Sunday, 5 January 2014

Festive Wargame Break

A belated Happy New Year to everyone.

We have just returned from spending Christmas and New Year with our grandchildren (aged 3 and 7) in UK.   I took my laptop with me, expecting to be able to get in some work on the PBEM campaign.   But no chance!   I had some spare time, but I couldn’t concentrate enough to do any work.   And, to be honest, I couldn’t really be bothered.

The campaign now takes up two or three hours work each day, and gets more complicated by the week.   The 1814 campaign started in June 2013, and we have completed just fourteen days.   That does not sound a lot, but there are twelve sets of orders to be processed each campaign day.   We aim to complete one campaign day each week, that is 60 orders (one for each corps commander) from the Army commanders update six campaign areas and produce 60 reports for the Army commanders.

Then there were 26 battles to be fought as wargames.   Each one has a detailed battle report, which includes a detailed background, move by move photographs and description and a summary.   We try to complete one wargame a week have just about managed it.

It’s a lot of work, but it is also a labour of love.   I have not painted a single wargame figure since we moved to Spain in 2006, and the campaign (starting in 1813) has taken up the time I used to spend painting.

When we left for UK in late December the campaign had reached a complicated phase.   One battle resulted in the unexpected total defeat of Lord Wellington.  This requires a new phase of the campaign, which involves a lot of administration.   Maps to prepare, background to write, new orders of battle to produce.   

There are six campaign areas.   I still had two battles to fight.   A new phase to prepare.   Three sets of orders to process.   I expected to complete most of the administration whilst in the UK.  In preparation I transferred all of the campaign administration to my laptop.

Christmas with young children is very infectious, and hugely enjoyable.   We are used to a very quiet house in Spain, where I have very few distractions.  Or at least very few unexpected distractions.   It was very different in the UK.

The bottom line is that I got no work done at all.   Worse still,  I got out of the habit and lost my interest in the campaign..   We returned three days ago, and for the first two days I could not seem to get back into the campaign.   Only today have I finally got to grips with it.  It has involved a lot of reading to get my grasp on the campaign back.  

I have now set up the next wargame, and completed the administration to the end of 14th March 1814.   All of our model building projects are still untouched.   But it is a good start.   Next week I will process the orders for 15th March and write the corps commander reports.   That will put the ball in the hands of the twelve  campaign commanders.  I wonder how they will meet the challenge of returning to 1814 France?

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