Author Topic: Burden of Command Announced  (Read 18148 times)

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Offline AndyBrown

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #90 on: October 15, 2017, 05:32:32 PM »

Three scenarios later you have a similar situation. But this time higher HQ doesn't offer you additional support because the last time you got it you didn't take the objective. 

This kinda highlights the incongruity of taking something that is essentially unpleasant (like the world is full of former small unit commanders happily reminiscing about all the times they sent people to their deaths!) and attempting to turn it into entertainment.

Much more likely outcomes of the above scenario are:

"It's Smuck's platoon.  Better give him even more support next time to compensate for his lack of experience.  Or at least attach a forward observer so it gets used properly." or

"Put Smuck's platoon on Headquarters security detail and give the next job to someone else.  Once he's built up a bit of experience and regained his confidence, we'll see about something more challenging."

Of course, if Smuck is already pretty experienced and enjoys the confidence of his senior commanders and staff, it could simply be a matter of:

"Sorry boss.  They moved another MG out to the flank during our preliminary bombardment.  Stopped us dead.  Could have happened to anyone."

Should be a good game, in a Rat Patrol/Tour of Duty sort of way

Cheers,

Andy Brown


Offline Mad Russian

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #91 on: October 16, 2017, 09:09:58 AM »

This kinda highlights the incongruity of taking something that is essentially unpleasant (like the world is full of former small unit commanders happily reminiscing about all the times they sent people to their deaths!) and attempting to turn it into entertainment.

Cheers,

Andy Brown

I would agree that most of the games I play, are set in the realm of taking something essentially unpleasant, war, and attempting to turn into entertainment. The key to the whole thing is not so much entertainment value, for me personally, as it is trying to understand the situation and choices the junior leaders had to survive in. I want to get as close to 'wearing their boots' as possible. If we can do that I believe there will be a fairly large group of gamers that will want to try that as well.

Good Hunting.

MR
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Offline AndyBrown

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #92 on: October 16, 2017, 09:11:47 PM »
... I want to get as close to 'wearing their boots' as possible ...

I guess my point is that if you want to do that, you should probably debrief some former company and battalion-level commanders and staffers to develop realistic options for the situations you want to recreate.  Witholding assets from a current mission to "punish" a junior leader for previous mission failure was not doctrine in most WW2 armies and certainly isn't doctrine in modern militaries of any competence.

Andy

Offline ComradeP

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #93 on: October 16, 2017, 11:41:24 PM »
Support assets were and are limited in any army. As seen in WWII, in Normandy for example, over reliance on support assets can also have negative effects on performance, like extreme caution or unwillingness to assault.

You shouldn't see it as being punished, but rather that regiment/battalion HQ thinks the assets might be of more use elsewhere, in part based on how you handled the assets previously. As a platoon/company commander, you can make requests, but you don't have any control over if you actually get it. A faulty radio or the FO team being killed were also real problems, just like vehicles getting stuck in the mud.

If battalion has a tank platoon at its disposal, and your company has a history of handling itself well in combat but an adjacent company is struggling to get going, you might not get that tank platoon. If you're struggling, but an adjacent company has a more important mission, you might not get that tank platoon either.

Due to the uncertainty of war, it was not unusual to receive more support than would normally be assigned compared to the resistance encountered, or too little. 

When you read first hand accounts of the battles of the Cottonbalers, you'll find many situations where support assets are handed out in illogical ways, are entirely ineffective or end up shooting American troops.

This is the command level where you take what you get, not pick what you take.
« Last Edit: October 16, 2017, 11:47:29 PM by ComradeP »
The fact that these people drew inspiration...and then became chicken farmers - Cyrano, Dragon' Up The Past #45

Offline MengJiao

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #94 on: October 17, 2017, 03:53:34 AM »


This is the command level where you take what you get, not pick what you take.

  But that suggests that the real dynamic of decisions is at a higher level and (as with many games) you and your sources are more
involved with constructing a narrative than conducting operations.

Offline ComradeP

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #95 on: October 17, 2017, 06:15:42 AM »
The missions you play are fixed in the sense that they follow historical operations, the variability comes from interacting with the narrative and the game responding to previous decisions.

The tactical gameplay as it's being envisioned now shouldn't be too different from industry standards where you and the enemy get a certain number of units, with some reinforcement variability thrown in. You're more or less at the end of the command chain for officer ranks, so you decide how to accomplish a broadly defined mission (take a certain point and make a decision whether or not you will immediately exploit the enemy retreat for example), but don't pick the mission as you're following historical examples.

The game follows a master narrative of sorts through the Cottonbalers' involvement in WWII, but it is our goal to introduce enough actual replayability to missions to make a different playthrough, with a different leadership style entertaining as well. Aside from random or "responsive" events, availability or lack thereof of support assets is how we're trying to accomplish that, as the support assets change the way you play a scenario. Our decision is always based on historical availability and the problems with that availability (such as equipment being lost during amphibious operations or river crossings) if we can find information about it.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2017, 06:23:42 AM by ComradeP »
The fact that these people drew inspiration...and then became chicken farmers - Cyrano, Dragon' Up The Past #45

Offline Philippe

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #96 on: November 02, 2017, 02:28:53 PM »
This has probably been asked before, but how does Burden of Command address the S.L.A. Marshall theory of combat?

