Thursday, July 26, 2018

Snappy Nappy Campaign at Historicon, Part 1

    As noted in my first Historicon post, we set up the 12 tables for this game on Wednesday evening, with much help from Russ, Dan, Tim, Barry, and James. I then set up the troops on Thursday AM, and we were ready to start at 10 AM. While I had hoped to be able to assign commands and allow pre-game planning in advance like we usually do for our games in CT, it became apparent that was just not going to work. Thus, after a show of hands and some ticket collection etc, we assigned the various commands. Of all of the players, only James had experience with a Campaign in a Day event, and only John had ever played Snappy Nappy before as far as I know. The event was based upon the situation shortly after after the British landing at Lisbon at the end of April 1809.

CAST of  CHARACTERS (* = C-in-C)

Starting Location

William McH
Adam H

Matthew A
Ponte del Sol

John M
Sanchez (guerillas)*
Andy C
Tim G
Tim C
LaRomana (Suredo)
Zach G
Sam C

James S
Alex N
Oporto, Villa Real
Thomas N
Jesus R
Mark F
Latour Maubourg
Scott S
Jamie W
Ciudad Real

This meant allowing over an hour to assign the commands, give every one a short rules review on the Snappy Nappy rules and the Campaign system and objectives, allow everyone to find and deploy their troops, and then allow the three factions (British/Portuguese, French, and Spanish) to conference to develop their plans of campaign and write any initial messages. 

 Table "M" (for Madrid), 6 x 12 feet The city is the cluster of three buildings at the far left in the foreground; Damiel is the lone building to the far right. King Joseph's reserves are at Madrid, and Latour Mauborg's cavalry Corps, in 2 commands, is at Toledo ion the foreground. 

Umpire's Table Map for the event; as we had more table space than the reduced amount I was expecting, I was able to extend Table M another 2.5 feet south to include Daimiel and environs. 

The scenario for the event, as revised for Historicon based upon our earlier running of the event in Connecticut, is here on my blog. 

Table "E" (for Ezstramoz); Silviera (Harmon)'s Portuguese (heavily disguised as Brunswickers, as my friend James of the Avon Napoleonic Fellowship would say) are at Estramoz, and the great fortress of  Badajoz (upper left) on the Portuguese frontier with Spain. A few guerrillas can be seen hiding in the mountains as well! My substantial contingent of Minifigs Brunswickers probably haven't seen the tabletop in at least 20 years, so they were eager to show their mettle!

 Table "O" (for Oporto); Soult's main body is at Oporto (upper left), while the rest of his command, under the incompetent LaPisse, is at Villa Real (upper right). Apologies for the blurry shot!

Table "C" (for Ciudad Rodrigo). Both Ney (Jesus)and La Romana (Tim C)/Cienfuegos (Zach G) started off the tables; Ney entered at Zamora (lower left), whilst Tim's Spanish entered just top the West at Trabazos. Contact!!!! The fighting that started  hereon the next turn would literally last the rest of the game!

Table "L" (for Lisbon); note the British fleet!  Hill (Adam H) is in the foregound, deployed along the coastal road and ready to move North towards Soult, who is rather isolated at Oporto. Sir Arthur is deployed along the road through Santarem, from whence they could move top Coimbra (on table O), or Abrantes on Table H. 

 Table "F" (for nothing in particular, hah!). Plascemncia and Canaveral are in the foreground. South, across the Rio Tagus, are Caceres (upper right), and Madronera (upper left). Victor (Thomas, Maroon shirt) has moved from merida (Table G) through the narrow pass at La Boca de la Sierra [literally, The Mouth of the Mountains ). Meanwhile, half of Latour Mauborg's cavalry (Mark, red shirt) has taken advantage of their swift movement to already march from Toledo (Table M) to Madronera, by way of Talavera (Table T). 

Table "A" (for the fortress of Almeida [walled area in the right foreground]).
Beresford (Matt) and his authentic Portuguese, are seen marching through Guarda (left foreground), having entered Via Abrantes and Ponte del Sol on Table H.

