A couple of years ago I bought the Snappy Nappy Napoleonic wargame rules. The booklet gathered dust on my shelves, but today I had an enjoyable afternoon, playtesting the game against club mate Fred.
I like the concept of A Campaign In a Day, with a group of players on different, interlocked tables.
This trial game was too quick and the test too short to judge the rules in full. Let me share a few first thoughts, my superficial first impression.
- The game is fast. Somebody described it as ‘a sprint into a knife fight’. To force a conclusion, players have to line up against each other, close the distance, because the weapon range is very small and firing not really effective, except pre-close combat.
- In other games, the commanders have a personality that affects their actions: Ney tends to attack, Schwartzenberg is careful etc. In Snappy Nappy, subcommanders get orders from the CiC, like attack, or: defend the area but don’t get into contact, or: withdraw etc.. Subcommanders have a limited ability to mitigate/change orders, depending on their nationality. If the CiC orders a CiC to move agressively towards the enemy, but according to a local Austrian subcommander, that would be foolish, the Austrian commander could decide to a more cautious advance (one grade less dynamic, on the Snappy Nappy orders table). A French commander could either be more agressive than ordered, or less agressive than ordered. French commanders were more trained in independent command.
- The game is easy. Mostly a 10-sided die and a simple combat results table. No difficult reaction tests, sub tables, very special rules for very special weapons or units.
- Morale is all. Units have a ‘morale value’. When hit, a unit can degrade and lose morale points. The unit must pass a test, otherwise immediately roll again, and risk losing another morale point. This means that in the beginning a unit will degrade slowly but near the end faster and faster. And if you roll badly, a great unit can rout after just one hit.
- It’s not a standard IGOUGO-game: players roll (modified) for Initiative. Winner moves/charges first.
We played the Austerlitz scenario with my 6mm troops. My first thoughts:
- Austerlitz is huge, with seven subcommanders per side, on one table. I should have tried a smaller scenario for playtesting.
- the important concept that every subcommander has his own orders and can change that somewhat depending on the local situation didn’t work out very well with just two opponents and a CiC who is also all his subcommanders on the table.
- scale: my 6mm is versatile, but the 6mm visual impact is bigger with more stands per unit. For example: my Blücher units are 72 figures/6 or sometimes 8 stands per unit. Snappy Nappy is just 2 stands per unit, economical, but my 6mm game now suddenly lacked grandeur, IMHO. I think this game should be played with 10-20mm figures for visual impact, or with 4 6mm stands instead of 2.
- Little Wars TV made a ‘Snappier Nappy’ QRS. With somewhat different modifiers/house rules. We sometimes used that different QRS and that caused confusion. Which rule should we use? The original or the updated /house ruled LWTV-version?
The game is not really meant to be a large two-player game on a single table, I thought. For that I’d prefer Blücher. For multiplayer gaming on different tables I still think it’s excellent, minimal complexity, tactical choices and unexpected events. That’s my first impression.
One thought on “Snappy Nappy: Multiplayer, Not Two-Player Napolonic Wargame Rules”
It works OK as a one on one wargame, but I very much agree, not what I’d use for that myself either. A big multi-player games is very suitable, but it is the Campaign in a Day events that shine. Try one some time when the pandemic has subsided.