Chaos, Confusion, Cowardice & Incompetence (C3I) – Onside Report

One of the things you missed [at February’s CLWG meeting] was C3I which actually turned up and was played in the afternoon (because I always turn up at lunchtime and much prefer twice as many half-day meetings).

Although this was a figure game it was scenery light and what was used was pretty abstract and flat, despite the original scenario being set on a hill. C3I is really a morale-based system for infantry combat which is intended to show how everything goes for a ball of chalk once the shooting starts. The outcomes it produced appeared to be reasonably realistic based on the reading I’ve done on infantry actions.

My aim was to produce a very simple quick system that used morale as its key attribute and would give a realistic result for infantry actions. Most of the psychology of warfare stuff I’ve read (e.g. John KeeganFace of Battle) suggests that only a small proportion of those in a unit actually cause the battle to be progressed, these few motivate others to do their bit and generally perform well. These individuals are rarely the actual commanders of a force. The first-hand accounts I’ve read of battles in the Falklands back this theory up a little.

I was hoping that I could produce a mechanism that could be used for a number of actions and especially some of the larger company or battalion sized ones. This would mean something quick and easy to run. What I came up with fits onto one A4 sheet in 12 point with space for some of the rationale behind the system, although I need to add a couple of things to it which will probably bump the rationale off the page (and possibly add an umpire page as well).

A couple of the mechanisms need cleaned a bit. Artillery was too devastating (it ought to neutralise totally while being fired but not permanently, this should be easy to fix though). I also need to fix movement in order to make it a bit more consistent, either to speed up the non-tactical movement or to somehow slow down the tactical movement (although in part there is a mechanism that should do this, but the players didn’t try to maintain unit integrity).

Either way I am more or less happy with the system which, with minor modifications, could be used repeatedly. If anyone wants a copy of it I can supply them with a WordPerfect 6.1 document (or a hard-copy if they are coming to a meeting).

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About Author:

James has a keen interest in military history, backed with experience as a TA reservist and a 17th century re-enactor. He has designed and run several face to face social games and is the editor of MilMud, the journal of the CLWG game design group. He is currently working on a book on the aftermath of the Glorious Revolution.

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