Saturday, 15 August 2015

PBEM Campaign



The campaign is organised in five geographical areas, with one French and one Allied commander for each area.   Within the area there are ten objectives, and each of these is a stand alone mini campaign which I call phases.

The campaign is six months old, and over the past few weeks three of the five original phases have ended.   So I have been busy making new maps and finding new players.   Fortunately four of the six commanders have committed to the next phase, so I only had to replace two players.

I had one player on the reserve list, and he accepted one of the two roles.   So I only had o find one new player.

I run a campaign Yahoo forum, which has 143 members.   Only five of them are taking part in the campaign at present, so I had hoped that I could find the new player from the other 138.   It was disappointing that not one expressed any interest at all.

I also posted on the forums I follow.  Once again no response on any of the forums, but I did get two applicants.  

I like each applicant to know what is involved, so I send them a letter explaining how the campaign works.   I am waiting for the first applicant to confirm that he still wants to take part.  If not I still have the second to fall back on.

It does surprise me that there is so little interest on the forum.   It must be quite unusual for a PBEM to have run non stop since September 2009, almost six years.   The campaign has changed a lot over that time, but there has been no break in participation.  

76 players have taken part over that period, most for more than one campaign phase.   Some have lasted two or more years, but unfortunately none of the original six players are still taking part.

Obviously the campaign could not continue without the participation of commanders.    And each time I have to find replacements I wonder whether I will be able to do so.   It is not unusual that I only have two or three applicants each time.   But so far I have always managed to do so.

If a player leaves mid phase I do not try to replace them.   Usually they leave because they have gotten in a mess, and it would not be fair to ask someone new to try to take it on.  So I usually take command myself.   I would rather not have to, as I find it difficult to wear the two hat s – umpire and commander.  

The campaign was started to provide Jan and I with interesting battles to wargame.   And what is even more impressive than the number of players, is that it has managed to fill the main role.   For almost six years it has provided a never ending series of battles to wargame.   We have a permanent wargames table, where the game is set up.   We usually play an hour or so each day, so each battle last s about one week.   It is hard to believe, but throughout that six years we have always had at least one battle waiting to be wargamed.

This must be one of the longest running non commercial PBEM campaigns.   Certainly I have not heard of another.   It’s been great fun to run, and I hope it will continue to do so for many more years.

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