Author Topic: GameTalk: Chain of Command  (Read 2198 times)

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Offline bayonetbrant

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GameTalk: Chain of Command
« on: February 23, 2015, 11:11:34 AM »
How should you model the chain of command in a wargame?
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Offline panzerde

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Re: GameTalk: Chain of Command
« Reply #1 on: February 23, 2015, 02:08:37 PM »
I have to admit that I find it really odd when the chain of command isn't modelled. I've played some games where HQ units are used on as supply sources for any unit on the map. That's definitely too much abstraction, for me.


In a computer game it's much easier obviously to track the CoC relationships, and track how they're reformed due to cross-attachments, etc. If the UI is decent, I like to see as much modelling of the CoC in that situation as possible.


I a board game all of that adds to the overhead, so a little goes a long way. I really do like to see units assigned to specific HQs, however. Rules/charts that allow you to group counters into larger formations off map for ease of play are a great thing, in my book.


I also really prefer systems that allow for formation specific activations, with higher HQ's activating subordinates. These seem a lot more realistic to me than standard IGOUGO systems.


In any case, a game that doesn't at least model HQ to subordinate relationships strikes me as too simplistic to be a decent simulation - or much fun for that matter. There's too much that's important in unit organization to just blow off the CoC relationships, and I'm not wild about some recent trends I'm seeing in gaming to do that.
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Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: GameTalk: Chain of Command
« Reply #2 on: February 23, 2015, 06:31:59 PM »
I have to admit that I find it really odd when the chain of command isn't modelled. I've played some games where HQ units are used on as supply sources for any unit on the map. That's definitely too much abstraction, for me.


I agree.  Particularly for computer games.  There is really no excuse not to model command and control in a computer wargame.

Historically, command and control was often too big of a factor in many battles to ignore.  Austerlitz for example.  If the Coalition had been unified and coordinated, Napoleon would have had a very difficult time winning.  I have seen it argued that Napoleon's entire middle career owes its success to the superiority of the corps system (as implemented by the French), where corps commanders did not have to wait for orders, but marched to the "sound of guns."

Another example is Brandywine creek.  The British beat the pants off the Americans, but they didn't crush them because Howe was a little too ponderous, while the Americans were very agile in moving forces to slow down the British long enough to escape destruction.

WWI is full of examples where breakthroughs were not followed up, because of lack of command and control. 

Only recently (the last 20-30 years) have commanders had the technology at their fingertips (literally) to give "godlike" (or wargamer like) control over even small elements.  But unless the enemy does not have a similar technology level, even these capabilities are subject to breaking down through electronic warfare.  So, I think even in a game modeling current technology, C&C is highly relevant.
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