27 Apr 2017

Online Wargame Campaigns, Club Tools

Two issues often come up with Wargaming clubs. One is communication within the club. The other is running campaigns with hidden movement. With the onset of online gaming useful sites are becoming available and here I will be discussing Discord and Roll20, two sites with plenty of use for gaming communities whatever the subjects they follow.

Firstly Discord. Its a browser based site that's fully supported. No downloading onto your computer. You just go to their site and login, fill in you email, site name and password and all you need then is an invite.

If you forget your log in, or log in from a different area it will give you the option of an email with a link to get back in.

From computer or smart phone you are now linked to boards that you can read messages, post reply's, share photo's, links and talk or text chat in real time. Or just make comments as you see fit.
It will also let you know who is logged in. So you can send a message that you can personally assign to them just by typing @ in front of their name.

Each club or group can have its own site all of which can be linked so you can see all the separate details or you can share one site and have control of different boards.This gives you the ability to set up "rooms" you can utilize for announcements, chat on specific topics and manage the club in a way that everyone can keep in touch and update each other.

Either you can be invited via an email. Or if a current member is logged in with someone who has signed up for Discord they can give them a friend request and pass them the link via a direct message.

 In the example Geoff is a current "friend" and "Miko" has been sent an invite. These are all managed through the top left "people" blue icon.

One of the best things about discord is you don't need to be computer savvy. If you don't know how to do something you cant just type a question in discussion and someone will often give you a fairly quick response.   Similar to text chat with your bank.

Ideal for the following

- Club Announcements and updates
- Organizing competitions and posting results / tables
- Discussing periods or general discussions
- Arranging games
- Buying and selling models
- Painting
- Campaigns with hidden movement*
- Somewhere to advertise via word of mouth the club.


*  Campaigns with hidden movement *

When people join the server they can be given roles. Those roles can be assigned access to private rooms. In the case of a campaign anyone with a role can have access to a room with maps, movement orders and discussion with their faction members. No one else except the campaign runner can access the rooms.

This is ideal where it is up to the players who now have a log in to be able to plan and discuss their campaign. The umpire now can simply log in see what moves are planned and redistribute game maps to each faction. These maps can just show visible information. Ideal for running campaigns and easing the umpires workload to a minimum.

By giving this person the "ALPHA" role, they can access both the Alpha channel as well as the voice channel

Each faction can be assigned their own rooms. At the end of the campaign these can be opened up so everyone can see what was going through their competitors minds. A nice way of recording a campaign for others to experience.

Maps and Counters for Campaigns.

We have somewhere to plan and organize the campaign but we don't have a map with moveable counters and objects to move. Bring in Roll20

Roll20 is designed for roleplaying games. But it can be utilized effectively to have maps that you can move units around and use for your campaigns.

Counters or objects are very flexible. They can be moved around independently on the map without being part of the map which they are on this is achieved by having three layers to the screen. The first layer can be used for the referee's notes and is only visible to the referee. The second layer is the background, this can have squares, hexes or just plain space. Any map can be drawn or downloaded and this remains unmovable.

The background can be anything, in the case above a church interior but literally anything can be used as a background. Size can also be adjusted to whatever s needed.

The third layer houses your unit counters and these are all separately movable. Great tool for campaign maps and counters. The site itself could be used to play online wargames of any sort that you can get counters for. In among the options are onscreen rulers, dice,and ways to record states to each unit. At some stage I intend to fight a game of impetvz online with my brother back in New Zealand to help him understand the rules.

31 Mar 2017

Saga Irish verse Normans

Six rounds of playing tag. Ended up setting up first, which in the context of the game didn't work well as I was unable to react to the massing of the Irish on one wing. Went for William the Conqueror and three units of warriors with bow. Two mounted units of warriors to counter any Irish units chasing out of the pack.

I knew the Irish can attack out of rough ground without having actual troops stationed there. What I didn't realize is they have a skirmish activation that puts up a wall to shield any bow shots which negated most of the strength I employed. Richard employed this screen in front of his entire force which in hand to hand combat had a stronger edge to it than my force.

So a game of cat and mouse employed with me trying to get an angle to pick off one of Richards figures and he trying to chase my retreating troops down. At the time I regretted moving second as this prevented an initial chance to inflict some damage on his skirmishes.

I had to do double moves and while I thought I had done enough to get an overlap in so that I could fire some of the troops. The second to last round ended up with saga dice I couldn't use. Guess this was justice for cowardice in the face of the enemy.

Having inherited the last move I threw excellent dice and planned a last dash with the mounted troops hoping to load up the dice and extract a winning blow by targeting his weak screen advancing in front of his army. What I didn't realize was I had to be withing six inches with his screen ability to attack. Richard must have laughed as I wasted the extra move maximizing  the attack dice to the point I was guaranteed victory. Somehow I feel the moral victory went to the Irish.Six rounds and not a combat dice anywhere to be seen.

