I've posted previously about wanting to run a club campaign and judging by the interest it looks like it's all systems go. So all I have to do now is write it!
The campaign is going to have club members acting as commanders only. That is they will plan things, manage resources and issue orders to their forces. They will not be fighting any of the battles. I plan on asking people on various forums to fight out the battles that arise. So one battle might be fought with FoW and another a Saga game or a 40K battle or even a Blood Bowl match. The people who fight the battle will report the result with the casualties incurred by both sides and maybe even a batrep with pictures.
You may be wondering how you could possibly run a campaign with such diverse game systems. Well everything will be done with resource points (RP). If the commander commits 120RP of troops to an attack and his opponent commits 100RP the attacker will have 20% more troops available. So if the battle was going to be Saga the attacker would get 6pts worth of forces while his opponent would only have 5 pts. If it was Dystopian Wars you could have 1200pts to your opponents 1000pts or 600 to 500 or any other matching ratio. This way we can move the campaign along quickly and club members aren't tied down to playing the same game system week after week. There's also no issues trying to arrange a time when both commanders are free to play out the battles.
So now I have the players sorted out as well as how the battles will be resolved I need to sort out a campaign map. I also need a way to record what army is where and in what strength. In addition I will have to be able to produce copies of the map for the commanders. So I will either have to draw the map by hand and photocopy it or find a ready made map which suits the needs of the campaign. I thought about using a map from a board game but discounted it as it would be difficult to make copies and also probably a copyright violation. I've found a few maps online but none of them really suited my needs so I'll probably just draw up my own.
Once I get the map sorted out I need to decide on the ground scale. How long will it take an army to move from X to Y. Will that time be increased by bad terrain or shortened by roads and will these times be affected by the weather. The problem here is making the campaign complex enough to engage the people playing as commanders, as they won't be fighting the battles, but not making it so complex that they need a real general staff to keep track of things.
Once I have the map and the scales sorted out I can decide on how many RP's each country produces each turn and how many armies they start with. This has to be a balancing act. Too few resources produced each turn could mean a couple of bad results could wipe out a player as an effective force far too early in the campaign. On the other hand too many resources each turn and you have a situation like Russia in WWII turning out tanks faster than the Nazis could kill them which would mean the campaign would never end.
Luckily I have a number of books such as 'Setting up a Wargames Campaign' by Tony Bath to help me make these decisions. My feeling is to go simple rather than complex as this is the first campaign we've run as a club. Also if things go well I can add in complexity as the campaign progresses.
The first thing I intend to do to start the campaign off is to ask the commanders to name their countries and write me a brief history of their domains to get them to feel a connection to their country and it's citizens. I'll then post the map with brief descriptions of the countries here. I also plan to publish regular updates here for those that are interested.