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Subject: US Army Wargaming rss

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Mike H

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https://www.army.mil/article/202457/cgsc_tests_board_based_s...
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Jason Cawley
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This is a good sign...
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Brian Train
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I met LTC Schoof at an event at the US Army War College last spring.
I introduced him to Guerrilla Checkers !

Brian
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Ron A
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Quote:
With a rule book amounting to less than eight pages, Landpower simply needs the map, printable cards, and a few markers to play.



Only 8 pages!!! If the Army ever needs some supplemental funds, they can always sell to wargamers.
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Mike H

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SBGrad wrote:
Quote:
With a rule book amounting to less than eight pages, Landpower simply needs the map, printable cards, and a few markers to play.



Only 8 pages!!! If the Army ever needs some supplemental funds, they can always sell to wargamers.


I sense a kickstarter with cost overruns and undeliverables!
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Eric Walters
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"...the art of manoeuvering armies...an art which none may master by the light of nature. but to which, if he is to attain success, a man must serve a long apprenticeship." -- G.F.R. Henderson
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We've got a rival GAAT game, VALIANT FORTITUDE, out here at Command and General Staff College, Fort Lee Satellite Campus! Teaches Joint Warfighting (not just land power)! Am bringing it up to Connections 2018 at Fort McNair!
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Geoffrey Burrell
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Great use of resources. Their scenarios can also be based on actual events.
 
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Geoffrey Burrell
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The magazine The Economist a couple of years back had an article stating that the military hierarchy created board games to simulate actual operations. Sorry that I don't have the link to it.
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Brian Train
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https://www.economist.com/news/united-states/21599016-unders...|a

I think this is what you are referring to.
A few names in there will be familiar to some of us.

Brian
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Cameron Taylor
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I wish they release unclassified versions of the wargames as they did with C-WAM, though that was done through a freedom of information request.

It's good to have as many critical eyes on a simulation as you can get. Things like RAND's and the US DOD's are so little scrutinised, their casualty modelling projected an apocalyptic scenario in the Gulf War.
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Pelle Nilsson
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SeriousCat wrote:
I wish they release unclassified versions of the wargames as they did with C-WAM, though that was done through a freedom of information request.

It's good to have as many critical eyes on a simulation as you can get. Things like RAND's and the US DOD's are so little scrutinised, their casualty modelling projected an apocalyptic scenario in the Gulf War.


The CIA has a huge collection of de-classified documents that is easy to find and search at least and contains many documents related to the US and other military war-game. 144 hits searching for wargame:
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/search/site/wargame

979 "war game":
https://www.cia.gov/library/readingroom/search/site/%22war%2...

I have never taken the time to properly sift through that for interesting documents (on my TODO list for some rainy day!), but just a quick look will show some translated Soviet war-game documents and various reports on the results of war-gaming different strategic and operational scenarios. Not sure if there are any rulebooks or other more detailed documents (scenario setups and maps?).
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Jason Cawley
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The reason it is a good sign is that the one in the article is -

On paper not a computer screen,

Has hexes and units,

Has only 8 pages of rules,

Is being played by a group.


Which means it isn’t a solo computer simulation to teach some training standard, or a spreadsheet crunching model to evaluate weapon systems, or a talking exercise where the pooh bahs can just browbeat the refs into changing the rules when their bonehead plan goes tits up.

It would be an even better sign if it weren’t a “what if” exploration of an imaginary future conflict but instead a real historical battle or campaign, because then it would also be evidence that they were trying to teach and learn principles of strategy rather than just about geography in the Caucasus.

My point is that there is tons of stuff in the military that gets *called* wargaming, but isn’t about teaching strategy or operations planning competence, but about practically anything else you can think of. The institution’s primary problem with the subject is that they all think they already know everything about strategy, when they just don’t.

PS if it isn’t obvious, the resistence is fortified by the resentment a full colonel feels when he gets his head handed to him by some geeky 20 something 2nd lieutenant who played chess in high school. Instead of admitting he has something to learn, he is then inclined to reject the genre as “unrealistic”, or to shove it off into any of the dodges above, where he won’t be expected to play them or won’t be allowed to lose.

So, every indication that such barriers are *not* preventing all uses of real wargames to actually learn strategy, anywhere ever, is a Good Sign.

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Brian McCue
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JasonC wrote:
It would be an even better sign if it weren’t a “what if” exploration of an imaginary future conflict but instead a real historical battle or campaign, because then it would also be evidence that they were trying to teach and learn principles of strategy rather than just about geography in the Caucasus.

For training, I have come to prefer imaginary conflicts because if you say you are doing something real then you get into endless arguments about assumptions, especially from the "If you knew what I know" blowhard type. It's best just to say "This is all made up" and get on with the game.
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brant G
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JasonC wrote:

My point is that there is tons of stuff in the military that gets *called* wargaming, but isn’t about teaching strategy or operations planning competence, but about practically anything else you can think of. The institution’s primary problem with the subject is that they all think they already know everything about strategy, when they just don’t.


We've been over this shit before, ad nauseam. There's a ton of stuff that the military calls wargaming because IT IS WARGAMING, even thought it doesn't fit in your microscopic box of Jason-approved-WARGAMING-that-he's-never-experienced ™.

Not every wargames is about teaching tactics. They can also be used for testing new doctrine, comparing courses of action, exploring possibilities, introducing students to be material, or evaluating performance.

