Sunday, September 30, 2007

complicating the map question

There are several problems with using ANY map with "definite" boundaries in our situation.
First of all, as someone has pointed out, the different gamers here, dealing with imagi-nations and hysterical reality, quite often will superimpose the "territories" of their countries.
This problem is compounded by the fact that many of us will never, ever meet face to face (actually, that's one major cause of serious depression problems among cyber relationships). Therefore, satisfactory resolutions via wargaming of these territorial difficulties simply doesn't seem plausible.
There was a proposal to have such combats resolved by isolated solo gamers such as myself (an idea I joyfully seconded), but it seems to have gone no where.
When this blog first began, I remember commenting to my wife that at that time, I knew of at least two other gamers who were using Frankfurt am Main as the center of their imagi-nations. Her response was that given the high population and emotional stress factors, such environs were sure to develop dimensional folds ... so that MY Frankfurt did not need to be really their Frankfurt at all ... even though they seem to be the same space to a third observer.
Hence, whatever movement control system is devised, ultimately, the "bubble map" concept ... which shows the relative positioning of the various entities still seems to be the most viable to me.
However, there are two map resources which are simply fantastic for both our gaming and our period which I have not seen mentioned here: \
The first is a map drawn before the Franco-Prussian war or shortly thereafter, and thus the major towns would have period names, and the major routes be clearly demarcated (as opposed to the vast plethora of new roads in the last century)
The second is a lovely map resource which not only offers decent road maps, but areal photography of the areas in question and can be examined close up or way out as you wish ... furthermore, their program permits you to sort of overlay one on the other to obtain a feel for the area ...
I actually challenge you all to check those sites out!
I haven't found a good way to copy the multi-map stuff onto my own drives yet ... but I know there are computer savvy folks in this group to help an old fuddy like myself ...


MurdocK said...

Cool map resources!

I need to explore them more fully!

Bluebear Jeff said...

One of the "problems" with this group (and 18th century gamers in general) is that for the most part we are rather nice, genial people.

While this is NOT a problem in real life, it does mean that almost all of us are quite content to enjoy the fruits of peaceful co-existence.

We (thankfully) don't seem to have any of those "power gamers" who wish to prove themselves by attacking everyone else.

As a result, we don't have much in the way of conflicts. Murdock, Pete and I live within a half an hour's drive of each other, so we have had a number of battles . . . . and Jim and Bill meet for the occassional "Big Game" with one to two dozen players (including a few others from our group blog I believe).

I am hoping that perhaps this will inspire some of us to forget our "nice" natures and cross a few borders.

While it is true that here on Vancouver Island we have others easily at hand, Jean-Louis is correct in that for the most part we are scattered all across the globe.

While I do not know the location of a number of members, I know that we have representatives of Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, the U.K. and U.S.A.

Let me urge someone to start a war so that our online friends can fight a battle.

-- Jeff

tradgardmastare said...

Very interesting map ideas. I worry about unleasing war upon Europa as I have got to know the countries and characters very well indeed and would be sorrowful to see the 4 horsemsn gallop thru the carefully created 18th century ecosystems. I have not shied away from killing off my own characters at times but would feel strange doing it to others even upon the field of mars. Let me know what you all feel.

p.s I am certainly not against proceeding with campaigns and battles, after all I am wargamer by hobby, but lets be careful out there!

MurdocK said...

I think we are starting to butt-heads with the 'wall' of the problem at least.

Part of what I envisioned when starting EvE was a 'clearing house' of battlefronts. So that the 'great big' game could have some meagre impact upon the tabletop engagements. That way the tabletop action as more value than just an afternoon of pushing lead, chatting and comradeship. The tabletop commanders may have to 'answer' for more than just their own wounded ego after the battle completion.

As it is tabletop conflicts that are saught, I propose a 'hybrid' of the two maps in question, with a simple, tried and tested system to handle the 'combats'. Perhaps we could start it out as a small(ish) game like an area where the conflict is 'flaring up' and after running it for a while (like 4 months, that way 2-6 battles might actually happen) we can see if we like it or want to 'tweak' it or scrap it and try something else. This is a sort of baby step.

On that vein I will post yet another mappe idea and throw another set of bones out to 'chew' on?

abdul666 said...

This thread on ‘our’ map raises the very question of a more ‘actual’ involvement of most contributors to a / ‘our’ common campaign. A major plus of the WWW is to allow contacts and exchanges between people living 20,000 km apart. Could this meeting blog provide such a service, further than merry -and very enjoyable- diplomatic correspondances? If it could be, ‘our’ blog would be even more precious and useful. I already posted similar suggestions several months ago elsewhere, but I feel thay are on-topic regarding the drawing and USE-usefulness of our map.

«Our» 'Emperor vs Elector' campaign blog associates players from different continents: for obvious reasons (none of us is a millionaire able to pay for transcontinental / transoceanic journeys just for a table-top battle) only few of us can really meet face to face to play battle. I know of the main Gallia-Hesse-Seewald group and the Mieczyslaw – Norden –Saxe-Bearstein trio; hopefully not all other members of our group are totally isolated?

