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Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

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Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Father General on Thu Jun 05, 2014 12:31 am

I jacked Stefan's thread, but perhaps we should discuss in this one?

I'm willing to host a strategic campaign, meaning I'm willing to

1. Keep a campaign map up to date.
2. Manage orders as they come in.
3. Set up the parameters for battles and hand them off to scenario creators.
4. Keep the campaign going with stories and immersion.

I would request from you:

1. Map ideas and suggestions.
2. Someone to build scenarios.
3. Dedicated side commanders, even if subordinates change per battle.
4. Someone to tabulate results and maintain the OOBs.

I'd like to set the time for late 1862 to early 1863, although that is a preference, not a rule.
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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Leffe7 on Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:13 am

Hi Neal

thanks for offering to manage such a campaign!

re strategic map: I opt for a middle ground between your ACW campaign (too few spaces to maneouver and no strategic reason to do so) and Digbys Peninsular campaign map.
re stories and immersion: I like that but last time IMHO we didn't even play long enough to see any consequence of those stories.
re ideas: For example Napoleons campaign in Italy, ACW Western, ACW Trans-Miss.

# 2 and # 4: My hope is that the next Scenario Generator can handle 95% of the work needed for OOB maintenance and scenario creation. So me or anyone else using the Generator could take care of the scenarios.
The remaining manual steps would be optional:
- Choosing detailed starting locations on unit level for a scenario.
- Adjusting OOB stats: Change in Experience, Weapons, Unit name, transferring captured guns.


What is important to me is that we face the truth that we cannot apply all Kriegspiel rules and features of a face-to-face game to a SOW online campaign. I have the impression that our previous attempts tried to achieve too much (read: having a long list of rules, features and constraints), but had problems to arrange games with the required players and maybe produced too much admin work for the umpire.
I propose to forget about the concept that each Player is a character on the strategic map AND he has his own troops AND he moves them around on the strategic map AND plays his units in a scenario where his forces are present. It is just unrealistic to find a suitable time slot for all needed players and did never work well before. We need to find a bit more flexibility.

In fact we would have 2 games going on. The strategic game and the tactical game.
I think keeping the two games separated as much as possible will increase the playability and longevity of the campaign.
The separation could be real: So some players only play the strategic part (meaning they don't even need SOW), and other the tactical part (scenario setup and battle in SOW).
Or the separation could be virtual. So a player can play the strategic part AND also the tactical part - BUT HE WOULD NOT BE NECESSARILY ON THE SAME SIDE IN BOTH GAMES. I strongly think that a player who has to switch sides for the 2 games is still giving his best in a battle  Surprised 

Strategic Game:
- 1 standing CinC per side.
- Other players taking the role of a senior character to discuss strategy with CinC or move a part of this side's forces on the map.

Host
- The host (Neal) declares, when a battle has to be fought and announces the battle parameters.
- A date for the battle is searched (doodle) and acting CinC for the battle are declared.
- Players who also play the strategic game are allocated to the matching side IF POSSIBLE.
- Those CinC can influence the scenario creation (deployment of troops)
- The scenario is created. A minimum number of players PER SIDE is declared.

Tactical Game:
- 1 CinC per side is declared
- Other players take the remaining available commands.
- Players who also play the strategic game are allocated to the matching side IF POSSIBLE.

KR
Stefan
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One Minor Point

Post  WSH Baylor on Thu Jun 05, 2014 3:16 pm

When a scenario designer chooses a historical figure to include in a scenario design, please be sure to include accurate statistics or change the name. Last week, I chose Robert Rodes and was surprised to learn upon entering the game that he was rated as "Irregular"! Imagine, a graduate of VMI, an instructor at VMI, leader of Jackson's surprise attack at Chancellorsville, temporary Corps CO of Jackson's Corp when both Jackson and Hill were wounded, and was killed by a shell fragment at the Third Battle of Winchester. Irregular...hardly think so! To list an historical figure such as Rodes as irregular cast an aspersion upon his service record. Please, use a phony name and rate as you will but please do not dishonor an historical figure in this manner!

Minor point, I know.

J
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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Mr. Digby on Thu Jun 05, 2014 4:10 pm

Stefan, you have some great ideas there. I agree with them all. We probably should gear the campaign battles to games that need no more than 4 players a side, preferably 3 which is a realistic number to gather for a weekend game.

I still plan to reboot my Peninsular Campaign at some point with whoever is still wanting to play but with several of Stefan's ideas incorporated such as map players not being the same as battle players (or even necessarily SoW players at all) and flexibility between sides. I haven't restarted it since it went on hold last summer due to my personal situation but when/if that stabilises I will reconvene it.

I agree with Jack in that I prefer a historical setting with real commanders and armies; of course giving them their correct stats is important too. I can invest my concern more into historical events (even with fantasy elements added in like my Peninsular game) more than I can with fictional ones.

My preference is for a Napoleonic campaign; we seem to hardly fight any Nap games these days and a Nap campaign could be interspersed with casual or single scenario ACW games.

We have all those lovely Russian and Prussian sprites we haven't used yet, so something that employs them would get my vote! Maybe something smallish that would be easily managed in 1812, 1813 or 1814.

In a Nap campaign I'd be willing to take up command of one of the sides, and or help write up the OOBs so there's an offer you shouldn't refuse!

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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  kg little mac on Thu Jun 05, 2014 6:14 pm

Lots of GCM players want to play in a "real" campaign. I think you could count on at least 8-10 GCM guys who'd be interested. Me included.
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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  mitra on Thu Jun 05, 2014 7:47 pm

Happy to help for to set the scenario files when necessary.

