Archive For The “Columns” Category

Battle Lab: Civilians on Hexagonal Battlefields

Battle Lab: Civilians on Hexagonal Battlefields

Brant Guillory, 6 November 2018

The following is the set of slides from Brant’s ’06 Origins War College talk about integrating civilians into wargaming.  Note that these are only the slides and not a full accounting of the entire robust discussion around the topic. Also, the talk focused on the game design effects, and not on the larger real-world implications of civilians on the battlefield.

(more…)

Read more »

Battle Lab: Headquarters in Wargames

Battle Lab: Headquarters in Wargames

How are headquarters units implemented in wargames, and what functions do they serve? As wargamers, most of us have enough appreciation of history to understand the value of a headquarters in combat and its ability dramatically affect a battle as it unfolds. There are a variety of ways in which headquarters units can be portrayed on the tabletop.

Originally published in Battles! Magazine, here’s a look at HQ units on your tabletop

But first, let’s look at what they do in real life (as always, “the disclaimer”: the doctrine being discussed is American; it’s what I know). (more…)

Read more »

Battle Lab: Why Logistics Sucks

Battle Lab: Why Logistics Sucks

Why logistics so rarely shows up in wargames ~

Brant Guillory, 1 June 2018

Here’s a logic puzzle for you.

You have 4 snakes that have to get through a maze. They each have a destination, but there are only 3 start points and only 3 endpoints. Oh, and the routes through the maze cross in several places, which means you have to sequence your snakes through the maze. And by the way, there is a certain sequence the snakes need to depart and arrive.

Does your head hurt yet? What if we started putting some obstacles in the maze? How about if the snakes stop off for a bite to eat? What if we start including snakes going the other direction, too? Some passageways are too small for some snakes, do you route them through those pathways to free up space for other snakes even if the smaller ones now take longer to get where they’re going? (more…)

Read more »

Battle Lab: Games and Sims for Training and Learning, II

Battle Lab: Games and Sims for Training and Learning, II

Continuing the long-running discussion ~

Dr James Sterrett, 10 July 2018

Previously published back at GrogNews, we have a guest article written by Dr James Sterrett, an instructor at the US Army’s Command and General Staff College. Please note that these are his ideas and are not reflective of official US Army policy, doctrine, canon, religion, or other official imprimatur.

the objective of an activity [is] more important that the software (or paper rule set) being used

+++++++

Brant and I have cheerfully sparred over the distinction between games and simulations over the years.  What follows is my take, focused on training & education, in two different variants.  The first is useful as a snappy comment, while the second works better analytically.  In the end, both point to the objective of an activity as more important that the software (or paper rule set) being used, and neither variant is perfect. (more…)

Read more »

Battle Lab: Games and Sims for Training and Learning

Battle Lab: Games and Sims for Training and Learning

Brant Guillory, 5 March 2018

This might be one of my favorite topics (as evidenced by the bibliography on the GrogNews site as well) and was the subject of much of my academic work, as well.
This article was originally published in Battles magazine #3 and GrogNews, and was cited in Dr Sabin’s book Simulating War.
Dr James Sterrett (of the US Army CGSC) has previously offered his thoughts on the topic, as well.


Games and Sims for Training and Learning

This is a favorite topic of mine, and the Origins War College has hosted several panels over the last few years devoted specifically to the basic topic of “What is a game and what is a sim, and what can we do with them?” (more…)

Read more »