One of the advantages of a weekly blog is that it is quite easy to review the year, you just look back over the previous 52 entries.
This year was dominated by converting my 1813 campaign back to solo from PBEM. The PBEM campaign had started in September 2009 and had dominated not only our wargaming but also much of my spare time. There were up to twelve players and I processed one campaign day each week. So there was a constant flow of email back and forth, not to mention answering general questions and the ongoing task of replacing players who left the campaign. Six years is a long time to maintain the interest and drive, and I was finding it hard going over the last six months. It was also becoming increasingly difficult to find new players and increasingly annoying when one packed it in without a word of warning.
So I was more than ready for a new start. The PBEM campaign had become an integral part of our wargaming, and would have to be replaced with a solo campaign. It would have to be Napoleonic, we don’t have any other period figures. I started with a clean sheet and considered the options.
I quite fancied doing the whole of the Napoleonic Wars as a series of campaigns. Some years ago I made a start on this project with the Italian campaign of 1796. It proved too difficult to wargame the battles, as each battlefield had to bear a resemblance to the original. Plus the orders of battle were difficult with the figures on our shelves. You will find that campaign here
I also considered doing each of the major Napoleonic campaigns as a series of mini campaigns, similar to our current campaign phase. But again the orders of battle and recreating the battlefields were a major problem.
So I decided to carry on with our 1813 campaign. It has been designed to make use of our current model soldiers and model buildings. All of the maps had been designed to provide battles for the size of table and scenic squares we use. Most important the campaign and wargame rules had stood the test of time.
I miss the outside influence on the campaign and the pressure of having other players involved. The number of battles to be wargamed has greatly reduced. In 2015 we wargamed 58 campaign battles. In 2016 we gamed 30 campaign battles.
On the other I have enjoyed the actual campaign more. Previously I had no influence on the progress of the campaign, nor on the battles it produced. We did wargame the battles, but had to accept a large number of standard encounter battles. I can now manoeuvre the map campaign to produce more interesting battles, and make more use of the terrain.
So what about 2017?
The campaign will continue to form the basis of our wargaming. I no longer paint model soldiers, and we have made all of the scenery we require. So the campaign itself will be the challenge.