Table R (once again for nothing in particular). Sebastiani's corps has left a strong garrison of some Badeners and guns at Ciudad Real, and the rest of his Corps, including the Elite Poles, is moving West along the road through Puebla de Don Rodrigo towards Casas de Don Pedro in the distance. The Rio Guadiana is to the left. 

The rapidly evolving situation on Table C - Ney's Corps (Jesus) is moving out of the Deployment zone near Zamora, while Pedro Sureda, Duque de La Romana (Tim C), is marching along the road between Tabazos and Braganca. 

Silviera's Portuguese (Brunswickers - Harmon), are seen moving through Badajoz (upper right) and Estramoz on Table E.

Soult (Alex, blue shirt) at Oporto gets paid a visit by British Cavalry scouting from Table L along the roads from Table L to Cabo Mondego (upper left), and Coimbra (in the ridges mid left). The French begin to react to the anticipated British attack. 

At Table H, Victor is moving West through Ponte del Sol (midground), while Latour Mauborg's cavalry is moving West from Membrio.  

British infantry and artillery  poised to advance from Table L (Lisbon) onto Table O (Oporto) behind their cavalry scouts. 

Back om Table C fighting has started between Ney and La Romana (Tim, dark green shirt). Meanwhile, the lead elements of Mortier's Corps (Scott) can just be seen entering the mid right table edge, along the Highway from Salamanca to Cabillas and Ciudad Rodrigo (fortress at the lower left, containing a scant garrison of ? Guerrillas. 

Off on Table G, some Spanish Militia have garrisoned Merida (pair of buildings in the near ground), whilst the wily Guerrilla commander (and Spanish C-in-C, thus also representing the Junta Central), Don Julio Sanchez, husbands his Guerillas and attends to his correspondence. 

On Table B (Valladoid), the rest of Mortier's Corps is seen strung out along the Highway from Torsedillas through Salamanca, and thence on to Cabillas (on Table C).

On Table A, Cienfuego's Spanish (Zach) are seen moving South through Macedo on towards Lumbrales. From there, two roads lead onto table C, one towards the fortress of Ciudad ROdrigo, and the other towards Vitigudino. At the same time Beresford's Portuguese are seen marching Southwest from through Meda and Guarda, with 2 infantry brigades moving on the fortress of Almeida. 

The bulk of Mortier's Corps (Scott) moving through Salamanca on Table B, waiting to arrive on the road to Cabillas on Table C. 

Only blurry Spanish garrisons and Portuguese (Brunswick) scouts remain on Table G (Merida).  

On Table R, Sebastiani (Jamie) is moving West , evidently headed towards Miajadas on Table G. 

Ney (Jesus, black shirt) advances West on Trabazos, where La Romana (Tim C)  has set up a defensive position . Mortier's (Scott, dark blue shirt) cavalry scouts report the road to Cabillas appears open. 

Table L (Lisbon). Well, blimey! Victor (Thomas) has arrived from the East along the roads from Corruche (table H), supported by Latour-Mauborg's half of the Reserve Cavalry! Wellesey  (Bill, medium blue shirt) and Hill  (Adam, black shirt) promptly recall their cavalry from Table O (Oporto), and reverse directions with their infantry and artillery. Lisbon (completely undefended cluster of three buildings near the ships) is in danger! If it falls, the British will lose beacoup victory points, and they and the Portuguese risk being out of Supply. Marechal Victor can almost taste his new title of Prince d' Lisbon!  Alarmed, Wellesey recalls Silviera (Harmon, grey jacket far left) and his Portuguese (Brunswickers), who arrive near Montemor, via Evora on Table E.

Back on Table C, Ney closes on La Romana (far ground), whilst new arrivals add their weight to the conflict!  The rest of Mortier's Corps are moving onto the table towards Cabillas. Meanwhile, Cienfuegos, La Romana's subordinate, enters from the West, moving on Ciudad Rodrigo and Vitgudino. Ney takes advantage of a brief lull to scribble a hurried update to King Joseph in far off Madrid. 

 Over at Table R, Venegas (Andy, black shirt) and his Spanish await events. 

Over at Table A, Bersford's Portuguese have marched at least some of their troops down the road from Murca towards Villa Real on Table O. 

