Sunday, May 19, 2019

1814 Campaign in a Day: The GM's report

Snappy Nappy: 1814 Campaign in a Day
La Patrie en Danger!
by Russ Lockwood

As umpire of the Snappy Nappy 1814 Campaign in a Day, you'd think I would possess omniscient knowledge of who went where, when, and how. All I'd need is the why.

Not so.

With 20, yes 20, players to track on 14, yes, 14 tables, I assure you that walking out of The Portal -- a magnificent game store on Hilliard St. in Manchester, CT -- I had very little idea of exactly how the campaign played out between the 11:15am start time and the 4:45pm end time on the 29th of April.
Oh, I knew who 'won' because I saw the final moments play out on the 'Paris' table and I gave a short debrief of starting positions, but the commanders regaled me and the others with feats and defeats of derring do.

Fortunately, many sent their own After Action Reports (AARs) to me so I could compile at least a basic understanding of maneuvers and battles. I collected as many of the messages sent during the campaign as possible, which helped me as well.


First: 1,814 Expressions of Appreciation

Many thanks to The Portal's manager for allowing us to reserve the back room for the day. Sure, it's good business and so forth, but everyone has been nice over the years. Thanks also goes to Jake for opening up early on Sunday morning so we could set up. Those extra two hours are necessary so we could start around 11am and end at around 5pm.

A big thanks to Dan for supplying most of the miniatures, labeling them, and helping check, double-check, and triple-check my rosters. Every commander got the right 15mm troops. If I had to guess, 20 players times an average of eight units each would be about 160 units, with most units of two stands each and averaging three or four figures per stand, means 320 stands * 3 figs (or 4) = 960 (or 1280) figures crisscrossing the tabletops.

More thanks to James, Peter, Greg, Mark, Karl, and Dan for volunteering to bring terrain and helping set up. The campaign had 14 4x6-foot tables for 336 square feet. Some of the tables had nice Portal-supplied mousepad mats as a base, but most were sci-fi-ish and needed a more appropriate green base for an 1814 game. Hills, rivers, towns, and so forth were added to make functional tabletops.
Finally, another huge thanks to Mark for being my co-umpire. An extra set of hands, eyes, and rulings helped speed the game along. Believe you me, transferring one commander's troops from one table to another takes time. When you have 20 players clamoring for attention in a delicious sort of tabletop bedlam, er, fog of war, and with all messages between commanders battling on different tables going through the umpire, another umpire really helps. Thankfully, he even corrected my own mental errors as the day wore on and fatigue shifted the fog of war from the tabletop into my fuzzy memory. Truly an excellent effort! And, since armies and gamers travel on their stomachs, he even supplied the pizza. A double excellent effort!

Finally, thanks to the gamers who battled all day. Some were local, others within an hour or two, but one drove three plus hours and one flew in from the San Francisco area.


The Campaign Set Up: La Patrie en Danger!

In January of 1814, the 300,000 troops of the Armies of Silesia and Bohemia flowed over the frontiers and into France, chasing the battered remnants of Napoleon's army. Outnumbered and outgunned, Napoleon yet believed his fortunes could change.
Behind the scenes, diplomats negotiated the fate of the Emperor and his Empire. Spain teetered on accepting a peace that would secure France's southwestern border and end the British offensive over the Pyrenees. Meanwhile, the Austrians, Prussians, and Russians squabbled even as Schwarzenberg, Blucher, and Alexander pursued their not yet vanquished foe.

Partial Overview of the Miniatures Room at The Portal prior to the start of the game...


A New Grand Armee

Napoleon issued new orders to call up troops -- 936,000 conscripts to fill out decimated units, 150,000 National Guardsmen, and recalling old veterans to the colors. He counted on an upswell of French patriotism to help toss the foreign troops out of France. With a battlefield victory or two, Napoleon would once again be in a position of strength when it came to negotiate another peace.
History, however, would find only an estimated 120,000 conscripts who answered the call. Even these were whittled down -- from attrition to sending them to other parts of the threatened frontier. Meanwhile, the Allies continued to grind forward with reinforcements of their own. Despite attrition and garrisons, 200,000 Allied troops faced off against only 70,000 French troops at the start of the campaign.


What If? Balance of a Sorts

A 3:1 ratio would make for an accurate campaign game, if a lopsided one. So, I started tinkering, beginning with a what-if supposition: Napoleon's call to arms resulted in more troops flocking to the colors. Instead of a 3:1 ratio, the new troops brought that down to about 1.25 to 1 ratio. The Allies fielded 12 corps, although one was only half sized, versus the French's 10 corps, although one was one-third sized, so call it 11.5 to 9.3.
The Allied army had more troops, but also the propensity for more traffic jams. The French are still outnumbered, just not as badly as history, and maintain the central position. It's still a challenge for the French, but they have interior lines and might be able to pull off what Napoleon did historically -- isolate and beat up individual corps.


Troop Quality

That took care of quantity. As for quality, here came the scenario balancing factor. The Imperial Guard should be big and tough, so three of the nine units were rated Guard, four of the units Elite, one Veteran, and one Seasoned. Why the humble Seasoned unit? It's not particularly supposed to be in there, but it represented Napoleon's reputation and the player could use this middlin' unit as a bluff.
The Young Guard under Ney had a little bit of punch, but with much of it being newly raised, was less of a threat than it had once been. Of the eight units, two Elite, three Veteran, two Seasoned, and one Conscript. It probably should be reduced in quality, but I used the What-If stretch to leaven it with returning-to-colors troops who would be swayed by being in the 'Guard.'
As for the other French corps, they were a varied mix of Veteran, Seasoned, and Conscript for the most part, usually with one Elite unit to give it some backbone and sometimes with a Militia-class unit that was hurriedly pressed into service.
I admit to being pleased when some players, confronted with an 1814 French army instead of 1803-1809 one, seemed to gag on the troop quality. The whole point of a Campaign in a Day is to make the players think on their feet, weighing risks and rewards.
As for the Allies, most corps were as mixed and varied as the French corps. The Austrians generally had a little better cavalry quality. One exception was the Russian Grenadier Corps, which was close to being on par with the French Imperial Guard, but only with half as many units. It'd be a shame not to include the Allied version of a Guard force.


Fog of War: Tables and Terrain

I divided the area of the 1814 campaign into 14 tables. I originally had 12, but added two more in case a force wanted to swing wide to the north or to the south. All wargames sport an 'edge of the world' syndrome, but given space and time, the extra two tables were appropriate.
Multiple tables enhance fog of war. The geographically adjacent locations get scattered among the tables such that marching off one table edge does NOT move you to an adjacent table. It might be across the room. Sure, players will eventually figure it out and know at a glance who is on another table, but it is difficult sometimes to see through the other gamers on intervening tables.
Furthermore, the 'North' orientation of each table is spun, such that one table's 'north' faces the back wall of the room, while another table's north faces the window and another table's north faces the door.

Also, each player receives a map, but without the tables etched into it. This forces players to think about where they are going on the map, say, from town to town, instead of table to table. Again, they can and do figure it out, but it takes time. Besides, when they battle with enemy on a table, all other considerations fall by the wayside.

Additionally, and this was important to throw off the grognards that know every nook and cranny of 1814 France, I rotated the tables 45 degrees off north from the player map. This adds just that little extra confusion to boost fog of war and encourage players to consider positions on the map, not on a table. Successful Snappy Nappy commanders learn to maneuver from town to town, not table to table.
I also purposely placed primary roads on one table that exited to non-roads on another table, or visa-versa. Good commanders could find a way around traffic jams.
That said, in an error on my part, I forgot to put a road that was on one tabletop into the map. I would like to think I was quite clever to do so and increase the fog of war, but to 'fess up, it was an error. Sure enough, the Austrian commander who found the error labeled it The Yellow Brick Road and kept referring to Paris as The Emerald City.

I also had a road on the map that did not appear on the tabletop. That was my bad, too, for each table had a small inset map and I forgot to put the road on that. My bad.

As for player interaction, if the gamers' command figures were on the same table, they could speak to one another without restriction. If not, they would send messages through the umpire. As I noted in the pre-game briefing, my watch was the official time piece. Ideally, I held the messages for 10 minutes, then delivered them. During the chaos of the campaign, this could stretch out to 15 minutes, although I often handed them over after nine minutes if I was delivering other messages.
In one gaffe, a message was stuck inside my pocket and was not delivered for 31 minutes. When I handed the message over to Blucher, I told him the courier had been delayed by rivers filled with crocodiles.
"French crocodiles?" he scoffed.
"The worst type!"

Finally, I included some commanders not in the historical 1814 campaign to provide grognards a whiff of uncertainty about the forces involved.
Basically, the more I can do to obscure player perceptions and grognard preconceived perceptions, the better the 'simulation' of commanding 19th century troops becomes.


Here are all the table maps

















Here's how they all fit together... more or less


Set Up: France

The Emperor arrived at Chateau Thierry last night to rejoin his Imperial Guard. His army, outnumbered three to one by the end of 1813, now stood upon more even odds. His own army was augmented by recalled veterans to the colors, new conscripts, his last reserve of National Guard troops, and an Italian corps sent by Murat, the King of Naples. The Grand Armee may not be as grand as it once was, but it remained a potent force, and generally deployed in an arc to protect Paris.
Napoleon gained a little breathing room by disengaging from the Allied forces, which allowed the reinforcements to be integrated, but also gave the enemy time to reorganize. Napoleon could only guess where the Allied corps are located, but reports put Blucher in the general vicinity of Verdun and Schwarzenberg in the general vicinity of Chaumont.
As for his own forces, he needed to ensure the safety of Paris – Allied troops marching down the boulevards would be his downfall. He also needed to maintain control over as large a swath of French countryside as he could. Finally, he had to somehow eviscerate the enemy force and convince them to negotiate for a political treaty that kept him in power and maintained French frontiers ... and maybe a little extra.
French corps: Imperial Guard – Mortier and Napoleon (Chateau Thierry); Young Guard – Ney (Troyes); II Corps – Durette (Arcis Aube); VI Corp – LaMarque (Chalons); IX Corps – MacDonald (Leon); XI Corp – Fontanelli (Fontainbleu), VII Corps - Oudinot (Reims), XVI Corps - Pully (Nangis), and Pacthod (Paris). Rusca (Sens) was a tiny 'garrison' corps of three units.


