Conflict simulation, peacebuilding, and development

Tag Archives: Military Operations Research Society

MORS certificate in gaming homeland security

The Military Operations Research Society will be offering an online certificate course in gaming homeland security on 30 August to 3 September 2021.

MORS’ newest Certificate in Gaming Homeland Security will cover basic game design principles, but through the lens of homeland security. Specific topics include emergency response games, how to support the DHS Homeland Security Exercise and Evaluation Program (HSEEP), local, state, and national level games, the National Exercise Program games, and games to explore the dynamics of response operations. Topics to be covered include natural and man-made disasters, transportation events, terrorism and public health response, mass casualties, active shooters and active policing.
The course will consist of lectures and exercises, with the exercises designed to help build confidence in the topic of homeland security game design.

Course Sections:

Game Design for Federal, State, and Local Response, including the HSEEP program

Games for Homeland Security and the National Exercise Program

Terrorism, Bio-security, and Public Health

Student Game Design Final Project

The course will be taught by Mary “Kate” Fisher, Roger Mason, and Ed McGrady. Full details are available at the link above.

MORS evening certificate in wargaming course

The Military Operations Research Society is offering an evening, online certificate course in wargaming on 19-20 August 2021:

MORS’ Certificate in Wargaming is designed to increase Analyst capability and knowledge in research, design, development, execution, analysis, and reporting of professional games for analytical and training purposes. Analytical games entail the development/execution of a research design through problem discovery, data gathering, scenario development, experiment design and execution, and results interpretation and documentation. Training games emphasize the development of learning plans and objectives to provide experiential learning for student retention.

The course will be taught by Ed McGrady, Peter Perla, Phil Pournelle, and Paul Vebber.

79th MORS Symposium wargame AAR

The 79th annual symposium of the Military Operations Research Society, held at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey in June, featured the first-ever analytical wargame held during a MORS annual meeting—in this case a modified version of James Dunnigan’s simple WWII game Drive on Metz.

There’s an article on the game in the September 2011 issue of the MORS bulletin Phalanx. Those involved in advising, facilitating, conducting, or participating in the exercise apparently included some of the luminaries of professional wargaming in the US, including (in addition to Dunnigan) Peter Perla, and a number of friends of PAXsims.

Interesting as it is, I must admit the piece left me rather wondering what had been achieved, especially in a setting where a great many people must already be familiar with much more complex military wargames and staff exercises, even if they aren’t familiar with hobby/commercial military boardgames. Part of the reason may be that while an objective of the exercise was to “[learn] how to prepare, field, execute, and derive meaningful analytical information from military wargaming as a unique analytical tool” there’s not a lot of information on this within the article itself. Since Drive on Metz was deliberately designed as a very simple, introductory wargame to begin with (it was included as an example in Dunnigan’s Complete Wargames Handbook, and features less than 20 playing piece and a single combat resolution chart), I wonder how many new players from military or operations research backgrounds might have been disappointed with the (deliberate) lack of sophistication. Of course, the game was modified and adjudicated in the MORS setting, so perhaps this added additional layers of complexity. The adjudication, monitoring and instrumentation of wargaming can be an art and science in itself, but again the article doesn’t give much sense of how the demonstration highlighted this.

Of course, I might well be missing a big part of the picture here—I wasn’t able to attend the MORS annual symposium, since it is limited to US citizens. If you were there and have some details or insight to contribute as to how the experiment went, feel free to contribute it in the comments section below!

%d bloggers like this: