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Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

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Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  Martin on Fri May 11, 2012 6:17 pm

This post arises from a session in the pub after our last k/spiel at little Gaddesden. There was some discussion about getting back to basics, perhaps focusing more on traditional Reisswitz games, and also improving the standard of umpiring. There were mixed views about the desirability of pulling back from non-19th C areas, but it did seem that there was more general agreement on the need to run games more slickly. That’s certainly my view. I think that a speedy game is the most important thing we should be aiming for.

It can come into conflict with other desirable aims, such as accuracy. As an example of this, in our early days running games we sometimes spent time resolving combat in great detail, forgetting that the players would not be involved in this process, and a that a super-accurate result (even if such could be achieved) is little compensation for the players if they have been twiddling their thumbs for 20 minutes waiting for it.

My feeling is that we have rather slipped back into some of our old ways recently, and that our traditional horse & musket k/spiels actually run significantly more slowly than they did 5 years ago. This is partly because of our friendly ethos I think, which at times elevates chewing the fat above efficiency. I am not pointing the finger at anyone in particular – err well actually I am pointing it at all of us, because I perceive we have all contributed both us umpires and players. And yes that does include me.

Here are some thoughts on why our games have been running slowly, and some suggested cures. This is very much a personal view and I would welcome other’s thoughts:

Delayed game starts. We have limited time to devote to our games, and sometimes the need to absorb briefings eats into that. This does not only apply to the players. Those involved with the design of a game are often involved in setting-up the umpire map, so initial player questions are frequently fielded by other members of the umpire team drafted in on the day. But these folks cannot really be expected to do this effectively when they are, at the same time, trying to read the briefings for all players. This is bad enough for traditional k/spiels, but even worse for other periods, where there may be ancillary stuff re game processes etc.

Cure Allocate player & umpire roles, and distribute briefings to all well before the game. This does mean that players and umpires to read the stuff though. At the moment, not everyone always does this.

Slow combat resolution. The tradition has rather grown that everyone in the umpire room feels free to voice their own opinions on the resolution of individual combats. In one sense it reflects the fact that we are a friendly collaborative group, but in others it is rather pernicious. Too many cooks means lots of discussion, which means delay. It also occasionally turns into lengthy debate and disagreement, which means even more delay. This means the players are sitting on their hands, so in my view is a bad thing. It can also have the effect of undermining the person supposedly in charge. There is yet another unfortunate result. Every member of the umpire team should have their own task, and involvement in discussion re combat takes them away from that, and can mean they perform that task less effectively (see below).

Cure Allocate responsibility for combat resolution to a specific player or players. They should be thoroughly conversant with the mechanisms before the game of course, and everyone else should let them get on with it.

Slow combat resolution (again). There is a temptation to make combat mechanisms too sophisticated. This is understandable, and arises partly from a desire not to short-change the players. But sophistication can often equate to elaboration, which again takes time, and thus ends up short-changing them in another way. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, unlike in a board or figure wargame, in our games individual combats are less likely to be crucial because of the fog-of-war and command control issues which also come into play.

Cure Aim for the simplest possible system we can – eg one die roll per combat. Well ok, perhaps with some modifiers too Smile

Poor liaison umpiring. What the players need is a clear statement of what they can see & hear, and of what has happened since the last briefing. But how often do they get that? Almost never in my experience. I cannot think of any of us who pass muster on this front at the moment (including me). Now clearly there are times when a vague report is entirely appropriate – say when enemy troops are just coming into view and the player would still be assessing their numbers etc. But as liaison umpires we should be the players’ eyes & ears, and too often we give some woolly description of what the player can see, which lacks detail both in terms of strength, unit type, and deployment. So instead of saying the player can see “3 or 4 squadrons of cavalry over there” we should aim to be more precise. Is it 3, or is it 4? Are they hussars, or are they cuirassiers (if the player is close enough that he could make this out). And where precisely is “over there”?

