Thursday 28 May 2009

Blog Review 9

I have tidied up the blogs by putting an index on each one. So it should be quite easy for anyone new to the blogs to find the part of the campaign they are interested in. I will be keeping all of the blogs up to date as the campaign progresses, but most of the new material will be on the following blogs:

Magdeburg Campaign

I have done a lot of work on this blog lately, mainly because of the almost daily battle reports. So it is a little disappointing that it does not seem to get as much interest as this blog. I am not sure whether this is because the battle reports are too complicated, or because the number of blogs is confusing.

The Battle of Helmstedt is going on much longer than expected. It is a large battle, so to photographs it all takes 4 each side of the table. I have also taken one from the end to show the whole battle. And finally I have typed a description of the moves. And as I publish one for each move, it is proving a lot of work. I will continue until we finish the game, and then reconsider how to do the battle reports.

The game itself is going really well. It looked like it would be a walk over for the Prussians, until a bad dice throw changed the whole game overnight. So we have really enjoyed the game to date.

Wargames in Spain

This is a new blog to cover the games we have played since we arrived in 2006. I used to photograph them anyway as a personal record, so I thought it might be a good idea to start a blog so that I have them easily available.

I hope to do one of these every couple of days.

Walking Napoleonic Battlefields

Reached the end of the Waterloo visit. Next will be our first visit to Portugal and Spain. I will start a new blog so that there will be one blog for each battlefield.

Friday 22 May 2009

Blog Review 8

Blog Index
I have changed the blogs yet again, this time to introduce an index list by using the Labels. Each blog now has a contents list as follows:
Napoleonic Wargaming Blog
1 – Making a Campaign Map
2 – Making a Strategic Map
3 – Making a Tactical Map
4 – Campaign Objectives
5 – Campaign Armies
6 – Campaign Movement
7 – Wargame Rules
8 – Blog Reviews
1813 Campaign Blog
1 – Introduction
2 – Rule 1 – Campaign Aims
2 – Rule 2 – Strategic Phase
2 – Rule 3 – Tactical Phase
2 – Rule 4 – Wargames
2 – Rule 5 – Administration
3 – Germany
3 – Spain
4 – Campaign Diary
1813 Magdeburg Campaign Blog
1 – Campaign Background
1 – French Army
2 – Prussian Army
3 – Battle of Cable
4 – Battle of Halbeck
5 – Battle of Helmstedt
1813 Campaign Armies
1 – Building an Army
2 – Organisation of Armies
3 – 25mm Allied Armies
4 – 25mm French Armies
5 – 15mm Allied Armies
6 – 15mm French Armies

Change of Name
I have also changed the names of two blogs, although the contents remain the same. I have changed Model Soldier Collection to 1813 Campaign Armies, and 1813 North Germany to 1813 Magdeburg Campaign.

Battle Reports
I am still playing around with the Battle Reports, but I feel I am at last getting there. I am quite pleased with the idea of one blog for each move of the latest battle, which is Helmstedt. I have decided to write the battle report as one of the commanders, but to take photographs from both sides of the table. I will print the first set before the battle report, and the second set after. The report itself will be in the order that the chips are drawn, and each move will refer to the photographs which shows it. I have gone back and amended each battle report for Helmstedt.

For the future I am going to change the identity chips to show the corps name. At present they are numbered 1 to 6 for one side, and 7 to 12 for the other. The aim is to hide the identity. But it makes it very difficult to identify a particular corps in the battle report and the appropriate photograph.

Walking Napoleonic Battlefields
I have actually finished all of the blogs I intended to do for Waterloo. But I do have photographs of the allied left flank which might be interesting to show. Unfortunately I do not have any photographs which I took when visited it in 1971. But it seems a shame not to include them, as this is a less well known section of this very well known battlefield. So I will "publish and be damned".

This series have been very well received, and I have had more feedback than any other blog. Not only on the blog itself, but also on the two forum I use.

I hope that I will be able to stop tinkering with the blogs now for a while. The problem is that I knew very little about Blogging before I started this last month, so it has been very much a steep learning curve for me. And as I go along I keep getting ideas which I feel will improve the blog, or make it easier to understand.

Wednesday 20 May 2009

Blog Review 7

Change of format for battle reports
Still not happy with the format of the battle reports, so I have changed them again!

From the latest report, Battle of Helmstedt Move 3, there will be six photographs with each report. Three will cover the allied side of the table, and three the French side.

The battle report itself will follow the move chips drawn for each move. For anyone who does not understand I should explain. There is one chip for each command in the battle, plus one Poor card and one Gifted card for each side (if they have a Gifted commander). They are placed in a hat and drawn at random. When the chip is drawn that commander has his go. The sequence can have a big effect on the game, and I felt the battle report did not make sense without it.

I have also gone back and amended moves 1 and 2. However as I did not take photographs of the French side when we played those moves, there are only three photographs of these moves, all from the Prussian side. You may wish to look at them again, as I hope that they will be easier to understand now.

I hope that the new format will make it easier to follow the flow of the game.

Friday 15 May 2009

Blog Review 6

Another very busy week, with yet again more visitors. This is our third set of visitors in just over a month. I think when they "booked" they must have been expecting a wet and miserable April/May in UK, but from what I see on UK TV the weather seems to have been pretty good. Its nice to have visitors, but it does mean that our wargame suffers big time.

However I have managed to do some work on the blogs.

I am redoing the model soldier collection blog. I want to put the photographs and orders of battle closer together, so that anyone checking out a particular corps will find the details easier. So far I have completed the 15mm and hope to do the 25mm next week.

