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Subject: Ancient-Era Operational Game? rss

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xmfcnrx wrote:


Just ordered #124. Thanks!

Could I hear more about the 'back issue DVD'? I know years ago the SOA had one available, but can't locate it on their website.


No problem

You should be able to find the DVD at the bottom of this page, I hope: http://soa.org.uk/cartloom/backissues/
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Somewhat belatedly, here's a sidebar I found in MOVES #77, Oct-Nov 1993. Now, not everyone may agree with all the definitions, but I like some of them and some of them (grand tactical for instance) serve pretty well for other eras.

This also serves as a reminder that many of these discussions that we go through again and again on various online sites were dealt with decades ago in the print magazines, and in particular in 1993 the state of the art was not so different from what it is today. Thi particular issue contains as main article: On Campaign with Caesar and S&T 157 - An Analysis and Optional Rules for The Roman Civil War (by Joe Miranda), an analysis article of Trajan from S&T 145 by Geoffrey Bohrer (containing the sidebar below, as well as a strategy article by Joe Miranda, titled Military Secrets of the Parthian East), and a Trajan AAR by Jim Werbaneth.

There is a wealth of material out there on wargames that's not on teh Intarwebs and many of these magazines can be found for a steal. They are definitely worth grabbing, and they provide information with much higher density than any internet site.

Quote:

Terms in Prelinear Warfare.

In order to properly discuss the techniques of prelinear warfare, it is necessary to agree on the meanings of the terms: grand strategy, strategy, grand tacics, and tactics.

Grand Strategy refers to a national or supranational plan for waging war. It includes, but is not necessarily limited to, military movement, economic measures, mobilization, diplomacy, alliances, and trade. It involves coordination of forces outside the theater of action, and is designed as the means to a desired political or economic end. Themistocles of Athens is an example of a leader whose strength lies in grand strategy.

Strategy refers to the plan by which a campaign is prosecuted within the theater of operations. It may involve more than one group of forces, and deals primarily with military movements. The elements of strategy are the objective(s) of the campaign, the forces available for use, the circumstances in which those forces are to be used, and the timetable for the achievement of the objectives. It should be noted that, while strategy deals primarily with the movement of military forces, the objectives may be military (the destruction of enemy forces) , economic (blockade or seizure of enemy resources), political (capture of significant locations, overthrow of a leader), or any combination of the above. The objectives are detemined as part of grand strategy; how they are accomplished is the realm of strategy. Hannibal of Carthage is the example of a skilled strategist.

Grand Tactics deals with the destruction of a specific enemy force once engaged. It generally involves one group of forces, and takes into account the available forces as dictated by the strategy, the terrain and weather, the enemy forces, and the skill of the respective commanders. There is room for great variety in the sphere of grand tactics, and it is in this areana that such generals as Caesar and the Scipios excelled.

Tactics: refers to the actions performed by sub-units of the army upon command. Tactics can usually not be altered on the battlefield; they are instilled during toop training, prior to the start of the campaign. Tactics are the tools the army commander uses to build his grand tactics, therefore, they must remain a fixed quantity in battle. History's masters of tactics include Phillip of Macedon, Camillus, and Genghis Khan.

It is easy, in theoretical writing, to draw neat lines between these four levels of military planning; in practice it becomes more difficult. In many ancient cultures, all four levels could be the responsibility of the same man; in others, as in many modern countries, the people on the spot may have to make decisions affecting other levels than those for whuch they are direclty responsible. The best leaders will have a feeling for all four levels and know when they are crossing those lines, such a leader is a sure winner.
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p55carroll
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Of course, no mention of "Operational" in the MOVES magazine article.

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