He shouldn't be taken too seriously because his research methods were questionable and his results may have been fabricated.  But I think he may have been on to something and shouldn't be completely dismissed out of hand.  The 25% fire ratio was probably the result of an overactive imagination, and if I remember correctly it was shown to be closer to fifty percent in a later war.

But from a wargame design standpoint it's very interesting, because even if you don't drink SLAM's coolaid it highlights the fact that in a game, every unit you have will do something every turn, whereas real life simply doesn't work that way.  A bit like a soldier having to pass an initiative test before he can attempt to do anything.

By the middle of the twentieth century if they could see you they could probably kill you, which creates a powerful incentive for keeping your head below the rim of your fox hole unless the platoon sergeant is standing over you yelling at you to shoot.

Every generation gets the Greeks and Romans it deserves.

 

 

History is a bad joke played by the living on the dead.

Offline lhughes42

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #97 on: November 12, 2017, 10:11:00 PM »
Hi Philippe,
 
 My take on Marshall is he was right qualitatively if not quantitatively. And yes it apoears he created false stats but aligned to real observations.

 To that end a *core* mechanism is what you call an initiative check.  You might gind thus new blog illuminating in this regard: “The Heart of War: Emotional Authenticity in Burden of Command”
http://bit.ly/HeartOfWar

For a bit more on battlefield mechanics an earlier blog:
“cardboard inspirations.”
 http://bit.ly/BoC-blog2

Finally of general interest I hope, we received a thoughtful article from Canada’s Bational Post newspaer this week on the topic of “Can a War Videogame ever be Truly Respectful of Its Subject
http://bit.ly/NationalPostAndBoC


 As always interested in your thoughts,
    Luke Hughes (project lead)

Offline Zulu1966

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #98 on: November 13, 2017, 06:40:19 AM »

Three scenarios later you have a similar situation. But this time higher HQ doesn't offer you additional support because the last time you got it you didn't take the objective. 

This kinda highlights the incongruity of taking something that is essentially unpleasant (like the world is full of former small unit commanders happily reminiscing about all the times they sent people to their deaths!) and attempting to turn it into entertainment.

Much more likely outcomes of the above scenario are:

"It's Smuck's platoon.  Better give him even more support next time to compensate for his lack of experience.  Or at least attach a forward observer so it gets used properly." or

"Put Smuck's platoon on Headquarters security detail and give the next job to someone else.  Once he's built up a bit of experience and regained his confidence, we'll see about something more challenging."

Of course, if Smuck is already pretty experienced and enjoys the confidence of his senior commanders and staff, it could simply be a matter of:

"Sorry boss.  They moved another MG out to the flank during our preliminary bombardment.  Stopped us dead.  Could have happened to anyone."

Should be a good game, in a Rat Patrol/Tour of Duty sort of way

Cheers,

Andy Brown

This is an interesting point. I for one have never looked at wargaming as "entertainment". I enjoy it because I find the subject and history fascinating. Therefore my enjoyment is derived from making the game as realistic  as possible in relation to translating what I read and watch into a "game" and at various points being able to relate the challenges experienced it he game to those faced historically. It's one of the reasons I find the scant attention  most games play to logistics so annoying. It may be "boring" from a pure entertainment point of view but the more I can relate it to deal world challenges and what I read ... the more "entertaing" the game is to me.
"you are the rule maker, the dictator, the mini- Stalin, Mao, Hitler, the emperor, generalissimo, the MAN. You may talk the talk and appear to be quite easy going to foster popularity, but to the MAN I say F*CK YOU." And Steve G is F******g rude ? Just another day on the BF forum ... one demented idiots reaction to BF disagreeing about the thickness of the armour on a Tiger II turret mantlet.

Offline Philippe

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #99 on: November 13, 2017, 11:51:07 AM »
Hi Philippe,
 
 My take on Marshall is he was right qualitatively if not quantitatively. And yes it apoears he created false stats but aligned to real observations.

 To that end a *core* mechanism is what you call an initiative check.  You might gind thus new blog illuminating in this regard: “The Heart of War: Emotional Authenticity in Burden of Command”
http://bit.ly/HeartOfWar

For a bit more on battlefield mechanics an earlier blog:
“cardboard inspirations.”
 http://bit.ly/BoC-blog2

Finally of general interest I hope, we received a thoughtful article from Canada’s Bational Post newspaer this week on the topic of “Can a War Videogame ever be Truly Respectful of Its Subject
http://bit.ly/NationalPostAndBoC


 As always interested in your thoughts,
    Luke Hughes (project lead)

I used to own a copy of Sandhurst Wargames, a set of four interesting situations with unusual treatments.  The game became a casualty of a move several years back so I have only the haziest memory of how things worked, but the fourth game in the set didn't use a map (!) and showcased S.L.A. Marshall's theory of combat.  You might want to glance at the rules if you can find a copy online (Boardgame Geek has some kind of listing).

