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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/8/2016 6:31:23 PM   
hjalmar99


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quote:

Daniele: Although if this applies mostly to governments and nations where - with several degrees - the media are taken in consideration, I believe there is room for future wargames to introduce this mechanic.


This has been around for over three decades in [some] board wargames. Nick Karp's 'Vietnam: 1965 - 1975' (Victory Games) had an integral mechanic whereby the U.S. player was increasingly handicapped for growing commitment by making the marginal cost of such commitment ("more American troops") progressively higher, until it rolled over into compulsory withdrawals. This reflected the American public's waning support for the war as more troops led to more casualties, especially when the increased commitment did not result in a conclusive military outcome.

On the topic of the same game: The Allied player could also declare Free Fire Zones. These greatly enhanced the military punch in an area . . . but the cost in terms of support - against Allied interests and for the NLF - could be frightening. Did I have an ethical concern with this? . . . not one bit. It is an elegant mechanic that reflects the realities of a conflict.

In Vietnam, the press was relatively free. When the Bush dynasty went to war, reporters were "embedded" - attached to military units or HQs - where they could be controlled by those wishing to control the narrative of the wars. The military-political command keeps the reporters on a short leash and feeds them what they "need to know"; else the reporter is frozen out . . . to speculate and editorialize. In an era of image-news, this left non-conforming media in the dark - without images. Of course there are still leaks. Why do you think Chelsea-Bradley Manning is serving a 35-year maximum security sentence? Why is Julian Assange under siege? Why is Edward Snowden in self-imposed exile in Russia? We can go on and on . . . but the theme is clear.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/10/2016 3:27:42 PM   
HanBarca


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Personally, I don't have any "controversial topic" that could stop me from playing a good simulation / wargame; moreover, I always loved simulations including more than the simple "military" aspect (Decisive campaign Barbarossa, Empires of the Middle Ages, Republic of Rome, Vietnam 1965 - 1975 are good examples).

So go ahead and try to shock me :)

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/11/2016 11:58:12 PM   
ERISS6

 

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The Role Playing Game comes from tactical wargame, enriched and made more immersive.
Without going so far, all wargames could gain from this. Then it's a question of complexity (often RPGs have bigger manuals than wargames).

< Message edited by ERISS6 -- 9/11/2016 11:59:59 PM >

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/12/2016 3:22:59 AM   
Zap


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Daniele

Beside adding the Ethics per se, I think it could be interesting for the discussion to consider also the political restrictions due to the increased role of the media in modern conflicts. Although if this applies mostly to governments and nations where - with several degrees - the media are taken in consideration, I believe there is room for future wargames to introduce this mechanic.

Information control, internal ed external propaganda, negotiation with local authorities in war zones, the necessity to limit the so-called "collateral damages", those are all elements that - even if not strivtly military - they are contributing to shape a new model of warfare.

My thoughts ;-)



Interesting, this media interference. But if you use this mechanic where the media effects a war, me as a player am going to want an option in the game where I (as leader) can silence or keep the media away from the the battle. To minimize their influence.
Depending on the country your playing that could mean anything from taking away their travel privileges to incarcerate media or the worst eliminate them.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/16/2016 8:38:10 AM   
Snake726

 

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Anyone can try to win a battle - what's interesting to me is trying to win a battle while managing some elements which are simply beyond your control. Like Horace said, "Adversity reveals the genius of a general; good fortune conceals it".

I think it's clear that actual war can be considered the blunt edge of politics. Wars don't just pop up out of nowhere, and they never proceed rationally according to strategic needs. Things which are abstracted as "objectives", and seem silly to include sometimes in games about war - really are the objectives. Vietnam is a good example of getting this the wrong way around, a war's war - one of bodycount. As odd as it seems, killing is not the king of war, and as Vietnam shows, you can vastly dominate your enemy and still lose when they mount a highly reported offensive which catches you with your pants down and forces you to end the war (because it was clear that, if the VC and NVA could mount such an attack at that point, all of their manpower losses had not prevented them from being able to take the initiative and embarrass the United States).

Take Dien Bien Phu for instance - that offensive was launched *during* Viet Minh and French peace talks. In fact, it was launched *because* of the peace talks. Dien Bien Phu was, of course, in actuality a useless lump of land. And of course the Viet Minh took horrendous losses fighting against a much smaller force. And while it may feel like requiring the battle to center around taking Dien Bien Phu as a Victory Point location, like it's a cheesy gamey thing like capturing a flag - it really *was* like that. Real war really is about assaulting meaningless ground which is not always operationally important, but is a necessary strategic move to win the war. Thus, like the NVA, you can manage to lose nearly every battle in the war and take horrendous losses in most of your victories, and still win the war.

