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Military tactics - a game

   
Military tactics - a game

Upon reading the Wheel of Time saga, one of the things that intrigues me the most is the sudden knowledge of military tactics that Mat Cauthon gets, in one of the books. It got me thinking. I love to read those parts when he talks about battles once passed, the tactics and counter-tactics and all... Why shouldn't I learn more?

This is why I turn to you, Weavers. How and where can I learn more about warfare? The strategic planning, the famous and not so famous tactics used, the jargon, the armies... everything and anything. And, off course, if there's a game that emulates what generals do in the real battlefield, I want to know.

Does somebody know the answer to this?

The two most famous books on the subject of war are Sun Tzu's The Art of War and Clausewitz's On War. I'd recommend books on military history more than anything else - pick an era that you're interested in and look for books on the military history of particular wars or of the era as a whole.

As for games...well, wargaming. It's a seriously big thing, and its all over the place. I know I saw a WWIII ad in the games and ads section, so I'd suggest you start without whoever is running that. Beyond that, I have a fondness for stuff by Columbia Games, and there are the various games published by Strategic Simulations (most notably, for me, the Panzer and Pacific General series).

It's worth noting that the Dungeons and Dragons we all know and tolerate love was originally a rules modification to a wargame called Chainmail. IIRC, the earlier additions made the (implicit) assumption that higher-level PCs would be effectively feudal lords in their own right.

Hmmmm.... ok, seems like a start. Also, about documentaries, do you know of any? I've seen one in the History channel about the Spartans and their war against the Persians but it talked more about the story not much about the war part.

Oh, and videogames too. Things like Advance Wars are kinda childish, so I was looking for something more mature.

as for the board games, unless I send for them by internet, I don't know if I can manage them here in my country, but it's worth a try.

thanks.

Panzer General and Pacific General, for WWII stuff. For earlier stuff, you simply can't beat the Total War series.

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Originally Posted by P4yne View Post
Hmmmm.... ok, seems like a start. Also, about documentaries, do you know of any? I've seen one in the History channel about the Spartans and their war against the Persians but it talked more about the story not much about the war part.

Battle 360. This is a great series, in my opinion. It breaks down a battle and, true to its name, shows the battle from all angles. Very informative and I think this is something you are looking for.

There was another series that name escapes me at the moment. But, it looked at battle tactics and compared the past and more modern applications. So, one show may show how infantry were deployed in WWII and then show how they used some of the same tactics in Vietnam. Maybe someone else on the Weaves knows this show?

the Total War series is a pretty good one for historical warfare. They also have some historical scenarios usually, I know there were some in Rome.

A lot of terminology used in warfare seems to either stem from Greek, Roman or Norse periods. Words like Friend and Foe stem from Norse roots. Alexander the Great books are a good read, he was quite good strategically, though that also stems from his father's influence in terms of the way the army was built. But it does also show you the folly of the way the persians fought as well.

Axis and Allies bro.

It almost never plays out like WWII for obvious reasons, but you definitely learn how reliant war is on a strong economy.

Other than that I can only recommend The Salvation War. An amazingly well researched take on what would happen if the Judeo-Christian God gave up on Humanity some time in 2006 and let Satan's armies ravage the land.

Except Satan's armies are effectively from the bronze age.

I...can't unrecommended TSW enough. I actually, I should warn you that military fiction in general is simply bad and military fan-fic (which is what that is) is worse. TSW, the research isn't horrible - I know the author is more knowledgeable than I, and there are no obvious mistakes - but it's simply not a good story.

You need to check out Osprey's military book line. I can't stress that enough.
Also Machiavelli's Art of War is a good read into pre-firearm battles and the pre/post processes.

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Upon reading the Wheel of Time saga, one of the things that intrigues me the most is the sudden knowledge of military tactics that Mat Cauthon gets, in one of the books.
Lemme guess, it was a 'sleeper has awaken! 0.0' Dune moment, right?

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Except Satan's armies are effectively from the bronze age.
But really strong and fast right? ;D

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I...can't unrecommended TSW enough. I actually, I should war you that military fiction in general is simply bad and military fan-fic (which is what that is) is worse.
Haha, I can see why that is true. Except for (what I've read), Orphanage series, and The Eagles series. I've read every orphanage except the last one which is yet to be released - it's appropriately dramatic and romantic (yes, believe me; this all hinges on believable characters) but has ironic humor at the same time. What is most exciting is how everything shifts rapidly from book to book, so you know that the story isn't going to be the same each time. In fact, the 'sequels' take place at different times in the protagonist's life, and could probably be read independently of one another (like an action serial or something; which is a nice touch - though I made sure to read them all in proper order).

The Eagles is at times boring, but also holds onto incredibly believable characters not unlike who you might encounter in real life (it's speculative fiction after all). It talks endlessly about military tactics, and weapons, but this does not get dull (at least for me; after all, the original protagonist in the first two books was a smith). In most of the battles, something happens that changes everything so that you don't know where the climax will show up - which is realistic. Naturally, a battle is abrupt and changes things. Especially in an age with less forgiving technology. Each story I've read so far is basically 'was this the climax? oh no it wasn't. it's still coming!', which for me, is pretty exciting. In the second one (singing sword) the
The climax and resolution was pretty abrupt, tragic, and right out of nowhere but it felt pretty satisfying. Not at all an ass pull. Like somehow, you knew it was coming, but it couldn't be prevented. Very effective story telling I think.
(spoiler)

Can you guess which setting belongs to which series? One is Mil-SF of the near future, involving a bug war, and the other is britain during the fall of the roman empire.

They say that an author has to experience the franticness of war in real life in order to write proper mil fic. However, I find that to be down right abusive to our humble potentially intelligent author who, while interested in shooting a gun at a target range, would not like to be slogging in mud or having somebody shouting at him for 6 months to a year before he has to hang out with uneducated thugs that probably end up having a firm grip on the leash that military service puts around his neck. At the end of all that, he probably doesn't value intelligence and is abstructed by such severe writer's block resultant from many buried incidents of PTSD that shoot up throughout the years - that he ends up like Tolkien, and takes at least another 30 years to get everything down on paper in the right order to appopriately describe the moments in life when he felt the most 'alive', in order to appropriately romanticize what the cruel reading community would otherwise consider utter garbage.

So no, an author doesn't need to experience the franticness of war - if he wants to do that, then his best career opportunity is SOLDIER (which itself leads to inspriing lines of work, like law enforcement, paramedic, technician, mechanic, command, or sergeant, but NOT WRITER).

So yeah, an author needs the right insight - not experience. Authors that readers want to respect in america are the ones that travel the friggen world. For some reason, having money and traveling gets you respect. No, in fact, it shouldn't. Non-fiction writers are the only ones that need to travel, because they write non-fiction and not getting your facts straight in non-fiction = right to be stoned. For everything else there's google images and wikipedia and many many hours of free time. That's it. Doing it the old fashioned way is silly. We aren't adventuring bards, are we? We're fat (metaphorical if not literal), lonely writers - a step below the dude with the guitar at college who seduces girls with his music and 'sensitiveness'. That is, until we can sell.

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You need to check out Osprey's military book line. I can't stress that enough.
Also Machiavelli's Art of War is a good read into pre-firearm battles and the pre/post processes.
Given that both are probably recommended non-fiction at a website for people that like to role play FANTASY and SCI FI, I'll wait until I happen to stumble upon a history course that assigns those as readings. :P

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I...can't unrecommended TSW enough.
You can't unrecommended? Unreccomendededededededed... what are you stammering? Unremmondedingstoofalwithen!!!!




 

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