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.

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