The new Pub Battles Brandywine game (now on Kickstarter) is catching the attention of the military. Command Post Games has been contacted by military instructors from the Army War College. They like what they see in the new Pub Battles design. They are going to be reviewing the new Pub Battles system for possible use in the classroom. Why? Training for military officers!
Though Pub Battles is designed primarily for entertainment, it is realistic enough to teach basic leadership and military principles. Military officers can also benefit from better understanding some of the constraints their 1700 predecessors dealt with: Things like communications and navigation before radios and GPS.
What makes Pub Battles different? Rather than focusing on the minutia of weapons, terrain and game mechanics, Pub Battles instead focuses on command, timing and friction or fog-of-war. In traditional wargames, players often have God like knowledge and control. You know where everybody is. You can control each unit and each attack.
Pub Battles was developed around Prussian Kriegspiel ideas. In real battles, you can’t be certain where your units are, little lone the enemy. Not knowing exactly where the enemy is or if your attack will even be carried out can be unsettling and frustrating at first to players used to traditional wargames. The Pub Battlefield is always changing and unpredictable.
Does that make this game a random, chaotic mess? No. The uncertainty is manageable. Players instead must learn to plan strategies based on missions, with contingencies. They also need to watch the random movement sequence to exploit critical opportunities that open up. Timing can be huge.
Players can influence this sequence of moves by rolling their HQs rating or less. Some HQs, like Stonewall Jackson or Napoleon Bonaparte, are good at shifting the timing. Some, are notoriously bad. With planning, patience and a little bit of luck, a player can engineer a double move on the enemy: You move last this turn but you move first the next turn. At the right time and place this can be devastating.
You can learn more about the Pub Battles Brandywine game at: