Matrix Games Forums

Forums  Register  Login  Photo Gallery  Member List  Search  Calendars  FAQ 

My Profile  Inbox  Address Book  My Subscription  My Forums  Log Out

Impossible to game moments of history

 
View related threads: (in this forum | in all forums)

Logged in as: Guest
Users viewing this topic: none
  Printable Version
All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion >> Impossible to game moments of history Page: [1]
Login
Message << Older Topic   Newer Topic >>
Impossible to game moments of history - 8/9/2020 6:29:30 PM   
MrsWargamer


Posts: 1208
Joined: 6/18/2014
Status: offline
I like trying to get you guys to thinking, because some of you dudes are rather good about the historical debates.

Here's a question to sink your teeth into.

Are there moments of history, that while great and or pivotal moments, are just unable to be made into a 'game' as there is no way to make it into a fair challenge where both sides might be able to 'win'?

_____________________________

Wargame, 05% of the time.
Play with Barbies 05% of the time.
Play with Legos 10% of the time.
Build models 20% of the time
Shopping 60% of the time.
Exlains why I buy em more than I play em.
Post #: 1
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/9/2020 7:04:39 PM   
Shellshock


Posts: 474
Joined: 12/31/2010
From: U.S.
Status: offline
I'd vote for Case White, the German invasion of Poland. Although the Poles did inflict some considerable causalities on the Germans, the issue was never in doubt. Certainly, once the Red Army got involved and Poland was in a vice. There have been games on the subject. (TOAW has at least one such scenario) However, such a game becomes a struggle to see how long you can hold out, not win. Obviously pivotal in that it touched off the war and provided the staging area for Barbarossa.

I'd probably posit the German invasion of Denmark as an even more extreme one-sided situation, just not as pivotal.

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 2
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/9/2020 7:05:48 PM   
76mm


Posts: 4216
Joined: 5/2/2004
From: Washington, DC
Status: offline
I think that Barbarossa is just just an "ungameable" moment, or more broadly the Russian Front in WWII. Given the various blunders on both sides, the failure of the expected collapse of the Red Army and Soviet state, the unexpected (to the Germans) weather, etc, playing the Barbarossa campaign with the advantage of hindsight on all of these issues just isn't the same.

I've played most of the Russian front games over the years and can't say that I felt that any of them really felt like the historical Russian front to me. Note that I'm referring specifically to game which try to depict the entire theater/war in the east rather than operational level games focused on specific battles or campaigns

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 3
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/9/2020 7:24:40 PM   
Shellshock


Posts: 474
Joined: 12/31/2010
From: U.S.
Status: offline
The odd thing is that complete historical mis-matches don't seem to dissuade developers from making a game.

The Battle of Omdurman in 1898 was a serious technological mismatch. The British Army was at near WW1 levels in terms of cordite ammunition, modern Maxim MGs and fast firing breach loading field guns backed by disciplined infantry with Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles. Only slightly more modernized versions of these would equip armies in to WW2. It was, for its time, cutting edge battlefield technology.

The Mahdi’s Forces if they had firearms were black powder muzzle-loaders and many just had melee weapons. It was an 18th Century army in effect.

The results: 8 dead vs 12,000---382 wounded vs 13,000---None captured vs. 5,000 captured.

A complete one-sided rout...but there was a game!





< Message edited by Shellshock -- 8/9/2020 7:29:48 PM >

(in reply to 76mm)
Post #: 4
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/9/2020 8:03:21 PM   
RangerJoe


Posts: 8209
Joined: 11/16/2015
Status: offline
When Moses raises his arms and the Sun stops moving yet the battle continues.

When an unexpected Solar eclipse darkens the sky and ends the battle - even a predicted one as well.

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


(in reply to Shellshock)
Post #: 5
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/9/2020 9:39:30 PM   
operating


Posts: 3001
Joined: 1/19/2013
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Shellshock

The odd thing is that complete historical mis-matches don't seem to dissuade developers from making a game.

