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Thread: Wargaming Small Wars (merged thread)

  1. #201
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    wargaming "tiny wars"

    http://micromutants.canalblog.com/ta...nts/p10-0.html

    Over simplistic? May be but at least the very first funy wargame I played.(And I love wargames boards, roll the dices, pushing the fig and watch the face of the adversary is much funier than talking to a geek in a mic behind a computer...)

  2. #202
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    Over simplistic? May be but at least the very first funy wargame I played.
    I think that's the simulation model they may have used to initially prepare for Phase IV operations in Iraq...
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  3. #203
    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    , we focus on the potential usefulness of such games in education and professional training settings. Comments welcomed!
    What is the "peacemaking" thing that they speak of? Is this another word for Victory or Surrender?
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

  4. #204
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    What is the "peacemaking" thing that they speak of? Is this another word for Victory or Surrender?
    Wilf, you would like the Liberia game we reviewed earlier on PaxSims--in it ECOMOG steals cars, feuds with the UN, keeps randomly shuffling force commanders, and has a "heavy firepower" option that is quite effective but costs you politically for what the rules term "embarrassing civilian casualties." That's quite apart for the rules for hostages, transvestites, lobbying Monrovia prostitutes, looting the national library, US evangelicals, naive Scandinavian aid workers, cannibalism, the Butt Naked brigade, etc. (the list goes on).

    M-A, we've just done a review of a wargame of the Algerian war of independence, Ici, c'est la France. Great game (and historical simulation), although it takes a long time to play through the full campaign. We'll be doing a review of another Algerian wargame as soon as I can find time to play it.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  5. #205
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Rex:
    Are you talking about that one?
    ALGERIA
    http://www.reservoir-jeux.com/wargam...rs/algeria.php
    Just saw it on my favorite dealer website.

    I use to know another wargame on Bien Dien Phu, but I this is the only one I could find recently.
    Advanced Tobruk System : combats tactiques en Indochine
    http://www.agorajeux.com/684-ats-dien-bien-phu.html

    Have no idea if it’s good or not. (It’s the last they have. Must not have been a hit).

    I also think that this one is perfect for small wars wargaming:
    ALL THINGS ZOMBIE
    Each counter represents one survivor or one zombie. You choose your star, your “mini-me” if you will, and arm him or her with one of four weapon types. But you’re not alone as you then recruit a few other survivors to form your group.
    Then it’s off to explore a beautifully detailed map representing deserted cities, suburbs, and rural areas. But are they really deserted? Not if you count the zombies, the seemingly endless hordes of zombies. But soon you realize that the zombies may be the least of your worries as you run into other survivors. Are they friendly or hostile? Well, the game mechanics determine that. With luck you can recruit them to use in future games. But sometimes it spins out of control
    HTTP://WWW.AGORAJEUX.COM/JEUX-DE-SOC...GS-ZOMBIE.HTML

    Unfortunately, I do not have much time and also opponent where I usualy spend my days...

  6. #206
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    Quote Originally Posted by M-A Lagrange View Post
    Rex:
    Are you talking about that one?
    ALGERIA
    http://www.reservoir-jeux.com/wargam...rs/algeria.php
    Just saw it on my favorite dealer website.
    That's the one. Brian Train--who sometimes posts here at SWC--is the designer.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  7. #207
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Having been working in Liberia “after” the war and before the second one and the final push for peace, I find a little frustrating (I did not play it) that such game is limited to 2 players. Reality was may be not more complex but had several players (at least 4) as Samuel Doe died in the beginning of the war and Taylor’s forces split in various small groups. Also you had several independent groups who entered in the game after this.
    I also would be less reluctant than you on the horrific side. After all, for teaching purposes, I prefer to use something that would shock the nice and cute hearts.
    Saying so, I found this interesting as it gives an opportunity to simulate real modern conflicts as they are.
    Cannibalism was not limited to Liberia, was somehow popular in DRC; taking and selling hostages was a common shared game in Chechnya; resources based motivation is common to almost all modern wars; attacking refugees camps is a daily practice in Darfur…
    I would say it is refreshing that board games actually can transcript what small wars are.

    Finally, game must have an end and taking Abuja as the end of Liberia war is one option. But reality has shown that it was not the real end of the conflict which erupted once again in 2003.
    Also, what seem to be missing are the diamond, rubber and iron companies which were funding the warlords. They did have a role in the war and the “peace” that followed. But as you said in your review, it is a complex context and war to resume in a game.

    A game based on resource control (industrial plants and illegal market) and/or services delivery (through NGO and UN agencies and donors funds) on the soft side and troops’ deployment (that includes also violence over civilian to feed them, peacekeepers in safe places...) and sabotages (understand looting, terror… all the panoply) on the hard side would also be interesting. And Liberia may provide an interesting context for such base. Or DRC… Especially as they give opportunities to simulate real small wars which were somehow simple as less known.

