Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Which games would you suggest to the US Navy?


PAXsims is pleased to post this request from Peter Perla for game suggestions.

A couple of weeks ago at a meeting at the Naval War College in Newport, a USN admiral asked me to take a shot at drafting a Chief of Naval Operations’ “Recommended Games” list. In my copious free time, as we are wont to say. I am going to seek suggestions from as broad a community as I can, including this group. So many of you may receive this request multiple times.

I am not talking only wargames here. The goal of the CNO’s current initiative to explore how gaming can help sailors learn better, faster, and (my addition) cheaper. Not only warfighting skills but also general critical thinking and problem solving skills as well as creativity. And though the unwashed will certainly expect most of the games to be digital, I will want to include boardgames, of course.

At this point I am keeping the aperture open wide. Please let me know if you have any recommendations. You can write to me directly at

Peter Perla

3 responses to “Which games would you suggest to the US Navy?

  1. hipbone 18/03/2016 at 4:55 pm

    I suspect that current gaming largely focuses on physical elements such as weaponry, numbers of personnel, terrain, physical obstacles, etc, and has very little means for coping with morale effects of the sort which occur when, for instance, one side in a conflict holds an “apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision” to use Martin Dempsey’s phrase.

    Hermann Hesse’s Nobel-winning novel The Glass Bead Game suggests a form of gaming in which ideas are placed in counjterpoijtn with ideas. I’ve been working, as have others, on playable variants of Hesse’s fictitious game for some years now, and suggest that games of ideation and motivation as such, focused on mapping mental and emotional terrain and obstacles, might make a powerful addition to the wargaming scene.

    I’ll be posting something specific about this idea shortly at

  2. Jerry Hall 14/03/2016 at 7:38 pm

    HI Peter! Let’s talk this week at the wargaming workshop! Been working on a similar list for the Army War College that will transition to the games we use in our optional wargame program. We are actually playing games Tuesday and Wednesday nights at The Game Table Cafe, feel free to join us. Jerry

  3. Bruce Gelinas MTC(SS) USN Ret. 14/03/2016 at 6:54 pm

    Great War at Sea Series of game from avalanche press

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