Asymmetrical

March 8th, 2009

The Tactical-Strategy combination of Guerilla Warfare is similar to a club run Strategy game where the engagements are handed off to other plays to resolved using Tactical, except it is a constant back and forth and the maps are more detailed, covering a much smaller area. Used mainly for urban warfare were civilians are present and the combatants are not clearly marked, this combination seeking to model the confusion and lack of information in modern asymmetrical conflicts. Patrols and ambushes. Where most is strategic set up for the larger force is bases and patrols, and the smaller force is setting up supply dumps, ambush points and monitoring.

This can be expanded with Politico to give intelligence and politically sensitive parameters and raids.

Category: Prototype Rules Page

Comments: 8

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  1. Malika says:

    Hmm, I do have some stuff on guerilla warfare. Did I send you the articles Che Guevara wrote on the subject?

    • Philip S says:

      It don’t think so, I’ve check my ‘library’ disk and it’s not there, and just ran a search and nothing turn up so I do not have an actual document, or did you mean links?

      • Malika says:

        I had some actual writings of him on my computer. I think I cut/paste them all to my external before I went to Peru. I had to fly through the US and was scared they might freak out, especially since I had to fly through Miami. I eventually found out (the hard way) that my suspicions weren’t unfounded. 🙁

        But yeah, I’ll check my external for the documents. Most of it is pretty political/socialist stuff and even some medicine article. So not 100% sure if I got the warfare stuff on the computer. I do have his book Guerilla Warfare somewhere, but scanning books would take forever.

        • Philip S says:

          Send me what you can, and send me the names and codes of book you think would help. Though this section is quite a way off before I get cracking on it, I would like to collect up a reading list of books others think will help in the design of WarSpike. A sort of ‘filtered list’ of good tiles with lots of juicy info. I am re-reading Lost Battles that Guy recommended and it really is chock full of ideas I can get my teeth into.

  2. Guy says:

    Oh blimey, red rag to the bull, this is just the sort of stuff I specialise in. I’m just back from the Continent so I won’t be able to get anything done till Friday or so but I’ll try and post the books, blogs, films, articles etc. I consider essential then. I have quite ludicrous amounts of material (so much so that if you’re ever in London I ought to lend you stuff because the full shopping list would be prohibitively expensive) and whenever you want to get cracking on the subject I’m absolutely ready to jump straight into the fray.

    Speaking of which have you looked at ‘Ambush Alley’? Its a wargame about modern urban insurgencies with pretty darn interesting mechanics. The Quick Start Rules are free on the website and give the basics. Might be of some interest.

    • Philip S says:

      It’s still quite a while off before I get round to this, as the Tactical and Strategic Spheres have to be up and running, and most likely the ‘firepower’ augment too. However, I may take you up on your (very kind) offer.

      I popped over to Ambush Ally and remembered you or Malika mentioned it before a while back. It has a similar ethos to dealing with the concept of troop reactions (‘interruptions’ as they call them) within turns, but it is not are radical as the WarSpike turn. I think the WarSpike turn handles the interaction better, and provides a better framework for options like ‘overwatch’.

      Their ‘hot spot’ idea sounds like fun and has parallels with my ‘Deployment Markers‘. If you follow that link to Anargo there are a few development discussions, including link to some ideas on the fire-power augment and how to handle blast markers and scatter quickly.

      So quite a way to go before we get to this. I imagine I may start out with ‘riot police and anarchists’ as such a setup limits the types of weapons available, and gets to grips with base ‘mob mentality’ before adding in ring leaders and moving up to insurgents and counter-insurgency missions run by professionals.

      Obviously any ‘real data’ (hard numbers) is going to be gold, but any information that contributes to the parameters of the model will be much appreciated 😉

  3. Malika says:

    I just realised that the whole thing of asymmetrical warfare is a pretty big thing. I mean, you got the whole guerilla warfare thing which consist of small forces fighting against a potentially bigger one (rebels against a conventional army), psychological warfare, propaganda (of the deed), terrorism (as a tactic), (mis)information, equipment (stealing enemy weapons and such).

    I went looking for some documents by Che Guevara on the matter, but I only found stuff on development and medicine by him. I do have his book Guerilla Warfare somewhere, but it’s an actual book, not PDF.

    But I’m realising there is a big difference between rural asymmetrical warfare and its urban counterpart.

    • Philip S says:

      Asymmetrical warfare is has the Strategy Sphere element and that element can be pretty massive. The Second World War is a game of ‘Strategy’, which controls the flow or numerous battles fought over the years 1939 – 1945. Strategy is a campaign management system.

      The combination of the Strategy and Tactical Spheres that yields Asymmetrical warfare is similar is scope but smaller as it is generally contained within one country. It’s like a one level zoom version of Strategy. Other than that the next big difference, as I see it, is that the battles are cut up into many smaller engagements, and a ‘finer detailed’ version of Strategy is used to keep track of all the engagements.

      It’s like battles are no longer fought in one block, but a ‘battle’ is broken up into a quick engagement on one battlefield and retreat and re-engagement on another battlefield and retreat: the classic ‘hit and run’.

      In many ways it like the battle is broken up into mini battles fought on many battlefields and constant moves about. In the rules of the Spheres: Tactical covers a ‘battle’ (one battle field) and Strategy covers the organisation of these battles. Asymmetric is Strategy organising ‘mini’ battles, and manages a massive increase in the frequency of (mini) battles. It like squishing some Strategy into the battle.

      As you can guess this is not really making a new game, but using the Strategy and Tactical Spheres as they are intended, but that the Players are simply using the Strategy and Tactical Spheres in a very specific way and interlinked way.

      In fundamental terms the guerilla forces are broken down into smaller elements (literally modern ‘warbands’) and these warbands are placed with Strategy to gain the advantage of ground and surprise (may be some pre battle scout take outs). The guerilla force then ceases the initiative (Instigator), make a hit using that advantage and then legs it. Usually before the enemy has a chance to react (surprise). Rinse and repeat, again and again and again. it like a ‘rolling battle’. The fun comes as these mini engagements can become overlaid on top of each other especially in urban conflicts, and then the ideas like the deployment blips come in, where their is more of an insurgency situation.

      Onto this the Political Sphere can also tag on, after all ‘the surge’ in Iraq also included ‘the Anbar awakening’, and that awakening would be an example of the Political aspect affecting Asymmetrical warfare and how diplomacy and money can make a difference

      The final note on all of this is the zoom aspect, and that some of these mini battles may be so small that they could be resolved using the Technical Sphere in an almost RPG sense. Some aspects of the campaign could be resolved as RPG missions.

      Asymmetrical warfare could cover all the Spheres of War. It is more a terms of how the Spheres are being used, rather than a separate ‘Sphere’.

      I do have his book Guerilla Warfare somewhere, but it’s an actual book, not PDF.

      When you find it, let me know the title?

      But I’m realising there is a big difference between rural asymmetrical warfare and its urban counterpart.

      Indeed, but both are still going to be managed with the four Spheres. I suspect their may be some optional add-ons, more to ease the interaction between the Spheres, but they are not fundamentally any different in regard to the rules, but seem very different in regard to how events play out.

      I getting well ahead of myself – do the concepts of this framework for asymmetrical warfare, and how the Spheres interact to produce this ‘hybrid’, seem to make sense to you?

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