SMALL WARS COUNCIL
Go Back   Small Wars Council > Military Art & Science Applied > Training & Education

Training & Education Developing effective, thinking, proficient Small Warriors.

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-12-2005   #21
Martin
Council Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 73
Default

A civilian computer game: http://www.codemasters.com/flashpoint/

Martin
Martin is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-25-2005   #22
Tc2642
Council Member
 
Tc2642's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 56
Default

Anyone else heard of this?

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/4460082.stm
Tc2642 is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-26-2005   #23
DDilegge
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default America's Army...

Info and download can be found here and the official game website can be found here.
  Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007   #24
ericmwalters
Council Member
 
ericmwalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia
Posts: 90
Default Wargaming Small Wars

I'd like to open discussion on various successful ways that wargaming Small Wars can help in training and education. This can run the gamut from government-sponsored wargaming exercises to commercial efforts--role playing, board wargames, and computer games. What seemed to work? Why? What didn't seem to work and why didn't it? Share your thoughts, ideas, comments, critiques, and--perhaps most of all--wargaming recommendations.
ericmwalters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007   #25
ericmwalters
Council Member
 
ericmwalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia
Posts: 90
Default Algerian War board wargame in development

Khyber Pass wargame company has announced a new game under development on the French counterinsurgency campaign in Algeria. Tentatively titled ICI, C'EST LA FRANCE! this game will cover the entire war from 1954 to 1962 at the strategic level. Khyber Pass Games is asking for pledges so they can resource the development and production of this conflict simulation. As one would expect, a great deal of effort is going into modeling the political aspects of the situation.

The pledge price is $32.00 as of this writing; when published, the game will retail for $40.00.

View the details here.
ericmwalters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007   #26
Steve Blair
Moderator
 
Steve Blair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,195
Default

I've done (and am doing) some work on this sort of thing, but mostly from the non-government standpoint (although I am working on one locally in relation to my ROTC work that may become formal at our Det at least).

Based on this experience as well as many years in the hobby, I tend to think that the best model is a free-play exercise with a control cell and a number of opposing teams. The control cell works as an encounter resolution system, information control point, and general game manager. We do a four team operational air warfare map exercise here every spring (it's too short, but it does give our cadets a taste of planning), and having free play and a control cell allows for many variations. I'm working on one now that will involve both Army and Air Force cadets and cover some aspects of small wars (mainly in a small theater conflict environment).

On the hobby level this is hard to model without computers, since one of the key aspects needs to be intelligence (or lack thereof) and political activity. Board games, IMO, don't model this very well because they ARE board games with unit counters and such. I'm not a huge fan of card-driven games, although they may possibly be able to simulate some aspects of small wars. The RPG framework could be very useful for small wars simulations, since most of their systems deal with interaction and influence on a personal level.

I can't speak much to the computer side of this, since my design experience has been in the paper realm. I do tend to see computers more useful as tools (information management and dissemination) than I do as actual gaming engines (mainly due to AI limitations...but again my experience here is limited).
__________________
"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
Steve Blair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-02-2007   #27
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Bloodtree Rebellion by Game Designers Workshop back in the early 1980's was a quite decent boardgame in the small wars genre. The problems of having the physical counters on the board were worked around by having two values for each piece - one "overt" one "covert" - i.e. the counters lied. If you can find a copy, it's worth looking at.

Marc
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007   #28
ericmwalters
Council Member
 
ericmwalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia
Posts: 90
Default Commercial Small Wars Wargames--Mostly Strategic

Most of what I've seen in board wargaming--such as GDW's excellent science fiction game BLOODTREE REBELLION--has been portraying Small Wars at the strategic level of war. I'll review a good many of them in this particular thread and would encourage others to do the same. What is daunting is that there are few that show the prospects and problems of Small Wars at the operational and tactical levels--beyond those "shoot 'em up" force-on-force showdowns that gamers all love.

For example, were one to survey SPI's old GRUNT and SEARCH AND DESTROY games, there's not a lot of incentive to hold back on the violence in the scenarios. Even Mark Walker's recent game on tactical combat in Vietnam, LOCK 'N LOAD, is pretty similar in that vein.

The only game I can recall that rewarded a "controlled violence" approach was a computer game that was done by the Air Force in the late 1990s. It dealt with the defense of Tuzla airfield and provided all the "toys" (i.e., weapons of war) for the player to go out and bash guerrillas outside the wire. And bash those guerrillas the player usually did, only leading to more mortar attacks on the airfield and the loss of the game. Only when the MP and PYSOPS units were used in conjunction with operations to help/gain intelligence within the urban population in the city proper could the insurgency be best addressed...but most players never stuck with the game long enough to learn this. Slick...and I wish it was still available.
ericmwalters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007   #29
Steve Blair
Moderator
 
Steve Blair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,195
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marct View Post
Bloodtree Rebellion by Game Designers Workshop back in the early 1980's was a quite decent boardgame in the small wars genre. The problems of having the physical counters on the board were worked around by having two values for each piece - one "overt" one "covert" - i.e. the counters lied. If you can find a copy, it's worth looking at.

