Friday, May 6, 2016

Winter 1807 "Campaign in a Day" with Snappy Nappy: Set Up

This event was held May 1, 2016 at the marvelous gaming space, "The Portal", across from The Time Machine hobby store in Manchester, CT.  This was our third year using this superb venue. Our deepest appreciation to the Portal, the Time Machine, and their staff for allowing us to commandeer the entire, spacious miniatures gaming area for the day!

BRIEFINGS and PLANS:

Russian Army Headquarters
General of Cavalry Bennigsen
Plonck (5A), Western Russia

Late January 1807

General Bennigsen!

Thanks to your recent victorious stand at Pultusk (6B = map grid coordinate), the Czar has given you command of the Russian army in Poland. The Czar orders you to chase the French out of Poland and further burnish the honored luster of Russian military prowess! You must do more than merely tweak the Corsican Ogre’s beard, inflicting a serious reverse on him without yourself suffering disproportionate catastrophic losses.

The remnants of your Prussian allies have fallen back somewhere to the north. You are to locate and coordinate your plans with General L’Estocq and the Czar’s very good friend the Prussian King, preventing the French from isolating the King’s final seat of power at Koenigsburg. Similarly, the Prussians at the fortresses of Danzig (2E) and Graudenz (4E) are isolated and low on supplies, in need of immediate relief.

The French are just entering winter quarters, with perhaps half of their forces largely settling down around and to some 40 miles the north of Warsaw (6B); the rest are quartering on the Vistula River’s left bank above Thorn (6D). Isolating and destroying the corps north of Warsaw would be a great victory.

Reports indicate the French are funneling all supplies and reinforcements through Warsaw (6B) and Thorn (6D); even temporarily threatening to capture one of these locations let alone doing so would likely force a complete French withdrawal beyond the Vistula.

The Russian 14th Division is at Ostralenka (5A) with a view to continuing to threaten Warsaw (6B) and occupy the French right flank, but the French III Corps at Pultusk (6B) strongly covers that direction.

Player Map


Russian Set Up

Location of Initial Forces

Your forces may enter the map from any east edge road on the map (i.e., the roads at the top of the map). From north to south, this includes the roads through Mechlauken (1B), Gumbinnen (1B), Drengfurth (2A), Angerburg (2A), Arya (3A), Johannisburg (4A), and Plock (5A). French screening forces are closely watching the approaches from Plock and early will be alerted to movements from that direction. However, it is doubtful they can monitor your movements through the great Johannisburg forest (3A/4A) as you would be well screened by the forest and Bobra River (3A / 4A / 5A).

For your initial formation (i.e. Division & the Guards on the OB), please identify:
- The road each formation will use to enter play; specify march order if more than one force enters on the same road.
- The force’s mission. General orders, route of march, use of supply, etc.
- Any delay the force will make in entering (such as number of minutes after the game has begun, to await orders to enter, etc.)
- Anything else special the GM may need to know.



Russian OOB


GUARD: Bennigsen           
PLAYER:  Peter

2 Russian Guard Infantry               4+
1 Russian Guard Cuirassier           4+
1 Russian Guard 12# Foot Arty     4+


2nd DIVISION: Osterman-Tolstoi 
PLAYER: Karl 

2 Grenadiers                                   5+
5 Musketeers                                  6+
1 Cuirassier                                    5+
1 Dragoon                                      5+
1 Hussar                                         6+  
2 12 # Foot Batteries                     7+
1 6# Foot Battery                           7+
1 6# Horse Battery                        7+


3rd DIVISION: Osten-Scaken  
PLAYER: Russ

2 Grenadiers                                   5+
4 Musketeers                                  6+
2 Cuirassier                                    5+
1 Dragoon                                      5+
1 Hussar                                         6+  
1 12 # Foot Batteries                     7+
1 6# Foot Battery                           7+
1 6# Horse Battery                        7+


4th DIVISION    
PLAYER: Daniel
7 Musketeers                                  6+
1 Cuirassier                                    5+
1 Polish Horse                                6+  
1 12 # Foot Batteries                     7+
2 6# Foot Battery                           7+