Cure When acting in the liaison role, we all need to work a bit harder, or perhaps just with better focus. We should really study the umpire map, perhaps take a few notes, or even better a marked-up a spare laminated map of the area drawn directly from the umpire map, before we go out to brief our player. Keeping out of combat discussions should help Wink

Inappropriate liaison umpiring. Rather than doing what we should as liaison umpires, so often we are doing what we should not. By this I mean that we are often drawn into discussion with the players re their possible alternative actions. It must be said that this is often initiated by the players themselves, perhaps indeed more often than by the liaison umpires. Some players tend to use their laison umpire as a sounding board. But this sort of analysis and review of options is the job of the player, not the umpire, and it all takes time, which keeps the umpire from a speedy return to the umpire room. This itself delays the game being moved forward. As players, we need to understand that the umpire is there to brief us, and then disappear.

Cure. After delivering our excellent, clear & concise briefing, we liaison umpires should head straight back to the umpire room. We do not need to wait while the player works-out precisely what orders to give, discusses the pros & cons with us, and perhaps writes them out. As players, we should understand that anything beyond the very simplest of orders would historically require some time to organise, and implementation will therefore need to wait until the liaison umpire next appears. Depending on circumstances, perhaps “that unit is to move/charge there, now!” might be acceptable, but sometimes not even that, if it’s not ready, or you are not actually next to it. In general as players, you should feel free to take as long as you like to give orders, but don’t expect to do it on other players’ time, as the game will move on while you think.

Thoughts, anyone?

Martin

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Speeding things up

Post  gunboat diplomat on Fri May 11, 2012 7:52 pm

Hi martin

A few thoughts. See coments against each cure!

This post arises from a session in the pub after our last k/spiel at little Gaddesden. There was some discussion about getting back to basics, perhaps focusing more on traditional Reisswitz games, and also improving the standard of umpiring. There were mixed views about the desirability of pulling back from non-19th C areas, but it did seem that there was more general agreement on the need to run games more slickly. That’s certainly my view. I think that a speedy game is the most important thing we should be aiming for.

It can come into conflict with other desirable aims, such as accuracy. As an example of this, in our early days running games we sometimes spent time resolving combat in great detail, forgetting that the players would not be involved in this process, and a that a super-accurate result (even if such could be achieved) is little compensation for the players if they have been twiddling their thumbs for 20 minutes waiting for it.

My feeling is that we have rather slipped back into some of our old ways recently, and that our traditional horse & musket k/spiels actually run significantly more slowly than they did 5 years ago. This is partly because of our friendly ethos I think, which at times elevates chewing the fat above efficiency. I am not pointing the finger at anyone in particular – err well actually I am pointing it at all of us, because I perceive we have all contributed both us umpires and players. And yes that does include me.

Here are some thoughts on why our games have been running slowly, and some suggested cures. This is very much a personal view and I would welcome other’s thoughts:

Delayed game starts. We have limited time to devote to our games, and sometimes the need to absorb briefings eats into that. This does not only apply to the players. Those involved with the design of a game are often involved in setting-up the umpire map, so initial player questions are frequently fielded by other members of the umpire team drafted in on the day. But these folks cannot really be expected to do this effectively when they are, at the same time, trying to read the briefings for all players. This is bad enough for traditional k/spiels, but even worse for other periods, where there may be ancillary stuff re game processes etc.

Cure Allocate player & umpire roles, and distribute briefings to all well before the game. This does mean that players and umpires to read the stuff though. At the moment, not everyone always does this.

As you say, no garuntee everyone reads it. But if games were put together by a small team then 1. The umpiring team aare all up to speed and can swiftly brief players and 2. All the other organising etc that you have majored on can be split by mutual agreement amongst the small oragising group for any given game.

Slow combat resolution. The tradition has rather grown that everyone in the umpire room feels free to voice their own opinions on the resolution of individual combats. In one sense it reflects the fact that we are a friendly collaborative group, but in others it is rather pernicious. Too many cooks means lots of discussion, which means delay. It also occasionally turns into lengthy debate and disagreement, which means even more delay. This means the players are sitting on their hands, so in my view is a bad thing. It can also have the effect of undermining the person supposedly in charge. There is yet another unfortunate result. Every member of the umpire team should have their own task, and involvement in discussion re combat takes them away from that, and can mean they perform that task less effectively (see below).

Cure Allocate responsibility for combat resolution to a specific player or players. They should be thoroughly conversant with the mechanisms before the game of course, and everyone else should let them get on with it.

Makes sense and would be aided by the pre planning and organising of a team as above.

