best game ever?Ha, that's a loaded question! However, let's start at the beginning......
|RAND Baltic game, hex grid overlay|
I mention the RAND game first because they have used a mix of a standard boardgame with little cardboard units that we are all familiar with in a combination with current military experience. The report is good, the concepts are great and the recommendations are probably very sound. Also, if you are interested in current developments in the east, their report is a great basis for some Cold War Commander battles.
According to Paxsims (one of my favourite sites):
“full documentation of the gaming platform will be forth-coming in a subsequent report.”That will be very cool, can't wait.
The reason for mentioning this first is that RAND have been doing military analytics for at least 50 years, if not more, and they know what they are doing. The Baltic stuff is top notch. However, I have now found something that looks and feels like a major step forward. This is C-WAM!
|Turkish M60s on the Iraqi border|
|"Oh, alright, I surrender then!"|
|TOW: Great BBQ starter!|
- They use a square grid on a map;
- Squares are 1 by 1 inch;
- All units that take up space are represented on the map;
- A grid square represents the area a brigade would occupy when deployed defensively;
- Time scale is one or three day turns;
- Squares may represent different sized areas depending on predominant terrain in the combat area e.g. 5km in rolling terrain;
- Units are brigades;
- Weather effects are very important, this is the first phase in a turn;
- Cyber/Space/EW effects are included, you might be successful in dealing in a turn with information attacks and attacks on your space assets (satellites) but you may suffer degradation of in electronic warfare terms;
- Intel/Surveillance/Recce effects are merged into a targeting value, if you are moving in a J-STARs area you are detected! Otherwise you are detected it there is a targeting value success. Special forces are primarily an information gathering/targeting device!
- Deep strike bombardments (ballistic missiles, cruise missiles, air packages), atmosphere penetrators (oooer missus);
- Integrated air defense system "gates" and air to air combat;
- Forward Area Logistical Supportability: supply to you and me;
- A major naval warfare sub-system (not useful in the desert but...);
- Reception, Staging, Onward Movement and Integration (RSOI) Operations: reinforcements anyone?
- Manoeuvre and stacking (that would be "battlespace limitations"!);
- Force Multiplier Combat Values: artillery support;
- Ground force combat with tables and die rolls!
|Syrian forces exposing themselves to ISR detection|
Are they the best game ever? No, but they are such a major insight into real-world wargaming and current US doctrine that they are extremely important. if you don't wear green pyjamas, reading these rules is the closest you will get to the smell of gunpowder. Oh, by the way, they use a square grid, how interesting is that!