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operational, tactical, strategic??

 
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operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/28/2008 11:33:52 PM   
nugeneral


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hello
can somebody explain to me the difference between wargames of the operational, tactical and strategic variety? trying to understand the difference between 2 games here: advanced tactics and commander europe at war

thanks much
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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 12:07:42 AM   
andym


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Ok in simple terms
Tactical is small units Platoons,squads etc

Strategic is huge units,Corps,army's and in the case of soviets Fronts.

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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 12:25:23 AM   
Hertston


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The dividing lines can be very blurred, unfortunately. So can the use of the words.. just to confuse you 'Advanced Tactics' is an operational and strategic game, not a tactical one!

You can look up dictionary definitions for yourself but in terms of wargames it's (roughly) like this;

Tactical games involve detailed manoeuvres by the forces on hand, anything from squad of a few soldiers to a brigade of several thousand depending on the game, to achieve a particular objective such as "destroy defending company A and advance and capture Hill B". Examples would be Combat Mission, Panzer Command and Close Combat.

Strategic games are on a much larger scale with divisions, corps and armies as your military resource. You usually also have to 'worry' about production facilities, supply routes (although both tactical and operational games may also have supply aspects) and sometimes research of new technology. As opposed to "capture that hill with minimal losses" your objective is likely to be "win the war". Examples are Commander: Europe at War and Gary Grigsby's World at War. The very nature of these games tends to make them rather more abstract than either operational or strategic level games. They are also the most popular in terms of general sales probably for that reason; Paradox's Hearts of Iron and Europa Universalis series are good examples.

Operational games are, very roughly, somewhere between the two. Likewise your objectives, which might be something like "successfully land your forces on the beaches, neutralize the defenders and drive a hundred kilometres inland to capture city B". Units will typically be battalions and brigades, you won't worry about production and research but you will worry about getting supplies from your base to the front lines. Examples would be Battles in Normandy, Conquest of the Aegean (very close to the boundary with 'tactical') and The Operational Art of War.




< Message edited by Hertston -- 4/29/2008 12:27:28 AM >

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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 12:26:43 AM   
Hertston


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Duplicate, sorry

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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 12:47:33 AM   
leastonh1


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Welcome nugeneral

This is a good question that confused me for a long time and still does with some games. Hertston summed it up nicely.

If you also check out the Matrix games list pages here: http://www.matrixgames.com/games/ - you can select which type of game (tactical, operational, strategic etc) you'd like and it will filter the list. Drill down to individual games and you get more detailed info about whether it's suitable for beginners or advanced players. Very handy if you aren't sure.

All the best,
Jim



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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 2:16:12 AM   
stevemk1a


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To paraphrase a funny sig-line I once saw:

Strategy is remembering to bring a rubber along on a date.

Tactics is fumbling around under the driver's seat after you dropped it.



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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 12:24:12 PM   
Widell


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....and operational being whatever takes place in between the two...... 

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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 2:11:32 PM   
Grell

 

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LOL! Willy and Widell,

You guys crack me up.

Regards,

Greg


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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 6:32:09 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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quote:

ORIGINAL: Hertston

Tactical games involve detailed manoeuvres by the forces on hand, anything from squad of a few soldiers to a brigade of several thousand depending on the game, to achieve a particular objective such as "destroy defending company A and advance and capture Hill B". Examples would be Combat Mission, Panzer Command and Close Combat.

Not to forgot Steel Panthers serie, like Steel Panthers - World at War

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RE: operational, tactical, strategic?? - 4/29/2008 6:50:55 PM   
Kuokkanen

 

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There are many wargames available for free, and many are very decent ones indeed. Tactical level games include already mentioned SPWAW, and many others like it. One free operational level wargame, despite of its name, is Advanced Strategic Command. And for free strategy level game I offer you FreeCiv.

Then are games that have elements from all of the various levels. In UFO: Alien Invasion is strategic level map of whole world, where bases are built and expanded, troops and weapons are bought, captured alien technology is being studied etc. When player commands his troops to attack & secure crashed UFO, scale goes to tactical scale where troops are moved one by one. There is legion of such games: UFO & X-Com series, Jagged Alliance serie, Imperium Galactica serie, Empire at War, C&C3 Kane's Wrath, Total War serie, and then some. But cost free games are cheap way to find what you would like to play.

See topic Free strategy games for more, and feel free to contribute on thread.

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