Wednesday, 25 April 2012

Planning the next campaign


As the Tortosa campaign draws to a close, and with the maps for the Gera campaign completed, my thoughts have turned to what I would like to change for the next campaign.

I am very pleased with how the Tortosa campaign went, and I believe it was a big improvement on the previous Hanover campaign.   But there is always room for improvement, and now is the time to consider how I might achieve it.

There are four aspects of the campaign, which I would like to improve.

First I want larger battles/wargames.   My figures are organised in nationalities of 160 figures consisting of 128 infantry, 16 cavalry and 4 guns.   These are organised in four corps of equal size.   This is the ideal size battle/wargame for my 6x6 foot wargames table.   Since I converted to PBEM most battles have been one corps v one corps, which is just 32 infantry, 4 cavalry and one gun per side.

Second I want to make the length of the campaign shorter.   I would like to complete each phase of the campaign in about three months.   The longer a campaign goes on the more difficult it is to keep players, as personal circumstances change or they simply get bored of the campaign. 

Third I want to make order writing easier for the players.   I believe the campaign works well because I keep the momentum going by insisting on a turn around of 48 hours for orders.  This does not mean the players have to write orders every 48 hours, but they have that long to send them in after I request them.  In the current campaign they have written orders 23 times in 5 months, which is about once per week.   Most often I have had to chase late orders, and more than one player has left the campaign because he finds it difficult to stick to the 48 hour turn around period.

Fourth I want to make it easier to change commands.   In the current campaign there has been a lot of command changes since Christmas, and each one has been more difficult than the last one.   As the campaign goes on it becomes more complicated, and this means more work for me to brief the new player and more difficult for him to grasp what is involved.

I have a few ideas how to achieve these objectives, but they need a little more work to try to avoid creating more unexpected problems.  I have found that changing the campaign can be a bit like amending wargame rules.   You change a rule to meet a particular problem, and in doing so create another two which you have not anticipated!


2 comments:

daveb said...

Hi Paul,

You could create a document with fields for the players to fill in (not sure the best file format for this, but maybe a pdf or something?).

You'd have more control over the layout and it would be easier for the players to meet your layout/order expectations.

The advantage of this is that you could send off the files to the new commander and they'd instantly be up to date. Or perhaps each order set would go into a long log file that could be sent off.

Dave

thistlebarrow said...

Hi Dave

Thanks for your comments

At present I am considering a map for each corps commander using powerpoint. I could update it each move, and send them a jpg copy. This would mean that I do not have to produce an umpire report each move.

Each map would have the move number at the top,and I could keep them on a folder. The whole folder could then be sent to the new player.

It sounds ok in theory, but I will have to trial it to see how it works in practice.

regards

Paul