Sunday, 30 June 2013

1814 PBEM Campaign is Go

Six campaign areas in the 1814 campaign

This time last week I was busy completing campaign maps, typing up orders of battle and trying to recruit twelve army commanders.

This week all the command posts have been filled, starter packs sent to the twelve commanders and I have received the first set of orders back from them this morning.

So a very busy week, but also a very satisfying one.

The twelve players are a very mixed bunch.   One has taken part in all twelve previous PBEM campaigns.  Five more have signed on again having taken part in the last campaign.   Three are taking part in my campaign for the first time.  Three have returned having taken a break.   So a good mixture of old hands and new blood.

Also, of course, from all over the world.   I have encouraged them to post a short introduction on the campaign forum, and most have done so.  It’s very interesting to be able to put a little background behind the name. 

Not sure why some have not done so.  Perhaps they were too busy.  Perhaps they just don’t want to share any personal knowledge on a public forum.   I respect their choice.   I find it very easy to jump to conclusions dealing with people you have never met except online.  I have also found that more often than not the conclusions are completely wrong.

For example this week one of the new players raised some queries about the campaign rules on the forum.   He had tried to find the answer in the rules, which are published on their own blog.   I replied that I was impressed that he had tried to find the answer online first.   I did so because I thought that relatively few people read the Campaign Rules.  I have a counter on each of my blogs which records any visits other than my own.  The campaign rules have had 1562 visits in the past four years, the wargame rules 20840.  I concluded from this that the campaign rules are not consulted as often as might be expected

Two members of the forum, one not currently taking part in the campaign, responded that they had copied the rules from the forum to make it easier to consult them.   This had not occurred to me, though it is obvious when you think about it.   And it does illustrate how easy it is to jump to the wrong conclusion online.

Meanwhile still a lot of work to do on the 1814 campaign.

I have posted all of the background on the new campaign blog and have completed most of the maps.   I still have to make suitable maps to record the progress of the campaign on the campaign diary blog.  As you can see from the map above it covers a very large area, and the detail on the map of France is too small to read or follow.

I also now have to process the first set of orders.

My role in the campaign is chief of staff to each of the twelve army commanders.   Each campaign day I have to produce a report for each of them which includes an updated map, a current order of battle, the current supply situation and any contact reports from their corps commanders.   All has to be done manually, and setting it up the first time is very time consuming.  Once it’s all done it will be relatively easy to update each week.

It’s a lot of work, but what else would I do now that I am retired.   And it keeps me occupied now that we are into the hot summer months here in Spain and it’s too uncomfortable to do any mountain walking.

Keep an eye on the campaign diary blog for the regular progress reports on the 1814 campaign.   You can find it here

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