Sunday, 10 March 2013

Burgos PBEM Campaign

Campaign Diary (Strategic) Map

The campaign is now entering its final stage.  

The published campaign diary blog is two campaign days behind the orders written by the players, so although it is clear to me that the campaign is ending they are still two days behind.   So I have to be careful what I say to avoid spoiling the end for them.

I started the campaign blog as a permanent record of the campaign, which is now three years old.   It is also a way of keeping followers of the campaign, both participants and non playing, up to date with what is happening.

The players write orders for each campaign day, but I process them as three campaign moves per day.  This allows me to calculate exactly when contact is made and whether there is sufficient time to fight a battle.  It also allows me to determine at what time reinforcements arrive during a battle.

The players have written corps orders for day Day14.   But the campaign diary has only reached the end of Day 12.   During Day 13 there is a major, and conclusive, battle.   So they have actually written orders for the day after the battle, but have not read the diary for the day of the battle yet.

Southern Battlefield (Tactical) Map

It seems to work well.   There are three detailed campaign maps, and each corps commander only has access to the one he is fighting on.  The campaign diary map covers all three areas, but in much less detail.   So I can publish a running commentary on the campaign without giving away any important tactical information.

And the fact that it is delayed by two campaign days means that what information I post is at least two days out of date

This also means that I can post a detailed battle report which everyone can read, but by the time they do so they would have been informed of the outcome anyway.

For this phase of the campaign I have given the corps commanders much more freedom than in previous ones.   I have given them a campaign objective, but then allowed them compete freedom how to achieve it.

It’s been interesting to see how the different players approached the task.  Some put the minimum of effort into to, and indeed even failed to resupply or recce.   Others put a lot of effort into writing orders and corresponding with their commander in chief (me) and the other corps commanders.  

It’s also been interesting to see how some players have appeared to lose interest as the campaign progressed, or more so as their corps suffered either due to battle casualties or attrition due to their own lack of control.

As always I have learned a lot of lessons from this campaign.  I have also enjoyed it as much, as not more, as the previous eight phases.   So there will be a tenth phase.   Hopefully it will be better still as I amend the maps and campaign orders to provide a faster moving game with even more strategic problems than the previous ones.

Over the next two or three weeks I will be working on the new campaign diary blog.  This will include a short history of the 1813 campaign to date and links to each of the previous phases of the campaign.  It will also have a short introduction to the next Phase, which will be based in the Danube valley.

I will be looking for six corps commanders to take part in the next phase, and will start to recruit as soon as I have the background available on the campaign diary.  

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