Wednesday, 23 November 2011

Running the PBEM Campaign

I was asked to explain how I run the campaign on the PBEM Forum. I know some of you follow my 1813 campaign blog, and I thought you might find it interesting.

I run the campaign on my computer, but there is no programme for it. It’s all done by typing and filing in folders. This is why I ask for you to use the standard format for move orders and CinC reports. With nine sets of reports to transfer onto the map and then write individual umpire reports you should not be too surprised if there is the occasional mistake.
The whole administration depends on a series of folders, which I use like a simple filing system. There are four main folders
Move Folder. There is one folder for each campaign move. Inside there are two folders, one for orders and one for umpire reports. I put a copy of each corps movement order in the orders folder as I receive it. When they are all in I plot the moves on the master tactical map. I then type an umpire report for each corps commander and place it in the umpire report folder. When all are done I send an umpire report to each corps commandeer.
Message Folder. There is one folder for each campaign move. When I receive a message I calculate on the tactical map how long it will take to reach its destination. I then place a copy of the message in the appropriate folder for delivery. At the end of each move I send all messages in the next folder to the recipients.
CinC Folders. One for the French and one for the Allied CinC. Each contains the following
Strategic Map - updated by reports from spies and agents
Tactical Map – updated by reports from corps commanders
Message Log – a list of all reports received and orders sent
Messages In Folder – contains a copy of all reports received
Messages Out Folder – contains a copy of all orders issued
There are another 8 folders for such things as campaign rules, copies of strategic and tactical maps, battle reports, campaign players, campaign blog and campaign diary. But they are background, rather than used for running the campaign
It’s not really as complicated as it looks, but it does involve a lot of work. Perhaps someday someone will come along who will write me a computer programme to run it all. Not sure I would really want that, because it’s easy for me to change things as they are now, and the campaign is constantly changing and, I hope, improving.

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