Saturday, 31 October 2009

New PBEM Campaign

I have started work on the next PBEM campaign, which will start when the current Magdeburg campaign comes to an end. I expect this will be in about two weeks.

The new campaign will also be set in 1813, and the objective will be to take the river Saale and the town of Halle.

There will be a number of differences from the previous campaign, including hidden movement.

If you would like to find out more click on PBEM 1813 Halle Campaign on the right. You will also find details of how to take part there.

Friday, 30 October 2009

Wargame Rules Amendment


Our rules normally allow only commander in chief to change corps orders. When a corps commander feels unable to follow his orders he is allowed to change them to Halt, but must then wait for new orders from the commander in chief.

This was designed to stop corps commanders reacting to something which happened in another part of the wargames table, and which he would not be able to do in real life. When this rule was adopted we normally fought larger wargames with four corps on the table.

Over recent months we have been fighting much smaller games, often with only one corps on the table. In these circumstances the corps commander had to be able to change his orders, and was allowed to do so for the use of one to three pips. A Gifted commander would require one pip, an Average one two pips and a Poor one three pips.

If the commander in chief is present during the battle he can still use his pips to change corps orders, thus allowing the corps commander to use all of his pips to fight his corps.

I have now amended the rules to show this amendment. The pages concerned are 2, 3 and 4.

Thursday, 29 October 2009

Fuentes de Onoro - Again


In 1994 Jan and I paid our second visit to Fuentes de Onoro. Our first visit was three years earlier with Holts Battlefield Tours. This is one of those places you really want to be able to explore on your own. To stop and ponder and soak up the atmosphere. Like most Spanish villages it was deserted during both of our visits, and this just adds to the character of the place.

I also wanted to be able to explore the area behind the village, the Wellington ridge which was never used during the battle as the French attacks were all stopped in the village itself, though only just. The village is built on a hill, and at the very top of the village is the church. This was the scene of some of the bloodiest fighting, and changed hands during the battle.

You can read about both of our visits by clicking on Walking Napoleonic Battlefields on the right, and then looking down the list of labels until you find Fuentes.

I have been a little late publishing the battlefields blog this week, because I have been trying to move it to a new blog. This whole blog business has taken on a life of its own since I started earlier this year. First I had just the one blog, this one. I soon found that I was running out of space, so I opened a new one for our move to Spain and our life here since then. In particular it has photos of our regular hill walking in this beautiful area. Not long ago I found I was still running out of space, so I opened a new blog for the campaign, both solo and PBEM. There are a lot of photographs of the wargames, so I need the extra capacity. Now I find that the battlefields blog is the problem. We are less than half way through the battlefield visits I want to cover, and already this blog is 75% full.

I have opened a new blog dedicated to the battlefield visits. I plan to reorganise the ones I have done already, to make them easier to find. But I am having trouble "googling" the blog. Not much point in opening a new one if no one can find it. Providing I can sort this problem out I will post details of the new link here shortly.


Wednesday, 28 October 2009

Why so popular?


For a long time I have had a counter on each blog so that I have an idea how many visitors I get. On this blog, which is by far the most popular one, I usually get 30 to 60 "hits" a day. I have adjusted the counter so that it only records a hit when a new visitor logs in. If the same one skips between blogs it does not count. I was quite flattered that so many people were interested enough to log in each day.

However last week something very strange happened. Six days ago I had 302 hits. I thought it might be something to do with the PBEM campaign I am running on one of the blogs. But two days ago it was 304 and yesterday 515!! Even today it is 57 already, and it is not yet midday.

Obviously I am very pleased with my sudden popularity - but I am also very baffled. There may be a simple reason, perhaps something to do with the counter. But the other blogs all receive their normal numbers of visitors, so perhaps not the counter.

If anyone has any idea I would love to hear it. I appreciate that each of you are not aware that there has been an huge increase in visitors, and would not know why others are visiting. But if you have recently started to look at the blog perhaps you could indicate where you heard about it.

I am sure that we will quickly return to the 30-60 daily hits, so I might just as well make the best of my sudden rise in popularity.

