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United States Entertainment Games

Army Game Proves U.S. Can't Lose 636

Alien54 writes to tell us that the latest game in the US Army's recruiting toolbox is an impressive game, simulating both weaponry already in use and some still on the drawing board. The game portrays the nation's military in 2015 but, as some critics have said, may lack even the most basic elements of realism. From the article: "For example, there's no consideration that military power or technology could fail or be jammed, she says. And the enemy doesn't learn, in contrast to a certain real-life conflict where the hallmark of insurgents is their ability to rapidly gain knowledge and evolve."
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Army Game Proves U.S. Can't Lose

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  • Re:Political FUD (Score:1, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:39AM (#17014372)
    This article is really just political FUD. Games are notorious for having poor adaptation in their AI, and very few FPSes have weapons that can jam or break.
    And the first Army game *does* address these: weapons *do* jam (occasionally) and most opponents are human.

    The new game has different goals so it uses a different game model. Duh.
  • by heyguy ( 981995 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:48AM (#17014428)
    Whichever side you're on, you're gonna be with the US Army. The opposing side will look like insurgents of some sort, even though they're in the US Army from their perspective. I always found it funny that the standard-issue M16s jammed semi-frequently, while the AK-47s that you can pick up from enemies never jammed (also offers the popular automatic-fire mode, as opposed to burst fire with the M16s). Also, they added AI in their most recent patch, and it's just horrible. The dudes are idiots, but some of them have impossible aim, so are impossible to kill. I don't know if the same company made the new game, but if they did, that would explain the terrible AI.
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:3, Informative)

    by RKBA ( 622932 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:42AM (#17014752)
    Does that include the 550 million Chinese people who are available for military service as well? Although I don't know the size of the total armed forces (including reserves and National Guard) of the USA, the total US population is only about 300 million people whereas the population of China is almost twice that. Their standing army is about 3.5 million strong.
    Source: CIA Factbook [cia.gov]
    Chinese Manpower fit for military service:
    males age 18-49: 281,240,272
    females age 18-49: 269,025,517 (2005 est.)
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by nightsweat ( 604367 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:31AM (#17015210)
    Europe is a serious economic power and a major global market competitior. Militarily - not so much. The US has heavily overinvested in defense for the benefit of the political contributors in the defense industry.

    Now if you're including Russia in Europe that's a whole different thing. Both Russia and the U.S. have about 8000 warheads apiece considered battle ready. Britain has about 200 and France about 350.

    Plus, the U.S. doesn't have the language and governmental coordination problem that Europe has.
  • by Howler ( 17832 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:45AM (#17015360)
    Revolutionary War? If I recall the British had superior numbers, weapons, ships, etc. Though I could be wrong. I will agree that it was a long time ago.

    Also, what about the single US SEAL Team in the first Iraq War that, made the Iraqi military think they were a major amphibious assault force? I would say that was a pretty major engagement that was won, by a rather small, extremely well trained US military unit.

    Just my thoughts.
  • by Safe Sex Goddess ( 910415 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:54AM (#17015442) Homepage Journal
    I suppose it's not surprising that we're losing in Iraq given that the people in charge of the military seem to be idiots. Our men and women and Iraqi civilians dying over there because of idiot officers and politicians.

    I remember reading about the military's cheating a while back. Here's a little background [smh.com.au] about how the US spent $253 million dollars on Middle East war games in 2002 and fixed it so they would win.

  • Re:But wait ... (Score:5, Informative)

    by Chowderbags ( 847952 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:59AM (#17015496)
    I don't recall that either. What I do remember is that the US declared war on the British Empire in 1812 after the British took US citizens on merchant ships and forced the to fight in the British Navy, refused to recognize that the US could trade with France, and refused to stop supporting Native American attacks in the US frontier. Even though, yes, the British invasion into the US burned much of DC, the US invasion of Canada burned York (now Toronto), the capital of Upper Canada, including it's parliment building. As far as New Orleans is concerned, Canada can't possibly take credit for the attack (and wouldn't want to). It was a naval invasion that utterly failed, with a US force half the size of the British taking a handful of casualties, yet killing/wounding/capturing over 2000 British troops (the irony of this is that it was after the peace treaty was signed). The war itself ended with neither side really winning anything (though both claim victory).
  • Re:But wait ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by simm1701 ( 835424 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:18AM (#17015746)
    Don't forget all those other lovely little toys that goverments shouldn't have but do - chemical and biological weapons - which have only been kept for "research purposes" - honest!

