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.
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.
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 are all the table maps
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.
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.
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.
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.
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..,.
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.
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!
by Russ Lockwood
The movement of corps, including major battles involved in, as best I can recreate from messages and after action reports.
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.
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...
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.
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.