Whatever the reason, thanks for looking in. Its nice to know its not all just for my personal satisfaction and that others find it interesting enough to call in now and then.

Tuesday, 27 October 2009

PBEM 1813 Magdeburg Campaign

The French cuirassiers are about to win a cavalry melee, fail their morale and end up sitting in front the the Prussian guns. The impending French victory is about to suffer a serious reverse.


The battle of Seehausen seems to be lasting forever. This is the latest battle in our PBEM Magdeburg Campaign. Its already lasted 12 moves, which is quite unusual for one of our wargames. And its also proved to be a very enjoyable game. But it now looks like going into a second day!

Because Jan and I now wargame together and rarely have anyone else involved I have become used to doing what I want when I want with the campaign. It suits me fine, because as soon as I get a new idea for the rules, or the campaign itself, I can change it immediately. So I find it frustrating not to be able to do so with the PBEM campaign.

Its been a great learning experience, but I am anxious to start a new campaign and include all of the new ideas I have had. However I found when I was running a weekly group back in UK that players don't like too much change too quickly. I have already changed the rules for this campaign once, and I do not intend to do so again until we start the new campaign.

I had hoped that Seehausen would end in a dramatic victory for one side or the other, but it was not to be. At the end of the first day, 12 wargame moves, either side could still win. We have already had reinforcements during the first day, and that has helped to balance the odds even more. On the 12th move the advantage was swinging to the French, but an unsuccessful French cavalry charge which failed, and left the horsemen sitting in front of the Prussian guns, helped to redress the balance!

On the campaign map both sides have a corps ready to arrive at first light on the second day. The two players commanding those corps have not yet had a chance to test their commands in battle. They have done all of the map moves with the intention of doing so, and I feel it would be really unfair to stop the battle just as they are about to enter it.

I left it up to the two CinC players, and they both want to continue to a second day, so that decided the matter. And this decision will result in a dramatic end to the campaign. I don't want to anticipate what that will be, but I am pretty sure that Seehousen will be the end of the Magdeburg campaign.

You can follow the battle with a daily report move by move by clicking on PBEM 1813 Magdeburg campaign on the right.

Saturday, 24 October 2009

What Next


Everything seems to be going through a quiet patch this week, and being bored I have been thinking about what to do next.

The 1806 PBEM campaign in which I have been playing the part of Napoleon for a few months, looks like running out of steam. Its been weeks since we stopped our weekly turn system, and the long awaited battle seems to be a very confused affair. I had hoped to play a key role in the battle, but it seems to have started without me. And the little information I receive does not make much sense at all. Its always been difficult to keep track of what is happening, and this has gotten even worse as we got closer to the enemy. The last time a Prussian army appeared I asked for a map showing the situation as Napoleon knew it. This was at 1700 and there were no enemy nearer than one hours march away. I issued orders for a battle based on this map. A few weeks later (real time) I was told that I am under attack and the whole situation had changed, yet it was only 1705 (campaign time). I don't think I am cut out for Play by Email. In a club situation you can talk things through and understand what is happening, this element seems to be missing in this campaign.

Then there is a quiet period in my own 1813 PBEM campaign, as Jan and I wargame the second battle. At least in my own game I understand what is happening, and there is a lot. With daily movement no one will get much chance to become bored. Movement has halted whilst we wargame the battle, but I publish a move each day on the blog, so the players can keep up with what is happening. And the battle/wargame is so vital to the campaign its important that they can understand what is happening in the battle.

Finally the forum is very quiet. I am a little disappointed in the forum, because I had hoped that it would offer an opportunity to exchange ideas and suggestions. But as is often the case with internet forums, most of the membership do not contribute. Most of the members are very experienced wargamers if their introductory posts are anything to go by. But having written very interesting "hello letters" they then seem to disappear. And my attempts to provoke more exchange of ideas seems to have met with a deafening silence.

So I am scratching around for something to keep me occupied. I have started work on a new campaign map for my PBEM campaign. If the wargame goes badly for the Prussians the current one could end quite quickly, so I want to be ready with the next stage. It will also be an opportunity to introduce a lot of new ideas to make the campaign more interesting both for me and for the players.