The Battle of Omdurman in 1898 was a serious technological mismatch. The British Army was at near WW1 levels in terms of cordite ammunition, modern Maxim MGs and fast firing breach loading field guns backed by disciplined infantry with Lee-Enfield bolt action rifles. Only slightly more modernized versions of these would equip armies in to WW2. It was, for its time, cutting edge battlefield technology.

The Mahdi’s Forces if they had firearms were black powder muzzle-loaders and many just had melee weapons. It was an 18th Century army in effect.

The results: 8 dead vs 12,000---382 wounded vs 13,000---None captured vs. 5,000 captured.

A complete one-sided rout...but there was a game!





Not bad, 18 years before my first computer: https://boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/7931/remember-gordon-battle-omdurman

(in reply to Shellshock)
Post #: 6
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/9/2020 9:53:44 PM   
Gilmer


Posts: 1393
Joined: 7/1/2011
Status: offline
I think it is impossible to create the circumstances that led to the decisions that were sometimes made. People who are desperate sometimes make decisions that in hindsight would have looked crazy, except for the fact that they worked.

_____________________________

"Venimus, vidimus, Deus vicit" John III Sobieski as he entered Vienna on 9/11/1683. "I came, I saw, God conquered."
He that has a mind to fight, let him fight, for now is the time. - Anacreon

(in reply to operating)
Post #: 7
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 1:44:07 AM   
Anachro


Posts: 2502
Joined: 11/23/2015
From: The Coastal Elite
Status: offline
What about the Battle of Cannae? Hannibal's most famous victory where his smaller, less well-equipped army completely destroyed 70-80,000 Roman solders. A great victory and absolutely pivotal moment in the 2nd Punic War, Roman, and world history. Hannibal structured his troops and tactics in such a way as to achieve a spectacular double envelopment. However, it's tough to see a game with modern armchair generals aware of the strategy ever falling for the same trick; as such, I feel like the Romans in a modern game would win more often than not due to their superior numbers.

(in reply to Gilmer)
Post #: 8
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 1:50:00 AM   
Anachro


Posts: 2502
Joined: 11/23/2015
From: The Coastal Elite
Status: offline
Also, the Roman Civil War between Pompey and Caesar should see Pompey win more often than not due to his superior strategic position and far greater naval resources that would allow a slow strangulation of Caesarean Italy while building up the forces necessary to take back the peninsula and win victory. This in actuality was his strategy, but Caesar pre-empted through invasion of Greece with a numerically inferior army that somehow got across despite Pompeyan domination of the waters, and then Pompey failed to finish his victory at Dyrrhachium and was ensuingly goaded into an ill-judged battle at Pharsalus.

I feel two modern generals fighting a strategic game based on this would see the Pompey forces at a significant advantage and win more often than not, not least because not many players playing the Caesarean faction would not have an iota of the tactical ability of the real life Caesar.

(in reply to Anachro)
Post #: 9
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 1:51:50 AM   
Shellshock


Posts: 474
Joined: 12/31/2010
From: U.S.
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Anachro

However, it's tough to see a game with modern armchair generals aware of the strategy ever falling for the same trick; as such, I feel like the Romans in a modern game would win more often than not due to their superior numbers.



Let's start punching out some counters, grab some dice and find out.




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Shellshock -- 8/10/2020 1:55:28 AM >

(in reply to Anachro)
Post #: 10
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 2:37:25 AM   
RangerJoe


Posts: 8209
Joined: 11/16/2015
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: Anachro

What about the Battle of Cannae? Hannibal's most famous victory where his smaller, less well-equipped army completely destroyed 70-80,000 Roman solders. A great victory and absolutely pivotal moment in the 2nd Punic War, Roman, and world history. Hannibal structured his troops and tactics in such a way as to achieve a spectacular double envelopment. However, it's tough to see a game with modern armchair generals aware of the strategy ever falling for the same trick; as such, I feel like the Romans in a modern game would win more often than not due to their superior numbers.


