Friday, May 20, 2022

Link for Friday 5/20/22

Just one link for the week:

- Video: What games get wrong about war

One game I really enjoyed, War in the East, is especially bad on the "exact detail" level. You know to the tank, the squad, the truck the capacity of your army. But it is good on all of the others - morale, non-combatants, supply, lack of knowledge of enemy formations, difference between killed and wounded. The biggest trouble you have as the Germans in WITE are trucks, roads, and enough construction troops to upgrade the rails quickly . . . and the cost of swapping to better leaders over the better politically-connected. The Soviets suffer more from lack of good leadership early and the difficulty in organizing your forces in the face of German man-to-man superiority. And trucks. No one has enough trucks until long after the issue is mostly decided in one way or the other. Not even then for the Germans, in my playthroughs.

Tabletop games are especially notable for the "100% kill" issue. RPGs tend to assume only extermination is victory, many foes must be killed to defeat, and indeed often you can't get maximal XP (the minimums standard of PC expectations) by killing them all. Add that to the total knowledge of your own capabilities, down to precise knowledge of your chances of success, etc. and the usual lack of morale . . . and you get something very different from reality, no matter how realistic or not the system purports to be.

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