    The US, UK, France and Russia are each more than capable of wiping out all life on this planet - several times over. Does it really matter that one country can score a 50x overkill bonus while the others combined might only get 20x?

    If anyone really thinks their countries military is so impressive then I suggest they go down their local recruitment office and do the rest of the world a favour and die for their country
  • Assuming no nuclear weapons are used(Reasonable assumption, the US has possessed first strike capability, IE the ability to incapacitate all nuclear silo's and submarines before they have a opportunity to strike back, over Russia and China since around 95 [see Foreign Policy April ed.]. France and British nuclear weapons are few and easily destroyable, since the US built their Silo's and they have no nuclear subs. Israel, India, and Pakistan lack ICBM's to hit us, so will probably end up attacking their neighbors instead. Most of America's nuclear arsenal is mothballed, and so they probably will not use them either.)

    Naval: The US has seven super carrier groups; the rest of the world has none. The world's navy could be eliminated in a matter of days, leaving the worlds coast open to naval and air bombardment. The world has more ships, but most of these are refurbished WW2 era battleships, today's naval warfare centers on aircraft carriers. Not only does the US have more Aircraft carriers then the rest of the world combined, they are also newer and more powerful.

    Air: The rest of the world lacks the ability to project their air force beyond their borders, The US can just bombard with missiles the large and complex infrastructure needed to maintain a air force(see how Israel disabled Egypt's large and powerful air force by destroying runways in 67). Afterward, the US can use their navy as a staging area for asserting Arial dominance.

    Ground: With air and naval superiority, the US can just bomb opposing armies to destroy their logistics. Then the US can just watch them desert and starve.

    Productive Capacity: The US has a GDP of 12 trillion dollars; the world has one of 57. The world actually has around 5 times more productive capacity. However, if you consider military spending, the US military budget makes up 49% of total world spending. Take into account Iraq, Afghanistan, and black projects, and The US tips the scale.

    Disclaimer: I do not like that my hard-earned cash has been spent to achieve military dominance over the rest of the world. Not to give neo-con's idea's, The US could incapacitate the rest of the world, not conquer it.
  • Re:Political FUD (Score:5, Informative)

    by EvilTwinSkippy ( 112490 ) <yoda@EINSTEINetoyoc.com minus physicist> on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:26AM (#17015848) Homepage Journal
    This is actually an important part of training. The Army regularly puts their troops up against some of the best live opponents that can find. It's called "Opfor." My spend 2 years in the Mojave desert, knocking off one battalian after another as the bad guys.

    In full scale war games, they actually bolt electronics onto the Serviceman's actual rifle that essentially plays laser-tag with blanks. You have to have a clip to make the gun fire, and the guns do actually Jam, and they have simulated land mines, IED's, morter attacks, air strikes, etc. It's all in a real environtment, so you have heat and cold, dirt, body odor, everything.

    Some reserve units are actually pretty experienced and can beat Opfor. They are the minority. Most newer units get schooled, and they have the experience of having died in battle to teach them what not to do.

    "You die at Fort Irvin so you survive your real battles."
  • by PhxBlue ( 562201 ) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @10:09PM (#17028118) Homepage Journal

    ... but missed the dartboard altogether.

    This game, much like America's Army, is a recruiting tool. It's designed to get teens and twentysomethings interested in signing on the dotted line and raising their right hand. So naturally it's going to be "hard to lose," because actually losing might discourage someone from peeking his head into the Army recruiter's office.

  • Re:But wait ... (Score:2, Informative)

    by Jabbrwokk ( 1015725 ) <grant.j.warkentin@g m a i l . com> on Wednesday November 29, 2006 @11:19AM (#17033802) Homepage Journal
    Good points chowderbags.
    But it should be pointed out it was a common practice at that time for both sides to kidnap each others' sailors and force them to serve. Also that it's not too surprising the British wouldn't want the Americans to trade with the French since they were pretty busy fighting Napoleon across the ocean. They would have done whatever they could to hurt Napoleon. And the Native American attacks in the frontier -- well, there's a whole lot more to that, including entire Indian nations siding with eiher British or Americans, or neither, while trying to defend their people from being swallowed by the settlers moving westward, but you're essentially right. However it was a lot more political than just the British encouraging Indians to attack American settlers.

    The 1812 conflicts that spilled over from Europe into North America were pretty half-assed. Certainly nothing for Canadians (I am one) to puff up with pride over.

    As for this game -- I think the real point is that maybe the American military puts too much faith in its high-tech weaponry and not enough in plain old tactics ;)

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