Tag archives for Operational Research

design

The 200 Foot General

This is the third post on my Operational Research driven wargame rules (and it's probably about time that I came up with a catchy name for them, ideas in the comments section most welcome). One of the most unrealistic things I find in most commercial wargames that I have read or played is that it is very easy for players to change their plans and give new orders to their troops every turn.┬áThis is so common that there's even a name for it, the 200ft General. What is the Problem? The concept being that the player is like a General with perfect perception and control of his troops, and he can react to things that they aren't yet aware of because the player can see the models on the table. Here are a couple of relevant quotes from the Operational…
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2D Morale Chart

Further to the previous post Faith in Morale I've tried to synthesize the varioius readings on military psychology into a set of morale rules that might give a realistic ebb and flow to an engagement. I've not had a chance to test these yet, but here's what the chart looks like. v01 of the 2D Morale Chart, (c) 2014 James Kemp Reading through the various OR type publications it seems to me that morale is affected by proximity to both friends and the enemy. The closer solders get to the enemy the more they seem to do things other than follow orders. This is not really a surprise, but it's nice to see the research back up the gut feel. Where I can find hard numbers for things I have used them to construct the 2D morale chart. In some…
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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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Study

An Update

I'm a bit behind with writing things for the blog, there are about six books that I've read but not reviewed and also a continuation on a couple of projects that I'm working on that I was intending to write about. Part, but not all, of the reason for this is that I'm very busy with my day job. Over the last month I've been working much longer hours than normal, my team has doubled in size, and in the next two weeks it's going to treble in size (that's up from 7 to 43). This is a good from a day job perspective, but not so much for my side activities. I managed to completely miss doing TMA3 for B120. Fortunately I have had oustanding marks for TMA1 & TMA2, so provided I manage not to miss any more…
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