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.

Thursday, 28 May 2020

Important COW 2020 announcement

IMPORTANT COW2020 ANNOUNCEMENT

I have just been informed by the management of Knuston Hall that they WILL NOT be able to host COW2020 this July.

As a result, WD will be running Virtual COW (VCOW) in its place over the COW weekend.

As further information becomes available, it will be passed on to interested parties.

Friday, 15 May 2020

Tech platform comparison (updated 29/05/2020)

Alex Kleanthous and Martin Rapier have very kindly compiled this comparison of tech platforms which presenters may find useful.

Feature
Zoom (paid)
Zoom (free)
Teams (paid)
Skype (free)
Google Meet (free)
Google Meet (paid)














Max attendees
300 (webinar 100)
300
250
50
100
Very many
Webinar rather than meeting (better for talks)
Y
N
N (maybe possible with difficulty?)
N
Y
Y
Time limit?
N
Y (40 mins)
N
Y (4 hrs)
N (60 mins end Sept)
N
Screen sharing
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Scheduled meetings
Y
Y
X
N
Y
Y
Virtually raise hand
Y
Y
N
N
N
N
Breakout rooms set up in advance
Y
Y
Y
N
N
N
Breakout rooms on the fly randomly
Y
Y
N
N
N
N
Waiting room (can’t begin without host)
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y?
N?
Background Blur
Custom background
Custom
Y
N
N
N
Recording
Local or cloud
Local
Cloud
Local
N
Cloud
Chat between participants
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Q&A tool
Y
N
Chat only
Chat only
Chat
Chat
Mobile apps
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y
Y

Wednesday, 6 May 2020

Guidance for session presenters


To register a session, please send Tim Gow the following information, preferably by email (contact details in Nugget) or by leaving a comment on THIS post. 
  • Name of presenter(s)
  • Contact email address for presenter (this will be provided only to VCOW attendees) 
  • 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.) Support is available to presenters with little or no experience of such platforms.  A number of WD members have Zoom licences.
  • Sessions or presenters you’d prefer not to clash with. 
If you are unsure about which platform would be suitable for your session, please ask!  Help and advice is available and we will shortly be posting a comparison of the various systems.
Presenters are urged to keep session length to multiples of 90 minutes. Breaks between sessions will be longer than is usual - partly to limit ‘screen time’ and because unlike at Knuston, some attendees may have to cook their own meals!
The deadline for session submissions to be included in the programme is 12 noon on Monday 15 June.
The timetable will be published w/c 22 June.
Booking for players/participants attending sessions will open on 1 July.

Booking are to be made by attendees contacting the session presenter (or facilitator) by email.
Session presenters will then confirm by email and send out instructions and briefing materials as appropriate. It is the responsibility of presenters to ensure their players have the appropriate IT.

If you have booked to attend a session please be ready 10 minutes before the start time as presenters will not wait for you and you may lose your place. Session end times must be rigorously observed

Provisional timetable slots are as follows:
Friday
1500-1600 Virtual Battlefield Tour
1920-1930 Welcome and opening remarks
1930-1955 Lecture
2000-2020 Lecture 
2030-2230

Saturday
0900-1030
1030-1100 morning break
1100-1230
1230-1400 break for lunch
1400-1600
1600-1630 afternoon break
1630-1710
1720-1800 Lecture
1800-2000 break for dinner
2000-2200

Sunday
0930-1010 Lecture
1020-1120
1130-1230
1240-1320 Virtual WD AGM