Slow combat resolution (again). There is a temptation to make combat mechanisms too sophisticated. This is understandable, and arises partly from a desire not to short-change the players. But sophistication can often equate to elaboration, which again takes time, and thus ends up short-changing them in another way. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, unlike in a board or figure wargame, in our games individual combats are less likely to be crucial because of the fog-of-war and command control issues which also come into play.

Cure Aim for the simplest possible system we can – eg one die roll per combat. Well ok, perhaps with some modifiers too Smile

Yes, there is a balance to be struck to ensure the outcome has a chance of being about right historically but the emphasis should be on the player experience rather than playing a double blind wargame


Poor liaison umpiring. What the players need is a clear statement of what they can see & hear, and of what has happened since the last briefing. But how often do they get that? Almost never in my experience. I cannot think of any of us who pass muster on this front at the moment (including me). Now clearly there are times when a vague report is entirely appropriate – say when enemy troops are just coming into view and the player would still be assessing their numbers etc. But as liaison umpires we should be the players’ eyes & ears, and too often we give some woolly description of what the player can see, which lacks detail both in terms of strength, unit type, and deployment. So instead of saying the player can see “3 or 4 squadrons of cavalry over there” we should aim to be more precise. Is it 3, or is it 4? Are they hussars, or are they cuirassiers (if the player is close enough that he could make this out). And where precisely is “over there”?

Cure When acting in the liaison role, we all need to work a bit harder, or perhaps just with better focus. We should really study the umpire map, perhaps take a few notes, or even better a marked-up a spare laminated map of the area drawn directly from the umpire map, before we go out to brief our player. Keeping out of combat discussions should help Wink

Again correct and needs umpires to ensure paper to draw a quick sketch is available or to have the laminate maps. More organising and another argument for a more collaborative approach

Inappropriate liaison umpiring. Rather than doing what we should as liaison umpires, so often we are doing what we should not. By this I mean that we are often drawn into discussion with the players re their possible alternative actions. It must be said that this is often initiated by the players themselves, perhaps indeed more often than by the liaison umpires. Some players tend to use their laison umpire as a sounding board. But this sort of analysis and review of options is the job of the player, not the umpire, and it all takes time, which keeps the umpire from a speedy return to the umpire room. This itself delays the game being moved forward. As players, we need to understand that the umpire is there to brief us, and then disappear.

Cure. After delivering our excellent, clear & concise briefing, we liaison umpires should head straight back to the umpire room. We do not need to wait while the player works-out precisely what orders to give, discusses the pros & cons with us, and perhaps writes them out. As players, we should understand that anything beyond the very simplest of orders would historically require some time to organise, and implementation will therefore need to wait until the liaison umpire next appears. Depending on circumstances, perhaps “that unit is to move/charge there, now!” might be acceptable, but sometimes not even that, if it’s not ready, or you are not actually next to it. In general as players, you should feel free to take as long as you like to give orders, but don’t expect to do it on other players’ time, as the game will move on while you think.

Yup, a good arguement for a lead umpire/game controller to keep things on track

Overall a fair assessment of some of our worst case examples, its not always that bad but we could do better.
Some discussion alomg similar lines prior to the next game to ensure evryone is on the same page cannot do any harm. Then its a case of jfdi!

Steve



Thoughts, anyone?

Martin


Last edited by MJ1 on Tue May 15, 2012 9:16 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : Removed Link in post)

gunboat diplomat

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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  gunboat diplomat on Fri May 11, 2012 10:45 pm

Hi all

You may note a link to miss teen queen which appears in my post. Before you call the police its a legitimate site my daughter has entered! From the 16 th she will be eligable to receive votes,ideally from other teens rather than middle aged men! My thick fingers on the i pad appear to have cut and pasted the link by mistake.

Thanks to those who have pointed it out without a single raised eyebrow (!)

Steve

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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat May 12, 2012 11:26 am

I was curious!

I hope she does well!
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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  DavidC on Sat May 12, 2012 1:06 pm

Martin wrote:This post arises from a session in the pub after our last k/spiel at little Gaddesden. There was some discussion about getting back to basics, perhaps focusing more on traditional Reisswitz games, and also improving the standard of umpiring. There were mixed views about the desirability of pulling back from non-19th C areas, but it did seem that there was more general agreement on the need to run games more slickly. That’s certainly my view. I think that a speedy game is the most important thing we should be aiming for.