Friday, 23 October 2009

Exciting news about campaign maps



This is an example of my campaign maps. Not very pretty, but very practical and easy to make. Each square is one of my 2x2 foot scenic blocks for my wargames table. The idea is that I can easily transfer the campaign map to the wargames table, and back again. Also if one side is pushed back I remove the nearest squares on the table which are no longer in sue, and add the new ones from the campaign map. Each square on the map has a number, and that is the same as the appropriate scenic square.

Last week I received an email from Ron Marshal, who has created a computer map based on my humble efforts. And it looks great. He gave me a link to his website where I could see the map. Unfortunately my screen is smaller than his, and the grid part of the map was not where it should be. Ron did explain is his mail that it was designed for a larger screen.

Apparently Ron is designing a a similar map system to my hand drawn one, but computerised, and he asked if I would be interested. Needless to say I was much, much more than just interested.

For some time I have been looking at map making programmes for the computer, but nothing I saw would allow me to make the grid system and then put rivers, towns, hills, woods etc just where I wanted them. Or perhaps they would, but I could not understand how. Most seem to be designed to produce map like effects, but that was not what I was looking for. And I am not helped by the fact that I have the greatest possible trouble understanding new computer programmes. I always have problems on the few occasions when I buy a game. It takes me months to understand the basics. I think it may be an age thing.

Anyway I replied to Ron at once, but that was about a week ago. He did send a holding reply, but it apparently busy out earning a living!

I am not sure where it will all lead, but it would be very exciting if I could produce my a map of Europe similar to my strategic map, but with the ability to "zoom in" to something like my tactical map. I am sure that it would take a long time to produce, but I am very hopeful that it might be possible to make a start.

If I ever master the art of map making you will be the first to know.

Meanwhile I eagerly await another contact from Ron!

Thursday, 22 October 2009

PBEM 1813 Magdeburg - Battle Report

Daily movement on the PBEM campaign is on hold whilst Jan and I catch up with the wargame backlog. What started as a small battle looks like becoming the major battle of the campaign, as more corps are fed into the battle.

I am trying out a new battle report layout for PBEM games. It is only fair that players who have put a lot of effort into getting their corps into position for the battle should be able to follow the wargame. So each move will be explained in greater detail than normal, and the rules illustrated more.

If you would like to see what its like, the first move can be seen by clicking on PBEM 1813 Magdeburg on the right.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Walking Napoleonic Battlefields


Poco Velho is not one of the better known Napoleonic battlefields, but it is well worth a visit. The village lies three miles south of Fuentes de Onoro, and was held by two battalions of the newly formed 7th Division on 5 May 1811 when Marshal Massena launched his flank attack on Wellington battle line.

You can read about our visit by clicking on "Walking Napoleonic Battlefields" on the right.

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

PBEM 1813 Campaign


After a week's break to fight the first campaign battle as a wargame we were ready to start again last night.

There has been yet another change which I explained yesterday, namely move three squares for one campaign day. Despite this most of the players sent in their movement email on time, but a couple did not. I expect that they are confused - and who could blame them!

Jan and I had already finished wargaming the second battle of the campaign, and I had written the battle report. But changing to three map moves a day meant that players could move their corps into the battle. So Jan and I had to start the wargame again.

For the time being the battle reports will be slightly different. We will only be wargaming the campaign battles. The battle reports will be in much more detail, so that players can understand what is happening. I will also be putting them on the blog as instalments rather than a complete battle report. This is because they would be very long and complicated to put on as one battle report. And if I put it all on too soon the campaign players will react. If I put them on too late they will have gone onto the next battle and will have lost interest.

I am not sure whether the new battle reports will be an improvement or not. Perhaps you could let me know when they start to appear.

Sunday, 18 October 2009

A breath of fresh air


November is a lovely month for walking here in Spain, so yesterday we went off into the nearby mountains with a couple of friends for a 10 km walk. Its just about the only thing that seems to drag me away from the computer lately - or so Jan says.

We live in a little village in a valley about half an hour from the coast. But we usually drive into the mountains to walk. And yesterday it was from a lovely village called Tarbena. In the photo above is at the end of the walk with Jan and friend walking down into the village.