Sorry that your worldview if so limited. The rest of us are not.
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Jason Cawley
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I see the actual level of military strategy the US manages to achieve in the world today and I am singularly unimpressed. I am unsurprised since I know they refuse to learn the principles of strategy objectively by real tests that they can fail or to select for it, preferring rigged games they can just talk their way through - remarkably like their unending and victoryless wars against fourth rates. Then I hear their supporters loudly declaring that they have nothing to learn because they already know everything because they already do everything perfectly - and I recognize reality denying echo chamber bullshit.

The emperor is naked. Nobody ever said this was a popular message.

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Gomeril Gnak
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(Gets out gladius) Nausea is female, so "ad nauseam". Now write this a hundred times on the walls of Jerusalem.
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brant G
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No one is saying the military does plenty of wargaming and that it's working out just swimmingly.

You made the same, tired, oft-repeated assertion that somehow the military is 'wrong' for daring to use wargames for anything other than Jason-Cawley-approved shenanigans.

As before (and linked above) this is demonstrably false and prices over and over by the professional practitioners of wargaming.

Your opinion isn't being ignored or discounted because you're an amateur. Plenty of amateurs have had great impact on military wargaming. It's being discounted, ignored, and repeatedly refuted because it is obstinately ill-informed and narrow-minded.
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brant G
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Gomeril wrote:
(Gets out gladius) Nausea is female, so "ad nauseam". Now write this a hundred times on the walls of Jerusalem.


Autoco-wrecked, sorry
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Jason Cawley
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Re "no one is saying", oh yes they are.

Re misrepresenting my position, I am saying the military doesn't use wargames to teach strategy and should, because the modern military's understanding of strategy is crap, and it shows. (Both US and NATO, this applies). If you also use wargames to do your nails or wash cars I wouldn't care; if you only do so to avoid admitting you have anything to learn about actual strategy, then you have a problem and it isn't with me.

And if I were just saying the moon is made of cheese you'd all just laugh and go about your day, not get hot on the color and chase from thread to thread playing smash mouth. Something is a bit too close to home. The lady doth protest too much, and all that.

All that said, as I began with, it is a good sign that at least some are using board wargames with hexes for anything. It's a start.
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Stu Hendrickson
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I'm not sure who I am agreeing with here, but I play in the D.c. Area. A gaming guy at some think tank tells me that officers in the army are much worse at war gaming than they should be. On the latest episode of full measure, they showed a hex grid map of the Baltic states with a whole ton of counters. The dude said that NATO gets overrun in a matter of days.
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brant G
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JasonC wrote:

I am saying the military doesn't use wargames to teach strategy and should, because the modern military's understanding of strategy is crap


And multiple people who are on the inside are telling you're just flat f'n' wrong because they do, and they are.

Now, whether or not they get any better at it is a second subject entirely, given that they are often constrained by the capricious whims of their civilian overlords.

But you're going to try to sit here and tell me that the US military doesn't do what I was specifically contracted to do (and delivered), then I'm calling you a liar. Get over it.
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brant G
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JasonC wrote:

Re misrepresenting my position,


I dunno -

this was pretty clearly stated by you already

JasonC wrote:

My point is that there is tons of stuff in the military that gets *called* wargaming, but isn’t about teaching strategy or operations planning competence, but about practically anything else you can think of.


am I misrepresenting you in your own words?

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Jason Cawley
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Yeah, what I'm saying is you are bad at your job, and you aren't teaching the military actual strategy, probably because you have no frickin idea what strategy actually is. And that's why you get away with all the useless non-strategy teaching versions of what wargaming is, pretending to teach strategy, and why the students aren't learning crap and are bad at their jobs, too.

And if you think you are in any position to tell the world that you are great at your job, and your students are perfect at theirs, and that I for one have to take that as anything but narcissistic self serving denial of reality, you are just that more delusional. Your students can't beat a frickin rag tag militia with AKs after 17 years and trillions of dollars of trying, because they wouldn't know strategy if it bit them.

And yes you were misrepresenting my position, because I'd be fine with the military also using exercises they can call wargaming if they want to for five other things, if they *also* used conventional board wargames to teach actual strategy, and did so seriously, as part of the requirements track for promotion to responsible positions. Which they don't. You pretend that my saying so is objecting to what they *call* those other things, or to their presence. What I *actually* object to is the *absence* of actual competitive and objective training for skill at strategy specifically, through the use of published conventional wargames specifically.

It is to me completely unsurprising that an institution that does not train for strategy skill objectively and competitively, does not select for it, and does not make its cultivation a condition for advancement, is crappy at strategy as an organization. If runners train at shotput and can't run very fast, who'd be surprised? I don't care that you call both of them track and field.
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brant G
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JasonC wrote:
Yeah, what I'm saying is you are bad at your job, and you aren't teaching the military actual strategy, probably because you have no frickin idea what strategy actually is. And that's why you get away with all the useless non-strategy teaching versions of what wargaming is, pretending to teach strategy, and why the students aren't learning crap and are bad at their jobs, too.


Well, you don't know what my job is/was, so it's tough for you to assess how good or bad at it I am.


But hey, you seem to think board wargaming is going to save the world, so keep on with your crusade. Good on ya, mate!


By the way, here's where you can find a position with NDU and go cure what ails us
https://www.usajobs.gov/Search?a=DD69
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Ronald Hill
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