Set Up: Allies

Blucher and Schwarzenberg could sense the end of the chase that had started after Leipzig. Sheer Allied numerical advantage bundled the French across the Rhine. The two were little inclined to grant peace terms, even if rumblings were heard about that Corsican ogre rebuilding his army yet again and attrition nipped at their own armies as they advanced into France -- Blucher in the general vicinity of Verdun and Schwarzenberg in the general vicinity of Chaumont.
Napoleon, last heard of in Paris, finally managed to retreat his armies fast enough and far enough to break contact with the Prussian, Russian, and Austrian troops. The good news about this lull was that reinforcements could be brought up. The bad news was that the French could be anywhere between the Allies and Paris. Best guess was a protective arc of French around Paris.
Five days of heavy rain turned the generally flat ground into muddy fields and turned the secondary roads into quagmires. The main roads were in passable shape, some more so than others and the sun was drying out the land. So far, the French civilians seemed unmoved to offer any resistance. How long that would last was anyone’s guess, but probably dependent on the depredations of the troops and the fate of combat.
As for the Allies, the ultimate goal was Paris. March down the main boulevards and Napoleon would be finished. Otherwise, keep squeezing the French, capturing more and more ground to deny the ogre the men, taxes, food, and anything else needed to support his armies.
Prussian corps: 6th Russian Corp – Jellacic and Blucher (Verdun); Russian 9th Corp -- Olssuliev (St Mihiel); 10th Russian Corp – Tuchkov (Clarmont); 11th Russian Corp – Lieven (Dun); Prussian 1st Corp – Yorck (Mezieres); 2nd Prussian Corp – Kleist (Stenay).
Austrian corps: Grenadier Corp – Uvarov and Schwarzenberg (Chaumont); 1st Austrian Corp – Colleredo (Musey); 5th Bavarian Corp – Wolfskeel (Joinville); 3rd Austrian Corp – Gyulai (Chaumont); 4th Wurttenberg Corp – Davidovitch (Bar sur Aube); 6th Combined Corp – Wittgenstein (SE of Musey).

All players had to set up within 12 inches of the town listed. The troops could be in any formation.
So the battle was set. Paring down the historical 3:1 superiority to 1.25 to 1 proved to be a good compromise that still gave the Allies the numerical advantage, but not overwhelmingly so as to spoil a good Campaign in a Day game.


Coordinated First and Second Turns

One key component of Snappy Nappy is that EACH table runs its own sequence of play. There is no attempt to coordinate turns across all those tables EXCEPT for the first two turns.
Why the first two?
Because when I say "Start Turn One," half the players scream they want to go onto another table. Fair enough, but I can't sprint fast enough to do so in real time. So, the first two turns are coordinated to a single game-wide turn sequence so I can move forces around the tables without any player feeling gypped of a move.
This also allows new players to employ the turn sequence and figure out how to move. Yes, I know, people should know how to read a movement chart and measure inches with a ruler, but it makes them look and offers time to react to forces coming onto their table or seeing their forces appear on a new table.


Deployment Zones

This rule, created by James, is a rule I wish I had thought up. When a force exits a table, it enters a different table and the troop stands are placed in a Deployment Zone in any formation and facing desired.
Here, they are safe: they cannot attack out nor be attacked. The newly arriving units join the table’s current turn sequence, BUT only move after the opponent has had a full normal move phase. Once that happens, the safety factor is gone, the arriving units either enter the table OR return to the table they came from.
And no ping-ponging back and forth. A force gets one shot at bouncing back to the original table. If it was fleeing the enemy, it must face the music on one table or another.
If one force exits a table and collides 'off table' with an enemy force that exited the other table, the larger force pushes back the smaller force and pops into the Deployment Zone. The smaller force gets to set up a defense and its one move before the larger force can exit the Deployment Zone. Ties are decided by die roll.
Anything else would be adjudicated on a case by case basis.
As for the campaign, here is the recap of corps movement as best as I can discern from the messages and various AARs. Any errors are my own.


More Info About Snappy Nappy

You can find a full recap of the Snappy Nappy 1814 Campaign in a Day, as well as previous Snappy Nappy Campaigns in a Day,  [here] at Peter's Blunders on the Danube blog.
You can find a full 10+ years of Snappy Nappy discussions, modifications, errata, and more at Alan's Snappy Nappy Yahoo group.
You can find an independent review of Snappy Nappy and its use in a multi-table Marengo Campaign in a Day at Little Wars TV. Snappy Nappy is available from On Military Matters in the US. 


The Campaign: Umpire Recap

The Allied plan envisioned Blucher's forces to wheel from Verdun through Laon and onto Paris, with secondary thrusts to pin the French in their central position. Meanwhile, Schwarzenberg's forces would head along the Seine River to Paris, also with secondary thrusts to pin the French into their central position. On paper, it looked like a double envelopment.
Napoleon re-organized the command structure of his army from the start. He formed a right wing grand division under Ney at Troyes in the SE, and a left wing under Oudinot at Rheims in the NE. He sent them each a second corps under another player to act as their subordinate. La Marque went forward to find, and most importantly, fix the allies in the center. Napoleon kept command of the other corps, presumably to reinforce success and avert failure.


Northern Battles

Yorck and Kleist advanced generally westward until meeting Oudinot advancing into Rethel and MacDonald advancing into Vervines. Lieven joined the Battle of Rethel. A running battle eventually forced the French back, MacDonald withdrawing to Laon and Oudinot to Reims.
MacDonald held Laon for a while, but was forced to fall back across the river to Soissons, which fell to the Allies. MacDonald tried to escape, but was caught and destroyed in between Soissons and Villiers.
Oudinot joined the Battle of Chalons, withdrew back to Reims, and then withdrew back for the defense of Paris.


Central Battles

Meanwhile, the French sent just enough troops under La Marque into the Deployment Zone to push Tuchkov's forces back to their starting spot around St. Menhould. There the two battled with a ferocity over the bridge at St. Menhould, with the Russians first losing, then retaking the village. French and Allied cannon thundered across the River Aisne, causing casualties and routs in hot action.

Blucher led Jellacic's Corps to support Tuchkov while Olussiev's Corps swung eastwards and used Blucher's pontoon bridge to outflank La Marque. However, instead of diving for La Marque, Olussiev exited the table and swung to Vitry, ultimately joining in the Battle of Chalons.
In the extended Battle of St. Menhould, La Marque fell wounded and was taken from the battlefield. Then, his troops faltered, failing morale rolls with abandon. The French corps retreated, hotly pursued by Jellacic.

What of Tuchkov? Alas, he too fell and was buried at St. Menhould. His troops, under a hastily promoted leader, headed west in the wake of successful Allied attacks until he joined in the Battle of Reims. Success propelled what was left towards Paris, but the remnants of the corps fell within sight of the French capital.

Still, a wide variety of Allied and French corps converged on the hub of Chalons for a large battle in and around the village. A portion of the French Imperial Guard, left behind as a covering force and under command of Ney, fell as the Allies pushed towards Paris.


Southern Battles

Ney started at Troyes and tried to push eastward, only to be checked by Colleredo, who was in turn checked by Ney. Rusca formed a reserve at Nogent, then looped around to Arcis Aube. Ney, figuring the coast is clear, abandoned Troyes and headed directly to Arcis Aube.
The Battle of Arcis Aube pitted a determined Gyulai and Uvarov forcing a crossing against Ney over the Marne River. Despite an initial bloody repulse, Gyulai persevered, aided by the timely arrival of Colleredo, who used the Austrian pontoon bridge to cross the Aube. Ney, retreated back to Troyes.
Right at this moment, Durette arrived in a pincer movement at Summersous, but seeing additional Allied forces arrive, fell back towards Chalons. The Allies pressed towards Troyes.


Back Door to Paris

Enter Wittgenstein, who, directed by Schwarzenberg, fortuitously timed his movements to sidestep the enemy along a southern route. Apparently, just as Ney and Rusca left the Troyes area, Wittgenstein arrived and exited to Fontainbleu before any French returned to Troyes area. From Fontainbleu, also empty of French units, it was a short march to another empty area and then a quick march to Paris! Try doing that with players grouped around one table. Ah, the fog of war.
Although Pacthod started in Paris, he headed via Meaux to Vauchamps and then Chalons. He withdrew back to Laon to aid MacDonald and battle the Prussian and Russian tide coming through Laon.

Cleverly for the French, Fontanelli was at Vauchamps when ordered back to Paris and he battled Wittgenstein.


Battle of Paris

At this point, it seemed half the corps converged on Paris by various routes and began the final battle. Wittgenstein initially battled Fontanelli. Rusca's tiny corps raced to help Fontanelli. Napoleon and the Guard arrived. Pacthod arrived. Oudinot arrived. More French came to the capital's defense. Then Russian and Prussian corps arrived.
And yet it was first come, first served. Wittgenstein stormed the fortress protecting the city, captured it, and no French were around to do anything about it. Only some cavalry were shoved in to defend the city proper (albeit cavalry cannot melee in cities).

