Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Waterloo playing cards

I came across these lovely playing cards in Waterstones (U.K. Bookshop). They are called "Waterloo 200" and are intended to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the battle.

The cards cost £5 for a single deck. They are like normal playing cards, except all of the artwork is Waterloo focussed.

Please click on the 'read more' tab for more images.

(Below) The front of the pack uses the same image that graces the 4 of Spades card, described as Scotland Forever!  - Scots Greys (Butler).

(Below) The rear of the box has the artwork from the King of Diamonds, described as Wellington (after Lawrence).

(Below) The rear of each card shows Wellington riding the line, described as 'Wellington at Waterloo (Hillingford).

(Below) For a French sample, I have chosen the 'Grenadier of the Imperial Guard (E. Detaille)'.

(Below) And finally, the reliable 'Blucher (Dawe)'.

The cards have a very nice quality to them and are nice and robust to handle. I recently picked up a packet of normal playing cards because I want to try out a few game mechanics that used such cards - so to see these military based cards made for a 'must buy'. 

The only thing that has disappointed me has been the Joker cards. One is a true joker card, with a brilliant satirical picture of Wellington, but the other is just an informational card with website information etc - a wasted opportunity to get two really good joker cards into this deck.

Whether you want them to game with or just simply to own, I think at their price, they are a nice thing to have. They are the 'official cards' of www.waterloo200.org, an umbrella organisation established to oversee the celebration of the 200th anniversary.

I'm not sure that these are particularly new, but gamers may want to get hold of a set before they go out of print. I might try and get these cards into an anniversary Waterloo campaign game this June, perhaps to manage reinforcements or some such.

EDIT - link to a source that sells these and a shed load of other types of card - http://www.birdplayingcards.com/collection.php


  1. Wow. Those are nice. They could serve as some sort of painting guide as well. Some of the pictures are pretty well known and well distributed on the web but still. Nice find!

  2. John, as I continue to 'enjoy' them, I am having an increased respect for the team that did the research, made the crops and properly identified the subjects. The company make a lot of different card packs for different themes such as movie stars etc, so I appreciate the care that went into selecting the artwork for a complete a full deck.

    Before opening them, I wouldn't have been surprised to have found just the royal cards illustrated, but to have the entire pack done is a bonus.

  3. Fab! We have a local Waterstones. I'll pick up a pack (assuming they have them at my branch) next time I'm in town. Thanks for the heads up.

  4. Thanks, Norm. These are on sale at the Scots Guards museum shop for £2.99 with free p&p.https://www.scotsdgshop.com/
    You also reminded me I must get VentoNuovo's block game of the same name.

  5. That seems a very good price since these things must be limited to their print run size. I would have thought that by now, they would be harder to source as new.



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