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Game vs Simulation

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Anonymous
July 7, 2005 6:58:17 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Hi,

While browsing the Paper Wars cd (a compendium of boardgame reviews)
there's one thing that triggered my attention : the amount of
boardgames that are either totally or partially card-based. Now,
there's a good reason for this : boardgames are primarily designed for
FTF play and with the limited FOW inherent in most boardgames these
cards become the prime suspense factor. And the prime surprise/luck
factor. This makes for great entertainment between opposing players as
even the totally unskilled player can win dramatically just by being a
lucky bastard. These are the games that get remembered and retold.
That's entertainment. That's what I call a game.

PC wargames otoh are almost devoid of "luck" - I'm not talking about
the operational surprise of a Panzer battalion appearing early in your
flank here, or the 20% chance that a certain event might trigger if
such and such condition are met. No, I'm talking about things you can't
guard against, the cold shower surprises. PC wargames are more evenly
balanced, even so that the unskilled player gets clobbered heavily
every time. PC wargames have predictable outcomes, they are not games,
they are simulations.

I've been thinking about why pc wargame developers haven't developed a
kind of card-drawing mechanism in their games in order to emulate the
success of card-driven boardgames.

Maybe it's because pc wargamers don't like luck playing such an
important part - if the AI would pull such a stunt the boards would be
overflowing with "the AI is cheating" messages, if it happens in an
online game they would feel cheated out of a deserved victory.

Maybe it's because you don't mind losing against a buddy across the
table who had more luck than he'd ever deserve than against some dumb
AI or a faceless opponent on the 'net.

Maybe it's because AI's can't cope with such swings of fortune - or
can't develop a strategy of holding on to a certain card in the hope
you'll draw it's companion in the next turn for a double whammy.

Maybe it's a combination of things, but sometimes I wish my pc wargames
were a little bit more entertainment and a bit less simulation.

All ideas on this and/or totally unrelated subjects - as always -
appreciated

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx

More about : game simulation

Anonymous
July 7, 2005 5:29:06 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

I don't think I agree with your statement "PC wargames are more evenly
balanced, even so that the unskilled player gets clobbered heavily
every time. PC wargames have predictable outcomes, they are not games,
they are simulations. "

By this logic, Go and Chess are simulations and not games, because I
consistently get clobbered by more skilled players.
Anonymous
July 7, 2005 8:12:59 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Hey Eddy,

Just for you I'm going to write a new function in COTA to be called the
SterckxSurpriseDraw() that will randomly create surprise events in the
game. We'll have natural disasters like earthquakes, the arrival of the
odd Panzer Army in your rear echelon and the piece de resistrance will
be the death of the leader occassioned by a short high voltage electric
discharge through the mouse. When the latter event occurs people will
say "well I was just about to win when I got sterckxed". This of course
will be a user option for all except yourself mate. ;) )
Related resources
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 3:17:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

jari k schreef:

> For example in HOI2 style of game you might get lucky and your
> technology advances very fast, but because things are happening under
> the hood it is like flow that varies in speed ..no sudden "*bwham*
> muhahahaa! I got these cards! I can conquer the world!" feeling but more
> slow happy feeling when things seem to go quite ok.

Yup, you've put your finger on it - the sudden surge of happiness when
you draw the right card or despair when your opponent plays the double
whammy is something that is lacking in pc wargames.

> and importantly also there would be
> this instant feedback that you were lucky right now.

Important point indeed : the game needs to communicate this well.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 3:24:38 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

fizzy schreef:
> I don't think I agree with your statement "PC wargames are more evenly
> balanced, even so that the unskilled player gets clobbered heavily
> every time. PC wargames have predictable outcomes, they are not games,
> they are simulations. "
>
> By this logic, Go and Chess are simulations and not games, because I
> consistently get clobbered by more skilled players.

eh, my point exactly - there are no surprises in chess, no fow, no
"place an extra queen piece anywhere on the board" card you can draw.
Chess is a simulation.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 5:26:30 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Eddy, you need to play some more head to head games.
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 6:00:55 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Arjuna schreef:
> Eddy, you need to play some more head to head games.

<innocently>
This suggestions wouldn't have anything to do with your request of a
focus on COTA network testing, would it ? :) 
</innocently>

Well, last night I had an "Oops, didn't see that one coming" moment in
COTA but only so because I was so much focused on the fighting around
the lunatic asylum on Malta I didn't notice an AI counterattack on my
right flank until it was too late to send reserves over there.