5th DIVISION: Tuchkov    
PLAYER: Brian 

7 Musketeers                                  6+
1 Dragoon                                      5+
1 Hussar                                         6+  
2 12 # Foot Batteries                     7+
1 6# Horse Battery                        7+


6th DIVISION: Sedmoratsky  
PLAYER: Jim  

4 Musketeers                                  6+
2 2nd Rate Musketeers                  7+
1 Dragoon                                      5+
1 Hussar                                         6+  
2 12 # Foot Batteries                     7+
1 6# Foot Battery                        7+

    The players had about a week before the game to review the above information, make inquiries of the GM, and establish our plans and initial orders. As is often the case, on the day of the game not one but two French players were unable to make it, so one of our players had to change sides to take a French command, being strictly enjoined not to spill the beans (which he did not). We had hoped to have a Cossack player, who could have been truly annoying to the French, especially had he gotten into their rear areas. The Cossacks are nearly worthless on the battlefield, but tigers in pursuit and disruption of communications, scouting, etc. As it transpired, no Platov appeared. The final plan, after some last minute adjustments to take into account the above, plus the inference (or better) from the GM that the far SE corner of the map would be essentially a wash, allowing no combat to occur there (A Russian Division, the 14th, was nominally stationed there but had no player). Thus the final plan as the Russians broke the early morning stillness and trudged across the frozen ground of Poland, is reflected in the orders issued below (color coded to the map showing the revised plan of operations that follows):


4th Division Golitsyn  (Dan) Lilac: The A1 road to Gumbinen,  Konigsberg and from there  to Danzig via Brandenburg to Elbing. Relieve seige and deliver supplies if possible, call for reinforcements if needed. If possible, then press on to Graudenz. 

3rd Division Osten-Sacken (Russ)  Orange: The A2 Road  from Drengfurth to Friedland to Zinlen to Mehlsack to Pr Holland.  Support the relief of Danzig if needed. If not, press on to Liebmuhl and the line of woods, If able and reasonably safe to do so, may advance as far as the River line beyond Leibmuhl, but no further without orders. If relief of Graudenz seems feasible, may need to support Golitsyn. 

2nd Division  Osterman-Tolstoi (Karl - with FOUR Artillery batteries!) Light Green: A3 road to Angerburg to Schippenbell to Bartenstein to Landsburg to Guttstadt to Depper, establishing a defensive position at the woods or possibly initially the river line beyond Depper

Guard Reserves Bennigsen (Peter)   Light Blue: Behind Osterman Tolstoifollow the A3 road to Angerburg to Shippenbell, Bartenstein, and then Heilsberg, and probably hold there to judge events. 


** We also need to link up with L'Estoq's Prussians (Mark T) , who will likely be found West of Konigsberg. As soon as they are encountered HQ should be notified and L'Estoq should send a report to HQ as well so that we can best determine how to use his forces. The default plan would be to support Dohkturov in his advance on Danzig, and hopefully Graudenz beyond. Indeed, as his supply base is likely to be Koenigsburg, it would probably be best if he lead the advance to Danzig and especially Graudenz if feasible.

5th Division Tuchkov (Brian)  Pink:  A3 road to Arya to Rasbenburg to Heilsburg, then proceed on to establish defensive position at the Woods line between Bischofstein and Bischosburg. 


6th Division Sedmoratsky (Jim)  Yellow: Behind both  Tuchkov  A3 road to Arya, but then take the  Southern fork towards Bischofsburg, but not crossing either fork of the river Bobra until ordered to do so, or the enemy y appears  and it is necessary to do so to resist/delay them. We don't want to get across the River Bobra  too quickly as it is likely to alert the French to the offensive, and we'd like that to take place as late as possible.  


-Bennigsen


Russian/Allied Operational Plan



Prussian Army Headquarters
General L’Estocq
Friedland, East Prussia

Late January 1807


General L’Estocq!

