Three new books this week that I will read and likely use as “inspiration” for gaming.
The Battle of Midway, Craig L. Symonds, Oxford University Press, 2011
Wargame Pairing: C.V.: A Game of the Battle of Midway, 1942 (Yaquinto Publishing, 1980)
The ad copy for Symonds’ The Battle of Midway claims:
Symonds is the first historian to argue that the victory at Midway was not simply a matter of luck, pointing out that Nimitz had equal forces, superior intelligence, and the element of surprise. Nimitz had a strong hand, Symonds concludes, and he rightly expected to win.Goodreads
I think Symonds’ argument that the American victory “was not simply a matter of luck” is a valid claim when compared to Gordon Prange’s 1982 book Miracle at Midway (Penguin Books). I’m not so sure you could make that same argument when comparing it to Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully’s Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway (Potomac Books, 2005). I also recently visited this topic in my article ““What WAS Nimitz Thinking?”: Another Battle of Midway Wargame Analysis” for Armchair Dragoons.
Danger Zone: The Coming Conflict with China, Hal Brands and Michael Beckley, W.W. Norton & Company, 2022
Wargame Pairing: Flashpoint: South China Sea (GMT Games, 2022)
It has become conventional wisdom that America and China are running a “superpower marathon” that may last a century. Yet Hal Brands and Michael Beckley pose a counterintuitive question: What if the sharpest phase of that competition is more like a decade-long sprint?
Over the long run, the Chinese challenge will most likely prove more manageable than many pessimists currently believe—but during the 2020s, the pace of Sino-American conflict will accelerate, and the prospect of war will be frighteningly real. America, Brands and Beckley argue, will still need a sustainable approach to winning a protracted global competition. But first, it needs a near-term strategy for navigating the danger zone ahead.Goodreads
Both authors are from the American Enterprise Institute, a DC-based think-tank generally described as “right-of-center.”
Ex Supra: A Novel by Tony Stark, (Self-Published?), 2022
Wargame Pairing: Traveller/Cepheus Engine Role-Playing Game (Various publishers, 1977-2022)
This book started out as a work of Fictional Intelligence (FICINT) that the author, Tony Stark (@Iron_Man_Actual on Twitter) expanded out. The ad copy for Ex Supra reads:
This is the story of the war after the next war.
In 2035, an AI-driven disinformation campaign turned us on ourselves. We became the enemy’s first strike weapons, and as we set fire to our own country, the People’s Liberation Army seized half of the Pacific. From the first combat jump on Mars to the climate change-ravaged jungles of Southeast Asia, EX SUPRA blends the bleeding edge of technology and the bloody reality of combat. In EX SUPRA, the super soldiers are only as strong as their own wills, reality is malleable, and hope only arrives with hellfire. Follow John Petrov, a refugee turned CIA paramilitary officer, Captain Jennifer Shaw, a Green Beret consumed by bloodlust, and many more, as they face off against Chinese warbots, Russian assassins, and their own demons in the war for the future of humanity.Ex Supra ad copy
Feature image courtesy reddit
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