[meta] A modest proposal.

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[meta] A modest proposal.

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Jun 2020 11:50

My I suggest a guide for what-if scenarios: https://dnnlgwick.blob.core.windows.net ... PcwBrgs%3D
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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by T. A. Gardner » 09 Jun 2020 17:14

I'm not so sure I'd want to use the Naval War College's wargaming scenario system as a basis for a "What if." Having participated in two of their annual games, I found their scenarios bordered in many ways on the absurd. Red--I got stuck on the Red team (bad guys) both times--is always at a major, huge disadvantage. Reality almost doesn't exist and Red is pretty much there just to be targets.
Yea, you can mess with the neat and tidy outcomes the people running things want... In one I sank both of the US "arsenal' ships right off creating a major aw$h!+. The referee staff and guy running things tried every way they could to not let that happen. Cost a good portion of Red's ships but it was worth it... All I did to do it was reposition some Red ships before the game started... The sailors doing the programming for the game were more than happy to help the Chief out (I was also ordered--ORDERED--not to show them how to take over the computer system :D There's a neat trick in Unix you can use if you have access to the console. Best part nobody knows you did it).

Or, I sank an amphibious group Blue wasn't paying any attention to early in a game. They had zero escorts near it so that was real easy with a couple of AIP diesel boats I had the sailors move near it. When it came time like late on the second day for the amphibious group to land its troops it didn't exist so the people running the game had to magically resurrect it and let the zombie Marines land...

Being a Chief, I got in both times on my programming background and degree as "support staff" but was able to play on Red with the usually junior officers assigned to run the bad guys. They liked getting even with Blue too..

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Jun 2020 17:51

So you're saying that if the rules work the game would work. Sounds like a plan.
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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by T. A. Gardner » 09 Jun 2020 22:59

OpanaPointer wrote:
09 Jun 2020 17:51
So you're saying that if the rules work the game would work. Sounds like a plan.
More like the game has to have realistic rules and a reasonably realistic scenario. If you load it up with every "If" on the planet and you then use loaded dice to decide everything in favor of one side, your scenario is a complete fail. The side you are rooting for can lose. Game it out neutrally, don't favor one side over the other.

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by OpanaPointer » 09 Jun 2020 23:16

Any possible way we could not cheat? Just wondering?
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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 13 Jun 2020 01:30

OpanaPointer wrote:
09 Jun 2020 23:16
Any possible way we could not cheat? Just wondering?
I cant recall a military war-game or map exercise where the rules were not bent thru ignorance or design. Not much different from a commercial game wi beer & pretzels on the side.

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by glenn239 » 15 Jun 2020 14:35

Thanks for that background TA. Places some context on the criticism of Ugaki's wargames before Midway I suppose.

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by OpanaPointer » 15 Jun 2020 15:15

It's good to know that the assumption is we'll cheat if we use those rules.
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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by T. A. Gardner » 17 Jun 2020 22:12

glenn239 wrote:
15 Jun 2020 14:35
Thanks for that background TA. Places some context on the criticism of Ugaki's wargames before Midway I suppose.
In modern US Navy games, the aircraft carrier or carriers are unsinkable. Doesn't matter how many attacks you make or how much stuff you throw at them, the carrier stays in the game unscathed. No one wants to anger the admiral running that part of the show--sometimes remotely now.

The other thing I've seen is political outcomes where it would be awkward or possibly anger allies over things. One I did in one of the games was put two AIP diesel boats in the Straight of Tsushima during the game (it was based on a Korea-China scenario). The Australians had some Perry class frigates they ran into the Straight at high speed right over the subs and were sunk-- except they had to have toys to play with so the boats were "unsunk" and allowed to continue in the game...