The irony is that it happened a couple of hours after my "complaint"
that wargames can't surprise me anymore :) 

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 10:40:52 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Eddy,

>I was so much focused on the fighting around
the lunatic asylum on Malta

You mean Eddy's Hollow don't you? ;) 
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 11:03:19 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Arjuna schreef:
> Eddy,
>
> >I was so much focused on the fighting around
> the lunatic asylum on Malta
>
> You mean Eddy's Hollow don't you? ;) 

Ah, you already fixed that bug :) 

some inside information here : I was testing a Malta scenario when I
saw the lunatic asylum on the map - which IRL really was there - so I
immediatly did a screen capture and reported it as a bug saying it
should be "Panther Games HQ". Arjuna was more inclined to call it
"Eddy's Hollow" and I agreed on the condition that it was made a
victory location.

Before someone thinks that this kind of bs is causing the game to be
delayed : this sort of post is not indicative of the threads in the
beta-forum where some deadly serious debates are held on the realism
and/or advisability of some features. Most of which goes way over my
head which doesn't stop me from cheerfully participating anyway. A bit
like in here reallly.

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
July 8, 2005 11:24:04 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Interesting discussion on the random effect. I just bought and started
playing Memoir '44, the WWII succesor to Battle Cry by designer Richard
Borg.
Action on the mapboard is card driven by either action cards (giving
you movement options on certain parts of the map) or tactical cards
(giving you certain options like air attack, close assault or off map
bombardment).
You draw cards blind from the stack, so there's the luck factor, but
you can choose which card in your hand you want to play.
This gives tactical surprises and randomnes in the game.

Perhaps operational cards could be added in a later version (or as
house rules) with say:
* fuel dumps blown: no armoured units can move the rest of the game;
* higher HQ bombed: no movement orders may be issued in your next turn;
* extra airdrop available with reinforcements.

Such randomnes could be programmed in with PC games too. Although you
should put them at 1% chance of happening (or so), they could add spice
to a wargame.
Maybe not in a historical scenario, but certainly in a "what if"
scenario.

Bas
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 1:05:11 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

I agree that it would be nice. In computer games, except Risk that is
based on board game, I have only seen random effect in roll of dice when
calculating battle results. And perhaps some random elements that say it
is raining on that day and your planes can't fly or tanks get stuck in
mud. Random but something happening under the hood.

What I believe you want, and I also would like when think of it, is
random element that you can control and partly plan on. What I have seen
(and remember) in computer games is using your card analogy close to
that in beginning of your turn you would turn a card from deck and it
might contain something. But more interesting (board/card) games have it
so that there might be this one card you turn right away but then you
also collect these random elements and can do some planning using them.

For example in HOI2 style of game you might get lucky and your
technology advances very fast, but because things are happening under
the hood it is like flow that varies in speed ..no sudden "*bwham*
muhahahaa! I got these cards! I can conquer the world!" feeling but more
slow happy feeling when things seem to go quite ok.

For some type of games it would be great to have such random element you
could at least partially control, and importantly also there would be
this instant feedback that you were lucky right now.

--
jari k

remove unnecessary parts of address to make it work
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 1:10:36 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"Chess is a simulation.

Greetz,


Eddy Sterckx"

I hate to get in a pissing war over semantics, but chess is a game, and
has been considered a game for about 1500 years by millions of people,
regardless of your attempt to recategorize it as a "simulation" based
on an arbitrary definition.

Think of if however you want to -- there are no thought police around
-- but that doesn't change history or the dictionary.
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 5:28:40 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

I still fail to see what chess, a highly idealized and abstract game,
simulates. It bears almost no resemblance to anything real or
historical. I would submit that any historical wargame, even one with
a lot of randomness, would mostly likely be a better simulation.
Anonymous
July 8, 2005 8:35:28 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"fizzy" <ewoh27@aol.com> wrote in news:1120839036.037135.230740
@g49g2000cwa.googlegroups.com:


> I hate to get in a pissing war over semantics, but chess is a game,
and
> has been considered a game for about 1500 years by millions of people,
> regardless of your attempt to recategorize it as a "simulation" based
> on an arbitrary definition.