It can come into conflict with other desirable aims, such as accuracy. As an example of this, in our early days running games we sometimes spent time resolving combat in great detail, forgetting that the players would not be involved in this process, and a that a super-accurate result (even if such could be achieved) is little compensation for the players if they have been twiddling their thumbs for 20 minutes waiting for it.

My feeling is that we have rather slipped back into some of our old ways recently, and that our traditional horse & musket k/spiels actually run significantly more slowly than they did 5 years ago. This is partly because of our friendly ethos I think, which at times elevates chewing the fat above efficiency. I am not pointing the finger at anyone in particular – err well actually I am pointing it at all of us, because I perceive we have all contributed both us umpires and players. And yes that does include me.

Here are some thoughts on why our games have been running slowly, and some suggested cures. This is very much a personal view and I would welcome other’s thoughts:

Delayed game starts. We have limited time to devote to our games, and sometimes the need to absorb briefings eats into that. This does not only apply to the players. Those involved with the design of a game are often involved in setting-up the umpire map, so initial player questions are frequently fielded by other members of the umpire team drafted in on the day. But these folks cannot really be expected to do this effectively when they are, at the same time, trying to read the briefings for all players. This is bad enough for traditional k/spiels, but even worse for other periods, where there may be ancillary stuff re game processes etc.

Cure Allocate player & umpire roles, and distribute briefings to all well before the game. This does mean that players and umpires to read the stuff though. At the moment, not everyone always does this.

Slow combat resolution. The tradition has rather grown that everyone in the umpire room feels free to voice their own opinions on the resolution of individual combats. In one sense it reflects the fact that we are a friendly collaborative group, but in others it is rather pernicious. Too many cooks means lots of discussion, which means delay. It also occasionally turns into lengthy debate and disagreement, which means even more delay. This means the players are sitting on their hands, so in my view is a bad thing. It can also have the effect of undermining the person supposedly in charge. There is yet another unfortunate result. Every member of the umpire team should have their own task, and involvement in discussion re combat takes them away from that, and can mean they perform that task less effectively (see below).

Cure Allocate responsibility for combat resolution to a specific player or players. They should be thoroughly conversant with the mechanisms before the game of course, and everyone else should let them get on with it.

Slow combat resolution (again). There is a temptation to make combat mechanisms too sophisticated. This is understandable, and arises partly from a desire not to short-change the players. But sophistication can often equate to elaboration, which again takes time, and thus ends up short-changing them in another way. It’s also worth bearing in mind that, unlike in a board or figure wargame, in our games individual combats are less likely to be crucial because of the fog-of-war and command control issues which also come into play.

Cure Aim for the simplest possible system we can – eg one die roll per combat. Well ok, perhaps with some modifiers too Smile

Poor liaison umpiring. What the players need is a clear statement of what they can see & hear, and of what has happened since the last briefing. But how often do they get that? Almost never in my experience. I cannot think of any of us who pass muster on this front at the moment (including me). Now clearly there are times when a vague report is entirely appropriate – say when enemy troops are just coming into view and the player would still be assessing their numbers etc. But as liaison umpires we should be the players’ eyes & ears, and too often we give some woolly description of what the player can see, which lacks detail both in terms of strength, unit type, and deployment. So instead of saying the player can see “3 or 4 squadrons of cavalry over there” we should aim to be more precise. Is it 3, or is it 4? Are they hussars, or are they cuirassiers (if the player is close enough that he could make this out). And where precisely is “over there”?

Cure When acting in the liaison role, we all need to work a bit harder, or perhaps just with better focus. We should really study the umpire map, perhaps take a few notes, or even better a marked-up a spare laminated map of the area drawn directly from the umpire map, before we go out to brief our player. Keeping out of combat discussions should help Wink

Inappropriate liaison umpiring. Rather than doing what we should as liaison umpires, so often we are doing what we should not. By this I mean that we are often drawn into discussion with the players re their possible alternative actions. It must be said that this is often initiated by the players themselves, perhaps indeed more often than by the liaison umpires. Some players tend to use their laison umpire as a sounding board. But this sort of analysis and review of options is the job of the player, not the umpire, and it all takes time, which keeps the umpire from a speedy return to the umpire room. This itself delays the game being moved forward. As players, we need to understand that the umpire is there to brief us, and then disappear.

