UofG Student-led Documentary Launched

Published: 25 June 2020

A year on from the Great Game: Waterloo Replayed a UofG student-led film is now launched.

A year on from the largest Great Game: Waterloo Replayed a UofG student-led film is now launched.

The student film team drawn from across UofG, filmed the Great Game during the two day charity event in aid of veterans charity Waterloo Uncovered held at the University in 2019

The largest ever historical tabletop war game ever played, held at UofG on the 15 - 16 June 2019, saw over 22,000 28mm soldiers fielded on a gigantic battlefield map and over 100 players from around the world take part in the event.

The charity Waterloo Uncovered, has continued to provide relief for veterans of the armed forces with the £20,000 raised through the war game. Thanks to this funding veterans will still be able to uncover the mysteries buried at the historical sites at Waterloo.

The student film crew created a 16 minute mini-documentary about the Great Game's progress over the two days and interviews they conducted at the time. 

It shines a light on some of the excellent work that veteran's charity Waterloo Uncovered do and how everyone that was involved in the game contributed to furthering that work.

The video is now live and can be viewed below.

Covering a massive 192 square metres of table (24m x 8m) and featuring 22,435 hand-painted 28mm models, the two-day struggle ended in a narrow victory for the Duke of Wellington's forces. Each figure represented approximately four men in the actual battle, where almost 200,000 soldiers took part.

The map was so large as to cause a fog of war, where players at one side were unaware of what was happening on the other side of the battlefield.

The process of recording and cataloguing history was also recreated, with a team of war correspondents providing regular reports for Twitter.

Thanks to the thorough efforts of the war correspondents, the exact movement of the troops has been retraced as a 3D animation. Organisers relied on interviews and detective work to gather potentially-contradictory information and use it to reconstruct a historical narrative.

Euan Loarridge, manager of the War Correspondents said: “It has been fascinating seeing all the reports come in … and sifting through that to see how we go from this web of activity that is real life into a linear historical narrative”.

In the original battle, Napoleon’s grand armee faced the 7th coalition under Wellington and Blücher. With garrisons as anchors in the farmhouses at Hougoumont, Papelotte and Frischermont, Wellington was able to hold off Napoleon’s advance until the Prussians arrived and gave the coalition a numeric advantage.

With Napoleon defeated and exiled to St.Helena, the Napoleonic era was at an end – fundamentally altering the fabric of Europe for centuries to come.

The organiser of the Great Game, Professor Tony Pollard said: “It’s been a long, long road and it will be strange to not have the game somewhere in the background."

First published: 25 June 2020

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