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KS at Orccon 2014

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KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Calpurnius on Tue Feb 11, 2014 10:55 am

http://www.strategicon.net/ Hilton Los Angeles Airport, 5711 West Century Blvd., Los Angeles, California 90045 I'll be running a game in the wargame section on Sunday, February 16th. Sign up on the sheets or post here if you're interested, all welcome regardless of experience.
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Father General on Wed Feb 12, 2014 3:19 am

Attendees will get to meet the Father General in person too!

(Sorry, event is BYOB - Bring Your Own Bible. --Old Testament [or just Leviticus] will suffice.)
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Martin on Wed Feb 12, 2014 12:18 pm

Best of luck with it guys. Sorry I'm too far away.

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Father General on Wed Feb 12, 2014 11:19 pm

No worries, Martin. We may post on here if we have any pressing questions. And we'll post an AAR.

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Martin on Thu Feb 13, 2014 12:06 pm

Yes feel free to do that, guys.  

Presenting the game at a con means you ideally want to keep both your players and the wider audience involved.  In our early days, when we were promoting the game at UK cons, we adopted the following format.

The umpire map was set-up in full view of the audience, but out of view of the 2 teams.  Arthur Harman then gave a commentary throughout the game.  But he did this in rather a clever way.  So instead of saying things like "Red forces have now occupied Seedorf, but Blue are not aware of this", he instead said "this force has now reached here (pointing to the map), but the other team is unaware of this'.  Or "this patrol has now spotted these troops (again pointing to the map), and will send a report back."

A combination of commentary and view of the unfolding situation on the map, assisted immersion for the audience, as well as for the players.  The latter could of course hear the commentary, but were focused on their own situation and plans, and could not learn much from it, and indeed what they heard (without any of the map context) tended to increase their paranoia  What a Face 

Of course you need someone will Arthur's presentational skills to carry it off, but it's something to think about.

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Father General on Thu Feb 13, 2014 3:08 pm

Thanks, that's a great tip. I'm sure we'll do well. We made a flier that will be posted around the con and I am sure we can sell it to the crowd.

And I'll try to keep the sermons short, cut them down to just two hours.

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Father General on Tue Feb 18, 2014 5:13 am

We had a great event with about 4-6 participants and a fair amount of interest, which should carry over into our next major event in May.

In the meantime, we will run another, smaller event, designed mostly to test improvements in umpiring logistics and making the game run faster overall.

I think we ran 8 hours of real time for 4 hours of game time.

-Neal
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Calpurnius on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:11 am

Congratulations F.G. A masterful use of terrain and artillery caused the French to literally dash their brains against your formations. I will post a AAR on here once its written up. I look forward to future events. Maybe we can try and co-ordinate a transatlantic Kriegsspiel with the crazed evil masterminds in the village innocently named Little Gaddesden.
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Father General on Wed Feb 19, 2014 4:28 am

I would really dig an actual, umpired KS with the boards 6,000 miles apart. just might set a world record for a physical KS game! LOL

And thank you. My opponent did the very thing I did not expect him to do, which is to say he did exactly what I planned on him doing.
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Martin on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:55 am

Glad it went well chaps.

Would it be possible to run an umpired K/S over Skype I wonder?

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Father General on Wed Feb 19, 2014 2:23 pm

Yes, I believe so. It's real time, and we have webcams. All Americans have webcams, they come free with our freedom. They help the NSA to protect us.

We could totally run a game where it is umpired and the combatants are elsewhere. The greatest caveat would be to keep your Skype on and to listen for it to ring. Not an issue at all.

Perhaps we could try a short scenario to test the theory? We would also want an umpire with both teams, or both teams in the same building so the umpire can move the pieces. In California, we're presently allowed to touch the pieces because, California, but I am interested in following a stricter rule.

I'm sure Calpurnius has some thoughts.

