Tuesday, March 8, 2011

End of PBEM Campaign

Unfortunately one of the key players has withdrawn from the campaign, which makes it impossible to continue.

This stage of the campaign was being used to test play a new set of rules to make it a PBEM campaign. There are two key roles, those of French and Prussian commander in chief. Both of these roles are difficult to replace, and especially as this critical stage of the campaign.

One CinC found it difficult to accept the mechanism for playing the campaign battles as wargames. He wanted Jan and I to be bound by his campaign orders and fight the wargame in a way which he felt it should be fought. He also found fault with my umpiring of the campaign, and certain decisions I had made. Worse he refused to compromise for the good of the campaign.

This in led to an exchange of posts on the forum, and eventually to the second CinC resigning from the campaign.

The experience has not put me off PBEM. I have learned a lot of valuable lessons from the attempt, particularly not to rely too much on one or two key players. So I will attempt to get a new PBEM campaign going shortly.

As this is part of the overall 1813 campaign I have a further problem, because this stage has not been brought to any sort of reasonable conclusion. So it is very likely that the next campaign will be a replay of the Hanover campaign.

I have no idea how long all of this will take, but you can keep up to date with what is happening by checking out either the campaign forum on


Or on my main wargame blog at



  1. That's a real shame, especially after all the effort everyone has put in to the campaign. Presumably one of the main areas that needed testing was exactly this interface between the orders and the tabletop games. I've thought of doing something similar on and off for a while now, and I have been following your progress with interest. I wanted to see how it works in practice. As with face to face campaigns, it seems as though catering for the continued involvement of key players is crucial. I didn't volunteer to play this time round due to time constraints, but having seen it in action could you maybe pencil me in as a sub-commander if you decide to try again?

    Efforts like this are well appreciated!

    Cheers and good lcuk

  2. Hi Caliban

    It is a shame, but I have learned a lot from it. And I am sure that I can improve the next attempt.

    I knew all along that the interface between campaign and battle/wargame would be a major problem. The wargame players have to be allowed to play it as they see fit, because the whole thing looks so much more different on the table than it does on the map. Something which you think you can ignore on the map turns out to be within long range artillery fire on the table!

    On the other hand the campaign player naturally wants to fight the battle/wargame himself - even though this is not possible. So it requires a lot of trust between the campaigner and the wargamer.

    But the real problem with my last attempt, is that I made the two CinC much too important and critical to the campaign.

    In the next campaign I plan to assume the role of CinC, but to make the corps commanders the decision makers. This, unfortunately, is not very Napoleonic in concept. But the only other alternative would be to reduce the number of players to two, and that would remove a lot of the "fog of war" so necessary to a good campaign.

    I will be offering first refusal to the existing players, but it is likely some will not want to continue. I would be happy to offer you a place, or at the least put you down as a reserve.

    Please let me have your email contact.