Recommend
9 
 Thumb up
 Hide
19 Posts

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: Differing perspectives of a war and the effect on wargame design rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
When a person designs a historically based wargame, one of the inevitable influences on the game they create is their own perspective on the war. Given any war, the number of possible perspectives on that war will be at least as many as the number of factions on all side (and perhaps neutral) involved in the war. So one thing I value in my wargames is presentation of a given conflict in terms which are historically justifiable (whether I entirely agree personally or not) but from a perspective which is to me less common to encounter.

Thus for example, I was actually delighted to discover that the light wargame 1812: The Invasion of Canada is presented from a Canadian POV; while I take issue with a few facets of the popular Canadian perception of that war, to me that only adds to the wargaming experience. Less markedly, I am glad that Age of Napoleon presents the Napoleonic Wars largely from a French perspective, which I find more nuanced. Most games I find seem to be from a US-centric POV in the US is involved, with other conflicts following the narrative of the conflict taught at US schools.

So what alternative perspectives have you found in wargames?
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Differing perspectives of a war and the effet on wargame design
Don't Tread On Me: The American Revolution Solitaire Board Game handles the American revolution as an insurgency with the solo player managing the British. Apparently this has diminished the game's appeal since most Americans don't like playing from that perspective. In the designer's notes, the designer, while American, confesses to a certain degree of Loyalist sympathies.

I have the game and got as far as reading the rules but haven't played it yet. Maybe over the holidays. But it does suit my own biases nicely.

Some also argue that Mr. Madison's War: The Incredible War of 1812 has a Canadian perspective in only including the action from Quebec to Detroit as the theatre of war in 1812. The designer argues persuasively that this was the only militarily significant theatre, even if raids on the American coast (really just a nuisance) and the Indian rebellions in the south (not really the same conflict) were important from an American perspective.

Although I haven't played any of them, Jack Radey's WW2 eastern front designs are widely considered to have a Soviet perspective, rather than the dominating German perspective (probably due in part to the widespread availability of translated memoirs of key German generals).
5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
From the US perspective, the naval theater was the principal theater of war in the War of 1812. To Americans, the war was about the British practice of forcibly impressing US citizens into the US navy and otherwise treating US ships as effectively British. The continental frontier was entirely secondary, although there had been some hope that the Canadian French might be more disaffected than they were.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dillenbeck
United States
Deerfield
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Re: Differing perspectives of a war and the effet on wargame design
I find I like alternative perspectives in boardgaming in general and gravitate towards games with a strong thesis (Sierra Madre Games titles) or ones that up-end the common tropes of gaming (as found in games like Roads & Boats).

Within wargaming, is GMT's COIN series considered a wargame or a conflict simulation? I know there are hardline grognards that have a very strict definition of what "wargame" means and anything that falls outside of a game of pure military logistics and combat movement isn't allowed.

I think the take of "Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection" that it was a (successful) insurrection was spot on, and that there were two supporting factions that were hoping to gain something in the conflict (the French wanted to show that the British Empire was not invulnerable and probably overextended itself, the Indians represented in the game wanted to reestablish the right over the land that they called home). I also enjoy that the British wanted to show that their empire and military was still effective in maintaining control, and that the Patriots were mainly interested in establishing dominance over the American territory.

You also see a bit of a different take in "A Distant Plain" and "Fire in the Lake" - where the coalition and US Military have to deal with the political pressures at home to 'bring the troops back' is represented by a victory condition that requires them to withdraw their military forces from the conflict.

Getting outside the traditional wargame genre, there are several... I don't know, 'conflict simulation' (?) games that come to mind.

"The Grizzled" is a card game that abstracts surviving the first part of The Great War from the perspective of a group of individual soldiers. Missions are abstracted by playing cards with the goal of not getting 3 of the same icon or color on the cards played, or getting too many hardships on one person that they are lost. Its a very different take on war.

I wanted to back the kickstarter of "This War of Mine" which takes a look at warfare from a civilian caught in the middle perspective, and is based off of the video game. I wasn't able to at the time, so am a bit sad about that.

