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Why so few turn-based games for handhelds?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by Aries View Post
    Actually, there is a version of PG that is called Win 95 PG that runs ok on WinXP without helper software programs.
    Ah, right you are. I have the non-windows version so I just use DOSBox to run it.
    "I am not an atomic playboy."
    Vice Admiral William P. Blandy

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    • #17
      Originally posted by Aries View Post
      The idea that a game using dice is not credible, is the comment of a person simply not interested, nothing more. Life is uncertain, and dice are uncertain. And the men who fought the second war, were rolling dice with their life every step of the way. . . .
      Sounds reasonable to me, but I really don't think that's exactly where my dad was coming from. He really liked the look of the game and was quite interested--right up until he saw the die and CRT. I tried to explain that the die rolls just account for all the unpredictable things that happen, and I pointed out that the odds columns on the CRT keep the chance element within "scientific" parameters. But he wouldn't buy it.

      Yet, some time later, he said we ought to build a sandtable and play military miniatures games. He described what he had in mind. Though he'd never seen or played a miniatures wargame, he described a skirmish-level WWII game. He said the game would show what happens when an infantryman walks around a corner and an enemy is on a hill nearby with a machine gun. So I asked, "How would you know which guy sees the other first? Or whether a shot hits or not?" (I was back to addressing the die-roll issue again.) He looked puzzled, then said, "You'd just know. It'd be obvious." I may have asked if dice rolls might do the trick, but if I did, he said hell no.

      It's a logical response. "War is not a game", is really a person making it clear, they didn't particularly enjoy their encounter with it.
      I guess so. But in my dad's case, that doesn't seem to be it. As noted above, he had no problem with wargames; they did interest him. But he insisted, "I was there, and I can tell you that combat has nothing to do with dice." I don't remember what he said after that, but the gist of it was that in his view everything about combat is deterministic: one man shoots another; somebody plants a mine, and another guy steps on it; the bombardier drops bombs from a plane, and each bomb strictly follows its course according to the laws of physics and hits the only place it could hit.

      To you and me, that may be difficult to comprehend. But that's the clear impression I got from my dad. He refused to believe anything in life is a crapshoot; it's all a web of cause and effect. If some of it is unpredictable, that's owing to human ignorance, nothing more.

      I guess that was his experience in the ETO in WWII. He did everything a combat soldier does--killed and was wounded, and even won some medals--but as far as he was concerned none of it happened by accident. Every bit of it could have been predicted if human awareness weren't so limited.

      So, he didn't think the wargame made light of his serious real-life experience; he was willing to regard the wargame with the same respect as a good history book or documentary. But he absolutely refused to see anything "dicey" about what he had experienced. To his mind, it had all been deterministic. He was just hoping the game (like a good history book) might give a new or better perspective on what had happened.

      And when you stop and think about it, dice do just the opposite. They're the game designer's way of saying, "OK, there's a bunch of other stuff that happens, but I don't know just how it works or how to model it in the game, so let's just let a die roll generate a probable outcome and go from there."

      We wargamers are so used to that that we don't give it a second thought. But I think my dad was mainly interested in the very things that the die rolls were abstractly "accounting for." He didn't want them "accounted for"; he wanted them spelled out explicitly. (Never mind that that might make the game so incredibly detailed as to be unplayable. Or so rigidly structured as to be unenjoyable.)

      Of course, there are some wargames that don't use dice. One is a set of miniatures rules called The Complete Brigadier. Another, if you can stretch your imagination enough to consider it a wargame, is chess. Yet another is Little Wars, a late nineteenth-century wargame that used spring-loaded toy cannons.
      --Patrick Carroll


      "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

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      • #18
        Hmm not wanting to offend your dad, but if I was to speak to him man to man, I'd be inclined to tell him, strickly speaking, man to man, he was full of it

        If I say ok I wasn't in the ETO, what do I know, then I guess I am at a loss arguing against him in the debate. But, combat is not do this and this happens. It's isn't that way.

        Cowards suddenly become heroes under stress. Heroes eventually can crack under prolonged stress and become basket cases. There is NOTHING absolute in warfare and combat.

        As for getting him into a wargame, chances are after his explanations, I'd be inclined, like I said, to tell him he was nuts, and just not bother worrying about wargaming with him. Doesn't mean the guy couldn't be fun to be around, but I HAVE met the ocassional person I know is a total waste of time where wargaming is concerned.

        "So I asked, "How would you know which guy sees the other first? Or whether a shot hits or not?" (I was back to addressing the die-roll issue again.) He looked puzzled, then said, "You'd just know. It'd be obvious.""

        Yeah right, the one guy might have a buddy call to him, he turns his head just as the bloke rounds the corner. The bloke catches a glint of light off the guy on the hill's glasses due to him turning his head to listen to what is being said to him. The bloke dives for cover, and the guy on the hill never actually sees him.

