Tag Archives: History
Is politics just a war by other means? ~
Avery Abernethy, 25 March 2017
The Political Machine 2016 is a light simulation of the 2016 Campaign for President of the United States by Stardock. The Political Machine debuted in 2004 and an updated version has been released for every subsequent US Presidential Election. The review is based on the 2016 simulation and I’ve not played the previous versions.
The game starts by selecting your avatar for the Presidency. You can select one of nineteen Democratic candidates, one of twenty-six Republican candidates, or build your own candidate. This is a two candidate race with no third party candidates. The leftist third party options are included with the Democrats (think Jill Stein) and the libertarian candidates are included with the Republican options (think Gary Johnson).
See you in court! ~
Jim Owczarski, 18 February 2017
My love of the Napoleonic era is high, wide, and deep, but I’ve always taken the age of empire to be my second true love, if such a thing can be countenanced. Much of my early study of the era came from Jan Morris’ Pax Britannica trilogy, particularly the first volume, Heaven’s Command. Far from an academic exercise, it’s an evocative series of sketches of the men and women who peopled the British empire, giving more weight, it has always seemed to me, to the interesting as opposed to the more objectively significant, although one can certainly be both.
With the recent launch of CGSC’s “Brown Bag” wargaming lunch program, we reached out to the guys at Ft Leavenworth to ask about how hobby wargaming is making its way (back) into the professional ranks ~
Brant Guillory, 07 February 2017
So there was mention of a “brown bag” lunch series of wargames for Army officers to come learn about this crazy hobby of ours, and – we’re assuming – learn how it can all tie into the profession of arms for their future benefit. Can you tell us a little bit about how the series got started, and what the expectations were for the initial ramp-up of the program?
The idea for the Brown Bag Gaming Program came from our desire to provide a wider array of games that we can fit into our Training with Simulations elective course. The more we thought about it, the more objectives we realized it might fill.
The core tenet of Brown Bag Gaming is that the development of simulations professionals requires the exploration and discussion of a wide variety of modeling and simulation approaches. The best means of accomplishing this is to experience the models and simulations in action. Less formally, that means playing games and thinking about them critically.
So what happened 5 years ago today? ~
Brant Guillory, 26 January 2017
Five years ago, we opened our forums here at GrogHeads. Our front page followed shortly thereafter, and we’ve been talking games all along.
We wanted GrogHeads to be an independent voice in the strategy gaming world. We also wanted to make sure we covered strategy gaming across the entire spectrum of gaming – tabletop, digital, team, distributed, multiplayer, whatevs! – and follow the interests of our members.
Do we get it right every time? Nope.
By the end of February, we had over 100 members in our forums. Within 2 years, we were running a wargaming program at Origins. Along the way, we’ve podcasted, reviewed, pontificated, sarcasmed, photo’ed, gamed, AAR’ed, voted, and discussed all manner of strategy games, and more.
We’re on our 4th iteration of our Readers’ Choice awards, planning our 4th GrogHeads Central Command at Origins, and in March we’ll run our 5th college hoops Bracket Challenge (hey, don’t laugh – it’s a big hit every year). We’re a few dozen months, a few hundred reviews and a few thousand pictures into covering all sorts of games.
So how are you getting involved? Are you talking games in our forums? Sharing an AAR with the gang? Coming to Origins to join us for a weekend-plus of great gaming? Subscribing to the podcast? Following us on Twitter? Hanging with us on FaceBook? All of the above?
Whatever it is, we hope you have a great time doing it, just like we do.
So from all of us here at GrogHeads, to all of you strategy gamers everywhere, wherever you are and whatever you’re playing – thank you, from the bottom of our dice cup.
Here’s to a many more years to come.
Airboy made a trip to England and all we got were these
lousy AWESOME! pictures ~
Avery Abernethy, 23 November 2016
click images to enlarge
Check out the latest from The Admiralty Trilogy Group ~
GrogHeads Newsdesk, 05 July 2016
Renowned military affairs author and speaker John Gresham passed away over the weekend.
more after the jump…
When you’re “playing” the game, who are you “playing”? ~
Derek Croxton, 07 May 2016
You are Napoleon. You have a chance to remake the map of Europe with your Grande Armée. You are Robert E. Lee, trying to fend off the Union until foreign aid arrives. You are Patton, dashing through France with your Third Army.
These statements are typical of the sort of advertising used to sell wargames, and are indicative of why gamers play: they like assuming the role of an historical figure and get a vicarious thrill out of making the same sort of decisions, only trying to make better ones. Gaming is thus a form of role-playing, and a lot of the pleasure hinges on what historical figure one plays. Some people would never play the Union in Civil War games, others refuse to play the Confederacy: they are identifying with the historical actors in more than an intellectual sense. There are, of course, games that are entirely or almost entirely abstract, such as chess, which are also fun to play. While they provide the same sort of intellectual challenges, however, they do not provide the same kind of fulfillment as a chance to remake history.
The fun of gaming, then, is in part based on accepting historical limitations. There is always a desire to transcend these limitations – to have Napoleon win at Waterloo, for example – but certain restrictions have to be accepted. If one wants to be Napoleon, one has to accept the fact that France’s navy will probably not be a match for Britain’s and that one will be fighting a whole coalition of forces, just as one will benefit from having a nation in arms and well-disciplined, loyal, and courageous soldiers. History consists of a virtually infinite number of forces, of which an individual – the player – can only control a very few. This is precisely what drives a game: deciding how to act within the constraints of the historical situation. This article investigates the problems of trying to put players in historical roles: first of identifying proper historical figures to simulate, and second of creating the possibilities and limitations that those figures historically faced. I contend that a game is usually more fun and more realistic where a designer has given thought to these issues.
The venerable classic timelessly soldiers on.
by Brant Guillory
The original Diplomacy board game has a huge following, even among non-wargamers, despite being sold as a wargamer for its thirty-year lifespan. Why?
Well, it’s a wargame that abstracts battlefield prowess to the point that it’s almost irrelevant. Tactical ability is nothing – I repeat, nothing – in this game. It matters not how well you can anticipate the moment for the cavalry charge, plan the artillery bombardment, or outflank your enemy with your panzer corps. In this game, all armies, and generals, are created equal, and numerical superiority is the only relevant statistic.
In fact, the only ability of note is your ability to successfully negotiate your way through the intrigue of the game as the leader of a country. In this respect, Diplomacy has succeeded, and continues to succeed, in a class all it’s own.