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The Last Day: a proposed MBX


CV32
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Seems there are quite a few of these large scale wargames on the rampage these days, e.g. War in 2012, Spring Tiger, Mach 2 Vampires, and the upcoming Splash One Mudhen.

 

I have myself toyed with the idea of running an MBX ever since my involvement with that monster wargame Global Thunder. But the scale of those efforts have been truly massive, daunting, and while I have great respect for the folks who have taken on the job and pulled it off, I don't think I would like to take on something quite that large.

 

I have two efforts in mind, one a bit larger than the other. I also see the merit in running a smaller scale wargame prior to the larger effort, as HG member Silent Hunter has intended with Mach 2 Vampires and Splash One Mudhen. So I'm going to borrow from that concept and launch a smaller wargame first.

 

This one will not be based on any Harpoon version, computer or paper based, though it will borrow where necessary from the excellent information they provide about weapon systems and capabilities. Nor will it be based on any other commercial or military simulation. You won't need a copy of any game to play. And, I expect it will be quite different from anything you've probably ever done in the wargaming arena.

 

So, what will this MBX be about?

 

If you are over the age of 25, chances are you grew up with it.

 

Maybe it never weighed heavily on your mind except as a passing thought or something dramatized by a news report or a movie. Maybe you thought about it a lot, though I expect that would not have been healthy. :P

 

Maybe you or a family member were far closer to being involved in some aspect of it than you would have liked. But it was their (your) job. A duty. One that no one would never wish to have to carry out.

 

What the heck am I talking about?

 

Global thermonuclear war.

 

Yep, this MBX will be about global thermonuclear war. Scary? Yup. Too scary to contemplate? Maybe. You might not be comfortable entertaining the idea. No one would fault you for that.

 

Is it even possible to win a global thermonuclear war? Of course not. Not in any sense of reality. But this is a game. And we're going to give it a shot.

 

I need eight (8) players. The wargame will take place here at HarpGamer, in a dedicated forum not visible to others.

 

It will not be particularly demanding of your time, and everything you need will be supplied to you. A large element of the game will be about decision making. What course of action to take, or not to take, and how your decisions influence the decisions to be made by others.

 

Please ask questions and/or register your interest in this thread. Please don't take on the task of getting involved if you don't think you can follow through. Don't sign up if you're already heavily involved in another game, and your involvement here would risk your involvement there. That would not be fair to folks running other wargames.

 

This MBX is called The Last Day. It starts in the year 1975.

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Interesting, but I do not believe that I will be able to take part due to a couple of other current mbx and pbem engagements I'm currently invoved in.

 

Best of luck with it and I expect an AAR. :)

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What sort of time commitment do you envision this requiring? What roles will the players have? Why 1975?

 

I am thinking the whole thing would take six to eight weeks, depending on how quickly people want to progress with it. It could move quite quickly, or more slowly to accommodate folks' schedules.

 

I think it could be quite flexible in that regard.

 

Each side would have four (4) players, comprising three persons in control of separate legs of their nuclear triad, together with a fourth person playing the role of the national command authority.

 

I can't quite give away the whole of the timeline, but 1975 is only the start point. It will then progress through several years of game time.

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So, are you folks ...

 

1. Not interested in these MBX kind of wargames

2. Not interested in the subject matter

3. Need more details about this one

4. Too busy with other things in life

5. Too busy ducking and covering

 

 

#2 and #4 mostly for me. moreso #4

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So, are you folks ...

 

1. Not interested in these MBX kind of wargames

2. Not interested in the subject matter

3. Need more details about this one

4. Too busy with other things in life

5. Too busy ducking and covering

 

#4 & #5 for me unfortunately; not to mention I've been lucky enough to be privvy to the development of the MBX so it wouldn't be too fair to play.

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So, are you folks ...

 

 

2. Not interested in the subject matter

 

#2

 

I don't know what to think of you anymore Pete, unbelievable (j/k) :P

 

The answers are given to us, I couldn't tweak them. :)

 

Perhaps the product marketing needs to be enhanced. ;)

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The answers are given to us, I couldn't tweak them. :)

 

As if you have ever been discouraged from speaking your own mind around these parts. :P

 

Perhaps the product marketing needs to be enhanced. ;)

 

Well, there is no 'product' as such being sold, but I think I get your point.

