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"How to master wargaming" Topic

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Wolfhag29 Oct 2020 10:24 a.m. PST

This handbook focuses on three items: First, how to improve and develop the cognitive skill of visualizing, a key component to COA analysis (wargaming); second, improving the methods and conduct of action, reaction, and counteraction adjudication of COA analysis with off-the-shelf wargames; and third, thoughts on training the staff. COA analysis is similar to any collective skill, and is perishable if not continually trained and rehearsed. Therefore, it is the purpose of this handbook to provide thoughts on how to develop individuals and staffs so they can better conduct COA analysis during the military decisionmaking process.

Table of contents:
Introduction 1
Visualization 7
Seeing Ourselves, the Enemy, and the Terrain 8
Historical Vignettes 9
Tools to Increase Proficiency in Visualization and
Improve Course of Action Analysis 17
Conducting a Commercial Wargame 19
Choosing the Right Wargame 24
Wargame Mediums 25
Thoughts on Course of Action Analysis: Action, Reaction,
Counteraction, and Adjudication 29
Course of Action Analysis Methods 33
Conduct of the Wargame (Action-Reaction-Counteraction) 37
Wargame Rules and Methods 38
Adjudication 40
Correlation of Forces and Means 42
Analog Correlation of Forces and Means and Step Losses 44
Conducting Action-Reaction-Counteraction Cycles 47
Wargame Vignette 50
Thoughts on Training the Staff 59
Example of a Staff Training Plan 63
List of Sample Commercial Wargames 65

Link downloads the PDF: link

This has some good ideas I found useful to put into my game.


Big Red Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 1:13 p.m. PST

You lost me after cognitive skill.

altfritz29 Oct 2020 1:40 p.m. PST

Somebody's thesis is it?

robert piepenbrink Supporting Member of TMP29 Oct 2020 2:28 p.m. PST

Oh, no altfritz. Theses have much longer words, and are usually about nothing you'd want to read. Only the US Army can make an interesting subject sound quite this dull and take forever to do it. I was going to say TRADOC, but it's actually marked "Combined Arms Center." You'd swear these guys were paid by the word.

I lost all interest in Army wargaming after I watched the Army do it a few times. My old CLS group put on better games and did a lot less cheating.

Cavcmdr29 Oct 2020 4:12 p.m. PST

It might help if he mentioned what COA stood for right at the start.

Does p47 mean Move Sequence in pigeon english?

nsolomon9929 Oct 2020 8:52 p.m. PST

hmmm … maybe the Ruskies DO have a chance afterall…

Russ Lockwood30 Oct 2020 1:58 p.m. PST

Is there a chapter on no analysis and plan survives your own cold dice? :)

Personal logo McLaddie Supporting Member of TMP30 Oct 2020 9:07 p.m. PST

thoughts on training the staff.

The training objective is to improve staff ability to conduct COA analysis.
The terminal learning objective is to improve COA analysis, and the enabling leaning objective is to improve visualization (seeing ourselves, the enemy, and the terrain)

I got to say, like most all of the military wargame [like those listed] training manuals I have read about in the past, the 'So What' evaluation segment, establishing just how successful the training was in improving skills like COA analysis against what is expected of such a team in the real world is significantly lacking. Most of it is simply post-wargame conclusions by the evaluator rather than actual 'tests.' Also there seems to be little considerations as to whether the commercial wargames listed were designed to provide the kind of information and dynamics needed for such a training.


martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP31 Oct 2020 2:33 a.m. PST

The information is obviously useful.
Thanks for posting it.
TLAs can be a big problem if the reader is not part of the LLG or SGD?

Had this recently when I used WOTR and quite rightly was told it stood for "war of the ring" of course.

COA = Certificate of Authenticity?

BFN martin


altfritz31 Oct 2020 6:30 p.m. PST

Is it a lengthy justification for playing games at work?

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