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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: 1) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:59PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 26 2014, @02:59PM (#21536)

    no matter how much you war game, no matter how good at it you are, all of that falls in the toilet with the first mission...and every one after that.

    Perhaps you didn't war game enough, and/or are not good at it. The more they are played, the more accurate they are re:rules of the game. Some war games are still woefully inaccurate because they ave not been played enough to take all variables into account. War games are valuable; they teach things. They may not be that valuable in your opinion, but they do have value. I disagree that all of this value "falls in the toilet with the first mission...and every one after that".

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