Excellent national radio programme about Waterloo wargame


I’ve just been listening to one of the best media broadcasts I’ve ever heard about wargaming as a hobby. This excellent 40-minute programme was on Radio New Zealand National, and centred on the massive Waterloo wargame that took place in Wellington (where else?!) at the Wellesley Club (where else?!) last weekend.

All too often the media pokes fun at wargamers as a strange, nerdy bunch. But this broadcast is genuinely inquisitive and treats the gamers with respect. Those interviewed present themselves and the hobby in an impeccable manner.

This programme also lays to rest the canard that Napoleonic gamers are a crusty, argumentative and nit-picky clique. The broadcast includes lots of obviously knowledgeable people, but all enjoying the day in a friendly and light-hearted way.


Some nice sound effects and film audiotrack excerpts provide a feel of period ‘colour’ to the broadcast.

I thoroughly recommend listening to this programme. It’ll be 40 minutes well spent. You can download it from the National Radio New Zealand National website, where they also have some photos of the day, as well as a short YouTube clip.

Because of a family event last weekend, I couldn’t take part in this game. However, some of my miniature troops did, including my 28mm ‘Front Rank’ Nassauers and British Hussars.



6 thoughts on “Excellent national radio programme about Waterloo wargame

  1. The bicentenary of Waterloo hasn’t had the attention it deserves – I don’t mean just as the last classic European large-scale musket-age battle, but because of its symbolism as a shaping force of the nineteenth century and thence our own time. Nobody makes the connections these days (abstract as they are…) Have to say, last time I got asked to an event at the Wellesley Club, they required a jacket-and-tie which on principle I declined to wear. Blucher! I didn’t go, of course…

    1. Actually, that would’ve been a cool finishing touch – all the gamers having to wear jacket and tie!

      I think the Waterloo bicentenary is making bigger waves in the UK. Certainly the media over there have been carrying a few stories about it.

      And of course then there’s Agincourt …

  2. Thank you for posting the link to this charming programme – the BBC would never have commissioned such a positive piece about a hobby mainly enjoyed by white, middle-aged men!

  3. Roly, I loved the photo of the game you included. As much as I enjoyed seeing the spectacle of the game, I also enjoyed seeing the faces of so many gamers that I hadn’t seen since I attended my last Wellington convention 19 years ago. They are all so grey or have so little hair! I, of course, haven’t changed a bit…

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