    By the way, Gen Bud naked was one of my favorite crazy men. But the Taylor boys I met were definitively as crazy as it seems they are simulated.

    Will be a hell to find it in France (just forget it in Sudan) but I’ll test it with pleasure, listening some Luckydub, drinking dirty cane juice and smoking AK gunpowder mixed with weed… Just to feel at home.

  8. #208
    Council Member AdamG's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    Wilf, you would like the Liberia game we reviewed earlier on PaxSims--in it ECOMOG steals cars, feuds with the UN, keeps randomly shuffling force commanders, and has a "heavy firepower" option that is quite effective but costs you politically for what the rules term "embarrassing civilian casualties." That's quite apart for the rules for hostages, transvestites, lobbying Monrovia prostitutes, looting the national library, US evangelicals, naive Scandinavian aid workers, cannibalism, the Butt Naked brigade, etc. (the list goes on).
    .
    That's brilliant!
    A scrimmage in a Border Station
    A canter down some dark defile
    Two thousand pounds of education
    Drops to a ten-rupee jezail


    http://i.imgur.com/IPT1uLH.jpg

  9. #209
    Council Member slapout9's Avatar
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    Wasn't sure where to put this but it shows some advantages of board games. This one a BP oil spill board game for told the possibility of our present disaster.



    http://fieldnotes.msnbc.msn.com/_new...ster?Gt1=43001

  10. #210
    Council Member Wargames Mark's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    That's the one. Brian Train--who sometimes posts here at SWC--is the designer.
    I played a few of Brian Train's games. Liked them all.

    One day, I'll have my AIR-based (Adobe Flash for desktop) counterinsurgency game ready to sell. I think it will be well-received.

    I've thought about doing one that lets the player take the side of the insurgent, but I'm not crazy about trying to sell that (future) version to the entertainment market.
    There are three kinds of people in this world:
    Those who can count, and those who can't.

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    Default Algeria

    Quote Originally Posted by Wargames Mark View Post
    I played a few of Brian Train's games. Liked them all.
    We've now reviewed it (http://paxsims.wordpress.com/2010/07/04/review-algeria/). Good game, and a good COIN simulation. He's currently working on a multiplayer variant, based on the same game system, that looks at COIN operations in Kandahar.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  12. #212
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    M-A Lagrange, les regles, cartes etc. pour jouer ma jeu Algeria sont disponibles en francais a:

    http://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/51637/algerie-pdf

    Merci,

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    Thanks Wargames Mark, it's nice to meet a player.
    I'd like to know about your thoughts on making a game in Adobe Flash - I've been thinking about using VASSAL for the same purpose. A gaming friend has constructed VASSAL modules for my Tupamaro, Shining Path, and Algeria games (available at www.vassalengine.com).

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    Default miniature figure scales and wargaming COIN

    Warning: geeky wargaming posting ahead.

    I'm playing around with the idea using a wargame to illustrate the basics of small unit warfare as an ancillary element of a course next year. (This probably falls into the category of "ideas I'll be too busy to follow up on," but there it is.) I could go with a computer simulation... but there are certain challenges in teaching from that in a group. I could go with a boardgame, but they're rather dry, abstract, complicated, and non-visual for non-gamers. The third option (assuming it doesn't fall into the trap of "my prof plays with toy soldiers") is to use a miniatures-based wargame, which allows you to lecture as the game progresses (to a small group at least).

    The question is, however, what scale?

    Hobby wargamers largely game COIN/IW operations in 15mm, 20mm ("Airfix" or 1/72) or 25/28mm scales. Even though the ground scale of the rules need not equal the visual scale of the figures, for aesthetic reasons you are confined to 3-4 city blocks (or equivalent) at most, meaning that the tactical decisions involved are not much more than "do I go left through those building, or right around those?"

    You can also wargame this is 1/285 (or, in the UK, 1/300) "microarmour" scale. With the ground scales used in most rulesets, a 4x8" table will give you something like 2.5 x 5 km of simulated battlefield, which allows you to get much more in to approach routes, overwatch positions, blocking forces, IED placement, etc. On the down side, infantry are so small as to almost be invisible (although depicted as fire teams with several figures to a "base", they're still very useable).