It could happen in a game because the heavily equipped Romans were slower than the lighter equipped Carthaginians. Set up the movement allowances as such, have the Romans more difficult to turn and face another direction, and don't forget the elephants!

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


(in reply to Anachro)
Post #: 11
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 8:14:13 AM   
warspite1


Posts: 42844
Joined: 2/2/2008
From: England
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: MrsWargamer

I like trying to get you guys to thinking, because some of you dudes are rather good about the historical debates.

Here's a question to sink your teeth into.

Are there moments of history, that while great and or pivotal moments, are just unable to be made into a 'game' as there is no way to make it into a fair challenge where both sides might be able to 'win'?
warspite1

Without thinking too much about it, off the top of my head I suspect that there aren't too many 'pivotal' moments in history that are also massively one-sided as if that was the case, why would they be so pivotal. But I may be wrong.

I don't think there is much you can't wargame no matter how one-sided - all you have to do is adjust the optionals. Yes I suspect Weserubung Sud may be stretching it

But if a game that is enjoyed by so many can be made about the War in the Pacific, then I suspect pretty much any one sided game can be made. Even Case White could be made interesting if an optional was employed that saw the French 'Saar offensive' actually become an offensive, and Polish set up could be modified to reflect that this was pre-planned.

_____________________________

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



(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 12
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 1:18:10 PM   
RangerJoe


Posts: 8209
Joined: 11/16/2015
Status: offline
The Polish Army could have already been mobilized, updated aircraft, plus a little more armour. The Germans would have to win by a certain date otherwise the French Army would be marching to Berlin while the Royal Navy was putting the BEF somewhere.

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


(in reply to warspite1)
Post #: 13
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 1:57:27 PM   
TulliusDetritus


Posts: 5396
Joined: 4/1/2004
From: The Zone™
Status: offline

quote:

ORIGINAL: RangerJoe
It could happen in a game because the heavily equipped Romans were slower than the lighter equipped Carthaginians. Set up the movement allowances as such, have the Romans more difficult to turn and face another direction, and don't forget the elephants!


You got the republican Army circa 200 b.c wrong. Their tactics too.

You're 100% describing the hoplites and phalanx from the Greek world. The legions were much MUCH more flexible.

Only the last line was heavily equipped: the triarii. The oldest and most experienced (and RICH) soldiers, used normally as a reserve if the hastati (1st line) and princeps (2nd line) were in trouble. Not to mention the very light velites (skirmishers and socially POOR), the first to engage and harass the enemy.


_____________________________

a nu cheeki breeki iv damke

(in reply to RangerJoe)
Post #: 14
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 4:06:23 PM   
Simulacra53


Posts: 538
Joined: 5/16/2015
Status: offline
Fall Gelb.
The Anglo-French were completely outmaneuvered, but on paper they were not weak, that’s why a lot of games have a difficult time recreating those “12 days in May” historically.

Midway.
There are plenty of games featuring Midway, but if you look at the sum of all elements involved, it is difficult to imagine anything that approaches what happened, not at least the whole surprise factor.

(in reply to TulliusDetritus)
Post #: 15
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 4:40:37 PM   
rico21

 

Posts: 2817
Joined: 3/11/2016
Status: offline
The battlefields have seen elite troops being crushed by better equipped lambda troops and vice versa.
The balance of power is not enough, there is always a random and psychological side.
When we talk about the Roman army, we think of their discipline and their heavy armament, but their strong point in combat was the incredible number of shots fired at the enemy before contact.
If you take the example of Finland in 1939, it has no chance against the USSR without international aid, which means that in a balanced game on Finland in 1939, external aid must be implemented.
However, we have all happily played games without this help.
So yes we can play balanced games by genius designers dealing with unbalanced historical conflicts.

