Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Dstl’s Defence Wargaming Centre & Slitherine celebrate one year anniversary of wargaming collaboration

The following item was provided to PAXsims by the UK Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl).

Dstl’s Defence Wargaming Centre, which opened earlier this year, is celebrating the first anniversary of a collaboration with commercial publisher Slitherine to adapt Commercial Off The Shelf (COTS) games for the military. More details can be found in this YouTube video (below). These games complement existing Dstl capabilities and are realistic, interactive, insightful and cost-effective.

Combat Mission forms part of the Dstl analytical wargaming capability along with a suite of other tools used in wargaming in order to investigate and provide insights on a broad range of military questions. As a commercial game it has substantial utility in its ease of use, clear visuals and robust software. However, models such as these need to be treated with caution to make sure that the insights we find are credible and useful.

During Connections UK 2019, Dstl gave a presentation on how the Evidence Framework Approach can be applied to help alleviate these concerns through the application of constructive discussions. Combat Mission was used as a practical example. A brief description of how the Evidence Framework Approach works and how it was applied to Combat Mission can be found at the following links:

By following this process, we are able to ensure that Combat Mission is used appropriately within in the wargaming process to inform decision-making.

Combat Mission will be employed by wargaming staff at the Defence Wargaming Centre. This is a dedicated space specially set up to enable the highest quality of UK wargaming across military and government. Combat Mission joins other commercial digital wargames such as Command: Modern Air/Naval Operations and Flashpoint Campaigns and a number of bespoke Dstl made simulations such as the Close Action Environment (CAEn) and the Wargame Infrastructure and Simulation Environment (WISE). The Defence Wargaming Centre is also used to design and deliver other gaming techniques and approaches, including the use of physical manual games such as RCAT and STRIKE.

If you’re interested in implementing or hearing more about wargaming tools such as Combat Mission, please contact


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