    Of course, the fourth option is to do what I do now, and just lecture from powerpoint. That might actually be the most effective of all (although arguably considerably less fun for the students).
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  15. #215
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default I would go for 1/72 but it is my sole opinion

    Playing a lot (when I am at home) whith 25/28mm scale, I would say that it’s not the best scale for what you attend to do. This scale goes really fine and is extremely visual and friendly used but 3 or 4 blocks means a very large board: around 2x2 metres. This in the idea that you have 4 blocks with let say 3 to 4 buildings per sides.
    I would rather recommend that scale for a village position with a 1x1 m board and something like 5 to 6 houses and 1 mosque/church… Plus some surrounding country area.

    For what you plan, the 1/72 scale seems the most adapted. Also it will be the cheapest option. You will be able to create your building easily with cookies boxes and beer canes (eat and drink first ) and vehicles are easy to find. Toy cars (matchbox or other brand) for civilian vehicles and miniatures from Heller or Airfix (or any other brand) military vehicles but you will probably have to assemble them.

    It is extremely visual and shows well (if you have veteran with you) what does work on paper and not in reality. There is always a crazy angle you find in miniature that basically is blind in reality just because there is a tree, a civilian, a donkey or some garbage some where…

    The pb you may find with the 1/72 scale is that players cannot really “see” what the soldiers can see. With a 25/28mm scale, it’s easier for the players to jump in the suite of the “combatant”. This because figurines in 1/72 are too small so you do not necessarily pictures the head of a guy above a wall.
    The good point with that scale is that you can find easily civilians by going to the small train section. That you cannot find in 25/28mm (or more difficult).

    Also, do not forget, those games are time consuming. Average 30 min/player/turn. With the 1/72 scale you can move a lot more figurines in the same amount of time.

    The best would be 10 or 15 mm but it’s a hell to find and it’s definitively not made for neophytes. The visual effect works on large scale operation where you play a division.

  16. #216
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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  17. #217
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    You also might be able to modify Warhammer 40k or standard Warhammer to work for this. Lots of terrain and such out there, and the miniatures are of a good size as well.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    I would say that doing something with miniatures would probably be more satisfying to the students, from a tacticle and visual viewpoint. Making up some simple terrain would not be hard, and I think 1/72 scale would be easiest to find miniatures cheaply, in plastic (there are British outfits like Irregular Miniatures who do ranges of unusual figures in metal, of different scales, that would fill the bill for you but they are more expensive and would need to be painted).

    I once made a demonstration-size game of my "Battle of Seattle" riot game (http://www.islandnet.com/~ltmurnau/text/gamescen.htm) with a large homemade paper map and two or three bags of "policemen" figures I got from a dollar store. They were about 54mm size, I used the figures as-was for "Authority" forces (reinforced with a few other dollar-store soldiers for National Guardsmen) and my little son and I had fun painting up and making small signs for the "Protestors". The latter needed a bit of surgery with a craft knife - cutting off pistols and holsters, changing police caps into Mohawks with Sculpey etc. - but it didn't take long.

    As for rules sets, I've been looking into the Peter Pig "Rules for the Common Man" series, specifically a set called "AK-47 Republic". It's designed for playing out brushfire wars, is fairly simple and the rulebook and website has a lot of advice and hints on making scenarios and scenery. (Oh yes, and Peter Pig makes all kinds of miniatures for these conflicts too). (http://www.peterpig.co.uk/rules.htm)
    (review of first edition, set was revised last year: http://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/...ak-47-republic)

    The problem with many urban games, as you and M-A pointed out above, is that you get too tactical and then you lose all the flavour of the conflict - it's just one kind of infantry facing off against another in an alley somewhere. You do need to step back a bit and AK-47 does allow for this. I'd recommend it.

  19. #219
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    You also might be able to modify Warhammer 40k or standard Warhammer to work for this. Lots of terrain and such out there, and the miniatures are of a good size as well.
    Believe it or not, my Warhammer 40k Orks are already modelled on the West Side Boys. However, what shreds of credibility I still have would vanish if I put those in front of a class.
    They mostly come at night. Mostly.


  20. #220
    Council Member M-A Lagrange's Avatar
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    Default Another fig geeky post

    While searching for wargame board material to play with a Yemeni officer who is rotting in the same hole than me, I found that game: Breaking news

    I did not play it but thought it could be interesting as this game seems to integrate the media dimension (have to read the rules in depth).
    Believe can be an interesting teaching material for 1st course/introduction to media management on operation field.
    Especially as the scenarios are mainly focussed on counter terrorist/swat operations with civilian population involved.
    http://www.dadiepiombo.com/bnrules.html


    For those like me who are stuck far from nice little plastic angry warriors ( I do miss my WH40K and LoTR in the field), I found that game: Iraki Roads.
    The very good point of it is that everything is available for paper soldiers. Just have to download your squad, vehicules... print it and play.
    http://www.iraqiroads.de.tl/
    (Tips: adverts and pop up are very, VERY annoying on that site)

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