Friday, November 19, 2010

Combat Leader's Field Guide as a GMing tool

This is how I see using this field manual as a Gaming tool. Of course it would be helpful to at least read the first few chapters which deal with organization, leadership and analysis.

Page 17, How to make Combat Orders. Spend as much as 4 hours tops.
(There is a good rule of thumb here, only spend 1/3 of your budgeted time planning; around 1 hour writing what you need to download and search, and the rough outline; 2-3hours writing, downloading and searching).

  • Maps, prepare a few maps needed for the occasion. Typically this would the general area map (where the whole story arc takes place), key strategic locations (side encounters), and the tactical map(s) of the GM.
  • Persons. Operatives, Objectives, Targets, and Contacts can be randomly chosen from the internet. 4chan's weapons thread /k/ has a lot of "operator" pix, airsoft sites and facebook airsoft groups have a lot of operators shots as well.
  • Write up the outline and the general story so far, independent of the PCs. Each piece working towards its goal aware of obstacles and prepared for reasonable danger. make sure they are not created in a Vacuum. Recommend search Combat Mission examples and those found online and rehash them.

Page 11 Command and Control. Resolves in 6-12hours ONLINE or in casual face to face spread out in multiple sessions.
This is an 8 step processes of mission planning outline in the book. Players and GM are basically ironing out the details of the adventure. This halves the job of the GM in prep. Note that it is a GM's job to throw curve balls and to highlight the weaknesses of the PCs plans.

In a face to face meet, printers and a good internet access will help expedite a lot of things. Print out the maps using Poster Print options, then tape them together and put over it a layer of book cover plastic so that everyone can make erasable pen marks.

GM facilitates and role-plays various NPCs contacts, Leader organizes and focuses on most key tasks (leaving busy), other players support by handling all supporting and necessary details.

The Game Session. (Time variable, 6-10hour game
The game session proceeds much more quickly because the CC has been done. This is now an exercise of Adaptive Problem solving. Players will begin to use their Problem Solving skills and execution skills in this session. Note that there is a very strong independence from PC competence and a higher reliance on Player problem solving abilities.

Key skills emphasized are Intuition (Benner, From Novice to Expert), Making sense of Ambiguous Situations (Weick, Sensemaking in Organizations), Framing (Kahneman and Tversky, Choices, Values, and Frames), Decisiveness (Gerstner, Who Says Elephants Can’t Dance? Schein, DEC Is Dead, Long Live DEC.), Small wins (Ambrose, The Supreme Commander), Diplomacy and Communication.

If I had the resources, i'd make this live action in airsoft and a small town, and sell it as a Adventure service. Probably get a whole town to play along.

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