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Subject: Lone Survivor / Operation Red Wings rss

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PC Principal
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I saw Lone Survivor http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1091191/ the other day and thought about it in terms of A Distant Plain.

The movie made a reference to the Pashtunwali code, protecting even strangers against their enemies. In ADP, the Pashtun are always helping the Taliban, but in the movie, the Pashtunwali villagers defended the American soldier and shot up the Talis. In ADP, that would make them a single piece of the Warlords faction, I guess. What's your thoughts on that?

Operation Red Wings http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Red_Wings, during which the movie took place, lasted only a few weeks or so. I guess it could qualify as an Op Only - or even Op + Special Activity (Airlift), considering all the business with the helicopters. I didn't see a specific Event Card about Red Wings in the ADP deck, did I miss it?

And oh, in which Province did the action go down?
 
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Brian Train
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The historical events depicted in the movie and book are below the scale of any particular card or event in the game.

The depiction of the historical events in the book and movie are not about COIN, either.

http://www.onviolence.com/?e=762

The events took place in Kunar Province, which has been incorporated into Nuristan on the game map.

Brian
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PC Principal
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I get why it's below the game's scale but could you summarize why it's not even COIN?

In comparison, "Seal Team Six" is an Event Card in the game. My mediocre knowledge of history in this case is based on news segments only, but I could find arguments for including both, or neither.
 
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Brian Train
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Go to the link and read how little the movie, and to a lesser extent the book, had to do with reality.

"Seal Team Six" is a reference to the killing of Osama Bin Ladin, who was in large part the casus belli for the war in Afghanistan. The diplomatic fallout from this incursion into Pakistan was considerable and extended.

Operation Red Wings involved a small group of operators, pursuing a group of Taliban who may have numbered no more than 10 fighters, led by a man who was severely wounded a few weeks later in a separate engagement and eventually died years later in Pakistan in a shootout with police. What was remarkable about it was that after the group was ambushed and the QRF helicopter got shot down by an RPG, and the Americans expended weeks of time and effort recovering the bodies of the slain. None of this, in scope or impact, amounts to even an Assault in game terms.

Movies and books like Lone Survivor are written or made to personalize a large and complex conflict, so that hopefully readers can understand some of the chaos and uncertainty and pain of war. At least the better written ones can. But in relation to the entire war, and a game that treats the war at a strategic level, these incidents don't rate.

Brian
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Yes, I did scan through the article and the comments, and what I took home from them was the incompetence of the ghost writer. Hollywood being what it is, the movie didn't move me much either way. A passable piece of brief entertainment. But the book got quickly fired out of my reading list.

Troops sizes of cubes or cylinders, time scales of campaigns and events/ops etc aren't tightly fixed in these games. Much is left to imagination and interpretation, or that's the impression I get. But yes, ten years of war compressed in a couple of hours of game time is a lot. If Red Wings/Lone Survivor isn't worth mentioning in it, then so be it.

By the way, the actors in LS could have used some more time to grow their beards.
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Brian Train
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Zelroy wrote:

By the way, the actors in LS could have used some more time to grow their beards.


Ha!
Don't tell Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch what to do!

Brian
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Bill Eldard
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ltmurnau wrote:
The historical events depicted in the movie and book are below the scale of any particular card or event in the game. . . .

Brian


I think that for many wargamers expecting more of a traditional wargame feel, the COIN system is quite a diversion from the norm. In a hobby that has frequent discussions over topics like "NATO or silhouettes on counters" and "clipping corners," COIN has taken a huge step back and reapproached conflict from a different perspective in order to better bring out the consequences of politics and economics (resources).

That's why military/police/paramilitary/guerrilla forces are represented by generic cubes, with special capabilities introduced through the cards. Consequently, the focus isn't on getting the OB right, or figuring out unit movement rates, but on capturing the strategic goals and decisions of a particular conflict.

As the legendary Jim Dunnigan once explained in a discussion about simulation design, the key is to get the 3-5 most imortant factors right.
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Brian Train
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Absolutely Bill.
I have encountered a few very rigid and narrow minds in this otherwise well-educated and imaginative hobby, who know just what a wargame is and is not.
Heads go "pop", and we move on....

Brian
 
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Matthew Jones
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Eldard wrote:
COIN has taken a huge step back and reapproached conflict from a different perspective in order to better bring out the consequences of politics and economics (resources).

That's why military/police/paramilitary/guerrilla forces are represented by generic cubes, with special capabilities introduced through the cards. Consequently, the focus isn't on getting the OB right, or figuring out unit movement rates, but on capturing the strategic goals and decisions of a particular conflict.



Which is why I will blindly purchase every one of the COIN games. It only barely deserves to be called a "wargame", because it's not really a game about war, I fell they're political games about a real conflict that shows real outcomes for decisions that are made. You could mash the COIN system into a 1960: The Making of the President theme pretty easily, though we probably shouldn't call it COIN then.

I have friends who would never play a traditional hex 'n counter wargame because it glorified war, but who would be fascinated by the COIN system because of the exact things Bill mentions.


By the way, at the OP, I found the Lone Survivor book to be too much like Patrick Robinson's other submarine books. Just take a read of one of those and I think you'll see the similarities, which made me think that what I was reading was more Robinson's voice than Luttrell's. I could be wrong though.

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