Monday, June 23, 2014

The Russo-Georgian War of 2008 - Using Bruce Costello's Board Game as a Template for Computer Simulation Scenarios

If not heavily inspired by real events, my Russo-Georgian War scenarios for Steel Beasts ProPE, ArmA 2, the DCS series of flight simulators and the Command Modern Air/Naval Operations are made up from what I consider plausible. However, any type of continuity in the war events was difficult to track and iterate.

Initial deployment in the South Ossetian-Georgian border.

So I picked up a copy of the board game Russo-Georgian War of 2008 by Bruce Costello to provide a template and keep track of the high level actions in which the small stories are embedded.

Fear not, I am not going to "fight" or "resolve" any of the battles in the board game using the simulators mentioned above. I will play the board game and debrief you about what's going on with the war. But the scenarios for the computer simulations will be small and local, with almost no visible effect on the continuing war. One exception could be made with Command Modern Air/Naval Operations. I am thinking how to deal with the wider scope of this computer simulation.

The initial deployment at the Abkhazian-Georgian border.
By the way, I'm liking this board game a lot. For such a short game and amount of counters, the rule set is exquisite. The Russians have to keep the Roki Tunnel open in order to receive the bulk of their forces or (if the tunnel is blown by Georgian SOFs) or settle for a marine-based offensive from the Black Sea. Electronic and cyber warfare play in favor of the Russians. The Russians can also off course strike Georgian formations by air (the means and results of those attacks are frustratingly realistic. Also included are PSYOPs. It's all about delaying the Georgians with all means available. The Georgians have less means to strike or defend but better aerial reconnaissance.

Box art.


NW said...

How's the build quality of the game? Hard to tell from the media if it's good cardboard stock or printed on cardpaper.

JC said...

Hi NW,

This is my first board game in a very long time so take it with a big grain of salt.

Sorry about the pictures. I need a better camera. Slash that. I need A camera instead of a phone. :)

The chits are thick. The map is of good quality, but printed on heavy paper so I had to mount it behind some glass for it to remain completely flat.

The printing quality is great. The map artwork is a bit lacking and the color palette is too intense for my taste.

The game mechanics are great: simple and well thought. I played a couple of turns with my 12 year old son last night and he catched up with the rules very well.

What are your suggestions for a quick review of this game? I.e. What extra questions would you have from a review?


NW said...


I haven't done any tabletop gaming in ten years or so. When it comes to game reviews, most reviews I've seen are adequate - focusing on the accuracy of the game's data, the game system, the quality of the printing and the maps and so on. One thing that is rarely mentioned though is what the maps and pieces are made of, and since this dictates durability, that's fairly important. Usually gameboards get printed on that thick cardboard stock like the titular Risk board, at least in my experience. This example I'll probably paste onto some cardboard and laminate for durability.

In this case especially, where electronic warfare and cyberwarfare are so notable, I'd like to hear more about how they're simulated. Because the area is mountainous, I'd also like to hear about how the terrain is covered in more detail than I would for something based on the Fulda Gap.

JC said...

Hi NW,

Counters are very thick and seem durable. The map, though, you would be in for laminating it.

Electronic, cyber warfare and PSYops are modelled. But is a question of just rolling a die and placing a marker for it. The effects of these endure for just one turn.

As for the terrain and others. I don't know. It is designed to be quick (2 hours or so) game.

I may review it if I find the time to do it.