This seems like a good topic for a /leftypol/ gaming thread since it is both autistic gaming discussion and actually has potential for a leftist development of strategy.
Maybe this would ideally be better suited for /hobby/ but as long as /games/ is more active seems sensible to just post anything related to games in any form here, like the chess thread or other tabletop.
I've recently been interested in the kind of "wargames" (broadly meaning military/political/strategic/policy simulation) that militaries, intelligence agencies, and consultant groups use to strategize and troubleshoot their plans. Personally this is interesting as far as I enjoy playing and designing strategy games. More generally, this seems like a good investment of time for leftists who are nerds who enjoy this shit anyway because it is a way to attempt to apply "gaming" to actual strategic considerations.
The best publicly available version of this I've seen that is also utilized by the aforementioned groups is Matrix Games, which is a very rules-lite and scaleable model that tries to remove constraining gameplay meta in favor of players debating what is within reason and what is not. Whether this makes for the most "fun" gameplay possible is besides the point, because the idea is to use the tabletop wargame format to explore the widest range of strategic possibilities, and establishing in-game advantages and victories based on serious discussion of what would be concievable under the given circumstances seems to be a good way to encourage thinking outside the box and considering various angles.http://www.mapsymbs.com/wdmatrix.html#what
Some abbreviated info from the website:
<What are Matrix Games?>Matrix games are different to normal Wargames and Role-Playing games. In a these games you compare lists of statistics and peer at complicated books of rules containing someone else's idea about what things are important, before rolling a dice. It takes a long time and can be very difficult to explain to a newcomer. Instead, in a Matrix Game you simply use words to describe why something should happen, the Umpire decides how likely it is, and you roll a dice. If you can say "This happens, for the following reasons…" you can play a Matrix Game.
<Game Arguments>In a Matrix Game, actions are resolved by a structured sequence of logical "arguments". Each player takes turns to make an argument, with successful arguments advancing the game, and the player's position. There are a number of ways you can do this and each has their own strengths and weaknesses.
<Notes about Arguments>The important thing to remember in a Matrix game is that Arguments can be made about anything that is relevant to the scenario. You can argue about your own personnel or about the enemy, the existence of people, places, things or events, the political leadership back home, the weather, plague, disease, public opinion, and you can even argue for changes in whatever rules you are using. With a bit of imagination, common sense and rational thinking, it is possible to present persuasive arguments as to what should happen in any scenario.>When an Argument succeeds it remains in effect until another Argument stops it. This means that if you are Napoleon and succeed in Arguing that you march on Moscow, you will continue to move forward, every turn, until you get there - unless of course someone argues that you don't…
The Matrix Games website has some popular premade scenarios: http://www.mapsymbs.com/wdmatrix1.html
I'm still totally unsure about the actual details of play and potential variations, is anybody familiar with this kind of thing?
Are there any other kinds of wargames that serve as good strategic simulations that you know of/would recommend?
Whether they're "professional", tabletop, vidya, whatever I'm mostly just curious about games like this that (taking for granted that perfect "authenticity" isn't ever going to be possible) at least provide a strong basis for a meaningful familiarity with serious strategic considerations. It seems like reactionaries and too many leftists are satisfied with pretending that shit like paradox games or milsim shooters or w/e are representative of reality in any way and that there's no other way to engage with strategic hypotheticals outside of these products designed for consumption within strict ideological assumptions, while the world's powerful interests are using "game" tools that the dissident political milieus are probably more familiar with but completely ignore.
Let's talk about how we can fix that.