Introduction to This Years Pre-Game Reconnaissance Results ...
Snappy Nappy Campaign-In-A-Day 2022 featured an element tacked on to the front of the event that was different than in previous years. Each year players join the event by choosing commands in advance of the actual day, and when they arrive for the main event, those commands have been delineated out into units, and with each command having starting locations on typically one of anywhere between 10 and 16 tables of 6"x4", the number of tables depending on how the GM has established the strategic area for the game.
This year there were also 4 Pre-Game Reconnaissance Turns run by GM Mark T, that were played out over 4 weeks, each turn being one week long. Players had the ability to use Monday thru Thursday each week to develop a plan for their 3 cavalry scout units, and 1 spy's 2 movement points each. Then the GM would determine the results of the first movement point of each turn, then giving the overall commander time to adjust the second movement point if needed, before the GM then resolved the second movement point and completed the turn accordingly. This continued thru 4 turns before this aspect of the campaign came to it's conclusion.
Although there was an initial strategic map that we started with, this ended up getting adjusted slightly and before turn one was completed a new strategical map was then used for the rest of the for the Pre-Game Reconnaissance Turns. This second map was designed using player feedback and Mark H's cartography adjustments, and the second map is shown here ...
During the Pre-Game Reconnaissance Turns, the French and the Russians had three separate Cavalry Scouting units (half squadrons of Dragoons, Hussars, or Light cavalry, around 50 to 65 men each) moving on the strategic map to search for and screen the enemy. Each side also had 1 Spy (an individual or small group of guys) who had the ability to hide and seek while they too searched for information that might be helpful to their respective army commanders.
Each turn was a week long, where the players had Monday thru Friday morning to determine and submit their orders via email, and the GM had Friday noon to Monday morning for finalizing the results for both the movement points that each scouting and spy unit had attempted. This also included having the overall commanders make adjustments after the first of movement points for each turn, when encounters occurred before getting to the second movement point.
Results were provided in both mechanical and story piece formats. Below are these items for Turn 1, and this includes the mechanical results for each movement point and the corresponding story piece results with the latter being titled in blue for what the French received, in green for what the Russians received, and in red for what both sides received.
Also, there are maps, and these have been coded with color arrows, 2 Blues and Purple for the French with Red for their spy, 2 Greens and Yellow for the Russians with Orange for their spy. The following is a list of the units with their corresponding colors on the maps.
For the French ...
Castex's Chasseurs ... Dark Blue
Corbineaux's Chasseurs ... Medium Blue
Doumerc's/Oudinot's Light Cavalry ... Purple
The French Spy ... Red
For the Russians ...
Kulnieff's Hussars ... Medium Green
Balk's Dragoons ... Light Green
Wittgenstein's Light Cavalry ... Yellow
The Russian Spy ... Orange (shows more as bright red)
- - - - - - - - - - - -
PRE-GAME RECON, TURN ONE
Movement Point 1 ...
1. Castex's cavalry scouts - arrive at Sokolitchi without incident and can proceed to Golovichitsa.
2. Corbineau's cavalry scouts - arrive near the crossroads of the path from Disna to Drissa, and they encounter some of Balk's Dragoons who attempt to skirmish. However, the experienced Colonel in charge of the 7th French Chasseurs has decided to ride out and guide a young captain in how to scout and screen. The Colonel succeeds in having his troopers evade after he sees the dust from a second cavalry group behind the group of Balk's horsemen, and the 7th Chasseur troopers retreat back to Disna unscathed.
3. Doumerc's/Oudinout's cavalry scouts arrive at Gamzelov without incident, and can proceed to Dvoretz.
4. The Spy arrives at Gamzelov without incident, and can proceed to Baravucha.
1. Kulineff's Grodno Hussar Scouts - arrive at Antonova without incident, and can proceed to Danowizcy.
2. Balk's Dragoon Scouts lead the procession out of Drissa, and encounter cavalry scouts from the 7th French Chasseurs a Cheval (Corbineau) near the intersection of the road to Disna and the road to things further south. Knowing that Witgenstein's Light cavalry scouts are not too far behind, the dragoons are formed into a skirmish line, but the French Colonel successfully retreats with his troopers back down the road to Disna, after he sees the dust rising from another group of cavalry scouts bringing up the rear. Balk's Dragoon scouts must return to Drissa before expending their 2nd movement point for this turn, and this in essence represents their screening role since they've encountered the French 7th Chasseurs.