Right now I'm playing Hellfire Pass in Command Ops 2, and the same thing occurred to me. Operation Brevity and Battleaxe were operations ordered by the micromanaging Churchill, because he perceived the Afrika Korps as being weak. And indeed they did have a weak front line, and were under-supplied. But the order for these operations was not based on operational data - in fact neither operation was a good idea, and Brevity failed while Battleaxe was a middling victory which led to the general's reassignment to India.

So yes I do understand that the player might traditionally take the mindset of the person directing the operation and not wander outside of that scope, I think it's clear that the rest of the world obviously drives and impinges upon the map borders of the wargame area.

I think the Decisive Campaigns games do this the most boldly, although I'm aware that board wargame systems are out there which attempt similar representation of inter-service fighting for resources and political pushing and pulling.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/18/2016 7:16:40 PM   
kipanderson

 

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Hi,

"Where are the ethics, the politics, the personal relationships, the diplomatic struggles?"

Military side most fun side as game. Plus..stray from attempting to be neutral and you are asking for very heated trouble. Easier to be neutral when keeping things clinically military.

Not all your customers hold the same world view/political beliefs.

May appeal to many, but not a wargame anymore, in my view, so maybe not on this site. But you guys know your business better than I do. Each to their own. But doesn't appeal to me.

All the best,
Kip.



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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/20/2016 10:30:40 AM   
Ian R

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: warspite1



But in the meantime and at the risk of stating the obvious I think one thing is really simple. The more recent the conflict (especially where tensions remain unresolved) the more the obvious stance is simply to stick to vanilla war gaming of that conflict and game the military aspect alone.



What Warpsite said.

Example: 1989 is almost 30 years ago, and you can indulge in whatever alternate time line you want to create the hypothetical conditions provoking belligerency but .... Wargamers at all levels (tactical -> strategic) generally seem to want a conflict simulation that allows them to game out that scenario with the T64s and Leo-2s clashing on the NGP, and Su-27s and F15s dueling overhead, etc etc, in a purely military environment.

Some gamers may also be interested in a complicated socio-political background simulation depicting how the rise of green politics in Western Europe adversely affected the use of military training areas over the preceding decade, or how the popularity of Nena's 99 luftballons created subconscious resistance among conscripted German youths, that curtailed die Bundeswehr's operational proficiency. I doubt that many fall into both groups.







< Message edited by Ian R -- 9/20/2016 10:34:09 AM >


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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/22/2016 6:54:22 PM   
fuselex

 

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No . No , No daniele .
It is no longer fun if you bring that into it .
It is a game , I can watch the world crap on the news ,
political restrictions , the role of the media ,internal and external propaganda ?
Absolute rubbish .
Every wargamer plays to beat the other players units .
But wait , I would like to hear john Kerry`s speech first ?.




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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/27/2016 6:19:59 PM   
Zap


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quote:

ORIGINAL: kipanderson

Hi,

"Where are the ethics, the politics, the personal relationships, the diplomatic struggles?"

Military side most fun side as game. Plus..stray from attempting to be neutral and you are asking for very heated trouble. Easier to be neutral when keeping things clinically military.

Not all your customers hold the same world view/political beliefs.

May appeal to many, but not a wargame anymore, in my view, so maybe not on this site. But you guys know your business better than I do. Each to their own. But doesn't appeal to me.

All the best,
Kip.






+1 what he said.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 9/27/2016 7:41:13 PM   
hjalmar99


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quote:

+1 what he said.


-10 What he said.

The low point in gaming must have been Norm Koger's bland tinkertoy set - with apologies to Tinkertoy - called 'The Operational Art of War'. It is not operational; and it is not war. It is devoid of flavour, and becomes a dull, dull, dull exercise in accounting. There is a lot of this floating around. The graphics have - supposedly - improved, but they look like silly little miniatures floating around on a Styrofoam cake . . . hiding the dull accounting behind the toy-town scene.

War does not exist in sterile isolation. It's time to dust off your Clausewitz and Sun Tzu. Battles are dumplings in a thick, rich stew of politics and diplomacy and intrigue. Victory is not a body count or mere numbers comparison. I like my WARgames to be rich and messy in historical flavour and sauce.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 10/5/2016 1:14:48 AM   
rosseau

 

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We're talking the level of Europa Universalis IV or Crusader Kings II, correct? But I would not categorize them as wargames, and they are certainly not my favorites.

My favorite right now is playing a beta update of Tigers Unleashed from HPS. It makes TOAW3 look pretty, but the data generated from the simulation portion is quite interesting to study. Others may find it dry though.