I have also put another battle report on the Magdeburg campaign blog. Yet another new layout tested. Still not sure it is quite right. We have started another wargame in the same campaign, probably the final one. It is a 15mm game and involves all four corps on each side, so it will be a pretty complicated table. I am going to try something new with the battle report. I will again write it as the CinC which I play in the game, so it will be a one sided battle report. I will take three photographs at the start of each move, so that the whole table is shown. I will then write a blog for each move. Not at all sure what it will look like. But it will give me the opportunity to explain each move in a lot of details, and back it up with a set of photographs. Also it will mean that I should be able to publish a blog pretty well each day.

I have also reorganised the Paul and Jan in Spain blog. My original idea was to do it from the day we arrived in Spain. But it is taking much longer to catch up than I anticipated. So I have broken it into three blogs. The first will cover looking for a house in Spain, up to our move here in March 2006. The second will continue 2006, but will only last for that year. I have also now started one for 2009, which I should be able to bring up to date pretty soon. Therefore there will eventually be one blog for each year.

So that is the plan for the coming week. Lets see how it works out.

Thursday 7 May 2009

Blog Review 5

New Look Blog

Trying to find an earlier blog this morning, I realised that the whole thing had become unmanageable. So I have broken this blog into four new blogs as follows:

Blog 1 - Napoleonic Wargaming blog
Blog 2 - Model Soldier Collection blog
Blog 3 - 1813 Campaign blog
Blog 4 - 1813 North Germany blog

I hope that this has not confused anyone too much. I am sure that it will make it much easier to find a paticular blog once you get the hang of it.

Napoleonic Wargaming BlogBlog Reviews - updates on any of the blogs
Wargame Rules - updates on the rules
Campaign Preparation - how the campaign was put together

Model Soldier Collection Blog
Model Soldiers - what is in my collection and its history
6mm Armies - photos of my 6mm figures by nation and corps
15mm Armies - photos of my 15mm figures by nation and corps
25m Armies - photos of my 25mm figures by nation and corps

1813 Campaign Blog
Introduction - general information on the campaign
Campaign Diary - day by day record of the whole campaign
Campaign Rules - copy of the rules for running the campaign
Campaign Commands - details of each command in Germany and Spain

1813 North Germany Blog
Campaign Diary - day by day record of corps movement
Battle Reports - report of each battle fought in the campaign
French Army - order of battle and photographs
Prussian Army - order of battle and photographs

If there is anything you are not sure about, or if you can not find a blog you are interested in, please let me know.

Sunday 3 May 2009

Blog Review 4

First I want to advise anyone following the campaign that I have discovered an error. As part of the campaign I was working out the distance between two cities, and found that Google did not agree with my map. It quickly became obvious that I had made a serious error in the scale. I had written that each square on the strategic maps was 10 x 10 miles, when in fact it is closer to 20 x 20 miles!! I am not sure how this happened, but I suspect it was during the frequent rewrites of the maps, and in transferring them from the AA book to hand drawn.

Before the blog I would just have left it, because each strategic square is also a wargames table. 10 x 10 miles is a pretty big battlefield, but 20 x 20 miles is really too large. I do not want to have to redraw the maps again, and anyway the squares would be too small to be able to write any names in them.

I have changed each blog to show the strategic square as 20x20 miles, but I wanted to make sure that anyone who might be thinking of using them for their own campaign is aware of the error. Personally I can quite easily live with the extra large battlefield. There are so many other anolomies in wargaming that this is not really a problem for me. However others might not agree.

I had planned to do a review each week, just to do a summary of what had happened during the previous week. But it was a very confusing week, with visitors and a broken computer, so I did not have time to sit and think.

This week was to confirm that all of the background work has been done on the campaign, and to think aloud about what will happen now. But then something happened yesterday which changed my mind.

I mentioned some time ago about feedback, or rather the lack of it, when writing a blog. I meant, of course, your feedback to me. But after yesterday I though I would give you a little feedback from me to you.

Since I started the blog, just five weeks ago, it has taken over a large part of my life. I think I started it to share my idea on wargaming and in particular my 1813 campaign. I never really thought that it would be of any great interest to anyone else, but I thought it would be useful to have a record of how I arranged the campaign, and an ongoing record of our wargames.

Both Jan and I were amazed how many people have shown an interest, latest count 1699. Each morning the first thing Jan does is check how many have looked at the blog. Last thing each night I check the same.

At 3pm yesterday afternoon the counter showed 30 visits. I put the photos of the 6mm figures on the blog, posted a mention on TMP and OSW forum and had a cup of coffee with Jan on the naya. By 6pm the counter confirmed 80 visits. When I went to bed it was 130, and when Jan checked this morning it was 167 (by midnight).

It gives me a warm glow to think that there are 167 people out there, who I have never met and probably never will, who are interested enough in what I am doing to take the trouble to read the blog. And I would like to thank each and every one of you.

When we came to Spain we knew wargaming would be important to us, and we knew it would take up a considerable part of our time. We had hoped that we would be able to start up a club, such as we had run in UK for the past 20 years. We advertized in the English language papers, and got some response. There were about 8 who responded, but most of them had never wargamed before, and found it not to their taste. There were two exceptions. One was a very nice chap, who was more interested in sharing a bottle of wine and having a chat than in wargaming. The second was a very committed wargamer who, unfortunately, was not really interested in the Napoleonic period. So after three years we decided that we enjoyed it more on our own anyway.

We are very happy wargaming together, and to be honest it suits us better. We can play when we want, we can play how we want and we have no heated debates about rules. But we do miss sharing the hobby with others. And that is what the blog has allowed us to do.

So again thanks each one of you for your interest. Remember we are always interested in your views and opinions. We like to think it is as much your blog as ours.