Battleground 8: Prelude to Waterloo is a typical TalonSoft example of how the depth of research and accuracy of the orders of battle are something all wargames could emulate. Units are represented and modeled in detail, battles are meticulously recreated, and hypothetical scenarios (though more academic than gripping) are all diligently re-created. In a system where it did not take a half hour to cross a wheat field, I would be slobbering over this much depth. No one is doing Napoleonic warfare with this much alacrity (which remains a mystery). It's easy to love the material and the attention to detail.
Prelude to Waterloo is the third Napoleonic game in the Battleground series, following Waterloo and Napoleon in Russia. This time, TalonSoft turns its attention to Quatre-Bras and Ligny: two battles of the Hundred Days that set the stage for Waterloo. Napoleon had interposed himself between Wellington and Blucher, personally leading a brutal, and successful, assault on Blucher's Prussian army at Ligny that cost the defenders 28,000 men. Two days later, Marshall Ney tried something similar at Quatre-Bras and had almost succeeded in dislodging the Anglo-Dutch forces under William of Orange when Wellington arrived. The battles are full of what-ifs (Ney uses I Corps, Wellington supports Blucher) and pocket engagements that make for interesting gaming. Prelude to Waterloo offers 23 different scenarios, three of them under the new "extreme fog-of-war" feature that hides all information on opposing units. Both battles and the whole campaign are offered for play in their totality.