The modern combat scenario showed a platoon or squad-sized assault on a Japanese position on an island in the Pacific that was really designed for miniatures play (Donald Featherstone on drugs).  If memory serves (and the last time I read the rules was back in the late 'eighties or possibly early 'nineties) most of your men had little or no combat capability, and you couldn't really do anything with them.  The fighting on both sides depended on what were in effect Homeric heroes -- lose one of them and your attack or defense would fall apart.  If nothing else it provided an interesting antidote to the writings of Classical scholars who don't take Homer's descriptions of warfare seriously.

The rules for Sandhurst Wargames that were available in the last century were rife with glitches and often required interpretation to play (one of the reasons I started playing computer games).  But some of the ideas behind each of the four treatments were fascinating.
Every generation gets the Greeks and Romans it deserves.

 

 

History is a bad joke played by the living on the dead.

Offline fabius

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #100 on: November 13, 2017, 11:59:59 AM »
Hi Philippe,
 
 My take on Marshall is he was right qualitatively if not quantitatively. And yes it apoears he created false stats but aligned to real observations.

 To that end a *core* mechanism is what you call an initiative check.  You might gind thus new blog illuminating in this regard: “The Heart of War: Emotional Authenticity in Burden of Command”
http://bit.ly/HeartOfWar

For a bit more on battlefield mechanics an earlier blog:
“cardboard inspirations.”
 http://bit.ly/BoC-blog2

Finally of general interest I hope, we received a thoughtful article from Canada’s Bational Post newspaer this week on the topic of “Can a War Videogame ever be Truly Respectful of Its Subject
http://bit.ly/NationalPostAndBoC


 As always interested in your thoughts,
    Luke Hughes (project lead)

Nice blog, my interest is growing.

If no effort, can you remember the source for this quote:
"In WWII approximately 8000 bullets were fired per casualty inflicted" ?

Offline FarAway Sooner

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #101 on: November 14, 2017, 07:50:35 AM »
ComradeP, I get what you're saying about the uncertainty and chaos around requesting and deploying support units.  But I think you're missing AndyP's comment.

If an officer requested support and got it and still failed in his mission, it seems more plausible that subsequent requests for support would cost more "prestige" than that he'd be denied.  In contrast to wargames, my bet is that not getting their (American) soldiers killed in unnecessary numbers was a higher priority than is detailed in most wargames.  Of course, that depended a lot on the commander...

Offline lhughes42

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #102 on: November 18, 2017, 01:36:34 PM »
Hi Grogheads!
   First, we have a new feature out courtesy of Tim Stone of the Flare Path at Rock, Paper,Shotgun. Would love to hear your thoughts: http://bit.ly/FlarePathEmotAuth

  Second, now to prior thoughtful thoughts (hmm I think the Stout I am drinking is starting to take hold, LOL).

-- Philippe -- thanks for the pointer. Homeric heroes -- Brains and Bullets talks a lot about the key import of "follow me" leadership examples so that does sound most apropo.

-- Fabius -- thanks for your growing interest!  Brains and Bullets by Leo Murray discusses this a decent bit including has that stat has *risen* to quite absurd levels in say Afghanistan.  Very interesting read, and the book is a tactical gamer's history and theory dream IMHO. Hope you'll pick it up. Don't have pages off top of my head sorry.

 -- FarAway Sooner (<-"viking?" excellent, Swedish descent here, wife Danish descent) -- definitely my reading impression is that Yanks depended on artillery to save casualties.  This raised interesting Burden of Command moral decision in the war. For example in Morocco, a General decided to spare a town bombardment due civilians (and probably wanting to win hearts and minds of the French) though it probably cost some US lives. I think you can guess we might bring this kind of issue up for you in the game. Being ruthless and all.

  Please give us a follow or like on Twitter or FB should you feel so inclined and spread the word. Sure helps a small indie in this game saturated market.

 cheers,
   Luke

Offline Philippe

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #103 on: November 18, 2017, 02:54:30 PM »
The other book I should mention (in the unlikely event you aren't familiar with it) is boring, turgid, and badly written.  But buried away among all the dross are some great insights into what WW II infantry combat was really like, and as far as I know it doesn't manufacture evidence to support correct but over-stated theories.  Fortunately it's fairly easy to find copies.  This link is to Amazon, but you can probably get it cheaper at American Book Exchange, or maybe even find it in your local library (NY Public Library has it).

https://www.amazon.com/Closing-Enemy-Fought-1944-1945-Studies/dp/0700607447







« Last Edit: November 18, 2017, 03:11:38 PM by Philippe »
Every generation gets the Greeks and Romans it deserves.

 

 

History is a bad joke played by the living on the dead.

Offline lhughes42

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Re: Burden of Command Announced
« Reply #104 on: November 19, 2017, 04:42:36 PM »
Guess I am too into my subject but I thought that book was fascinating! Great t commendation Philippe!

 Lukr