Today, far too many games deal with modern conflicts that may have taken place and not enough with those that have taken place!

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 16
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/10/2020 6:37:05 PM   
RedLancer


Posts: 4084
Joined: 11/16/2005
From: UK
Status: offline
Midway. There's a good reason why WitP has no Midway scenario: it's almost unrepeatable. Sometimes wargames just can't replicate the beauty of Clausewitz's chameleon.

_____________________________

John
WitE2 Asst Producer
WitE & WitW Dev

(in reply to rico21)
Post #: 17
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/11/2020 4:26:35 PM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5356
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
Fort Sumter!




Attachment (1)

< Message edited by Capt. Harlock -- 8/11/2020 4:27:38 PM >


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to RedLancer)
Post #: 18
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/11/2020 5:10:31 PM   
Philippeatbay


Posts: 837
Joined: 12/3/2014
Status: offline
Fort Sumter can make for a very interesting game, but it has to focus on the political confrontation between South Carolina and the Federal government
over several months rather than the short artillery bombardment in Charleston Harbor (which is rather boring).

There are fewer historical situations that don't lend themselves to gaming than people realize. Midway and Tannenburg both suffer from the same problem:
one of the players won't be surprised unless he's abysmally ignorant of military history. But with a few clever command and control rules limiting Japanese
and Russian actions, both of these battles can be simulated and the historical results reduplicated.

Most computer game designers these days seem to have computer backgrounds rather than wargame design backgrounds. One of the reasons that Tillers WW II Campaign series
was such a success is that he was the programmer, not the designer. The scenarios were designed by some of the best board wargame designers of the 'seventies.

One of the things that board wargames in the 'seventies taught us was how to deal with impossible situations. Unfortunately few of the current crop of computer designers
are old enough or care enough about board games to remember games like SPI's Destruction of Army Group Center which covers the Soviet 1944 offensive in Belorussia.
The Russian offensive was a disaster from the German perspective, and a fairly one-sided battle apart from local counter-attacks. But the game was absolutely gripping
from the German side because the Germans had to figure out how to run out the clock and form some kind of cohesive defensive line beyond the initial striking range
of the advancing Soviets. Every hex counted, and the German player had to play a perfect game of delay and positional defense. Breaking through the initial German defenses
in a meaningful way was also a challenge for the Soviet player. One of the key features of the game was that it had two sets of victory tracks: an absolute one that showed
what your level of military victory looked like (the Germans were always crushed), and a relative one that showed how well you did compared to your sides' actual historical
performance. This relative track is the heart and soul of historical simulation, because the $64,000 question is whether you could have done any better than the actual
participants if faced with the same situation.




(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 19
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/13/2020 3:21:03 AM   
Capt. Harlock


Posts: 5356
Joined: 9/15/2001
From: Los Angeles
Status: offline
quote:

Fort Sumter can make for a very interesting game, but it has to focus on the political confrontation between South Carolina and the Federal government
over several months rather than the short artillery bombardment in Charleston Harbor (which is rather boring).


Well, that's kind of the point of the thread. If the objective for the Union is to keep Fort Sumter (which it historically was), there's no way to realistically do that. If the objective becomes to win over as many people as possible (and keep more states in the Union), then it becomes game-able. In fact:
https://store.steampowered.com/app/1041940/Fort_Sumter_The_Secession_Crisis/#:~:text=Fort%20Sumter%3A%20The%20Secession%20Crisis%20is%20set%20during%20the%20events,the%20path%20to%20dissolve%20it.+

I can't fully agree with your opinion on the bombardment itself. It seems to me that a worthwhile hour-by-hour tactical game could be put together, where the objective is to take out as many of the Southern batteries as possible while not inflicting any civilian casualties.


_____________________________

Civil war? What does that mean? Is there any foreign war? Isn't every war fought between men, between brothers?

