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Subject: Operational Simulation, refereed rss

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I'm looking for a military simulation, perhaps the kind people use in militaries today, involving many players from General down to Majors in a division level conflict.

You'd have different teams and a referee or two (or four) and this way, you'd simulate fog of war, communications, logistics, and all that good stuff.

Anyone know where I could lay my hands on such a thing?

 
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Kurt Weihs
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Are you looking for a tabletop simulation or something more?
 
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Ben Vincent
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Neopeius wrote:
I'm looking for a military simulation, perhaps the kind people use in militaries today, involving many players from General down to Majors in a division level conflict.


Sounds like you're looking for something like a Warfighter exercise.

This type of training is not so much about the "game" (the outcome of the simulation) as the planning, communication, and decision making, though the simulations are very robust. Brigade Combat Team is pretty similar to the Janus software used for Battalion and Brigade level command post exercises.

Board games usually have lots of rules to try to prevent the players from taking too much advantage of their omniscience. With referees, you could conceivably adapt any game to double blind and strip out a lot of rules. You might try a naval game like Close Action - which already includes rules for (delayed) communication between ships.
 
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Hunga Dunga
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Neopeius wrote:
You'd have different teams and a referee or two (or four) and this way, you'd simulate fog of war, communications, logistics, and all that good stuff.

You certainly don't need referees to simulate fog of war, communications, logistics, and all that good stuff.
 
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Giles Schildt
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Kriegsspiel is the game used by the militaries of yesterday, before computers were enlisted to handle all the number crunching. The system can be easily adapted to any scale or period IF you have a head umpire all the players will trust to resolve the contacts and handle period rules. You'll need decent maps of course, but for your purposes weapon data only has to be "good enough"; the head referee is going to be making some ballpark estimates on the effects of terrain, morale, &c anyway.

There are several computer game options, but to be honest, many of them just take Kriegsspiel, replace message runners and physical dice with cat 5 cable and bigger lookup tables, add a lot of pretty pictures, and make you squint at your little 17" map. They are a lot less work for the referees though. . .

This subset of the programs we use or have used for training at the Army's Command and General Staff College are available on the commercial market: Like most computer games, these effectively assume ideal C4I systems, so there isn't any fog of war or communication delay for your own forces or delay in your enemy spot reports. You may prefer to have referees filter the information from the simulation before giving it to the players and/or impose realistic delays on order execution. You don't have to let most (or even any) of the players look at the computer screen at all.

We use Decisive Action (http://www.hpssims.com/Pages/products/DA/decisive_action.htm...) for division and corps level exercises. The logistics model available in the civilian version isn't very realistic, but it works. Or you can turn it off for short fights and/or adjudicate by hand for longer fights.

TacOps (http://www.battlefront.com/products/tacops4/tacops4.html) has been used for battalion, brigade, and maybe even division exercises. The Army bought a service-wide license for it, and I couldn't begin to tell you all the places it's been used in the military.

Matrix just released a civilian version of Close Combat (http://www.matrixgames.com/games/game.asp?gid=350) with modern weapons. It supports 10 players, but it won't scale to anywhere near division level. It should work for battalion or lower though.

Milsim (http://www.c4ic.com/MILSIM/MILSIM.htm) is an entity level simulation that is probably too much overhead for what you're looking for. I'm told it's available to the public, but it's probably also out of your price range.

If you have WWII enthusiasts you might be interested in Conquest of the Aegean. We don't use it at CGSC because it's WWII and it doesn't provide network support for multiple players on the same side, so you'll need to have referees do all the order entry and feedback to the players. On the plus side, it does its own adjudication of order delays; a good AI will manage some grunt work for you, but it only understands terrain based objectives - it will organize units to take a town, but not to fix, flank, or pursue enemy units. However it is effectively limited to brigade ops, you still get ideal tracking of your own troops, and the fog of war with respect to enemies may be a little thick - I've seen daytime, short-range spot reports on a single enemy rifle company (verified on the other screen in a network game) bounce from "bridging engineers" to "panzer battalion" to "support base" (a.k.a. "logistics stockpile" or "ammo dump") in mere minutes while my troops shoot at them. That kind of fog of war can make it pretty hard to plan.
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Bob Roberts

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On computer this is worth a look:
http://www.historicalsoftware.com/

I'll second TacOps on computer as well.

The newly released version of Kriegsspiel by Too Fat Lardies is the ancestor of all modern wargames. It may take a bit to wrap your head around it but it is worth the effort. It was very interesting how much the rules have in common with "modern" wargames, CRT's, terrain effects charts etc.


Also worth a look for WW2 are Megablitz, a set of operational level WW2 miniatures rules. Not sure who carries them these days, I scored my copy on Ebay but I'm pretty sure they are still in print.

And these are free and worth a look:

http://games.groups.yahoo.com/group/assault_gun/
http://www.kremlinminiatures.co.uk/hurrah_stalino.htm
http://www.geocities.com/glasgowphoenix/kiss.html
http://www.chris.kemp.dsl.pipex.com/nqmhome.htm
http://www.jimwallman.org.uk/wargame/index.htm


Many more worth a look on this site:
http://www.freewargamesrules.co.uk/
 
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Giles Schildt
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badinfo wrote:
The newly released version of Kriegsspiel

It's probably less confusing to refer to it as "recently re-published," since this is a re-layout of a 1983 translation of von Reisswitz's original 1824 Kriegsspiel. Sorry, but it just sounds so jarring to refer to the ancestor of all modern wargames as "newly released."

Also worth noting: only one or two umpires really need to "wrap their head around it." The messengers and players don't need to know the rules at all, though having some concept of their units' move rates and other basic capabilities would be good. The game will also play faster if everyone is on the same page for terminology.
 
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