GWarfare or the greatest game that could be
Such is the story of how modern wars are won and lost. The Fourth largest army in the world was wiped out and stomped flat by superior technology, tactics and firepower; even if they far outnumbered their foes. With computers still being in their relatively early years, and the information age even younger, it is normal that little in the way of recreating this kind of setting exists.
Gmod is certainly the most versatile game in history. Never before has so much creative power been given to a user in such an immersive, high-performance physics engine. If it is to be taken as a standard of sandbox games, what the future holds none can tell. An unexploited, as it seems, facet of Gmod is the ability to simulate almost any kind of device or vehicle with some degree of apparent realism. Basic concepts remain viable in any frame, Real or Simulated, and gmod has often been used as a simulation environment. The greatest could-be offshoot of Gmod is in it's capability to replicate true warfare. In this gamemode that is Half Build, Half SeriousRP, All War it is the most technically savvy, quick-thinking and tactician player who will triumph over the mindless quick-aiming RDM'er. Echoes of DarkRP servers wiped out by massed missile attacks.
True Warfare would be defined as forces fighting each other as systems; containing a rigid organization and operational procedures, emphasizing the carrying out of orders and discipline; using every kind of weapon and advantage possible... as opposed to a Chivalric mano-a-mano individual combat with an overwhelming preponderance of firearms and an almost total absence of secondary support, ignoring technological developments. That was quite a mouthful! But i hope i have described it well. You will have recognized most HL2/Gmod mods as the second category, wich follows HL2. This is no coincidence, it is due to the target age of the game and the fact that it is made 'for fun'. If you are like me, you find simulations that give you challenges not usually encountered in video games VERY fun.
But infinite possibilities exist in Gmod for any number of players to team up in a military effort not unlike real life. Good rules and control of what wiremod features can be used can keep an important balance wich will keep too overpowered weapons from being used unfairly (like Lyinginbedmon's formless-horror-robot slaughtering everything), or to keep within a period of history. It can be assumed that better addons for radios and sensors may appear, but in this gamemode a great incentive can be found to create them. Simply a target finder that can be located due to it being on, much like an Advanced Radio, would be an acceptable simulation of Radar. I will outline ideas for addons later. There are also limitations one needs to set into the game, some novel. "Earshot Range Only" chat and voice reception is a must, to force the use of communications devices. Also,an important requirement for this type of gamemode is a maximum-size map with a high skybox to give a truly large possible battlespace and maneuvering space for aerial warfare. A "Space" ceiling a la "spacegrass" opens up mouth-watering possibilities in Space Warfare (Satellites and Missiles, not Stardestroyers, X-Wings and Death Stars).
The most important aspect of GWarfare is that it is first and foremost a TEAM deathmatch, or other gamemode, but always a TEAM effort. Hierarchy; Command, Control and Communications (C3) are critical wether the force structure is cellular and independent or a rigid pyramid. The name of the game is always to have greater firepower (power*numbers) than the enemy. Pitted against each other with wiremod at their disposition, teams will effectively engage in a technological Arms race where the lessons that where learned with the price of real blood during the countless conflicts of the Post-Industrial age can be applied. Giving the three players tanks would be a good start, but their Area of Influence is decidedly small, their firepower Average and their situational awareness mediocre at best. The players will always be too little to make a difference on their own, the key is the weapon systems they control.
Quick, Cheap n' Dirty Information-age controllers (E2, CPU, ect) give an infinite flexibility to automating what the players can develop. Instead of fighting themselves, they may code and build robots to fight at their place; giving each player the presence, firepower and Úlan of four players, depending on how well the robots perform. The enemy would be well advised to match this provocation with the same model, but an asymmetrical response is sometimes the best Answer. Consider if these robots are given target information and orders by radio, it would be possible to interfere with their good functioning; here Electronic Warfare comes into play.
A whole Gmod server could be made on 'Wizard Warfare' as Electronic Warfare is called (given we have nerdy enough players) due to the wide array of options that Gmod gives to transmit data. A force coordinating their messages through a string-to-radio system on a fixed frequency may find themselves being jammed, or even worst, being Eavesdropped. Even more insidious, if not even the most basic security measured are arranged, false messages and data can wreck the best laid plans with Disinformation Warfare.
All three tiers of modern fighting; Ground, Aerospace and Sea; could be simulated in Gmod, even all at once if the necessary manpower, will and computing power is there. If Naval Warfare in Gmod is to be any more than glorified Ironside-era broadsiding; weapon systems must be developed to deal with many kinds of threats. Aerial warfare is even more expansive, with many possible roles falling upon a single airplane (Air Dominance, Tactical Ground Attack, Strategic Area Bombing, Reconnaissance, Transport, Close Air Support, Anti-Ship, ect). Airplanes will spawn air defences, and then the never-ending leapfrog of who is more advanced at the moment will begin, to answer the question "Will the Bomber get Through?".
So you will have noticed that all this entails quite a lot of work and development. Wich is why it is imperative that advancements be saved, and that lessons learned be published so that the general level of knowledge is equal for all who would wish to begin. Prized formulas, tactics, code and algorithms for various kinds of problems should be openly published after it has been "proven in combat" so to speak; or if you insist on secrecy, after something better comes along. A weapon made more for looks and "wow" than actual fighting, like a 153-prop Tiger II tank, would not fit in the scope, since all the contraptions have to relegate form to function more or less. Blowing up something efficiently, with minimal expense of energy is a much different science (and art) than building, or even destroying in style as many aim to.
A dedicated server running an experimental game of this kind would be best in fleshing out exactly how best to proceed. Many paths can be chosen; from free-form (build it all yourself) to pre-arranged (standard, pre-set duped units available; little development to do; "mass produced") to fit different gamemodes. An obvious offshoot would be WW2, with the obligatory Western Europe "Occupied Normandy/Channel/Britain" map and setting. Here expression2 and missiles would be banned, perhaps only standard expression2's doing specific things would exist. But WW2 still had much attrition warfare in it, the beginning of the information age warfare.
The standard scenario/gamemode i would propose is a "two-continents" map separated by sea, with some light fog limiting long-range visibility. The teams, BLUE and RED, begin by a period of peace where each side will try to create a force; now balancing of teams can also take place where veterans will help the weaker side. Once a 'war' begins, victory points are measured by player kills and props destroyed (for a lack of true whole-vehicle-kill counters for now). Prices can be put into props by a calculation of their weight and physical properties ($0.50 per weightunit of wood, for example), so that a resource system can be developed to expand the game.