Table B (valladoid) is now empty except minor French Garrisons at the key towns of Valladoid and Salamanca (each table has 2 key towns that count for victory points an d to establish supply lines). 

Table F is empty - not a garrison of either side to be found, nor even a Guerrilla! 
King Joseph is purported to have instructed his commanders to ensure that the supply lines along the "central valley" (Rio Tagus") were secured. That's the Tagus running down the center of the table. Hmm...

Just a small (? Portuguese) garrison remains to control Ponte del Sol on Table H.

back on table O, it's View Halloo! 
Marshal Soult (Alex), having responded to the appearance of the British cavalry, only to find them inexplicably "blink" back from whence they came, finds a new threat to his base of operations at Oprto, as Beresford's Portuguese descend upon him from the East, advancing along the roads to the towns of Villa Real (right) and Viseu (midground).  Lapisse's forces at Villa Real are fairly isolated from the rest of Soult's Corps. What's a Marshal to do?

Table E: Te fortress of Badajoz is firmly held by 2 Brunswick (Portuguese) infantry brigades and some artillery. 

Table T (for Talavera), renowned for its flat, mesa style hills, sees the arrival of myltiple forces. For the Spanish, the forces of General Cueva (Venegas' subordinate, played by Tim G) are seen along the road through Navalmoral, whilst the lead elements of Sebastiani's French (Jamie) are seen entering from Casas de Don Pedro on table R along the road to Belvis de Jara. Tal;avera is already occupied by the Spanuish of Geberals Cuesta and Zayas (Sam). 

Also on Table T, part of the cavalry Reserve under Milhaud (Played by James) enters from Table M (Madrid) at Torrigos!

General Cueva (Tim G) maneuvering near Navalmoral on Table T. 

Lapisse (Alex, blue shirt) and Bresford (Matt, olive shirt) battle it out with the much welcome assistance of  Snappy Nappy rules guru Dan (Orioles hat).

Soult's troops reverse march to support the beleaguered Lapisse (both played by Alex) on Table O. 

Sam (red shirt) looks on as Snappy Nappy Veteran James uses his French cavalry to try to defeat the Spanish mounted troops on Table T. 

Ney is battering la Romana's troops near Trabazos and Braganca on Table C. In the distance, Mortier and Cienfuegos advance towards one another. 

Ney is winning the Battle of Trabazos. 

The Battles of Villa Real and Viseu on Table O. Can the Portuguese crush Lapisse before succour arrives from Soult?

Overview of Table O (Oporto).

Overview of Table C from the Southwest. Cienfuegos has garrisoned Ciudad Rodrigo with militia and  some artillery, while the rest of his command is marching on Vitigudino. 

Soult's men marching to the sound of the guns.

French cavalry grinding down their Spanish opponents near Torrijos on Table T.

Table C, with Ney (Jesus) and Mortier (Scott) to the left, Cienfuegos (Zach) to the right, and La Romana (Tim C) (hand to the lower right) all engaged now. 

The battles of Santarem and Ste Etevao on Table L (Lisbon); Wellesley (Bill, blue shirt), Victor (Thomas, Maroon shirt), Latour Mauborg (Mark, red shirt), and Hill (Adam, far left) all present, as well as...

Silviera's Portuguese [Brunswickers, Harmon, grey jacket).

Over at Table M, Madrid, King Joseph (James) is perturbed, if not necessarily alarmed,  to see a Spanish Corps under Venegas (Andy C) make its appearance at Daimiel.

View from the Royal Palace at Madrid...

The situation near Talavera on Table T; the Spanish cavalry have been defeated by the better mounted and trained French, but there is little they can do against  the Spanish infantry of Zayas (Sam) holding Talavera itself. 

  It is probably about 1 PM Lancaster time now.  At this point we now have forces in conflict on tables M (Madrid), T (Talavera),  C (Ciudad Rodrigo), O (Oporto), and L (Lisbon). Typical for a Snappy Nappy Campaign in a Day event! 


  1. Quite an impressive undertaking, Peter!

    1. This was a LOT of work (no surprise); it would have been impossible without lots of help, which I got. I did NOT count on the long walk to carry it all in despite being on site. Firtunately the event went very well, and inspired some others to think about running something like it back home.