Another two in this set is "Pax Porfiriana" which takes a look at revolution in late 19th/early 20th century Mexico (and shows how business interests can lead to revolution) and "Pax Pamir" which puts the player in the role of tribes working to gain favor of the giants of the time (set during 'The Great Game' and thus puts the players in the position of manipulating The British Empire, The Russian Empire, and an Afghan nationalist movment... or are the players the pawns being manipulated by them). Both these games take what we understand about the roots of revolution and the key participants in the conflict and give us a different perspective. This changes the context of how you interpret the conflict, and changes the meaning of revolution.

I'll also say there was a bit of interest in the 1977 game "Canadian Civil War" that is a very different type of theme to a 'wargame' - but I've only experienced this one via Calandale YouTube videos (like so many other wargames).

My final mention will go to the civilization game "7 Ages" for its different approach. Rather than being a specific culture/civilization that can last an untold amount of time, this game makes the player an abstract concept gathering glory as they control multiple civilizations. These civilizations will eventually go into decline and not be worth the glory that other empires could earn you, so you hope that an opponent smashes them or you take and action and discard them. Either way, it does things that I haven't seen other games do like let you fragment or cause a civil war and have other players take over those bits.

So as you can see, most of the alternate viewpoints I find may still be by US designers and have a US flavor to them, but they still offer very different ways to viewing historical conflicts. Alas, from what I understand most of these are not "wargames" and thus might be ignored by hardcore wargamers due to their lack of 'simulationist historic value' or something like that. I guess I'm more interesting in a holistic view of warfare than one that narrows itself down to just the application of military might during the conflict.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Bob Zurunkel
United States
flag msg tools
badge
mbmbmbmbmb
Red Sun Black Cross, a Japanese alternate history game, has very detailed supply rules, which was unusual for the time (long before OCS). In US designed games, supply usually just involved tracing a line to a map edge; it was much more complicated in RSBC. I think this reflected the very different experiences Japan and the US had with supply in WWII.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Etien
United States
Thibodaux
Louisiana
flag msg tools
1/114th Air Assault
badge
Huey's Forward
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb


Kido Butai: Japan's Carriers at Midway is from the Japanese perspective.
Navajo Wars is from the Native American Diné perspective
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
From the US perspective, the naval theater was the principal theater of war in the War of 1812. To Americans, the war was about the British practice of forcibly impressing US citizens into the US navy and otherwise treating US ships as effectively British. The continental frontier was entirely secondary, although there had been some hope that the Canadian French might be more disaffected than they were.


It is much more nuanced than that. The Americans never had a chance of overpowering the Royal Navy, even with the distraction of Napoleon. Also, the naval issues were at least partially resolved before the declaration of war. The key maritime states were opposed to the war from the beginning and throughout its duration. There was much more of an imperialistic aspect to the US position, and lots of preserved dialogue makes that clear.

Even if one accepts the position that the maritime issues were dominant, the commitment of resources and the major battles (other than the redundant Battle of New Orleans) were in the Canadian frontier and the neighbouring states.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mcszarka wrote:
whac3 wrote:
From the US perspective, the naval theater was the principal theater of war in the War of 1812. To Americans, the war was about the British practice of forcibly impressing US citizens into the US navy and otherwise treating US ships as effectively British. The continental frontier was entirely secondary, although there had been some hope that the Canadian French might be more disaffected than they were.


It is much more nuanced than that. The Americans never had a chance of overpowering the Royal Navy, even with the distraction of Napoleon. Also, the issue of impressment was at least partially resolved before the declaration of war. There was much more of an imperialistic aspect to the US position.

Even if one accepts the position that the maritime issues were dominant, the commitment of resources and the major battles (other than the redundant Battle of New Orleans) were in the Canadian frontier and the neighbouring states.

The naval theater was actually pretty successful for the Americans. They knew local waters and had the same naval training as the British. The British had more ships, longer supply lines, and large scale as well as long term commitments elsewhere.