The scene late in the day, shortly before the Armistice is declared..,.


The Armistice

Independently of the Paris battle, the marshals of France at Chalons called for a halt to the Battle of Chalons. Napoleon saw the Allied troops on the battlements, heard about the truce at Chalons, and decided to call for an armistice.


The Debrief

As I noted, the game started at 11:15am. Indeed, the first message was sent off at 11:16! The Chalons truce was at 4:33pm, and Napoleon called for an armistice at 4:45. I had set a 5:00 end time, so the Campaign in a Day ended on time -- and with a complete resolution with the fall of Paris (technically, the fortress outside it, but rather close enough).

With fatigue gnawing at me, my debrief was rather brief. I let the players explain enthusiastically about their movements and battles.

Also, let me praise Mark for stepping in as Napoleon. He was supposed to be Ney, but our original Napoleon fell ill (he's much better now), and Mark stepped up. Sure, he got to run the Imperial Guard, but he also had to enact and conduct a strategy designed not only to keep the Allies out of Paris, but to keep as much of French territory as possible.

Actually, I had 19 players sign up in advance, but three (including Napoleon) sadly bowed out, leaving 16. Fortuitously, four players arrived on game day as walk-ins, providing me with 20.
I'm biased, but for me, this 20-player campaign in a day across 14 tables with all the chaos, fog of war, and die rolls of fate made for a great day of gaming. I noticed some problems, notably a road on a map that should have been on table but wasn't and a road that wasn't marked on the map but was on the table. As the day progressed and I got my steps in transferring players and troops from table to table and processing messages, I probably screwed up a ruling or two -- and I know my co-umpire Mark caught one of my mental lapses. My apologies for such errors. He did a great job as co-umpire and the campaign flowed smoothly all day because of his efforts.
Well done, all!


Corps Movements
by Russ Lockwood

The movement of corps, including major battles involved in, as best I can recreate from messages and after action reports.


FRENCH

PULLY start Nangis. To Vauchamps to Chalons, pinned towards Reims side, engaged and holding (although reported destroyed by Oudinot). Battle of Chalons.

NEY start Troyes. Probes to Arcis Aube. Austrians arrive at Troyes table, but withdraw. Heads to Musey holding off Wittgenstein in Troyes-Musey area, but switches roads and arrives at Chalons. Retreats back to Arcis Aube. Takes heavy losses and withdraws to Troyes. Battle of Arcis Aube.

OUDINOT start Reims. Arrives at Rethel, battles, withdraws to Reims. heads to Chalons, battles, and withdraws back to Reims. Heads to Paris. Battle of Reims.

MACDONALD start Laon. Went to Vervines, and withdraws to Laon, battles against Prussians. Falls back to Soissons. Battle of Laon.

PACTHOD Start Paris. Through Meaux to Vauchamps. To Chalons, then withdraws back to Laon to battle Prussians with MacDonald. Battle of Laon.

LAMARQUE Start Chalons. To St. Manhould with long battle with Russians and Prussians. LaMarque wounded and removed from campaign. Troops falter and retreat to Chalons. Chased to Vitry. Battle of St. Manhould and Battle of Chalons.

DURETTE Start Arcis Aube. Loops around to Chalons and then to Summersous, engages Austrians, and then withdraws to Chalons. Battle of Chalons.

FONTINELLI Start Fontainbleu. Advances to Vauchamps. Withdraws to Paris to meet Austrians. Defends Paris area, slowly falling back while slowly being whittled down. Battle of Paris.

NAPOLEON AND MORTIER Start Chateau Thierry. Marches to Chalons and battles Austrians. Heads back to Paris and tries to defend capital. Battle of Paris.

RUSCA start Sens. Moves to Nogent. On way to Brienne. Shows up at Arcis sur Aube. Heads back to Paris to defend capital. Battle of Paris.


ALLIES

KLEIST Start Stenay. Heads to Rethel and battles. Withdraws to Meziers. Advances to Rethel. Probes to Reims. Heads west to Soissons and battles. Battle of Laon.

COLLEREDO Start Musey. To Troyes and skirmishes. Withdraws and loops back through Bar sur Aube and Brienne to arrive at Lesmont and Arcis Aube. Battle of Arcis Aube.

GYULAI Start Chaumont. Heads through La Rothiere and Brienne to Lesmont and grinding battle around Arcis Aube. Battle of Arcis Aube.

UVAROV Start Chaumont. Follows Gyulai through La Rothiere and Brienne to Lesmont and grinding battle around Arcis Aube. Battle of Arcis Aube.

YORCK Start Meziers. Chases enemy through Vervines and heads to Laon. Battles enemy and goes through Soissons. Heads to Paris. Battle of Laon.

LIEVEN Start Dun. Marches through Stenay and Meziers. Engages at Rethel. Disengages and moves to Vervines and then to Laon. Battle of Rethel and Battle of Laon.

WOLFSKEEL Start Joinville. Marches and captures Bar le Duc. Advances to Vitry. Battles, then chases enemy to arrive at Lesmont and then Arcis sur Aube. Withdraws to Chalons. Advances to Reims. Battle of Chalons.

OLSSULIEV Start St. Mihiel. Advances through Verdun to Clarmont, then bypasses contested St. Menhould and uses pontoon bridge to cross Aisne River. Advances to Vitry. Pushes on to Chalons and then Reims. Battle of Chalons.

JELLACIC Start Verdun. Advances to support defense at St. Menhould, presses attack forward towards Chalons. Battle of St. Menhould and Battle of Chalons.

TUCHKOV Start Clarmont and immediately battles enemy at St. Menhould, holding river crossing. With enemy defeated and pushed backwards, remnants of corps advance to Reims and then joins battle for Paris. Battle of St. Menhould and Battle of Paris.

DAVIDOVITCH Start Bar sur Aube. Advances to Vitry and Chalons, engaging enemy. Battle of Chalons.

WITTGENSTEIN Start Musey area. To Troyes. Advances through Sens to Fontainbleu and up through Montetreu and then arrives at Paris and battles way to capital. Battle of Paris. Captures Paris!


Snappy Nappy 1814 Campaign in a Day Messages
by Russ Lockwood

First of all, I am grinning from ear to ear while typing up this compilation of handwritten messages passed between commanders, usually C-in-C to/from a sub commander. The swirl of combat mixed with confusion with time-delayed information is far different from the norm of everyone standing around the same table.
I retrieved all the messages I could, but I also suspect others may have been discarded or kept. Note these are in chronological order in which it was SENT. The messages were usually delivered 10 minutes later. Also note that my watch was the official timekeeper for the campaign, although many helpful commanders included their own time (which I didn't include to avoid confusion).
Remember that the campaign plays out in real time. Other than the first two turns, there is no coordination of the turn sequence between tables -- each table keeps its own. Sometimes, turns slow down due to intense battles. Sometimes, turns fly by with hardly anyone on a table.
Second, these messages help clear up who went where when. You'll find that players switch between naming a town or table (and sometimes both) when referring to positions. As for referring to a table, the C-in-Cs generally did not know (at first) which table held which towns. You can start to understand the confusion that swirls around a campaign just by reading the 'reports' contained in the messages. From my perspective as umpire, quite understandable when everything is being played out in real time.
Third, you can also begin to comprehend the confusion on the C-in-C side when messages come at all times and with all sorts of differing attention to detail. Whose units are killed -- allies or enemy? Who is this message from? Holding or moving? And so on.
It may help to consult one of the maps if you want to follow the action.

Schwarzenberg's Verbal Orders

Austrian C-in-C Schwarzenberg was kind enough to jot down orders he gave verbally to subcommanders at the same table. In Snappy Nappy, I allow players to talk freely as long as their command figures are on the same table. Alas, he did not note the time, so I placed the messages as best I could figure out.
My overall commentary after the messages...

MESSAGES
edited by Russ Lockwood

11:16 Schwarzenberg to Colleredo: From Musey, take road west. It may lead to Troyes as a short-cut. Report any enemy present. Otherwise, proceed to Paris as per original orders.

11:16 Kleist to Blucher: French corps has shown up on road to Rethel.

? Pully to Napoleon: Going to Table P. Objective Vauchamps.

11:18 Pully to Napoleon: Holding at Vauchamps. Orders?

11:20 Napoleon to Ney. Probe from Troyes to Arcis Aube. Emperor is moving to Chalons.

11:20? [Verbal order -- on same table] Colleredo to Schwarzenberg: Contacted Ney at Troyes. Unmarked road is indeed a short-cut from Musey to Toryes. Will move command to engage but may not have room to attack out of Troyes deployment zone.

11:20 Colleredo to Gyulai: French at Troyes. Go to La Rothiere - Brienne and go north to Table A. Then go west unless in contact. Engage unless outnumbered.

11:20 Napoleon to Oudinot: The Emperor is moving to Chalons.

11:20 Napoleon to Pacthod: Emperor is moving to Chalons.

11:20 MacDonald to Oudinot: No forces at Vervines -- all forces leaving. One unit of light cavalry leaving. I am alone. Do you want me to return or to continue to advance?

11:20 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Rethel (Table R). Yorck exiting to Table V with two cavalry, two artillery and four infantry. XI Russian Corps (Lieven) from south approaching Stenay on Table R with five infantry and one artillery. II Prussian Corps (Kleist) with two cavalry, one artillery, and five infantry heading through Meziers to either Rethel or following Yorck.

11:20 Pacthod to Napoleon: Can I travel through Nangis rather than Meaux?

11:20 Napoleon to Pacthod: Where are you? Are you in Paris? Any enemy nearby? If not, send some light cavalry to scout to south and southeast.

