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A Word About Kriegsspiel

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A Word About Kriegsspiel

Post  Father General on Tue Feb 28, 2017 12:45 am

Well, let's talk about Kriegsspiel.

Kriegsspiel is the great granddaddy of all modern war games. The name Kriegsspiel means "War Game." It uses tables and dice to determine outcomes.

But that's where the similarities to gaming ends.

You see, Kriegsspiel, in spite of its name, isn't a game.

Now we play it as a game and for entertainment value and such, but viewing it as a game, or our attempts to make it into a game, turns Kriegsspiel into something it was never intended to be.

Kriegsspiel is a simulation of warfare intended to test the character of junior officers before they are sent to the field and put in charge of troops. It's an exercise.

In other words, Kriegsspiel isn't testing your ability to outwit an opponent, Instead, it is testing your mettle as a leader.

It is possible, for a player to plan the perfect strategy, to execute the strategy flawlessly, to make no mistakes and to win every single die roll, and still lose the objective on the map. In gaming, we call this "losing" and some players can take it quite hard, especially after putting in a day's work. But this is where everyone misses the point, because this is where you truly win or lose the game.

How do you react when you are ordered to perform a rear-guard action against a superior opponent? Do you hold your lines, or break your orders to attack an inferior opponent caught in the open? When your formation is cut to pieces, do you become angry or sullen? Do you blame your subordinates, your commander, or rant against the umpire?

You see, this is what is being tested!

The player who obeys proper orders, who shows initiative, but within their rules of engagement, who loses their troops, or who is placed in junior command, but accepts all this with humility and graciousness, is the winner. This is the person who will be chosen to command the real army in the field, even if they lost every soldier and every objective on the Kriegsspiel map.

Likewise, the person who deals a punishing victory against their enemy, then becomes haughty and boastful to the point of becoming a maverick, loses the Kriegsspiel.

Players who concern themselves with dice and minute circumstances fail to understand the greater point of the exercise and as such are missing a key gem of wisdom. A good professor should impart this once the emotions have calmed.
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