3. Wittgenstein's Light Cav Scouts to proceed to Philippovo, and then they can use their 2nd movement point from that location.
4. The Spy hides near a small wealthy looking farmstead near where the attempted engagement occurs, and as the cavalry situation finishes, the Spy proceeds to Disna.
Story Results ...
At the French 2nd Corp Headquarters, Part 1 ...
After it had been determined that General Doumerc would need to step up as Chief of Staff, at least for the moment, hopefully not longer, the cavalry General had immediately issued orders for the French scouts to ride.
Now it was close to noon, and Doumerc was back in the saddle again. Reports hadn't shown up yet, and so there was a tinge of nervousness as he had ridden out to review the dispositions of the various cavalry regiments that made up his Reserve Brigade.
The summer sun had been much rougher than expected, large quantities of horse had been dieing in the heat. French soldiers would eventually need to begin to foraging for local food sources as a way to assure themselves and their animals had enough to eat, but disease had already started to take it's toll.
Doumerc wiped his brow in the bright sunlight. Then he turned his head to one side as he heard a messenger on horseback gallop up in a rush of hooves and rising dust.
- - - - - -
At the Russian 1st Corp Headquarters ...
It was mid day, and General Wittgenstein was having lunch under the awning that he had some of his men put up outside the front of his tent to protect from what seemed to be hotter than the usual temperatures for a summer in Russia.
The French under Marshall Oudinot had reached the Dwina River in early July, and proceeded to play a bit of touch and go as they moved east. Wittgenstein and his men had been resting after having rapidly retreated when Napoleon's invasion of Poland had begun. However, it seemed as if the French 2nd Corp had now disappeared from his army's shadowing along the river's edge, and contact had been lost.
Wittgenstein was figuring Oudinot was continuing to follow Napoleon, since other Marshall's like Ney and Murat had disappeared far to the east as well. So out went the scouting forces early this morning to determine for sure what had happened.
Messages had begun to arrive, and Wittgenstein began opening the notes as they did.
- - - - - -
At the French 2nd Corp Headquarters, Part 2 ...
The cartographer, Marc de Henrie, had been out and about for days, and tracking down information to see how accurate the map was that had been made by some Imperial Czarist's servant.
Marshall Oudinot looked intently, while laying on his cot at the updated map being held in his hand just slightly above his head, as he spoke, "Hmmm, and how did you manage to learn of Mushino? And don't tell me you've been riding through Russian pickets to accomplish that."
De Henrie didn't take his own eyes off of Oudinot as he replied, "I found a host of farming trade records at the local convent, sir."
The Marshall's eyes looked away from the map and towards Henrie as he asked, "Is this how the three towns to the east were also located? One would think Czar Alexander's mapmaker would have not missed those."
"Apparently so, Marshall, but no, I took a ride up that way with Doumerc's guide before the General sent him west to parts unknown."
Oudinot returned his eyes to the map, and then wondered aloud, "And how did the Russian map maker not include Baravucha?"
De Henrie simply said, "No idea sir", and after a very brief pause, "I wouldn't have missed it."
(The name of the cartographer is a French version of one of our French players who provided the newly updated, thank you!)
- - - - - -
Around and About Disna ...
Fillip had come from far from his younger days outside St. Petersburg on his father's horse farm. After his father passed away, and being the youngest of 14 children, his oldest brother was now running the farm under the watchful eyes of their mother, and Fillip had received only a horse as an inheritance. Fillip had named the horse, "Apostol", and ran off intending to serve in the cavalry.
However, he was deemed to short, and his horse not big, and so instead, he'd been hired as a messenger. Overtime, his daring and intelligence had brought him to being a lone scout, and somehow found his way to Wittgenstein's attention in the early days after Napoleon invaded with the Grande Armee. And now he found himself on the south side of the Dwina River ready to see how much further he might go before returning to Wittgenstein's headquarters.
Fillip had ridden out from Drissa with a half squadron of Wittgenstein's light cavalry, but in the last month he'd learned fast. When he saw Balk's Dragoons move into skirmish formation further down the road from there the road had a divergence just below a fancy farm building, Fillip moved himself and his mount off towards the farm to get out of sight, and hopefully be in a position to be able to continue with his mission.
