2017 Conference Feedback

Connections Oz is over for another year. Thanks to everyone who attended and for the enthusiastic participation. Thanks in particular to our two international visitors and keynote Jeff Appleget and Rob Burks from the US Naval Postgraduate School and to our second keynote speaker Dr Fred Bowden from DST Group.

Thanks also to the University of Melbourne and the team at the School of Computing and Information Systems for hosting us again.

I have archived the program here http://www.kriegspiel.com.au/connections/2017/Connections2017.html and put links to the slide decks that I have so far received.

Stay tuned for details about next year.


On the positive side:

three days seems about right
best to keep a mix of lectures and activities
it is great to have international participation
the game night and social activities are important

Room for improvement:

the goals/ mission/ identity of the group are not clear
add an activity on designing a game
broaden the connection to non-defence industries
involve military history academics
include some relevant side visits (as extra activities for later in the week)
get the program out much earlier
consider an icebreaker opening activity – such as a large game

Please post some further comments.


International Speaker

Great news! Dr Jeff Appleget, Senior Lecturer from the Operations Research Department at the US Naval Postgraduate School, will be attending Connections Oz this year, maintaining our unbroken record of international guest speakers. Jeff has a distinguished career in modelling, simulation and wargaming and teaches a number of related subjects at NPS. We look forward to his involvement in the conference and the opportunity to learn from his experiences.


2017 Connections Oz Conference Dates: 11-13 December

The Connections Oz Wargame conference is an opportunity for professional wargamers to get together and share knowledge to improve the art and science of wargaming. It is also an opportunity for those new to the discipline to get some first hand experience playing and designing games and scenarios.

Although the title says “wargame” it is not limited to military applications. Business, emergency services and many other disciplines use games and simulation for planning, learning and experimentation.

This year’s conference will run over 3 days from Monday 11 Dec to Wednesday 13 Dec at the University of Melbourne. Exact times are yet to be confirmed, but expect a 10AM start on the Monday and a 4PM end on the Wednesday for those needing to plan travel.

The venue is level 2 in the “Old Metallurgy” building (Link). Thanks very much to staff at the University who have arranged the facilities for us. Register here.

Please forward this information to your colleagues and start planning some presentations or workshops. If anyone has a specific request for a workshop, something you may have heard about or would like to try, get in touch with us and we will see if we can arrange it.

Our plan is to run as many interactive activities as we can. There will be some introductory workshops, the opportunity to participate in a variety of game methods, and some game design activities.

Once again, registration will be free this year (with a gold coin donation for coffee/ tea etc). Sadly, this may be the last time we can run it at no cost, so get in while you can!

The conference is unclassified.


2016 Conference Feedback

The 2016 conference has concluded. While the number of attendees was lower than past years, I believe we can call it a success.

Thanks to all those who presented, attended and participated in the activities with such enthusiasm. Slide decks etc will be available on the Resources page shortly. Please comment on the feedback below.

Looking forward to 2017.

We held a short feedback session and considered the following points:

Good points

Mix of activities and presentations
The venue
Breadth of topics/ guests/ participants
Relaxed atmosphere
Small group size – approximately 20
Exposure to new techniques
Relaxed social evening
Comfortable for novices to attend

Things to improve

Poor marketing
Connect with other industries
Invite game designers – for insights into game design
Game design workshop
Tighter schedule – build in explicit time for Q&A
Increase to 3 days
Consider charging a fee – encourage commitment and allow for some funds for marketing etc
Consider alternate locations – interstate?

Draft Program

Based on feedback from 2015, Mariana proposed a program outline, and this is the basis of this year’s suggested program. We need proposals from you, the delegates, for content: either what you would like to be included, or what you would be prepared to present yourself. If there are sufficient numbers, we will run the workshop sessions in parallel, and repeat them as needed.

Day 1, Monday 5 Dec

Start at 1000

Session 1: Introduction to Wargaming

Sessions 2, 3 & 4: Interactive Workshops. Suggested topics: games for planners, games for operational leaders, designing games.

End at 1800

Dinner and games night 1900

Day 2, Tuesday 6 Dec

Start at 0900

Session 1 Keynote Address

Session 2:The Business Case for Wargaming

Session 3: Game Design Workshop

Session 4: Debrief and wrap up.

End at 1700


Doug McDonell building, University of Melbourne

Register at https://www.eventbrite.com.au/e/connections-oz-2016-tickets-27066459509