Of course it's an arbitrary definition - I made it up myself :)  -
simulations are games too - maybe I should have called them "games where
luck plays a major part" vs. "realistic games that involve some random
events but are for the most part skill oriented"

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx



--
"Ceterum censeo Belgicam delendam."
(Cato, 'Pro Gerolphe')
Anonymous
July 9, 2005 12:53:05 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

On 2005-07-08, eddysterckx@hotmail.com <eddysterckx@hotmail.com> wrote:

> Yup, you've put your finger on it - the sudden surge of happiness when
> you draw the right card or despair when your opponent plays the double
> whammy is something that is lacking in pc wargames.

Thank goodness...

Cards to me are inappropriate in most strategic and tactical games,
especially wargames.

Most of the time I find their being played a jarring event that keeps
the game from being immersive.

Random events are fine only if they actually relate to what is
happening. Most card based games do nothing to ensure that the events
have anything to do with what is going on in the game.

Having said that, for some games it is OK, because they are much more
casual. I still like playing Risk and other games that use cards, but
they are generally games that take a much more higher level view than
what I usually play.



--
shannon "AT" widomaker.com -- ["Star Wars Moral Number 17: Teddy bears are
dangerous in herds."]
Anonymous
July 9, 2005 6:37:03 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

While taking a short break from the daily grind of enslavement and
world domination, eddysterckx@hotmail.com mentioned

>jari k schreef:
>
>> For example in HOI2 style of game you might get lucky and your
>> technology advances very fast, but because things are happening under
>> the hood it is like flow that varies in speed ..no sudden "*bwham*
>> muhahahaa! I got these cards! I can conquer the world!" feeling but more
>> slow happy feeling when things seem to go quite ok.
>
>Yup, you've put your finger on it - the sudden surge of happiness when
>you draw the right card or despair when your opponent plays the double
>whammy is something that is lacking in pc wargames.
>
>> and importantly also there would be
>> this instant feedback that you were lucky right now.
>
>Important point indeed : the game needs to communicate this well.
>
>Greetz,
>
>Eddy Sterckx


I'm surprised that nobody's yet mentioned the card game "Ambush"
(based on Squad Leader, not ASL) or its offshoot "Computer Ambush"
which I believe was around for the Apple ][ and C64. Never tried the
computer version myself, but there were plenty of tac surprises in the
card version though.
..
..
"When in danger or in doubt,
Run in circles, scream and shout"
..
It's not just a management tool,
It's a philosophy for living!!
..
Anonymous
July 9, 2005 3:12:31 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <Xns968DBBCE46AE1eddysterckxhotmailco@67.98.68.44>,
eddysterckx@hotmail.com says...
> > I hate to get in a pissing war over semantics, but chess is a game,
> and
> > has been considered a game for about 1500 years by millions of people,
> > regardless of your attempt to recategorize it as a "simulation" based
> > on an arbitrary definition.
>
> Of course it's an arbitrary definition - I made it up myself :)  -
> simulations are games too - maybe I should have called them "games where
> luck plays a major part" vs. "realistic games that involve some random
> events but are for the most part skill oriented"

I gotta say, I'm still unclear on the definitions, here.

Here in the USA, in most states there's a legal distinction between
"games of chance" and "games of skill," which is why (where I live...)
you can wager legally on the golf course, but not at the poker table.
But the line gets a bit fuzzy in places. For instance, bridge is
considered a game of skill, but blackjack is a game of chance;
somewhere, someone has made the arbitrary differentiation.

I would define a "simulation" as a game where the player is presented
with an artificial version of a real-world activity, but one that's set
up to mimic *physically* that activity. FALCON 4.0 and FLIGHT COMMANDER
2 both let a player game out air combat and maneuver their jets, but
only FALCON is a simulator, since it doesn't abstract (unnecessarily)
the physical activity necessary to operate a jet. In a *perfect*
simulator, the player would be unable to tell if he *was* in a
simulator.