Last week, I chose Robert Rodes and was surprised to learn upon entering the game that he was rated as "Irregular"! Imagine, a graduate of VMI, an instructor at VMI, leader of Jackson's surprise attack at Chancellorsville, temporary Corps CO of Jackson's Corp when both Jackson and Hill were wounded, and was killed by a shell fragment at the Third Battle of Winchester. Irregular...hardly think so! To list an historical figure such as Rodes as irregular cast an aspersion upon his service record. Please, use a phony name and rate as you will but please do not dishonor an historical figure in this manner!

Jack, saturday scenario was created with the scenario generator, so no change has been done on the statistics. I checked and this strange value appears in the standard oobs of game also, that is why the scenario generator reported it.

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Understand.

Post  WSH Baylor on Thu Jun 05, 2014 9:25 pm

Thanks for the clarification, Mitra! Must have been an OOB created by Weaver!

J
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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Martin on Thu Jun 05, 2014 10:56 pm

kg little mac wrote...

"Lots of GCM players want to play in a "real" campaign. I think you could count on at least 8-10 GCM guys who'd be interested. Me included."

That's good news.  

Some excellent ideas from everyone.  I think we've learnt a fair bit from our previous campaign attempts, and it shows in the very practical ideas now being floated.

Along similar lines, I have another suggestion.  There is a tension between running a campaign, and generating relatively balanced battles.  After all, a key reason for outmanoeuvering the enemy in a campaign, is to force them to fight at a disadvantage - the bigger the better.  But this will not make for an even battle. If this situation arises, I think it can be handled in either of two ways:

1. Fight the battle anyway, but the 2 forces should have very different objectives.  The objective of the weaker force might just be to make a fighting retreat off the map in reasonable shape, or perhaps to hold a key bridge for a certain period of time, so that the army's baggage train can get away etc etc

2. If the odds are just too uneven, or the circumstances are such that you cannot make an interesting battle with at least some chance for the weaker force to achieve something, then the FG should just make a decision on what happens.  He can always vary the degree of severity with a die-roll.  If that means the occasional Harper's Ferry surrender, then so be it.  

I think Digby was planning to use 2. in his campaign, and it seems to have a number of benefits.  As well as avoiding uninteresting battles, it can also mean the campaign moves faster, as several of the engagements can be resolved by a wave of his magisterial hand.  In fact it might even be worth using this method if we are short of players for a particular battle - a possibility as we go into summer.

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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Father General on Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:00 am

"upon entering the game that he was rated as "Irregular"!"

Jack, I understand the game keeps stats and rates the human player in accord, so the software was referring to you as opposed to Gen'l Rhodes. I know when I play Gen'l Rhodes I'm rated "Superb Elite."

Sort of.

:-p
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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Father General on Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:15 am

Goodness, this thread was active and I had such a busy day at work, I didn't get back to it until now!

I have a preliminary campaign scenario in mind. I am shy about using Nap as a theme just because I am hardly familiar with it whereas I am much more familiar with the American Civil War. Frankly, I didn't know you guys even had wars over there without us. I don't even know what anyone would have to fight about since you didn't have oil back then.

So I'm thinking of an 1862-63 Eastern theater/theatre campaign with historical units and a few fictional characters thrown in for spice. I would use a historical map and a semi-historical situation. We would have dedicated side commanders for the strategic map, then people can play as they prefer in the battles. There would be carryover and consequences.

I agree with resolving uninteresting battles with a wave of the magisterial hand.

I'm visiting Palm Springs this weekend, through Monday. When I get back, I'll get granular with my proposal. I'm probably going to do corps vs. corps with smaller divisions doing this and that. There will be overall objectives for each side. I will also probably create something of a stacking limit to prevent one side from massing their troops and moving about the map in a giant, invincible ball of anger. Historical play will be rewarded, gamey tactics punished.

In the end, my goal is to weave a story punctuated with interesting battles that carry over and affect the story as it goes. Either side can win, and everyone should have a good time.

I'll spend this weekend by the pool concocting the campaign and come at you next week with a proposal. Give me until Wednesday evening Pacific time.

Please feel free to update this thread with your thoughts, ideas, and wishes.

No, not that wish. Gross.

But the others wishes are fine.

Late next week we can assess interest and I'll put pen to paper if it pans out.

-Neal

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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Father General on Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:19 am

I'm thinking of finding a map of this area overall, but something that looks more historical is preferred for flavor. Or at least blank. Northern Virginia, Maryland and Southern Pennsylvania. Any suggestions?

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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Father General on Fri Jun 06, 2014 4:49 pm

After a night of thinking, and plotting, the proposed name of the campaign will be...

"The Lost Division"


Ooooh...
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Hmmmmm

Post  WSH Baylor on Fri Jun 06, 2014 5:07 pm

Hmmmm.  Methinks that the translation of a "California night of plotting and thinking" is really a "California night of potting and drinking!"  Easy to see why Neal is retiring to the beach for the weekend - to let the salt air clear his "mind" from the alcohol/smoke induced trance!.  Lost Division...oh, it is so easy to get "lost" under those circumstances, right, Neal?  

LOL

J
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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Father General on Sat Jun 07, 2014 2:45 am

Well Mr. Baylor, California produces two things in abundance, fruits and nuts.
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Yes.....

Post  WSH Baylor on Sat Jun 07, 2014 3:44 pm

Yes, I have heard that before!

BTW, is that a topless beach you will be at this weekend?

J
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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  Uncle Billy on Sat Jun 07, 2014 5:35 pm

So long as the towns the Union will be passing through are bulging with plunder, Gen. Georgia is interested.

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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

Post  SWeathers on Tue Jun 10, 2014 10:17 pm

Im up for one, always like me a good campaign Smile
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Re: Floating the prospect of a strategic campaign.

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