Home Forums Horse and Musket General Horse and Musket Band of Brothers… or Nest of Vipers?

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    Avatar photovtsaogames

    When playing wargames, we assume that the commanders of the same nation are pulling together as a team. It seems like what should be happening. But a close look at many actual armies in combat shows a different reality.  https://corlearshookfencibles.blogspot.com/

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

    Avatar photoVictoria Dickson

    Thanks for sharing that. 🙂

    Avatar photoOB

    Good post and by no means untypical of many an army.


    Avatar photoMike Headden

    This is one of many reasons why I like games which  model command and control problems with die rolls or card play.

    The art of generalship is not just about getting subordinates to follow orders but also in dealing with the fallout when, by accident or design, they don’t.

    Unreliable ally generals didn’t vanish with the rise of the modern nation state!


    There are 100 types of people in the world, those who understand binary and those who can work from incomplete data

    Avatar photoAltius

    For a long time, I’ve liked the idea of giving each commander his own game objectives in secret. They might run parallel to the other commanders on his side (beating the enemy is important to everyone), but each might have somewhat different personal goals, such as being the first to capture an objective or a grabbing a higher share of the loot, or something like that. I haven’t actually played many games like that, however.

    Where there is fire, we will carry gasoline

    Avatar photoNoel

    Great post.

    For a long time now I’ve come to appreciate games that focus more on command and control than on detailed combat and movement as a “simulation”.

    Whenever I play in multiplayer games, I noticed that the objectives at the beginning of a scenario are set out and then usually everyone tries to do their own thing without thought of coordinating or mutual support.  If they do try to plan things out, there is often someone sore at being the anchor of a maneuver or being the one that has to do the frontal attack and sacrifice the troops and may not be as enthusiastic as the plan calls for.  Sometimes someone will just go off and do their own thing even with a plan they agreed to.

    This is what I imagine are the real challenges faced and that makes the experience more enjoyable to me.

    Angle of impact and penetrative factor, cross reference location and weather conditions, light at time of day and year…  That’s not really simulating things in combat to me (having never experienced or trained for it, mind you).  But getting people to follow a plan, do what they have to, getting the things in place to pressure the other side and increase their stress…  That seems to me to be the essence of successful command.

    Avatar photovtsaogames

    Yeah, agreed. I’m much less interested in the minutia of body tissue damage caused than I am of the toll of extreme stress, fear, exhaustion and excitement on human organizations – and the breakdown of those organizations. Top-down games for me, please. Add lots of friction and as much fog of war as can be done without making the game slow.

    Our group is fairly small, 1 or 2 per side, once in a while 3 on one side vs. 2 on the other. So we need CC rules. With larger groups you don’t because the plan breaks up as people do their own thing. But in games, the static part of the front will often attack. folks didn’t come to watch others play, they want to roll dice and cause mayhem themselves. Whereas in actual battles the usual problem is local commanders finding excuses not to go forward and risk their units/selves/reputations/careers. Once in a blue moon you get Cardigan or Custer, but the norm is cautious commanders not being aggressive.

    It's never too late to have a happy childhood

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