- sPHERES of War -
The WarSpike system encompasses four related games each covering a Sphere of War. Between them they cover all levels of warfare; the grand strategy of the general, the tactical command of their captains in battle, the quick wits of their army's skirmishers harrying the enemy's flanks, right down to duels of honour and cold blooded assassinations. WarSpike is wide in scope and covers areas that are not immediately thought of as 'warfare' but as Sun Tzu said: "politics is war without bloodshed and war is politics with bloodshed". This yields the four spheres of Warspike: Technique, Tactical, Strategy and Politics.
Each sphere can be played individually or combined with the other spheres into the single monolithic WarSpike system. When all are used as one, all working together, each sphere is part of a greater whole and can interact and influence the other spheres. I have overplayed the 'classical elements' of fire, water, air and earth to give an intuitive feel for how the spheres interact with each other.
Diagram: In the diagram each sphere is assigned an element and core stat. The adjacent sphere going clockwise is dominant and enhances the sphere is it's influence is used. The adjacent sphere going anti-clockwise is a driving sphere and enforces the spheres effects. The sphere opposite is an indirect support sphere, and effects how a sphere operates.
Rule design ethos: The WarSpike seeks to model rules that are 'realistic' and where possible by taking in real world data as the basis. Being primarily based on reality means that it's well suited to reenacting conflicts throughout history. With a firm base in reality it provides a robust system which, due to familiarity, can be intuitively adapted to fantasy and sci-fi settings. Real world stats and metrics turn up as 'in game' stats and metrics.
This game focuses in on individual combat and special missions. These include scouting, sabotage, sniping, couriers, and some aspect of guerilla warfare. It is a table top game where each player controls a miniature within a warband taking on another team or GM controlled enemies. It also has RPG elements and can be combined with 'Politico' to form a full RPG where 'technique' is combat system.
When used as part of the greater Warspike system these missions can have an profound effect both tactical and strategy games.
The core stat is Stature. In order to do anything physical you need a body, and in order to do anything productive you need a mind, instincts, senses and ideas all provided by the sphere than dominates this sphere, that of Tactics and it's core stat of Acumen (sharp mind, good instincts and reflexes). Further the drives are from Mentality and indirectly supported by Reason (strategy).
The Tactical rules covers specific 'battles within a war' rather than the war as a whole. It is a traditional table top wargame using miniatures, but with some pioneering rules to create dynamic fast moving games. The Tactical rules can be used in conjunction with the Strategy rules, where the generals playing the strategy game can hand off battles to their captains using these tactical rules.
The battle rules can also incorporated the Technique rules in resolving special missions pre-battle, such as scouting out enemy positions, blowing up bridges, intercepting an important communiqué or mounting a rescue, all to set the scene. Likewise the Tactical rules can be combined into the strategy rules.
The core stat is Acumen. This is keen senses, good 'herd' instincts, cooperation between the group. It is dominated by Strategy and Reason with power up this Sphere to create true Tactical thinking and through improvements in tactics enhance the effectiveness of the group in action.
The element is water; the tide of war/ battle and the ebb and flow of war/ battle. The element represents the fluid nature of the Tactical Sphere, and the ability of good tactics to change the tides of war. Battles can be decisive.
Wars and military campaigns are guided by strategy whereas battles are the stage on which tactics are employed. German strategist Carl von Clausewitz stated that "the employment of battles to gain the end of war" was the essence of strategy. Campaign = Strategy (which manages battles) Battle = Tactics (which manages armies engaged in battles).
Kriegsspiel is an example of a 'strategy' game, it deals with the prolonged campaign aspect of war. At the moment there is no comparable module in Warspike, there is no Strategic Core/ Augmented rule set as yet, but it will come in the future (At the moment the development version is a bit like the child's game 'battleships', with two maps, but the battle ships can move about and scout areas. It's an email and/ or forum based game, so you can work out the campaign and send email reports, all building up to the big battle show down, where you meet up.)
The Strategy game can be played in it's own right, but it can also be used to organise meetings for tactical games. Where a battle is designated to be fought in the Strategy game, the players can agree to focus in on events and fight the battle using the tactical rules.
Club: In a club setting, these battles can be handed off to other players who fight the battles with the tactical rules and report back to the Strategy player with the results. In this case, the Strategy player is referred to as a 'general' and the tactical players are referred to as 'captains'.
The strategy rules also allow for the Technique rules to be incorporated into proceedings, where mission results are feed back into the battle and strategy game. For example: if the Party (Warband) is attempting to get new orders to a captain in the field, failure to complete the mission means the orders do not get through. If those orders were part of the strategy game, then the order fail to be delivered and the general will to rethink their strategy.
The core stat is Reason. The ability to model situations of events in ones mind,t o figure out what others may do. It is dominated and enhanced by the Politico Sphere and the fires that drive troops and nations to war and gets the general what they need. The sphere of tactics, of battle, and those in the field are the eyes are ears and hand of the Strategist, and drive the strategy forwards, and when battles are won or lost affect how the strategy proceeds. The Politico Sphere can interfere with this as what is political expedient is not always strategically sound in war. Opposite in the sphere of Technique and the core stat of Stature. Though often metaphorical, all generals are of great stature (or attributed great stature as a instinctive base supporting attribute).
This is pure RPG game and does not require a board as it is narrative in nature. Politico focuses on psychology and social interaction and allows a player to explore a far more complex mission than those covered by the Technique rules. In essence it deals nation building, and works on an inter-tribe model of society, where gaining allies in of benefit to your tribe. 'Tribe' is a little more complex than the regular use of the word, as it covers modern societies. These endeavours include missions like: running for political office, becoming an underworld boss, infiltration and spying, becoming a successful businessman, and even becoming a star entertainer. At a less obvious level it is used to model everyday social interaction, and integrates well with the Technique rules to give a full RPG system. When combined, where Technique and Politico are working in concert, any physical action is dealt with under Technique and any mental or communication action is dealt with under Politico.
The core stats is Mentality and the element is fire. Politics is driven by selfish desires and ambition, the need to rules others and control their actions is deeply selfish and arrogant, but necessary for effective group action. Someone has to be in charge when a group has to act in a crisis. However, in a crisis it is those who shout the loudest and are the most opinionated that are heard (and with good reason if people are panicked). Force of personality is more persuasive than logical plans of action when the shit is about the hit the fan. This is an instinctive quality of the herd instincts of humans, the binding force. The sphere is dominated by the Stature Sphere, as with any animal humans naturally see those who are larger being naturally dominant and better fighters. Large stature can get a fiery personality heard, and in a group more can see the taller person. What is said is not as important as how it is said, but a leader with a good reasoning mind is far more effective and saying the right this, issuing the right instructions (much as the Strategist does for theirs subordinates) greatly enhances the message if is resonates with those listening. The politico sphere is indirectly supported by the sphere of tactics, and provides information to the reasoning mind as to the best way forward.
All very Machiavellian.
[Temp link] > Tactical Index
Copyright © Philip Sibbering 2007-2013. WarSpike™ is a Trademark of Philip Sibbering.
This file last modified 12/23/08