Tactical map showing battle of Cuidad Real
I have only taken part in two online campaigns as a player, and in both the campaign ended when the first battle was declared and the umpire found it impossible to transfer the battle to the wargame table. In one case the campaign map did not show sufficient detail, in the second he could not gather sufficient figures or a large enough table to wargame the battle. I have fought 252 battles as wargames and never experienced any problem.
When a battle is declared I outline the battle area on the map showing the position of each corps involved at the end of the previous day. In this example 7th and 8th French corps have orders to attack. 1st and 2nd Spanish corps, plus 6 militia brigade, have orders to hold the road approaching Cuidad Real. Normally the point of impact would be the centre of the battle area. But in this case the French have to force the Spanish to retreat over the river Guadiana to win the battle. Such a retreat would be very difficult whilst under attack. So the map has been moved down one square to include the river.
Wargames table at start of battle of Cuidad Real
The wargames table has been set up using the nine squares shown in the area outlined in white on the tactical map. 1st and 2nd Spanish corps, plus 6 militia brigade, are shown in the same squares as on the map. 7th and 8th French corps are just outside the top of the table. They will arrive on the table at the start of move one.
When the wargame is finished the battle casualties are transferred to the campaign orders of battle. If one side has been forced to retreat that will be shown in their campaign orders for the next day. If the battle is a draw both commanders will write their orders for the next day. If neither withdraw a second day of battle will fought as a second wargame.
Although this type of map is not very pretty, it is extremely useful in the campaign. Initial deployment and time and place of arrival of any reinforcements can be calculated with each. Once the wargame is complete transfer back to the map is equally easy.
Movement on the map and the table is the same. A corps can move three map squares a day. It takes 4 hours per square or 12 hours a day. A wargame lasts a maximum of 12 moves. So 1 wargame move equals 1 campaign hour.
One 28mm corps fits comfortably on one scenic square. On the campaign map only one corps is allowed in each square. An army of four corps deployed on the campaign map would be three corps wide with one in reserve. On the wargames table three corps would fit comfortably across the three squares. The fourth corps would be in the square behind.
It is only when the campaign is transferred to the wargames table that you get a full appreciation of how the whole Comprehensive Wargames System works.