Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Part 2 of USNA Study on Wargame Design Education

“Thanks in advance for those of you who participated in this study’s first Delphi Survey. As a reminder, these Delphi Surveys are part of a larger project I conduct as the Fellow of the United States Naval Academy Naval History Wargaming Lab. I am seeking to understand the current state of wargaming design education and to explore potential solutions inspired by art epistemology. If you are curious for more information about my study, please consult the previous PAXSims post on this study.

You do not have to have participated in the first survey to participate in the second one. This survey will be less involved than the first – it includes multiple choice and select all type questions rather than long answer questions. The second survey, in the Delphi Survey tradition, will help me move findings from the data closer towards statements with a sense of community consensus.

Thank you in advance for your participation, time, and energy. Please feel free to email me at should you have any additional questions.”

From Sawyer Judge

Click here to complete the Survey for Part 2 of the Study. Sawyer requests you complete as much as you feel comfortable and willing to complete. No question is required except for your name and consent at the beginning. Learn more about the study itself, her ongoing research, and the instructions for the survey on the survey’s first page.

Please try to complete the survey by the end of the month, the 28th of February.

Connections US Archive

I need email addresses for the following 8 people, who have given presentations to Connections US. We need these as part of our effort to build an archive of Connections US Proceedings — specifically to obtain from them a copy of their presentation and their permission to include it in the online archive.

Please eyeball the below list and email me direct (stephen.downesmartin(at) whatever email addresses you have for them, thanks!

  • Thomas Allen
  • Natasha Bajema
  • Chris Baker
  • Brian Killough
  • John Lister
  • James Morningstar
  • Neil Randall
  • Todd Reid

REMINDER: USNA Fellowship Study on Wargame Design Education – Delphi Survey 1

If you wish to support USNA’s research into how current wargame design education measures against the norms of higher education in artistic disciplines then please take the Delphi Survey 1 before the end of tomorrow (Friday 8th Jan).

(Further information is on the front page of the survey and at the original PAXsims post on the subject.)


Call for Participation: USNA Fellowship Study on Wargame Design Education – Delphi Survey 1

Sawyer Judge is an Associate Research Analyst at the Center for Naval Analysis (CNA), a recent graduate of the Georgetown University Security Studies Program, and a fellow for the United States Naval Academy’s Naval History Wargaming Lab.

As part of her fellowship for the United States Naval Academy’s Naval History Wargaming Lab, she is running a series of Delphi Surveys which will inform our understanding of the Wargame Design Community’s views on design education. This is part of a larger study addressing the following question:

How does current wargame design education measure against the norms of higher education in artistic disciplines?

Anyone can participate, and you will be asked about your ties to the community as well as your insights and opinions.

Delphi surveys aim to move towards a coherent picture of subject matter expert (SME) opinions within a particular community of interest (COI). It is a useful tool for identifying both consensus and divergence, without running any risk of “group think.” Delphi surveys are iterative by nature, so if you participate in the first round, she will be reaching out to you again for a second survey.

Click here to complete the survey. You are asked to complete as much as you feel comfortable and willing to complete. No question is required except for your name and consent at the beginning. Learn more about the study itself, her ongoing research, and the instructions for the survey on the survey’s first page.

Please complete the survey by January 8th 2021! Thank you.

Gaming and Professional Military Education

Given the current interest in wargaming and PME, here’s an interesting overview by Group Captain Jo Brick, a Legal Officer in the Royal Australian Air Force and Chief of Staff at the Australian Defence College, on how games can enhance PME. Contents include:

  • The Intellectual Edge, play, and gaming
  • Overview – from the Magdeburg War Gaming Society to ‘This War of Mine’ (2017)
  • Conflict and competition through abstraction
  • Conclusion

Representing Artificial Intelligence in Wargames

Proceedings of the Connections US 2020 Wargaming Conference Working Group 2, with contributions from: ED McGrady, Dennis Rensel, Kristan Wheaton, Megan Hennessey, Abram Trosky, Joseph Saur, Jeremy Sepinsky and John Hanley.

What effects will AI or other advanced technologies have on how we fight? New technologies are notoriously hard to incorporate into existing military operational concepts. Some change nothing, others change everything. How to identify the holistic effects of technologies like AI or other advanced technologies is a task is well suited to wargaming. After all, wargamers often consider the far flung future and provide a possible universe for study. As noted by multiple authors the lack of actual technology did not prevent study of future technologies in the InterWar period.

