After the outcomes of the two battles of Campaign Turn 4, it was pretty obvious that both sides had suffered some important losses and although both possessed some offensive capability, it was pretty limited to be honest. With this in mind both Jon and Norm chose a defensive stances and so as both sides dug-in, the campaign came a natural conclusion.
Post Campaign Thoughts
The whole campaign has been great fun to run and has thrown up many challenging scenarios for me to play out on the table. So a wholehearted 'Thankyou!' to both Jon and Norm for agreeing to take part and to be guinea pigs for this campaign. With the dust having settled and having some time to digest how things went, I thought I'd jot down some points on what I took from running this campaign. So in no particular order:
- Use the KISS principle. This makes it a lot easier to run from my point of view and keeps things to a manageable size, but even so, it is a lot of work, more so than I'd imagined to be honest. You don't want it to become a chore, so simplicity makes it easy to keep things moving along.
- If you want a more detailed approach, then I thing a board game would be the way to go, as the mechanics are already laid out for you and you just have to run the thing, with engagements transferring to the table top as required. I can see the value in doing it this way but I prefer the approach I took, for better or for worse.
- Have counters ready at the start so it is easy for all involved to see what it happening at a glance. Mea culpa and I didn't do this at the start and it made it hard for me to keep track of things and I'm sure even harder for Jon and Norm. Lesson learnt.
- Use a ruleset that you know very, very well as believe you me, it makes things a lot easier in campaign terms and of course when fighting things out on the table top.
- Ideally use a ruleset that both players know. Norm was already au fait with BKCII but Jon was a complete Newbie, so at times things made much more sense to Norm than to Jon, but Jon played catch up very well. Did this hamper Jon? I don't think so but it would have been easier for him I think if he had known the rules and nuances contained therein.
- For future campaigns I think I will revert to my Warplan 5/5 boards as everything is already done in terms of terrain etc. I can also then give both players relevant info on what terrain they may encounter in each square, which will probably aid decision making. Only time will tell though.
- Keep the forces involved fairly small. In this Campaign each side had a Brigades worth of troops with some Brigade level assets too. This helps everyone keep track of what's going on, but also, if you have too many troops, then it can be hard to reach a conclusion in a reasonable amount of time. I think 5 Campaign Turns is probably about right to maintain momentum and interest.
- Keep the objectives simple. Enough said!
- A magnetic board with magnetic counters would have been a God sent as I could have left the campaign map set up somewhere out of the way and come back to it as and when necessary, without having to set everything up again and double check previous e-mails etc.
- The Combined Arms approach was fun but also challenging compared to the simple 'Black Powder' period campaign I ran before. Off table artillery, air strikes, air recce etc all had to be figured in in a simple way but one that felt right. I think this worked and certainly my KISS approach combined with being completely comfortable with BKCII facilitated this.
- For this campaign I simply gave both side broadly equal forces, with slight differences in air, artillery and armour. Moving forward now knowing that broadly speaking the campaign 'system' (if I can call it that) works, then I will most likely go for some asymmetry between the forces. but off set this with subtle differences in objectives etc.
- I think the SCW, or AVBCW and early WWII work best for a simple and manageable campaign. Going later WWII would add in too much complication IMHO, but it is something I might consider in the future, first with some solo campaigns just to see if things do indeed work or fall down at the first hurdle.
- Last but by no means least, have fun and enjoy it! Don't let it become a burden and by KISS, I think this helps no end.
So there we have it. I certainly had a lot of fun and the campaign flew by and I certainly enjoyed the 'non-standard' scenarios that it through up. Hopefully there will be more like this in the future, whether it be the SCW or the ACW. Who knows?
So until next time stay safe and keep healthy!