The walk was not entirely wargame free. We have just finished the first wargame in the PBEM campaign I am running, and I was trying to figure out how to seperate the two corps after the battle, so that it didn't develop into a sort of running war. Whilst walking the answer came to me, and I could hardly wait to get home.

As soon as I reasonably could we got rid of our walking friends so that I could get on the computer and sort it all out. And by midnight it was all down on paper. Being used to solo wargaming if I encounter a problem with the campaign I can just "botch it". But with ten other players it has to make sense, and I don't want to introduce major changes too often. But this solution is simple and easy to introduce.

The PBEM campaign is based on the maps I use for my solo 1813 campaign. I started the campaign calling each square one days march. But after a battle it would take a full day just to seperate the two corps. During the walk I realised that one square on the map is one square on the wargames table. But the wargames table is three squares wide, so in fact one square should be one third of a day. So in future one square in the campaign will be four hours, so there will be three campaign map moves to one campaign day. This will also present a problem to the corps commanders. If they meet the enemy with only four hours left in a day (or four moves in the wargame) will it be better to wait for the next full day before they enter battle.

The PBEM campaign is coming along really well, and I am very pleased with how easy it is to sort out the few problems which have arisen converting from a solo to a multi player campaign.

Saturday, 17 October 2009

PBEM 1813 Campaign

It took four days to reorganise my own PBEM campaign, including finding a new French CinC. It had to be reorganised because there was too much for the CinC to do, and not enough for the corps commanders. It was easy to put the problem right, but it took time to tell everyone and wait for replies.

After four days I was still waiting for two replies, one from the French CinC. I did not want to let the delay drag on, so I sent urgent reminders to both of them. No reply, so I found replacements. Then I got a mail from the French CinC - he had been away from his computer because of a long weekend in USA. Unfortunately too late, I had already confirmed his replacement. But a week later and still no reply from the other player.

So the campaign get going again. You may remember that I stopped the earlier stage just as both sides were about to have a major battle at Magdeburg, so they were very close together on the map. When I received the first days movement orders there were two immediate battles. This meant that the campaign had to pause again until both could be fought as wargames!

Jan and I have been busy fighting the first this week. I have put a daily report on the blog to keep everyone involved, and we have already finished the first battle. It was one of those games where the lucky dice are very kind to one side, and do nothing for the other. Jan was the lucky player this time, and within four moves had half my infantry in rout.

The photo above is of Jan looking very pleased with herself as she considers my routing infantry.

Friday, 16 October 2009

1806 PBEM Campaign - Slow Progress


In my last report I was quite excited that after a quiet patch the campaign was going again. But it looks like I was mistaken. For weeks there has been silence, except for one mail to ask for my reaction to a development.

This is the first PBEM I have taken part in and I was not sure what to expect. Even when we were in our weekly routine I felt it was quite slow. But I suppose that is in the nature of a PBEM campaign. As far as I know there are six players, and the Game Master has to wait for all of them to react before he can go on to the next stage. So in our weekly turnaround I would only spend part of one day reacting to my update and sending in new orders. Then would follow two or three days of silence before the next update arrived.

But for the past four or five weeks the weekly routine has gone by the board. We appear to be getting close to an action and there has been very little information on what is happening. Every week or so I get a request to react to a development, then nothing for another week or so. I can't be more explicit because, apparently, the "other side" have gained much insight into the French plans because "Napoleon" was thinking aloud here on the blog! I am sure that there are good reasons for this quiet patch, and I am sure that the Game Master is doing all that he can. But it is very frustrating when I respond within an hour or two, and then nothing seems to happen for a week or ten days. Perhaps the other players are taking much longer to respond to their requests - but who can tell.

Without at least a weekly update it is quite hard to keep an interest going. I hope that I am wrong, but I do get the feeling that it is all grinding to a halt. It would be a shame if it does end like this, because when it was going well it was great fun to take part in.

