Campaign System design thoughts pt1

Hi guys,

As some of you will know, I’ve been tinkering with an online campaign system which has proven quite successful so far. As we draw to a close of the current beta test I’m inclined to start some evaluation of the options in the system and how I could further open it up to allow different groups using disparate rulesets to use the same system to run their own campaigns.

Firstly, is there any interest in a campaign system at all? I notice that the campaign board on TMP isn’t the liveliest place generally anyway.

What I’m proposing would probably work for most land periods from ancients through to the advent of modern communications. Basically anytime a bloke on a horse is the messenger, although could conceivably be used to present day with messages being delivered instantly.

The system is already set up with a couple of modular options for the Campaign Umpire/Admin to set and it’s this modular approach I want to expand on. Here are the general settings and choices I’m thinking about at the moment grouped together into the modules I think I’d organise by. Essentially allowing people to pick the “best fit” options to mesh with their preferred tabletop rules and to choose the campaign rules that suit them.

  1. Geographical & Environmental
    • Maps
      • Choose from existing maps within the system
      • Add a new Map
    • Create Nodes (Towns)
    • Create Roads
      • Define Road Types
    • Create Geographical Structure
  2. Weather
    • Weather effects on/off
    • Choice of random weather or ability to have historical weather (Historical weather being either true to period, or real weather patterns from the area from another year)
    • Weather to be bound to areas or widespread.
  3. Movement
    • Road Limits
      • Road Limits on/off
      • Set Road Limits
        • No. of Men
        • No. of Units
        • No. of Unit Type
    • Set Unit Rates
    • Fatigue effects
  4. Units
    • Orbats
      • Create new Orbat
      • Use existing new Orbat
    • Attributes
      • Strength
      • Morale
      • Class
      • Type
      • Rating
      • Weapon
      • Movement
      • No Bases
        • Set Organisation level – Regiment/Brigade/Division/Corps/Army/Wing
  5. Supply
    • Depots
      • Location Parameters
      • Replacement Generation
      • Unit Creation
      • Lines of Supply
        • Distance from Line of Supply for “In supply” calculation
  6. Communications
    • Switch on/off – on being fog of war and off being instant delivery
    • Couriers
      • Movement distance
      • Interception/Capture on/off
  7. Battle Output/Input
    • Choice of rulesets
      • Tick box selection for the GM/Umpire to allow multiple rulesets
      • Battle Orbats output choice for each “allowed” ruleset.
    • Choice of Orbat generation for Umpire, players or both.
    • Input of battle results centrally or by Umpire.

    Please take some time to think if there’s anything that you might be interested in using which isn’t covered by the above, or if there’s anything you’d like to clarify, please post a comment below and I’ll happily try and expand my thoughts.

8 thoughts on “Campaign System design thoughts pt1”

  1. Hi

    I’d be very interested in your work. Just looking down your list I would add the following: Rivers with variable effect based upon the weather (ie. It rains hard the rivers go up in difficulty); Supply train units and depots; Attrition based upon weather and supply. Recce reports with variable accuracy based upon weather, unit size and type. The variable river thing seems to be more of a non-European thing probably because less developed places have lousy bridges and ferry crossings. The last one is kind of a complex, but, for example, a small recce unit would be almost impossible to spot while a supply convoy would be impossible to miss, even in the dark. All of the other factors that affect visibility would factor into the accuracy of a sighting report


    1. Chris, thanks for the reply. As I suspected there was always going to be some things that I’d left out or which were too ambiguous to anyone other than me in the lists above! To address your points:

      Rivers. I’d suggest that they be dealt with under the road types. Our current system has Major, Minor roads, subdivided by bridged, mountainous and bridged mountainous. This gives us 8 road types but the GM would have control over what road types were used and their rating. Also, currently, weather effects are in place which modifies the road limits we’re using so this would be easily accomplished.

      Attrition is also covered in our current system, but I’ll add it to the list above as I’ve clearly missed it off.

      Intelligence again is a massive omission above. Currently we have something in place which does similar to what you’d be looking for. Light Cavalry numbers are assessed at adjacent nodes, with the higher numbers having more success. Lack of Lt Cav means that your troops are vulnerable to being discovered and accurately reported by the enemy. Having some to screen the enemy means that they only really discover your Lt Cav. Again, I’ll edit the post above to add in the new points.

      Thanks for your interest and your comments.

  2. You might want to check out the Berthier campaign management software… free and does most (all??) of the things you describe plus scouting and recon…. always room for more campaign software though! :o))

    1. Steve,

      Thanks for the comment. I had a look at Berthier a long time ago, so unless its drastically changed, it doesn’t do what I’m looking for overall although it looks like a neat little tool.

  3. I have played in and run several campaigns in my life. I prefer simple rules to complex. As a wargamer my goal is to fight battles sack cities and conquer an empire. I like them best when you don’t have to play math games or micromanage a nations social system. If I ever want to do that I will play Sims Ancient civilization game if there ever is one. I ran my Volci campaign 10 years ago and it lasted 2 years with 20 different players in it with everything from Tibetans, Assyrians, Ancient Greeks and everything in between.

  4. Looks good! How are you modeling attrition on the march (fatigue, supply, training & morale quality, weather & disease)?
    I reall like the idea of user added maps ..and all of your map ideas as well as all the other ones!

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