in Staffordshire put on Waterloo in 25mm at 1:50, so about 5000 figures. We had some local press coverage and a convention write up in the January 1978 issue of 'Battle', a UK magazine.

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2020 9:55 a.m. PST


Is the mere number of figures involved the most significant thing about a wargame?

Number of figures, number of players, size of the area represented, and size of the playing area all present management challenges that merit analysis.

People don't choose to put on and participate in giant wargames because they are easy, but because they are hard. One learns a lot from doing things that are hard.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP06 Jun 2020 11:05 a.m. PST

Well said my friend.


forwardmarchstudios06 Jun 2020 11:21 a.m. PST

Oberlindes Sol LIC-
Good point.

My Wagram project has over 4,000 figures in 2mm. It's also at the correct ground scale, and so it can be played on a map of Wagram. Most mega games are just a bunch of figures lined up wall to wall on a table top. They're so abstract that they could represent almost anything.

arthur181506 Jun 2020 11:35 a.m. PST

Oberlindes, you are quite right that staging such massive games 'present management challenges' – but that's not why I choose to play waragames, especially when I was involved in management!

Gazzola07 Jun 2020 7:01 a.m. PST

Very impressive and it must have taken some really clever organising, otherwise you might have had some players adding extra units without anyone knowing. LOL

Robert le Diable07 Jun 2020 7:15 a.m. PST

If my experience of some University staff be typical, it would be more likely that figures would vanish from the tables….

HMS Exeter07 Jun 2020 10:10 p.m. PST

There was a decidedly large 15mm Borodino at Fort Meade Maryland in 1992. Google should pull up the particulars. David Chandler came over. There were about 150 participants, but I'm not sure about the figure count.

I had Eugene's IVth Italo-French Corps. Despite the length of the table my Corps was deployed in reserve. I only got 8" of actual frontage. I had 2 West Point Cadet division commanders. One fed his French through the 8", deployed along the stream below the Guard Grand battery and scoured ouf the fleches. The other was deploying on his right to move on the Redoubt. The Italian lights tried to form into a wood but despite their skirmish ability kept disordering with every attempt. The Italian line and Guard never got off the start line. I was able to converge my Italian Guard howitzers to help the Guard arty annoy the Redoubt.

It was supposed to run Friday evening to midday Sunday, but it got called about 10p Saturday.

Murvihill08 Jun 2020 3:20 a.m. PST

I was at the Ft Meade game as well. My division was in I corps and was held in reserve for all of Saturday and over half of Sunday. They called the game before I took a casualty.I believe the figure count was 50,000. They used full-strength OB's for both sides and included the wing armies as well. At one point one side had artillery lining the table edge pointed at the other side with artillery lining the opposite table edge, the 6' gap between filled with commanders trying to figure out where their shots would fall. All I can say is 'Never again'.

ViscountEric08 Jun 2020 8:37 a.m. PST

The count for Borodino looks to be 16,000


Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Jun 2020 2:19 p.m. PST



oldnorthstate08 Jun 2020 4:29 p.m. PST

Borodino 2001 and Waterloo 2015, both using Carnage and Glory rules and 28mm figures were larger.

Sparta10 Jun 2020 10:34 p.m. PST

Forwardmarch studioes: "Most mega games are just a bunch of figures lined up wall to wall on a table top. They're so abstract that they could represent almost anything"

As are most non-megagames in 18/28mm ….

GarryWills12 Jun 2020 6:56 a.m. PST

Interesting statement in the 1992 article that the USA had 25-40,000 miniature wargamers, I wonder what the number is today.

Robert le Diable12 Jun 2020 9:46 a.m. PST

Not being adversely critical, GarryWills, but read on after these numbers appear in the article; I wonder to what extent does the observation still hold true, quarter of a century later? Would "IMP" come into it?
With a wry smile,

""*[//]) {> ::::

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP12 Jun 2020 11:24 a.m. PST



Albus Malum01 Aug 2020 11:08 a.m. PST

Isn't the largest wargame ever the Cold War between the USA and the USSR?

Handlebarbleep02 Aug 2020 2:56 p.m. PST

@Albus Malum

You think the cold war was between the USA and USSR? Wow.

Albus Malum02 Aug 2020 7:59 p.m. PST

Well if you want to include the puppet states of NATO, and the puppet Eastern Block of the USSR, Yes!

Am I missing something? Fill me in.

bgbboogie03 Aug 2020 1:16 a.m. PST

it wasn't a bigger game was played a year before in Scarborough ! but not advertised.

WKeyser03 Aug 2020 1:37 a.m. PST

I ran Wagram in 6mm at Historicon two times. We had 21 gamers and at a figure to man ration of 1/60 we had around 6000 figures. We had every formation that was there and in the second battle we even added two more Austrian Corps to beef up the Austrians.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP03 Aug 2020 11:58 a.m. PST

Wow!… who won?.


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