Gaming using Zoom

As Anthony, my regular opponent, and I are unable to meet up for a game, I decided to try and create a setup which would let you play a game using the Zoom Video Conferencing system. I decided on The Portable Wargame as a grid based game is easier for the player on the end of the video link and it stops problems with movement and fiddling with facing.

The setup was devised after a discussion with my wife, Sarah, who devided a system using bamboo canes across the table which would allow smartphone to be suspended above it.

I setup the table with a grid of letter and numbers down the sides and setup for One Hour Wargames Scenario 4 – Take the High Ground.

The smartphone above the tabel gave the following view enabling Anthony to plot his moves and see the whole table.

I setup a laptop on a chair on the opposite of the table to me so Anthony could see the table from a normal view and it appeared that we were playing a normal game.

Once Anthony joined, we had a 3-way conference call and Anthony was able to switch between the overhead view and the straight on view – though he most used the overhead one.

We used large foam dice for rolss which showed up well and Anthony was able to see them from the overhead camera.

The sides were 4 infantry, 2 cavalry, 1 artillery and a general each. We found that one the small table that the artillery was a little too powerful and for the second game dropped the artillery pieces.

Sadly, even though I was throwing all the dice, Anthony managed to win both games as the British!

But it was a successful test of technology and we are able to have two games of the Portable Wargame while maintaining social distance… We will definitely be repeating the experience.

PS> The photos are rather dark as the overhead lights shone too much on the shiny table tiles and made the overhead view harder to see,

6 thoughts on “Gaming using Zoom

  1. Mike,

    A very interesting and innovative use of technology to enable you to fight a face-to-face wargame over the internet. I’m playing around with Zoom to see if I can use it as a means to fight wargames at a distance.

    All the best,


  2. The pictures actually clear up fairly good using iPhotos. The background sunlight though is detrimental to the quality of the photo. I played around with the last picture and got a good result, but I don’t know how to get it to you.

  3. Most interesting to read and well done to Sarah for her input. I think you are on to something…
    Best wishes

  4. That is a fantastic idea. Doing the over head shot is the clincher I think. I’ve done a few games via video conferencing, but I’ve never thought to try that. Good idea.

  5. Did Anthony get to throw the foam dice very dramatically! ?

    Very creative set up Mike.

  6. Alastair,

    Sadly I didn’t but Mike did roll the dice off the battlefield once or twice! He’s clearly an honest man as despite him doing all the dice throwing I kept getting sixes! It all worked really well, and to me it was a bit like watching a wargame on TV!

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