Sunday, 19 July 2020

Start Brunswick Campaign

Brunswick Region
This is the third time I have started this campaign.
It was always planned as a test campaign, to try out new ideas.

The first attempt was using all of Brunswick Region as the campaign area.   As I explained in an earlier campaign update, this would involve too large an area.   The 6x6” wargame table would cover an area from Lubeck to Goslar, which is 294 km. 

It was my intention to have an ongoing campaign on this map, with the phases controlled by the number of supplies available to each army.  This would be restricted to seven days.  When one army ran out of supplies the phase would end.   This also proved unsatisfactory in test play.   More time was spent building and moving depots than in fighting battles.

We fought two battles using this first attempt, and then decided it was not working
Brunswick District
The second attempt would stick with our tried and tested campaign phase system.   The nine districts in Brunswick Region would each be a campaign phase.   However this meant that I had to redesign the maps to create nine wargames tables out of each Region.

This map is the result.   Each of the nine sections of the District has a named town, and is also a wargames table.   The map looks very similar to our previous campaign maps, except that the nine towns/tables are outlined in red.

My first attempt with this new system has the Prussians on the left of the Brunswick Region (first map above), and the French on the left of the map.   The three towns in the centre would be the decisive campaign area.

It was only when I play tested the system that I realised this would mean that the first three battles would be for possession of the centre towns.   All three would be fighting in a built up area.   Our rules cover this type of wargame, but they allow very little tactical skill, and depend more than most on the roll of a dice.   The table is set with opposing corps on the left and right section, and the town in the centre.  Both sides make a dash for the town, and meet in the centre.   The outcome is then decided by skirmish fire (very slow) or a melee (very fast).

Unfortunately in the first two battles/games the attackers (the French) lost.   They then had to retreat, leaving the defending Prussians in an even stronger position.  After two defeats the campaign was effectively decided in favour of the Prussians.

So I have now started a third attempt.   In future corps will not be positioned in towns, unless they are under siege.   They will deploy in front of the town, resulting in a more normal battle/wargame.   The attacker will have more options, including flank attacks.

I think it will work, but it is now down to the play test campaign to see whether it does or not.


  1. Paul,

    I have been following your progress with this revamped campaign system with great interest. I am slowly putting together stuff for my planned Eastern Front/Great Patriotic War campaign, and I am learning a lot from your work.

    I hope that the recent set backs have not put you off too much. I’m sure that you’ll end up with a very workable system that meets your requirements.

    All the best,


  2. Hi Bob

    Thanks for your comments

    Designing what I want to do is not too difficult, but getting it to dovetail with the existing campaign system (which I want to keep) is proving difficult. I guess that if it was easy I would have done it right from the start.

    I find that it all makes sense in theory, but once I try to put it into practice I find the errors. I think I am getting there, but time will tell.

    I have been following your campaign on your blog. I am a great believer in campaigns, they add a whole new dimension to wargaming. Once you have developed it and wargamed it you will be lost. No going back to "one off" games again!

    I will continue to follow your development

    best regards


  3. Paul,

    Campaigns - even mini-campaigns - give a sense and purpose to a wargame, and as a solo wargamer, they are my meat-and-drink. I have a map, I have a set of half-written campaign rules, a set of draft tabletop rules, and a growing collection of renovated vehicles and figures. I hope to run a few test battle soon ... and then the sky is the limit!

    All the best,


  4. Hi Bob

    I suspect that a solo player gets even more satisfaction our of a campaign than one who plays against an opponent. You have only yourself to please. You can make your rules, and your campaign objectives, as simple or as complicated as you wish. The only thing missing is a second opinion and someone to provide constructive criticism.

    I don't know if you have ever run a PBEM campaign? It can be very frustrating, but also very rewarding. And the discipline of having other players involved keeps you on your toes, and imposes a strict timetable.

    It sounds like your campaign is at the best stage, when all options are still open. And its very rewarding when it all starts to fit into place




  5. Paul,

    Back during the a Bosnian crisis, I had a friend serving with HQ ARRC, and organised a PBM Matrix Game Campaign to give him something of a relief from his day-to-day work. It worked well, but only because the players were disciplined and kept to the game timetable.

    Luckily, I am a member of Wargame Developments, and can call on any number of ‘critical friends’ who are always willing to go through rules for me to check for any obvious errors and inaccuracies.

    All the best,


  6. Hi Paul,

    I see you've encountered that old pitfall: when the campaign system becomes more prominent than the tabletop battles. Glad that you're avoiding it. Many campaigns seem to be designed by people who wish they were Tony Bath, and then fall apart when they find out that they are not. I strongly believe in simple campaign systems with only so much overhead as to make it interesting, because I already have one fulltime job and don't need another :-)

    As always I'm looking forward to see what you come up with next!

  7. Hi Yuri

    It is very easy to get carried away with the new layer of the campaign, and forget what the whole purpose of the campaign actually is.

    I have always been very clear that the aim of the campaign is to provide interesting battles to wargame. That is why I am determined not to allow the new layer to interfere with the previous campaign.

    It gets to a stage where all attention is concentrated in getting the new layer to work, and it is only when you return to the normal campaign sequence that you realise you have forgotten something really important.

    But it has been a great "lockdown" project. It has kept me occupied for months on end, and at last seems to be finally working.

    Fingers crossed!




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