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POLL: Impossibility of Simulating Warfare

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Personal logo etotheipi Sponsoring Member of TMP writes:

games and modelling of all sorts are used for training, simulation and acclimatisation purposes because they work better than anything else short of the real thing.

In many situations games and modelling are better than the real thing:

* If you're time constrained (and who isn't?), the real thing can take a long time to present all the relevant stimuli to prepare you, so six months of the "real thing" running a teddy bear company may not prepare you for February.

* If you're talking about a big enough situation, there are a number of people who have outlier "real thing" experiences; thus my last six months experience may not necessarily be a good prep for my next six.

* If you're talking about a highly dynamic situation (especially when my mission is to change the situation), my last six month's experience may not be relevant to what the next six have to offer.

* If there is a reasonable possibility of catastrophic failure, you may not be able afford or survive enough practice in the real world to get good at something.

There are a lot more cases, but these are the big ones I deal with on a daily basis for work.

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1,260 hits since 11 Mar 2016
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Writing in Slingshot 275, John Hastings contends that rulesets cannot satisfactorily represent history:
…the metal/plastic figures on the wargames table can never realistically represent flesh and blood soldiers fighting for their lives. The harsh facts of hand-to-hand combat are, of necessity, represented abstractly by tables of 'factors' and dice rolls.
Do you agree that rulesets cannot do a good job of simulating history?

Poll set up by Personal logo Editor in Chief Bill The Editor of TMP Fezian, based on this pre-poll discussion.