        I'd never settle for that load of horsepukey your dad is fielding hehe

        Personally, I think you dad is carrying baggage for his time in Europe. Perhaps it has something to do with his needing to justify why he made it, and lots of his friends didn't. It's not strange to encounter people that simply can't see their reasons for why they are the way they are.

        It took me a few years after the cold war ended, to look back and see how stressfull it had actually been for me all those years.
        When Bush started talking Missile Shield, I actually started to get very stressed out. I personally think it is a provocative choice to develope the technology that can make another nuclear power's arsenal laregly impotent.
        It's why I never really truely enjoy Nato vs Warsaw pact games. I have baggage.
        Life is change. Built models for decades.
        Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
        I didn't for a long time either.

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        • #19
          Download source...

          Anyone know where I could find a site to download the Win95 PG game folks here were telling me about?
          Save America!! Impeach Obama!!

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Sino Invasion View Post
            Anyone know where I could find a site to download the Win95 PG game folks here were telling me about?
            I likely could send you the file personally easier.

            This link implies it is on sale
            http://store.purplus.net/panzergeneral.html

            Note where it says "Out of Stock" (been that way as long as I have known about the link too).
            Note on the cd image reguires an IBM PC or compatible
            I am unsure if that is even really the Win 95 variant.

            If you want the file, just tell me in a PM.

            And for all those horrified I would actually offer a game that is more than a decade old, not truely on sale, for free, I'm sure you realise how little I care
            Life is change. Built models for decades.
            Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
            I didn't for a long time either.

            Comment


            • #21
              Originally posted by Aries View Post
              Hmm not wanting to offend your dad, but if I was to speak to him man to man, I'd be inclined to tell him, strickly speaking, man to man, he was full of it

              If I say ok I wasn't in the ETO, what do I know, then I guess I am at a loss arguing against him in the debate. But, combat is not do this and this happens. It's isn't that way.

              Cowards suddenly become heroes under stress. Heroes eventually can crack under prolonged stress and become basket cases. There is NOTHING absolute in warfare and combat.
              True, but I don't think my dad was saying anything was absolute. He was just saying that when that German bullet hit him in the knee at the Battle of the Bulge, it was because a German soldier across the way aimed and fired at him. It was not because "God rolled dice" and the bullet "randomly" appeared where his knee happened to be at that moment.

              Sure, the German soldier was probably trying to aim for a more vital spot, not the knee. But again, if the bullet didn't land just where the soldier was aiming, it was because his aim was faulty, not because some supernatural power rolled cosmic dice and randomly determined that the bullet should wound instead of killing.

              That's what my dad was complaining about. Not that things are absolute or entirely predictable, but just that everything that happens has a real-world cause.

              And he'd been hoping to see some of those real-world causes covered by the wargame. Indeed, some of them are covered. If the 101st Airborne goes to Bastogne, it's because the player moves it there, not just because some die roll says it randomly gets placed there.

              But other real-world causes are glossed over by the game: e.g., if the Germans launch a 3:1 attack on a given hex, they might force the enemy out of it; but if they get an unlucky die roll, their attack might be repulsed instead. Whatever happens, it's not because the player makes it happen; it's just because the die roll (and CRT) says to do it.

              In real life, the German commander might very well consider the odds before ordering the attack. But he'd also know darned well that it's not chance that's going to decide the outcome. The outcome is going to be determined by all the fighting that ensues--by countless violent interactions. The gods are not going to "roll dice" and decree that there shall be a German victory or repulse; the soldiers are going to fight it out.

              Of course, you and I know that it would be impossible to accurately demonstrate all that in the form of a wargame. The closest we might come is a full-scale reenactment, but even that wouldn't include all the heroism and cowardice and cleverness and stupidity and many other factors that go into deciding a real-life engagement. So, we resort to the playable simplicity of a die roll, which at least gives us some kind of "probable outcome" and enables us to go on conducting our imaginary battle on the tabletop.

              My dad, OTOH, evidently didn't want to just play at war. He found war itself endlessly interesting, and at first he hoped to learn something from the game. But having experienced actual combat, the idea of just playing a game about it didn't appeal to him. He'd have been interested only if the game had been a perfect simulation of war, not just a hobbyist's pastime.

              I've heard similar things from other combat veterans. In a college class, one Vietnam vet said he can't stand to watch war movies. Not because they bring back bad memories, but because they look so unrealistic to him. Having been in actual combat, he finds that all film renditions of combat fall far short of the mark. My teacher in that class had been a platoon leader in WWII, and he agreed; he said he doesn't like war movies either, for the same reason.

              As long as I've drifted so far off topic, I'll mention one more thing in passing, then shut up.

