Sunday, 24 May 2020

Looking for people to join my PBEM battle

EDIT - all places filled. Thank you to all.

I am planning on running a small Play By E-Mail (PBEM) game and openly invite those in the blogging community to join in if they fancy. A total of 9 players will be required.

I am just using a small American War of Independence game for starters, as part of a learning curve to lay on a more ambitious Ligny 1815 game at some future point.

The Ligny game would be a big two mapper and the opportunity for fog of war much greater than this battle will give and players would control bigger formations, but the principles learned here will make for a more successful Ligny.

The basic structure and conditions are;

Participants should not contact each other and it would be preferable if you keep your participation unknown to each other and only discuss the game etc with me. This stops players acting in concert, even inadvertently and will enhance everyones sense of fog of war.

Participants may already have some knowledge of the campaign, but I would ask that you don’t do any additional research. This will keep the game much more interesting for everyone. To level out the players knowledge of the game, I would suggest they read my earlier AAR on the battle at this link

Gamers should only participate if they are able to service this game in a timely manner. As umpire, I will be looking for the battle to proceed promptly with total play sitting in a fairly small time frame. I think this will help you as much as it will me.

I need 7 Players to act as local Commanders, plus a further 2 players to act as Army Commanders for each side. Army Commanders will send out general orders to the various local commanders, who will then order their formation as they see fit to comply with their tasking and I will model that on the table.

All communication will come via me. I will be playing the game and have the total picture. Each participant will be relying on the information flowing into their headquarters and that means that the Army Commander will also be relying on good reports from the various formation commanders. 

I will not be filling in any intelligence gaps and as much as possible will limit my information to commanders to what they can basically see from their own position, so the army commander will be relying on good communications to improve on that. It is possible that one side may out command the other and that blind spots etc will be created and that some troops may find gaps in the enemy lines .... let’s hope so :-).

You will not need a copy of any game or rules system, all of that will be managed by me and if I think you need a hint on play, you will get one. You will get a map and some basic information and it will then be for you to glean what you can at your headquarters to keep abreast of what is going on.

If anyone is interested in doing this, then please put your name forward by e-mailing me on my contact page at the Commanders web page (Link - ). I need your interest to be shown this way, so that I can keep your e-mails private.

In due course, I will do a blind draw to match the first 9 names drawn from the hat (hopefully I get 9 interests!) firstly to their army and then to a particular command. I hope to have a couple of extra applicants to keep on a reserve list ... in case there are any commissions handed back or casualties on the battlefield!

The Army commanders will have more to think about and their involvement will be greater. If you would like to be included in the Army Commander draw and have the time to do that, please mention it in your e-mail and again, providing I get enough interest, this will be a names in the hat job.

I apologise in advance to any enthusiastic responders that don't get a seat at the game. It will be genuinely names drawn from a hat and of course my immediate concern will be whether I can recruit 9 players!

I will try to give the players a good fog or war experience and to unburden you as much as possible to keep this thing slick and moving along. For the most part, local commanders will only have two or three units to manage, though the British commanders have around 7 units.

I am hoping that the realistic prospect of individuals not understanding the bigger picture and even being frustrated, advantaged and disadvantaged by that will give a unique player experience - even on this small battlefield.

For my part, I will have a minimum of 39 individually emphasised e-mails to manage plus up to 9 situational photographs to handle each turn, so maximum assistance from participants is essential. The game will be no more than 9 turns long (an early, instant win is possible).

Our chosen battle is taken from the American war of Independence - Germantown 1777.

IMPORTANT - please don't add in the comments box that you are applying to join as I am hoping to keep all participants anonymous and their e-mails will be using their commanders names.

I will add comments to this post to advise on recruiting success etc and once I have enough gamers to make this work, briefing packs, including a map, will go out to each nominated player. Thank you.

EDIT - All positions, plus a reserve player have been filled. The ongoing game will not be discussed here, but at the conclusion a new post will discuss the conduct of the battle. Thanks for your interest.


  1. Glad you filled the slots Norm. I sat back thinking things over as I have had a 'down' week or so and worried about my level of commitment. Hope it goes well for you and look forward to following the campaign. Please feel free to remove this comment :)

  2. Hi Lee. It is going well, I didn't appreciate how much work on my part would be involved, I lost a whole day on Saturday and two six hour slots the two days before that, so it is quite intensive - but the group is working well and things are flowing along quite nicely.

    each participant of course sees the game from their 'small corner', so when all is done, I will do a post that covers all of the game, so that each player can see their involvement and the bigger picture.

    The whole thing has really brought home to me just how we see and react to too much in our 'open' games.



Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.