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Thursday, 21 July 2016

I must study war

"I must study politics and war, that my sons may have liberty to study mathematics and philosophy. My sons ought to study mathematics and philosophy, geography, natural history and naval architecture, navigation, commerce and agriculture, in order to give their children a right to study painting, poetry, music, architecture, statuary, tapestry and porcelain."
John Adams in 1780 (President of USA 1797-1801)

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Academic References for Matrix games

I was preparing a lecture on the use of wargaming for education for a conference at Bristol University in July 2016, when I started looking for references to the use matrix games (invented by Chris Engle). I stopped after the first 10.

John Curry and Tim Price MBE (2014) Matrix Games for Modern Wargaming Developments in Professional and Educational Wargames Innovations in Wargaming Volume 2

Bryan R. (2016) Exploring matrix games for mass atrocity prevention and response

Major Mouat T. (2016) Matrix games for language training

Colonel Hall J. and Lt Col Chretien J. (2016) Matrix games at the US Army War College

Taylor B. (2014) Toward serious matrix games

Dixson M., Couillard M., Gongora T., Massel P. (2016) Wargaming to Support Strategic Planning

Capt Davis C., (2016) Using a matrix game as an intelligence training tool

Nicastro L. and Platz I (2016) “Burning Shadows”: Toward matrix gaming as a tool for joint professional military education

Major Mouat T. (2015) Cyber Operational Awareness Course matrix game

Bryan R. (2016) Exploring matrix games for mass atrocity prevention and response

Bryan R. (2014) ISIL matrix game AAR

Friday, 17 June 2016

Charlie Wesencraft running a game in Newcastel

Charlie Wesencraft is running a game about a Viking invasion of Tynmouth at the Low Light Museum.

31st July 11.00- 3.00 museum website

North Shields, New Castle Upon Tyne, UK.

He has been hard at working finishing off a diary about his father in law who served in WW1. This book will be published in a few months by the History of Wargaming Project.

Saturday, 19 March 2016

Classic Quotes from Professional Wargaming 2016

My wife compares the History of Wargaming Project to a lost parcels office. Stuff which no one else knows what to do with eventually arrives here. Sometimes it is old material, sometimes it is relative new developments in professional wargaming.

There is also an oral history of wargaming being developed around us. Sometimes quotes from this discussion about professional wargaming are worth repeating. These are my 3 favourite for the financial year 2015/6

"If someone in the military dismissed a wargame designed by a civilian with "only soldiers could create real wargames" ... There is no known correlation between being good at one's job and being good at analyzing it." Stephen Downes Martin, Fellow of the Naval War College

“Only soldiers can create them games that reinforce their prejudices and demonstrate their brilliance to themselves, if not to the enemy. The guys with that attitude don't want to know what's true, only to confirm what they believe to be true.” Peter Perla Author of Peter Perla’s Art of Wargaming.

“I have been to hell ... and it's full of bureaucrats masquerading as wargamers.” Stephen Downes Martin, Fellow of the Naval War College.
Do you have any classic wargaming quotes?

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

New book by Stuart Asquith and new book on naval wargaming

Barry Carter's Naval War Games 1975 had a simple set of rules for WW1 and 2 combat.. It was a key book getting people into naval wargames after Don Featherstone's book on naval wargames. The rules are still used today for solo or two player games, where the aim is to play a WWII naval campaign in a single day.

The second book is Stuart Asquith's Wargaming 18th Century Battles; Including Rules for Marlburian Warfare 1702-1714. This book is a compilation of some of a key contributors best work into a single volume. It is the 2nd of a 7 book series to celebrate the work of Terry Wise and Stuart Asquith.

I was greatly assisted by Arthur Harman in the preparation of these works.

The project is now moving into the next phase, in which the majority of work will be previously unpublished material from the history of the hobby and from the current practice of professional wargaming.

Sunday, 24 January 2016

New Book: It Could Happen Tomorrow! Emergency Planning Exercises for Health Service

After four years hard work, the Project has now published another book on serious games. this time bringing together some of the best practice in using games to help prepare health services for emergencies. Written by Russell King, it is the first book in this area.
Blurb from the back cover:
"Russell King has been a career health service manager and teacher across Yorkshire, Derbyshire, Manchester and London, specialising over the last 10 years in emergency planning and management, and collaborating with academic institutions in reviewing the broad range of activity in health emergency management in the UK.
Since the year 2000, there has been a heightened awareness of the need to apply emergency management and business continuity techniques to essential national infrastructure and commerce. Going back much further than that, hospitals have been prepared by formal plans to receive sudden and large numbers of patients as the result of major incidents. Russell King's retrospective review of exercises that he has written and moderated over the last 10 years is not only a historical review of preparation for catastrophe over that key time, it begins also to answer questions about the true value of exercising for disasters for senior managers and places the discipline of exercising within a wider systems planning context.
Contents include exercises on responses to natural disasters, a pandemic, a wide-area sporting event of world attention, as well as hints and inspiration for a wider range of exercises on supply chains, general business capacity, one-off unusual challenges, and receiving dignitaries in the aftermath of challenging events. The aim of the exercises is to give a realistic but economic method of exercising which will take a minimum of time and not disrupt day-to-day functioning of the organisation. Concise and simple explanatory notes are provided for non-health care and non-UK audiences so that the breadth of utility of these techniques can be taken up and used by a broad audience.
Useful for beginners and advanced practitioners, Russell King's account of his work in this field has been prepared in collaboration with the History of Wargaming project. "

Thursday, 31 December 2015

Another Year in the History of Wargaming Project

Over the last 12 months, the Project has seen many people kindly donating material to the History of Wargaming Project. Some of the highlights include:

     Douglas Inglis (Director and Research Professor. The Texas Tech University Center in Sevilla) donating a huge collection of board games that document the development of modern wargaming. It will take me several more years to sort this lot out.

     David Bradley, Essex UK, for donating a collection of unpublished material about Lionel Tarr

      Isaiah, Athens for inspiring me to start the production of Featherstone's Wargames through the Ages series vols 1-4

     Peter Perla for supplying some early USN wargaming rules

     John Davies, with the assistance of Iain Russel Lowe, donated further material about Paddy Griffith's Wargames.
     and many others...

Plans for the next 12 months? I am always somewhat guarded about my publishing plans as wargamers can get very disappointed if there are unavoidable delays in a publication schedule. An example is when I discover at the last moment, just days before a book is about to go to print, that I have a lead on lost material and perhaps, with effort and a bit of luck (and perhaps the assistance of the Oxford Detective Bureau), I can track it down and insert it as new book chapter.

However, there are some works that are definitely going to print in the next few months:

1) A new book, It Could Happen Tomorrow: Emergency Planning Exercises for the Health Service and Business- after 4 years of hard graft it is going to print.

2) A new book by the semi-legendary Stuart Asquith on wargaming 18th century warfare

3) A new book on Confrontation Analysis with Mike Young- a way of modeling real world conflicts.

4) A reprint of another naval wargaming book.

5) A work on military history with Charlie Wesencraft- a previously unpublished diary of a WWI cavalry man.

One of the moments that make it all worthwhile is when I receive an email from a fellow wargamer, who kindly takes the time to thank me for my efforts. For example, I received this from Larry Foster (USA) "I also want to thank you and let you know how much I appreciate all the work you've done editing Don Featherstone, Charles Grant, and all the others and their works on wargaming.  It has been a huge impact and help to me."

I wish all my fellow wargamers who enjoy our diverse hobby, a happy and peaceful new year. I hope to continue to provide more interesting material for your book shelves.