The administration of the new campaign is proving much more time consuming than I had anticipated.
My previous series of PBEM campaign had developed over a period of four years, each phase learning lessons from the previous one. But the basic campaign remained unchanged. Six to eight players each commanding a corps and all playing on the same tactical map. I took the role of commander in chief for both the French and Allied armies. So I could keep the campaign on track and direct the flow of the action.
This one has twelve players, each an army commander with four corps each. There are six campaign areas each with one commander per side. Each has its own strategic and tactical map. They each have complete freedom of choice as to how they conduct their campaign.
It’s very early days yet, the campaign is only two weeks old.
We have completed the initial deployment and also the first complete campaign move.
The previous campaign had run on a strict weekly timetable. It had to do so because I had to have all of the orders in before I could start to plot that day’s move.
I had hoped that in this campaign I could spread the work over a longer period. All I need is the orders from one set of commanders, the French and Allied commanders in one of the six campaign areas. I should not be surprised that the first six orders I received all came from different campaign areas!
Already the timetable is becoming staggered. As soon as I get one “set” of orders in I start work on the umpire report. This consists of a map, order of battle and current supply situation. That is similar to the previous umpire report, and can be completed quite quickly. I have added a summary of the current orders to this page, so that I can more easily compare the orders from each commander.
Then I complete a summary of each corps, what they have done and what contact with the enemy. I also write recommendations, which the player can follow or not as they wish. I had thought this would add interest to the campaign. I am not sure how the players feel about it, but I am coming to think I may have “bitten off more than I can chew”. It is very time consuming and requires a lot of cross reference to put it all together.
So another very busy week, and a very challenging one. I am sure that it will get easier once I get the flow of it going smoothly. Or at least I hope so.
No one to blame but myself. I could have carried on with the old system. But I was getting bored it. I can confirm that I have not found the past week boring.