Lost another player without reason or excuse. This was another one of those who simply fail to reply to emails. This is the third in 18 months, so I suppose that is not too bad. Fortunately I have been able to replace him quite easily.
I am always half expecting some one to drop out when there is a long break in the routine of the campaign. In this case there were three battles to be fought, so there was a break in routine order writing for about three weeks or so.
This particular player had only joined the campaign on 25 January this year. He only wrote a couple of orders, the last one in late February. Then nothing. I do wonder why they bother to join in the first place.
This was the second commander of this particular corps. The previous player, who had taken part in the two earlier campaigns, had to withdraw due to work commitments. There is much more work replacing a player mid campaign than starting at the beginning. So I always stress the commitment, and in particular the requirement to reply to post within 48 hours. Of course he was full of commitment, yet within a few weeks had apparently lost interest to such an extent that he could not even be bothered to reply to my mail.
Of course there may be a very good reason why he did not reply. But in the absence of an excuse, you naturally assume the worse.
I have found since converting the campaign to PBEM that you have to be quite strict in enforcing the discipline of the campaign. I try to treat everyone as I would like to be treated. I also try to give everyone the benefit of the doubt. But I do not waste any time on a player who does not reply to my mail within 72 hours. And experience has proved that I am right to do so. Because of the three who did not reply to the reminder, not one of them has contacted me since to explain why they dropped out without notice.
There was a time when this would have discouraged me and caused me to consider whether it was worth the trouble for so little consideration in return. But I now realise that this attitude would be quite wrong. For every one who disappeared without excuse, three or four told me before hand that they could no longer continue. And of course the rest of the team continue to play week after week.
And I must confess that despite the slight irritation caused by such behavior, the participation of the rest of the players has added a great deal to my enjoyment of the campaign and has convinced me that PBEM is a very good alternative to physical participation in a wargame campaign.