The report contains an executive summary explaining the high level takeaways and the Working Group method and process, and seven research papers along with discussion.

The initial chapters provide an overview of the challenges inherent in addressing specific methods for including AI and other advanced technologies in wargames. Following this discussion, the next several papers provide an overview of a range of methods to represent AI and other advanced technologies in wargames. Finally, the report closes with a discussion of some of the mathematical considerations that may allow us to address the challenges provided by AI.

Please direct inquiries to the Chair of the Working Group, Ed McGrady:

How to Master Wargaming

From the United States Army Combined Arms Center comes this interesting Handbook on how to use commercial off the shelf wargames to improve military COA analysis.

“This handbook focuses on three items: First, how to improve and develop the cognitive skill of visualizing, a key component to COA analysis (wargaming); second, improving the methods and conduct of action, reaction, and counteraction adjudication of COA analysis with off-the-shelf wargames; and third, thoughts on training the staff. COA analysis is similar to any collective skill, and is perishable if not continually trained and rehearsed. Therefore, it is the purpose of this handbook to provide thoughts on how to develop individuals and staffs so they can better conduct COA analysis during the military decisionmaking process.)

Tactical Reconnaissance – A Soviet View

I’ve added “Tactical Reconnaissance” (No. 23 of the Soviet Military Thought series) to the earlier post of books 1 — 22 in that series. Maybe of use to anyone interested in Cold War wargaming, or on how Soviet Military Thought has evolved into the current day.

Does anyone know of volumes after No. 23?

(For links to, click on the gear wheel top right of the screen and select “Download PDF” for a clean text-searchable PDF.)

Active Learning in Policy Studies in Pandemic Times: The Promise of Digital Games

————– Forwarded ————
From: Bruno Oscar Dente <>
Date: Tue, Nov 24, 2020 at 5:17 AM
Subject: Panel at ICPP5 – Barcelona July 2021

Dear colleagues,

Attached you will find the announcement and the call for papers for a panel I will be chairing together with Ixcel Perez Duran and Claudio Radaelli at the 5th International Conference in Public Policy that will be held (in person, blended or online) in Barcelona 6-8 July 2021.

If you are interested in participating either as commentators or paper givers do not hesitate to contact us. We will also be grateful if you will circulate the announcement to your colleagues who might be interested.

Thank you for your attention.

Best wishes

Bruno Dente

Honorary Professor
Politecnico di Milano
Department of Management Engineering
Via Lambruschini 4/B
20156 MILANO (Italy)

Distributed Wargaming Working Group

The Distributed Wargaming Working Group is now full, no more applicants will be accepted. Respectfully, Stephen Downes-Martin

You are invited to join the Distributed Wargaming Working Group. If interested, read on …

Covid-19 made distributed wargaming a requirement for both safety and economic reasons. By working together the modeling, simulation and professional wargaming communities can satisfy this requirement.

The Simulation and Wargaming Standing Study Group of the Simulation Interoperability Standards Organization has started a Working Group on “Distributed Wargaming”, the focus of which is to:

“examine how technical, social and design processes can exploit the advantages and overcome the disadvantages of wargaming for professional purposes in a distributed environment”

Note that by “wargaming” we mean:
“A warfare model or simulation, using rules, data, and procedures, not involving actual military forces, and in which the flow of events is affected by, and in turn affects, decisions made during the course of those events by players representing the opposing sides”
Perla, P. The Art of Wargaming, Naval Institute Press, 1990, p.274

We are looking for experts in the following areas to apply their expertise to distributed professional wargaming:

  • Wargame design and execution
  • Modeling and simulation
  • Human/machine interfaces
  • Online collaboration systems
  • Human in the loop simulations
  • Distributed simulation
  • Game psychology
  • Distributed decision making and negotiation

If you decide to join you may participate in any of the following ways:

  • Engage in online discussions on any topic that surface within the focus area of the group.
  • Write a working paper for inclusion in the final report. Your paper can be on any topic you choose so long as it fits within the group focus.
  • Comment and discuss other members’ papers and respond to comments on your own (if you write one).
  • Participate in any of several wargaming and simulation conferences.
  • Lurk and learn, and contribute when you feel comfortable doing so.