The aggressiveness of the americans has a kernel of truth to it but is grossly exaggerated by British/Canadian propaganda of the time.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I'd say you are reading the wrong books on 1812. That is the point of view of American apologists who don't like admitting that a land grab was very much part of the motivation for war. The Americans had a few victories with their superior Constitution-class frigates, but in reality that front settled into a typical blockade. The war was fought elsewhere.
6 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I would point out that your big proof the war was not about impressment is a compromise reached in Europe that those in North America on both sides were entirely ignorant of at the outbreak of hostilities. Moreover,yes, the naval theater became a blockade but essentially the Americans gambled correctly that the British could not maintain a naval war given their commitments elsewhere. The Americans won the war simply by delaying otherwise inevitable defeat longer than the British could afford to wait, and that was the American plan all along.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Wendell
United States
Yellow Springs
Ohio
flag msg tools
Si non potes reperire Berolini in tabula, ludens essetis non WIF.
badge
Hey, get your stinking cursor off my face! I got nukes, you know.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
mcszarka wrote:
I'd say you are reading the wrong books on 1812. That is the point of view of American apologists who don't like admitting that a land grab was very much part of the motivation for war. The Americans had a few victories with their superior Constitution-class frigates, but in reality that front settled into a typical blockade. The war was fought elsewhere.


Damn right it was, and we would have gotten away from it if it wasn't for you pesky kids! (My American ancestors)

Well, think twice before you launch a half-assed invasion of us while Europe is in a major war! (My Canadian ancestors)

Yeah! (My British ancestors)

Um, sorry. Yes, having different perspectives on conflicts and games ABOUT conflicts is a great thing.

Fire in the Sky, another Japanese wargame about WW2, has an interesting take in how strongly it emphasizes the problems of Japanese oil reserves and shipping tonnage - both of which shrunk catastrophically during the Pacific War, contributing to the death spiral the Japanese navy found itself in.
13 
 Thumb up
0.26
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Walters
United States
Chesterfield
Virginia
flag msg tools
badge
"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
One of the blessings of the internet and globalization has been access to histories and first-person accounts spanning the international scene. We also have well-established wargame companies in countries other than the U.S. and quite the pantheon of celebrated designers in those countries to match. On top of that, U.S. wargame companies are for more open to publishing games by international designers, whether associated with a company or not. Lastly, some U.S. designers are interested in different/non-traditional perspectives on wars and battles, focusing on challenging established historical myths and/or bringing light to what would otherwise be considered relatively obscure conflicts.

Some of the grognard set will recall the thrill of those days when John Edwards games were reprinted by Avalon Hill (e.g., THE RUSSIAN CAMPAIGN), when KINGMAKER found its way into the U.S., and more. But these were still games rendered in English, designed by English-speaking designers for the most part. We had and still have that--Charles Vasey, Lee Brimmecombe-Wood--amongst others.

When I was a lieutenant and captain stationed in Japan in the 1980s, I loved getting the Hobby Japan and Tsukuda Hobby wargames.

Today, we have Hexasim, VaeVictis, and Nuts Publishing from France; Europa Simulazioni from Italy; Strategemata and Tatika i Strategia from Poland; Three Crowns games and Mikugames in Sweden; Red Sash games in Canada; Six Angles and Command magazines in Japan; as well as games being published in Taiwan and the PRC, and more than I can possibly do justice to here. When Adam Starkweather was working for Multiman Publishing, his International Game Series (IGS) brought a number of international wargame designs and designers to our table.

My favorite alternative perspective games deal with historical controversies and/or reflect new understandings of history. Ideally old conceptions are effectively challenged through these designs.

As one example, compare Kim Kanger's recent DIEN BIEN PHU: THE FINAL GAMBLE (Legion Games) with all the games on that topic that came before it. For Kanger, French firepower is far less powerful, either because of ammunition conervation imperatives (for the artillery) or because available airpower was difficult to bring to bear. Weather impacts on the Vietminh, particularly later in the siege, are well portrayed. GDW's well-regarded CITADEL and HPS/Against the Odds magazine LA VALLE DE MORT just don't hold a candle to Kanger's design--and neither does MMP's STORM OVER DIEN BIEN PHU. His other Indochina war game, TONKIN, is a marvelous depiction of a French scrambling to suppress the burgeoning Vietminh, a topic not often covered in American designs.

