A Confession About TDGs

I have a possibly unpopular confession about tactical decision games. I’m not the biggest fan of them. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with them existing and I can definitely see their use. It’s ironically not in spite of, but because of my armchair enthusiast status that I’m somewhat wary of them. From the perspective of someone who isn’t potentially doing them in real life, it feels like couch coaching. You’re sitting on the couch telling the sportsball player to sports the ball in the right way, when you have past school experience at best.

And that of course assumes there is one right way. One thing I like about John Antal’s Choose Your Own COA-Adventure books is that doing counterintuitive things like charging up the middle can sometimes work.

That being said, it’s less a “down with TDGs” and more “I should like them more than I do”. Plus I’ll admit that I have a soft spot for converting fictional battles/actions into TDGs with just the right amount of modification. While it’d be outside the scope of a “TDG” per se, my dream is to do a simulated reenactment of Iron Eagle (imprisoned pilot, generic Middle Eastern OPFOR) using realistic mechanics and seeing what assets are needed to save Col. Masters.

One thought on “A Confession About TDGs

  1. If they are done well, they can really help a planning staff nug through a tough problem, provide insights and start down the road off coordinating complex stuff.
    Unfortunately most aren’t done well. They are rushed, they are incomplete or poorly prepared – and they often turn into a ROC (rehearsal of concept) [US term] or MRX (Mission Rehearsal Ex) [Cdn term]. Mostly because they are done way too late in the process

    Liked by 1 person

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