11:20 (Unknown. Ney?) to Napoleon: Austrians appeared at Troyes. Two cavalry, three infantry, one artillery.

11:20 Yorck to Blucher: Have seen two cavalry and one infantry unit on entering other side of Vercines.

11:20 Lieven to Blucher: Enemies (French), expected to be 7th or 8th Corps, coming near Rethel towards Meziers. Expected to approach Stenay. Moving to aid engagement.

11:20 Tuchkov to Kleist: Asked for reinforcement from Blucher. Told him Reims was clear. French have a facing corps. Will "harze" (engage?) and do what I can.

11:20 Yorck to Kleist: Have seen two cavalry and one infantry entering on the other side of Vervines.

11:26 Napoleon to LaMarque: The Emperor is marching to Chalons.

11:26 (LaMarque) to Napoleon: There are two Corps headed towards Chalons at Verdun table S. (Actually, this is unsigned, but LaMarque was the only commander to use thin red ink. Fontanelli used a thicker red marker)

11:26 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Rethel. Kleist is headed to Rethel. I will delay at Rethel and check on my front wing commander.

11:26 Wolfskeel to Schwarzenberg: Bar le Duc unoccupied.

11:32 MacDonald to Oudinot: Forces have arrived north. Advancing in Vervines. A lot of them. I am going to return to Laon.

11:33 Durette to Napoleon: Three Corps of Austrians on next map J.

11:36 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: No troops visible.

11:37 Wolfskeel to Schwarzenberg: Both Vitry and Chalons are unoccupied.

11:38 Ney to Napoleon: Austrian withdrew from Troyes. Three infantry, two cavalry, one artillery.

11:40 LaMarque to Napoleon: Engage at "Bride" (Brienne? Bar le Duc?). Troops behind me from Austria on Table C.

11:40 Napoleon to Ney: Four Austrian Corps at Brienne near Rothiere (Table J).

11:40 Ossuliev to Blucher: Will you support Tuchkov?

11:40 Napoleon to Oudinot: Four Austrian corps at Brienne and La Rothiere.

11:40 Yorck to Blucher: Enemy force has left Vervines area. I am entering Vervines.

11:43 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Rethel. Met MacDonald at Vervines (Table V) and he is withdrawing to Laon and will delay there (Table L). Yorck is approaching from Vervines and heading to Laon.

11:43 (LaMarque thin red ink) to Napoleon: There are now three corps on Table S Verdun.

11:43 (?) to Napoleon: Roughly two Austrian Corps on J.

11:43 Ney to Rusca. Hold at Nogent.

11:43 Ney to Durette: Two Austrian Corps at J.

11:43 Wolfskeel to Schwarzenberg: Napoleon at Chalons.

11:45 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: No troops visible in St. Dizier. On to Vitry.

11:49 Blucher to Yorck: Engage if Napoleon is not present. We are engaged at St. Menhould with one French Corps so far.

11:50 Fontanelli to Napoleon: L'Empereur. Fontanelli has reached Vauchamps as ordered. Do we hold here or move to Chalons?

11:52 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Rethel. Am holding Kleist and Russian Lieven (XI Corps) at Rethel. They are being cautious and have no pontoon train. Allies appear to only have one pontoon amongst themselves.

11:53 Kleist to Blucher: At Meziers. French VII Corps on table. Infantry and artillery facing me. Cavalry looks like it's going to leave back to where they came from. Yorck sent me message he saw two cavalry and one infantry, but they left. Will engage. Russian XI Corps on board.

11:53 Yorck to Blucher: One French corps present at Laon. Will engage as directed.

11:58 Pacthod to Napoleon: At Vauchamps with Fontaneli and Pully. Will move to Chalons and Hold and wait for orders.

12:00? [Verbal order -- on same table] Schwarzenberg to Wittgenstein: You are the new reserve. Gyulai will go to Arcis sur Aube. You will cordon off Troyes to prevent Ney from entering. Probe Troyes from Musey and threaten to tie Ney down.

12:00? [Verbal order -- on same table] Schwarzenberg to Colleredo: March back through Musey to Bar sur Aube to Arcis Aube to reinforce Gyulai.

12:00 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: Enemy spotted near Chalons.

12:03 Kleist to Blucher: At Meziers. French VII Corps is blocking force. Russian XI Corps should move off to Vervines and follow Prussian I Corps. Please instruct him to do so.

12:04 Ney to Napoleon: Advancing to J to pin remaining Austrian corps.

12:04 Colleredo to Davidovitch: Do you have any help? If not, read initial orders. I believe you should "demonstrate" but not engage. Attempt to leave if feasible unless you can get help. If supported, you may attack Napoleon.

12:05 Napoleon to Pacthod: March to Chalons (Table C) by most direct route.

12:05 Napoleon to Pacthod: Meet me at Chalons (Table C).

12:05 Ney to Napoleon: Am holding river line at Chalons. Two Austrian corps came from west.

12:05 Napoleon to LaMarque: Fighting two corps of Austrians at Chalons. Keep the enemy off my back or come to me.

12:05 Napoleon to Oudinot: Am holding river line at Chalons versus two Austrian corps. Shadow Yorck so he does not get behind me.

12:08 Napoleon to Fontanelli. Am fighting at Chalons (Table C). March to the sound of my guns.

12:10 LaMarque to Napoleon: Two units dismayed. Do not let them close from behind me.

12:10 Blucher to Yorck: Probe Laon. We have two corps at Mezieres and two other corps are engaged at St. Menhould.

12:10 Blucher to Kleist: We probe Leon and Bar le Duc. Two of our corps engaged at St. Menhould.

12:10 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: Engaging Mortier and Napoleon's troops.

12:11 Napoleon to Pully: Come to Chalons and kill some Austrians with me.

12:15 Napoleon to Ney: Shadow the Austrians. Keep them from getting behind me.

12:15 Blucher to Schwarzenberg: FYI: Prussian/Russian engaged at Meziers and at Laon. We probe now Bar le Duc. Tuchkov/Reserve engaged at St. Menhould.

12:19 Blucher to Lieven: Move to Vervines and follow and support Prussian I Corps to Laon.

12:19 Wolfskeel to Schwarzenberg: Napoleon and Pacthod now at Chalons, but must fight me over a bridge to pass me.

12:21 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: On Table C. Exchanging artillery fire. Working with Wolfskeel at bridge crossing. Good chokepoint to slow Napoleon.

12:22 Gyulai to Schwarzenberg: At Lesmont. Three French corps encountered. One moving off through Planey and west. One moving east through Summersous. One moving on enroute southeast.

12:24 Ney to Napoleon: Should I continue stand off with Wittgenstein at J? Witt has two artillery, five infantry, and three cavalry.

12:25 Napoleon to Rusca: March to join Ney. He is at Brienne (Table J).

12:25 Napoleon to Ney: Have told Rusca Corps to join you. Keep them at bay!

12:25 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: Pacthod of Paris Corps briefly appeared near Chalons and left, headed toward (Table) A.

12:25 LaMarque to Napoleon: Holding on Verdun board. Three units killed.

12:25 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Laon. MacDonald continues to hold at Laon against Yorck.

12:28 Durette to Napleon: Think Austrian pushing through A to Paris.

12:33 Ney to Napoleon: Moving Troyes - Arc sur Aube to cover your flank at Chalons.

12:33? [Verbal order -- on same table] Wittgenstein to Schwarzenberg: French have left Troyes. What do I do?

12:33? [Verbal order -- on same table] Schwarzenberg to Wittgenstein: Move command to Troyes.

12:33? [Verbal order -- on same table] Schwarzenberg to Wittgenstein: Take road south from Troyes. I will lead you to Paris.

12:33 Yorck to Blucher: At Laon. Engaged at Laon by equal forces (one corps).

12:36 Wolfskeel to Schwarzenberg: At Arcis sur Aube and Lesmont. Rusca reappeared on road to Planey. French corps entered from west on road to Arcis sur Aube.

12:37 Napoleon to Ney: Keep them busy as long as prudent, but do not sacrifice yourself.

12:39 Rusca to Napoleon: Move Table A to J is blocked by two Austrian Corps. Ney is with Rusca on A.

12:57 LaMarque to Napoleon: Facing Blucher NOW. One Corps leaving table to go to Table D. Can't break out, but holding up lots of cavalry.

1:05 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: Napoleon withdrawing towards A.

1:02 Blucher to Yorck: Lieven ordered to support you. Reserve. Replace battered Tuchkov at St. Menhould. 1x Russian probes Bar le Duc.

1:17 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Rethel. Am withdrawing from Rethel and will block Russian XI Corps and Kleist II Prussian Corps at Reims.

1:18 Rusca to Ney: Rusca disregarding to help defend Austrian attack on Paris.

1:22 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: Napoleon withdrew to A. Pully arrived on our flank and Wolfskeel can engage. Should Davidovitch pursue Napoleon?

1:26 Fontanelli to Napoleon: L'Empereur -- Austrians are marching on Paris! Am holding river crossings.

1:27 LaMarque to Napoleon: My troops are starting to break down. Please reinforce. I can hold 1 hour at Verdun.

1:30 Fontanelli to Napoleon: Need Assistance at Paris!

1:30 Napoleon to Oudinot: Ney is fighting at Arcis sur Aube (Table A). Left a corps at Chalons to block. Guard is in motion. Can you hold? Delay them but DON'T DIE! If need be, retire slowly towards Paris.

1:31 Ossuliev to Blucher: I have arrived at Vitry. Napoleon was seen leaving for Map A. French Advance Corps is here, engaged by two Austrian Corps. I will attack with them.

1:38 LaMarque to Napoleon: Killed another unit (6 total). Holding Blucher. Still here.