--Victor Hugo

(in reply to Philippeatbay)
Post #: 20
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/13/2020 9:44:27 AM   
wodin


Posts: 10455
Joined: 4/20/2003
From: England
Status: offline
Due to the ideas of balance in games etc very few games will be able to replicate those amazing victories against the odds.

This is where emphasis on leader skills as well as clever victory conditions can overcome this kind of problem, so with clever game design all conflicts should be doable

_____________________________


(in reply to Capt. Harlock)
Post #: 21
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/13/2020 9:52:18 AM   
Ostwindflak


Posts: 668
Joined: 1/23/2014
From: New Hampshire
Status: offline
The battles of Isandlwana and Rorke's Drift during the Anglo-Zulu War.

(in reply to MrsWargamer)
Post #: 22
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/13/2020 4:45:57 PM   
RFalvo69


Posts: 781
Joined: 7/11/2013
From: Lamezia Terme (Italy)
Status: offline
quote:

ORIGINAL: Simulacra53

Fall Gelb.
The Anglo-French were completely outmaneuvered, but on paper they were not weak, that’s why a lot of games have a difficult time recreating those “12 days in May” historically.


You can't recreate the German success in France without using special rules. However, my favourite game on the topic, "The Blitzkrieg Legend" by MMP, solves the problem by creating two kinds of campaign scenarios: in one the Allies already took the bait and are deployed along the Dyle Line; all the others see the Allies tackling the German plan with one of their own (with some randomness in the setup making the things even more varied). I played solo a "you are in charge" campaign two summers ago and it is much more fun - even if I managed to defeat the Allies anyway.

Now that we talked about it, I wonder if it is still possible for the Allies to "take the bait" and win anyway. Things for the Germans got hairy at least a couple of times during the dash for the Channel. It is easy, now, to side with blokes like Guderian and Rommel - with von Kleist and Hitler relegated to the TV trope of "the stupid superior". However any serious analysis of the campaign based on what the various commanders knew at the time can't fail to recognise how von Kleist possibly lost some years of life and a lot of hair every time he glanced at his situation map. There was no hint that the French were panicking, and for sure no hint that they were tying their shoes together every time they tried to organise a counter-attack against the salient's base. A lot of "soft" and imponderable factors contributed to the German "blitzkrieg" - to the point that Guderian, the "Father of the Blitzkrieg" himself, openly admitted that the breakthrough at Sedan took everybody by surprise. Had the French got their s**t together the following narrative could have been quite different.

_____________________________

"Yes darling, I served in the Navy for eight years. I was a cook..."
"Oh dad... so you were a God-damned cook?"

(My 10 years old daughter after watching "The Hunt for Red October")

(in reply to Simulacra53)
Post #: 23
RE: Impossible to game moments of history - 8/13/2020 9:34:54 PM   
RangerJoe


Posts: 8209
Joined: 11/16/2015
Status: offline
And Chuckie De Gaulle was counterattacking at Sedan and almost made it. At Arras, the Germans could not handle the Matildas until Erwin used the 8.8cm AAA against them. Think if there were mobile 25 pounders to put the hurt on those 8.8cm guns right away. Think if the German panzers were cut off with no supply . . .

_____________________________

Seek peace but keep your gun handy.

I'm not a complete idiot, some parts are missing!

“Illegitemus non carborundum est (“Don’t let the bastards grind you down”).”
― Julia Child


(in reply to RFalvo69)
Post #: 24
Page:   [1]
All Forums >> [General] >> General Discussion >> Impossible to game moments of history Page: [1]
Jump to:





New Messages No New Messages
Hot Topic w/ New Messages Hot Topic w/o New Messages
Locked w/ New Messages Locked w/o New Messages
 Post New Thread
 Reply to Message
 Post New Poll
 Submit Vote
 Delete My Own Post
 Delete My Own Thread
 Rate Posts


Forum Software © ASPPlayground.NET Advanced Edition 2.4.5 ANSI

0.168