10 July 2012

Sound Off! Doctrine or Not?

Do you want your wargames to come with

doctrinal straightjackets that force you to act as the participants would have at the time?

open-ended tactics and behaviors that allow for completely unrealistic maneuvers and missions?

Sound off below!

By: Brant


brtrain said...

I'd rather have the former, to learn from. But I realize that most games feature the latter, either for simplicity or so the players can have fun pushing counters around.

Again, I have to choose?

Anonymous said...

Doctrine sound not doctrine bound. Yet it is a simulation and the player should act like their historical counterparts would have been trained within reason.

Brant said...

Yes Brian, you have to choose. It's not like you have to act on it, but for our purposes here, you have to choose.

Jack Nastyface said...

If I HAVE to choose...I suppose I would go with doctine-free wargaming.

If you create a gameplay construct that enforces doctrine, then you off course limit a myriad of what-if scenarios. Some of these may be unrealistic; some may be eccentric or risky, but some may also be "very close" to doctrine.

If you opt for a doctrine-enforced game experience, then you potentially rule out interesting-but-historically plausible scenarios.

For example...could the brits have used fireships against Napoleon's fleet at Toulon? The RN had previously used fireships (with much success) against the Spanish Armada, but such tactics were out of vogue by 1805 (The US attack on Tripoli Harbor and the Battle of Basque Roads being two notable exceptions).

Another personal example occured during a game of Midway, where I snuck a single, unescorted empty carrier out past the Japanese task force. This allowed me to "ingress" a strike from nearby Midway and another CV and "egress" them to the distant carrier (safely out of strike range of the IJN carriers). This is not so unlike the Doolittle strike against Japan, or some of the UK - Germany - N. Africa bomber runs during WWII.

Yours in gaming,

Jack Nastyface