The Working Group will produce a product consisting of an Executive Summary, the refined working papers, discussion about each paper and other topics, and an integrated bibliography. The objective is to produce a useful resource for the simulation and wargaming community. All contributors retain intellectual property rights to their contributions but grant the Working Group unrestricted rights to post their material as part of the Working Group product online and distribute it widely. For an example of the kind of report we will produce see:

If you wish to join, please email me including either a link to your online bio or a copy of your bio, and let me know your general area of interest in the working group focus. Thank you.

Stephen Downes-Martin

Introducing the Gaming Lab at CNAS

Contact: Cole Stevens, 202-695-8166,

Washington, October 14, 2020—The Center for a New American Security today launched The Gaming Lab at CNAS, a new major initiative led by the CNAS Defense Program. CNAS experts and adjuncts at The Gaming Lab will lead innovative, unclassified games and exercises to help policymakers and military strategists gain critical insights into key national security problems. …

Ten Wargaming Vacancies at Fort Belvoir VA (USA)

Welcome to Fort Belvoir

This is an Open Continuous job opportunity announcement, which is used to fill vacancies as they become available.

Note the separate announcements and details for US Government employee applicants and general public applicants. US citizenship or Nationality required. First cut off date is 20 Oct, final cut off date is 17th Nov.
Internal – Government employees
External – Non-Government employees

Thanks to Anne Johnson for spotting this and sending it to me.

Decisive Action Goes Digital

The Command and General Staff School’s (CGSS) resident elective A350, Decisive Action Tactical Application Course, transitioned to a distributed learning (DL) modality as part of the school’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. For the first time in its seven-year history, the A350 faculty delivered a course designed for in-person, student tactical staff and faculty collaboration in a DL model without sacrificing learning outcomes. The students and faculty encountered and overcame numerous challenges during planning, preparation, and execution of the elective. In the final analysis, students and faculty assessed that the course effectively delivered the curriculum while meeting the desired course objectives.
Maj. Matt Hill briefs Decisive Action Tactical Application Course instructors and fellow student brigade staff members during a decision briefing exercise 19 April 2017 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas.
Maj. Matt Hill briefs Decisive Action Tactical Application Course instructors and fellow student brigade staff members during a decision briefing exercise 19 April 2017 at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. The global outbreak of the COVID-19 virus in early 2020 virtually eliminated all such in-person classroom contact, which required faculty and students to exercise initiative and creativity in the development of a distributed learning interactive method that would replicate the essential elements of the curriculum in virtual scenarios, including map briefs, conducted through networked computer systems linking students and faculty. (Photo by M. Shane Perkins)

Getting War (Gaming) Back into the War College

By Christopher Hossfeld and Ken Gilliam September 11, 2020

Photo Description: A resident seminar in the AY20 Class at the U.S. Army War College works its way through a round of Joint Overmatch: Euro-Atlantic applying lessons learned throughout the year.
Photo Credit: Ken Gilliam

Today at the US Army War College’s War Room blog:

Thinking is a critical part of warfighting, especially in the planning and execution of globally integrated campaigns. Don’t believe us, the Chairman of the Joint Chief’s of Staff says so. So how does a professional military education institution go about developing creative and critical thinking skills in military leaders? Well one tool in the kit is wargaming. Specially designed wargames that allow students to take academic content and apply it in a low risk, competitive environment are a proven and effective tool to accomplish this. WAR ROOM welcomes Chris Hossfeld and Ken Gilliam to examine how the U.S. Army War College incorporates the Joint Overmatch: Euro-Atlantic wargame into its core curriculum.

MORS Certificate in Cyber Wargaming 21 – 25 September

This course will examine the challenges of gaming cyber through a combination of lectures and practical exercises. Lectures will focus on games and game design, along with the application of game design to cyber issues. Practical exercises will give students the chance to experience different types of cyber gaming, with the expectation that students will research, design, and present their own cyber game as part of the course.

Successful students will learn how game design can be used to address challenges of cyber operations and policy and they will build an understanding of how to represent cyber capabilities in games, as well as build games directly addressing cyber operations.  The goal is for students to become aware of the gaming tools available for cyber, and to begin to associate specific game techniques with various cyber gaming requirements.

Mr. Ed McGrady
Mr. Paul Vebber

For more information and to Register go to

%d bloggers like this: