24 July 2012

Connections - Day 2, morning sessions again

The Connections Interdisciplinary Wargaming Conference

As per Connections tradition, we didn't make it past the first panel and we're already off-schedule.

1030 – 1200 "Needs Pull," Defense Decision Support Wargaming Today
Co-chairs: Prof Stephen Downs-Martin & Col Westy Westenhoff
Approaches to Title X Gaming: Concepts or Capabilities, Doug Ducharme Shawn Burns, Naval War College
Wargaming In Support of Science and Technology Decision- Making, Paul Vebber, Naval Underseas Warfare Center
Aids to Effective Contingency Planning, Westy Westenhoff, Col USAF (ret) Checkmate

Shawn Burns
Talking about Title X wargaming, which are the Congressionally-mandated annual (or semi-annual) exercises that are supposed to look forward to future force requirements, capabilities, strategies, and commitments. Great slides that lay out the legal requirements for the Title X wargames, by citing and highlighting the legal/policy documents that specify the requirements.

How do diff's btw service approaches matter? (analytical vs educational)

Paul Vebber, who is not here representing NUWC, associated with NUWC, affiliated with NUWC, or any way whatsoever on the same planet on NUWC.
Talking about how wargaming can be used in support of science and technology, and using wargaming to explore S&T concepts
"It's all fun & games until someone loses an eye. Then it's fun you can't see." - James Hetfield

Don't argue over what's a "game" or what's a "simulation" but focus instead on the verbs: "gaming" and "simulating".
Types of games being used for S&T
-- Semi-adjudicated, resembled COA wargaming w/ action -> reaction -> counteraction
-- Contested, with head-to-head performance, but with the caution of "black box" effects where players can't see "why" certain things work.
-- Full CPX, w/ live and non-cooperative red-team

Building an S&T game requires a solid understanding of the customer and purpose. Also want to understand what decisions have already been made, and whether or not your purpose is merely to advocate on behalf of the sponsor. Perhaps you need to "help" the sponsor identify the likely ways in which his product/process/idea will be attacked.

SW, Ep3 - RotS scene with flying robots carrying buckets of lava - what is the question to which "Flying robots carrying buckets of lava" is the answer?
Why are we putting xyz gadget into the game? BECAUSE WE CAN

Design to detail or design to effect
--- "simulation fidelity" - cram in all the details vs "player understanding" - how much time and effort the players can muster for it
--- scenario design that matches echelon of analysis with echelon at which effects are discernible
--- design and implementation of the red force

COL(R) Westenhoff now addressing contingency planning

Feasibility, cost, time, and risk estimation
- National decision-makers have big questions and few big questions have a pat answer
First task in a wargame: Don't lose
- Avoid failure, and anticipate an active adversary
(will admit to getting a little distracted in here, and didn't take great notes while listening... sorry)
Wargames can influence decisions about wars, and can alleviate burdens of cognitive fallacies.
Participants should strive for integrity and fidelity.

By: Brant

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