Saturday, 28 April 2012
Thursday, 26 April 2012
Wednesday, 25 April 2012
Monday, 23 April 2012
Friday, 20 April 2012
Thursday, 19 April 2012
Tuesday, 17 April 2012
The next phase of the PBEM campaign will be set in central Germany and the objective will be the capture of Gera.
Sunday, 15 April 2012
Similar in size to the one for Northern Germany.
Again it only shows the major strategic roads (in red) linking cities, and the main roads (in yellow) between main towns. The roads linking small towns and villages will be shown on the tactical map.
The current PBEM campaign is drawing to a close, so I have to concentrate on campaign maps now.
I have already started work on the campaign strategic map, which will cover part of this map of Central Germany.
After that will be the campaign tactical map, which will cover a smaller area but in much more detail.
Sunday, 8 April 2012
Dramatic developments in our PBEM Tortosa campaign.
Having exposed his corps to an uneven two to one battle the player concerned abruptly abandoned the campaign. His corps suffered the predictable defeat, suffered heavy casualties and fled the scene abandoning their lines of communications and supply.
With all of their brigades in rout the French had to avoid combat for three moves, and could provide neither an advance nor a rear guard. The Spanish set off in pursuit, and the French then stumbled into another, equally battered, enemy corps. In the circumstances the French had to surrender.
This setback was more the result of French inefficiency than of Spanish strategic ability. The Spanish corps which caused the French to surrender were themselves recovering from an earlier defeat. Despite heave casualties they had at least rallied their brigades. Had the French not been so battered they could have easily thrust the Spanish aside and carried on. But without a single brigade capable of fighting they had to surrender.
Quite a typical Spanish style victory and one only a multiplayer campaign could produce. But I am very pleased that the PBEM is providing such interesting and unexpected situations.
With more than one quarter of the French campaign removed at a stroke, the campaign must be entering its final phase. The French still hold Tortosa, the objective of this phase of the campaign. And they still have two strong corps in the field. So there is still life in the campaign.
But it is now only a matter of time, and probably not very long. I do not want to drag out the campaign just for the sake of it. Nor do I want to rob the other French commanders of the chance to save the day.
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
This is the master map for all of Germany.
It covers an area 928 miles wide and 480 miles deep. Each square is 15 by 15 miles, which is one days march in the campaign and the area covered by the wargames table. Each square has a reference number
This map shows main geographical features, plus the major cities and the strategic roads between them. These red roads are the main communication links, and will dictate campaign objectives.
The white lines divide the three campaign areas of Northern, Central and Southern Germany.
Map of Northern Germany
This is the new map of Northern Germany.
It covers an area 928 miles by 480 miles, and each square is 15 miles by 15 miles. The grid system is the same as for the map of all Germany, and the reference numbers are the same.
The area covered is slightly larger than indicated in the larger map. This is to allow a slight overlap to make it easier for campaign purposes.
Major towns have been added, and the main roads connecting them shown in yellow. It is now more obvious where the main strategic towns lie.
The next step is to make similar maps for Central and Southern Germany.
But before then I will have to start making maps for the next phase of the campaign. This will involve three new maps.
First will be a strategic map similar to the above, but covering a much smaller area. On this map will be plotted the rest of the towns, and the minor roads which connect them.
Then a tactical map which will be used for campaign movement. In previous campaigns I have only had one such map. It was used for player movement, and also to set up the wargames table. But for the next campaign I will make two. One will be for use by the players, and will look like the above. The second will cover the same area, but will show the scenic squares to be used on the wargames table.
Sunday, 1 April 2012
It’s only a couple of days since I posted that I have a corps commander vacancy on my PBEM campaign, and I have filled it already! I was delighted to receive six applications, all of whom were sent details of the campaign, stressing the commitment expected of players. Already four have asked to join, and three of those asked to go on the reserve list for when another vacancy comes up. Thank you all who have applied so quickly.
It’s strange that in the last three months I have lost six players, and only three in the previous twelve months. Not sure why that may be, but I suspect it is because it is much more difficult to join mid campaign than at the start. The new player has to take on a lot of information about the history of the campaign, as well as the background. And his new command is often in a bit of a mess, as that is usually the reason the previous commander packed it in.
For example this current role has changed hands three times in since mid January 2012!
The corps had been commanded by a long time player, who had taken part in two previous campaigns. He had to leave the campaign due to heavy work commitments. I am sure that was genuine, as he had taken part in the campaign ever since I converted to PBEM.
I found his replacement in mid January and went through the usual introduction of explaining what was expected of new players, and in particular the 48 hour reply rule. He seemed very keen and asked lots of questions. He wrote his first orders on 26 January. He wrote two sets of orders. He failed to reply to my request for the third set, and also ignored my final reminder. I took him off the campaign on 4 March.
His replacement applied just two days later on 6 March. Again I went to great lengths to explain the commitment required. Again he seemed very keen, and spoke of great experience in wargaming. On 16 March he wrote his first orders, but only after a reminder because they were late. His second orders were also late, and again I had to send a reminder. His third orders caused me some concern, because they went against the orders issued by his CinC, and if I carried them out he would almost certainly lose his corps. I wrote to him on 25 March to explain and ask why he wanted to attack when it was almost certain to end in complete failure. He did not reply, and I have not heard from him since.
All of this involves a lot of work, and I need to find a way to make it easier for new players to join the campaign and certainly easier for me to replace them. I don’t think I can make it any clearer what the commitment is before they join. I did so with both players, and both seemed quite happy to accept on those terms. Yet both left very quickly.
I have written to both to ask why. Was the campaign too difficult? Was the 48 hour turn around too hard to meet? Did they simply not like the campaign? I have not heard from them yet, but I hope I will do so.
Far from making me disillusioned with the whole PBEM concept, it has made me determined to change the next phase of the campaign to overcome this problem.