Hi folks! New player here, understandably overwhelmed and amazed by the sheer depth and complexity of this wonderful “game” (more like lifestyle!).
After owning it for nearly a year but never really getting started with it, I convinced a friend to take the plunge with me and we’re about to embark on a GC (Scenario 2, Historical Turn 1) PBEM game to cut our teeth and learn things. We’ve done Coral Sea twice (from both sides) and just wrapped up an Operation Buccaneer. We both feel that we have a reasonably solid grasp of the core mechanics, UI and the things that we need to be doing inside the game itself – at least enough to step up to the GC big leagues and not feel utterly overwhelmed. I imagine it’ll take another 5-10 years before we’re actually competent and comfortable!
As we sit down for the next few weeks to plan things out and come to grips with the vastness of the GC, I’ve done a bit of searching around these forums for information on how folks handle the actual long-term planning, organization and tracking of their games and have largely come up dry when it comes to discussion surrounding the “meta” side of planning/tracking turns and campaigns. We’re both in our early thirties and unfortunately have a long ways to go before retirement and truly having the time we need to dedicate to the game - my opponent also has a year-old son he needs to work around, so we’re looking for ways to start off on the right foot and be efficient with our time and preparations.
I’d love to begin a discussion about what tools, methodologies, formats and structures folks have used successfully for their planning and organization. I’m aware of third-party tools such as WitPTracker, Combat Reporter, IntelMonkey, Kull's fabulous setup spreadsheets, etc: what I’m interested in is how people actually utilize these tools and others for decision making, along with where and how they’re logging things and organizing themselves in the long-term. I can envision three broad approaches to personal documentation, I’m curious where you fall and what your personal experiences have been with them. I suspect most of you fall somewhere in between or have a hybrid approach.
PAPER / MANUAL - Notebooks, journals, diaries, printed calendars with bullet points, etc.
• Cheap & cheerful
• Unindexed, difficult to search, etc
• Hierarchy, organization & interlinking difficult at best, approaching impossible
• Unwieldy and potentially difficult to “bring with you” if travelling or playing from somewhere other than the usual war-room.
• Historical Authenticity
DIGITAL DOCUMENTS - Spreadsheets, word docs, digital flowcharts/org charts, etc.
• Easily searchable
• Accessible anywhere with internet connection (or hardcopies on a drive)
• Data fragmentation between documents.
SOFTWARE PACKAGES - Evernote, OneDrive, Notion.so, Roam Research, etc.
• “Full package” for metadata tagging, backlinking, etc.
• Potential costs if not already a subscriber/user
• Learning curve to adoption if not already using the tool
All that said, if folks are interested lets open up a discussion with a few talking points:
1. What has your approach to planning and tracking your turns, intel, plans and plots been? Have you tried things that didn’t work? What were some of the challenges you faced with various methods?
2. What lessons have you learned over the years about planning and tracking that you wish you knew when starting out?
3. Do you use any “standards” within your system? Daily turn summary templates, planning checklists, shorthand system for logging orders, etc.
4. How far in advance do you plan, and at what level of detail?
5. Can you share some screenshots or examples of your documents and approach? Sanitized if OPSEC is important!
6. Can you give examples of common use-cases for third-party tools? Something like Combat Reporter is fairly straightforward in its use, but WitPTracker for example is a behemoth and it's hard to wrap my head around what kinds of uses people have for it. I can see that there's obviously a huge amount of data and value it could bring, but coming up with concrete examples of what lines of thought to follow for using it effectively are escaping me.
7. What are the different categories of information that you find important to track? For example, are people compiling opponent asset tracking documents based off of sightings, reports and intel? Do you have a separate list of "upcoming dates" to watch for? etc.
We’ll both very much appreciate your time and any input you can provide! Links to any old threads where these topics are discussed would also be very welcome, I’ve found very few (to my surprise) over the last few weeks of searching.
Thanks, excited to embark on this crazy journey!
< Message edited by Snidely -- 10/15/2020 11:21:30 PM >