              I've noticed a curious pattern among the veterans I've met: Those who saw combat usually tend to keep quiet about it, but when pressed to talk about it they do so pretty calmly and don't seem particularly stressed out over it. In contrast, those who didn't see combat often betray a lot of stress or disgust or disillusionment and will talk about their military experience in a somewhat negative light. Combat veterans seem to encourage their sons to go into the military; non-combat veterans often discourage that.

              I mention that just because it seems odd to me. You'd think it would be the other way around.
              --Patrick Carroll


              "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

              Comment


              • #22
                Originally posted by Patrick Carroll View Post
                True, but I don't think my dad was saying anything was absolute. He was just saying that when that German bullet hit him in the knee at the Battle of the Bulge, it was because a German soldier across the way aimed and fired at him. It was not because "God rolled dice" and the bullet "randomly" appeared where his knee happened to be at that moment.

                Sure, the German soldier was probably trying to aim for a more vital spot, not the knee. But again, if the bullet didn't land just where the soldier was aiming, it was because his aim was faulty, not because some supernatural power rolled cosmic dice and randomly determined that the bullet should wound instead of killing.

                That's what my dad was complaining about. Not that things are absolute or entirely predictable, but just that everything that happens has a real-world cause.

                And he'd been hoping to see some of those real-world causes covered by the wargame. Indeed, some of them are covered. If the 101st Airborne goes to Bastogne, it's because the player moves it there, not just because some die roll says it randomly gets placed there.

                But other real-world causes are glossed over by the game: e.g., if the Germans launch a 3:1 attack on a given hex, they might force the enemy out of it; but if they get an unlucky die roll, their attack might be repulsed instead. Whatever happens, it's not because the player makes it happen; it's just because the die roll (and CRT) says to do it.

                In real life, the German commander might very well consider the odds before ordering the attack. But he'd also know darned well that it's not chance that's going to decide the outcome. The outcome is going to be determined by all the fighting that ensues--by countless violent interactions. The gods are not going to "roll dice" and decree that there shall be a German victory or repulse; the soldiers are going to fight it out.

                Of course, you and I know that it would be impossible to accurately demonstrate all that in the form of a wargame. The closest we might come is a full-scale reenactment, but even that wouldn't include all the heroism and cowardice and cleverness and stupidity and many other factors that go into deciding a real-life engagement. So, we resort to the playable simplicity of a die roll, which at least gives us some kind of "probable outcome" and enables us to go on conducting our imaginary battle on the tabletop.

                My dad, OTOH, evidently didn't want to just play at war. He found war itself endlessly interesting, and at first he hoped to learn something from the game. But having experienced actual combat, the idea of just playing a game about it didn't appeal to him. He'd have been interested only if the game had been a perfect simulation of war, not just a hobbyist's pastime.

                I've heard similar things from other combat veterans. In a college class, one Vietnam vet said he can't stand to watch war movies. Not because they bring back bad memories, but because they look so unrealistic to him. Having been in actual combat, he finds that all film renditions of combat fall far short of the mark. My teacher in that class had been a platoon leader in WWII, and he agreed; he said he doesn't like war movies either, for the same reason.

                As long as I've drifted so far off topic, I'll mention one more thing in passing, then shut up.

                I've noticed a curious pattern among the veterans I've met: Those who saw combat usually tend to keep quiet about it, but when pressed to talk about it they do so pretty calmly and don't seem particularly stressed out over it. In contrast, those who didn't see combat often betray a lot of stress or disgust or disillusionment and will talk about their military experience in a somewhat negative light. Combat veterans seem to encourage their sons to go into the military; non-combat veterans often discourage that.

                I mention that just because it seems odd to me. You'd think it would be the other way around.
                I still stand by my observations.

                Your dad's knee comment for instance. My reponse, "uh duh, yeah, of course it happened because a German soldier aimed at you". But other than that he was wounded because an ememy soldier had the chance to aim at him, what is he saying that refutes anything I said?

                In his idealised perfect no chances wargame, does he want to know the age of the enemy soldier, how long he's been a soldier, the specific training the enemy soldier possesses, the actual unit the soldier is from ie inf or armour, how long the soldier has been in combat, when the soldier was last supplied, how long he's been "on the line", when the soldier was last fed, how much sleep has the soldier gotten recently, is the soldier even a good shot, how well maintained is the enemy soldier's rifle. You see, all of that is "definable, and qualitative" in determining exactly whether the enemy soldier hits you or not. No luck involved, all very neat and statistical.

                Also grotesquely ignorant of logical wargame design, and preposterously unrealistic

                There's nothing supernatural about dice. If the simulation is worth squat, luck will not even be relavent. If statistically the chances are 1 in 6 you get hit in the knee by a German rifleman, then it will happen 1 time in 6 statictically.

                I bet though, in his youth, you might have had less trouble getting to play Paintball. You KNOW when you are hit, there's no arguing "you didn't hit me".

