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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:

...you 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) by JeanCroix on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:49PM

    by JeanCroix (573) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:49PM (#21493)

    With board games, you see everything.

    That's why I always sink your battleship.

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  • (Score: 2) by githaron on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:59PM

    by githaron (581) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @01:59PM (#21495)

    I somehow doubt Battleship is anywhere near what they were talking about. Battleship does not have enough elements of strategy.

    • (Score: 2) by JeanCroix on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:02PM

      by JeanCroix (573) on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:02PM (#21497)
      Obviously, but my point is that there are simple and well-known ways of configuring board games so that one does not "see everything."