1 Feb 2017

Impetvs Western Romans v Burgundian Ordonnance

Another Campaign game this time with Richard who has what looks to be an unassailable lead in our division. I get Richard to set up the scenery which he sets up middle to flank a hill and an impassable on both sides. I  place my two units on either side of the right flank scenery on 45 degree angles in an attempt to try and isolate one of his commands with both my infantry forces. Hopefully the cavalry will act as a screen for his second command.

Initial set up, Idea was two get my smaller and larger commands up against one of his. While the first one will break enough damage will have been down to allow the second wave to take the flank.

Need to keep my second wave back far enough that it isn't effected by the first rioting.

Front rank up close.

Sending enough fast moving cavalry round the flank to keep his second command in place.

Inpetvs coordinating  units is always a challenge. One I occasionally get out of order with my plans. Arrrrgg!!

Getting flank set on opportunity.

Slight traffic Jam.

This was my only real success in that I managed to get rid of his missle screen without receiving too much damage back.

This cavalry flank, always going to be slightly disadvantaged.

I've got my commands mixed up. The larger command will obviously rout first.

Definitely out gunned in melee. I'm only throwing half to a third of the attack dice. And my throwing is excellent but this is a losing cause.

This could have ended differently, If Id reversed the commands.

Hanging in their just 1 VDU left.

Only  a matter of time.

That was enough to break the larger flank.

15 Jan 2017

Impetvs Greeks and Western Romans

Up against Mark both of us too far behind Richard in the standings to catch up.

Part of the competition, So far my previous two games had been close defeats so it was nice playing an army that didn't out range me with its missile troops. Wanting to get a result I opted to remove as much of the terrain as I could and the setup was quite symmetrical as the two armies split into two similar commands each

I've printed off nice little counters that will have the casualty adjustments on top 

Marks nicely painted Greeks

Looks like a stand off

Marks skirmish troops can't seem to roll one "6" between them while I've managed to whittle them down to just a light screen in front of his main force. Things are going well.

One small disorder "droplet of blood", hardly a scratch so far.

Well they might not be able to shoot but their deadly in melee. I keep throwing "6"s for casualties. What was before advantage now is deuce. Seems pretty even now. 

Dave's nice storage boxes are great. When everything has a magnetic base the transport damage is reduced to a bare minimum.

The right flanks hit.

At this stage I seem to be in better shape in the center. Surprisingly Marks better skill outside has my superior cavalry getting well blunted. I thought that's where my break through would be but they are holding their own.

A war of attrition

Pays to keep units not directly behind others that are being routed. The second time I've had casualties caused directly from heavier units in front being destroyed.

At this stage we were running out of time. Mark gifted a generous winning draw. But I pointed out everywhere across the front things we too close to call. So we adjusted to a draw which in hindsight was a much fairer outcome.

When we tallied up the casualties I had 1.5 percent advantage. And if it wasn't for Mark skirmishers firing blanks it could have been much worse for the Romans. So we left it at that prepared to fight another day.

31 Dec 2016

Impetvz Greeks and Byzantine

Mark  and a rainbow army of colorful Greeks set up centrally between woods to the East and some rough terrain on the West flank. The strongest units held the center ground with a scattering of cavalry covering the flanks.

Against the Greeks, Oliver and myself with a 50 / 50 split of  Byzantines with masses of cavalry. We placed the foot units in the center with Oliver's skirmishers covering their front. I sectioned off my skirmishers for the forest and massed cavalry were split to each flank.

Formidable depth for the Greek center while the flanks were the Byzantine strength.

Lets see if I can harass him from the woods and get an overlap on the flank.

If your going to get disordered this is the best time when your not in danger of accumulative  loses.

Having decent bow it makes sense to hold one flank and risk the other. So my cavalry went on opportunity. Oliver made the first move.

Some of Marks very nice  army.

Some of Marks very nice  army.

Next four photo's show the conflict on the left flank as, "Olivers Army" forgive the pun meet stiff resistance from Marks skirmishers and things were looking a little desperate for a while. I held back on the left flank and was prepared to charge in if the left flank didn't gain traction. Marks dice throwing goes from good to poor though.

Over the next few turns Oliver starts to press home an advantage and several of the Greek units are decimated. Saying that Mark manages to scramble units into defense and Oliver's overlap isn't complete at this point.

Like the blood stones for counters, something gory about droplets of blood on a battlefield.
(Note to self.... don't sound creepy)

I had to leave battle at this stage, but by no means was decided.Oliver had gained an advantage but their was much to contest. And at least I have a decent camera on my phone now.