 

While I have more than a sneaking suspicion that people are very busy and do not wish to make commitments they cannot keep (a look into the HCE beta testing forum will tell you that much is true), perhaps more detail is in order.

 

Team Composition

 

I am envisioning two teams: Team USA (aka the proverbial BLUFOR) and Team USSR (aka REDFOR), each comprised of four (4) players:

 

1. Player One - controls all ICBM forces

2. Player Two - controls all SLBM forces

3. Player Three - controls all strategic bomber forces

4. Player Four - the National Command Authority

 

For each team, Players 1-3 would together control the strategic nuclear triad for their team (nation). They would also collectively make decisions about conventional force and non-strategic deployments, and more importantly, global posture. These three players would have their own subforum where they would receive their order of battle (OOB) and intelligence, and make their command decisions.

 

Another, separate forum is for Player 4, the national command authority. This player would not have direct access to the rest of his team's deliberations, but rather he would receive a 'brief' from them. This brief would be a summary of their deliberations and a set of recommendations. The NCA would use the brief as the basis for making 'directives' to be delivered back to his team. Directives would be focused on overall national defense posture and policy rather than specific control of forces.

 

A third type of forum would be what I call the 'Hotline'. This is where the NCA on each team can have access to his opponent opposite, with no access possible by other members of the teams and where communications between respective NCAs are 'filtered' rather than being direct communications. The 'Hotline' forum would thus contain a running record of the 'filtered' conversations between the respective NCAs, which only the NCAs and the umpires could access. NCAs would in turn pass information gained within the 'Hotline' back to their own teams through their respective 'directives'.

 

Phases of Game Progress

 

I have envisioned four (4) phases of game progress, encompassing the following:

 

Phase 1:

 

1. Teams are given a basic set of information about their OOB, both strategic and conventional, in a broad sense.

 

2. Teams develop a nuclear strategy based on their own values. In other words, they 'value' their own assets (strategic forces, conventional forces, national infrastructure, cities, etc) and decide what should be targeted on their opponent's side of the equation (i.e. counter-force, counter-value, etc). They do not know for sure what their opponent 'values'.

 

3. Teams are offered the opportunity to pour R&D efforts in developing certain 'secret weapons', only one of which will (or rather, may) remain secret, and the other will become immediately apparent to your opponent. This might be a special strategic weapon, anti-ballistic missile (ABM) capability, better early warning, etc.

 

Phase 2:

 

1. Teams receive a complete list of what strategic weapons they have at their disposal and likewise, that of their opponent (to the best of their knowledge).

 

2. A more detailed list of potential strategic targets is delivered to each team.

 

3. Working from what they know of their opponent's 'stated' nuclear strategy, which may or may not actually be accurate, teams develop an early strategic nuclear targeting plan against their opponent.

 

Phase 3:

 

1. Teams receive updated, latest available information (strategic level intelligence) about their opponent's strategic forces and posture. One of the two secret programs chosen earlier by their opponent is now revealed.

 

2. Teams further refine their strategic nuclear targeting plan and posture based on what they have learned.

 

Phase 4:

 

1. Teams adjust their conventional forces posture and in response to their opponent's own moves. The remaining secret program chosen by their opponent is revealed or not (by a die roll).

 

2. The main event. A crisis of global proportions pushes both sides to the brink of global thermonuclear war.

 

All the while these phases are progressing, the timeline is advancing from 1975, with intelligence and 'news' fed to each of the teams (filtered as necessary) to influence strategic tensions and their perception of their opponent's intentions.

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I am thinking the whole thing would take six to eight weeks, depending on how quickly people want to progress with it. It could move quite quickly, or more slowly to accommodate folks' schedules.

 

Sorry about the delay in replying, having a bit of a case of Real Life . (Which is to say, I'm Canadian, and there's this hockey tournament happening ... :lol: ) I'm potentially interested, but I've never played one of these before. How much time do you think the game would want from me on a day-to-day basis? That's apt to be the major determinant for me right now ...

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Sorry about the delay in replying, having a bit of a case of Real Life . (Which is to say, I'm Canadian, and there's this hockey tournament happening ... :lol: ) I'm potentially interested, but I've never played one of these before. How much time do you think the game would want from me on a day-to-day basis? That's apt to be the major determinant for me right now ...

 

I'm as flexible as players need to be. I am thinking two weeks per phase, but that potentially could be longer. There would be no "day to day" demand on your time as such.

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