--
Giftzwerg
***
"It's hard not to be moved by the sight of Londoners calmly going about
their business as usual in the face of terrorism. But, if the governing
class goes about business as usual, that's not a stiff upper lip but a
death wish."
- Mark Steyn
July 9, 2005 5:40:19 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"Miowarra Tomokatu (aka Tomo)" <not@thistime.net> wrote in message
news:afvuc1hsuhbctseoivosn05vp4bhivf9fe@4ax.com...
> While taking a short break from the daily grind of enslavement and
> world domination, eddysterckx@hotmail.com mentioned
>
>>jari k schreef:
>>
>>> For example in HOI2 style of game you might get lucky and your
>>> technology advances very fast, but because things are happening under
>>> the hood it is like flow that varies in speed ..no sudden "*bwham*
>>> muhahahaa! I got these cards! I can conquer the world!" feeling but more
>>> slow happy feeling when things seem to go quite ok.
>>
>>Yup, you've put your finger on it - the sudden surge of happiness when
>>you draw the right card or despair when your opponent plays the double
>>whammy is something that is lacking in pc wargames.
>>
>>> and importantly also there would be
>>> this instant feedback that you were lucky right now.
>>
>>Important point indeed : the game needs to communicate this well.
>>
>>Greetz,
>>
>>Eddy Sterckx
>
>
> I'm surprised that nobody's yet mentioned the card game "Ambush"
> (based on Squad Leader, not ASL) or its offshoot "Computer Ambush"
> which I believe was around for the Apple ][ and C64. Never tried the
> computer version myself, but there were plenty of tac surprises in the
> card version though.
> .
> .
> "When in danger or in doubt,
> Run in circles, scream and shout"
> .
> It's not just a management tool,
> It's a philosophy for living!!
> .

Miowarra, do you mean Up Front? I don't remember a card game called Ambush.
I do remember the solitaire wargame, Ambush, played ona paper map and with a
paragraph events booklet.

I also remember the Apple II game - wasn't it advertised as 'the $2,000
wargame'? I lusted after that at the time but, for a poor student, it was
out of the question.
Anonymous
July 9, 2005 5:40:20 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

In article <daok43$f4d$1@nwrdmz01.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com>,
thedevilsadvocaat@hotmail.com says...

> Miowarra, do you mean Up Front? I don't remember a card game called Ambush.
> I do remember the solitaire wargame, Ambush, played ona paper map and with a
> paragraph events booklet.

This is AMBUSH:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/73408

This is UP FRONT:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/69913

While I never liked card-based games, I though AMBUSH was pretty cool.


--
Giftzwerg
***
"It's hard not to be moved by the sight of Londoners calmly going about
their business as usual in the face of terrorism. But, if the governing
class goes about business as usual, that's not a stiff upper lip but a
death wish."
- Mark Steyn
July 9, 2005 7:22:50 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

"Giftzwerg" <giftzwerg999@NOSPAMZ.hotmail.com> wrote in message
news:MPG.1d39ab563368bb1c98a441@news-central.giganews.com...
> In article <daok43$f4d$1@nwrdmz01.dmz.ncs.ea.ibs-infra.bt.com>,
> thedevilsadvocaat@hotmail.com says...
>
>> Miowarra, do you mean Up Front? I don't remember a card game called
>> Ambush.
>> I do remember the solitaire wargame, Ambush, played ona paper map and
>> with a
>> paragraph events booklet.
>
> This is AMBUSH:
>
> http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/73408
>
> This is UP FRONT:
>
> http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/69913
>
> While I never liked card-based games, I though AMBUSH was pretty cool.
>
>
> --
> Giftzwerg
> ***
> "It's hard not to be moved by the sight of Londoners calmly going about
> their business as usual in the face of terrorism. But, if the governing
> class goes about business as usual, that's not a stiff upper lip but a
> death wish."
> - Mark Steyn

Nice to see that senile dementia's not crept in yet.
Anonymous
July 10, 2005 1:15:01 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

While taking a short break from the daily grind of enslavement and
world domination, Mike mentioned

