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posted by mrbluze on Wednesday March 26 2014, @04:50AM   Printer-friendly
from the no-really-I-am-actually-doing-work dept.
An anonymous coward links to an article from the Economist about "American officials who play board games to understand war:

Paul Vebber, a gameplay instructor in the navy, says that in the past decade the government has started using strategy board games much more often. They do not help predict outcomes. For that, the Pentagon has forecasting software, which it feeds with data on thousands of variables such as weather and weaponry, supply lines, training and morale. The software is pretty accurate for "tight, sterile" battles, such as those involving tanks in deserts, says an intelligence official. Board games are useful in a different way. They foster the critical but creative thinking needed to win (or avoid) a complex battle or campaign, he says.

The article goes on to explain that board games are advantageous over computer-based games for what is essentially a simulation: can constantly tweak the rules to take account of new insights, says Timothy Wilkie of the National Defence University in Washington, DC. With computer games, this is much harder. Board games can also illuminate the most complex conflicts.

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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by Boronx on Wednesday March 26 2014, @06:34AM

    by Boronx (262) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @06:34AM (#21369)

    "... and France is likely doomed not long after."

    This is a false lesson. It's only the lack of historical knowledge that doomed France. Its army was as big as Germany's, with as many tanks and planes of as high a quality. Only blinkered leadership led to their destruction. Boardgames and computer games can't enforce poor decision making, so they compensate by falsely weakening France so that they can't win.

    Heck, if France had merely invaded Germany in Fall of '39 while much of the German Army was tied up in Poland, it would have won easily.

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  • (Score: 3, Interesting) by NCommander on Wednesday March 26 2014, @06:52AM

    by NCommander (2) Subscriber Badge <> on Wednesday March 26 2014, @06:52AM (#21373) Homepage Journal

    I'm aware of the historical truth, there's a reason this period (Germany DOW on Poland until its DOW on the Netherlands) is referred to as the Phony War. The fact is the Allies suffered from a lot of bad leadership (then again, the same could been said for allowing Hilter to run a muck, ceding Czechoslovakia, and other minor countries before they drew the line on Poland). That being said, Hilter gave FDR a free hand to intervene in Europe and get involved, so the idiot ball went both ways.

    I'm of the opinion that had President Wilson's Fourteen Points been headed, World War II would have been avoided (or been a much smaller conflict). The fact is though the Germans saw the Treaty of Versailles as a national insult, combined with the world-wild economy dropping out that created the right situation where Hilter, or another like him could come to power. The French and British demanded a dismantled Germany instead of a lasting peace; the United States returned into isolationism instead of joining the League of Nations, and finally the previously methoned phony war.

    Books have been written about the failure to take the preventive actions required to prevent the war from happening. It's a pity only hindsight is 20-20.

    Still always moving
    • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:54AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @07:54AM (#21388)

      had President Wilson's Fourteen Points been [heeded]

      ...e.g. having the USA join the League of Nations
      (a century-old case of the Congress ignoring the smartest guy in the room).

      -- gewg_