1:38 Colleredo to Davidovitch: Pursue Napoleon. Tie him up and/or defeat him.

1:39 Kleist to Blucher: At Rethel. Force French off table. Pro/Rus force. Russian force obeying new orders. I need new orders. French retreat to Bar le Duc table.

1:40 Napoleon to Oudinot: I am moving to Paris. Where are you? If you are free, go to Chalons and take command.

1:49 Tuchkov to Schwarzenberg: I have remnants of my corps. All Light cavalry. On the move, but where to go?

1:52 Lieven to Blucher: Vincienes (Vervines) has been captured, blocking presence of 7th Corps smashed afetr hard fight. Proceeding onto Laon as per orders.

1:53 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Rethel. Rethel has fallen. Lieven (Russian) Corps has moved to Vervines (Table V). Kleist is not headed to Reims and holding at Rethel. I can hold Reims and send most of my force elsewhere.

1:54 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: At Table C. Pully pinned on (Table) F side. Pushing forward. Ossuliev on Table C. Direct him to pursue Napoleon?

1:55 Blucher to Kleist: Proceed to Reims. Probe.

1:59 Colleredo to Davidovitch: Yes. Ossuliev can pursue Napoleon. Run him down.

2:03 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: Oudinot arrived at (Table) F near Chalons.

2:06 Napoleon to Oudinot: If you have some troops free, go to Chalons -- Table C -- and take command. I am going to Paris.

2:07 Kleist to Blucher: At Rethel. Have probed Reims three times. French waiting in positions. Cannot advance without "(At? A+?)" of loss. New orders?

2:07 Ossuliev to Blucher: I am in a good position to flank of the French outside Chalons. Should I pursue Napoleon or help the Austrians at Chalons?

2:17 Pacthod to Napoleon: On Map L fighting Yorck.

2:18 Pacthod to Napoleon: On Board L. Helping MacDonald defend.

2:24 Kleist to Blucher: Bypassed Reims and went to Soissons. Saw I Corps, XI Corps, Paris corps and one French corps. I will engage.

2:25 Ossuliev to Blucher: French are retreating from Chalons. I will not be able to attack them. Shall I pursue Napoleon?

2:26 Blucher to Kleist: Understand Reims heavily held, so take a blocking position if you wish or move towards Laon and onto Paris.

2:26 Blucher to Ossuliev: Reims held by three French corps to your north, so help the Austrians. We have two-three corps moving Laon to Paris?

2:32 LaMarque to Napoleon: LaMarque is WOUNDED. Corps in retreat to Chalons. My leader is now +0.

2:39 Napoleon to MacDonald: Hold the line. Kill them if you can. I am in Paris chasing enemy away.

2:40 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Chalons. Chalons has FALLEN. Pully is destroyed. Russian IX Corps (Olussiev) to Table A. Austrian V Corps and Austrian IV Corps control the road between Chalons and Reims. I will hold Reims.

2:42 Blucher to Olussiev: I assume Napoleon will joing three French Corps in Reims to north? Hold Chalons. We move on Soissons to north.

2:52 Yorck to Blucher: We have taken Laon and Soissons across Aisne River.

2:52 Napoleon to LaMarque: At Chalons. We have one corps holding the road to Paris. Come to Chalons and do what you can to help there.

2:53 LaMarque to Napoleon: My general. The road to Chalons (Table C) is blocked. The French under Oudinot are returning to Board F. I am moving to Vitry and await orders.

2:55 Tuchkov to Blucher: Large French corps at Reims.

2:56 Ney to Napoleon: Heavy losses to artillery. Withdrawing to Troyes.

2:58 Oudinot to Napoleon: Location Reims. IX Russian Corps, V Austrian Corps, and Kleist heading to Laon. Also, three Cossack regiments heading to Laon. Do you want me to hold Reims?

2:58 Napoleon to Oudinot: Big battle brewing at Paris. If you can keep the enemy on Chalons table, do so. If not, come to Paris.

3:04 Ossoliev to Blucher: Defending Chalons. LaMarque just arrived from Verdun.

3:06 Pully to Napoleon: Russian IXth Corps arrived at Chalons. Holding Prussians and Russians.

3:06 Tuchkov to Blucher: Path from Reims to Paris is clear. Two more corps on the way.

3:07 MacDonald to Napoleon: In combat on Table L Soissons. Retreating.

3:09 LaMarque to Napoleon: I have Blucher on my table at Chalons. NOT GOING TO HOLD. Moving to Vitry to await orders. French Corps at Chalons are IN ROUT. NEED HELP.

3:09 Napoleon to LaMarque: Battle is at Paris, so fight the enemy at Chalons to slow them down. Dance with them. If they leave, come to Paris.

3:09 Napoleon to Ney: Leave someone to slow them. The rest should come to Paris. Big battle HERE.

3:11 Blucher to Yorck: Great. I move on Chalons. Can you move towards Villars and (looks like "Cotteries") and on to Paris?

3:14 Napoleon to Oudinot: Where better to be than Paris in the Springtime? Come to Paris.

3:19 Oudinot to Napoleon: I am in Reims. We are returning to Paris. We delay Austrians at Reims.

3:26 Ney to Napoleon: Corps shattered. Mortier dead. Probably command dispersed.

3:28 Wolfskeel to Schwarzenberg: At Chalons. Can I follow Davidovitch to support him ASAP?

3:29 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: Location Table C. Peeked onto (Table) F and see two French corps. Oudinot. Back to Chalons? Or hold?

3:29 LaMarque to Napoleon: I am only corps on Chalons table. I will hold bridge at Vitry. I have Blucher with three corps moving against me. HELP!

3:48 Gyulai to Schwarzenberg: Ney and Young Guard retreating from Arc sur Aube towards Troyes. Durette retreating slowly from Summersous towards Chalon. Colleredo, Uverov, Gyulai around Arcis sur Aube.

3:48 Colleredo to Wolfskeel: Yes. You can follow-up Davidovitch and help him defeat Napoleon or any other enemies.

3:52 Yorck to Blucher: Already going to Paris area. Yes.

3:55 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: OK, I'll hold on (Table) F. French withdrawing to (Table) E.

3:56 Tuchkov to Blucher: Already engaged at Paris for the glory of the Russian empire. Busy killing your treacherous cousin.

3:57 Tuchkov to Blucher: Defeated the honor guard in battle. The rest of my corps was holding me back. Send order to Attack.

3:58 Blucher to Tuchkov: Glory be. First in Paris gains Russians pride.

4:02 Tuchkov to Blucher: The X Corps is surrounded and likely gone. Wittgenstein is at the gates of Paris.

4:05 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: Holding on (Table) F. Send Rally order to clean up.

4:10 Blucher to Yorck: On to glory! First in Paris wins the prize.

4:14 Wolfskeel to Schwarzenberg: I am at Reims. Can I attack towards Paris? Please.

4:14 Davidovitch to Schwarzenberg: French vacated (Table) F.

4:18 Schwarzenberg to Wolfskeel: Rally, then go to Paris. Engage French if friends need any help.


Umpire Commentary

Most of the messages are what I would call routine information reports. Veteran Snappy Nappy gamers played the C-in-Cs, so you get the idea that communications is not only important, but vital, in figuring out where the enemy -- not to mention your own corps -- are located.
Indeed, you read the occasional "Where are you?" message and feel for the C-in-C. This confusion exists in a single room with messages delivered between tables more or less like clockwork. Imagine trying to coordinate this over tens of miles!

I cleaned up and edited the messages. Some handwriting was difficult to discern. Other challenges include players using a variety of spellings for towns.
Still, this is a great record of movements and the player uncertainties of what's over on the next table. You have to praise and give considerable credit to the C-in-Cs (Mark [Napoleon], Greg [Blucher] and Dan [Schwarzenberg]) for pulling double duty as C-in-Cs and front-line commands.
In Snappy Nappy, you may be fighting on one table, but you have little or no idea what's happening on other tables, including the one that might just lead into the back of your force. Indeed, you can see some of the messages refer to commands keeping rear areas free of enemy.
The other aspect that appears is commanders so focused on their own battle, they call for reinforcements because they believe themselves being overwhelmed. The C-in-C, however, has the 'big picture' in mind and often ignores such pleas for more troops.
Finally, some messages contained suggestions for the C-in-C on what order to give -- including those for other commands!

For the record, the shortest distance between the Allies and Paris is three tables (about 16 feet). Infantry in road march formation move 12 inches per turn, so unopposed marching takes about 16 turns. On average, a Snappy Nappy game of five hours generates about 30 to 40 turns.
As you read from other commentaries, the Allies fought their way to and into Paris in about four and a half hours (11:15am start and 4:45pm end) for a definite conclusion to the campaign.







Friday, May 17, 2019

1814 Campaign in a Day: Combined Commander AAR's


COMMANDER AARs

Written by the players themselves, although edited by me (Russ Lockwood).
                                                                                                                                                                                                               


Napoleon
by Mark

As Napoleon, I re-organized the command structure of the army from the start. I formed a right wing grand division under Ney (Chris) at Troyes in the SE, and a left wing under Oudinot (James) at Rheims in the NE. I sent them each a second corps under another player to act as their subordinate. I sent La Marque (Mark) forward to find and most importantly fix the allies in the center. I kept command of the other corps.

Reports came in almost immediately of enemy contact, including of a pair of Allied corps at Chalons on the road to Paris, pretty much behind our starting lines. I raced the Guard there, but was on the south side of the river...whereas they were on the side that could march on Paris. I knew I could not get at them, but had to buy time.

