Gaming in the Quarantine.

At this horrible time it is great to have a distraction or 12 so to help us through Jonathan has kindly started up another PBEM game of Fistful of TOW’s. He did the same last year and I was going to do a full write up once we had finished but the game unfortunately fizzled out. However, we did get through a few moves and it was cracking fun so I am really looking forward to this one. Obviously as the new one is ongoing I can’t post anything about it yet as Des might get some good intelligence about what I’m up to so here’s some of the stuff from last time so you can get an idea of how we are going about it, hopefully it might be of interest and give you some ideas for doing something similar.

First of all Jonathan set out the terrain on his table in his lovely, lofty wargames chambre at his place and sent out a map and briefing to each of us. We wrote our orders and emailed them back and he played out the moves either until orders needed changing or there was some decision point that needed input from either of the players. He then sent out a SitRep that contained pictures from the game obviously taken to restrict the view and we sent new orders back.

It worked a charm and added a great level of friction to the game, best example of which was me completely screwing up a movement order that basically put one of my battalions out of the fight when they could have made a telling intervention, and the not knowing where your opponents units are until you run into them was great, very tense.

So nice and simple really but a bit of work for the host to set up, hopefully Jonathan will say how much in the comments?

Here’s the Maps, briefings and SitReps that we received so you get an idea of what actually went on. One thing I have done for the new one is I’m making situation maps after every SitRep so to avoid a balls up like last time (and it’ll help in the write up)

First contact at Kostanjevica – Soviet

First contact at Kostanjevica – Soviet arrival schedule

0735 UPDATE – Soviet

0745 UPDATE – Soviet

Kostanjevica - II

7 thoughts on “Gaming in the Quarantine.

  1. Just to add, the game didn’t fizzle out so much as have to be cleared away when Iain came over to spend a few days playing games in person. 😊
    My finishing off the writing up did die a death, and I lost the photos for the last moves until fairly recently which didn’t help matters. But all done now and we’re giving it another go.


  2. Running the game itself is fairly straightforward, especially as I can leave the game setup as necessary.
    Once the scenario is established and described to the players they provide the orders that determine what happens, it this avoids the solo players dilemma of subconsciously favouring oneside over another. The umpire is seeking to play units to their best effect in accordance with the instructions given to him.
    I found that a tricky bit lay in determining what feedback to give the players, and how. As can be seen in the updates attached above I choose to use photos with a brief piece of text. This does mean remembering to photo the game as you proceed but then the photos themselves act as a great aide memoire regarding the action.
    In taking the photos it was sometimes necessary to move stands out of shot so that they wouldn’t give additional information away, before putting them back in place for the game to continue.
    Overall, I did enjoy the experience, or I wouldn’t be doing it again I suppose, and it was interesting and fun to see how the players perceived the situation and issued their orders.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I believe it’s from an old TTG scenario book for Challenger rules maybe? Deffo some Bruce Rea-Taylor publication though.


      • I found a copy in my library. It was from a scenario book called “Battlezones – Scenarios for the Ultra Modern Period” published in 1984.

        Liked by 1 person

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