Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

The STRIKE! Battlegroup Tactical Wargame

STRIKE is a wargame developed at the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory for the British Army, to enable them to examine novel tactical concepts to use with the UK’s new Strike brigade. The following piece was shared with PAXsims by STRIKE’s chief developer, Mike Young.

The British Army is being equipped with a new generation of fighting vehicles that will provide the core combat elements within the new Strike Brigades.  The vehicles are an 8 wheeled infantry transport platform known as the Mechanised Infantry Vehicle (“MIV”) and a family of vehicles based around the AJAX platform.  The British Army was keen to understand how the Strike Brigade would perform on the battlefield so commissioned a series of manual wargames to examine their operational effectiveness.  I facilitated at these wargames and produced the STRIKE! wargame as a result.


STRIKE! is a detailed tactical level game, based around one inch square counters each representing a platoon of 3 or 4 vehicles. There are counters to represent all the fighting elements of the Strike Brigade as well as an Armoured Infantry Brigade on the Blue side, and a full mechanised brigade and an airborne battalion on the Red side.  The game also represents helicopter and engineering assets and, if required, has an alternative Red ORBAT with less sophisticated equipment.  Three large hex maps of different terrain types have been produced to go with the game along with a scenario booklet, enabling many different tactical situations to be examined.  The hexes on the map represent an area 500 metres across, and each game turn represents half an hour of real time.

The counters display a unit ID, movement, firepower and protection details.  A detailed set of rules is provided, although after a PowerPoint brief  the players were able play the game using a single A4 quick reference sheet to calculate combat results.

The reaction to the game was extremely positive and enthusiastic, with all six copies of the game being eagerly received by the customer.

As the customer said:

It is absolutely AWESOME. I am so pleased. They had it manufactured professionally and have written fantastically clear rules, crib cards, notes, ORBAT sheets etc. They have missed nothing. Thank you very much indeed for organising the project. This is going to be hugely helpful for the Brigade and I hope that we will be able to spread the word across the Armoured Infantry Brigades too.

Capt H J B Jordan LG | SO3 Experimentation | STRIKE Experimentation Group

We expect the British Army to make great use of this new analytical game that Dstl has developed, and look forward to designing and facilitating many more wargames with them in the future.


8 responses to “The STRIKE! Battlegroup Tactical Wargame

  1. Chuck Hybarger 16/03/2020 at 1:13 am

    “three large hex maps”… ? My problem with Hexographer is that thinks every is 8.5″ X 11″; even if I print on 14” paper, and even if I change the file to PDF or other format. HOW did y’all print large maps? Thanks.

  2. Fred Hood 07/11/2019 at 9:55 am

    Matthew it is Hexographer, mostly because I like it and it runs on a Mac while many other mapping programs are Windows only. I use my 55″ 4K TV as a monitor for my Mac Mini.

    Fred (Designer and Map-Maker for Strike!)

  3. Matthew Sinn 27/07/2019 at 6:06 pm

    Is that hexographer I spy?

  4. Rex Brynen 28/08/2018 at 1:58 pm

    If you are interested in a professional capacity (for military training, etc.) it might be possible to get a copy via the wargaming team at Dstl—although I’m not sure how many copies were printed, and if they have any spares. It isn’t available for hobby/commercial use.

  5. Cam Kirmser 28/08/2018 at 9:03 am

    Is it at all possible to get a copy of the game?

  6. Vincent Taijeron 27/08/2018 at 12:16 pm

    How similar are the rules to Battlegroup Kriegsspiel?

  7. Rex Brynen 24/08/2018 at 1:46 pm

    Leaving aside ATGMs, infantry is hard to see, low firepower, and relatively easy to kill. The terrain effects are similar for both vehicles and dismounts.

  8. brtrain 24/08/2018 at 1:03 pm

    The counters look superficially similar to the First Battle series of games that Frank Chadwick did in the 80s and 90s (Sands of War, Battlefield Europe etc.), which was about the same unit scale .
    But I suppose at this scale they all have to have the same kinds of information.
    How is infantry treated in the game – speed-bumps, like usual?

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