From: Washington D.C.
I agree with all of that, but a lot of that has to do with the scope of the scenario too. In the cases you brought up, essentially marginal losses had outsized implications broader than the events in the scenario itself. They were so outsized, that they actually effected national policies.
There's multiple levels of warfare, ranging from the tactical to the strategic. You can win tactically over and over again and still lose strategically. One hopes that victory on the lowest levels of warfare contributes to victory on the highest levels, but not always. Sometimes they're decoupled. The Tet Offensive was an operational victory. The US and South Vietnamese forces fought back and recaptured everything that was taken by the Vietcong. At the same time it was a strategic loss, because of the way it was perceived in the US and the subsequent responses of multiple politicians. If I was making a scenario dealing with the Tet Offensive, I wouldn't judge someone's success or failure in a tactical or operational scenario, based on whether or not they achieved a strategic victory.
The reason is that strategic victory or defeat has to do with a lot of things which are beyond the player's control in Command. What is the nation's media strategy? How did they respond to the events? How was their response perceived? What is their strategic message? In a democracy, how prepared is the electorate to accept losses in a given conflict? Was the war sold to the public as "bloodless" or "video game warfare" (e.g. The Balkans or Somalia) or was there months of people telling the public that they should expect 30% casualties before the war happened (e.g. Desert Storm)? Are the nations in conflict democracies at all? How democratic are they (there are degrees of democracy)? Dictatorships can sometimes continue in warfare where democracies can't and vice-a-versa. Dictatorships are often fragile and disintegrate when they're no longer perceived as in control of the country. How credible is the national leadership? If the President is so immersed in scandal that most of the electorate wouldn't believe him if he told them the sky was blue, it might be a tactical or operational win, but people won't care what he says. How legitimate is the leadership of the powers in conflict? If they're not perceived as the legitimate leadership, then they might be winning battle after battle, but the subsequent casualties in their victory contribute to their unpopularity. How strong is their control over the media? Can they hush things up? Does it matter if they have control of the security forces and can just intimidate people into compliance with their agendas? Did the nation start off in favor of the conflict or did the leader enter into it without popular support? How deniable are events? If the Osama bin Laden raid had failed, would anyone have known it occurred? Are there other events going on which are shaping the perception of events? Are other actors spreading competing narratives? How effective and credible are they (e.g. Russian trolls, not very credible but very effective)? I can go on and on. These are all huge questions that would be better played out in another game, probably a very different type of wargame (matrix style?).
In order to bring that kind of thing into a Command scenario, one would need to make some pretty sweeping assumptions about the parties in conflict, the nature of their governments, their national leadership, their culture, the media, the behavior of other external actors, economics, their legitimacy, their control over their nations security forces, their internal politics, etc. I'm not sure I'd feel comfortable making that kind of statement in my victory conditions. At some point it doesn't really shed any light on the problem presented by the scenario itself, necessarily, and probably says more about my own personal beliefs. These kinds of national policy questions might shape a Command scenario but they're not the subject of a Command scenario. Nav zones are a great example of that. You might also make a scenario victory condition something like, "Do not damage the historically interesting mosque near the target area," which might impact tactical level choices, like which ordinance to use (maybe I'll attack those guys with APKWS instead of a Mk-84). If you'd play the scenario exactly the same way, though, then it probably shouldn't be in the scenario. You shouldn't create a situation where the player is faced with, "You won! But oh wait! You lost because of things you have no influence over!"
< Message edited by SeaQueen -- 8/20/2018 8:52:13 PM >