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"Killing Civilians" Topic


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Dick Burnett16 Jul 2022 8:59 p.m. PST

This is not in the so called simulations of WW2 and after.
Why not? Because it would place a huge obstacle in the games as the Germans, Japanese, Communists of most kinds, Americans, French and Vietnamese in Indochina--to name but a few--would have to, as part of their normal (?) military operations, kill more civilians than combatants.
This would repel a large number of gamers out of the hobby.
Let's face it. Any simulation (and this would make for a more accurate simulation) that included the firebombing of Japan, the terrorist tactics of the Taliban or the Soviet troops behavior in Germany, 1945, would have the gamers refusing to play those forces.
Yet, such things would make the games better simulations.
Anyone wanting to go down this road??

gunnerphil17 Jul 2022 1:45 a.m. PST

Presuming you are being serious not just being very dim.

Most of the actions you are talking about happen after or before any battle.

Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian17 Jul 2022 4:56 a.m. PST

There was the Iranian hostage boardgame from Steve Jackson Games many years ago. Try to liberate the hostages without getting too many of them killed.

14Bore17 Jul 2022 5:30 a.m. PST

Certainly a hostage situation game is worthwhile
In my Napoleonic armies into thousands still probably have not much more than a dozen civilians.

Stryderg17 Jul 2022 10:39 a.m. PST

I don't recall reading in any of my military training guides, or hearing from any of my military instructors, that killing civilians was a good thing or something to aspire to. Matter of fact, the technical term for when it does happen is usually, "a bad thing".

And considering that our wargames simulate warfare like Monopoly simulates real estate investment, I'm not sure why anyone would want to include purposefully killing civilians in their games. But to each his own.

mjkerner17 Jul 2022 11:48 a.m. PST

"our wargames simulate warfare like Monopoly simulates real estate investment"

Nice analogy, Stryderg, especially when some asks why you would want to "play at war"!

HMS Exeter Supporting Member of TMP17 Jul 2022 12:53 p.m. PST

With sufficient effort, any human venture can be modeled into a game simulation. Risk, Monopoly, Cathedral, 1830, just to name a few.

The result has more to say about the designer than it does about the scenario. I have to imagine that in a basement somewhere, filled with Nazi memorabilia, a group of disaffected young men are sitting down to play a homemade card/board game they call "Holocaust."

I have a copy of a really icky game called "Public Assistance." Betcha can guess what that's about. (It was a gift.)

I'm sure that there was a grand conference in Britian in early 1943 (that we'll never read about) where SHAEF came to terms with the inescapable reality that the bombing and invasion, necessary to liberate France, would inevitably result in the deaths of many thousands of French civilians, no matter how hard they tried to minimize the toll. The civilian death toll from strategic bombing in Germany was probably regretted, but chalked up to "reaping the whirlwind."

I suppose it'd be possible to factor in some mechanism to account for civilian casualties as a partial victory condition, based on the underlying scenario. No strategic bombing in Europe = civilian losses go down. But the war now goes to 1947 = civilian losses go up.

"Anyone wanting to go down this road."

Nah.

cavcrazy17 Jul 2022 1:33 p.m. PST

I have played in games where their were civilians. You try not to kill them, but it happens. I have played games where U.S. cavalry attacked an Indian village and there certainly were casualties you can call civilians. They were women and children.

79thPA Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2022 5:44 a.m. PST

A lot of stuff is not simulated as it has nothing to do with the actual game being played.

mad monkey 118 Jul 2022 6:56 a.m. PST

Nuclear War
link

Oberlindes Sol LIC Supporting Member of TMP18 Jul 2022 6:45 p.m. PST

One of issues of having a lot of civilians in a wargame is that they take long to paint than soldiers, because they're not in uniform.

I have used civilians in skirmish games with mixed success in a few different ways:

-as un-revealed units belonging to one side or the other

-as affecting victory conditions (e.g., -1 VP per civilian killed)

-as objectives or part of one side's mission (e.g., search every vehicle that approaches the checkpoint)

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP21 Jul 2022 4:57 a.m. PST

What do you think is meant if you attack "production" in a game?

Robert le Diable24 Jul 2022 2:24 p.m. PST

I notice that the title here is simply "Killing Civilians", and that various contributions have distinguished among accidental "collateral damage", deliberate "targeting", strategic/tactical level considerations and as in another thread, "Civilians, Irregulars and Discipline" the effects on events/score/victory conditions which might be caused by the involvement, one way or another, of civilians. In addition to a couple of examples from above, surely any scenario set during two European campaigns of the 1790s (la Vendee and Ireland) would be less than worthwhile if the intimidation, persecution, provocation and worse of the local population by "the forces of Law and Order" were to be excluded or ignored. Same goes for the Peninsular War, not least in that "Civilians" would have a tendency to become "Insurgents", "Rebels", "Partisans" and "Guerilleros" pretty quickly.