American designer John Poniske has been interested in alternative explanations of history, from his controversial Civil War strategic game, LINCOLN'S WAR, his depiction of murderous 17th Century colonial warfare in KING PHILIP'S WAR, to his recent game on the Philippine insurrection (AMIGOS AND INSURRECTOS).

New books also cause game designers to revisit even well-worn topics. Karl Heinz-Freiser's THE BLITZKRIEG LEGEND: THE 1940 CAMPAIGN IN THE WEST emphasized the role of luck to explain the German victory--MMP's OCS game of the same name attempted to replicate Heinz-Freiser's thesis in game format. David Glantz's prolific work on the WW II Eastern Front are also causing wargame designers to rethink their old works; as we speak, Jack Radey is putting the finishing touches on a new version of his old 1979 breakthrough design KORSUN POCKET, incorporating this new information.

Joel Toppen's NAVAJO WARS was--and still is--considered a breakthrough design, capturing a perspective unfamiliar to most wargamers--whether American or not--on an indigenous Indian nation/people over several centuries. It will be interesting to see what he does with COMANCHERIA.

More exciting to me personally will be the emergence of more games on Asian wafare, such as Terence Co's STORM OVER TAIERZHUANG (2007) and Earl Dixon's RED DRAGON BLUE DRAGON (2016) as two examples, on battles and campaigns little known in the West. Apparently like games on OPERATION BARBAROSSA, games on early phases of the Sino-Japanese War of 1937-1941, if not on the entire war, seem to be missing something according to somebody.

It's a good time to be a wargamer!



18 
 Thumb up
1.00
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
I would point out that your big proof the war was not about impressment is a compromise reached in Europe that those in North America on both sides were entirely ignorant of at the outbreak of hostilities. Moreover,yes, the naval theater became a blockade but essentially the Americans gambled correctly that the British could not maintain a naval war given their commitments elsewhere. The Americans won the war simply by delaying otherwise inevitable defeat longer than the British could afford to wait, and that was the American plan all along.


The Americans won the war by achieving absolutely none of their strategic objectives with a negotiated return to status quo ante bellum? That was the "American plan"? Come on. Why bother maintaining the war in that case? The British would have taken a truce at early points in the war.

It was the British who were fighting a desperate defence, stalling for time. Canada was barely populated, and the British troops were spread astonishingly thin. That's why the Americans thought it would be easy-peasy. And if their leadership had not been so uniformly incompetent, it might have been.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Moshe Callen
Israel
Jerusalem
flag msg tools
designer
ἄνδρα μοι ἔννεπε, μοῦσα, πολύτροπον, ὃς μάλα πολλὰ/ πλάγχθη, ἐπεὶ Τροίης ἱερὸν πτολίεθρον ἔπερσεν./...
badge
μῆνιν ἄειδε θεὰ Πηληϊάδεω Ἀχιλῆος/ οὐλομένην, ἣ μυρί᾽ Ἀχαιοῖς ἄλγε᾽ ἔθηκε,/...
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
The Americans achieved what they wanted: no more impressing of US citizens or seizing of US ships.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Joe Donnelly
Canada
Unspecified
BC
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
1944: Race to the Rhine turns the usual design emphasis on its head. It abstracts the role of the fighting troops, and instead concentrates on the logistics of the advancing armies. One suspects this may come closer to the real problems of higher command.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Daglish
United Kingdom
Cheadle
Cheshire
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
The Americans won the war

By October 1914 the US government was bankrupt, and at this point they lost the war of 1812, begin unable to pay for it any longer. In this manner the Royal Navy won its war, as they had done 40 years earlier. The war was fomented largely because in 1812 the American government had a financial surplus for the first time since the long-term financial disaster created by the War of Independence [note how immigration slackened during this period].

The most important theatre was the Atlantic, and its convoys, and at war's end the British had run out of prison capacity close to ports in which to house the only Americans who had or might have had any meaningful success in arms, namely their privateers.

