PAXsims is pleased to provide Connections UK update, via Graham Longley-Brown. The 2019 Connections UK conference will be held on 3-5 September 2019 at King’s College London. Registration will open in early summer.
Many thanks to all of you who completed the Connections UK 2018 feedback survey. This is a fantastic 61% response rate; we have analysed feedback from 132 attendees out of the 216 that attended Connections UK 2018 and, as ever, based the 2019 conference on your suggestions. The resulting conference outline is below. Please note the dates Tuesday 3 – Thursday 5 September 2019 in your diary. I will send you registration details presently. More details of Connections UK, including all previous presentations, can be found at http://professionalwargaming.co.uk/index.html If you do not wish to be on this email distribution list, please let me know and your name will be removed from further announcements relating to Connections UK.
Connections UK 2019
While the purpose of the conference remains the same (advance and preserve the art, science and application of wargaming), there are some necessary and significant administrative changes, and we are altering the format slightly in line with your suggestions. Notable survey results that have led to this include:
- 98% of respondents found the 2018 conference very valuable or valuable. If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it; the general structure and approach of the conference are sound.
- 56% of respondents had not attended Connections UK previously. We are attracting many new people.
- 60% of respondents would like more parallel sessions offering differing levels of discussion. This is a key result that will shape the 2019 conference.
- 91% of respondents found the conference length just right. We will again run a three-day event.
- The most frequently occurring requests were for:
- An extended Introduction to Wargaming course, interleaved with other conference activities.
- More hands-on gaming, show-casing a wide variety of wargame types. This as well as the usual Games Fair, which rated very well.
- A shorter megagame, and this as one of several alternative games played on Day 1.
- Plenary sessions on the topics shown in the table below.
- Concurrent ‘Deep Dive’ masterclasses into the topics shown in the table below.
- Separate ‘streams’ on automation, and analysis & data capture.
The main changes will be:
- Cost and food. In order to avoid a substantial catering and facilities surcharge that would push up the conference cost to well over £300, we will:
- Provide no meals. Rather, the KCL cafeteria will operate on a pay-as-you-dine basis. You can, of course, bring your own packed meals or pop out to the many local eateries. Drinks during breaks will be provided.
- Charge for one ticket, which will cover all three days. The cost will be as low as we can make it to cover the basic administrative and facilities charges. We do not know the final price yet, but expect it to be under £100 – but please note this is TBC.
- The Introduction to Wargaming Course will be run by Tom Mouat on Days 1 and 2 of the conference.
- Day 1 will include a smaller megagame as one of a number of games and formats, all running in parallel.
- Simultaneous Deep Dives and streams, so you will have to choose which to attend. There will still be central plenaries, which everyone attends, and lots of time for coffee-fuelled networking.
The scope of Connections UK is expanding. We would appreciate your suggestions for the following – but please note that, as a paying conference, we must maintain a reasonable level of quality. It would also help if you could suggest definitive ideas, rather than vague (“Why don’t you think about…”) notions that need a lot of work to flesh out.
- Automated methods, models and tools that support wargames, especially data capture & analysis.
- Games for Day 1 that involve 15 – 20 (+) players that you can bring and run. We have four (including the megagame), and probably need another eight.
- Games for the Day 2 Games Fair that involve approximately 6 – 12 players. Prof Phil Sabin will coordinate this, as usual, but please start thinking about games that demonstrate the breadth of types of wargame, including computer-assisted and computerised games.
- Gaming beyond Defence. This will be a Day 3 plenary session. Please suggest good speakers who can talk to the ‘gaming’ in ‘wargaming’ beyond a Defence context.
- Space games.
- Connections UK purpose. Advance and preserve the art, science and application of wargaming.
- Dates. Tuesday 3 – Thursday 5 September 2019.
- Venue. Kings College London, The Strand, London, UK.
- Cost: TBC but as low as possible, and one ticket for all three days.
- Key note speakers: Dr Lynette Nusbacher and the Head of the UK MOD Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre (DCDC).
- Dr Lynette Nusbacher (Nusbacher Associates) is an expert on horizon scanning and strategy. She served as an officer in the British and Canadian Armies, and was part of the team that created two of the UK’s National Security Strategies and set up Britain’s National Security Council. She has been Senior Lecturer in War Studies, Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, Head of the Strategic Horizons Unit in the UK Cabinet Office and the Devil’s Advocate in Britain’s Joint Intelligence Organisation. She has a background in red teaming, devil’s advocacy and structured methods of analysis. Web: http://nusbacher.com Twitter: @Nusbacher
- Head DCDC oversaw the publication of the 2017 MOD Wargaming Handbook. Other responsibilities include concept development, capability planning, Training Requirements Authority, senior responsible officer of a large equipment programme and programme leadership to deliver future capability change for over 23% of the British Army, including interfaces with Industry. Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/Director
- Outline. Details remain TBC, but the conference structure should look like that shown below.