Saturday, 13 February 2010

Final battle of Halle PBEM campaign

I was not looking forward to returning to the PBEM campaign and trying to sort it out after it fell apart over the Christmas period. You may remember that when I restarted the campaign in January two of the ten players confirmed, for very good reasons, that they would not be able to continue their role. I then updated the campaign and sent out reports and asked for the next set of corps orders. Most replied, but there were two missing. I then wrote once more, and of course had to wait another week for a reply. None came.

The campaign had reached a critical stage, and the loss of four commanders caused a great problem. I realised that it would not be possible to continue, but I did not want to just stop at this decisive point. So I decided to end the PBEM element, and complete the final phase as a solo campaign.

As I had anticipated that it would take at least two or three campaign moves to reach the battle, and each would take at least one week, I decided just after Christmas to start one of the Wellington’s Battles games to keep Jan and I occupied. When it became obvious that I would have to assume control of the PHEM campaign I was already half way through the Talavera wargame.

The last pre Christmas move of the campaign was in early December, it would be early February by the time I finished Talavera. After such a long break I was not looking forward to trying to get back into the Halle campaign. In the event it proved easier than I had expected. I had kept comprehensive records and maps of each stage of the campaign, so it was not too difficult to read up to the stage when the campaign came to its untimely end. I already had movement orders for most of the corps, and I only had to decide what to do with the four corps whose players had withdrawn from the campaign.

You can read the result on the campaign blog. I have set up the table, and the campaign background and orders of battle can be found on the latest entry. I hope to start the game this weekend, and will publish one wargame move each day until the battle is complete and the winner of the campaign decided.
If you would like to follow the final battle you can find it at:


  1. Paul - I've been an interested follower of your blogs for a little while now - I've particular enjoyed the reports and pictures of your visits to battlefields (and I'd like to offer my thanks and appreciation for all your hard work on that), I agree with many of your less 'fashionable' thoughts on tabletop gaming, and recently I've been keeping an eye on your PBEM campaign.

    My interest in the PBEM was not least because my experience of running wargames campaigns led me to wonder how on earth such a campaign could be kept going. Most of my experience in this area was a good many years ago, and it was postal, but the participants lived near enough to attend the actual battles when they arose. The various campaigns went pretty well, but I was eventually exhausted by the the umpiring and the admin effort, and put that part of my activities on indefinite hold when my wife came up with something rather more urgent to spend my time on!

    I currently wargame solo (mostly), and my solitary campaigns, such as they are, exist to give some kind of sensible framework for the battles. I was tempted to get in touch to see if there might be some way I could be involved in your PBEM game. However - I thought better of it. In principle, I can find the energy to gawp at someone else's campaign blog on a regular basis, but to commit myself to providing essential input to a campaign, when I myself would only get to hear about the battles (which is the main point, after all) at second hand, seemed a bit of a long shot. I couldn't see where the motivation would come from to keep it going.

    Which makes me, obviously, a bad candidate for such a game! I'm sorry your PBEM efforts seem to have stalled, particularly since you have obviously put a lot of work into it, and I'm disappointed that I won't be able to follow it, but I can't say I'm greatly surprised.

    I have no idea how it would be possible to motivate everybody to keep it going. Not even Napoleon himself could manage that, I suspect.

    My condolences, but I hope to continue to enjoy your other output.

    Best regards


  2. Hi Tony

    Thanks for your comments. It is a shame that the PBEM campaign came to an untimely end. I suspect that this result is quite common.

    I enjoyed running the campaign, and will miss the outside imput when I return to my solo 1813 campaign.

    I agree that the weak point of a PBEM, or indeed a mail campaign, is how to fight the battles. I don't think there is a good answer to this. Its difficult enough to get players to send movement orders once a week, imagine how difficult it would be to get them to resolve their own battles by fighting a wargame!!

    I am glad that you have enjoyed following the PBEM campaign, and hope you will continue to follow the 1813 solo campaign when I get the next stage up and running.




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