You are the remnants of a once very proud Prussian Army. Frederick the Great would be sore distraught to see what has become of the mighty instrument he forged!

I, the King of Prussia tell you that preserving your force is your greatest concern, consistent with the protection of Koenigsburg (1C = map grid coordinates) – my last seat of power and your only source of supply. Without your force, Prussia can have no position in future settlements. However, your success is ineluctably tied to that of my very good friend and our protector, the Czar of Russia. The Czar’s success is the King’s success!

It is true we have seen many reverses these last weeks and months. Recently, Ney’s VI Corps drove you from Heilsburg (3C) back to Friedland (1B), where you presently quarter. In the last two days, Ney’s cavalry drove your screening forces from Schippenbeil (2B). Clearly he is satisfied with what he has accomplished as he now proposes an armistice covering the Heilsburg –Schippenbeil - Koenigsburg sector.

You are to locate and coordinate your plans with the Russians, who themselves have been driven back to their frontier somewhere south of you. Our brethren at the fortresses of Danzig (2E) and Graudenz (4E) are blockaded by the French and low on supplies, in need of immediate relief. You must see to this!

The French are just entering winter quarters, many of them settling down largely towards Warsaw (6B) and Thorn (6D); the rest are quartering on the Vistula River’s left bank above Thorn.

Reports indicate the French are funneling all supplies and reinforcements through Warsaw and Thorn; even temporarily threatening to capture one of these locations let alone doing so would likely force a complete French withdrawal beyond the Vistula River. A great victory for Prussian arms!

Frederick Wilhelm
King of Prussia
Koenigsburg


Set Up


Your forces are currently located at Freidland (1B). When the campaign commences, you may move your forces however you care – you have no restrictions except to satisfy the King’s demands upon you.

You begin the campaign completely out of contact with your Russian allies. As such, before the game starts, you are on your own and may not communicate with any other players. You may try to send a message through to the Russians. No guarantees as to what or when it may get through.


PRUSSIANS: L'Estoq       
PLAYER: Mark T 
2 Elite Musketeers                            5+
5 Veteran Musketeers                       6+
1 Cuirassier                                     5+
1 Dragoon                                        5+
1 Hussar                                         6+
1Towarczys                                     6+
1 6# Foot Battery                             5+
1 6# Horse Battery                           5+



French Imperial Headquarters
Emperor Napoleon I
Warsaw, Poland

Late January 1807


My Emperor!

You stand victorious over all of Europe, dominating every mile between Portugal and Russia. Only Russia stands against you in any power. You have chased them home where, God willing, they stay abed in their own winter quarters while you prepare their destruction in the coming spring.

You have had a hard fought last four months; your troops are exhausted and ready for a rest. Further campaigning is to be avoided if at all possible. Your forces have been ordered into and are just preparing winter quarters. Supplies are low but being rapidly built up in depots. The French line of communications runs from Warsaw (6B = map grid location) to Thorn (6D) and then to the west. Loss or even a serious threat to either location would spell disaster, forcing a general French retreat over the Vistula River with a consequent need to start the spring offensive forcing this major river.

The remnants of the Prussian allies have retreated towards Koenigsburg. A Russian force at Ostralenka (5A) maintains a toehold in Poland, pseudo-threatening Warsaw; it is strongly covered by Davout. Bernadotte covers the continued isolation of the fortresses of Danzig (2E) and Graudenz (4E).

While you have chased the Russians away, you never defeated them. A reverse let alone a defeat at their hands would embolden your enemies in Europe and seriously damage yours and the French reputation for invincibility.

French Set Up

You have two Aid de Camp figures (Lauriston and Bertrand) that you may freely assign to lead troops taken from an existing formation.

FRENCH MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS: No French force may leave its initial set-up table until so ordered by Napoleon, unless attacked by greatly superior forces and the GM agrees to allow the force to move. [French commanders are expected to defend themselves if attacked, no matter the circumstances!]



