Home Forums Sci Fi General Sci-Fi Combat in an A.I. and social media saturated environment

This topic contains 2 replies, has 3 voices, and was last updated by  Stephen Madjanovich 5 days, 4 hours ago.

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  • #90527
    Darkest Star Games
    Darkest Star Games
    Participant

    Ran across this interesting short story (and I wish it was much longer!):

    https://www.usni.org/magazines/proceedings/2018-05/automated-valor

    Back in the day I played a lot of cyberpunk 2013 and 2020.  The setting was great, looking back it is also very out of date and much of the prognostication fell short (and some way too far).  Cyberpunk 203x had a lot of interesting ideas about society and nanotechnology, but again I think it will eventually fall short.  No one could have predicted the Smartphone Revolution, nor the pervasiveness of the internets.  Slick futuristic games like Infinity also seem to fall short to me, as really they are just standard skirmish games set in futuristic scenery with a few nods to futurised current technology (like mobile hacking) rather than real glimspes at what might be possible.

    I found Automated Valor really interesting, and would love to read a full length novel, but also play it as a tabletop wargame.  I think manipulating the local populations (in an urban setting) and the news media, etc, adds a very different flavor and tactic that, mechanic wise, could be used to effect the enemy moral threshold towards victory point or battle withdrawl.  The use of drones was interesting, especially the mercenary air support, but I think this also wasn’t pushed enough.

    Perhaps this is more something for RPGs instead of tabletop?  I can imagine how complex this could turn with all sorts of charts (maybe good for solo?) but that would be a major turn-off for the modern gaming crowd, whom seem to want “slicker, easier, faster” rule systems for quick games and busy schedules.

    Anyways, give the story a read, it’s pretty good!

    "I saw this in a cartoon once, but I'm pretty sure I can do it..."

    #90532
    kyoteblue
    kyoteblue
    Participant

    I’m really interested in this, I’ll read the story later. Then post my thoughts

    #90802

    Stephen Madjanovich
    Participant

    I will also have to read the story but have a few thoughts.

    Technology will always be hard to predict. The best way to simulate would be in an abstract “information warfare” level. Modelling the effects on a battlefield, especially at the tactical or sub-tactical level would be the hardest. At a strategic level you could degrade the effectiveness of units and/or make them more vulnerable. But at the low level the individual characteristics of the systems, their effects, vulnerabilities, requirements (like power, space, distance from like or opposite systems) could only be guessed at. The abstract level is used in a few games but frankly I don’t like the modeling. That being I assign X points to offensive warfare and Y points to defensive warfare this turn. Compare each player’s levels and assign combat modifiers to their entire forces’ actions or combat results for that turn. Being the low level gamer I prefer the individual effects to be modelled. But that adds yet another layer of rules and time consumption to any game. Then how does that impact the playability of the game? Input an electronic/information/mental warfare phase with it’s attendant requirements? Just ignoring it is not really satisfactory too. Time for a new, revolutionary vision in game design, or model it in a computer assist feature? Or just play WWI with runners carrying messages to the front lines? After all in WWII they had radios with opposing forces able to jam signals, intercept messages, etc. so at some level this information warfare would start there!

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