Thursday, 15 August 2013

Getting to grips with Cyberboard

If I am going to fight a campaign, I am going to need a campaign map ... and this seemed like an ideal opportunity to try out a computer program – Cyberboard – that I had read about in Professor Philip Sabin's latest book, SIMULATING WAR: STUDYING CONFLICT THROUGH SIMULATION GAMES.

Professor Sabin actually devoted a whole appendix in his book to the uses of Cyberboard, and further stated that he used the program to create all the maps used in his latest book as well as those that are featured in his earlier book, LOST BATTLES: RECONSTRUCTING THE GREAT CASHES OF THE ANCIENT WORLD. Having seen these maps – and having been quite impressed by them – I decided to download Cyberboard and to give it a try.

I visited the Cyberboard website and downloaded both programs – the Game Designer and Game Player programs – and, after a few minor hiccups that were due to me not reading Professor Sabin's notes before I started (nothing new there then!), I soon got to grips with the Game Designer software and produced a very, very basic campaign map based on Eric Knowles's Madasahatta map.

Whilst it is by no means perfect for my needs (it would need far more detail), it enabled me to practice using the software, and I now hope to use it to produce my campaign map.

(Cyberboard was – and continues to be – developed by Dale Larson. He began work on the software in 1994(!) and the current version in 3.10. The package has its own Yahoo Group (link) and the website has links to all sorts of useful stuff. The software is free ... but there is a PayPal button for donations.)


  1. Are you thinking of doing what Thistlebarrow does, have international players, but resolve battles in house? If so, I am very interested in participating, especially as I am eyeing colonial wargaming for the near future.

    The map looks good. Hopefully Cyberboard will be the tool you need it to be.

  2. Hi Bob,
    I'm just in the process of utilising Cyberboard in conjunction with Mapping Board to create a DBA-esque campaign. It gives me chance to conduct a campaign, record and save positions of forces without cluttering the house with all the paperwork, maps and figures - keeping my wife very happy.
    So far it seems to be working out! Keep us upto date on how your doing.


  3. Justin Penworth,

    Initially I want to try out my rules etc., solo ... but if it all works I would hope to invite players to take on roles in future campaigns.

    One of the advantages of Cyberboard is the fact that maps, movement, orders etc., seem to be able to be 'sent' to and fro across the Internet. If I can get that side of the program to work, I will hopefully be able to run a very efficient PBEM campaign.

    All the best,


  4. James Bailes (Pete),

    You are ahead of me on the learning curve with Cyberboard, but it does sound as if it has lots of potential that I need to find out how to use.

    My intention is to use it to create campaign maps in the first instance, and then to branch out from there to use it to record a campaign. I will fight the battles on the tabletop, and feed the results back into Cyberboard.

    All the best,



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