View Full Version : Historic versus hypothetical scenarios

05 Dec 08, 09:05
While I was pondering a scenario design article for my website, I thought about the issue of historic versus hypothetical scenarios. Most SB scenarios are historic, based on real world battles using the best information available. Yet I have always had a yen for scenarios that explore interesting "what if" situations.

I further break down hypothetical scenarios into two classes, near-real and "out there". Near-real scenarios are ones that could have easily occurred, either in an actual conflict or one that was likely to break out, with normally encountered forces and equipment. Out There scenarios are ones that include improbable (but not impossible, as in the Heart of Gold's Infinite Improbability Drive from Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy) conflicts, utilizing unlikely TO&E options and what-ifs.

Below are three examples of what I would consider "interesting" scenarios, whether they are Near-real or Out There depends on the reader and the way the scenario is fleshed out.

1. "Sacre Bleu!" - It's 1968 and in France, Communist inspired riots have broken out and some army units have gone over to the reds. With American interests threatened, President Goldwater :D sends in the Marines to protect the local Coca-Cola bottler.

2. "Speed Bump" - In 1983 Yuri Andropov of the USSR, nearing death, wants to make a final grand gesture. Annoyed by American belligerence, he instructs the German Democratic Republic government (East Germany) that it's time for East and West Berlin to be united. To avoid WW3, he restricts the attacking force to East German units only. Allied troops in West Berlin await the onslaught, fully aware that the small size of their force will mean that that are only a "speed bump" to the approaching army.

3. "Not a G'day, Mate" - It's the near future. In Indonesia, a fundamentalist faction has gained control of the government and has given tacit approval to the actions of a terrorist organization. After several attacks on Australian interests, the situation escalates when the Aussies discover that the faction has a nuke in storage at a seaport on Java. An Australian naval assault force is approaching the port, intent on a quick hit and run attack, when it is discovered that regular Indonesian forces have been deployed to the town. The Aussie government makes the fateful decision to let the operation proceed...

Now these are outside of existing SB games, but the situations could be adaptable to existing games or maybe put in as mods.

So, my poll asks, who's interested in what?

05 Dec 08, 09:44
I'm in the middle camp on this one. History provides enough grist for the mill. But a "what-if" every now and then is kinda fun.

05 Dec 08, 12:41
Hi JZ,

I enjoy both. Hypothetical scenarios are attractive to create as a lot of research time is not required. God knows time for wargaming is short.

One is also limited by the lack of a full map editor. It is hard to make fully historical battles if one can not create a map from scratch.

I always hope a full map editor will someday be offered.

Regards John