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Re: [GZG] Re: Was FTL, now FTL comms

From: John Atkinson <johnmatkinson@g...>
Date: Fri, 29 Jul 2005 21:30:05 +0200
Subject: Re: [GZG] Re: Was FTL, now FTL comms

On 7/29/05, David Billinghurst <> wrote:

> I've always been quite comfortable with interstellar communications
> at the speed of the fastest courier ship.  Gives a bit of delayed
> for fleet movements so that, as someone else has pointed, a command
> of pre-plotted moves, such as in Fifth Frontier War, models the
> communication lag quite nicely.

Here's the problem.

In history, where nations were large enough and comms primitive enough
for there to be a significant time lag, local commanders had a LOT of
leeway.  In some cases, as of certain times and places in the British
Empire, the local officials could provoke a war, fight it, and impose
peace terms before the central government could figure out precisely
what was happening.

An interstellar empire of that size would rely heavily on an officer
corps highly trained and with a thorough doctrinal background so that
they will make the right decision even if it contradicts orders from
the central government.

So written orders, unless they approach the complexity of real OPORDS,
will never capture what a system like that really is.  If the local
commander is smart and lucky he'll be taking advantage of
opportunities that the central government cannot predict.  If he's a
well-bred idiot, then he'll be misunderstanding and otherwise screwing
up even the best orders.

The other issue is that the local commander will be making those
decisions based on his knowledge of local conditions, not strategic,
which the player (as the central government) sees.

Personally, grand strategic games give me a splitting headache and
I'll leave them for them what like that stuff.

"Thousands of Sarmatians, Thousands of Franks, we've slain them again
and again.  We're looking for thousands of Persians."
--Vita Aureliani

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