But, is it really impossible to John living in Ottawa to challenge the forces of James in Sydney? While this would potentially complicate the drawing of «our» european map, allowing such virtual encounter / interference would be a major contribution of a ‘meeting blog’ such as ‘Eve’.

Is it at all possible?
-Having the game played by only one of them with a local friend would be highly unsatisfactory for a lot of reasons. Now, our 2 brothers 6,000 miles apart are battlegamers to the heart, they do not want the decision to rest on several dice throws - they want a detailled battle report, where the exploits & failures of each & every general and regiment is precisely recorded. They need a "proxy" to fight the battle for them and report it.

- Here enters our solo wargamer, isolated say in Rio de Janeiro: he can play the part of the proxy 'battle_gamer'.
°What rules the 'battle_gamer' uses is irrelevant - anyway no good battle report refers to the games mechanisms: would you imagine a witness of Fontenoy describing the battle in a letter to the Court, interrupting the entralling flow of events for a discussion of the physics of a cannonball trajectory, or the physiology of the exhilarating effect of black powder smoke?

°No matter if the 'battle_gamer' uses big batallions or DBx-scaled skeletal units. What minis he deploys on the tabletop is meaningless, no one will bother -or even know- if he has to muster WWI russians &/or unpainted indians and cow-boys to field the required number of units. He may even use no minis at all, only legended cardboard ‘chips’. The only point of importance is a strict, unambiguous, one-to-one correspondance between the OB furnished by each ‘campaign player’ and the forces (characters and units) deployed on the tabletop.

°Actually, to feel unbiased, the 'battle_gamer' don't need to know the nationalities of the two armies. He just has to know the battlefield map, the exact composition of forces A and B, their initial dispositions and general orders; but he don't have to know who is A and who is B. It would be the duty of some kind of °scribe / secretary°, to act as a go-between the campaign players and the battle gamer, and to translate the OB into coded, unrecognizable names, so that he (the campaign °scribe / secretary°) can easily translate back the detailled battle report written by the battlegamer into a text understandable by the 2 campaign_players, with the actual names of their generals and regiments (the 'replace' function of Word comes nicely!).

Solo wargamers are often of a solitary disposition: note they are emphatically NOT required to bother to be part of the campaign, all what is expected from them is to agree to play a battle as proxy and send a report to the 'secretary'. But thus they would be part of a common effort, with just the tabletop game to play if they don't wish to be more involved.

Of course such type of participation as "proxy_tabletop_generals" is in no way restricted to solo wargamers. Pairs of friends meeting regularly can agree to play a battle 'for others'. Will a pair of wargamers, the impedimenta of Real Life™ allowing, decline an opportunity to bring their armies to life on the tabletop, even as ‘proxies’ of other forces? [Will this peculiar battle be integrated in the own campaign & storyline of the ‘battle players’ is of course entirely up to them].

'EvE' is great, but could be even far greater & providing far more support and enjoyment, would it allow more of us to play an active part in a campaign (as 'rulers from the Web' as / or as 'tabletop generals'), than the some 5+ (2 for Gallia - Hesse-Seewald, 3 for Mieczyslaw - Norden - Saxe-Bearstein) members that are currently involved in (actually their own, independant) campaigns, AND WOULD BE ANYWAY WITHOUT 'EvE'.

If some (a pair of rulers living far away and a 'solo' as potential 'proxy' for the tabletop battles) are interested, I could perhaps play the part of the in-between / scribe / secretary.

I greatly enjoy 'EveE as it is (otherwise I'd not periodically 'advertise' it on the TMP & Yahoo groups, e.g.), but I feel it has the potential to bring even far more to most of us.

All that I hope is, at first, to start a debate.

Best to all,

Frankfurter said...

I would really like to be one of those solo gamers mentioned!
Good excuses for a battle are sometimes hard to come by ... and the confusion over my Frankszonia has caused me to abandon, for a while, the conflict with the Cheese faction ...
Guess I ought to revive that little counter world for my own fun ... but it would have to be distinguishable from our EvE setting ...

abdul666 said...

Frankfurter a dit...
"Guess I ought to revive that little counter world for my own fun ... but it would have to be distinguishable from our EvE setting ..."

Distinguishable, yes, but perhaps not mutually exclusive on the same "world"? Homonymy exists for towns as well as for peoples. If they are close (OK, my examples are villages rather than City-States), qualificatives are attached to avoid any ambiguity ('-on-Pissriver', '-at-Height', '-near-Seewald' &c..).
In the very heart of France 3 villages are named 'Saint-Merd' which means, in common French (but *not* in the local traditional language) 'Saint-Shit' (actually a local deformation of Saint-Medard, who there replaced Mercury in his gallo-roman temples). Each has its name completed by a topographical qualtificative.
So two Frankzonia can coexist, one more extravert and involved in foreign affairs, the other more seclusive, isolationist and fiercely neutral (well, outside its local circle of 'private' arch-rivals)?