From Valmy to Waterloo

Brief Description These rules attempt to penetrate gaming "truisms" and provide players with the actual tactics of this period of history. Game is divided into two levels: tactical and grand tactical. Written orders form an important part of the design.
Period Tactical and Grand Tactical Warfare in Europe, 1792-1815
Scale One infantry or cavalry figure represents 60 men; one gun crew figure represents one gun. One turn represents 15 minutes. Three ground scales are available:
  • 1 cm = 25 meters (5mm figures)
  • 1" = 50 meters (10mm figures, and 15mm figures using Double Rank)
  • 1.5" = 50 meters (15mm figures using Single Rank)
Troop Type Scale of Figures
5mm 10mm 15mm
Double Rank Single Rank
frontage x depth
(space per figure
mount one company per base)
.5 cm x .8 cm 1/4" x 3/8" 3/8" x 5/8" 3/8" x 5/8"
(2 figures per base)
2 cm x 1.5 cm 1" x 1" 1" x 1" 1 1/2" x 1 1/4"
(one gun figure per base)
1 cm x 1.5 cm 5/16" x 1 1/2" 1/4" per virtual gun x as needed 3/4" x as needed
  • 104-page, perfect-bound rules booklet
  • 56-page staple-bound army-lists-and-scenarios booklet
  • 18-page spiral-bound reference-sheet booklet
  • 4 reference cards
  • 2 template sheets (to be photocopied onto clear acetate)
  • 1 orders sheet
  • 2 half-sheets of counters
Designer William Keyser (WKeyser@AOL.COM)
Publisher First edition published 1995 by Clash of Arms

What You Think

Mark Cuomo (
I concur with the statements below. The rules give a good historical representation of grand tactical Napoleonic combat. The game plays quicker than Empire, once the Charge Reaction charts are mastered...
Jay Martino ( )
I found a lot of Valmy frustrating at first, but once we mastered the rules, my group found that a lot of "Oh, yeah! That's how it works!" were being declared. Things started to make sense, and we also found that using the historical tactics made things come together. (Unlike some rules, Valmy doesn't force you to use historical tactics, so you have to learn by experience.)

Valmy forces you to think ahead more than many other rules sets. You have to consider what might happen on a particular flank. And another thing: never leave guns unprotected, no matter what country they belong to. A good means of protection is to have a squadron of cavalry nearby (or two, from the same regiment, so they can act as vedettes for each other, and cover a fairly wide arc).

Peter Smith (
These rules are now my preferred set, having supplanted Follow the Eagle computer-based rules in my affections.

From Valmy to Waterloo forces the player to think like a Napoleonic general. Deployment in depth is essential, command and control is realistic, and cavalry must be used with care.

So much for the good bits. The rules are not well laid out. A seperate appendix seems to consist of all the bits they forgot to put in the main rule book!

On balance, though, the rules give a good "historical" game. The play mechanics work well and really are quite simple, you just have to read the 90+ pages of the rule book first.

I like them, but if you've read Brent Nobsworthy's book The battle tactics of Napoleon and his enemies and disagree with his conclusions, you won't like these rules.

Andrew Kinnie (
As long as you like Napoleonic miniatures and are looking for a set of rules, From Valmy To Waterloo is worth buying. I have them and play them all the time. They are well supported by the author, easy to play, etc. If these things interest you, they are worth buying.
Michael Cannon (

I have only played them a couple of times, and have used 6mm figures with them. These rules play quicker than Empire, and have fewer holes. Besides, Bill K., the author, is a heckuva nice guy.

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Online Resources

Publisher's Website
Thumbnail product descriptions, including list of contents.
The Battle of Mautern
Battle report, featuring Austrians against the French.
Castiglione Game Write-Up
The editor's report of a demonstration game played with the designer at TriCon '96.

If you know of resources for this game, or if you have material you would like to make available to the Net, please let us know.

Last Updates
19 April 1999comments by Mark Cuomo
15 April 1999comments by Jay Martino
14 April 1999comments by Peter Smith
22 October 1998link to publisher's webpage
25 May 1998battle report link added
Comments or corrections?