Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Stephen Downes-Martin: The diagram

At the most recent MORS wargaming Community of Practice meeting/teleconference, Stephen Downes-Martin (US Naval War College) presented on the topic of “Adjudication: The Diabolus in Machina of Wargaming.” I wasn’t able to attend since I have a (not-so-serious) game to organize this weekend, but much of what he had to say was based on an important article on the same topic he published in Naval War College Review 66, 3 (Summer 2013).

What was new to me, however, was this very useful diagram summarizing his arguments, which we’re happy to present to PAXsims readers:

Adjudicating Discovery Wargames Stephen Downes-Martin.png

Indeed, I’m almost tempted to make a game of it (“roll d6: on a 4+ your adjudicators believe they already know the answer, and ignore potential insights from the game that run counter to their preconceptions”).

5 responses to “Stephen Downes-Martin: The diagram

  1. Rex Brynen 23/02/2016 at 6:47 pm

    I’ve added an in-text link that should open up the large version.

  2. Stephen Downes-Martin 22/02/2016 at 6:11 am

    Eyeball problem or image resolution? If latter download the paper from the NWC website or my google site.

  3. Tom Mouat 22/02/2016 at 6:00 am

    Sorry – still can’t read the diagram… :-(

  4. Stephen Downes-Martin 18/02/2016 at 8:32 pm

    Rex, Thanks for posting. The diagram is at the end of the online version of the paper (see the link in Rex’s post). It was left out of the print version due to printing problems. The online versipn of the diagram is readable when zoomed in …

  5. Perla, Peter 18/02/2016 at 3:37 pm


    It would have been nice if Stephen had talked about his diagram yesterday. But I guess John Hanley was more interested in the systems thinking picture!

    Good grief, I hope I don’t have to report being on a telecon attended by any damned furriners! I understand there is Some sort of conspiracy meeting in Ottawa next week in hopes of avoiding our detection and strike systems based in Buffalo. But ve haf our vays! Just look at Stephen’s last slide! Bwah, hah, hah!

    Take care


    Do you think the scotch at lunch was too strong?

    Sent with Good (


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