Marc
Yeah, I've seen other games that do this as well. There was an AH Napoleonic game (Struggle of Nations, I think it was) that had generic unit counters, with all the nifty stuff hidden away on a strength table. Downtown does something similar with the air war over North Vietnam.

Though I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, I still feel that the best way to game a small wars setting is either through a modified RPG-type system or something using teams and a control element (double blind, if you will).

Honestly I wish more was being done with this stuff. I think people underestimate how valuable a training aid a good game can be.
__________________
"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
Steve Blair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007   #30
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi Steve,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
Yeah, I've seen other games that do this as well. There was an AH Napoleonic game (Struggle of Nations, I think it was) that had generic unit counters, with all the nifty stuff hidden away on a strength table. Downtown does something similar with the air war over North Vietnam.
GDW was using those as well. It works rather nicely at the strategic level, but Eric's point about the operational and tactical level limits is a good one.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
Though I'm willing to be convinced otherwise, I still feel that the best way to game a small wars setting is either through a modified RPG-type system or something using teams and a control element (double blind, if you will).
Years ago, I was involved with a year long game using GDWs Europa series melded in with Squad Leader. The game itself lasted for about a year (we only played about 6-12 hours per week), and we had several umpires. Most of us were also game designers or, at the minimum, DMs. What we ended up doing was sing Europa for the strat level, SL for the base tactical, and then created any other rules we wanted on the fly (90% vote to agree on new "rules"). When the actual "war broke out", it was 1942 and centered around a civil war inside NAZI Germany (Wehrmacht vs. SS).

I think a modified RPG system would work well, if it was integrated into a strat level game that included international IO as well.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
Honestly I wish more was being done with this stuff. I think people underestimate how valuable a training aid a good game can be.
It's market driven . It might well be worth the military contacting one or more companies to act as design agents in a manner similar to te micro-armor deal from the late 70's, early 80's.

Marc
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007   #31
Steve Blair
Moderator
 
Steve Blair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,195
Default

I agree about strategic level IO stuff, as well as models to deal with other international events and actions. I also agree with the limitations of a counter-driven game when it comes to the operational and especially tactical level with small wars stuff. That's why the transition to an RPG-type framework is so important (IMO, anyhow).
__________________
"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
Steve Blair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007   #32
sullygoarmy
Council Member
 
sullygoarmy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Fort Stewart
Posts: 224
Default

I spent a short time at the Warrior Preparation Center in Germany, USAREUR's sim center. There was a simulation called Spectre, which tried to simulate some Spec-Ops missions. Not sure what ever came of it.

I'd like to see some Small Wars/COIN simulations similar to the close combat series of games...down at the squad and platoon level. Instead of artillery stirkes (unless in southern Baghdad... ), substitute a MEDCAP, or school building project or some other public works program. Teach guys how to do population control, issue ID cards and number houses to seperate the sheep from the wolves. And make it real time so the nintendo generation stays interested in it.
__________________
"But the bravest are surely those who have the clearest vision of what is before them, glory and danger alike, and yet withstanding, go out to meet it."

-Thucydides
sullygoarmy is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007   #33
Steve Blair
Moderator
 
Steve Blair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,195
Default

We've had good luck here getting the "Nintendo Generation" hooked on map-based wargames. For most of them it's something very new and different, and the prospect of squaring off against their fellow cadets is an added bonus.

We're looking now at ways to open the exercise up to more Detachments via electronic orders, and I plan to push the combined arms one the same way. The combined arms exercise is really open to small wars-style stuff, and I may actually push it that way once it gets fully developed.
__________________
"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
Steve Blair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-03-2007   #34
ericmwalters
Council Member
 
ericmwalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia
Posts: 90
Default The ideal Small Wars online game--multi-team RPG?

All of these comments are great...and lead me to imagine an online "map-based" game with some sort of umpire and teams representing not just two sides but many sides--all with different objectives. Indeed, perhaps there would be two sets of victory conditions for each player...one for his/her team and one "personal" victory condition that may make life interesting for the team in executing their plans.

I particularly like games where each player/team has a unique set of victory conditions instead of the "zero-sum" kinds of conditions we usually see. Sure, there has to be built in conflict potential to replicate life in a Small Wars environment, but a great many different agendas in play adds a richness and complexity that only good (and large) RPG campaigns can achieve.