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by The Ibis » 18 Jun 2020 16:02

Great stories, Terry. Thanks for sharing.
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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 20 Jun 2020 01:34

Heres a story. From the 'Naval Institute Proceedings' It happened back in the late Cold War IIRC. The exercise was a Italian air wing was to practice attacks on a USN carrier TF acting as a Soviet naval group. The US TF commander took his carrier group outside the exercise area during the scheduled date, leaving the air wing fruitlessly searching for the OPFor. The Italian wing commander was a bit pissed. A full quarter of his annual training budget had been wasted flying circles in the sky. No practicing recon reports, vectoring attack groups, no electronic warfare practice, no target tracking, no setting up attack profiles, no following ships in evasive maneuvers, ect... ect...

Was the US Commander a slick & clever tricking the OpFor ala Captain Kirk? F..k no, aside from trashing a NATO Allies budget & precious training time he also pissed away defense training his crews needed.

Sinking ships early in the exercise does reveal flaws & problems, but it also cuts the 'crews' out of precious training time. So, if the exercise falls apart a couple hours into it what do you do? Tell everyone to reconvene at the club, or sound liberty call? Or refloat the ships and grind on?

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 20 Jun 2020 20:55

Carl Schwamberger wrote:
20 Jun 2020 01:34
Heres a story. From the 'Naval Institute Proceedings' It happened back in the late Cold War IIRC. The exercise was a Italian air wing was to practice attacks on a USN carrier TF acting as a Soviet naval group. The US TF commander took his carrier group outside the exercise area during the scheduled date, leaving the air wing fruitlessly searching for the OPFor. The Italian wing commander was a bit pissed. A full quarter of his annual training budget had been wasted flying circles in the sky. No practicing recon reports, vectoring attack groups, no electronic warfare practice, no target tracking, no setting up attack profiles, no following ships in evasive maneuvers, ect... ect...

Was the US Commander a slick & clever tricking the OpFor ala Captain Kirk? F..k no, aside from trashing a NATO Allies budget & precious training time he also pissed away defense training his crews needed.

Sinking ships early in the exercise does reveal flaws & problems, but it also cuts the 'crews' out of precious training time. So, if the exercise falls apart a couple hours into it what do you do? Tell everyone to reconvene at the club, or sound liberty call? Or refloat the ships and grind on?
Excellent point. Training exercises are just that, exercises, not "war games." Sending a brigade or battalion to a place like Fort Irwin for days to weeks, or putting together a RIMPAC or UNITAS, is not cheap, in terms of budget, time, consumables, and stress on the manpower and equipment. Saying "let's pretend" and then blowing the planned evolutions of the exercise is stupid and utterly wasteful.

However, a tabletop exercise, like (as an example) Ugaki's war games before Midway are (generally) designed to explore command-level alternatives. Those are very different fields of endeavor, and confusing them is simply ignorance.

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 21 Jun 2020 00:56

daveshoup2MD wrote:
20 Jun 2020 20:55
...

However, a tabletop exercise, like (as an example) Ugaki's war games before Midway are (generally) designed to explore command-level alternatives. Those are very different fields of endeavor, and confusing them is simply ignorance.
I've often wondered if that specific 'game' was intended as a simple rehearsal of a complex plan, or a actual test of the plan? Either way it was a failure, but two very different forms of failure.

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by daveshoup2MD » 21 Jun 2020 05:13

Fair question. A lot of popular history tends to overlook such points, in favor of the "juicy" anecdote ... SLA Marshall vis a vis James C. Fry, for example.

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Re: [meta] A modest proposal.

Post by Cult Icon » 23 Jun 2020 13:56

I think the most important thing to include IS SOURCES. Anyone can make up a biased cool-sounding story/analytical description by stringing together some snappy talking points and evocative imagery but at least link someone to books, articles, etc. that you are inspired by so those that are reading can see where you got it from rather than your opinion/interpretation of it. It is hard to believe any of these claims particularly when they strongly depart from what is in the literature and look like they were made up to confirm the user's prejudices.

Also if someone is posting figures I would like to see where they are from, otherwise it is hard to trust them.

Another important thing is to clearly define bogus rhetoric/ sophistry is and discourage it. This takes a lot of space and is very annoying, and comes across as people trying to kill time by satisfying their egotism.

And finally, a consciousness of maladaptive practices that exhibit intellectual vanity and snobbery & contempt.

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