I guess that's the problem with organising things on the Internet. In a club you know the people you are dealing with, and they know you. You have a shared interest in the other club activities, and you meet regularly when you can find out what is happening. On the Internet you gather a group from all over the world with no responsibilities to the project, other than a casual interest. So if they get bored, they can just disappear. And if emails are not answered it might mean that their computer is down, they are on holiday or they have just lost interest in the project.

On the other hand it would not be possible to get the campaign going in the first place without the Internet. I guess you just need to take this problem into account when planning a campaign.

Anyway, lets hope that it all gathers speed soon and we get some sort of result for all our previous efforts.

Thursday, 15 October 2009

Visit to Busaco

This week Walking Napoleonic Battlefields covers our visit to Busaco. Despite starting badly, it was raining and we could see nothing due to the heavy fog, this turned out to be one of our more memorable visits.

The battlefield covers a large wooded area, but the important sights are all marked and easy to find. And most give very good views of the important sections. It was easy to find the villages and command posts.

But our favourite, adn most memorable, was the spot where "Black Bob" Crauford ordered the light division forward to defeat the first French attack.

You can read about the visit by clicking on Walking Napoleonic Battlefields on the right.

Wednesday, 14 October 2009

Halle Campaign ends in French Victory


13 June 1813 - end of campaign

After a series of defeats, Napoleon concentrates his army for the major battle of Halle defeats the Russians and drives them back towards Leipzig. He moves his army to the west bank of the river Saale and declares a victory.

He has secured the flank of his Second French Army who are facing Blucher at Madgebug, but has failed to turn the Prussian flank.

The campaign ran for 6 weeks and covered the period 15 May to 13 June 1815.

You can read about it by clicking 1813 Halle Campaign on the right.



Monday, 12 October 2009

Even retired wargames take a break now and then

All is pretty quiet this weekend as I wait for replies from the PBEM group to confirm that they are all happy to continue with the campaign. This has taken up most of my time for the past week with daily orders to process Monday to Friday.

Our own 1813 campaign has been put on hold, and Jan and I are missing our daily wargame. So we have decided to reinstate our own campaign, and just stop our game when a PBEM battle has to be resolved.

But each week we walk in the nearby hills with our Monday Club walking group. Today was through the woods overlooking the pretty village of Campell. Still spent most of the walk thinking about how to get the campaign going again!

Saturday, 10 October 2009

PBEM Campaign - Not so good


Only yesterday everything seemed to be going so well with the PBEM campaign, and now the wheels have fallen off!

The exchange of emails worked much better than I dared hope, especially as each player had to submit his orders every 24 hours.

However the communication has been a problem. What would be simple to explain face to face has proved very difficult via email. This may be due to the way I explained it. Some players seemed to understand at once, others couldn't seem to grasp what I meant. And with the daily requirement, plus the different time zones players live in, this proved difficult.

The biggest problem was the system I was using. It has worked really well for a solo campaign, and I think it would also work if there were just one player per side and an umpire. But it was not up to it for a multi players.

First there was too much for the CinC to do, and not enough for the corps commanders. I tried to allow the corps commanders more freedom by using the types of command which work so well in the wargame. But as a battle drew near it became obvious that it would not work for the campaign.

I thought that we could get through the first battle, and that the corps commanders would then have more to do in the aftermath. But on Friday there was a lot of traffic between players trying to sort out their battle plan, and we just ran out of time. I tried to cobble the first battle, but the more I thought about it the more I realised it needed serious reorganisation.

So today I have called a halt to the campaign whilst we sort things out. I have mailed each player to confirm that they want to continue, and to ask for feedback on the campaign so far. I have also published the outline of the new system on the blog.

Hopefully by Monday I will have all of the replies, and we can get it going again.

The whole idea of the campaign was to learn what works and what doesn't with PBEM. Well I have certainly learned a lot about what doesn't work! If I can keep the players on board I am sure that we can get it going again.

Friday, 9 October 2009

PBEM Campaign - so far so good


I am quite surprised, and very pleased, with how well the campaign is going. It has only been running for four days, but already all ten players seem to have settled into the daily routine of sending movement orders. The two CinC are having a little more trouble, but then again their job is that much more complicated.

