Author Topic: GameTalk: Nation-Building  (Read 2489 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline bayonetbrant

  • Chief Arrogance Mitigator
  • Musketeer
  • *****
  • Posts: 36996
  • Loitering With Intent
GameTalk: Nation-Building
« on: January 05, 2015, 09:34:07 AM »
How do you deal with Nation-Building in wargames?

The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline btrain

  • Velites
  • **
  • Posts: 53
Re: GameTalk: Nation-Building
« Reply #1 on: January 05, 2015, 10:47:49 AM »

In any examination of current military events, thereís a need to understand the civilian governance component of the conflict. How does this aspect influence the design and implementation of current-events wargames?

By and large, it doesn't, least of all in civilian (hobby) wargames.

How do you build this into a game? What games do it well? What games try, and fail, to do it?

I've tried to do this in some of my own designs; some aspects of this go years and years back, like Tupamaro and Shining Path (1994, 1996) where you had to train the Army and Police to avoid the backlash of using incompetent troops in operations, and the insurgents could make a target of the morale of the security forces by cop-killing campaigns to provoke strikes etc..
In later developments of this general system (Kandahar (2014) and EOKA (2015), I've worked in things like Civic chits which reflect the state of SWET services in an area, and/or the lasting effects of violence (kinetic missions), an Economic Stability Level that can be affected by strikes and boycotts, etc., the presence of autonomous non-state militias and organized crime that disrupt things for both insurgent and counter-insurgent, and so on.
The District Commander series of games I've designed (not yet published) has some of the above, and Social Infrastructure units which you have to cultivate in conditions of physical security. Areas can be Terrorized, with negative effects on what both sides are trying to accomplish.

The games and methods I've mentioned above are not complex. It's not that difficult to reflect this kind of stuff in a wargame. But the sales have been single-figure stupendous, as you might guess - since I am reliably informed that people just want to "roll some dice and kick some ass" - but I'm almost past caring about that.

To look at a successful civilian game example, there is acknowledgement of these points in the GMT COIN system of games, but at a pretty high level of abstraction. For example the Support Phase of the infrequent Propaganda Rounds, where the counter-insurgent needs to control an area and have both army and police present to dispel Terror and affect the local attitude towards the government. Activity to interfere with and maintain Lines of Communications in these games reflects some of the nation-building aspects listed in the  diagram.

What games arenít doing it but should?
Well, any game that claims to be about contemporary warfare - are they still using the term "full spectrum"? - that is above the level of a tactical shoot-em-up or a first-person shooter. Not too many of those to begin with.

Brian
« Last Edit: January 05, 2015, 11:20:45 AM by btrain »

Offline bayonetbrant

  • Chief Arrogance Mitigator
  • Musketeer
  • *****
  • Posts: 36996
  • Loitering With Intent
Re: GameTalk: Nation-Building
« Reply #2 on: January 05, 2015, 12:42:16 PM »
I wonder if a few dice in a province space couldn't be used as 'progress' markers toward the level of 'rebuilding' or 'stability' is in an area - a d6 for the phsyical infrastructure and a d6 for the 'social infrastructure' that you change the face on as each move up or down.  Pouring money and effort into an area may increase the physical infrastructure, but if done in a corrupt way, may cut into the social infrastructure.
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers

Offline btrain

  • Velites
  • **
  • Posts: 53
Re: GameTalk: Nation-Building
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2015, 10:43:51 AM »
Yep, that's a simple way to cover it - like the chits but more compact.
It's all a question of the level of abstraction you'll take, and how much detail the players are willing to put up with.
Which isn't much, for those players who consider detail as something up with which they must put.

Brian

Offline bayonetbrant

  • Chief Arrogance Mitigator
  • Musketeer
  • *****
  • Posts: 36996
  • Loitering With Intent
Re: GameTalk: Nation-Building
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2015, 11:10:16 AM »
something up with which they must put.







(note, I know your phrasing is accurate. it just made me think of Yoda :) )
The key to surviving this site is to not say something which ends up as someone's tag line - Steelgrave

"their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of 'rights'...and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure." Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers