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Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/30/2016 2:26:09 PM   
Daniele

 

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This is a first (and experimental) post to see if we can spark some positive discussion about topics related to wargames and to help us better understand your views and opinions about stuff we care about. So here you go.


Most of the time, wargames depict conflicts with surgical precision and analytical rigor. Nevertheless, they tend to focus only on the military (or close related) aspects. That’s pretty self-evident, of course, as wargames are about war, after all. But we shall not forget the all conflicts are not a mere confrontation of brute force. Also, the more a conflict is controversial, the more it is difficult to show it exclusively from the military perspective.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/30/2016 3:32:25 PM   
Macclan5


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I wish you all the best in this post.

That is the post does not descend into discussions about the 'relative morality' of certain combats / wars / peacekeeping actions.

To try to stay on topic:

I am in agreement that the rigorous precision applied to the pure military objectives / details is often the best application of a war game.

1) It appeals to the amateur historian in me < in many wargamers? >

2) It appeals to the arm chair general that thinks I would have done X differently with better results < in me and in many wargamers? >

3) If I (another player) have ethical qualms about playing one faction or another I (another player) can simply choose not to play the faction that offends one's personal morality. A persons / gamers morality will vary greatly depending upon their circumstances / society / education / culture / etc.

The old story that in pleasing one you offend all others or that you cannot satisfy everyone.

Limiting the game to precise re-enactment of the military situations helps obscure the relative morality probably satisfying more customers.

--

The only 'aspect of politics / diplomacy' I often desire in a war game top be enhanced is espionage as a function related to war aims.

Espionage not with political aims but tactical military aims.

Historically one might refer to:

1) Ultra - giving one side a definitive edge in signals intelligence that actually demonstrates itself through fog of war.

2) "The Man who never was" - giving an opponent false signals / plan intelligence that creates a false fog of war for your opponent for example.

3) The ability invest resources into a Resistance Movement i.e. The Maquis to cause movement / tactical deployment delays and challenges in enemy occupied territory.

I hope this answer is considerate and intelligent enough to address your question.

< Message edited by Macclan5 -- 8/30/2016 3:35:25 PM >


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A People that values its privileges above it's principles will soon loose both. Dwight D Eisenhower.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/30/2016 4:34:54 PM   
Daniele

 

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Thank you sir for your reply.

You made several good points and I think they could serve as a basis for a good discussion.

My personal view is that future wargames will have to consider to include supplemental features alongside the strictly military ones for a better representation of the conflicts.

I'm thinking for instance to wargames set in recent wars where political bounds often had an impact in the conduct of the operations, with restrictions, high attention to the public opinion's reactions, or merely interference.

I think this could add an interesting layer of complexity without derailing from the original - and still relevant - core gameplay.

But I like also your proposal about adding a "military" intelligence level. I would love to see a wargame using this feature!

If you are interested in this discussion, may I suggest to copy/paste your post here?
http://www.matrixgames.com/forums/tm.asp?m=4140747

Your contribute could be very helpful!

My Best!

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/30/2016 4:42:32 PM   
BBfanboy


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Those who are concerned about the justifications of wars resulting in a flame-war need not be concerned for a game - the game does not pass messages and opinions - it just rewards and punishes decisions according to scripts and random chance. Thus politics and economic decisions have consequences like military decisions, and those consequences can affect the ability to conduct war. Some examples:

1. The Tsar's neglect of his people's basic needs led to a revolution - that took Russia out of WWI and freed up millions of German troops to move to the Western Front.

2. The temporary alliance arranged between Russia and Germany in early WWII allowed the Germans to move units guarding the eastern border into the attack on France. But giving Stalin half of Poland in that deal may have saved Russia later on by increasing the distance the Wehrmacht had to travel before winter in their later attack on Russia.

3. Ideology made the Western Capitalist nations see the war in Vietnam as a case of creeping Communist aggression (the domino theory), rather than the more realistic assessment that it was a war to throw off Western Imperialism and local government corruption. Thus what should have been a local civil war drew in the USSR and Western nations to support the ideologies they stood for. Because no one was really addressing the needs of the people, both sides suffered heavily. A game that could quantify and reward/punish political/diplomatic moves aimed at limiting the war and gaining support of the people would be interesting.

4. In 1933 Ghandi and others started a resistance movement in India to get rid of the British Raj. The British responded to sit-down strikes and other labour disruptions with clubs and rifles, earning the resistance more supporters. The Japanese were watching, and the idea of liberating Asia from Western Imperialism gathered momentum. The Japanese thought they would be welcomed as liberators everywhere!
Who knows what might have happened if the British had begun a peaceful transition to Indian independence in 1933 - could Japan have pursued a trade approach to getting resources rather than a military one?

One thing that needs to be kept is some randomness based on unexpected events and miscalculations by leaders. Otherwise, the gaming community will quickly find the pat response to each situation and it will be a boring game.

EDIT: - PS - you can use this post in the other thread if you deem it useful.

