Discuss GrogCast Episode 18! (Yes, you can discuss both parts here)

Started by bayonetbrant, July 07, 2015, 08:12:03 AM

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Mr. Bigglesworth

Back on topic, I would like to add a few thoughts on 'what is a wargame'.

First, i see a simulation as a model of some process. You can simulate a jet or a race car , which are physics type simulations. You can also simulate an economy or an ai which are models based on theory.

A game to me, brings up game theory. Originally there was theory for zero sum games. There is some pot that everyone wants to win or the pot is avoiding a loss like the classic Prisoner's Dilemma. Later there was theory for cooperative games. See Morgenstern and von Neumann. So games in the game theory mathematical methods are not all about winners and losers/ competition. There are many cooperative games.

Which leads to strategy. Remember Sun Tsu said the highest level of strategy gets you your aims without war. If you have to have a bloody war the General has failed to prepare the situation. You can think of the bloodless taking of Crimea as a big strategy win in Sun Tsu terms, as far as it goes.

So strategy is about methods to achieve goals. we often think of wargames as strategy games. The classification of strategy games, on Steam for example, is mostly what we would call wargames. Yeah, there is tetris and crap as well.

I would say wargames are things that typically have a military focus, usually with different militaries in conflict. Do such things achieve the goals of the State? Historically yes. In the modern world no. Historically, the winner of a war would dictate life for the regions of the belligerents going forward. In modern State war everyone loses far more than they gain. So IMO, historical wargames are decisive worthwhile studies. A modern conflict needs to cover far more than the military aspect to determine anything meaningful.

The post is getting long so I will stop there.
"Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more; "
- Shakespeare's Henry V, Act III, 1598