The one-day Connections Online Showcase was held on 19 October 2022
October 19th was a one-day, all-day Connections Online project showcase for professional/practitioner game design. Presentation were targeted for 90-120 minutes and focused on a single use case of a game designed or adapted to professional military/natsec usage, including deep dives into the objectives/purposes, designs, mechanics, execution, and lessons learned from both the prep and conduct of the games.
The naval architecture group at University College London have developed a family of games over the last several years to allow students to develop naval domain awareness, explore warship capability options, and assess their capstone project designs. In this talk we will look at ASUW Tactical, a game simulating deep-water missile combat over a time measured in hours and distances measured in 5 mile-hexes. The game focuses heavily on detailed aspects of the ship’s design, in particular layout and subdivision – aspects which are important to naval architects and usually abstracted out of wargames.
“The development of my game, Decisive Operations, and the challenges of creating a useful but accessible large-scale modern combat wargame. One of the largest hangups was the correlation of forces models; I will dive into this topic as it is the subject of my School of Advanced Military Studies (SAMS) monograph.” — Dan Warner
Take That Hill was designed by Professor P Sabin of KCL to explore the relationship between fire and movement, and concentration and dispersion in modern infantry tactics. This simple yet adaptable game caught the attention of Ed Farren from UK Fight Club as a means of increasing the exposure of the Army to wargaming practices and procedures. They developed a physical version, with advanced rules for added complexity/realism, and have distributed it widely across Defence. They will be joined by Mr Mark Flanagan and Dr Ian Robinson who were part of the playtesting team and involved in the ongoing development of its successor, ‘Take That Street’, an urban wargame. The panel will discuss the concepts behind the game, its core mechanics, subsequent design choices, trade-offs, and the issues concerning delivery to a military vs civilian audience.
Using ROOT at CGSC/SAMS – Describes the use of “Root” (commercially available asymmetric game of conflict) at Command and General Staff College’s “School of Advanced Military Studies” to develop critical thinking skills in ARMY students.
This session will explore how to design wargames of active shooter incidents. We will explore modeling active violence events and how to integrate them within four design structures: initial response, rescue and evacuation, mass casualty management, and incident command.
Competition A.I: A look at the development of components, structures, and facilitation tools for the Georgetown student-designed wargame: Competition: AI. The team’s lead designer discusses adapting the prototype for different audiences, venues, and iterations of the game, from white boards to defense conferences.
A Splendid Failure: A Splendid Failure is a 3-to-6 player political game set at the height of the Reconstruction Era (1867-1876) in which players, each representing an ideological vein of the Republican or Democratic parties, must navigate a complex web of inter- and intra-party competition and compromise to win elections, enact policies, and reconstruct the country’s postwar economy, all against the backdrop of mass social upheaval and a revisionist, white supremacist insurgency. The game’s straightforward, card-driven mechanics belie its difficulty, as players must overcome collective action problems, imperfectly aligned incentive structures, and difficult electoral trade-offs in order to pass legislation that will shape the newly reunited country’s ideological trajectory for decades to come.
QUICK stands for “Quick Urban Integrated Combat Kriegsspiel.” The QUICK is a fairly simple game on large-scale combat operations by elements of a Division/ Group Army in a generic large city. I designed it in late 2021/ early 2022 to be used by students of the Urban Operations Planner Course held by the US 40th Infantry Division (CA ARNG) at JFTB Los Alamitos, 10-16 July 2022. I will talk about the game’s development, its features, and its application to the learning objectives of the course.