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Sunday, 18 September 2016

New book Paddy Griffith’s Counter Insurgency Wargames (1980)

Paddy Griffith’s Counter Insurgency Wargames (1980) 

with a foreword by Brian Train

Paddy Griffith (1947- 2010) was a leading British military theorist and historian, who used wargaming as part of his tool set to critically analyse operational and tactical military history. This book includes two previously unpublished COunter-INsurgency (COIN) wargames from 1976 to 1980 and an example of a British Army live-roleplaying COIN from 1980.

Paddy Griffith examined COIN situations using wargaming as part of his professional work, which included being a lecturer in war studies at the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst. This book includes previously unpublished material from his archive about three such exercises.
The first COIN game, Longreagh Village, is about a security force base facing a particularly challenging week of supporting the local police in a border village. Briefings are provided for the security forces and the opposition group. This is supported by a sketch map, intelligence files and a breakdown of activities for each day of the week. 

The second COIN game, summer in Dogem-on-Sea, is set in ORANGELAND. The local police are facing a two pronged threat against the local population. The security forces part of the game was run as a committee game, whereas the opposition side was run as a role-playing game. Detailed briefings are provided, the events diary of the local police commander, tactical sketch maps of key locations as well as other background material. 

The third COIN game is an outline of a British Army live-roleplaying exercise, with a cast of 250 people. Soldiers and civilians were drafted in to create a backdrop for an intensive 48 hour exercise to allow the officer cadets of Sandhurst to gain practical experience of COIN. As a lecturer in war studies, Paddy Griffith contributed to these exercises, in particular, the development of the exercise narrative. 

This book is almost unique in providing detailed historical examples of COIN exercises and as such is a window into the professional perspective of the British Army into COIN at that time.
The foreword is by Brian Train, a well-known current game designer, who specialises in producing games about irregular warfare.

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. "