09 May 2012

GameTalk - Poor Bloody Infantry

Many modern era games focus on the spectacular aspect of tank and AFV combat.  The Flames of War - Open Fire! introductory game doesn't even include infanty units, and infantry rarely make a meaningful appearance in future "Mech-war" games.  Meanwhile, your dear contributor has always believed that the true mark of a talented wargamer can be seen in how they well they use infantry.  So what say you?  Do tanks and AFV's get too much attention in modern and science-fiction wargaming?  Does wargaming fortune usually favor those who well use their tanks? {GRAMMAR>>>is it "well use their tanks" or "..use their tanks well?"}

By: Jack Nastyface


Brian said...

I think it's "use their tanks well".

And I completely agree, modern games of all stripes give short shrift to infantry, except at the very bottom tactical level where there are a lot of good designs - Lock n Load's series, Boots on the Ground, Phantom Fury, etc.. But as soon as you get up to platoon/company level the rules sets start treating infantry as speed bumps for the AFVs, which act like Hot Wheels cars, careening around on the map. I don't think that is mirrored in reality at all. Some miniatures sets treat infantry a little better.

As for SF gaming, infantry only get some respect when they get into powered suits and start acting like tanks themselves!

Jack Nastyface said...

Given my preference for tactical, small unit and single-unit games, I've always enjoyed infantry focused games. I think part of the reason why armor figures so predominately in games like A&A, FoW, etc is because the minis look so darn good on the table. Likewise anything 'Mech related.

I also suppose that the complexities of infanty don't always lend themselves to an easy, playable but realistic gaming format. If you watch footage of some of the firefights in Afghanistan, etc, some of those exchanges occur at >400m, and end with either the enemy slinking off or an A-10 doing a gun run...neither of which would make for a compelling game experience.

yours in gaming,

Jack Nastyface

Unknown said...

You guys need to check out our Command Ops series of WW2 wargames. The latest is Battles from the Bulge. I think you are in for a pleasant surprise on how infantry is modelled.

Dave "Arjuna" O'Connor