The advantage of an umpire in an online game is that the whole problem of intelligence/counterintelligence is brought into play...creating possibilities for deception, deceit, and a whole host of other effects.

The closest I've ever come to such an experience was in a college TRAVELLER campaign. GDW's TRAVELLER was a sci-fi role playing system--something like Dungeon and Dragons goes to space, but much richer in some ways, particularly when starting a character (they already had a certain amount of skills/history that the player rolled up prior to play). Given that the movie STAR WARS was relatively recent, a whole genre of "Rebels versus the Empire" gaming ran rampant--evidenced in such games as BATTLEFLEET MARS (SPI), FREEDOM IN THE GALAXY (SPI/AH), IMPERIUM (GDW) and others. In our TRAVELLER campaign, we faced the same kinds of problems as sci-fi characters in a Star Wars-like universe...we were all rebels or characters sympathetic to the rebellion...but who could we trust and who could we not trust? When was it appropriate to take on the minions of the Empire and when was it best to run away to fight another day? I can only wonder what it would have been like to have characters playing the various minions of the Empire trying to run down the Rebellion...we never played that way, however.

Our problems and solutions in that campaign were inspired by sci-fi books and movies, but imagine what could have been possible had a fair amount of insurgency and counterinsurgency theory--coupled with dynamic social, political, and economic drivers--been incorporated (even if only crudely) into the game?
ericmwalters is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2007   #35
Steve Blair
Moderator
 
Steve Blair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,195
Default

Our framework actually assigns each of the four teams different military and political goals. It's set up so that there are two coalitions fighting each other, but each country has its own set of goals (some of which do conflict, creating some coalition tension).

I'm firmly in favor of the umpire/White Cell concept for a couple of reasons. Perhaps the biggest is that it takes omniscient intelligence out of action. Players only know what their collection efforts achieve, and the only "true picture" is kept by White Cell.
__________________
"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
Steve Blair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2007   #36
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi Steve,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
Our framework actually assigns each of the four teams different military and political goals. It's set up so that there are two coalitions fighting each other, but each country has its own set of goals (some of which do conflict, creating some coalition tension).

I'm firmly in favor of the umpire/White Cell concept for a couple of reasons. Perhaps the biggest is that it takes omniscient intelligence out of action. Players only know what their collection efforts achieve, and the only "true picture" is kept by White Cell.
The base set up sounds good, but why are you continuing with the State as player fiction and only with 4 teams? Personally, I think that it is important to get at least 10-15 teams running, only 3-5 would be "States" while the rest would be non-state actors.

Do you remember a game called Kingmaker? You might get some good ideas from that one. Also, AH came out with one whose name slips my mind that was a more advanced version - multi-state, multi-faction and really nasty politics. The other thing you need is one or more really sneaky, nasty and, above all else, creative game master.

Marc
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2007   #37
Steve Blair
Moderator
 
Steve Blair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,195
Default

We use the state actors in what we're doing here because the teams are representing the air component commanders (and land for the joint version) for their particular countries. It has more to do with ROTC limitations than any real desire on my part to cap the game in this way.

Personally I'd love to branch it out and have insurgent, non-state (NGOs) and terrorist teams. Believe me, I do have a nasty GM streak and love doing things like that. But even a stripped-down exercise like we're doing has been something of a hard sell. I'm just glad they're even looking at things like this now.
__________________
"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
Steve Blair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2007   #38
marct
Council Member
 
marct's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Location: Ottawa, Canada
Posts: 3,682
Default

Hi Steve,

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
We use the state actors in what we're doing here because the teams are representing the air component commanders (and land for the joint version) for their particular countries. It has more to do with ROTC limitations than any real desire on my part to cap the game in this way.

Personally I'd love to branch it out and have insurgent, non-state (NGOs) and terrorist teams. Believe me, I do have a nasty GM streak and love doing things like that. But even a stripped-down exercise like we're doing has been something of a hard sell. I'm just glad they're even looking at things like this now.
Okay, that's somewhat scary . Hmmm, okay this will sound a touch strange, but why not create a 4th year course in the "History of Military Strategy: Theory and Practice" and use games of various periods as the period "test"? I had something like this in one of my 2nd year classes on 19th century European history and we were offered an "option" of playing Diplomacy one weekend for extra credit.

Marc
__________________
Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
Senior Research Fellow,
The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
Carleton University
http://marctyrrell.com/
marct is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-04-2007   #39
Steve Blair
Moderator
 
Steve Blair's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: Montana
Posts: 3,195
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by marct View Post
Hi Steve,



Okay, that's somewhat scary . Hmmm, okay this will sound a touch strange, but why not create a 4th year course in the "History of Military Strategy: Theory and Practice" and use games of various periods as the period "test"? I had something like this in one of my 2nd year classes on 19th century European history and we were offered an "option" of playing Diplomacy one weekend for extra credit.

