Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

MORS: Sabin on simultaneity of action in rigidly adjudicated wargames

On Wednesday, January 27, Prof. Philip Sabin will be speaking to the MORS wargaming community of interest on “How to Achieve Simultaneity of Action in Rigidly Adjudicated Wargames.” The session starts at 1130 ET.

Philip Sabin retired a year ago as Professor of Strategic Studies in the Department of War Studies at King’s College London and is now Emeritus Professor. He worked closely with the UK military for many years, especially through the University of London Military Education Committee, the Chief of the Air Staff’s Air Power Workshop, and KCL’s academic links with the Defence Academy and the Royal College of Defence Studies. Professor Sabin specialises in strategic and tactical analysis of conflict dynamics, with a particular focus on ancient warfare and modern air power. He makes extensive use of conflict simulation techniques to model the dynamics of various conflicts, and since 2003 he taught a highly innovative MA option module in which students design their own simulations of past conflicts. He has written or edited 15 books and monographs and several dozen chapters and articles on a wide variety of military topics. His books Lost Battles (2007) and Simulating War (2012) both make major contributions to the scholarly application of conflict simulation techniques. Besides co-organising the annual Connections UK conference at KCL, he has taken part in several defence wargaming projects, and he worked with the British Army’s Centre for Historical Analysis and Conflict Research on the initial design of the Camberley Kriegsspiel with which officers may practise battlegroup tactics. Professor Sabin was also co-director of the King’s Wargaming Network, which is taking forward KCL’s leading role in the academic study of wargaming after his retirement. He is continuing to design a succession of innovative games modelling the grand tactics of combat (especially air combat), and to lecture internationally on aspects of wargaming and airpower.

See the link above for more details. A copy of Prof. Sabin’s paper can be found here:

One response to “MORS: Sabin on simultaneity of action in rigidly adjudicated wargames

  1. Phillip Pournelle 29/01/2021 at 3:30 pm

    A better process is contained in Ground Zero Games’ Strargunt and Dirtside II. The turn consists of alternations between players in activation of units, front line and leaders, etc. When a unit is activated, it can conduct two actions, usually move or fire. If a unit does not move, it fires better. Units can also be suppressed by enemy fire and require the use of an action to attempt to remove the suppression. When leaders are activated they can choose to move, or use an action to activate a subordinate unit (which potentially gives that unit an extra action). The further away a unit is the harder to pass the action. Thus the leader must choose where his attention is required, to rally failing troops or prepare a coordinated effort by multiple units. Sister units in the same force near each other can attempt to coordinate their actions thus gaining simultaneous actions but both use their activations to do so.

    Together all of this represents factors of friction in warfare and leadership necessary to overcome it. Leadership must choose where to focus their attention, etc.

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