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"A three way SYW campaign" Topic

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olicana26 May 2018 12:48 p.m. PST

Two years ago, I started getting things together for a three way SYW campaign. Although the 'scenario' was of the imagi-nation variety, I planned to use my Prussian, Russian and Austrian collections to field the forces.

Some minor alterations would be made to the make up of these armies. For one thing the Cossacks and Grenzer troops (about twenty units in all) would become generic to all sides – helped by the lack of flags – and some troops such as Prussian Fusiliers, Austrian 'Hungarians', and Russian Observation Corps would become militia for variation.

But, the biggest variable would be that none of the armies would start better than the other except for 'technological advancement' by random card. It's the kind of thing you see in computer games like Total War, but much simplified and with a random element.

Anyway, with those ideas, mixed in with lessons taught by Grant, Featherstone, Bath and Oman, and the basic campaign format laid down by Kershner and Wood I came up with



Then it all went downhill as I ran out of steam. I've just revisited the project with an eye to getting the thing up and running.

I've posted about it here – map, rules, etc.


It's not complete, but it is a campaign game that will run, I think. Fill your boots.


AICUSV26 May 2018 6:51 p.m. PST

keep us posted

mghFond27 May 2018 8:12 p.m. PST

Good luck with it. I have always loved campaigns but very seldom ever played (or ran) one that actually finished.

olicana28 May 2018 2:09 a.m. PST

Hi mghFond,

We've played a few to completion here over the years. I think the tricks of the game are as follows.

1. Number of players:
Keep the number of campaign players as low as possible and confined to those who are really keen to play and put the time in. If you have spare players, give them the roll of subordinates (reserve stand in player to cover holidays, etc.), or as table-top commanders who can flit from one campaign faction to another and who play for their own victory points (for winning in battle) in a sub-league.

2. Campaign length:
Give the campaign either a definite length in turns (the campaign in this post will last a season of 16 turns) or a definite set of campaign ending victory conditions that are achievable in a reasonable time. Knowing when a campaign will finish is a great boon in keeping people going to the end.

3. The law of KISS (Keep it simple, stupid): Don't bog the players down with running economies, running logistics, or endless complex order writing. As a game designer you might like this kind of thing, players tend not to boring, boring, boring.

4. KISS me again:
The rules of the campaign should be no more than half as complex as the table-top rules you use. Players use campaign rules so infrequently that they tend not to 'take it all in'.
Make the rules for movement and orders simple as the umpire you can prod, advise and amend for the rest so that the players can get going quickly.

5. Email:
A wonderful invention for quick campaign move turn-around. Set up a file with sub-files for holding the orders of each player, contacts and chit chat.
As umpire, don't insist on being kept informed of anything outside of your remit what players cook up between themselves is up to them because you will have enough to do.

6. Blog / Website:
Set up one if you don't have one. Use it to keep players informed as to campaign progress – the campaign diary on line. Move plotting and battle reports on what is generally known.
Make sure your map can be photographed at the end of every campaign turn. Put this up so the players can use it to plot their next turn / orders. That way they don't need to keep one at home if they don't have the room or safe place to keep it.

7. The unknown:
Keep what has to be secret to the minimum. Work on the principle that it's very hard to keep things like the movement of armies secret, especially pre-20th century. It's all part of the KISS thing.

Only my two penneth's worth, picked up along the way.

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