Saturday, 18 September 2010

Campaign battles without wargames

The PBEM campaign has hit problems faster than expected.

You may remember that I am trying to develop a set of Player Campaign Rules. These would be a sort of "fast play" set for use by the players. It would avoid them having to learn the full set of rules which would be used by the umpire.

The problem is the obvious one, the interface between the players rules and the umpires rules.

I sent a suggested set of rules to Carlos, who offered to umpire the campaign. He agreed them, with additions.

Once the campaign started it soon became obvious that the players rules bore little similarity to the umpire rules. I tried to resolve the difference, but this proved impossible. So we have agreed to continue the campaign without the player rules. Not a good solution, but the only one available short of calling an end to the campaign.

The campaign was fought as a learning experience. I have learned that the only one who can write the player rules is the one who wrote the umpire rules. Or at least have a very good understanding of them.

So I have reluctantly decided to write my own PBEM campaign rules. I am reluctant because I have a perfectly good set of rules for my solo 1813 campaign. In addition I do not want to distract too much from my solo campaign, which provides Jan and I with our regular wargame fix.

The real probem I have with a PBEM campaign is fighting the battles. It would not be possible with my current wargame rules. So as a first step I am trying to develop a system for fighting campaign battles without fighting a wargame.

I have put my first attempt on Campaigns of Napoleon Forum and asked for constructive criticism. If you would like to see them, and perhaps comment, you will find them at:


  1. I believe that, unless you have the dozens of tables and many dozens of players able to simulate every action from the smallest skirmish to the grandest of battlefields, there is no choice *OTHER* than having some sort of resolution mechanism for the encounters that are either a) beyond the scope or ability of the tabletop players to simulate; or b) have so many interconnected battles in the same campaign period that to play them all out will become time (and ultimately interest) in the campaign prohibitive.

    I have experimented with many systems and would love to share more about those experiences with you.

  2. Hi Murdock

    Thanks for your comments.

    You might like to look at a forum I run called Campaigns of Napoleon where your comments would be most welcome. You will find it at


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