Once the situation had resolved itself, cavalry scouts from the French 7th Chasseurs retreating back down the road from where they came, Fillip joined up with Balk's horsemen as they continued towards Disna. When they arrived a lengthy distance away, they reigned in their horses, and only stayed long enough to see that there were large quantities of Swiss infantry units encamped just to the north of the town, plus artillery and cavalry near by as well. As the Russian cavalry returned back up the road to make their report, it wasn't long after that when Fillip turned with Apostol into the woods, and then descend down through them to the waters of the Dwina.
Thankfully Fillip new how to swim, but could he get his horse across the river?
He located a small fishing hamlet down river, and there he encountered three fishermen with a large flat boat, and paid them well for a crossing. The boat was beached, Fillip walked Apostol onto it's deck, getting the horse down, while the three men pushed the boat into the river. It wasn't long after for reaching the other side, and Fillip was off to other parts, still as of yet unknown.
- - - - - -
Just North of Disna ...
General Merle was called from his tent, and he moved quickly to see what was the matter.
"Sir", the aide de camp pointed to the northwest, and then handed the General a spyglass that the aide had just finished removing from his own eye.
Merle raised it slowly, not wanting to show any sense of alarm, and as he slowly moved his viewing from one side of the horizon to the other, he then only said, "Hmmm."
"Sir, looks like Russian dragoons to me".
"Yes, yes, but only dragoons, nothing more. It matches with what the 7th have already encountered and reported, so nothing new."
"But sir, they now know where we are."
Merle continued to view the enemy horsemen before lowering the spyglass, and then replying, "It was only a matter of time. We're not here to make their lives easier, and they aren't going to let us be here unopposed. I'm not going to let my dander get all up about this. I want you to prepare a quick message, as soon as the 20th Chasseurs report in from their own travels, and then send a rider to Doumerc and Oudinot accordingly."
The orderly looked back, saluted, and said, "Yes sir", just before the General returned inside to his tent.
- - - - - -
Contact At Danowiczy ...
Blue coated Grodno Hussars, and green coated 20th Chasseurs faced off at a distance, the irony of the two colors being reversed for what one would usually see as being French and Russian was not lost by either of the Captains who commanded these two scouting groups. Both commanders also noticed that the roads in the area weren't good, even though they all led into Danowiczy.
The older and experienced Captain of the Hussars had arrived on a slight rise above the small village to it's northwest after having just come from an intersection much further back. But as the low hill had been crested, it was noticed that the French cavalry had just arrived on the southerly side of the bridge that provided for a crossing over the slow moving Drissa River.
It was obvious there was not enough time for the Hussars to keep the Chasseurs from the crossing point, and so the grizzled looking Captain arrayed his troopers where they were, sort of making a show of force all in row, and to see what happened next. With it being close to noon, and the sun behind the backs of the French Chasseurs, it wasn't tough for the French scouts to see the bright blue uniforms of the Russian force up and behind the village, and so the Captain of the Chassuers slowed his men to think, and decide what to do next.
And so ... the two groups of enemy horsemen stared at each other from quite a distance away, and for quite some time.
However, the French captain finally decided that he didn't want to risk not being able to report to his superiors the force that had been encountered. With a quick and sharp order, the Chasseurs turned and rapidly moved off and back towards Disna from where they had arrived.
The Hussar's captain saw a slight advantage in what had occurred, although he was wise enough not to push his luck without back up. He also knew there were those who would want to know of this stand off, and shortly after the French had left, away the Russians moved off with confident posture, and dust rising as they went back up the road accordingly.
- - - - - -
Movement Point 2 ...
1. Castex's cavalry scouts - proceed to Golovichitsa without incident.
2. Corbineau's cavalry scouts - the 7th had tried to reach Drissa in the morning, and the 20th tried to reach Danowiczy afterwards, neither of them did.
3. Doumerc's/Oudinout's cavalry scouts - arrived at Doretz without incident.
4. The Spy arrived at Baravucha without incident.
1. Kulineff's Grodno Hussar scouts - arrive at Antonova without incident, although got bounced back from Danowizcy to Antonova again.
2. Balk's Dragoon scouts attempt twice to get to Disna, and although they repel some 7th Chasseurs in the morning, they eventually find the enemy by noon, and return to Drissa bringing with them their report.
3. Wittgenstein's light cavalry make it to Philippovo, and then to Lozovka with no incident.
4. The Spy makes it it to just south of Disna with his second movement point, which conforms to the guidelines of how the Spys operate when they encounter enemy forces and are looking to get around them.