Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Connections 2014 preparations


An update from Matt Caffrey on preparations for the Connections 2014 interdisciplinary wargaming conference, to be held at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia on 4-7 August 2014:


Connections 2014 is shaping up to the best Connections to date. Our theme of Understanding Wargame Cultures will focus on national wargame cultures the first day and cultures within wargaming the second day.  Some of the most influential folks in their nation’s wargaming efforts and within a type of wargaming will be speaking, including Peter Perla, Larry Bond (tentative) and Anders Frank.  Logistics are shaping up well with rooms open for reservation. Still, much needs to be done and we will appreciate all help.

We start strong on Monday 4 August. In addition for my annual Wargame 101 seminar in the afternoon the Dr. Peter Perla, author of the Art of Wargaming and former head of wargaming for the Center for Naval Analysis will teach a seminar on analytically wargaming. That’s a little like Wilbur teaching a class on designing aircraft. The day will conclude with our extremely popular ice breaker, where participants can talk one on one with wargamers from other services, other sectors of wargaming, other nations.

Tuesday, we kick off the heart of Connections with two keynotes.  The first we are not in a position to announce, the second is Milan Vego , a historian at the Naval War College will speak on how the wargaming methods of other nations (especially Germany) has influenced US practice.   We will then have two speaker panels on national wargame cultures. So far we have speakers on how wargaming is done in; the United Kingdom, Sweden, the former East Germany, Germany, NATO, and (tentatively) China.  We will have demos and a talk on wargame design over lunch, then the kickoff of our game lab, and open playing of wargames in the evening.

Wednesday our focus will shift from national wargame cultures to the different cultures within wargaming. Our Wednesday keynote speaker, Larry Bond (tentative) is uniquely qualified as he has worked in so many of those cultures; from active duty , to Think tank, to print, to computerized wargames.  (Somehow he found the time to co-author Red Storm Rising with Tom Clancy.)  We will then have a speaker panel with representatives from diverse sectors of our field. We are very fortunate to have Adam Frost from the Joint Staff who will talk to us over lunch on the little known (for a reason) field of Pol/Mil wargaming. The afternoon will include work on our Game Lab, talks on the contribution of the social sciences to wargaming, and the contribution of wargaming to peace.  We will wrap up the day with our working groups.

Thursday morning will include the out briefs of our Game Lab and working groups, concluding with the Connections hot wash.

200px-Seal_of_Marine_Corps_Base_QuanticoLogistical preparations are progressing well.  We have great facilities at Quantico MCB.  As we did last year we will be able to send out much, though not all, of the conference via VTC for those who cannot participate in person.  For those who can attend in person, rooms have been reserved on base.  Just, call Crossroads Inn (the on-base billeting for Quantico, phone: 703-630-4444) and let them know you are booking a room for the Connections wargaming conference.  Prices are not nearly as low as in the old days, but still a bargain by National Capital Region standards.

Still, much needs to be done.  If you would like to help in any way (demo, co-lead a working group, speak, etc.) please email with how you would like to help.  Better yet you could join the group that isplanning/ prepping to Connections by calling into our next meeting.  It will be on Tuesday 15 April at 1500 eastern daylight time.  Just all (605) 475-4700 and enter the pin 682165#.

Hoping to hear from you Tuesday, but even more so – hoping to see you at Connections.


Matt Caffrey
C0-Chair Connections 2014

I’ll be there!

4 responses to “Connections 2014 preparations

  1. Rex Brynen 19/04/2014 at 1:18 am

    What is the designated Game Lab topic?

  2. brtrain 17/04/2014 at 7:06 pm

    Excellent… the Game Lab is getting squeezed for time due to the numbers of speakers and panels and I’m wondering what might be a better way to approach it.

  3. Rex Brynen 16/04/2014 at 4:22 pm

    Yes I will!

  4. brtrain 16/04/2014 at 3:53 pm

    Rex, will you be there?

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: