Sunday, 8 January 2012

Project for 2012

My project for 2012 will be a complete overhaul of my 1813 campaign.

Having spent 2011 converting the campaign from solo to PBEM, and having fought two mini campaigns, I am now convinced that PBEM is the way to go for the future.

The campaign, including our wargame rules, was designed to suit Jan and I. To provide the sort of wargames we wanted to play and to make full use of the wargame table, figures and scenery we had available. It was designed to be run with the minimum of administration and both the wargame and campaign rules were short lists rather than full rules.

Despite this the conversion to PBEM has worked quite well. However the mechanics have had to be changed drastically to meet the requirements of eight campaign players. As a solo campaign I could easily provide battles when I was ready to fight a wargame, and of a size which suited the rules I was using. This has proved impossible with the PBEM campaign.

Our wargame rules were written to fight battles of four corps each with a model soldier strength of 32 infantry, 4 cavalry and 1 gun. This was because our 6x6 foot table was just right for 128 infantry, 16 cavalry and 4 guns per side. My earlier large collection of model soldiers had been reduced to provide suitable armies of French, Polish, Bavarian, Italian, Westphalian, Austrian, British, Prussian, Russian and Spanish armies of that size.

The same size armies are used in the PBEM campaign, but instead of one player commanding all four corps within the army, each player only commands one corps. In the solo campaign each corps moved and fought as part of the whole army. In the PBEM corps each corps operated separately. Furthermore each player wanted to have some choice as to how he should deploy and fight his corps.

This resulted in much smaller wargames. Usually only one corps per side. Sometimes two or even three, but never four. The wargame rules which had been designed for four corps per side required some adjustment to fight with just one corps.

In addition the more freedom I gave the eight campaign players, the less control I have over when battles/wargames will be fought. This has resulted in more interesting campaigns for the players, but less wargames for Jan and I to fight.

So over the coming months I am going to work out a campaign designed for PBEM. The size of armies will remain the same, but I want to be able to consider how best to play the actual campaign. Perhaps each player will have command of a four corps army, rather than just one corps.

I also want to rewrite my wargame rules to make then suitable for single corps battles. I like the rule mechanisms, so I will not be changing them too much. Mostly it will be the command and control section.

I will also write a new set of campaign rules to suit the new campaign concept. I also want them to be an extension of the wargames rules. Or perhaps the wargames rules to be part of the campaign rules.

Not sure how I can engineer more battles/wargames. I might have to run a series of one off wargames, similar to our Wellington’s battles. We have nearly completed that series, so I might start a new one based on Napoleon’s battles.

It will be a lot of work, but I have plenty of time. And I am really looking forward to starting the whole thing again from first basics.

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