I called for the three reserve corps to come there. The intent was not to destroy those two enemy corps but to prevent them from marching on Paris. That meant getting a corps to Paris and then move it East to Chalons. When the reserves arrived, I left that one poor corps to be the roadblock on the road to Paris between two rivers, a nice narrow position that could not be outflanked (unless the Allies brought a pontoon bridge -- RL).

I pulled the Guard back to a reserve position and sent other corps to yet another Allied thrust coming up from Fontainbleu (South). I redirected two corps that had marched to Chalons to turn around and meet that threat.

So at that point, major battles raged for Oudinot and Ney, and for Macdonald and another corps at Fontainbleau, a holding action at Chalons on the road to Paris, and La Marque's holding action in the East. That's five, count'em, five major battles all at once!

Then I learned that an enemy corps was marching on Paris from yet another route. I sent the last corps that was not engaged back to hold Paris, and then put the Imperial Guard back in motion to head to the capital.
Due to the road network, I had to swing down to where Ney was engaged in order to get back up to Paris. Ney and Fontenelli were engaged with two big enemy corps. I detached Mortier from the guard, gave him the Guard light cavalry and horse artillery and put them under Ney's command to help keep the enemy at bay so I could march through to get to Paris.

The defender of Paris awaits Wittgenstein's approach with sang-froid!


Map of Paris and environs


When I arrived at Paris, I saw that one corps was stretched out holding the river line....and holding it well, but that its units were deployed over a wide front. Part of another corps was also there, but between them, all they could do was contain the powerful enemy corps.
As the Guard arrived, so did the first of two corps I called back in to form on Paris. The enemy came on right behind one of them, which we were able to hold back -- and catch their cavalry in a perfect sandwich with Guard heavy horse to their front and Empress dragoons in their backside....delicious!
Unfortunately, the defense of the river line outside Paris began to falter from the pounding of the enemy. Their repeated charges across the bridge forced him to fall back to the fortress. Even as the Old Guard and others raced to the rescue, the enemy stormed the fort. Our defense held and held again, but the third Allied attack took the fortress.
At 4:45pm, the enemy had three tough infantry in the Paris fortress and we had one battered unit in the city itself that would have had to hold for two more turns before the Guard could have deployed. By then, almost every corps from all of the armies seemed to be on or marching for the Paris area.
We tried. We fought well. We held them at bay and then fell back on Paris, but it was not enough.
Well played, well fought all.


Blucher
by Greg

As the C-in-C Blucher, I learned how little you know outside your own table.
The morning started with the Prussians/Russians following Plan B orders, moving various directions to engage equal forces and bypass larger, which was the theme of the day for Blucher. Various Corps headed for Vervines and onto Laon, to Mezieres/Rethel on to Reims, and to St. Menhould and onto Chalons.


Map for Table S, Battle of St Menhoud

Table S - St Menhoud is in the right lower corner. 

I commanded the reserve, Jellacic, and eventually replaced Tuchov's battered corps at the Battle of St. Menhould. That allowed what was left of Tuchkov to head west and ultimately reach the Paris area. Olssuliev was given the pontton bridge train and he bypassed LaMarque.
The grand strategy for Northern command turned into a twin axis of advance -- one through Laon and on to Paris and the second through Chalons, with the center around Reims bypassed after multiple reports of three French Corps holding the town.

Feldmarschal Blucher, troubled by a recurrent gouty foot, supervises the Allied Northern Wing from his Camp Chair. 


Jellacic pushed LaMarque back to Chalons and found Olssuliev engaged around Chalons against a pair of French corps. As Jellacic arrived at Chalons, another Austrian force moved onwards, with command shifting to Olssuliev, who'd held Chalons for so long.
As C-in-C, I'm not really sure which of my Corps made it to Paris. Once they leave your sight, your knowledge gets reduced to messages that become fewer and fewer as the day lingers.



Wittgenstein
by Charles

From Musey, I went to Troyes and raced to Paris. I eventually won the back and forth battle for the bridge over the Marne River and then went up and over the wall to capture the fortress.

Wittgenstein and Scwarzenberg marching along the highway towards Table P and Paris. 


Tuchkov
by Daniel

My X corps consisted of three brigades of good quality infantry, four brigades of inexperienced light cavalry, and two stands of light artillery (one of foot and one of horse) and deployed at Clarmont as the speartip of the Allied central command.
My goal was to head to Chalons as fast as possible to help clear the three corps logjam between Clarmont, Verdun, and St. Mihiel. I sent one of my divisions forward to scout ahead, but the dastardly French decided to push forward first. I met LeMarque's corps at the crossing of the Aisne River at St. Menhould. LeMarque fought a great defensive battle holding up the three corps Allied corps (X, XI, and VI).
I battered multiple brigades of French but was unable to inflict a decisive blow, with the elite French 6th Hussars deserving praise for their perseverance. I eventually lost all my infantry, half my artillery, and even got my general killed before being reinforced by Jellacic's VI Corps. In retrospect, I should have retreated to Clarmont, and held off LeMarque's corps there, as the combination of a narrow bridge and woods on his side rendered my light artillery fire ineffective and made it easy for him to support his defending units when I tried to cross.


 Battle of St Menhoud


We discussed using the pontoon bridge, but figured Olssuliev could really use it and that things would thin out by the time Jellacic arrived.
After being relieved by Jellacic, I disengaged with my leftover three brigades of light cavalry, left a garrison at St. Menhould of my foot artillery, and went on a tour of the French countryside. I passed through Stenay, Mezieres, and finally caught the end of the Battle of Reims, where I saw two French corps being crushed.
I passed the two allied corps (I believe the 1st and 2nd) and pursued a beaten French corps to Paris, where I proceeded to crush a division of Westphalians, and rout (but not destroy) Napoleon's Guard Dragoon/Carabinier brigade before finally being surrounded and sent to a glorious death by French Dragoons/Carabiniers looking to reclaim their lost honor. My soldiers did survive long enough to see Wittengstein at the gates of Paris, so they died knowing that victory would be ours.



LaMarque
by Mark

The day began as a crisp winter morning, with light snow falling on Chalons where my VI Corps bivouacked. Orders the night before from the Emperor were to march at first light toward Verdun, find the enemy, and prevent them from easy egress into the heart of France.
The cavalry and artillery led the corps east toward Sainte Menhould and immediately encountered a Russian Corp (10th) under Tuchkov just west of the bridge to the village. Seeing that the terrain provided ample defense with a dense wood terrain to the north and south, our forces spread out to engage the oncoming Russians along the road. The river outside of St. Menhould funneled the Russians into the killing fields as they had to cross a bridge to get to our forces.
The Initial deployments revealed three enemy corps were on the field with us, but our position prevented them from getting to us all at once. Behind Tuchkov, was Olssuliev (9th Russian Corp) and Jellacic (6th Russian Corp). As fate would have it, Blucher was here too, and it was now my responsibility to prevent him from crossing the river and entering the French countryside.

Battle of St. Menhould

The battle here was ferocious, with both sides deploying their artillery. Waves of Russian cavalry and infantry tried to cross the bridge to engage our corps, and time and again we repulsed them. After nearly three hours into the engagement, the forces of Olssuliev managed to erect a pontoon bridge over the river far to our east. As we were outnumbered three to one, I could not commit my forces to stopping him, and the Russian 9th Corp skirted my defenses in route to Bar-le-Duc and escaped.
By this time, I had reduced Tuchkov’s forces by six brigades. Using my own pontoon bridge, I would have flanked his forces north of St. Menhould, if not for the timely reinforcement by Blucher, Jellacic, and the 6th Corps. Instead, we stayed on the west side of the river to avoid annihilation.
At this point, we received orders from the Emperor to hold as long as we could as no reinforcements were coming. Two French corps were engaged behind us at Chalons and it would take time for them to break through. I was also given the options to return to Chalons if the battle went against me at St. Menhould.
Blucher then deployed in front of me with additional guns and set about the destruction of our corps. He too attempted to cross the river and the French Hussars, aided by the flanking 5th Legne, destroyed another Russian unit. This allowed our troops to cross the river and take St. Menhould, routing another unit that had taken up defenses in the village.
The Russians countered our assault with intense fire, but the Hussars held their ground on the east side of the river. It was NOW that I thought that the battle would be won, only to have defeat snatched from the jaws of victory with an inopportune initiative roll. Our Hussars were promptly charged by a cavalry regiment and two infantry brigades. The melee was intense, and LaMarque was wounded as the Hussars fled back across the river leaving St. Menhould again in Russian hands.
With LaMarque fallen, corps morale also fell, as time and again the troops failed morale tests. I ordered the retreat and escaped the clutches of Blucher, Jellacic, and the 6th Corp, and returned to the Chalons area. Unfortunately, we arrived in time to see the one remaining French Corp in Chalons nearly destroyed by three corps of Austrians, Prussians, and Russians.
With our escape route filled with the enemy, we ordered our troops to Vitry, and would have easily made our escape except that Blucher pursued us with the cunning of a panther. With Blucher’s arrival, the enemy had four corps in our vicinity.

