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Commanders, a wargame digest


Commanders News

24 May 2020

Looking for PBEM recruits

I am starting an AWI game based upon the Germantown battle and intend trying my hand as a PBEM umpire.

I need 9 recruits to make this work. 7 as local commanders and 2 as army commanders.

There is a blog post that explains more at the link below, but note, any interested parties should use the ‘contact’ button on this site to let me know.

The blog has a link back to the contact page. This is going to be a ton of work for me, but a unique experience I suspect, so I am looking forwards to whatever falls out of this.


21 May 2020

Hougoumont - Hexasim

This scenario is going onto the table. It is the intro scenario in the Waterloo package and is just 3 turns long, starting at 11 AM.

Unit density is very low. Cooke has just 7 units and Reille has 18. The usual starter scenario caveats exist, with orders fixed and no variable end of turn.

I think I prefer the map graphics on this map than those that followed in the series, so it is a shame that when the reprint comes out, the graphics will be ‘updated’ to match what followed in the series.

When played, I will put up a short account under the ‘Napoleonic’ tab to the left.

EDIT - this is now up.

20 May 2020

More boardgame streamlining

18 months ago I had 4 sizeable WWII tactical game series with 33 associated modules and found it tough to get enough gaming time in with all of them to play each of them well, so the plan was to whittle things down to just one series collection.

With two going last year, I had been perplexed as what to choose to get down to a lone system. Anyway after some pondering, my ASL stuff went today.

I still have the starter kit modules, but for the most part, it will be Tactical Old School games from Flying Pig that you will be seeing here.

20 May 2020

Changes to the Commanders site

Just what to do with this site becomes a recurring question each year as the subscription date gets nearer.

I have no idea as to how useful this site is to browsers - or even whether it even gets visited. I do not follow the stats and there is a certain joy to that and since moderator comments are not switched on either, it matters even less and so in some respects, here is a rather insular haven.  

Over time this place seems to have defaulted to a sort of sign posting service for the Battlefields and Warriors blog, losing any sense of it being a place that is independent from the blog and having its own identity.

I am also increasingly feeling that the blog articles are generally too lengthy to hold the interest of the viewer and so from my perspective the amount of screen time I put into them is not justified, especially as many articles are based around system analysis type AAR’s that are time hungry to create.

At the start of the year I had already decided to make an effort to make posts a little more concise, with a genuine desire to reduce my own screen time and use that time instead in getting more ‘real things’ done like gaming and painting.

That has been partly successful, but as my latest endeavour shows, with the playing and reporting of a game over 7 days, the commitment that I am making to the Quatre Bras replay is not really generating the interest to justify the work involved. In fact there is a statistical viewing spike Just for the first post, then a sharp drop and now a flattening off, so there doesn’t seem to have been much of a return to the subsequent posts after the first for the ongoing 7 day AAR, but I am still having to feed it to see it through.

As an aside, while looking at the stats, I noticed that one of my most visited posts, which took a ton of work to do, has had 16,000 hits over the years, yet there are just 12 different voices in the comments section. That sort of disparity is disheartening to say the least. 

Doing the Quatre Bras post over 7 days has given an unusual opportunity for the stats to show that stuff is just not getting read and / or that the big posts are just too much - not a complaint on my part, other than I am shovelling work in at the other end, which is seemingly rather pointless.

The blog is regularly getting around 11,000 hits a month, but the interaction from the comment rate does not reflect that by any measure, but rather gives an impression that effort on my part is largely wasted.

So, I am going to have one more bash at making this site  (Commanders) work, by reducing the posting at the blog and doing more ‘concise’ replay and wargame articles here, making more use of photography and perhaps the odd video, so that this place can move to the journal type output that was first envisaged.

A whole restructure of the site with new content cannot happen overnight, so the visitor will see a gradual transition as the various labels to the left of the screen get their names and content changed. I can see this taking months to complete, but it will happen and once it is up, maintenance should be relatively low.

Hopefully the changes will produce something that is much more relavent and be a better fit for my own gaming / available screen time balance, including coverage of my newer projects. There is a certain irony that the blog, which should be the stronger performer, may start diverting some traffic to here, in a reversal of role!

20 May 2020

Quatre Bras 1815 replay

The historical scenario in Quatre Bras from Hexasim is 7 turns long, with each turn representing an hour.

Each day, I am playing one turn and then updating an ongoing AAR report over on the blog. 

The intro and first session to this enjoyable system has been posted.


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