Dick Burnett28 Jul 2022 3:41 p.m. PST

So, civilians are not integral to the tactical battle nor the operational or strategic campaign. Then what's all the noise about terrorist tactics, guerilla warfare and the breaking of a nation's will or morale through starvation and slaughter
The Nazis, for one, thought so much about killing certain civilians that they upended their tactics, operations and strategy to do just that.
And leaving this off the simulation further reduces the simulation validity or quality. But so what? As someone remarked, our simulations are already at the level of Monopoly.
As to the difficulty of painting civilian figures--well, you may not need that many. As to the many variations in civilian garb, well, the WW2 Japanese, the late war Germans, Napoleons 1814 army, the ancient Greeks and the American colonials of the Revolution, to name a few, were just as varied in their battle dress.

This has been a challenge to the simulation set, to write rules that are easy to use and short (the one or two page rules) as these simulations are Games, and the debates and bickering about simulations, well, it makes for ungodly complex and lengthy and barely playable rules.

All the houses are red, the hotels green, the Ottomans orange and the panzers pink.

Dick Burnett28 Jul 2022 3:41 p.m. PST

So, civilians are not integral to the tactical battle nor the operational or strategic campaign. Then what's all the noise about terrorist tactics, guerilla warfare and the breaking of a nation's will or morale through starvation and slaughter
The Nazis, for one, thought so much about killing certain civilians that they upended their tactics, operations and strategy to do just that.
And leaving this off the simulation further reduces the simulation validity or quality. But so what? As someone remarked, our simulations are already at the level of Monopoly.
As to the difficulty of painting civilian figures--well, you may not need that many. As to the many variations in civilian garb, well, the WW2 Japanese, the late war Germans, Napoleons 1814 army, the ancient Greeks and the American colonials of the Revolution, to name a few, were just as varied in their battle dress.

This has been a challenge to the simulation set, to write rules that are easy to use and short (the one or two page rules) as these simulations are Games, and the debates and bickering about simulations, well, it makes for ungodly complex and lengthy and barely playable rules.

All the houses are red, the hotels green, the Ottomans orange and the panzers pink.

Gallocelt09 Aug 2022 7:31 a.m. PST

WWII and after is not a period that I have explored for war games. That being said, I have noticed that civilian factors have been taken into account in games from earlier periods. I think this is especially true of war game campaigns.

For instance, I have read about British colonial campaigns where primary objectives were to evacuate civilians and escort them to safety. A specific example of this might be the Khartoum (Sudan) campaign. The Mahdists were raising heck in the neighborhood of Khartoum and the rumors were that should they take the city, there might be massacres of unbelievers. British General Charles Gordon was sent under orders to evacuate European and other civilians. Some of 2000 of these (mostly women, children, sick and wounded) were evacuated but Gordon also decided that he could not abandon the rest to the Mahdists. He stayed to fight but in the end the city fell and Gordon was killed. The garrison and about 4000 civilians were massacred. The new Mahdist rulers then implemented Sharia Law.

So to me, if one were to game this particular campaign, civilians would have to be factored in. There are countless examples of situations like this throughout military history. I suppose if one were just gaming battles then civilians might not come into play so much. But many campaigns should consider them.

Cheers,

Gallo

Erzherzog Johann04 Sep 2022 9:48 p.m. PST

An odd thread, but I would refer people to people playing computer games like Grand Theft Auto. From my observation, running over civilians, punching them to death etc, seem to be "hilarious" diversions . . .

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Oct 2022 7:37 a.m. PST

HMS Exeter said:

"The result has more to say about the designer than it does about the scenario. I have to imagine that in a basement somewhere, filled with Nazi memorabilia, a group of disaffected young men are sitting down to play a homemade card/board game they call "Holocaust."..

TBH, based on some of the products I am seeing released over the last couple of years at different levels, this would not surprise me.
Reminds me that years (well over a decade+) ago, we had a guy here on TMP known as "Wolfslair Models". He was a "Little too into" Nazism. I think the final straw for him being booted/banned was when he made some posts asking for "Prisoners and scenics to build a concentration camp".

Personal logo Murphy Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Oct 2022 7:55 a.m. PST

Bill said:

"There was the Iranian hostage boardgame from Steve Jackson Games many years ago. Try to liberate the hostages without getting too many of them killed."

Yes.."Raid on Iran", which also had a second game called "What's good for the goose", in which the US player tried to capture the Ayatollah Khomeini…

I had this and we played it a few times. Once we captured some of the Iranians, took them out to the helicopters, along with the rescued hostages and at an altitude of 100 ft, started pushing them out over the parking lots…

Not that that would have happened in real life mind you….

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