Saturday, April 29, 2017

May 1809 Snappy Nappy Campaign in Inner Austria: The Cloudburst

After the quick Snappy Nappy rules review (we were using a Regimental variant by Daniel, a bit more tactical), and a review of some basic "Line of communications marker" rules, the Campaign got under way! As is usual, the first turn or two was done synchronized.

Plying as FML Baron Jellacic, I had an independent command. My Austrian Division had become separated from Hiller's Corps in the aftermath of the Landshut campaign on the Danube. I was not allowed to conference with the other Austrian players, but could (and did) send them messages to be delivered at the start of the campaign. .

Starting in a very isolated location in Innsbruck, I had four choices - I could hold my ground,  possibly having my ranks swelled by some additional low quality Tyrolean insurgents, or there were three roads I could use to exit from that table - one that lead to Italy and Venice and likely the bulk of Eugene's Army, one that lead to Salzburg, where I knew that the defeated remnants of Marquis Chasterler's Corps were situated, and one that lead to  Villach, where Ezrherzog Johann's headquarters was said to be located. I chose the Road to Villach (one of the movies Hope and Crosby never quite got around to making). 

A most unwelcome surprise was the arrival of G. D. MacDonald (James) onto my table the very first turn of the game. I surmised that he was NOT there to deliver a Happy Meal!

The Tan roads, being secondary roads, only allow a 9" road column move for infantry. Light cavalry in the open move 12". MacDonald won the first move initiative. Getting my Wienerschnitzel out of Innsbruck was going to be more than a mere formality!

As Baron Jellacic, my troops did the "Shuffle off to Buffalo", err, Villach with as much alacrity as Austrians can muster, moving as many troops into the safe "deployment zone" (grey felt rectangle) that exited into the wild blue yonder of the next (unknown) table as possible.

In Snappy Nappy, things are happening all over the theater of campaign that you often know little about.  Here are no less than 4 French players (Greg, Vic, Jim, and Herb), conferring with GM Daniel on  a Table whose location I never knew. 

Here are three French players (Maureen, Mark, and Caleb w/ pouty face) and two Austrian players (Karl and Russ), on what I would eventually learn was the Tarvis table,

"Only the lonely"... Brian (Graf Coloredo), on the Salzburg table, lacks any French company, yet...

Back in Innsbruck, I won the toss for the first initiative of Turn 2, but MacDoanld won the toss for the next turn and that allowed MacDonald's Chasseurs to run down the end unit of my hightailing column. 

Tyrolean insurgents, hit in road column by regular Cavalry... the outcome of THAT is going to be the same in just about any rules set - three automatic Morale levels lost in the first round of melee, three Morale checks to pass, needing an 9+ on a D10 each time, roll until you pass - at best the odds of passing were 1%. With six Morale levels lost, the unit was dispersed, with just a fading Yodel remaining of them. Fortunately, their military value was very low anyway. Perhaps their loss would inspire the Tyrol to rise in rebellion yet again? 

One of the most tense moments in a Campaign in a Day event is arriving on a new table. Firstly, you have no real idea which of the 17 tables it is going to be. Secondly, you have no real idea what you will find there!  In this case, my arrival was onto the Villach table, where I found Albert Gyulai's Division (Karl). Those are Jellacic's men in March Column on the right of the picture. Gyulai's troops explained they had poked their noses onto the Tarvis table ( grey road exit off the right upper corner of the picture), and had seen 3 Divisions of French headed their way. FML Frimont's Reserve Division (Russ) was left to guard the exit from Tarvis to Villach, with orders to delay the French as long as possible, to allow the continued raising of the local Landwehr and the distant Hungarian Insurrectio. 

Only when you are actually on a given table can you see the "Table Map that tells you where you are and where the various roads lead!

The Long White Line.  Erzherzog Johann makes a brief appearance at Villach and directs Gyulai and Jellacic to proceed post haste to Klagenfurt, and set up a defensive position there. 

The poker chips are dropped to show the history of our maneuvers, and are discoverable by the enemy. Gyulai has moved into the deployment zone, headed to Klagenfurt, My men are burning shoe leather to follow closely behind - French troops entering from Tarvis (grey road to the right) would be potentially catastrophic at this juncture!

My old nemesis, MacDonald (James), evidently had orders to move on Salzburg! Outnumbered, Graf Coloredo (Brian) struggles to establish a coherent defensive position. 

Back at Tarvis, Austrian FML Frimont (Russ) prepares his delaying action. Sahuc's  (Caleb) cavalry are sweeping to the right and left of his positions, however. 

Austrian troops are visible mustering here... wherever "here" is!

Table map - "K is for "Klagenfurt"!

A Gyulai's troops have arrived and are marching for the fortress, with Jellacic's Division in their Deployment Zone from Villach, awaiting their turn to debauch. 

On a table, far, far away, a French command emerges from a Deployment zone... and finds a village garrisoned by the local Landwehr. They should be easy pickings for the veteran Frenchmen attacking them.

But here come the Good Guys... an Austrian Division arrives from a different road. "Take heart, Men of Laibach!" 

Gyulai and I establish our defensive positions at Klagenfurt... which looks more than a bit thin!

Heartened by the arrival of friends, the Landwehr garrison has repulsed the French assault with losses. The French now have more important things to worry about than some country bumpkin rabble in a ramshackle village!

Meanwhile, back at Salzburg, MacDonald is in hot pursuit of his baton as he engages Coloredo.

Brian and James will battle for about 2 hours, with MacDonald (James) gradually gaining the upper hand. 

Meanwhile, back at Tarvis, FML Frimont (Russ) grimly faces down Pacthod (Mark), Durutte (Maureen), and Sahuc's cavalry (Caleb). 

A horde of Frenchmen are marching... from somewhere, to... somewhere else!

they arrive... somewhere else, finding some badly outnumbered Austrian defenders, who look rather nervous.

The French have crossed the Isonzo!

An Austrian Division - perhaps Mescery - on the March. 

On the Tarvis table, the three French commands surround Frimont's "Reserve"... aka the Rearguard!

MacDonald and Coloredo continue to Duke (of Taranto) it out near Salzburg...

Austrian cavalry charge at ? Laibach!

Isolation on the Isonzo... those white-coats had better boogie while they still can?!

Meanwhile at Klagenfurt, Karl and I enjoy the three "W"'s... Wine, Women, und Wurst!

Austrians guarding the LOC to Klagenfurt at ? Kranz. Erzherzog Johann tells us we can call upon them as reserves if we need them. 

Austrians pull back from the Isonzo. The French seem oddly reticent to engage. Perhaps they need a change in their Orders to attack?

I would estimate this is the situation as of about 12:30 PM real time. Part 3 to follow soon!


  1. Very impressive, and I can feel the tension building. I'm looking forward to part three.

    1. At this point there are one on one battles going on at Salzburg and Laibach, and three on one battles at Tarvis and the Isonzo.

  2. Very Impressive..... Impressive......
    Shout out to Mark McL......

    1. Thanks, Ed. Mark is the consensus vote as the most skilled Snappy Nappy commander, other than perhaps Russ and Daniel.

  3. As am I. Minor engagements so far - mere skirmishes. Looking for a big battle around Klagenfurt, I think?

    1. The battles thus far aren't really all that small - at least a Division on a side.

  4. Excellent reading, Peter! Three on one should be no fun for Frimont at Tarvis.

    1. He did very well holding them off for almost 3 hrs game time!

  5. Hope you'll be able to post some of the written messages that were sent between players - that's always a good read....

    1. That will be coming last in the series, Dave.

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