Sunday, June 5, 2016

Quatre Bras with Snappy Nappy!

Ken and Brian came over and we played an introductory game of Snappy Nappy using a modified scenario from the Volley & Bayonet: Road to Glory rulebook.  I say modified because there wasn't enough cavalry on the table, and we also sped up the arrival timeline slightly (D'Erlon's Corps arrived a little earlier to facilitate more maneuver on the table).

Looking down the Brussels Road towards Quatre Bras
Ken acted as the umpire while Brian played the French.  I played the British.
 Brian's French (French II Corps under Reile) showed up on turn 1 and deployed smartly to attack the Anglo Allied positions.  We kept the initial locations of the Allied positions secret but Brian was able to ascertain where the defense line was going to set up!

Dutch in the woods on the right.  Guns in the center and British on the left.  Snappy Nappy places great emphasis on troop quality and my Dutch are "Conscript" quality while my British are "Seasoned".  

"They came in the same, old way"
 Brian brought his troops up the center and located the Allied positions, which he fanned out to attack!

The Prince of Orange and his staff observe the French.  Note the Dutch troops in the woods to the right

Beads are morale level changes.  Note to self - print out markers for the next game!
 The French II Corps fans out and brings its guns up to hit the British.  Meanwhile, Brian moves some French columns to attack the Dutch in the treeline.

The Dutch Brigade on the right will be pushed back, and this Battery will eventually be forced out of position.  

The French assault the Dutch!
 The turns progress and we moved up the timeline slightly so D'Erlon's I Corps enters the table a little earlier.  Picton's Reserve Corps, with the elite Highlanders also moves onto the table!.  They will move in on "Maneuver" orders and occupy the sunken road next to Quatre Bras.

Picton curses his men along...

A Dutch Brigade evaporates creating a gaping hole in the Prince of Orange's line.
 The Black Brunswickers show up.  They are actually British 10mm troops painted black with blue cuffs and collars.  Cheating?  Maybe - only took me a fraction of the time to paint them...

The Prince of Orange's Corps is nearly spent.  French troops occupy Gemioncourt and have also entered the woods.  Time for the Artillery to get out!

The Dutch let off an impressive volley and push the French back - buying themselves some time.  What occurs is a 5 turn running battle where they are eventually caught by the French in the woods....

The British are reforming their line while the French move up additional units

Picton's units march into position.  The arrows indicate columnar movement.

I succeed in getting the Battery off the line but the Prince of Orange's attempts to rally them are constantly unsuccessful.  They join Picton's units near the sunken lane but don't have much of an effect for the rest of the day.  

Back on the road, French II Corps moves up.

Brian planning his next move!

Meanwhile Picton observes the French advance

Ney arrives at Gemioncourt.  II Corps is advancing by

Reille is satisfied with the remains of the day.  His Corps is still in decent fighting order.
 The French form a "Grand Battery" with their artillery units and start bombarding the Highlanders along the sunken road.  After a few consecutive turns of good rolling, they finally break!

The next defensive line - Picton firmly in command.  The Prince of Orange trying rally up a level on the artillery.  To no avail!

The highlanders are taking a beating from artillery fire!

The British refuse a flank after French Hussars (cleverly disguised as British Heavy Dragoons) reach the flank!
 We have reached turn 8 which is supposed to be the end but the French onslaught hasn't reached the second British line yet.  We decide to play another round to see if the British can hold out.  The French solidly flank the British on their left, routing 2 Brigades and the battle turns into a jailbreak!  The British fail to form a hasty square in time (not that that would have helped their morale was already starting to falter).

The "Black Brunswickers" move up to make their stand.

Meanwhile the Dutch are still running through the woods from the French.  In this picture, they're caught and swiftly dealt with!

2 French Brigades move forward!

French Cavalry menaces the Highlanders!

A French infantry division flanks the British

View from the French side as French troops enter the Bossu Woods

I handed Brian the wrong battery - that's a British foot battery there but you get the idea.

French gunners pound the British positions before the Line moves in!

Flanking the British!

THe final British battalion on Picton's left is routed!
 In the interest of humanity we called the game here after both British flanks have collapsed.  We were probably only a few turns from the French emerging from the Bossu woods and the British road to Brussels being cut.  This was a solid French victory!

