Here is the cardboardless Waterloo scenario set up with orange DB infantry, Litko leaders, and painted Guard infantry and Heavy Cavalry.
Napoleon's War: The 100 Days is the latest interation of the same game system seen in Hold the Line, and before that Clach for a Continent and For Honor and Glory. Many players of those earlier games had already converted the games to a figure-based approach, so it wasn't surprising that Worthington Games would take the plunge with NW and make it official.
Overall the presentation is nice, but I felt that they stopped a little short of making the most of the visual potential figures provide. Specifically, there were still quite a few cardboard counters cluttering the map. This didn't bother me over much, although I thought the counters were more functional than attractive.
So when I found out that the figures used in NW were the same ones used in Viktory II, and that more figures could be ordered, I decided this provided a chance to banish cardboard from the map.
The first thing to go would be the Dutch-Belgian counters, to be replaced with orange infantry figures. I decided to get some black figures to use for the Brunswickers as well. The Brunswickers were famous for their all-black uniforms.
Using counters for the horse artillery was unacceptably lame, but the Viktory pieces come in just three varieties: infantry, cavalry and artillery, so there remained the problem of differentiating the horse guns from the rest. Horse artillery units often used bronze guns instead of iron because bronze was lighter, so I painted a few guns with bronze. I also ordered some extra French in order to be able to field the Guard and Heavy Cavalry units. These were marked with some red paint to set them apart from their ordinary colleagues, red being a color often used to show elite troops in Napoleonic era games. This posed a problem for marking the British Heavy cavalry for the Waterloo scenario, of course. I decided to borrow the solution used by System 7 Napoleonics, which used white to replace a color whenever there would be a case of the same color being used on top of itself.
I also wanted to replace the cardboard commanders. It turns out that Litko offers a set of 20 customized plastic counters that come in a variety of shapes and colors and can hold up to 12 characters of text. I chose a flag-shaped plastic marker and suitable colors for the four nations represented: blue French, red British, grey Prussian and orange Dutch. Each counter includes the leader's bonus (+1 to +3) and name, although I had to cheat a little with Wellington's long name and he became "The Duke." There are a total of 13 leaders between the scenarios (Ney, Wellington and Napoleon appear twice each, while Blucher is in three!) so I filled out the remainder of the 20 with other markers for rifles, lights, CAPs and turn.
Finally I orderd some D3 dice from Chessex. One was included in Hold the Line and I was a little disppointed to see Napoleon's War go back to a D6 roll divided by 2. I don't care for unnecessary mental computations. I just want to roll a 1, 2 or 3, darn it.
Overall I like the effect, although I missed the skirmishers, which still require cardboard chits.