Location
Corps
Commander
Number of Depots
Player
1)
Warsaw (6B)
Guard
Napoleon
1
Seth
2)
Marienburg (2E)
I
Bernadotte
1
John
3)
Prassnitz (5B) – light cav only.
Pultusk (6B) – all other forces
III
Davout
1
Max
4)
Soldau (5C)
IV
Soult
1
Rich
5)
Warsaw (6B)
V
Lannes
1
Andrew
6)
Neidenburg (5C)
VI
Ney
1
Mark M
7)
Warsaw (6B)
VII
Augerau
1
Greg
8)
Thorn (6D)
I Cav
Murat
2
Scott








French OOB

IMPERIAL GUARD: Napoleon
PLAYER: Seth
2 Guard Infantry                     4+
1 Guard cavalry                      4+
2 8# Guard Artillery               4+


I CORPS: Bernadotte
PLAYER: John
2 Legere                                 5+
5 Ligne                                   6+
I Hussar                                  5+
1 Chasseur                             6+
2 Dragoons                             6+
2 8# Foot Artillery                 6+


III CORPS: Davout
PLAYER: Max
6 Legere                                 5+
2 Ligne                                   6+
I Hussar                                  5+
1 12# Foot Artillery                6+
1 6# Horse Artillery               6+


IV CORPS: Soult
PLAYER: Richard
6 Ligne                                   6+
I Hussar                                  5+
1 Chasseur                             6+
1 12# Foot Artillery                6+
1 6# Horse Artillery               6+


V CORPS: Lannes
PLAYER: Andrew
6 Ligne                                   6+
I Hussar                                  5+
1 Chasseur                             6+
2 Dragoons                             6+
2 8# Foot Artillery                 6+


VI CORPS: Ney
PLAYER: Mark M
6 Ligne                                   6+
I Hussar                                  5+
1 Chasseur                             6+
2 Dragoons                             6+
2 8# Foot Artillery                 6+


VII CORPS: Augerau
PLAYER: Greg
6 Ligne                                   6+
1 Chasseur                             6+
1 12# Foot Artillery               6+
1 8# Foot Artillery                 6+


I CAVALRY CORPS: Murat
PLAYER: Scott
2 Chasseurs                            6+
5 Cuirassiers                           5+
6 Dragoons                             6+
2 6# Horse Artillery               6+




Although I wasn't providing any troops this year (we used 15mm troops this year, all from the collection of Phillip Spera, who was sadly unable to attend at the last moment), I still had my car loaded with the materials to "dress" 3 of the 13 (!) tables we would be using, plus some assorted gaming supplies like dice, order slips, pens, rulers, and supply markers (although we decided to ditch the supply rules at the last moment - probably a wise decision, and as it played out they would have had little impact anyway). 


As each player arrived, James (GM) had a box ready for them with their badge, troops, OOB, summary sheets, Supply markers, and more. A real organizational tour de force!


Table "N" for Neidenburg with some French troops (Ney,) who are on the alert. 


Table "M" for Mehlsack, near Danzig. Quiet at the start of the game. 


Table "J" for Jankovo, also vacant at the start of the game. If the Allies could get infantry units to Jankovo proper, the siege of Graudenz would be relieved - worth almost as much as destroying an enemy Corps!


Table "K" for Koenigsburg (off the right lower corner of the picture - the Church in the distance is Pr. Eylau, and the building to the right is Friedland! Due to the tricky GM's set up, the Allies were surprised to have Golitsyn, Osten-Sacken, and L'estoq's Prussians all start on this table!


Table "D" for Danzig (Located just off the bottom off the picture). I believe that is Bernadotte's Corps deploying near Marienburg. Their position was perhaps even more exposed than that of Ney's Corps. Historically, Bernadotte gave one of his better performances, marching to aid of Ney and covering his retreat to safety.  


Table "E" for Elditten, also misleadingly tranquil in the new fallen late January snow at the outset of the day. Greg did a great jobs with his winter woods and hills, which he made special for the event. 