>"Miowarra Tomokatu (aka Tomo)" <not@thistime.net> wrote in message
>news:afvuc1hsuhbctseoivosn05vp4bhivf9fe@4ax.com...
>> While taking a short break from the daily grind of enslavement and
>> world domination, eddysterckx@hotmail.com mentioned
>>
>>>jari k schreef:
>>>
>>>> For example in HOI2 style of game you might get lucky and your
>>>> technology advances very fast, but because things are happening under
>>>> the hood it is like flow that varies in speed ..no sudden "*bwham*
>>>> muhahahaa! I got these cards! I can conquer the world!" feeling but more
>>>> slow happy feeling when things seem to go quite ok.
>>>
>>>Yup, you've put your finger on it - the sudden surge of happiness when
>>>you draw the right card or despair when your opponent plays the double
>>>whammy is something that is lacking in pc wargames.
>>>
>>>> and importantly also there would be
>>>> this instant feedback that you were lucky right now.
>>>
>>>Important point indeed : the game needs to communicate this well.
>>>
>>>Greetz,
>>>
>>>Eddy Sterckx
>>
>>
>> I'm surprised that nobody's yet mentioned the card game "Ambush"
>> (based on Squad Leader, not ASL) or its offshoot "Computer Ambush"
>> which I believe was around for the Apple ][ and C64. Never tried the
>> computer version myself, but there were plenty of tac surprises in the
>> card version though.
>> .
>> .
>> "When in danger or in doubt,
>> Run in circles, scream and shout"
>> .
>> It's not just a management tool,
>> It's a philosophy for living!!
>> .
>
>Miowarra, do you mean Up Front? I don't remember a card game called Ambush.

Damn, you're RIGHT! (again!!) I looked for the issue in which it was
reviewed, but couldn't find it and had to take a guess at the name. Up
Front it was.

>I do remember the solitaire wargame, Ambush, played ona paper map and with a
>paragraph events booklet.
>
>I also remember the Apple II game - wasn't it advertised as 'the $2,000
>wargame'? I lusted after that at the time but, for a poor student, it was
>out of the question.
>
>

..
..
"When in danger or in doubt,
Run in circles, scream and shout"
..
It's not just a management tool,
It's a philosophy for living!!
..
July 10, 2005 3:48:02 PM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

Personally I cant thin of anything more irritating then a card game. This is
all about personal preferences right? The idea of a trump card that negates
a game worth of strategy is an appalling idea in my opinion. I guess in
these terms simulations are what I prefer. I never found any of them
predictable at all. Simplistic games like Axis and Allies were predictable.
But a good game that involved strategy and tactics was always something new.
Always something that some player tried that last did not. IN PC wargaming a
bit different with computer AI's always being predictable no matter what
claims by designers that the AI is intuitive and revolutionary. But a good
miniatures game was always fresh and enjoyable. The cards spoil the how
thing for me. Random elements were always factored into the wargames I
played. I remember some moderated games that a judge would do things to make
it more random. He was a trainer in the Military. This background led him to
pulling some things that I quite enjoyed. Like in one game a guy did some
really silly tactical road travel in open terrain driving right passed a
frontline repair post that was very poorly placed. So the judge decided to
show him what a huge mistake he was making by adding a few unexpected enemy
tactical aircraft to the game. The commanders mistake was presented to him
in cold hard terms when his column of vehicles and repair depot was lit up
like the 4th of July by two Mig 23's passing by. In that context it made
much sense and everybody had no qualms about the attack other then to kick
themselves for there mistake. But if some opponent just drew a card out of
his hand to play "Airstrike" it would seem quite random and unfair.
Anonymous
July 11, 2005 8:23:24 AM

Archived from groups: comp.sys.ibm.pc.games.war-historical (More info?)

fizzy schreef:
> I still fail to see what chess, a highly idealized and abstract game,
> simulates. It bears almost no resemblance to anything real or
> historical.

Well, (typing from memory here) I've once read an article on chess and
what it was supposed to represent as a battlefield abstraction and what
each piece was supposed to represent.

Basically it was ancient phalanx warfare, with the king piece
representing "the king" - pretty powerless piece, but lose it and
you've lost the battle.

I tried to locate the article again and found this informative piece at
http://www.thegamesjournal.com/articles/BriefHistory.sh...

"Many speculate that Chess did not begin as a game but rather as a
military tool; a method for plotting battles or determining strategy.
Only later did it assume the mantel of a game, certainly there's some
substance to this argument. Ancient armies chose to fight in open
plains whenever possible as the size of the armies proved unwieldy and
were extremely hampered by rough terrain. The flat board represents the
battlefield with the alternating colors (a later addition) reflecting
the limitations of movement. The units have changed through the years
though; they were originally all military units with the queen
alternating between a weak and a strong piece. The difficulty in
communication is simulated by the one move/piece per turn restriction.
Development of ancient battles was slow as transportation and
coordination was more luck than skill. Infantry (pawns) advanced very
slowly but could envelope an enemy (en passant). Elephants (rooks) were
fast and powerful and so on. A strong case can be made for Chess being
the first historical simulation; the first wargame."

Greetz,

Eddy Sterckx
!