Taking myself out of it, from a future wargames perspective, it's probably not a bad idea to add some sauce for a wider market :)

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 10/19/2016 9:28:14 PM   
wodin


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rosseau I hope my new extensive set of counters help:0

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 10/28/2016 6:39:43 PM   
RichardAckermann

 

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What I favor in wargames is the huge amount of uncertainty. I am fond of randomness of events and outcomes, and wargame mechanics provide those. The same action can result in different results. This provides an endless chain of rapidly changing problems to solve. This does keep the problem solving interesting and challenging. Personally, I thus support any kind of increased flexibility in a wargame. Gives you more options to change results.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 12/14/2016 2:24:05 AM   
doler

 

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It's time to dust off your Clausewitz and Sun Tzu.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 2/9/2017 5:13:52 AM   
gazfun


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The worst thing any wargame can do is try to control the players into a preset historical mess. Historical starts from the beginning, of a game or era is fine, but not to control outcomes by scripted events, where side A must ally with Side B because it happened that way historically. One of the reason I play a game is to be able to make alternative outcomes, and I judge software titles on their ability or lack there of in this area. I mean how boring is to play and only find out, that you followed a historical outcome to the letter. May as well watch a movie because the time you spend on a war game playing with other players is much longer than watching a movie, so why not give us all the tools that a player need to do that.
I purchased Wars of Napoleon Last year great tactical play, great logistical organization only to have it fail in political aspects where scripted events came to play controlling what could of been a fulfilling game. EiA for example is a much simpler tactical and battle outcomes in the game but takes too long to execute where one year of gaming time is equal to 1 year of real time as it worked out.
But politically very challenging. and has a lot of variable results for any of the 7 major countries in it. Its a pity that EiA had to cover the original board game rules which caused complication because of the medium which was changed from board game to PC game. I hoped WoN would of meet to the task, but still can, as it is not governed by license restrictions as EiA had.
One of the dangers with multiplayer wargaming is that you get people ganging up on 1, although its common but should not be condoned. No one likes being bullied and of course payback can come back. But to reduce this, each player should set out their own goals for victory within a POSSIBLE outcome for that country and the ideals of that country at the time. World domination should not be the only goal through military means, political means can be just as effective, even more so because of the reduction of bloodshed.
Being a wargamer shouldn't have the later as a reason to play but rather a reason to win, because it was possible to reduce the bloodshed of war. By negotiation with other countries of the time to get a better outcome than what happened historically.


< Message edited by gazfun -- 2/9/2017 5:20:51 AM >


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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 3/28/2017 8:21:16 PM   
0331marine

 

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I think most wargames should have ethical dilemmas presented to the gamer. A propper dilemma is two bad options that were you as the player has to do a cost benifit review, and swallow the pill that is the least bitter, from your point of view. War is hell, making it out to be an excerice in accounting, or as a stylelized competition, denigrates its nature. War is politics by other means, and politics ARE messy. Even so you do not need to make it boring, I would even say you could make them optional, and never ever railroad players to have to follow history. Give them options, but options with a cost associated with them. Also, a previous poster mentioned that he would find the allocation of rollingstock to transport jews to death camps, distateful. I say bring it on, it teaches your as a player some hard historical facts. Yes you may be uncomfortble with such things, but that just means you have been too shielded from such ugly facts. The Coventry raid is a perfect example, you as a human being want to save the people in the city, but you know that if you tip your hand about the having cracked German encyption, you run the risk of it costing more lives down the line. Such choices should be in a war game, they should make you feel sick and make you refelect on the nature of and ethics of war. To take the previously mentioned example assigning rolling stock, the default and "right" answer should be to go a head with using the rollingstock to transport the jews, why? Because there will be a huge political backlash within Nazi-Germany if you don't. This was the nature of that nation and its politics. No leader is ever in complete control, he is always "riding the wolf by its ears". A leader must always apeace factions and stave off cabals to stay on top, and as such a leader must make choices that aren't palatble, in our eyes. On the tactical level, you have other more direct choices, a ship is sinking, close of compartments to save the ship, or save the men in that compartment and let the ship sink? I could go on and on, in the end, these choices are what makes a game memerable, if you look at the big games out there, ethical choice in games are a huge and popular thing, so in many ways, wargames are stuck in the past, so better get with the program is my opinion.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 7/15/2017 8:35:58 PM   
Cap Mandrake


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Seems to me it would very heavily depend on context, and on subject matter.

Cuba Missile Crisis with military and geopolitical decision points....interesting

War on Islam where one side decides to nuke Raqqa or the other side decides to burn prisoners alive or behead priests......baaaad, baaad idea. Ditto Zyklon-B research tree collective punishment for partisan
attacks

1973 Arab-Israeli war with political decision-making...sure. Intifada....no

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