Cure. After delivering our excellent, clear & concise briefing, we liaison umpires should head straight back to the umpire room. We do not need to wait while the player works-out precisely what orders to give, discusses the pros & cons with us, and perhaps writes them out. As players, we should understand that anything beyond the very simplest of orders would historically require some time to organise, and implementation will therefore need to wait until the liaison umpire next appears. Depending on circumstances, perhaps “that unit is to move/charge there, now!” might be acceptable, but sometimes not even that, if it’s not ready, or you are not actually next to it. In general as players, you should feel free to take as long as you like to give orders, but don’t expect to do it on other players’ time, as the game will move on while you think.

Thoughts, anyone?

Martin



Looks a good clear summary and suggestions to me.

One immediate thought is that I'll either have to stop being a liaison umpire, or wear a gag! (Only half joking, I may add).

The matter of combat resolution is a dichotomy as far as I'm concerned. I think we either allow people to chip in or shut them out entirely. I for one couldn't bite my tongue if the lead umpire/game owner was clearly forgetting, or ignoring, something.

However, I would submit there is a bit of a difference between commenting on inaccuracy at the game/strategy level which could undermine the overall premise and saying 'hang on a minute how's that cavalry supposed to charge over that defile?' The problem is we may wish to encourage one but having allowed it, how do we then deny the other.

One way would be to go back to a more clearly defined process. You say (rightly) that games have gotten slower - they have also gotten looser. In the Horse and Musket games no one refers to tables they just say, this, this and this will apply, so a high roll is good. To be frank, why not flip a coin? I dimly recall a set of tables we used for Napoleonics from one M.James Esq. I haven't seen them for a while either.

Von R and co had factors and special dice as well as things to be routinely accounted for, possibly an over complication just to lead to a result of good shot/bad shot but all concerned knew what the parameters were and that they were the only ones to be used. They didn't rely on someone saying "this, this and this apply, so a high roll is good" accompanied by collective shrug of those present.

Then of course there was place in Prussian games for a Lord High Arbitrator who was supposed to interpret and rule in the light of his real world experience but we are a bit short of those alive in the 1820s, although some mornings I feel like it!

I think fast maybe good but you will have to keep the lead umpire(s) and the liaison umpires apart to do it, as well as reducing the role of liaison umpire back to what it traditionally was – ‘a runner’ - and stop players using it as an additional source of intelligence, or having LUs padding their part. Question then is, where's the job satisfaction?


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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  Mr. Digby on Sat May 12, 2012 7:49 pm

I do agree with Martin that there should be a combat resolution umpire and that the other members of the umpire team should not chip in with comments or disagreements or discussion when he is doing his assigned task. If the combat umpire makes an error, hold your comment until after the game and he can take it on board for the next time he runs that, or a similar game.

My understanding is Martin is looking at ways to speed the game up here, not catch everyone's mistakes (which there will be, because we're human).

The Scourge of War Gettysburg PC game a few of us are playing can be played solo with one player inputting the orders for both sides. There's a Napoleonic mod version of this available and it strikes me that this game, plus a laptop, obviously, could be a very good and extremely fast and consistent way to resolve combat. You can tweak the game's setup files to make mods so that we could cover any period from the Seven Years War to 1866 (I think breechloading cannon and the Chassepot are beyond its scope without very serious changes) but its beauty lies in having a combat resolution system that will not "make mistakes".
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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  Martin on Mon May 14, 2012 8:05 pm

gunboat diplomat wrote:Overall a fair assessment of some of our worst case examples, its not always that bad but we could do better.
Some discussion alomg similar lines prior to the next game to ensure evryone is on the same page cannot do any harm. Then its a case of jfdi!

Steve

Yes, it's not always that bad, and yes we could do better.

Any ideas on how we get things in place so that everyobne is on the same page before the next (29th July) game?

Martin

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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  Martin on Mon May 14, 2012 8:11 pm

DavidC wrote:I think fast maybe good but you will have to keep the lead umpire(s) and the liaison umpires apart to do it, as well as reducing the role of liaison umpire back to what it traditionally was – ‘a runner’ - and stop players using it as an additional source of intelligence, or having LUs padding their part. Question then is, where's the job satisfaction?

