June 16, 2014 - Arran Slee-Smith

WWPD: Italy Flames of War Campaign- Axis Victory!

The final results for our Italy Flames of War Campaign are in. The Axis crush the Allies under their boot, their giant, giant country sized boot…

Today was the final day of something special. Over the last 3 years, myself and my American comrades over at WWPD, have put on event that allows hundreds of gamers the opportunity to take part in massive scale Tabletop Wargaming Campaign for Flames of War that they would never have been given the chance to do previously. What makes this ever more special is that this time, our third outing, has been the beta test for a new system that allows easier management and tracking of games and make future campaigns much less painless to maintain and run. Previously we did all our tracking through spreadsheets and manually input the data. This time however we had a PHP developer (called a Ben) and a couple of Erics on our side, through fancy code and wicked math, we have managed to work out a way to make running a campaign a doddle. This will essentially allow us to run more campaigns for more systems simultaneously.

It’s a victory for all players around the world, as it will allow them to interact and effect games of people they may never meet, on the other side of the planet, and as we add more social aspects to the system, we will hopefully encourage them to interact directly.

How it works is two (or more) players play a normal game of Flames of War (or other games system), take photos or record the reports in any way they see fit (many people like to do this anyway for their personal blogs). Sign up for our campaign system, go to the Campaign they wish to take part in, select their battle report location on a map, submit it and gradually, through some fancy math and a bit of luck a victor is decided for that location and the campaign moves on to the next. Anyone can play along as they have the models and the rule set to support them. Its a fun way of making a regular table top game part of something bigger.[/ezcol_1half]

 

through fancy code and wicked math, we have managed to work out a way to make running a campaign a doddle

 

Our Italy Campaign (based on the Alllied invasion of Italy 1944 and their push to take Rome, knock the Italians out of the war and give Hitler a bloody nose), historically successful, ended with an Axis victory. It was a tough battle for the Allies, they had a rough start and dispite working hard to pull it back, didn’t quite have the time they needed to finish it.

The Campaign ended after 5 weeks, 171 Battle reports and 317 participants from around the world.

Unlike our previous campaigns, Operation Sealion (the fictional Axis invasion of England) and Operation Overlord (The infamous D-Day and the invasion of France), no spreadsheets were needed, no data had to be submitted by hand and less then a few hours of work went into maintaining the campaign throughout its run, and while the initial set-up was time consuming, it can be reused again and again.

Axis Victory

There is a number of features I hope to add in the future, including the ability to communicate and review other players reports, this will allow reports to be verified by the players instead of an admin and once again allow a greater degree of autonomy. I also wish to scrap WWPDs current player find apps and add a system that allows that information to be part of their player profile, making the campaign system a useful tool for finding nearby opponents (listed by their local gaming centre on a Google map), and of-course Campaign medals will be making a comeback, this has easily been the most missed feature between this campaign and Operation Overlord, players could earn medals in a similar way to computer game achievements, by winning a certain number of battles or being the top player ect, they could even proudly display their losses by way of purple hearts, it was a fun little feature that let many people feel part of the campaign and I regret not including it this time.

Unfortunately I don’t own any Italy suitable models (or know any opponents at my new address) that would allow me to take part, this time around. I hope everyone who could take part had alot of fun. While the Campaign was certainly smaller then the last two years, Italy is not as popular a setting compared to Late War Europe, it was definitely a huge success in my book, the campaign ran much smoother then prevous years and afforded us much cleaner data and some decent feedback as to know what is lacking for the next upgrade (Medals!).

I’ve also kept the development of the campaigns close to my chest in previous years, but I feel this point onwards the campaigns, and the development of their features should include the community, their feedback and encouragement is what keeps us doing the campaigns, the amount of time invested to make these campaigns happen is greater then the little money we receive, we do it because we love the hobby and its the community that keeps us keeping on.

We will continue to expand the system and make it ever more enjoyable for players to take part, we will also be expanding to other games systems to allow others to join in on the fun.

There will be more news and information regarding future campaigns soon over at WWPD, ill also be dropping some clues as to what our next campaign will be.