Board Games are a kind of simulators. Usually the author defines several dozens of rules and sets the task for the players-to succeed in this model. Sometimes it crushes the most points, other times reaching some goal in front of others. Regardless of the noisy announcements add the so-called climate is a mere Fig leaf for dry Europeanism.
Meanwhile, war games, as I understand them, and I remember, are trying to match real events related to this battle, campaign or war. Give using rules, chips and military boards, the chaos, the efforts of the soldiers, the genius or the scarcity of their commanders.
Historical war games
And this is what a simple war game aleen looks like: I like Board war games, among other things, for being games about something, not just a dry mechanism based on mathematical calculations. Because they represent something and allow you to move to another world and feel it. In the case of war games this other world is usually past: famous battles (sometimes these less famous ones), campaigns, wars, but also great politics and diplomacy, which at the highest level with war, inevitably merge. It happens that in war games there are also other kinds of historical events, for example, related to art or geographical discoveries.
War games can be defined as a game with a plot. The role of the plot corresponds to them, as a rule, history. You can look at it in such a way that the player enjoys communicating with this story. Of course, war games are not the only category of games where the storyline is important. In war games, we are talking not only about the most emotional and superficial sense of communication with history, but also about the fact that they allow you to better understand the mechanisms that control the fate of soldiers, troops, army and States.
Often a war game confronts us with dilemmas that were involving historical heroes, generals or politicians. Here, too, as in the Euro games, we must solve various puzzles, strive to pursue different goals, neutralize threats or balance between them. So all of this is designed in a way that reflects the real problems, constraints and opportunities that have emerged in this conflict. A further consequence of what I mentioned above is the ability to change the course of the game of history, of course, within certain limits.
Greek war games
Coming back to your question, not without meaning for me the theme of greek war games. Always interested in history and war games, next to reading history books, in my case one of the main ways to develop these interests. I will add at once that you do not need to be a historian or passionate about history to play this kind of game and have a good time. I am historian. Just like me. History is for me one of my Hobbies, not a profession, or a stage of education.
Yes, I am pleased when the game – its mechanisms – give in some way the plot. I will give here examples of historical war games such as Automobile, Oligarchs, K2, you Ice Garden, the world without end, Wir sind das Volk! However, they have – immunity and from the beginning – the distance to the world depicted. The authors adopt a certain range of realism based mainly on the imagination of the players. The words of J. R. R. Tolkien – the suspension of disbelief. Both board war games authors and players accept in advance that the model is rather schematic. Has to pass the overall tone and mood of the prototype.
History war games
But in acient war games – as it seems to me-this desire for details of the model is quite far advanced. These coefficients describe morale, loss, differences in training and equipment… is it possible to describe such complex parameters? And most importantly for me – I can’t stop disbelief in the case of greek war games (complicated) – how can you believe in a different outcome of war, battle, skirmish than in real history?
I have to stipulate that I do not know all of the history war games names you listed, but for me this kind of game, however, https://foreignpolicy.com/2011/08/31/war-games-a-short-history/ mostly abstract mechanisms in which, maybe, and added some plot, but too much of it there. Usually it is so that someone comes up with some kind of mathematical mechanism, and then at the very end earns for this some history. Do you have a feeling that you are playing „K2”, it is somehow connected with the ascent to K2? With the mountains? Tolkien is a denial of this approach. He created a vast fantasy world, based on his linguistic and literary knowledge, came up with, for example, special languages races inhabiting middle-earth, there are in his novels many different details that make them reliable. Happy to get the game, referring to the fictional world of fantasy, if they have something…
Acient war games
With the detail in acient war games so really different. It’s a bit like writing a history book. You make a selection of facts and other elements of the described reality, focusing on what is important. In games, you can show the same conflict from different angles. Focus on different aspects. Sometimes in battles it is more important to capture one or more of the most important aspects.
A good example would be Napoleon’s Triumph. Battle of Austerlitz (2.XII.1805) was in some sense a trap, that Napoleon left on Allies.
The key to this battle is that at first the allies rubbed, wanting to blame the French army, not knowing that the French would actually have more power than was seen, and not expecting an attack on their center. Then during the battle, the roles are reversed. The French are for the offensive, and the army of the Austro-Russian only trying to save his own skin. The big trick that failed the author of „Napoleon’s Triumph” lead to the fact that despite the fact that players know what happened, carry out more or less similar scenario in the game and have in their so much freedom, their actions are not strictly predetermined.
Ancient wars games
With the myth that another outcome of war, battle, or campaign is impossible for complex games, I’ll admit that I’m wondering where this comes from among fans of ancient wars games, because anyone who has ever played history war games (well, maybe a few times – to have a representative sample) will immediately realize that it has nothing to do with reality. Of course, especially in the case of war, such conflicts that this party was not able to win, but then the conditions of the victory of the ancient wars games, as a rule, are built in such a way that we look if the player managed to achieve more than your army, you do the leader in history. This is only one possibility as with the war not win make a game where the player can win.
I acknowledge that this alone (lover of abstract mechanisms) is amazing, but I just K2 is such a game where I feel frostbite, oxygen hunger, bitter frustration with the next step (unsuccessful) and hostility of the situation that I will cope with this grief. Few other games have worked for me like this…