Marc
Actually I'm using the pretext of a campaign/joint planning course to get the big exercise into the mix at all. The university I'm at doesn't deal with military history (the one course is part of the Army ROTC program, is taught by one of their cadre, and ignored by most of the school), so I have to take what I can get. That said, I'm always looking at ways to expand and develop the thing, and may yet find other applications for it.

I'm just glad I have them doing SOME exercises. Prior to this all they did was learn the Air Force Song and how airpower won the war...
__________________
"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
Steve Blair is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 05-05-2007   #40
ericmwalters
Council Member
 
ericmwalters's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Chesterfield, Virginia
Posts: 90
Default Board Wargames on Boudicca's Rebellion, 61 A.D.

I thought I'd provide brief summaries/overviews of two strategic board wargames on Queen Boudicca's rebellion against the Romans in Britain. One is entitled HELL HATH NO FURY and was published as a magazine game in World Wide Wargamer's (3W) magazine, THE WARGAMER (issue #39). The other is DRUID: BOUDICCA'S REBELLION, 61 A.D. published by West End Games. Both came out in the same year--1984. Both have been long out of print, but if you are interested in this era or the strategic problems ancient-era counterinsurgency entails, you might be able to snare a copy at wargame convention auctions or on Ebay.

In both games, the Roman player has to defeat the Queen's uniting of the Briton tribes to overthrow Rome's rule. The rebellion started because Boudicca's huband, king of the Iceni tribe, died and left a portion of his wealth to the Roman emperor Nero and the rest to his two daughters in the hopes that Rome would respect the independence of the Briton tribes even within Roman occupied Britain. His wishes were not respected as the Roman tax machine was set into motion--Boudicca was whipped and her two daughters raped when she complained about this. She and her followers went on the war path and were eventually defeated by Paulinus through "making Britain a desert and calling it peace."

Both games pose primarily military problems for both sides. Politics is not really a factor, although Boudicca must get neutral tribes to join her side (usually through a die roll once certain conditions are met).

Graphically, DRUID is by far the more attractive package. HELL HATH NO FURY (HHNF) neverthess enjoys a dedicated following desipte its somewhat bare bones presentation.

In HHNF, Boudicca is often torn between the two ways she can win--either defeat the Roman leions in battle (a tactical victory won with rippling strategic effects) OR through raising enough tribes fast enough that Briton rebellion success is inevitable over time. Quite the puzzle as the former requires setting a trap for a risk-prone (or unwary) Roman to step in...the latter can be difficult given that few tribes are with Boudicca at start and both her and Paulinus are going after the rest. Of course, the Romans don't start with all their forces, so there is a window of opportunity for Boudicca to act decisively before getting overwhelmed. Playing with the variable tribe activation requirements reduces the chess-like nature of the game and introduces a much better portrayal of Boudicca's dilemmas and risks.

DRUID is much more wild and wooly, particularly given the unit activation rules, possibilities for Roman forced marches, interception of movements by the opposing player, and--best of all--limited intelligence when playing with the Hidden Deployment and Movement optional rule, benefitting Boudicca.

Both games contain a bit of system chrome that provide period flavor, but neither game is very complex when playing the situation. Players focus on the board situation and not the rules.

There's nothing out there in the board wargaming regime other than these two games, although rumor has it that AGAINST ALL ODDS magazine may be considering a game on the same topic. While the political aspects of Small Wars takes a back seat to the military problems, the differences in the military forces, capabilities, and strategies are well represented in these two games. I'd recommend either.

You can find out more information on these games on the web:

For a look at the components for HELL HATH NO FURY, check out the game at Boardgame Geek's website here.

For a look at the components for DRUID, see the photos at Boardgame Geek's website here.

For discussions of rules, gameplay, and other aspects of both games, the CONSIMWORLD FORUM on both games can be found here.
ericmwalters is offline   Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Tags
coin, game, simulation, wargame

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Turkey mainly, Iraq and the Kurds (2006-2014) SWJED Middle East 181 05-12-2014 11:41 PM
Inspirational Small Wars Quotes/Images SWCAdmin Small Wars Council / Journal 1 03-13-2014 05:46 AM
How effective have Arab armies been at 'small wars'? davidbfpo Middle East 6 01-10-2014 09:57 AM
How Insurgencies End Jedburgh Historians 113 06-20-2011 08:04 PM
Small wars and Science Fiction M-A Lagrange Miscellaneous Goings On 1 10-29-2009 04:56 PM


All times are GMT. The time now is 05:59 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.9. ©2000 - 2017, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Registered Users are solely responsible for their messages.
Operated by, and site design 2005-2009, Small Wars Foundation