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Daily Archives: 01/11/2021

GUWS: November presentations

The Georgetown University Wargaming Society has several interesting presentations lined up for November:

November 16 (1200-1400 EST)

How Diversity Won the War: the Western Approaches Tactical Unit wargame

Sally Davis (Dstl)

It’s 1942. Britain stands alone in Europe. German U-boats have a strangle-hold on the Atlantic, sinking so much British shipping that if nothing changes we will be starved out of the war in less than three months. The Western Approaches Tactical Unit, staffed by women from across the Empire and men unfit for duty at sea due to illness and injury, is tasked to find out what’s happening in the Atlantic and find ways of sinking the U-boats. This is the story of the game behind some of the most consequential wargaming in history and recent recreations of their work.

November 23 (1800-20o0- EST)

Sand Tables: The Archaeology of a Platform

Matthew Kirschenbaum (University of Maryland)

Many wargamers will have heard of sand tables, at least as part of the collective lore. The original von Reisswitz Kriegsspiel was played on a sand table before it migrated to other formats. Hobby legends like Jack Scruby, Don Featherstone, and Gary Gygax all had sand tables, and flaunted them as status symbols. But a sand table is also a media platform in the most literal sense, ancient and elemental. As a twentieth century source explains, a sand table is “simply a box mounted on trestles to a convenient height, or a curbed table, partially filled with sand.” Common in military settings, sand tables have also been used to teach the blind, train wilderness firefighters, facilitate therapy for trauma victims, and illustrate stories to children. Today there is a direct line from this seemingly modest technology to augmented reality and other tangible media devices.

November 30 (1800-2000 EST)

Designing and Playing the Information Warfighter Exercise (IWX) Wargame

Christopher Paul (RAND) and Jim McNeive (MCIOC)

Christopher Paul (RAND) and Jim McNeive (MCIOC) will discuss their experiences designing, playtesting, and running the Information Warfighter Exercise (IWX) Wargame for the Marine Corps Information Operations Center (MCIOC).

GUWS will also be hosting an online game of the US Army LandPower Wargame on November 30, via VASSAL and Discord.

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