David
The liaison umpires will still have the fun of seeing the game unfold. And they will still need to liaise with the map umpire over their player's sector. I'm assuming that the LUs will take the lead in interpreting their player's orders in the umpire room, whether these are brief verbal ones or more complex written ones.

Is that enough, do you think?

Martin

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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  Martin on Mon May 14, 2012 8:45 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:I do agree with Martin that there should be a combat resolution umpire and that the other members of the umpire team should not chip in with comments or disagreements or discussion when he is doing his assigned task. If the combat umpire makes an error, hold your comment until after the game and he can take it on board for the next time he runs that, or a similar game.

My understanding is Martin is looking at ways to speed the game up here, not catch everyone's mistakes (which there will be, because we're human).

The Scourge of War Gettysburg PC game a few of us are playing can be played solo with one player inputting the orders for both sides. There's a Napoleonic mod version of this available and it strikes me that this game, plus a laptop, obviously, could be a very good and extremely fast and consistent way to resolve combat. You can tweak the game's setup files to make mods so that we could cover any period from the Seven Years War to 1866 (I think breechloading cannon and the Chassepot are beyond its scope without very serious changes) but its beauty lies in having a combat resolution system that will not "make mistakes".
I think that's right. Some players occasionally find certain umpire decisions perplexing, but that's often because they don't have the big picture. Those umpires who have joined the team late are in a somewhat similar position as regards combat mechanisms, if it's not a traditional Reisswitz game. Just because they don't have the big picture doesn't necessarilly mean they are wrong of course, but any comments are indeed best left until the debrief.

I think it would be worth trying Gettysburg to run combat. James Sterrett ran some very successfull modern games using TacOps in the past. But the structure of G/burg is somewhat different, so how would the umpire(s) report back from widely separated sectors? Presumably by dispensing with HITS and using the 'helicopter' function.

Would it be fast enough? Not sure. We could theoretically speed things up by having several laptops hooked-up to a LAN, instead of just one. So each LU would go to a specific 'keyboard umpire' to pass on orders and generate reports for his player. That's all getting quite complex though.

Martin

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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  MJ1 on Tue May 15, 2012 9:17 pm

gunboat diplomat wrote:Hi all

You may note a link to miss teen queen which appears in my post. Before you call the police its a legitimate site my daughter has entered! From the 16 th she will be eligable to receive votes,ideally from other teens rather than middle aged men! My thick fingers on the i pad appear to have cut and pasted the link by mistake.

Thanks to those who have pointed it out without a single raised eyebrow (!)

Steve

Now removed.

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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  MJ1 on Tue May 15, 2012 9:47 pm

Martin wrote:
gunboat diplomat wrote:Overall a fair assessment of some of our worst case examples, its not always that bad but we could do better.
Some discussion alomg similar lines prior to the next game to ensure evryone is on the same page cannot do any harm. Then its a case of jfdi!

Steve

Yes, it's not always that bad, and yes we could do better.

Any ideas on how we get things in place so that everyobne is on the same page before the next (29th July) game?

Martin

Of course that would be down to me organise and I will share some details.

1. I will be giving briefing material on the day 1 side of A4.

This is because we don't always know who will turn up when and I will design the game so it can be run that way.

Umpires will be briefed as the players are reading their briefing and time will be allowed for all of this.

2. I will be doing the combat and it will be simple.

The umpires will pick it up but it is a simple D6 system which I have used in the past.

3. Maps will be provided for showing where units are to deploy and the umpires will have to draw on them and use them as a tool to get orders.

As for timings and delays I build that into the timeline for the game and make allowances for delays so not a big problem unless you are trying to do something really complex.

Combat has to be simple and done as quickly as possible but I sometime encourage a bit of debate to air opinions and to provide a counter to ill-conceived ideas on how it should be, it is the key element of many a game and does need some thought especially as if it is a key battle. So I am not afraid of people adding to the debate as long as it is quick and in a controlled fashion. As I have a strong idea on time and speed I tend to have a "stronger" style on running the game and I think this can over come lots of the issues raised.

Anyway don't worry about the 29th I have it in hand (all in my head) but I hope to have a run at it one night at Warwick before the 29th if time allows.....



