Tuesday, 7 September 2010

PBEM campaign rules progress

Carlos and I are making excellent progress with our new PBEM project. The aim is to write and develop an easy to understand set of rules which will allow players of campaigns to perform the role of general without having to learn the often long and complicated campaign rules.

The idea is that these rules will only cover those aspects of the rules which the player must understand to carry out his tasks. The umpire can run the campaign with rules as complicated as he likes. The problem is getting the interface between the two sets of rules right.

In one week we have written the first draft of the rules and recruited five volunteers to act as corps commanders in a campaign loosely based on Jena 1806. It will be a proper campaign, but used as a play test of the Player Campaign Rules.

I have started a new Yahoo forum to exchange information about the campaign and the rules. You can find it at:

We have enough players for this stage of the campaign, but if it works well we will need more in the future. If anyone is interested have a look at the forum and if you like what yiou see drop me a line.

But of course things never go easy. Yesterday I was quite shocked to receive an email accusing me of plagiarism. It was from a wargamer I have known online for many years, and he was demanding an apology and recognition on the forum that we were using his rules.

He would not accept that I have never read his rules, let alone plagiarised them.

The story is complicated.

In our new project I am responsible for writing and developing the Player Campaign Rules. Carlos is responsible for running the campaign as umpire. He will use his own campaign rules as umpire, and they will not be distributed to the players, who will only receive my rules.

When I finished the first, rough, draft of my rules I sent them to Carlos so that he could amend them to dove tail into the campaign rules he was using as umpire. He returned a couple of pages of amendments, which I included without question and posted on the forum.

Apparently Carlos was using a set of campaign rules which this other chap had put on my other forum, Campaigns of Napoleon Forum. I started that forum about a year ago as a place where anyone interested in Napoleonic campaigns could exchange information and test ideas. You will find that forum here

Apparently Carlos had taken parts of those rules, and included them with my Campaign Player Rules. This was intended as a stop gap measure until we could get the rules play tested.

I explained to this chap that I knew nothing about his rules, and had certainly not plagarised them. I offered to remove the offending sections of the rules, but he was demanding a full apology FROM ME, plus a notice on the forum that we were using his rules.

I think you will understand that I was not prepared to apologise, as I had done nothing wrong. I told him I was sorry that he was upset, but it was between him and Carlos. He would not accept this, insisting that as it was my forum it was my responsibility.

I cant understand why someone would put a set of rules on a forum which is designed to share information, and then demand an apology when someone else uses those rules to play a campaign. Even worse why would he not accept that I was an innocent party in the whole thing - especially as we have known each other (on the web) for many years.

It really is strange how the internet seems to bring out the worse in people, and make them so much more unreasonable and demanding than they would ever be in a real life face to face situation.

Its all been a disagreeable distraction from the task in hand, but "alls well that ends well". I have removed all extracts from his rules and he has resigned from both the forums.

Now perhaps we can get down to the real issue, write a set of rules and enjoy a campaign.


  1. Looking forward to reading more about the campaign and the mechanisms used.

  2. Hi Carl

    If you want to follow the progress of the camaign rule writing you should have a look at the forum at


    Hope that you enjoy it



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