  2. Great big undertaking,lots of logistical fun!
    Best Iain

    1. We had some logistics in the campaign (coming up shortly), but the logistics of running the event were formidable! Many of the participants asked me to run another at Historicon in 2019; I guarantee that is NOT happening next year for sure; I need to see the new venue and the hows and whys of loading and unloading before I would consider doing it again in 202 or later!

  3. I do enjoy these posts and hope to see more of this campaign. On small point - the pics don't enlarge when you click on them - in fact they are rather reduced in size. Is it possible to amend that?

    1. Thanks! I took over 150 (!) photos of this event. In order to speed processing (and not excessively deplete my free photo allowance for storage) I made them smaller files than usual when I sent them from my i-phone. That does effect image quality to a degree, and is probably why they don't enlarge when clicked on. I have to say that I think it impacted image quality more than I would like, so I probably won't do this again. I do still have the originals, and I may try to include some less reduced pictures in the subsequent posts onj this event.

    2. I'd certainly like to see those! There seems to be a lot of action all over the theatre of war in this campaign, and the issue still in doubt. I don't recall the earlier version having quite the same ... erm ... volatility!

    3. This event played out very differently from the first. Partly tweaks to the scenario, partly different players.

      Maybe I'll try for some better quality "highlight" pictures in a wrap up post. As it is, it takes me several hours to put together one of these posts! :-)

  4. A great report Peter, and you can feel the tension building as you read through it. Zayas is my favourite Spanish general as he always seemed to me to be one of the few to have properly invested in training and preparation, so it will be interesting to see how well he goes here.

    1. Thanks, Lawrence; Zayas will have an important role to play.... along with many others!

  5. Wait there are ship models and no close up pictures! Heresy! ;) Looks like a fantastic event Peter, a lot of fun I bet!

    1. The ship models are wooden ones from a Dollar store that Ken Baggaley gifted to me maybe 10 years ago - cloth sails, thread rigging, on wooden bases. They don't have guns or gun ports. They could easily be "de-based" and some details/repainting added. Maybe some day!
      The event was a lot of fun. Many players commenetd that the time flew by!

  6. Quite an impressive undertaking, Peter. Looked great!

    1. Thanks so much, Edgar. It would have been impossible without all the help from James, Greg, Tim, Barry, Russ, and Dan!
      You should come to one of these when we run them in Manchester; they're unique!

  7. Replies
    1. I'm glad you enjoyed it! I thought you played very well, and the fact that you and Tim held Talvera and thus put Victor and Latour-Mauborg Out of Supply was a key factor in the game. If you have the chance to do a brief write up of your experience as Zayas, that would be great!

  8. I think that my question is already answered by your replies above; was this your biggest one of these to date Peter--an by a 'country mile'?
    Assuming that and adding in all the novice players, no wonder you were busy--accounts for the few fuzzy photos--you must have had to run between the tables! A truly monumental effort by your good self. I trust that players and organisers appreciate the supreme effort that you make in the months leading up to and then at the convention?!!
    We get to sit quitely in front of our screens and enjoy the result.
    You are a gem.

  9. The number of troops and players was actually probably somewhat less than our 100 Days event... but there we really had too many troops for the table size. Experience over time has taught that less troops (and more players!) are better, especially with the smaller, 4 x 6 foot tables. However, in this case, I was bringing ALL of the troops, and 95% of the terrain, so in that sense it was easily the biggest from my perspective!
    As for photos, yes I dash somewhat manically between tables snapping photos, and thus there is little time to pay attention to composition, and the hands can be a bit jittery! :-)

    We are talking about what event to run (locally) in 2019, may be a War of the Roses affair run by another gamer. James suggested that if there isn't time enough to out that together, that we tune up and re- run a prior event, or "Then of course, there's always Peter's inexhaustible energy to burn off for some new might[y] endeavor, which is just fine too, lol."

    Reminds me of Tim's comment when he saw the scope of what I had planned in terms of maps, tables, troops and terrain... "He's a nutter!" :-)