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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue May 15, 2012 10:07 pm

I would like to try helping out as an umpire on the 29th if that is possible? Perhaps one of our regular umpires can play instead?

Martin - if we did ever use the SoW software I would definitely just run it on 1 laptop and play both sides (for which there is a clever function) and use a free roving camera view to move around as needed. I'd use couriers probably. A LAN would be both time consuming to set up and at the mercy of a game crash. MP games can't be saved but single player can so no worries if the game crashes, if you've got it autosaving every 5 minutes.

Given that quite big battles can be easily resolved within 2 hours and given also that you can set the AI divisions and brigades to use certain orders such as probe, cautious attack, all out assault, hold to the last man, etc, etc, it would be quite easy to set the game running per the orders given by the various players and just pause it (another function not available in multi-player) when significant events happen in order to report these to the players.

The players would have maps in the main hall and the Kreigspiel metal blocks could be used on their maps to denote the units.

And if Steve brings his iPad, he can even take screenshots of critical points in the action to show to the players to explain their situation. Even better would be if we had 2 people with iPads, so one umpire could feed nice images to each team.
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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  MJ1 on Tue May 15, 2012 10:25 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:I would like to try helping out as an umpire on the 29th if that is possible? Perhaps one of our regular umpires can play instead?

Very happy to have you as an umpire we need an umpire per player.

Mr. Digby wrote:Martin - if we did ever use the SoW software I would definitely just run it on 1 laptop and play both sides (for which there is a clever function) and use a free roving camera view to move around as needed. I'd use couriers probably. A LAN would be both time consuming to set up and at the mercy of a game crash. MP games can't be saved but single player can so no worries if the game crashes, if you've got it autosaving every 5 minutes.

Given that quite big battles can be easily resolved within 2 hours and given also that you can set the AI divisions and brigades to use certain orders such as probe, cautious attack, all out assault, hold to the last man, etc, etc, it would be quite easy to set the game running per the orders given by the various players and just pause it (another function not available in multi-player) when significant events happen in order to report these to the players.

The players would have maps in the main hall and the Kreigspiel metal blocks could be used on their maps to denote the units.

And if Steve brings his iPad, he can even take screenshots of critical points in the action to show to the players to explain their situation. Even better would be if we had 2 people with iPads, so one umpire could feed nice images to each team.

This sounds like a good plan if it can be done quickly. Perhaps try it out first with two players and yourself as umpire. Run as a time box event one night just to play through enough to be comfortable on how it would work. All for trying new ways of doing things.

For me the sections on umpiring is key as head umpire you don't get to see how the player / umpire interactions are going and how to keep those interactions on track...

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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  DavidC on Tue May 22, 2012 5:34 pm

Mr. Digby wrote:I would like to try helping out as an umpire on the 29th if that is possible? Perhaps one of our regular umpires can play instead?

Martin - if we did ever use the SoW software I would definitely just run it on 1 laptop and play both sides (for which there is a clever function) and use a free roving camera view to move around as needed. I'd use couriers probably. A LAN would be both time consuming to set up and at the mercy of a game crash. MP games can't be saved but single player can so no worries if the game crashes, if you've got it autosaving every 5 minutes.

Given that quite big battles can be easily resolved within 2 hours and given also that you can set the AI divisions and brigades to use certain orders such as probe, cautious attack, all out assault, hold to the last man, etc, etc, it would be quite easy to set the game running per the orders given by the various players and just pause it (another function not available in multi-player) when significant events happen in order to report these to the players.

The players would have maps in the main hall and the Kreigspiel metal blocks could be used on their maps to denote the units.

And if Steve brings his iPad, he can even take screenshots of critical points in the action to show to the players to explain their situation. Even better would be if we had 2 people with iPads, so one umpire could feed nice images to each team.

Martin,

If you want to Umpire on the 29th you can have my place - not that we have been allocated spaces - more that I want to play for a change.

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Re: Speeding-up our face to face k/spiels

Post  Mr. Digby on Tue May 22, 2012 6:11 pm

DavidC wrote:Martin,

If you want to Umpire on the 29th you can have my place - not that we have been allocated spaces - more that I want to play for a change.
Sounds like a deal.
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