-Neal
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Leffe7 on Wed Feb 19, 2014 3:40 pm

Skype sounds really interesting.
I've never played a real KS boardgame yet but I would expect it to work this way:

Umpire Account Side 1. Showing a video of the battle map with all known info on it.
Players Accounts Side 1. They all see the map for their side and they can send written orders to the umpire. Are the players from the same side allowed to chat?

Umpire Account Side 2. Showing a video of the battle map with all known info on it.
Players Accounts Side 2. They all see the map for their side and they can send written orders to the umpire. Are the players from the same side allowed to chat?

Perhaps it would make sense for the umpire team to be in the same room.

Alternatively, the umpires could also send pictures to the players, no need for a life stream.
But perhaps I'm all wrong and the umpires only communicate with written messages and the players must figure out the battle map for themselves?
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Martin on Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:04 pm

Here are some thoughts as to how we might go about it, Stefan.  But first a brief primer on how we run k/spiels....

The teams are typically about 2-4 per side, and we aim to have 1 liaison umpire per player, and 1 further umpire to control the speed & flow of the game.  Unless players are in the same place on the map, they are not allowed to chat.  Most communication is therefore by courier, and messages are passed to a player’s liaison umpire, who will calculate how long it takes to reach the recipient – if indeed it does!  This is very much like our SOW MP games, but actually slightly more historical (and more of a challenge), as your courier won’t automatically go straight to the right place if you don’t know where your team-mate is.  

Briefings to players are given verbally, but sometimes with the aid of a marked-up map.

If a player has orders to give to troops under their direct command, then they either give these verbally to their liaison umpire (if brief & simple), or write them down (if more involved).  Of course it takes time to write clear understandable orders, and the game is moving while you go through that process - as the battle would have done historically.


How would all this work over Skype?  Well to be honest I’m still thinking about this, but one possibility would be:

- umpire team in one venue, but preferably with access to more than one room (to allow for confidentiality)
- each liaison umpire has a laptop and Skype access
- players can be anywhere with pc and Skype access, such as their own home
- each player has their liaison umpire’s email address
- liaison umpires have every player’s email address
- courier messages are sent by email to the player’s liaison umpire
- liaison umpire forwards message to recipient, after an appropriate delay
- briefings are normally given to the player verbally over Skype, but periodically a visual report (camera shot of map) can be sent by email
- orders are given to liaison umpire verbally over Skype or (in more detail) by email to their liaison umpire
- liaison umpires share information on a regular basis with each other and game controller over umpire map, as they would in a normal k/spiel

Would welcome any suggestions on process improvement, or even process re-engineering  Surprised 

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  MJ1 on Wed Feb 19, 2014 5:23 pm

The umpires do not need to be in same room as they can work via conference call.

Then you do your umpire brief and ensure each umpire knows what to relay back. They can then dial out of call and get in touch with their nominated player.

Some issues to think through.

Umpires dropping out due to comms issues (So would be better in same location but would need portable kit...)

Players dropping out. This is easier to deal with as long as umpire for that player still available then he can play that side.

You could test it to begin with via 1 (2 ideally) umpire(s) and 2 players. (Workload should not be too great and could iron out issues).

The more players you get the more issues you have of contacting them and getting timely responses. (when everyone is physically present easier to chase people).

The use of Google Docs would help as players could update orders on the doc and the Umpire sees it automatically so need need for e-mail and all umpires get to see it.

The concept has legs and would allow games with those further afield.

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Martin on Wed Feb 19, 2014 6:05 pm

In general I agree Mark, and in particular about comms issues and starting small.

I *think* I disagree re umpires conference call, as I feel game will move faster if they all have access to the map, so they understand overall situation at a glance, can discuss game progress with other umpires as necessary, and can take photos as appropriate for their own player. I can see that in theory you could do it without, but then everything would have to be channelled through game control umpire. But do please push me on this.

