Saturday 19 December 2015

1813 PBEM Campaign

It’s been a very quiet week for wargaming.

The PBEM campaign struggles on as we work our way through the campaign diary and the last few days of the campaign in southern Germany.   This is the only remaining phase of the campaign to be resolved.

There are two battles to be wargamed to decide whether the Austrian or Bavarian armies take and hold Stuttgart.   We have just finished the smaller of the two battles, but will not be able to make a start on the final wargame until after Christmas.

Then there is the campaign backlog to be posted on the campaign diary blog.   The blog is completed up to 31 March 1813, but there are still at least 15 entries to be completed and posted.   These include the summary of four campaign phases, plus four battle reports.  That lot will keep me busy up to the end of January.

Despite this outstanding administration the contribution of the players to the campaign has ended.  The last orders for the PBEM campaign have been received.   Only one final umpire report is outstanding. 

During the six years of the PBEM campaign I had to complete the administration of five campaign phases each week.  This involved orders from ten players each week.   Compiling and comparing five sets, one for each campaign area.   Resolving battles.   Writing umpire reports for each player.

So it is hardly surprising that my days seem very empty now.   There is still the outstanding administration to wind up the campaign, and that is preventing me from concentrating on the new solo campaign.  

All of the administration for the new solo campaign is done.   I have made the new maps, rewrote the orders of battle, and updated the background to the campaign.    But I do not want to start it until the current PBEM campaign is finished.

I had hoped to start the new solo campaign in January, but it now looks like it will be February.

Saturday 12 December 2015

How Often Do You Wargame

This question was asked on TMP this week, and I was quite surprised to find that most answered once a week, many once every two weeks and a few once a month or less.

For the past six years all of our wargames have been provided by our PBEM campaign.    There are five campaign areas, so there is always at least one battle waiting to be wargamed, and often more than one.

We have a permanent wargames room and there is always a wargame set up.  Each wargame lasts a maximum of 12 moves, and we tend to have two or three moves at least four or five times a week.

So my answer would be four or five times a week.  I assume that the question meant how often do you move figures around the table, rather than how often do you complete a wargame.

I had always thought that this was not really unusual, particularly amongst those wargamers no longer in full time employment.   So I was quite surprised that not one single answer was more than once a week.

It may, of course, be that many long-time wargamers do not bother to post on TMP.   Indeed it may well be that only a small proportion of the members of TMP bother to post.   Certainly the same user names crop up time after time.   And the “first time” type questions, such as “what rules should I use”, seem to attract the most replies.

It may be that reading such forum as TMP may in fact give a completely false impression of the wider wargame community.   Perhaps there is a whole mass of “silent majority” out there who simply do not post.

I can understand why that might be the case, given the often heated attacks on anyone who dares to disagree with some of the more dominant characters.

Whatever the reason I was surprised that no one had posted that they game more than once a week.   Perhaps I should not be surprised, because I did not post either!

Sunday 6 December 2015

1813 PBEM Campaign

I had expected that I would be able to complete the PBEM campaign by Christmas, and start the proposed solo campaign in January.    But the PBEM campaign is still going strong.

We are currently wargaming what will be the final battle in one of the two remaining campaign areas.    Wellington is trying to hold Zamora with one corps (including the light division) against two French corps.   Being a wargame the outcome is unlikely to be good news for the British.

That leaves just Southern Germany, where the French hold the campaign objective of Stuttgart.   If they can hold it for two more days they will win the campaign.   The Austrians are preparing to attack, but not yet in position.   So it is very unlikely that the final battle in this area will be fought before January.

Then there is the campaign diary blog to complete.  When the campaign had five campaign areas there was one entry for each area each week, plus the battle reports.   It was important to maintain a gap between the map campaign and the diary, to ensure that no important information was leaked.   So the diary is at least two campaign days behind the map campaign.

At present there are twenty blog entry to publish, which even without the Christmas break would be almost a month.

So it looks like the campaign will continue into the New Year.

I don’t really mind, I want to finish it off properly as it will remain as a record of the campaign.