Saturday, 15 August 2009

1806 Email Campaign

Its been a very busy week for me. My son, wife and 3 year old grandson Jack are here for 10 days, and the house have been converted into a very large and very untidy play pen. Fortunately the pool is 30 degrees, so they have spent most of each day swimming. Its too hot to do much else during the day, but they all go into Calpe in the evening to let Jack play on the beach.

So my wargaming activities have to be fit in between family responsibilities! Which means that we have not done any wargaming at all this week, apart from a couple of moves of the latest wargame just before they arrived. And next week looks like being more of the same.

The Campaigns of Napoleon Forum was also very slow at the end of last week, and I posted a letter asking why. There was a good response, and of course I then had to answer them all. So that will teach me!

Most of my spare time has been spent on the new 1806 Campaign which I have become involved in. It is an email campaign being run by one of the Forum members, and I have volunteered to be Napoleon. It is the first time I have taken part in an email campaign, and I was not sure what to expect. It reminds me a lot of when I was in the army - a of rushing around followed by a lot of doing nothing.

There are four French players and about the same Prussian. There are very few rules for the campaign and it all seems to be very Kreigspeel (is that spent right?). By that I mean that the Game Master tells the players only as much as he wants them to know.

It took me about a week of emails to and fro to get a handle on what was expected of me. The plan was that each "go" would be a campaign week.. I asked if each "go" could be one campaign day, as I did not see how I could plan a week in advance. I seemed to have very little information, and a map which did not seem to show a lot of detail, so it was very difficult to arrive at any sort of plan. Eventually I decided to follow Napoleon's own plan and asked the GM to set it up.

There was then a gap of more than a week, as the GM had an accident and was taken to hospital! Eventually I got an update, but it told me that a fire had delayed some of my corps, and on the updated map they were all over the place. None of that fancy moving in a giant square like formation where each could support the others.

The campaign is now about three weeks old, and we are writing orders on a daily basis. Until yesterday everyone sent their orders to the GM and he sent updated maps. But I gather some of the players have not been sending in orders/reports. So yesterday we were told that a new system would take effect immediately. The most important change was that we would now send orders and reports direct between players, with a copy to the GM. Seems like a much better system, and hopefully easier for him too.

So yesterday was spent trying to get updated reports from my three wing commanders, as I then had to write new orders for day three by last night. Only two players responded, so no reports from one wing. I issued the orders anyway, and now I await some feedback.

Its been hard work so far, and not a whole lot of fun. But I have great hopes for the new system. The only problem is that each campaign day will take a week of real time to exchange orders and reports. I am just hoping that the long gaps inbetween action will not mean that I lose track of what is happening.

Either way, you will be the first to know.


Martin said...

Hi Paul,

The delay in communications sounds pretty authentic to me. Wasn't that one of The Little Corporal's difficulties with his Marshals in Spain? By the time his detailed orders arrived from France, the situation had changed.

Trust your local commanders and keep a large reserve to influence events, once the "big picture" is developed. Be bold in you actions, because after all, you are Napoleon and there are plenty of underlings available to take the blame if something jumps the tracks! Ha, ha, ha!

I hope you and the better half enjoy your time with the family. Grandson Jack sounds like a keeper. It's such a shame youth is wasted on the young!



thistlebarrow said...

Hi Martin

You are quite right, but it takes some getting used to when you normally run a solo campaign.

It seems to be going much better now that the players are emailing each other as well.

You forget just how much energy children have. And how much everything has to fit around them. I know it must have been the same when our son was aged three, but of course we were a lot younger then. And the best part is that when Jack wears Jan and I out we can give him back to his mum and dad!