Can you expand on Google Docs functionality please, as I've never used it? Obviously been retired too long  Smile 

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  MJ1 on Wed Feb 19, 2014 7:05 pm

Google docs is the ability to have one document that everyone can see.

So when it is updated all can see the updates (That are shared to it).

So in effect you might even be able to have a Map as a google doc and then update it as people watch it? Hmm that would need exploring...

We have started to use it at work as a collaborative work tool.

So you can have different people work on same document or XLS.

Yes it would be easier for umpires to be in same room, same map and easier to control multiple chats...

So in preference that would be best (quickest and easier to manage) as long as each umpire could provide a skype account and the wireless Laptop / device needed to talk to people. Would need a reasonable wireless and broadband connection. - But of course the best option is to have all the players there as well? So it all depends on what extent you want to expand the process to the WWW.

What is really needed is a map board that can be used on the Web. Something like Vassal might do the trick but would need some effort to set up...

This has been muted by myself quite some years ago (thread around some where) but I think the UK is finally getting to a level where Broadband and peoples tech skill levels (even you Martin) are getting to the point where we could do it. (America of course is some distance ahead of us...)

Richard has mused about creating something along these lines, I wonder how his research is going?

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Martin on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:20 pm

Thanks.  Do have a further think about Google Docs.  It could be useful for various types of umpired game.

I was thinking the games would involve folks on both sides of the Atlantic, but actually we have members in Scotland and northern England who are too far away to join the face-to-face group, so it would be an opportunity for them as well.

Yes, Richard did start to look at this area several years ago.  I think he got as far as designing a GUI, but working life intervened.

I've remembered that Ben Hutchings once ran a k/spiel on the Meckel map by phone, even longer ago.  He was the only umpire so it ran at a sedate pace, but it was a good game.  Then working life (+ kids) intervened for him too.  He did contact me recently and is planning to join us for a game or two sometime this year.  I'll alert him to this thread.  He may have some useful input.

I must demand satisfaction for your disgraceful suggestion that I may be living in the past.  The fastest carrier pigeon money can buy is on it's way with my challenge to a duel.  You do get to choose weapons - halberd or crossbow?

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Calpurnius on Wed Feb 19, 2014 9:47 pm

Hurumph.  Cant give up my flint arrows and stone axe, you modern so and so.

I was thinking about Google and using the hangout feature which allows everyone to see each other and having the umpire use the screen share feature to describe actions and goings on to the concerned parties.  Or keep the conversation in Skype and call individuals into a hangout to update them on changes on the main map.  Players will still need their own maps to coordinate what they see and when.  This way the FOW can be maintained and allow the umpire to run it through a webcam.

Maybe a little Gadsen vs the world team.  As long as everyone can get the map and markers whether virtual or real it should be doable.  I'd posit it would be more realistic to expect the far flung players to be able to print out their own copies rather than increasing the work load of the umpires in designing vassal mods and virtual maps.
google.com/+brett bayley
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Martin on Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:15 am

Interesting ideas there. Keep 'em coming folks.

I suppose I had been thinking that some of the Little Gaddesden folks would form the umpire team, but it's all up for grabs really.

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Calpurnius on Thu Feb 20, 2014 9:19 am

No great idea Martin. It would be nice to sit of the other side of the game and see it from the players perspective.
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Uncle Billy on Thu Feb 20, 2014 5:20 pm

artin wrote:I suppose I had been thinking that some of the Little Gaddesden folks would form the umpire team
Are the diminutive Gaddesdenites amenable to taking small "gratuities" for rendering favorable outcomes Question 

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Martin on Thu Feb 20, 2014 6:20 pm

Uncle Billy wrote:Are the diminutive Gaddesdenites amenable to taking small "gratuities" for rendering favorable outcomes Question 
As agent for the aforementioned diminutive Gaddesdenites, I can categorically state that they would be outraged at such a suggestion.  These are honourable and upright folk.  One (hypothetically) therefore needs to be thinking in terms of large "gratuities".

