Sunday, April 30, 2017

May 1809 Snappy Nappy Campaign in Inner Austria: Donner und Blitzen!

We pick up the narrative of the campaign in a Day fought at The portal in Manchester, CT a week ago with a review of the situation across the theater...

On the Tarvis table, Frimont (Russ) is getting swarmed by Pacthod (Russ), Durutte (Mauren), and Sahuc (Caleb). However, no French troops are moving on to Villach and beyond.

At Salzburg, MacDonald (James) and Coloredo (Brian) continue to battle, with Coloredo gradually getting the worst of it.

The battle of Laibach continues as well between Marmont (Richard Hammer) and GM Stowchewich (Mike Carlin). Marmont is also in search of his Marshal's Baton. Both Richard and Mike were walk ons, and thus not familiar with the rules. Their participation added a lot to the game! Thanks for coming and playing, guys!

Back at the Isonzo crossings, FML Hadik (Kaz, teal shirt) is pulling back in the face of the advance of three French Divisions... GD Rusca (Vic Grigoire, next to Kaz), GD Fontanelli's Italians (Jim Carmody, white jacket), and Pully's Dragoon Division (Herb Soderberg).

I understand that the battle of Tarvis was notable for charmed dice on the part of Russ, and cursed dice by Maureen, Mark, and Caleb (preparing to throw another "1" here).

Fighting at Laibach...

It seemed to me that Marmont was gradually gaining the upper hand here, but I could be wrong, as I was basically taking pictures on the fly. 

Stowchewich's troops seem spread out...

but he is actually preparing a flank attack by his elite Hussars, supported (?) by some Landwehr infantry.

Pully's (Jim) Dragoon Division on the  march on the Isonzo table. 

Still MORE French are crossing the Isonzo. Holy Hapsburgs, Hadik!  

The cloth square is the Deployment Zone to the Villach table, and perhaps some degree of safety for the remnants of Frimont... but it isn't looking likely that they will be getting there any time soon, does it?

The rest of the French army at Tarvis. There was in fact a historical battle of Tarvis in May 1809, which I actually ran (using the Field of Battle rules by Brent Oman) at Historicon 2010. The real Battle of Tarvis was just as desperate - the victory conditions for the Austrians at my game were not to collapse. They eked out a (technical) win by having one cavalry battery left and passing a couple of Army Morale rolls!

At Salzburg, Coloredo is gradually crumbling before the onslaught of MacDonalds men. Each ring represents a lost Morale level. I know ERuss and Dan prefer the added "fog of war" of the Rosters, but James and  I prefer the much faster play (an quick overview of the situation) using the rings. 

Situation on the Isonzo. This action seemed to move very slowly, perhaps because of the four players, only Jim had played Snappy nappy before.

Mac Donald makes even more progress against Coloredo, but his losses are starting to pile up as well. 

Mike and Richard discuss a fine point of the rules at Laibach. Karl, Dan, and I assisted them as able (Karl and I were basically cooling our heels at Klagenfurt for about 2 hours... whichwas OK as it allowed me to take a lot of pictures, and also peruse the great stock of games for sale at The Portal!)

Overview of the Battle of Laibach.

FML Mescery's (Marty Fenelon) Austrian strategic reserve Division at ? Marburg.

Languid evolution of the situation on the Isonzo table. After a while I encouraged the players to pick the pace up; in a Campaign in a Day, one truly learns the meaning of Napoleon's maxim “Strategy is the art of making use of time and space. I am less concerned about the latter than the former. Space we can recover, lost time never.”

At Salzburg, Coloredo's forces are severely battered, and he begins trying to break off contact with MacDonald... whose men have been hard hit as well, but have lost almost no units completely.

Austrian garrison behind the walls of a Fortress on a quiet table... somewhere!

Amazingly, Frimont is still hanging on at Tarvis, but with the French infantry finally closing in as well, the end cannot be far off!

A lone Austrian Landwehr unit garrisons Kranj, to the rear of our position at Klagenfurt.

Speaking of Klagenfurt, everything remains quite there. Jellacic and Albert Gyulai continue to enjoy the wine, women. The longer it takes the enemy to arrive, the more reinforcements the Austyians are likely to receive, albeit low quality Landwehr and Hungarian Insurrectio units.

Speaking of the Insurrectio...

it is none other than Erzherzog Josef, Palatione of Hungary, arriving in the theater at the head of the first draft of of the Ban of Hungary!

A quite Austrian fortress, with token garrison; I believe this is Zagreb.

They are anything but laid back at Laibach - Marmont appears to be pushing back Stowechevich progressively.

All is still quiet back at Laibach, a lone Austrian regiment deposited in the town by Frimont at the start of the game being the only forces present... so far!

A mass of French infantry storming forward along the Tarvis - Villach road... the jig is nearly up for Frimont!

Another lonely Austrian garrison. But what is Erzherzog Johann doing here?  Maybe he is organizing the local Landwehr to bring more badly needed, if still bad, troops to bolster the Hapsburg cause?

The grim situation at Tarvis is clear in this "period lithograph"...

Colotredo's command is near complete disintegration at Salzburg... with MacDoanld starting to feel the Baton in his knapsack already! 

But wait... Is that thunder I hear in the Carinthian Alps, or... do I hear hoofbeats?
Cue The Light Cavalry Overture, Maestro!

Erzherzog Josef arrives at Salzburg at the head of the Hungarian Insurrectio! 

And not a moment too soon (in fact, darn near a moment too late, but you must cut up quite a few apples to make a fine Apfelstrudel, no?).

Where has Viceroy Eugene been in all of this... we have hardly heard a peep from him. Well, here he is with GD Seras at the head of the Italian Royal Guard, headed... somewhere!

The ride of the Insurrectio! Remember those uniforms, for their like will not be seen again in Europe after this Spring.

No such Deus ex equo  for Frimont, though - he has all the horses he can handle already!

The ebb and flow continues around Laibach.

Sacre nom de Dieu! Has it taken 3 hours to chase Hadik away from the Isonzo? Must have been the pizza!

It looks like some reinforcements have arrived for Mescery at Marburg as well!

Farewell Isonzo, we knew ye well!  but where are they off TO??

Rusca's Division will move much faster once the last Austrians are off the table!

To Laibach, it seems. A manuevere sure les Derrieres of Marmont. A Dalmatian Sandwich, as it were. Not clear who's gonna get laid here!

Back at the Isonzo, GM Daniel clarifies some points about the rules. 

The Hungarian Insurrectio infantry joins the party at Salzburg!

Ça suffit! says Macdonald, as he begins his retreat back to Inssbruck. Go team Austria!

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!