Saturday, 9 July 2016

Wellington's War - Pacific Rim Games

The box artwork, like some of the components, could be better but not a major concern
I picked up a new game while I was away on holiday, "Wellington's War" by Pacific Rim Games, and today Tom and I took it for a "road-test" at the Devon Wargames Group.

Tom at this month's meeting of the Devon Wargames Group, "sussing out" the rules during a break in play
I love the wooden block style of game pioneered by Columbia Games with all the hidden deployment those games offer and so when I saw this game covering a period in history that really floats my boat I felt compelled to get a copy.

There are thirty historical event cards that cause
effects to game play as the war unfolds
The game also incorporates a card driven engine, that has become a popular way to control activity and historical events, ever since Avalon Hill's "We the People".

Operations points ranging from one to four points allow group activations, with some cards 
giving options to activate or add pips to blocks in the form of new drafts

The combat units also incorporate the grading system popularised by Columbia with A, B, C and D units firing in the order of their quality rating and causing hits on poorer quality units before they get to fire back.

The game is very pleasing on the eye with an impressive map, with each hex about 30 miles across
The General officers also have pips they can use to affect movement and combat, amongst other things, allowing the "big men" of the war to bring their skills into effect.


The map is a huge three foot by four foot depiction of the Iberian peninsula that really gives a feel of the size of the campaign area with those annoying guerrilla units able to make full use of the space in French rear areas.

My feeling is this game has great figure campaigning potential, and today's play-through with Tom has confirmed that opinion . In the meantime I thought I would put together a Cyberboard module just in case my impressions were justified.

The map showing the initial positions in 1808 at the start of the full campaign game, taken from my Cyberboard module
If I were to to pick one criticism of the game it would be a bit of a 1970's SPI style in the components that don't meet the modern standards of games today, but frankly the play is great and I don't care as they are good enough.

Robert Simon at Brave New World Games store in Germany is one of the European distributors for the game and got my copy to me promptly on ordering.

If you want to check out more of the detail and thoughts about this game you can follow the link below to Board Game Geek.


  1. Sounds really interesting!

  2. Do you have a copy of your Cyberboard file(s) available to share?

  3. I guess my interest here is whether this generates worthwhile tabletop games which you would never have played otherwise, only time will tell. Keep us updated Mr JJ & Co.
    We Marauders have just started an 1809 Danube campaign based on the classic boardgame, game one is the Battle of Passau, never a set-up we would ever have contemplated!
    Best wishes,

  4. Thanks, JJ. My other passion - board games! Definitely one to get my hands on.

  5. A great find JJ, and one I believe our group would enjoy. I'll have to hunt it down (did you purchase your copy through the internet while you were on holidays, or from a games shop?).
    I find there's still something quite visceral about playing any games with wooden blocks since I tried my first game of Diplomacy back in the day, and it seems to be something that many of the German games continue to utilise with great effect.
    As you say, it could potentially provide a great framework for a Peninsular War campaign, although I agree with you about the box art and can't understand why they would put a picture of Alan Partridge on the cover...

    1. Ha! Very good Lawrence. Alan Partridge, I knew that portrait reminded me of someone.

  6. Thanks for your comments chaps.

    Murdock: As you know I like to share stuff I create, but given this is a relatively new title, I have dropped the publisher an email to get their consent to me putting the module up on the blog. I haven't had a reply yet, so bear with me.

    Jeremy: I think with most of these board game campaigns you have to choose the battles to fight, which further playtests will illustrate. We had a few outclassed Spanish blocks overwhelmed early on as we had Dupont get his come uppance near Bailen. I think I would let the game handle those clashes, as also the sieges until Vauban's Wars gets published. I think The historical chrome in the game plus the moving situation looks likely to give great context to table top battles.

  7. I like the large game board that appears to allow some maneuvering. I wonder if using games pieces from Risk would look better? Have to see if I can find a shop here in the US that sells it.

    1. Tom and I are now doing a campaign play test, now we have worked out what we did wrong in the original game, which I will report on. We have played from 1808 up to 1811 and I am noting the battles that occur to give an idea of what could come up.

      The pieces are, to my mind, great and with all the hidden deployment and ease of recording current status and we are both enjoying the unpredictability that the event cards throw up.