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"Sci-Fi Gaming Ramble" Topic

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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP07 Oct 2020 7:26 p.m. PST

"The two main types of sci-fi wargames I have tried are space-ships and skirmishes. The space battles were like World War Two sea battles, played in two dimensions, with fleets, admiral ships, aircraft (small fighter space craft) carriers, big guns, missiles, and even things called "torpedoes". The only things missing were weather and submarines. The skirmish games were like simplistic modern warfare games. The troops roamed about in Vietnam-like jungles, carrying guns, going about in squads and using support weapons. There were anti-tank weapons, and tank-like armoured vehicles with big guns, armour, and perhaps legs instead of tracks. The games didn't give me a sci-fi atmosphere.

If I were to come across (or write) a sci-fi wargame that were significantly different in kind from other games, demanding different tactics, then I think I would get interested. The invention of the machine gun turned warfare of open fields, cavalry, and dense formations of troops, into the trench systems of the Western Front in World War One. I want a sci-fi game where some new developments have changed the nature of war again, rather than see the modern world painted in different colours. What could these developments be? Non-lethal weapons? Battlefields without people on them at all, but intelligent robots or remote-controlled craft? Many of the possible futures for war do not lend themselves to being played out on a wargame table at all. Being vigilant for terrorist threats, making buildings and their populations resistant to biological warfare, policing the galaxy-wide-web against cyber warfare, industrial espionage, propaganda wars, massive weapons capable of destroying entire planets – none of these suits the traditional wargame, with its troop deployment and movement…"
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zircher07 Oct 2020 8:41 p.m. PST

That's a good read. We're seeing the transition from a few soldiers with guns to a squad of soldiers backed up with easy access to the firepower of artillery, drones, aircraft/stand-off munitions, and potentially cruise missiles of it is a really hard target. (Add ortillery for that future flavor.) Like submarine warfare of WW2, ground warfare is turning into a game of hide and seek with sledgehammers.

Got a slightly more gamey angle, robots and drones would be a safe bet. The article mentioned Rivets, a classic if perhaps a bit comical game about robotic warfare.

One approach is to treat the game design like a sci-fi author. Create your setting and how the new tech changes things. Extrapolate from there and simulate.

dilettante Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2020 5:44 a.m. PST

SPI's StarSoldiers had just a few soldiers to each side. They fought over(literally over, every soldier can fly) areas the size of continents. Their (abstracted) ECM made them 'invisible'. One alien species were telepathic,their soldiers being stronger in threes than three of our soldiers.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2020 11:08 a.m. PST

Glad you enjoyed it my friend!.


Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP08 Oct 2020 5:57 p.m. PST

Well, if he found Traveller unplayable, I really don't think I can help him.

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