Sandtable
October 20, 2014 3:12 PM   Subscribe

ARES is a new tabletop wargame technology by the US Army. STTC briefing. Article. A modern take on one of the oldest forms of simulation: drawing stuff in the ground with a stick. Gary Gygax had a sandtable in his basement when creating D&D in the 70s, here's some recent pics of it.
posted by stbalbach (25 comments total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
 
the domain "military.com" really squicks me out
posted by sxtxixtxcxh at 3:16 PM on October 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


This classic Chainmail man-to-man scenario [The Viking Assault of a Norman Seawatch Fort], originally designed by Gary Gygax, will be conducted on the Gary Con Sand Table but this year it will actually be in the basement of Gary Gygax’s home

That's a pilgrimage.

Players should each bring a ten foot pole, because I can only assume the basement is crammed with deadly traps.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 3:22 PM on October 20, 2014 [11 favorites]


A children's experience museum here in Utah has one of these for kids to play with. It looks pretty awesome. It'll redraw the ravines and water flows as you rearrange the mountains.
posted by msbutah at 3:28 PM on October 20, 2014


sxtxixtxcxh: "the domain "military.com" really squicks me out"

It's the military-dot-complex.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 4:06 PM on October 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


Players should each bring a ten foot pole...

10' pole, 50' of rope, ten iron spikes, two small bags, two large bags, 10 torches, 2 weeks iron rations, 10 flasks of oil, 10 wineskins of water, 10 wine skins of wine, a flask of aqua vitae, 4 flasks of acid, and a member of the party with low dexterity to walk in first.
posted by eriko at 4:27 PM on October 20, 2014 [27 favorites]


This is really very interesting. Being able to tweak the terrain with such a natural interface will be very valuable to training the next generation of commanders. Especially when doing that now is an exercise in frustration.

If you're curious about the simulation like I was, the video shows platoon level units, so I guess it's the Joint Conflict and Tactical Simulation component of the Joint Multi-Resolution Model. Probably the closest a home user can get is BCT Commander.
posted by ob1quixote at 4:27 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


10' pole, 50' of rope, ten iron spikes, two small bags, two large bags, 10 torches, 2 weeks iron rations, 10 flasks of oil, 10 wineskins of water, 10 wine skins of wine, a flask of aqua vitae, 4 flasks of acid, and a member of the party with low dexterity to walk in first.

Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.
posted by The Tensor at 4:43 PM on October 20, 2014 [31 favorites]


Glad somebody remembers Tensor's Floating Snark.
posted by eriko at 4:53 PM on October 20, 2014 [2 favorites]


The Tensor: "Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff."

Not that we needed all that for the trip, but once you get locked into a serious equipment collection, the tendency is to push it as far as you can.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 5:00 PM on October 20, 2014 [20 favorites]


Just hopping in to say that having the ability to play the original inspirations of D&D and D&D in the hoe it was invented is a pretty amazing amount of reverence and attention to history. Color me impressed.
posted by jscott at 5:05 PM on October 20, 2014


Uh, I mean...
posted by jscott at 5:15 PM on October 20, 2014 [3 favorites]


Funny, jscott, I always heard she was a saint.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 5:20 PM on October 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


From D&D to Strangelove to Fear and Loathing all in the space of five comments. God, I love Metafilter.
posted by AlonzoMosleyFBI at 5:20 PM on October 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


Shoot, a fella could have a pretty good weekend in Vegas with all that stuff.

I'm not sure one flask of aqua vitae would be enough.

Now I'm imagining a contour magician, that changes the environment's elevation with magic
posted by halifix at 5:41 PM on October 20, 2014 [1 favorite]


It's 106 miles to Chicago. We've got 50 feet of rope, half a pack of reagents, it's dark, and we're wearing mithril.
posted by RobotVoodooPower at 5:43 PM on October 20, 2014 [20 favorites]


Hit it.
posted by wenestvedt at 6:08 PM on October 20, 2014 [5 favorites]


It's OK. We're on a mission from Glod, the Gnomish god of wealth.
posted by eriko at 6:35 PM on October 20, 2014 [7 favorites]


In case anyone out there wants to build their own: Augmented Reality Sandbox.

I've been thinking it would be a cool project to do with my son when he gets a bit older.
posted by fings at 6:54 PM on October 20, 2014 [6 favorites]


I guess the Hunger Games really do exist.
posted by oceano at 9:38 PM on October 20, 2014


Thanks, fings. These are more common than I knew. Surprised there is not a larger community creating software enhancements beyond the running water feature. (and funny how the Army research lab presents it as something they developed)
posted by stbalbach at 10:29 PM on October 20, 2014


It's OK. We're on a mission from Glod, the Gnomish god of wealth.

You don't mean Glod, the small dwarf who appears if you mistype "Gold" when wishing in ADOM?

(Just furthering the reference chain. Carry on.)
posted by JHarris at 7:14 AM on October 21, 2014 [1 favorite]


You don't mean Glod, the small dwarf who appears if you mistype "Gold" when wishing in ADOM?

No. It was an ancient curse levied on the Klatchian Seriph of Al-Ybi by an angry but dyslexic deity. Everything he touched turned to Glod, a small dwarf from Uberwäld.

(a reference here, a reference there, reference reference everywhere!)
posted by eriko at 8:07 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


"Players should each bring a ten foot pole, because I can only assume the basement is crammed with deadly traps."

Noob. Your genre aware role player carries an 11 foot pole because it puts you a foot away from the bad stuff on a 10' grid.
posted by Mitheral at 8:48 AM on October 21, 2014 [2 favorites]


So, you're saying it goes to 11'?
posted by eriko at 6:56 AM on October 22, 2014 [1 favorite]


"Rock and roll!"
"You are in a maze of twisty corridors, all alike ..."
"Rock and roll!"

(... a clattering of dice is heard ...)
posted by nickzoic at 6:59 PM on October 22, 2014


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