Thoughts on Snappy Nappy
We all liked the rules pretty much.  Not sure they are as streamlined as promised, but we did play a game involving 2 to 3 Corps on a side in a little over 3 hours and that's impressive I think.  Some thoughts and observations on the rules:

Artillery is powerful!  Your cannon are potent killers (as they should be) on the battlefield.  Brian "brigading" his Artillery into a Grand Battery gave them 4D10 (for all intents and purposes) to shoot at those Highlanders from a comfortable range while the infantry moved into position.

Troop Quality is a critical component of the game.  In the interest of time we disregarded the 100 Days' OOB from the yahoo group and just made all British "Seasoned" all French "Veteran" and all Allied forces "Conscript."  While not too far removed from the OOB, placing conscripts on your flank without leadership to help rally them is probably asking for trouble.  (The majority of movement of my Dutch was retreating after a combat!)

Strategic Movement is an important component of the game.  At the command level of Snappy Nappy (you as the Corps or Army commander) the roads on the battlefield are of prime importance to your success.  Field columns only move 6" so the roads enable you to move a full foot and give you the mobility you need to perform sweeping maneuvers on the battlefield.

Corps Rallying.  Rallying your Corps is extremely difficult within the confines of the rules.  It's much easier to use your Corps Commander to rally individual brigades during the rally phase but that will put them at risk if the Brigade is attacked.

Final Thoughts?  We all agreed we enjoyed the system and would like to play it again soon possibly with Ken's Austrians and French.


  1. Epic post mate. Brilliant.

    Been ages since I played SN and gald you enjoyed it. There a re a few things that need ironed out in it, but a great game.

    Did you place the orders as per rules? I could never work out why the French would need them - they could just choose 'Screen' and their +/-2 would let be flexible with orders as required.

    Also loved the line/column and the scale in SN.

    When we play it, we roll 5d10 at a time, and have a colour sequence for the order of rolls - e.g. red/green/blue/yellow/black - so when the failure dice comes up in sequence we know what to reduce the unit by; speeds things up a bit.

    Sounds like a great version of Quatre Bras. Looking forward to more.

    1. Darren,
      What a great idea rolling color coded dice all at once. We did play using the orders but failed to see why the French would ever use the "attack" order. So basically we came to the same conclusion you did. We thought about playing without the orders, but felt we should incorporate them the first time. I believe we will play SN again and I am keen to try "Blucher" for the first time also. Ken wants to try Et Sans Resultat so there is no shortage of Napoleonic rules options to try!

      I am wondering if you wanted to play some Peninsula battles like Salamanca or Talavera how easy would it be to issue orders to Divisions instead of Corps.

    2. That's a nice idea - yes I think divisional orders would work just as well; I suppose it's very 'scaleable' the way V&B would be.

      I actually thought the SN rules would work well for AWI too!?!?

      Looking forward to your take on Blucher.

    3. ...and 'et sans resultant' looks really good too. I was starting to tell myself to stop buying rules HA.

    4. Darren,
      You know very well that's an exercise in futility! We'll never stop buying new wargaming rules!!

      I think the idea with Salamanca and Talavera could work - as long as you dont mind having smaller maneuver elements of 2 or 3 brigades.

    5. Yes, scaling SN down could really work. Units could become battalions - a few range and time modifiers only? Actually, the rules would work well for a Peninsular campaign. Are you thinking same scale, but smaller game, or going to battalions from SN's (rough) brigades?

      Plays right into my thoughts on using SN for AWI...if Volley and Bayonet can scale down for it, I guess SN can - units as battalions, commanders as Brigade Command etc.

    6. I was going to at least try to keep them Brigades at first, albeit with small sized Divisions, like at Salamanca, and see how that battle goes. I think, pending the results there, we'll see how it goes with the units as Battalions, but yes on the whole I think it could absolutely work for really any era?

      The AWI period would be fascinating I think to see at that grand scale!

  2. I love the look of your table/field. I've GOT to play MORE Napoleonics! This blog is an inspiration!

  3. I love the look of your table/field. I've GOT to play MORE Napoleonics! This blog is an inspiration!

    1. Thanks John! Glad it is inspiring to you! If I've inspired one person to game more or paint more, I count myself as successful in my endeavors! I want to see more Naps from you!