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"Ukraine 2022- Why Are Our Wargames Wrong?" Topic


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Tango0130 Jul 2022 9:21 p.m. PST

"Some weeks before the war, I designed a wargame about the forthcoming war. It was a manual multi-player solo wargame with all the players on the Russian side. The game was simplistic and focussed on strategic and operational level decisions; there was no element of tactical. To be clear the game was for research purposes, to encompass a complex situation in a single model combining ORBATs, time, space, terrain and cyber; i.e. a wargame.

I have studied the development of wargaming for some decades and so when I presented a session at Connections UK in 2018, Evaluating Wargaming v the Ukraine Experience 2014-15, I was not totally surprised at the negative reaction of some professionals to my work. Having talked to senior figures in the Ukraine military who were in the war 2014/15, I identified various issues with our wargames that were designed prior to the war. Basically, our wargames got it wrong. I then went on to publish a referred journal article with my evidence and submitted it for peer review in Simulation & Gaming Journal in 2020. The article demonstrated major variations in Cold War tactical games (i.e. errors), but the article then summarised the clear academic evidence demonstrating the utility of wargames…"


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