Depending on the orders they give today, we may have a battle before the weekend. This would work out well, as it would allow Jan and I to set it up during the weekend break for the players.

I had planned to follow the campaign on the Forum, though not the daily orders and routine admin which would be handled on the blog. But there was some opposition from some members of the Forum who felt it should be on a forum of its own. This quite surprised me, because one of the reasons for opening up the 1813 campaign to PBEM was to encourage interest on the Forum and hopefully result in a little extra posting there. Everything has been very quiet for almost two months.

It was difficult to know how to handle the opposition, without creating more problems. I opted for a poll to see how much opposition there was. This in turn resulted in four or five letters against the whole idea. This put me in a quandary. If I moved the campaign to a new forum I would spend little time on the old forum, and already I am posting almost half of the posts there. This in turn could well lead to the old Forum dying for lack of interest.

After a lot of thought I decided to keep the Campaign on the forum, but to explain my reasons for doing so. I posted a long letter this morning, and the response so far has been favourable. So hopefully the PBEM campaign will achieve the result of raising the profile of the forum.

If you are interested you can read about it on the forum here

http://uk.groups.yahoo.com/group/Campaigns_Napoleon/


You will find the blog for the PBEM campaign by pushing the button on the right.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Walking Rolica


This weeks "Walking Napoleonic Battlefields" deals with our visit to Wellington's first battle in the Peninsula - Rolica. Not one of the easiest battlefields to find your way around, but all the more satisfying for that.

Click on "Walking Napoleonic Battlefields" on the right to read about our visit.

Wednesday, 7 October 2009

The Battle of Halle

French infantry assault Halle

The main battle of the campaign was fought in 15mm, as all four corps were involved on both sides.

It proved to be an excellent wargame, and quite a challenge to fight a large battle after so many single corps games.

You can read the battle report by clicking 1813 Halle Campaign on the right.

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

1806 Email Campaign still running


Great news today, Trevor's 1806 Campaign is still running. I had heard nothing for almost a week, and had sent him an email to ask what was happening. I received no reply, which is very unusual as he normally replies at once.

As the days went by and still no news I began to fear that he had just decided to pack it in. From the little I know of him, it would be out of character not to tell the other players involved. But when you only have contact with people over the internet you don't know them well enough to be able to judge.

Then this morning an email explaining the delay. Trevor lives in rural Wales and a local builder had damaged the telephone lines, resulting in the loss of all computer and telephone access for the whole village. And when it was reconnected all of the lines were mixed up. I though that sort of thing only happened here in rural Spain!

Anyway he now has 200 plus emails to plough through and then the campaign will be up and running.

Well done Trevor, welcome back.

PBEM Campaign now running

Much to my surprise the PBEM campaign started on time last night. Mind it almost didn't start at all.

There are 10 players spread all over the world. the set up required the two CinC to send out strategic orders to their corps commanders, and copy to me. The first set would include the initial deployment of their HQ and each of their corps. Once I had received these I could set up the campaign map and post it on the blog. Both CinC and each corps commander would then have 24 hours (to allow for the different time zones) to send me their movement orders for the second day. I would update and post the map and so on.

It was all due to start at 10pm central European time last night. But the magic hour came, and went, without the French strategic orders. So instead of posting the first map I had to post a delay and send emails asking for a substitute CinC. Minutes later the delayed orders arrived!!

So it started on time, or more or less. I await 10pm tonight with some anxiety to see whether the 10 emails will all have arrived with the movement orders for day two.

I suppose these "teething problems" are quite normal. But this is my first attempt to run a PBEM campaign, and I had not anticipated that it would be so complicated. I am sure it will be worth all the hassle when the campaign gets going.

If you would like to read the daily updated just click on PBEM Magdeburg Campaign on the right.

Saturday, 3 October 2009

The Battle of Leon


This weeks Wargames in Spain battle report is about a mini campaign set in northern Spain. This opening battle deals with the French attempt to hold Leon although outnumbered two to one. Click on right to read battle report.

PBEM Campaign almost ready to start

I have had a very busy couple of days working on the new campaign. It is very much a matter of making things up as I go along, as I have never run a Play By Email campaign before.