Battle of Chalons

Map for table C - Chalons


Table C before the start of the game


First encounters at Chalons


Both sides deploy


Battle of Chalons 1


Battle of Chalons 2


Battle of Chalons 3





Battle of Chalons 4 


 Battle of Chalons 5


Later stages of the Battle of Chalons


To prevent destruction, two of our rearguard battalions had to hastily form square at the bridge into Vitry or be overrun by Blucher’s cavalry. As luck would have it we destroyed another cavalry unit, capturing its colors, and sent a second unit in disruption to the rear.
We quickly secured the bridge into Vitry as the Austrian and Prussian cavalry approached, we were too tired by now to recognize their uniforms. The combined fire of our artillery and quick sabre work of our Hussars saved us from being overwhelmed. Additionally, our infantry destroyed an Austrian brigade in close order fighting, capturing their colors and taking many prisoners.
Blucher then ordered up the artillery and we were outgunned four to one. We could have escaped on the road headed south from Vitry, but Blucher was not going to let us go so easily. Seeing that French troops were now coming up the road from the west toward Chalons, we decided to use our pontoon bridge to cross the river to the west of Vitry and escape Blucher’s clutches as his bridging equipment was with Olssuliev.
My retreat was successful and our men arrived on the west side of the river without pursuit of Blucher’s cavalry. Unfortunately, the overwhelming number of enemy guns caused such smoke across the field that we lost contact with the rearguard 5th Legere, and fear they were destroyed or captured.
Upon turning north to Chalons, our scouts reported another Austrian Corp massing from our west near Chalons. The new force was nearly twice our size, and it would be impossible to relieve the French corps near Chalons in time to save them.
Surrounded on three sides, with no road for escape, LaMarque rose from his hospital wagon and with the pains of his wounds on his face, ordered his men to abandon the position and flee into the surrounding countryside to the south and west of Chalons. I ordered, "Find your homes, protect your families, and Viva La France."


Le mort de LaMarque (well, eh bein, just a serious wound). 

A courier was sent to find General Blucher in order to end hostilities. He transferred his sword as a sign of surrender to the enemy general. With the colors of nine enemy battalions surrounding the hospital wagon, Blucher accepted his surrender.



Durette
by Bruce

Durette, at Arcis Aube, advanced with orders not to engage a superior Austrian Force. I quickly saw two to three Austrian corps, turned around, and headed for Chalons.
Meanwhile, Ney arrived at Arcis and requested my return to Arcis. So I turned II Corps around and arrived at Summersous to engage the Allies.

Durrutte arrives at Somersous (right side of picture)

As Ney slowly lost troops, Napoleon sent orders for me to head to Chalons to help there, where superior Russian cavalry and artillery devastated the lower morale units. In this system, I found a two quality level difference in morale statistically means the lower-rated units should not fight the higher-rated units.
Meanwhile, Rusca advanced, but had to retreat in theface of superior Allied forces and retreated all the way back to Paris, although he pinned half the force advancing on Paris.


Olsulliev

by Brian

As Olsulliev in command of the Russian IX Corps, my orders were to first move from St. Mihiel to Bar-le-Duc. However, while the map we received showed a road between the two towns, the road was not on the table. [This was an error on my part -- RL]. So, I had to make a much more circuitous route and was slowed down in real time by the presence of a French corps (LaMarque) at St. Menhould.

Olsulliev's frustrations...

Mine was an experience in frustration, even though I used a pontoon bridge to bypass St. Menhould. I had to wait to move and time crawled by before I could exit towards Bar-le-Duc.
Down a unit in the battle, I lost a unit due to a string of low morale die rolls. After that, though, I was able to destroy one of the excellent French infantry units and used my cavalry to block the retreat of an Austrian corps.



Yorck
by Frank

I pushed toward Laon by way of Meziers and Vervines. After leaving Meziers, I met an approaching French force from Laon, but they backed away. I captured Vervines and headed toward Laon with orders to push toward Paris if I did not encounter a superior force.


Map of Table R


Prussians advancing on Table R


Fighting on Table R




Map of Table L


Table L before the start of the game


As I approached Laon, I encountered a French force spread out on hills on both sides of Laon and in Laon with their back to the river. I made a decision to pin his right flank with a smaller force and concentrate against his left. Our superior artillery destroyed his cavalry charge and my infantry moved upon his right flank, breaking it to pieces.


 Fighting around Laon... with the obligatory cameo of smiling GM and rules author, Russ Lockwood.






As he tried to retreat across the river, my cavalry ran down his rear guard and then a final charge destroyed his small delaying force across the bridge. As he retreated, Russians came up on my left flank and Prussians approached on the far left to seal the victory. After the battle was won, the three corps moved toward Paris with no resistance until we were in the Paris area. At this time Austrian forces fought their way into Paris to win the war.



Oudinot
by James

A heck of a challenge for the French, but given the tremendous advantage in defensive terrain, I think entirely fair. The problem I saw to my left and right flanks (I was at Reims-Rethel with Laon-Vervines to my left and Chalons to my right) was that those positions were defended by new players who were up against experienced players. C'est la guerre.

Reims on Table F


MarechallOudinot and freind at Reims




Kleist
by Karl

As Prussian II Corps, I started at Stenay and marched west to Mezieres. Two French cavalry and one Artillery from French VII Corps arrived in the area at the same times and entered village of Rethal with their whole Corp. I watched the Prussian I Corps bypass me and march west towards Vervines as the Russian XI Corp entered and headed to Stenay.

Map for Table V


Table V being used top sort out the troops pre-game!


I attacked the French in the village from the west and the Russians attacked from the north and east. While we were maneuvering, the French left a blocking force of two infantry brigades and the artillery at Rethel and fell back with the rest of his troops. We eventually forced the French out. I formed a defensive screen at Rethel as the Russian XI Corps followed the Prussian I Corp westward.
I probed Reims, but the French formed up in a good defensive position. Then I noticed another road and took it to find the Prussian I Corps supported by the Russian XI Corps attacking the IX French Corps. I also saw the Paris reserves on the road to Villers. I moved to engage, but could only watch them escape back to Paris.

In action near Laon


I turned and attacked what was left of IX Corp while Prussian I Corps finished the French off and then reorganized. I headed for Paris. At this point, another Russian Corp of only cavalry (Tuchkov) showed up behind me. I let them go ahead of me and raced after them on the way to Paris.
Soon, I saw Paris in the distance it was under attack by an unknown Austrian Corp (Wittgenstein). I faced Napoleon and his Guard as well as the Paris reserves. We attacked and traded off losses as the lone Austrian Corps took Paris.
It’s too bad the armistice stopped the French people of Paris from sharpening the guillotine for Napoleon and his marshals.

...................................................................................................................................................................

The following three reports are condensed version of those already published:

Colleredo
by Dan

I took the road west from Musey to Troyes, where I spotted the tail-end of a road-column of French north of Troyes (Ney’s corps). The sudden appearance of Colleredo’s command prompted the French to halt and recall the head of the column. If I could win the initiative, there was room enough to enter and take Troyes and offer battle, but alas, the French won and crowded the entry point. I looked long and hard, but decided against fighting and reluctantly returned to Musey area.
Ney, indeed, followed up and also looked long and hard, itching for the battle (and taking in the enemy dispositions to report to Napoleon), but he also, reluctantly, concluded that the enemy position was too strong and left, going back to Troyes.

Colloredo and Ney play cat and mouse...


C-in-C Schwarzenberg could see this pattern repeating all day, so he ordered Wittgenstein to replace Colleredo, while Colleredo placed his men in reserve and in road-column to prepare to go north. As the cavalry probes continued between Ney and Wittgenstein, Schwarzenberg received a report from Gyulai’s III Armeekorps at Arcis Aube asking for reinforcements. Schwarzenberg turned to Colleredo and assigned him a new mission to support Gyulai. Fortunately, he gave me the pontoon bridge train.
I exited in road column and arrived in the Arcis Aube area to find Gyulai and Uvarov hotly engaged with Ney. Upon my entry, another French force, Durette, appeared at Summersous. Gyulai needed help fast.

The Battle of Arcis sur Aube

Ney was still driving off Austrians and Russians, causing havoc as the fleeing units burst through new formations trying to cross the bridge, causing additional Morale Checks. I looked over the battlefield very carefully, wondering if it might be wiser to pull back. Gyulai still attacked, despite the losses, emboldened now that another Austrian command was present.
Durette deployed his entire command in line, advancing slowly, and his artillery was still behind the woods. I estimated Durrette would need time at that pace before he became a real threat -- plenty of time to reach Arcis Aube and deploy, block the road, pass between the woods, and use my cavalry to counter the French cavalry and threaten each flank. The fight must be fought here. Ney could be checked and beaten in time before Durette could mount any serious pressure.
As I assembled the pontton bridge, more French appeared: Napoleon’s Imperial Guard! This could turn out to be a really big battle. Napoleon’s troops were near a corner of a table that had no road connection to Arcis Aube, so it would take quite some time before the Imperial Guard could get engaged, unless it risked committed the cavalry first, alone. Even if we can’t defeat them, we can tie them up for quite a while and keep them off of other battlefields.
Durette continued his slow advance. Napoleon stayed in his corner, simply moving the Imperial Guard along the road – simply passing by. That’s a surprise: Napoleon apparently isn’t going to join this battle. We should be able to win this battle if the Imperial Guard stays out of it.
The battle definitely shifted in favor of the Austrians. Despite the early losses that Gyulai and Uvarov suffered, it became clear that the Austrians gained a local advantage in numbers and position. Now Ney took losses and must disengage, but Gyulai and Uvarov pressed hard and Ney lost about half of his command with the remainder in various stages of disintegration.
Durette attacked with his cavalry, but lost both encounters. These reverses, plus witnessing what’s happening to Ney, prompted Durette to suspend his advance.
We agreed to take a risk and moved the Austrian cavalry within charge reach of the Imperial Guard units, hoping to win initiative and run down the horse artillery before it unlimbered. The ploy failed and the artillery unlimbered at point blank range while the Hussars move to pistol range to shoot instead of charge. The Austrian cavalry charged, but the Guard artillery scored a hit and the Ott Hussars #5 failed morale checks to halt their charge before contact. The Prinz Ludwig Uhlans #3 closed and narrowly beat the French Guard Hussars, which responded badly to this unexpected reversal, failed morale check after morale check, and fled the battlefield. The Austrian cavalry soon run down the French horse artillery, killing Imperial Guard commander Mortier in the process.
I pursued Durette to Chalons, where another battle (The Battle of Chalons) has been ongoing for some time between another French command and Feldmarschall Blucher’s forces. I entered on the only road left available to the French out of Chalons, trapping both French commands. Both French generals asked for a truce, which Blucher accepts. Soon after, news that Paris has fallen reached Blucher. The war was over! The Allied armies won.



