Archive For The “Analysis” Category

Analysis of Aftershock: A Humanitarian Crisis Game

Professional development through better gameplay? ~

Brant Guillory, 12 August 2019

The first tremors hit Carana around 415 in the morning, local time. The capital was just stirring as many laborers were hurrying through their pre-dawn meals before shuffling out of their small houses to arrive at work by sunrise. The full brunt of the earthquake arrive 20 minutes or so later, and the devastation was described by at least one news outlet as “biblical.” The nations tenuous infrastructure, barely a patchwork to begin with, had no chance against the fury unleashed by the Earth’s shifting tectonic plates as bridges crumbled, roads buckled, water pipes tore apart like paper, and the electrical grid shut down, ending any communication that was out of shouting distance.

The full brunt of the earthquake arrive 20 minutes or so later, and the devastation was described by at least one news outlet as “biblical.”

Help was slow in arriving. Certainly the help wanted to arrive, but the routes into the country – the limited airport, the ramshackle seaport, and inland border – were never ideal under perfect circumstances, and these were not perfect circumstances. The local population certainly had a will to survive, but lacked critical supplies for medical care, safe water, and food & shelter. The world mobilized to help.

And the help began to arrive, a multi-headed hydra of organizations, services, expertise, and agendas. Usually cooperative, occasionally antagonistic, and always under the steady gaze of the worlds’ TV cameras, the various organizations rolled up their sleeves to start the long, hard slog of restoring the basic necessities of life to Carana.

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Battle Lab: Recon & Intel in Wargaming, Deep Dive on COA Development

Battle Lab: Recon & Intel in Wargaming, Deep Dive on COA Development

Brant Guillory, 14 May 2019

Note that this is a companion piece to the original column on recon & intel in tabletop wargaming.

In the tactical world, we have several different tools we use to ensure that we get the right data at the right time.

One of the key methods involves the use of map graphics. We use transparent overlays on standard-size military maps (1:50k) and use graphics to indicate enemy actions: locations of units, routes for movement, places we expect them to attack or defend, etc. (more…)

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Wargaming Evolved: We’ll Always Have Hexes

Wargaming Evolved: We’ll Always Have Hexes

by Gary Mengle, 8 October 2018

Around 1998 I declared wargaming as a hobby finished, washed my hands of it and sold off most of my games.

Yeah. That was dumb.

I mean, it seemed logical at the time. The wargame-as-simulation designs that the hobby was then still in the grip of could clearly be better accomplished on computers. Non-CCG tabletop gaming was getting crowded out of retail spaces and conventions. Gamers’ time was increasingly being devoured by computer games. And wargaming, by then a niche for the better part of two decades, was the first to vanish from the major convention scene.

Digital wargaming

Digital wargaming

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Field of Glory vs C&C: Ancients – A Comparison of Digital Wargames

Field of Glory vs C&C: Ancients – A Comparison of Digital Wargames

by Jim Owczarski, 2 October 2018

Given what is about to happen here, I really ought to establish my bona fides.  I am a huge fan of Richard Borg’s Commands and Colors series. I own the entirety of the Ancients series and have taught it as an introductory wargame at Origins.  I think its clean design and relative simplicity make it one of the the best gateways to this hobby of which I am so fond.

Despite this, when GMT Games announced that it had partnered with Hexwar to bring C&C:A to the PC, I was skeptical.  For me, C&C in all its flavors is the perfect game for face-to-face play.  The learning curve is reasonable, the time commitment is modest, and it still brings a decent amount of historical flavor.  As much as I love more complicated games, my ratio of C&C played to any other system these days is very high.  As a result, I felt no particular need for a digital version.

And then there is the fact that Field of Glory 2 exists. (more…)

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