The second-most important theatre was the western seaboard, which featured the greatest frigate action of all, between Endymion and President. The President's captain had previously suffered embarrassment even in victory, when he was awarded half the usual prize money due to the size of the tiddler he mistakenly brought into port. Otherwise the British ran amok unchecked by serious opposition, at sea and on coastal raids, which culminated with the nation's capital being burnt.

In the third-most important theatre, the Canadian border, the American hordes were seen off in one of the classic heroic epics of empire, by small numbers of plucky defenders, far from any help or support, almost strangers to one another, united in their distaste of their assailants' democratic methods. They were helped by general incompetence on the part of their enemy, but it should be said that the War of 1812 was misguided to the extent that the Americans had no hope at all, from the beginning, except insofar as the British would choose not to resist their advances. Those games which give the Americans a chance are therefore historically faulty, if not in terms of design.

From the British point-of-view their entirely unsuccessful enemies had been so roundly trounced by land and sea, and in the counting houses, that it was hardly worth mentioning alongside Napoleon [in Russia, where more men died in the Great Redoubt]. They didn't take the end-of-war negotiations too seriously either, essentially dictating to their half-enemy a return to the pre-war status quo, which half of Americans wanted anyway, as it was good for business -- and all the more when they surveyed the wreckage of their national armed forces & economy. They had also been prevented from stealing Spanish Florida, though they took it in 1819, and thereafter large swathes of northern Mexico in the 1840s.
The one enduring British memory is of the action between Shannon & Chesapeake. The fate of the US Navy's ship was that of the war in microcosm [they whipped a black sailor in pique], but the British captain, Philip Broke, became a national hero after surviving a near-fatal wound, sustained at the moment of victory. It is however evident that contriving a duel between frigates, as if between discordant gentlemen, was a tad silly.

As usual, military defeat spawned political change in America, so vast sums were spent fortifying virtually every port, large & small, along the eastern seaboard. New York City's coastal defences were continuously upgraded, and today serve as a useful one-stop illustration of this aspect of 19th century history. Even as late as 1940, anti-aircraft defence was the responsibility of the Coastal Artillery.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Rex Stites
United States
Lawrence
Kansas
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Verbosity wrote:
I find I like alternative perspectives in boardgaming in general and gravitate towards games with a strong thesis (Sierra Madre Games titles) or ones that up-end the common tropes of gaming (as found in games like Roads & Boats).

Within wargaming, is GMT's COIN series considered a wargame or a conflict simulation? I know there are hardline grognards that have a very strict definition of what "wargame" means and anything that falls outside of a game of pure military logistics and combat movement isn't allowed.


I think the people who reject it as a wargame also reject it as a consim; i.e., they think it's a Euro because it has cubes.

The COIN series itself is more of a departure from typical wargame design than it is a different perspective on the wars depicted (broadly speaking about the series as a whole, at least.)

Quote:
I think the take of "Liberty or Death: The American Insurrection" that it was a (successful) insurrection was spot on, and that there were two supporting factions that were hoping to gain something in the conflict (the French wanted to show that the British Empire was not invulnerable and probably overextended itself, the Indians represented in the game wanted to reestablish the right over the land that they called home). I also enjoy that the British wanted to show that their empire and military was still effective in maintaining control, and that the Patriots were mainly interested in establishing dominance over the American territory.


The insurrection portion isn't a whole lot different than Washington's War's/We the People's political control marker system. LoD is just more detailed than WaWa in how it models this aspect. Both essentially agree that the war was not a pure military affair and was won/lost because of the political aspects of who the population wanted to support.

Treating it as more than a purely 2-sided affair is obviously unique, though.

Quote:
You also see a bit of a different take in "A Distant Plain" and "Fire in the Lake" - where the coalition and US Military have to deal with the political pressures at home to 'bring the troops back' is represented by a victory condition that requires them to withdraw their military forces from the conflict.


I don't know that either of these are that unique in this respect in how they treat their wars. I still haven't played Vietnam 1965-1975, but I don't think its view is fundamentally different than FitL. I don't know if there's another Afghanistan/post-9/11 game out there to compare ADP to.

Quote:
Getting outside the traditional wargame genre, there are several... I don't know, 'conflict simulation' (?) games that come to mind.