< Message edited by BBfanboy -- 8/30/2016 4:47:17 PM >


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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/30/2016 10:04:12 PM   
Dili

 

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3. Ideology made the Western Capitalist nations see the war in Vietnam as a case of creeping Communist aggression (the domino theory), rather than the more realistic assessment that it was a war to throw off Western Imperialism and local government corruption.

It was.
Boat People does not tell you something? Millions of Vietnamese preferred to remain in Vietnam in War but extraordinarily wanted to escape when Peace arrived. And Korea was what?
As if Communism is not corrupt...


I think the question by Daniele would just make nightmares to developers regarding AI. I don't think it is feasible unless the usual mediocre wargame AI is much improved. It would imply lots of "If" and "and" statements.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/31/2016 12:15:55 AM   
BBfanboy


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quote:

ORIGINAL: Dili

3. Ideology made the Western Capitalist nations see the war in Vietnam as a case of creeping Communist aggression (the domino theory), rather than the more realistic assessment that it was a war to throw off Western Imperialism and local government corruption.

It was.
Boat People does not tell you something? Millions of Vietnamese preferred to remain in Vietnam in War but extraordinarily wanted to escape when Peace arrived. And Korea was what?
As if Communism is not corrupt...


I think the question by Daniele would just make nightmares to developers regarding AI. I don't think it is feasible unless the usual mediocre wargame AI is much improved. It would imply lots of "If" and "and" statements.

No question that Communism was a lousy system that replaced one kind of corruption with another. But the peoples of those countries were willing to join whichever side seemed to offer hope to gain independence. The fact that millions joined the Communist cause while many thousands of boat people tried to escape Communism shows that the people were pulled in two different directions by promises of the big powers. So the game is - how do you persuade the people on the other side of the fence that they can get what they want following your side? Have a fair election? Arrest corrupt officials? Build roads and bridges and install power and telephone lines? Arrest rabble rousers but do not execute them? Many political and economic decisions could be taken to shift the support for the war effort. It could be modeled.

_____________________________

No matter how bad a situation is, you can always make it worse. - Chris Hadfield : An Astronaut's Guide To Life On Earth

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/31/2016 2:54:02 AM   
Canoerebel


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Avalon Hill's Advanced Third Reich (European Theater), Empire of the Rising Sun (Pacific), and Global War (a combination of both games) had an amalgamation of interesting "behind the scenes" impacts on the waging of war:

1) events that triggered an increase in tension level dictated when the USA entered the war
2) how much "resources" a major player had dictated how many offensive he could engage in during a turn
3) research led to advances in intelligence, armaments, etc.

I think there were also variable events that might trigger how neutral countries might align themselves with a major player.

Second only to WitP: AE, that old Avalon Hill triumvirate was the most compelling war game I ever played.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/31/2016 3:42:40 AM   
Dili

 

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It could be modeled but how do you weight the modeling? Or even know all factors like History which has it's own weight? For example Vichy France North Africa Operation Torch. Spirited resistance by some Vichy units, 2 weeks later or so all where in Allied side. What made possible the change?

The Allies(including Free French Forces) while conquering France in WW2 killed about 100000 French people. This is nothing surprising due to the war scale and the war tempo but it happened. In a game when this starts to be a problem? 100001 ? 150000? 200000? If the war drags on instead of ending in 1945?

How do you weight propaganda that can be created by game occurrences?

Peter Seeger an American musician and Communist sympathizer released a music album criticizing the combat against Hitler as an Imperialist and Capitalist War made for Profit and saying that no one should volunteer for war against Nazis. All that changed when Soviet Union was attacked by Nazis, suddenly for Peter Seeger the Imperialist/ Capitalist War for Profit turned in a holly war against "Fascism" and the music album was retired from the market.
So we had a narrative against War. If Hitler didn't attacked Soviet Union due to some reason that narrative would have much more weight today.

How this propaganda narrative would have affected Allied War capability if Hitler didn't attacked Soviet Union and Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was in effect.
The only Western World War with near uncontroversial status is WW 2 precisely because Hitler attacked Soviet Union. Not because Hitler was specially bad.

So for a wargame to work with soft forces it needs to factor propaganda Media tempo and its capabilities.
This would also make a game much more contentious and much more controversial because of politics when most game industry shuns that since it risks opening a can of worms.



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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/31/2016 3:53:27 AM   
Dili

 

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Soft warfare is inevitably politics-media complex, civilian morale is linked to it.

A less contentious would be to insert questions of military doctrine. I was reading about the RAF internal fight between Dowding, Park theory of small directed quantities of fighters vs the "big wing" of Trafford Leigh-Mallory and others.

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RE: Attention Wargamers! This post is for you! - 8/31/2016 6:07:45 AM   
warspite1


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Gents you are posting in the wrong place. Go to the opening post and click on the link - that is where the discussion is.

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England expects that every man will do his duty. Horatio Nelson October 1805



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