I have ten players and am trying to confirm that the email communication is working. To do this I sent out a sort of starter pack by email with a map and instructions for the CinC and each corps commander and asked them to reply. They live all over the world, so I have set the standard that replies should be received within 24 hours. One day later three had still not replied. Three more emails, and six hours later, I am still waiting for the last. The problem is that I don't know if they did not receive it, or just didn't bother to reply.

I can see that this communciations could become a big problem, especially as I am relying on each player to email his daily movement orders to me each day Monday to Friday. So I have laid down that once the game is underway, and I know the contact emails are correct, it is each player responsibility to notify his CinC, and me, if he will not be able to send orders. The CinC will then control his corps until he returns. If they don't notify me I will send one reminder. If it happens again they are out of the campaign. It sounds a bit harsh, even to me. But the alternative is that I will spend all of my time chasing players to send in orders. As it is I will have ten mails each day to convert into the campaign and then issue a new daily situation map.

There are plenty of questions, especially from the two CinC. Yesterday Jan and I went into Denia for our weekly "people fix", and to do the weekly shop. It was a lovely day, and we had lunch at the harbour. So it was late afternoon when we got home - to find 20 emails about the campaign waiting for me.

I started at about 4pm, and it was gone midnight before had sorted them all out. Most were questions, and many the same question. So I have laid down that all campaign questions of a general nature should be put on the Forum. In that way all players can read the question, and all get the same answer. Also they can refer back if necessary.

The other thing which kept me busy was getting the blog right. The questions made me realise that a lot of things were not covered on the blog. So as well as answering their emails I was updating the blog and putting new ones on. In particular there is now a blog explaining what sort of orders the CinC can issue, and exactly what must be done now to start the campaign.

We are off to Calpe to meet some friends for a short walk and lunch. I wonder how many emails will be waiting when we get back this afternoon?

Its been great fun, though a lot of work, so far. I just hope that our campaign designed to provide quick wargames can translate into an enjoyable multiplayer PBEM campaign. Only time will tell.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Walking Napoleonic Battlefields

This weeks visit is to the Portuguese walled town of Obidos, the scene of the first shots to be fired in the Peninsular War.

This lovely town is a very popular tourist attraction in its own right, and I don't suppose many of the visitors have any idea that it played a part in the fight against Napoleon.

To read about the visit click "Walking Napoleonic Battlefields" on the right.

Progress of PBEM Campaign

I am quite amazed at how much has happened in just 24 hours. It was just yesterday that I decided I would try to open up the 1813 campaign as a PBEM campaign, and put a post on TMP and OSW. I decided that I would use Campaigns of Napoleon as the method of information exchange, so anyone interested would have to join.

Within minutes I started receiving emails, both to join the forum and about the campaign. I had intended to wait and see what response I received before I started work on the campaign. But within half an hour it was clear that there would be enough volunteers to make a start. So I started working on the new blog.

It is based on the Magdeburg campaign which Jan and I played as part of the 1813 campaign, so most of the background was easy. It had to be changed slightly, as this campaign is stand alone and not part of a larger campaign.

Then I had to write new rules and explanations. Although only Jan and I will be playing the wargame I feel that players will want much more detail about the wargame rules and how they affect the game. So I will have to look at a new layout for the battle reports.

I also had to write rules for the campaign, though these are really just a first draft. I am sure that they will change greatly once the campaign gets going.

Its quite exciting and I am really looking forward to how it all works out.

I will continue with the Halle campaign until it is complete. Then the PBEM campaign will replace our 1813 campaign until I see how it works out. I had planned a Danube campaign as the next phase of the 1813 campaign. If the PBEM works out well I will use that as the next PBEM campaign but it will be part of the 1813 campaign. If the PBEM campaign does not work well we will just revert to our normal 1813 campaign.

I will continue to post "Walking Napoleonic Battlefields" each week, and also "Wargames in Spain". And there will be occasional references to the 1806 PBEM Campaign I am involved in. But most of my effort will be going into this new campaign.

There is a link to the new PBEM campaign on the right if you would like to keep up with what is happening there.