Sunday, October 11, 2009

Campaign on Hold

The campaign has been put on hold whilst I consult all ten players about the proposed changes. I sent each an email yesterday asking for their feedback. Partly because of the different time zones, and partly because not everyone has access to the internet during the weekend, I am still waiting for some replies.

About half has replied so far, and the feedback has been very positive. All who have replied so far want to continue with the campaign.

From the feedback so far the main problem seems to be the command and control and the role of CinC and corps commanders. I think this will be solved by the amendment I have put in place, though only time will tell.

There was also a feeling that having to submit orders once per day was too often. And that it did not allow time for the players to consult between themselves. This is something that I had sensed already, but I wanted to keep the daily turn around if possible. In the other PBEM game I am involved in the worse part for me is the long gaps between anything happening. However if there is a wide spread feeling that they need longer I will have to come up with a solution.

It could be daily orders will be submitted once per week. However this would defeat one of the main reasons for opening my campaign to PBEM - which is to provide wargames for Jan and I. At present we have suspended our own campaign so that we can fight these battles as soon as they occur. We could restart our campaign to provide our daily wargame fix, but the table would then not be available immediately a battle took place in this campaign. If we move one square per week it will take at least a month for a battle to take place, perhaps much longer. I will see what the rest of the feed back is before I decide one way or the other.

The third point raised is that the map does not allow for strategic type outflanking moves. There is a good reason for this. The strategic moves are done, appropriately, on the strategic map. If you look at the campaign background (on the right) you will see the strategic map for this campaign. It covers most of northern Germany from Berlin to Bremen. That is where the strategic movement is done.

This campaign is fighting the tactical battle. If you were to take the 1815 100 days campaign as an example the strategic map would be from Paris to Brussels. When the armies concentrated at Charleroi you would transfer to the tactical map. This would show the area from Charleroi to Brussels. That is what we are fighting in this campaign.

You need to think of the tactical map as a series of wargames table. Each table is 6x6 foot. If you look at the tactical map you will see that there are 4 such tables wide and 3 deep, making a total of 12 wargames tables. Each town is in the centre of its "table".

The difficult part is to prevent the players from just grouping in the centre and having one huge battle which would end the campaign. This is what happens in many campaigns. You have a lot of maneuvering followed by a single battle. What I want to encourage are a series of small battles - one to one corps. This would open a gap where the winner could exploit leading to 2 corps per side and eventually the "waterloo" battle of the campaign. Easy to explain, but very difficult to engineer the campaign so that it happens.

I hope by Monday that I will have had all of the replies. I will then put a few options to the players and see which they would prefer. The campaign will then start again. You will appreciate from what I said above about waiting for replies that this may take all week to sort out. But I don't want to start off at half cock again before each players understands what is required and is happy to go along with it.

I will post updates on the blog to let you all know how it is going.

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