PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Top scientists reveal shocking truth: amazing wargaming methodology makes wrinkles vanish in days!

Pulp-O-Mizer_Cover_Image-7.jpgIt seems the words “methodology evaluation” don’t attract readers to online media, so sometimes you have to go with a more clickbait-y headline.

The appearance of a Defence Research and Development Canada paper on (matrix) wargaming to support strategic planning on the DRDC website led to me getting a couple of calls from reporters this week about ISIS Crisis. As I told them, none of this was about planning military operations against ISIS. Rather, that just happened to be the scenario/game that was used to explore the methodology and whether it might have something to contribute to capability-based planning in general.

Because “methodology” is rather dry, geeky stuff  VICE News has just run an article under the exciting headline “The Strategy Board Game the Canadian Military Could Use to Fight the Islamic State.”

It’s like Diplomacy meets Dungeons and Dragons meets Prussian military tactics.

That’s ‘ISIS Crisis’ in a nutshell, a Canadian-developed table-top war game that a wing of the Canadian military says could be useful in getting strategists thinking more broadly about fighting in Iraq and Syria.

The game, developed by a major in the British army and a professor at a Canadian university, was given a test run by Defence Research and Development Canada (DRDC), the military’s in-house technology and research division.

The research body played the turn-based strategy game to see if it changed their way of thinking about any of the military, social, economic, or cultural problems facing the region….

Again—as is clear from the actual DRDC report—this isn’t at all why ISIS Crisis was played. It was used simply assess how this general type of game might be a useful analytical tool. The scenario was set in the Middle East, but might equally have been military response to the Great 1998 Ice Storm, the current forest fires in Fort McMurray, or a future hypothetical peacekeeping missions.

On this plus side, the article does at least highlight the value of serious gaming for analysis, and I do think ISIS Crisis does generate useful insight into the conflict with Daesh. Amazing but true!

 

3 responses to “Top scientists reveal shocking truth: amazing wargaming methodology makes wrinkles vanish in days!

  1. brtrain 12/05/2016 at 1:30 pm

    Rex, I think you can say you’ve finally Arrived when your name is dropped in VICE news…congratulations!

  2. John Curry 13/05/2016 at 3:26 pm

    This story does explain the surge in hits on my site (which has some maps/ counters etc for some matrix games) as well as selling the actual book. Maybe I should have used your front cover on the book….

  3. Chris Engle 13/05/2016 at 6:28 pm

    I love The cover. When I published commercial Matrix games I used lurid art as well. But now that is done. Anyone interested in an archive of my Matrix game rules from 1987 to 2016? I’m hoping John Curry will publish it. He says suggesting people suggest that to John…

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