Tag archives for Military - Page 3

design

Faith in Morale

I've been reading operational research on the psychology of combat recently. It got me to thinking about the role of religious faith in maintaining soldiers' morale. I'm not personally religious and don't have an axe to grind on this. Does having faith help soldiers deal better with combat? What I am trying to do is build a game design model that properly accounts for relevant factors. The thought that struck me was that combat is very stressful and that soldiers are called on to do unpleasant things to others. This isn't an every day thing but it does happen. The after effects can be very severe, PTSD isn't pleasant for anyone and can last for years after the traumatic events have finished. Psychological casualties are as real as the physical ones, they just have a delayed onset and are harder…
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design

Book Review – Bullets and Brains by Leo Murray

Brains and Bullets: How Psychology Wins Wars by Leo Murray My rating: 5 of 5 stars This is an excellent and very readable book which tries to put some hard numbers on a variety of psychological tactics that can be used to persuade your own troops to fight and the enemy to give up. This is an excellent work on what happens in combat and why. It is very readable, structured into bite sized chunks on the key phenomena and then some joining up when it has all been explained. Each chapter opens with an account from a real soldier who experienced that psychological effect in combat. This is then analysed and explained, pulling in other examples as required to show that it isn't an isolated incident but a general effect. Those examples range from the Napoleonic Wars right up…
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reviews

Book Review – First Light by Geoffrey Wellum

First Light by Geoffrey Wellum My rating: 4 of 5 stars If you want to know what it was like as a spitfire pilot in the Battle of Britain, then this is the book you need to read. The author was a public schoolboy that joined the RAF just before the outbreak of war. He signed up in the spring of 1939 and started training as soon as he finished school in July 1939. The first third of the book is a very detailed account of his entry to the service and the flight training. Through this we get to know the author as a typical public schoolboy, he struggles with the academic side, but has no problems with the discipline and dealing with being in a service institution. Flying is clearly his passion, and is most of the focus…
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design

Game Design Notes: World War One Strategic Battles

This was originally written as a game design session prompt for a session at Chestnut Lodge Wargames Group back in April 2004. A discussion thread on about this excellent blog post  lead me to dig it out and post it here. World War One Strategic Battles Turn structure Three turns per year, March – June (Spring), July to September (Summer) and October to February (Winter). Actions Small offensives can be prepared and launched within one turn. Large offensives take a turn of preparation and then take a whole turn of offensive action. Small offensives can be carried on into large offensives. Battles are fought in phases. Preparation: divisions are allocated to the line, first wave, second wave, exploitation, training and reserve tasks Bombardment Assault Counter-attack Continuation phases if appropriate Resolution Fighting is resolved at Army level, with Divisions as the…
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design

The Stress of Battle 5 – WW2 Heroism & Surprise

This is the fifth and final part of my extended review of The Stress of Battle by David Rowland. It is such a strong piece of operational research that I thought that it would be useful for wargame designers (and players) to understand what the research evidence is for what went on in WW2 battles. This part is on the effects of heroism and combat degradation. Combat Degradation Combat degradation is a measure of how less effective weapon systems and individual soldiers are in actual combat when compared to training exercises and range work. A score of is equivalent to not being degraded at all. Degradation to would mean that it was operating at 30% of its peacetime range effectiveness. the analysis by Rowland's team broadly matches that done by Wigram in 1943, that there are three classes of effectiveness. About 20% of those involved could…
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