Schwarzenberg

by Dan

After discovering a road not on his map, Schwarzenberg altered his orders to take a more southerly approach with his forces. Austrian I Armeekorps Colloredo moved from Musey west to Troyes while Austrian III Armeekorps Gyulai and Russian Grenadier corps Uvarov moved to Arcis Aube. Austro-Russian VI Armeekorps Wittgenstein becomes the new Reserve and advanced to Musey.
French and Allied Cavalry probes clashed between Musey and Troyes until Ney was ordered to move away from Troyes towards Arcis Aube. A call for reinforcements from a battered Gyulai and Uvarov at Arcis Aube prompted Colloredo to switch places with Wittgenstein and head for Arcis Aube.
When Wittgenstein’s Cossacks reported Ney's move to Wittgenstein and Schwarzenberg, Wittgenstein was ordered to go to Troyes with his command with Schwarzenberg coming along. The southern approach to Paris was unexpectedly open, and Schwarzenberg wasn’t going to miss the opportunity to take it.
Schwarzenberg took Wittgenstein on a long U-shaped pathway through Fontainbleu and back up to Montetreu. Wittgenstein was inclined to head east, but Schwarzenberg insisted on turning west, leading the long column down one of two long parallel roads. His suspicions were reinforced when a small French force under Rusca entered at the other parallel road, heading in the same direction. Schwarzenberg said to Wittgenstein “We’re in a race now. The French know we’re making a run at Paris.”
Rusca’s column inexplicably turned around, but soon resumed its westward march, but that provided a comfortable lead.
The reports Schwarzenberg received from Gyulai at Arcis Aube indicated that the battle still raged (and Napoleon was now present as well), but Schwarzenberg had no new reserves to commit to the battle, so Gyulai & Colloredo were going to have to keep the French occupied while he led Wittgenstein to Paris.



At Paris

A French command under Fontanelli held the river line separating Wittgenstein’s command from the way to Paris, but he had to split his forces to cover the two bridges that were a significant distance apart. There was only a single 6 pdr. artillery unit present, but it helped guard the southernmost bridge with some infantry in line formations. Wittgenstein had a 6 pdr and a 12 pdr, but both were inferior in quality. Rusca’s command had not arrived, yet, but it was certain to arrive in a short while.
Surprisingly, no further French forces appeared, which allowed Wittgenstein to leisurely pound away at the enemy artillery. Finally it suffered too much damage that Fontanelli could not reverse and it was driven off the battlefield.
Wittgenstein’s lead infantry unit made a go for the bridge: The Brunko Musketeers charged it, but took a hit from the French, failed the first two morale rolls before passing and so the charge was checked before it hit the French line.
The French hit the Brunko Musketeers to no effect and Wittgenstein replaced the unit with the Graf Paul Radivovitch infantry unit. The Allied infantry returned fire and the Austrian infantry drove the French off and cleared the bridge of enemy. The road to Paris was open!
During the time it took to accomplish this, more French appeared in the north, but stopped near the town of Villars and turned around to deploy. A second French command appeared at Meaux from the east. This was Napoleon with part of his Imperial Guard. The Empereur had arrived to try to save Paris from falling – but the new French forces were still a good distance away.
The revitalized Brunko Musketeers with Schwarzenberg attached charged the French that had fallen back from the bridge, battered them anew, and forced their retreat into the fortress guarding Paris.
The Austrian and Russian columns assaulted the walls and captured the fortress, giving Schwarzenberg a fine view of the capital and the surrounding battlefield. The war-weary population gave a half-hearted cheer to the 'liberators,' grateful that the war was finally over.
The word would reach the French laboring hard to hold back Yorck and Tuchkov’s commands. The “sounds of the guns” soon fell silent. Even Napoleon had conceded that it was over.
Blucher heard about the capture of Paris after accepting the surrender of two French commands at Chalons, when Colloredo’s Austrians from Arcis Aube cut off the last road the French could have taken out of Chalons.

Armistice is decklared at Chalons!


Schwarzenberg’s bold plan was executed successfully, elevating his military reputation to rival that of Napoleon.


Gyulai and Uvarov
by Peter

I advanced down the LaRothiere-Brienne road and proceeded onwards towards Arcis Aube, seeking a road to the west with the goal of Paris. I marched through Bar sur Aube, La Rotheire, and Brienne, and encountered a French rearguard at Lesmont covering the withdrawal of a French Corps that exit towards Chalons. I also spotted a small French command on the road to Planey.
My troops moved through Arcis Aube towards Planey, following Rusca, who is heavily outnumbered by my combined forces, when yet ANOTHER French Corps entered on yet ANOTHER road, this time heading from Troyes Arcis sur Aube. At their head is the redoubtable Michel Ney, his graying red hair flowing behind him, and the Young Guard.
Given French actions to date, I suspected the French would most likely pull back yet again, seeing that they are outnumbered 2:1 by my combined forces and that I have three artillery batteries to his one. Also, Colleredo's Corps has now entered the battlefield, although still distant, further lengthening the odds against the Bravest of the Brave.

Battle of Arcis sur Aube

This proves to be a serious error, as a combination of French initiative, tactical skill, and audace, coupled with some of the worst die rolling I have managed in years, resulted in my troops routing every time they suffer a single hit – five die rolls, five failures, and poof! The White Menace became the Flight Penance! The French troops, even the conscripts that filled out the numbers in Ney's commands, were inspired by his leadership and seemed unable to fail even a single morale roll for their part.

Gyulai and Ney at Arcis sur Aube


Colleredo, fortunately with the Austrian pontoon bridge train in tow, arrived within earshot, shaking his head at the carnage. He proceeded to build a pontoon bridge over the Aube River. Things looked even grimmer as a new French corps, Durette, arrived in Summersous, threatening to make a chopped Allied sandwich. To add panic to misery, Bonaparte himself advanced along the Highway to Somewhere. Visibly annoyed at being detained in his maneuvers, he tosseed more grief our way by detaching an officer with a guard horse battery and some Guard cavalry!
I launched my superb cavalry in charges across the Arcis bridge, hoping to catch some French in line. I once again managed to fail my morale rolls spectacularly, resulting in both units fleeing in Panic back across the river, disrupting my remaining troops. However, Ney's luck began to fade. He launched a long distance charge on the Austrian infantry at the new bridgehead. Made of sterner stuff than my boys, Colleredo's men coolly formed square and the French charge disintegrated against the wall of white.
Our artillery fire battered another French cavalry unit, drove back an infantry brigade, and destroy his lone battery. The situation west of the Aube suddenly looked less grim. On our right, the newcomer's French Dragoons charged some Austrian Cuirassiers and came out the worst of it in a prolonged exchange of pistol shots and sword thrusts. Finally, we sent off several cavalry regiments to the North to threaten his other flank, and attempted to deal with the unwelcome visitors of the Garde a Cheval.
With his cavalry spent, his artillery gone, and his infantry suffering from Austrian gunnery, Ney made a controlled withdrawal back towards Troyes. It was none too soon for the Allied cause, as the new French Corps reached the woods line near Arcis sur Aube.
Ney managed to retreat about half of his original force as my pursuing troops finished off a few crippled units, but never getting the initiative at the key moments to make a decisive thrust at his derriere. Colleredo's cavalry defeated a number of the French horse and ultimately dispersed them.
The French Guard battery and cavalry unit were the real threats. With one cavalry brigade each, Colleredo and I decided to try and defeat the French cavalry, flowed by an outflanking of the Guard battery. While my Hussars faltered, his Uhlans charged home and their lances caused havoc among the French cavalry. Beaten, they left the battery isolated. Once again failing of the initiative, the cavalry had to do it the hard way, charging into a hail of canister. Evidently the timing of the Guardsmen was off, as the brave Austrians shrugged off their losses and trampled the battery over in two successive charges. With the Northern threat eliminated, Ney withdrawing, and his cavalry gone, our French visitor began an advance to the rear.
With Colleredo headed towards Chalons, I rallied my command and pondered how to proceed. I had not heard a word from Schwarzenberg since the early phase of the Campaign. I decided that, when in doubt, follow your orders. Rumors spread that Paris was under attack by our forces. Thus, I resolved to follow the original Southern Route towards Paris, knowing that I might or might not arrive in time to be of assistance.
My men and I marched through Planey, Troyes, and Sens. We reached Fontainbleu when we heard about the fall of Paris and the armistice.


Some Added AAR Sentiments From Participants

* From my perspective, the efforts were worth it. We look forward to the event. The spirit of co-operation in the set-up and take-down, as well as the camaraderie in sharing a common hobby, are significant aspects of the appeal that draws us back.

* Thanks for a great gaming experience.

* Unlike previous Snappy Nappy games, I didn't enjoy this one. I spent too much time crawling across a table. I can't blame anyone for this -- it was just the way things worked out, but the overall map showed a road between St. Mihiel and Bar-le-Duc and there wasn't one on the table. Having said that, I do appreciate the work done to organize this event. It is an awesome effort, and it plays smoothly.

* Once again, thanks for staging the game. I had a great time.

* The campaign design and balance seemed quite OK to me. But really, an outstanding job for what had to be a very challenging campaign design. I really did not have a clue how you were going to pull it off, but I thought it really well done. I certainly learned some lessons myself in retrospect for better operational handling of my own forces.