PAXsims

Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

A week of wargaming in Norfolk (VA)

53313375_10103972961974287_1294889127430324224_n.jpegMaj Tom Mouat (Defence Academy of the UK) and I just finished up teaching a week-long wargaming  course for NATO Allied Command Transformation in Norfolk, VA.

The topics covered in the course included:

The slides (pdf) from my lectures can be found at the links above, while Tom has collected all his together here.

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The original plan. We ended up moving a few of the sessions around.

We also played a number of games, intended to demonstrate various approaches:

Several additional games were played as optional activities in the evening: Urban Kriegspiel, AFTERSHOCK, Black Orchestra, and We Are Coming, Nineveh.

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Platoon Attack.

 

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Planning an airstrike in Strike Package.

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Urban Kriegsspiel.

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Briefing the Gulf Crisis seminar game.

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The Gulf Crisis seminar game underway.

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Section Commander 2018.

 

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Black Orchestra.

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Hitler is dead! (Black Orchestra)

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We Are Coming, Nineveh.

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Daesh (ISIS) makes its last stand in the ruins of the Grand Mosque of al-Nuri in We Are Coming, Nineveh.

On the last day, we challenged the participants to develop their own wargames on the topic of the Syrian civil war. (This topic, it should be noted, was put forwards by us as an interesting one for game design purposes and not suggested in any way by NATO ACT). The group then formed into four teams, each of which produced very interesting and very different designs.

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Gaming the Syrian civil war.

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Gaming the Syrian civil war.

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Gaming the Syrian civil war.

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Gaming the Syrian civil war.

  • A seminar/negotiations game, primarily intended to teach junior foreign service officers about negotiations.
  • An educational boardgame on Syrian, Iranian, and Russian efforts to safeguard the Asad regime.
  • One mixed methods project that involved an initial alternatives futures exercise, which was then followed by games exploring critical junctures.
  • A matrix game exploring regional and international geopolitics in Syria.

On the last day we even played a few turns of the latter of these. This was followed by a general discussion and feedback.

if we do the course again, we will need to think about the balance between lectures and demonstrations. Participants really enjoyed the opportunity to game, and asked for more integration of insights, teachable moments, and explanation into the gaming sessions. On the other hand, the lectures provide a vehicle for packing in a lot of information. Overall, however, feedback seem to be very positive. We certainly enjoyed ourselves!

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2 responses to “A week of wargaming in Norfolk (VA)

  1. Dani 09/03/2019 at 10:57 am

    It was an excellent course thank you! We learned a lot and practicing different types of games was very important for me. Even if the die was rarely on my side 😖

  2. Mehmet Kinaci 09/03/2019 at 9:37 pm

    Thank you very much for providing insights on war gaming at different levels. Rex and Tom are a great team and they are very enthusiastic. I hope to have a chance working with them again.

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