What is Virtual COW?

Virtual COW (VCOW) has been set up so that Wargame Developments can run its annual conference - the Conference of Wargamers or COW - during the current COVID-19 pandemic. It will consist of a programme of talks, lectures, online discussions, and even some games, and will take place over the traditional COW weekend.

Wednesday, 15 April 2020

Planning for VCOW

The Conference of Wargamers is an extraordinary event. There can be very, very few, if any, conferences which charge a fee for entrance and then expect delegates to provide the entire program and write up the proceedings. Yet each year CoW is a triumph of good will and collective endeavour over standard consumer practice. Each year, as the call goes out for sessions and the members of WD provide, and we all have a jolly good time at Knuston. Then your Editor eagerly awaits, and eventually receives, enough reports for 9 issues of The Nugget.

For obvious reasons this year is not the same. It is extremely unlikely at this time that we will be meeting at Knuston this year. We can however take this as an opportunity to develop our wargames and the way we engage with conflict simulation. Following a discussion with a handful of members, we have taken the decision to offer an alternative to COW – Virtual Conference of Wargamers (VCOW).

VCOW will take place over same weekend as physical COW, that is the weekend of the 10th to the 12th July. It will begin on Friday with a Plenary session, and there will be 4 blocks of sessions over the Saturday and Sunday. These sessions will be a mixture of lectures, discussions and games, and attendees will be able to sign up to a range of different activities over the course of the VCOW. Sadly, you will have to provide your own food, but other than that, we hope to recreate the COW experience as far as possible for all attendees. We also hope that VCOW will provide us with some innovative new types of games and allow us all to explore the benefits and limitations of the virtual medium.

Obviously, attendance at VCOW will be by remote access (or, from the comfort of your own home, if you prefer), using conferencing apps such as Zoom or Skype, which I’m sure many of you are becoming rather familiar with at the moment. Sessions will likewise be run via a remote access media of the session leader’s choice.

To register a session, please send Tim Gow the following information:
  • Name of presenter(s)
  • Title of session
  • Type of session – e.g. Role play, matrix, toy soldier, committee, lecture.
  • Approx. number of participants
  • Running time
  • A few lines of chat about the session for the updates and programme
  • Preferred time slot (day, morning, or afternoon)
  • Media for participating (Zoom, Skype, WhatsApp, etc.)
We intend to be able to provide technical support and a virtual briefing to session organisers ahead of VCOW to help the less technically secure.

As virtual participation is rather more intense than face-to-face meetings, we recommend that non-game sessions last no longer than 40 minutes.

We are delighted to announce that the Plenary session will feature two sort lectures by:
  • Peter Perla, Author of Peter Perla's Art of Wargaming
  • Mark Herman – author of numerous titles for SPI, Victory Games, etc.
Also, Graham Longley Brown, a well know professional gamer who runs session for the army, will provide a lecture over the weekend.

Any fully paid-up member of Wargame Developments or anyone who has been a member within the last two years may register to take part in the Virtual COW. In order to take part must register your email address and make a small contribution (£5.00) to the cost of the software licence. This can be done via the VCOW blog page at https://wdvirtualcow.blogspot.com/.

We very much hope that this format will enable WD members who for whatever reasons have been unable to attend COW in the past will be able to participate in the full WD experience.

Just as with COW, participants are strongly encouraged to submit On and Offside reports to the Editor of the Nugget. As always, your submissions ensure the Nugget’s publication.

We hope that VCOW will appeal to the membership of WD, and we look forward to you registering to attend and submitting your sessions in the near future.

No comments:

Post a comment