Tuesday, 29 March 2011

Campaign Fog of War

The PBEM campaign is working well.

I wear three “hats” in the campaign. I am umpire, French CinC and Prussian CinC. So I had to devise a method of ensuring that in each of those roles I only had the information which should be available.

Example of Umpire Tactical Map at end of day

As Umpire I know the exact location of all eight corps. These are plotted on the umpire tactical map. The above is the situation at the end of the first days movement.

Example of French CinC Tactical Map before corps reports

As the French CinC I only know the exact location of my own headquarters. I know what I have ordered the four French corps to march to, but until I receive their reports I know nothing more.

When I issue their orders I indicate where I have told them to move to with arrows.

The fog of war comes from the eight campaign players.

At the end of each move I send each corps commander a detailed report on their current location, order of battle and any contact with the enemy. They then write their orders for the next move, and have the opportunity to send one message. Surprisingly only one of them has taken this opportunity to inform their CinC what is happening.

Once a day each corps commander has to send a report to their CinC, informing him what has happened during the day, their current location and order of battle, and any contact with the enemy.

To make their job easier I have included a template for each of their reports in the campaign rules. When I ask for a report, I remind them where to find the template.

All that is then necessary is to cut and paste the information I have provided as umpire from the current umpire report to the required report, and send that report to me as their CinC.

Sounds easy, but five of the six reports I have received so far contain serious errors. None have cut and pasted, but have written their report in their own words. In doing so one had given an incorrect map reference and a second had forgotten to tell Davout that he has spotted a Prussian corps five miles away. Two have forgotten to include their order of battle. A third has written a long, and interesting, report on his day’s activities. But without any of the information which should be contained in the report.

Example of French CinC map after corps reports

In the example above IV and V corps have reported enemy cavalry contact, but failed to report the presence of a large body of enemy behind the cavalry screen. VI corps have passed on all the information provided by the umpire, including a large body of the enemy in Cuellar.

1 comment:

Adelaide Gamer said...

Lol. Sounds like perfect fog of war material (as long as the umpire knows what is 'really' happening).