Sunday, 20 February 2011

Campaign battles

Battle of Helmstedt

When I have taken part in campaigns in the past as a player, the most difficult aspect has always been battles/wargames. The last two campaigns are ended abruptly as soon as a battle was declared, without reason or explanation. Presumably the GM/Umpire just found it too difficult to resolve the battle/wargame.

I knew that this would not be a problem with my current campaign, because I have fought many battles/wargames whilst the campaign was solo. But now that it is PBEM I was faced with the problem of how much to tell the players.

All players were aware before they signed up for the campaign that Jan and I would wargame the battles. They were also aware that the whole purpose of the campaign was to provide good battles for us to wargame.

The purpose of the campaign for the players is strategic, and trying to outwit the enemy. And of course the battle/wargame is the result of all of their efforts. So we felt it was important that they should be as involved in the battle/wargame as possible. To this end we post a move by move account, with photographs, on the 1813 campaign blog.

As with most Blogs we get very little feedback, so I am never sure how interested others are in the content. We do get about 20 hits a day on the blog, so obviously quite a few people are reading the battle report.

But we were not prepared for the feedback from one or two players. It’s always good to get feedback, but some of this was critical of the battle/wargame tactics. It’s good that there is sufficient interest to prompt this response, but its put Jan and I on warning that our performance may come in for some critical response!

I had taken care to ensure that the game started with the same orders as the campaign. But once on the table I felt it was reasonable for us both to fight the game in the way we thought best, and to be free to react to changing circumstances. This caused the adverse response. One player felt that we should have followed his campaign orders, even though we both felt this would have resulted in the defeat of his corps.

This is something I will have to try to sort out on the forum once the current campaign is finished. We have to be very aware that the campaign battles involve more than just the two of us, and that we want to achieve an enjoyable game for all concerned.


Robert (Bob) Cordery said...

I am sorry to hear that you are not getting much feedback from your blog readers. I for one always read and enjoy what you write, and have followed your PBEM campaign with interest.

Keep up the good work.

All the best,


thistlebarrow said...

Hi Bob

Nice to hear from you again

Thanks for your comments.

I didn't mean to sound like I was having a whine! I think lack of feedback is probably pretty common on blogs?

The real problem with the lack of feedback is knowing whether I am getting the battle reports right. I feel that I am putting in too much technical (rule) detail, but fear that if I don't it will not be so obvious what has gone right or wrong with the game.

But I guess you can worry too much about these things!

You were one of the first to post a comment when I started the blog about two years ago. I am really pleased that you are still having a look now and then.

best regards