J Cheever Loophole, Attorney at Law

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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Father General on Fri Feb 21, 2014 2:50 am

My attorney from the prestigious firm of Dewy, Cheetham, and Howe, says that we can absolutely make unlimited, anonymous donations via a Super PAC organization if we form a corporation to "contribute' the funds (in America Corporations are "people" and enjoy the same First Amendment rights as citizens as well as the ability to purchase politicians at a discount). Using those "contributions" we can pay for the development of a technical network sufficient for the needs of the high-tech citizenry of Little Gaddesen. Unfortunately, those "contributions" will not be tax deductible.

He proposes we initiate the required filings as soon as we can forward him the trivial retaining fee of $10,000 USD.

I have given them your address Kevin, since they mentioned they are amenable to the idea of accepting bullion as payment.



Martin wrote:
Uncle Billy wrote:Are the diminutive Gaddesdenites amenable to taking small "gratuities" for rendering favorable outcomes Question 
As agent for the aforementioned diminutive Gaddesdenites, I can categorically state that they would be outraged at such a suggestion.  These are honourable and upright folk.  One (hypothetically) therefore needs to be thinking in terms of large "gratuities".

J Cheever Loophole, Attorney at Law
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  Father General on Fri Feb 21, 2014 3:02 am

On a more serious note, the only real way to do this is to start doing it. I have both Skype and Google+ accounts, and I may make one in anticipation of gaming with it, should you all have no problem viewing the incredible handsomeness of my face. Actually, according to a significant number of ladies about the town, I am a rather handsome fellow. However, their compliments are not supported by scripture, so I am compelled to ignore them... Also my wife does not approve of such patronage.

We should start with perhaps 3 people, running a test, then if that works without issue, we simply increase the numbers on the call.

I am sure I am doing the work of Captain Obvious when I point out that SOW MP provides the same experience as close to real time as we can have it. Despite that, I really want the human element and the map and piece element going on when I play. SOW, for how awesome it is, simply does not compare to the sheer pleasure of a Kriegsspiel.

Calpurnius and I have purchased a full KS set complete with pieces and a map. I am also preparing to buy more pieces and will have no problem obtaining another map and printing it.

I think I would enjoy having him over for our KS, and we could command a brigade together or something just for fun. It also happens that I have a second complete computer and everything set up in my daughter's room, which we could use, as well as a laptop. I also have amazing wifi which is powerful enough to add a fourth person without lagging. My house is quite large, so there's plenty of space, nooks and crannies where a player can set themselves up for separate play. Yet, in the same house we can confer as per the rules and enjoy face-to-face banter as we are inclined. Unfortunately, my wifi does not reach the most remote corners of my house. Oh well, that's an American problem.

I may add to this discussion that Bakersfield now has a tiny community of about 6 or so people who have a keen interest in KS.

Therefore, my house can comfortably contain one army.

If we post another army in Little G, and add an umpire in a sequestered location, we can probably pull this off.

All that said, the most experienced KS players ought to umpire for the rest of us. You might even be able to headline this for one of your annual events! It would be a very unique draw.

How about it? Bakersfield vs. Little G?

Losers buy pints for the winners via Paypal transfer. (Yes, I would absolutely pay!)
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Re: KS at Orccon 2014

Post  MJ1 on Tue Feb 25, 2014 3:30 pm

Just as an aside to the conversation this tool would allow the umpires to be in different locations and to see one map with the units able to be moved around it.

http://www.infrno.net/

You would load in scanned image of map, create icons for units and have the umpires log into that site.

Designed mainly for RPG fraternity but could be used for Kreig.

You would not use it for the players and would need to talk to them outside that system as it is designed for all players to be one session. I.e. Umpires need to see everything.

Just something that came to mind today....

As for the US vs Little G game Little G has no WWW access so it would have to be done some where there was WWW access.


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