"The Grizzled" is a card game that abstracts surviving the first part of The Great War from the perspective of a group of individual soldiers. Missions are abstracted by playing cards with the goal of not getting 3 of the same icon or color on the cards played, or getting too many hardships on one person that they are lost. Its a very different take on war.

I wanted to back the kickstarter of "This War of Mine" which takes a look at warfare from a civilian caught in the middle perspective, and is based off of the video game. I wasn't able to at the time, so am a bit sad about that.


I wouldn't consider either of these wargames or conflict simulations. But they certainly approach war from a unique point of view. Unlike some of the earlier examples where there's a difference in how you interpret the strategic implications of a war, these offer perspectives not typically gamed. I don't know that anyone would disagree with the depiction as much as it's just unexpected ina game.

Quote:
Another two in this set is "Pax Porfiriana" which takes a look at revolution in late 19th/early 20th century Mexico (and shows how business interests can lead to revolution) and "Pax Pamir" which puts the player in the role of tribes working to gain favor of the giants of the time (set during 'The Great Game' and thus puts the players in the position of manipulating The British Empire, The Russian Empire, and an Afghan nationalist movment... or are the players the pawns being manipulated by them). Both these games take what we understand about the roots of revolution and the key participants in the conflict and give us a different perspective. This changes the context of how you interpret the conflict, and changes the meaning of revolution.


I think you've probably misinterpreted Porfiriana if you've reached the conclusion that business interests leads to revolution. Porfiriana games a period where there was no rule of law and corruption in government was the rule, not the exception. It depicts the chaos and uncertainty that ensue in such a system. It is not business that causes the "revolution"; it is the chaos and uncertainty that forces those seeking power to pursue it through coercion rather than mutually beneficial business transactions.

 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Szarka
Canada
Waterloo
Ontario
flag msg tools
badge
When it is your turn to send a VASSAL move, the wait is excruciating. When it's my turn, well, I've been busy.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
The Americans achieved what they wanted: no more impressing of US citizens or seizing of US ships.


But they could have had that early in the war, since the Orders in Council had already been revoked. They did not need to fight for three years if that was their only aim. Letters to George Prevost document British willingness to negotiate a peace.

Ten days after the declaration Thomas Jefferson announced that "upon the whole, I have known no war entered into under more favourable auspices. Our present enemy will have the sea to herself, while we shall be equally predominant on land, and shall strip her of all her possessions on this continent".

I could quote debate in the Congress..."a scuffle and a scramble for plunder". "Ever since the report of the Committee on Foreign Relations came into the House, we have heard but one word - like the whippoor-will, but one monotonous tone - Canada! Canada! Canada!"

It was not so one-dimensional. They wanted terrotory, and they wanted to undermine apparent British support for the Indians. And they thought it would be easy, because a lot of people in Upper Canada were native Americans who had come to Canada for land grants. But they did not rise up against the Crown as was expected, so the War Hawks did not get what they wanted.

It was a draw at best (and I think even that case is hard to make).
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Ron A
United States
California
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
whac3 wrote:
Most games I find seem to be from a US-centric POV in the US is involved, with other conflicts following the narrative of the conflict taught at US schools.

So what alternative perspectives have you found in wargames?


I'll agree that most games are from a US-POV if the US is involved, but not all, and there are some real gems in there. 3 exceptions where the designers have no dog in the fight:

Somebody already mentioned 1944: Race to the Rhine-- Polish design team.

The well received 13 Days: The Cuban Missile Crisis? Danish design team.

Both of the above designs are not just good games, but their art design really captures their respective eras.

Another innovative design, W1815, covering a famous French VS English/Dutch/Prussian battle-has Finnish designers.

One game where the US was involved, but if anything the game is NOT slanted towards the US-- Bulge 20. It has a different perspective from most Bulge games in a number of ways-- for one thing, the map actually includes the ultimate German objective of Antwerp. Most Bulge games focus on, and extend only to the Meuse River.

Second, the Germans actually have a pretty good chance of winning the game, opposite of most scholarly analysis of the battle.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.