Table "H" for Heilsberg. Ney's Corps started here in a very isolated forward position. This was completely contrary to Napoleon's intention, and in the early days of the campaign the Emperor thought he was far to the West of this position, and was furious (historically) when he learned otherwise. The paper clips were a neat idea of James'. Each player had one Paper clip for each unit of his command. When one of his units Routed (i.e., was removed from play), he surrendered a paper clip to the player causing the rout. Most of us then clipped them to our badges as a sort of trophy! This helped track the Victory Points for destroyed enemy units. Reminded me a bit of a merit badge sash in Scouting!


Table "A" for Allenstein (not to be confused with Allestein, also on the map). A key East - West transit table, unoccupied at the start of the game, I believe. 


 Table "Y". This table represented the roads at the far Western edge of the map; a similar Table X did the same for the far Eastern end of the map. No Combat allowed, but lots of Marching time possible!


Table "W" for Warsaw - the  fortress/city is in the upper left corner, with several French Corps in Winter Quarters. Doubtless the  French troops are happily slumbering with visions of warm Polish women dancing in their heads! Pultusk is at the center of the table.


Table "S" for Soldau, with the Fortress/city of Thorn in the upper right corner - a critical supply center for the French., which must not fall to the Russians!  At least one French Corps is about to be deployed in Winter Quarters here as well. 


Table "P" for Prassnitz, near Warsaw. A mutual standoff across the river was an assumed game condition, so it was unlikely that much action would take place on this handsomely dressed table done by Greg. The 3" wide pieces of grey "ecofiber" felt represent "Deployment Zones". More on those in a later post. 


Table "U" for Uertelsburg. Empty at the start, but not for long!  The small town of Bischofsburg is to the right of the picture. 


Table "R" for Raspenburg.  Osterman-Tolstoi (Karl, at left) is entering from Russia, and Bennigsen with his small Guard command (moi!), will enter behind him. To the right, Tuchkov (Brian) is entering via a different road. Behind him will be Sedmoratsky (Jim), except that he will take the road fork to the right  of the picture and march on to Bischofsburg, there to anchor the flank of our forces against French attempts to cut us off from "Mother Russia"!


Golitsyn (Dan, at left) and Osten-Sacken (Russ Lockwood, also Snappy Nappy rules author, right) set out on the march on the Koenigsburg table. Golitsyn has the critical task of heading to Danzig as soon as possible to relieve the siege there - worth 1 Victory point, as much as destroying the better part of an enemy Corps!  Aware of the poverty of the Polish countryside, we see that Golitsyn has wisely brought provisions for the march, while Osten-Sacken seems like he might have had a bit too much Wodka to steel his nerves the night before. Either that or he is giddy at the prospect of fighting the hated French. If that is the case, he will be getting his wish in spades. But that, dear reader, is a subject for the next post in this series!

12 comments:

  1. Ready at the mark... Get set... Boom roared the 12lb. And they are off... into the first turn of the road, through the woods, over the snow covered hills, to the French camps they go.

    Great stuff Peter. Next installment please. Us rabbits are munching all the carrots.

    Michael aka WR

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    1. Thanks, Michael - Part 2 should be up later today.

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  2. Wow! An epic looking adventure.

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    1. Thanks, Ray. It really was quite a day!

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  3. This looks to be such a massive undertaking, Peter, requiring great organizational skills. I am exhausted simply seeing the preparation involved!

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    Replies
    1. Experience, dedication, and many hands lighten the work! James says "I'll do another one... in a few years!"

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  4. Huge undertaking and just what Snappy Nappy was made for

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    Replies
    1. It works fine for medium and large set piece battles as well, but I agree, this kind of game is where it really shines!

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  5. I'm certainly looking forward to more of this!

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  6. How fantastic. It would be great if you could run one of these at one of the big conventions.

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    Replies
    1. Ken, I am seriously considering doing one of these at Historicon in the future. At present it wouldn't be in 2017, as it looks like we'll do one locally. However it would need advance planning with Con-ops, and at least a core of committed players, including some who would assist with doing the tables. If the situation with the Host stabilizes, It might be an option for Fall In! or Cold Wars, although most years I can only attend one major convention.

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