                Again, I am no shrink, but your dad's response is not surprising. It's understandable.
                The sum knowledge of my grandfather's trip through Europe, was due to illness he missed Ship A to Juno, and ended up on Ship B to Juno. Ship A was blown out of the water at Juno. This led to grandfather living to walk through the Low Countries (which he never talked about), surviving the war, marrying, creating my mother, and leading to me being born.

                I owe life to my grandfather having a cold in mid 1944 probably. No supernatural there, but it sure was an interesting chain of events for me personally

                In the end, wargames are not real. In order to replay WW2, and get it "real", your dad will require a time machine.
                Life is change. Built models for decades.
                Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                I didn't for a long time either.

                Comment


                • #23
                  Originally posted by Aries View Post
                  In the end, wargames are not real. In order to replay WW2, and get it "real", your dad will require a time machine.
                  Well, who knows--maybe he got his time machine when he died in 1971.

                  But you're right; I suspect he wanted it "real" and was disappointed to find out wargames are nothing but statistical models at best.

                  Meanwhile, as a high-school kid who stood to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, I was glad to be enjoying statistical models of war instead of having to face the real thing. (But a part of me always wondered how I'd fare in the real thing. And wondered if my wargaming experience would help or hinder me in real war.)
                  --Patrick Carroll


                  "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

                  Comment


                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Patrick Carroll View Post
                    Well, who knows--maybe he got his time machine when he died in 1971.

                    But you're right; I suspect he wanted it "real" and was disappointed to find out wargames are nothing but statistical models at best.

                    Meanwhile, as a high-school kid who stood to be drafted and sent to Vietnam, I was glad to be enjoying statistical models of war instead of having to face the real thing. (But a part of me always wondered how I'd fare in the real thing. And wondered if my wargaming experience would help or hinder me in real war.)
                    You must be a hair older than me

                    My time in the military machine was late 70's.

                    As for how I would fare in the real thing, my assumption was always it would be lousy. Looking back today, I haven't the slightest clue why I joined.
                    Oh yeah, that's right, I recall now. I had this weird notion I would experience women all through Europe (hey I was a stupid teen at the time ).

                    I was ready to do my duty for my country, I was also sure I was never ideally suited for the military. Considering my interests, that is indeed odd hehe.
                    Life is change. Built models for decades.
                    Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                    I didn't for a long time either.

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Aries View Post
                      You must be a hair older than me

                      My time in the military machine was late 70's.

                      As for how I would fare in the real thing, my assumption was always it would be lousy. Looking back today, I haven't the slightest clue why I joined.
                      Oh yeah, that's right, I recall now. I had this weird notion I would experience women all through Europe (hey I was a stupid teen at the time ).

                      I was ready to do my duty for my country, I was also sure I was never ideally suited for the military. Considering my interests, that is indeed odd hehe.
                      When I was in high school, my dad tried to get me into West Point. But I was a rebellious teen, caught up in the counterculture movement. So, when a congressman called, I said, "I don't want anything to do with the military" and hung up the phone. Broke my dad's heart, I guess.

                      Faced with the draft and the still-active war, I was wondering if I'd run off to Canada. A friend told me Sweden was a better choice; that's where he was going. But we were both saved the decision; the war ended just as we graduated from high school. I had to sign up for the draft, but they weren't drawing numbers anymore.

                      Ironically, a couple years later I joined Army ROTC. I was fed up with school, but my mom got gov't checks as long as I stayed in (due to my veteran father who'd died). ROTC was a compromise, since I felt I couldn't quit school and join the army. Spent six weeks at Fort Knox in the summer of '75, a couple weeks at Camp Pendleton in the spring of '76, then six weeks at Fort Lewis in the summer of '76. That was the limit of my military experience. After that I dropped out of school, ROTC, and everything.

                      If I'd known myself better, I suppose I could have had a successful career if I'd chosen AG or JAG or MI or something. But at the time, I was bent on combat arms, and I wasn't cut out for that at all.

                      Hmm . . . this doesn't have much to do with handheld turn-based games, does it?
                      --Patrick Carroll


                      "Do all you have agreed to do, and do not encroach on other persons or their property." (Richard Maybury)

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Hmm . . . this doesn't have much to do with handheld turn-based games, does it?

                        Not really, but then again, how many potential wargamers, are not, because the market refuses to budge outside of the mold and never think outside of the box eh.

                        As for me, hell I joined the infantry for the easy entry, but my objective was pioneers. Hell being an infantrymen is the last thing I would be any good at I just like to make things.

                        I joined up at 17. I suppose beating my older brother to the status of first to be earning a real living in a real job was also a perk I wanted too hehe.
                        Life is change. Built models for decades.
                        Not sure anyone here actually knows the real me.
                        I didn't for a long time either.

                        Comment

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