2021 Program

The conference will run from Tues 14 December to Thur 16 December 2021. You must register to get access to the zoom link.

Registration is via Eventbrite here.

All times are Australian Eastern Daylight Savings time. (GMT + 11 hrs)

Tuesday 14 Dec

0800: Opening. 
0805: Rob Burks. US Naval Postgraduate School

Wargaming and Education: Developing Successful Wargaming Focused Curricula

0900: Dr. ED McGrady, Ph.D.
Adjunct Senior Fellow, Center for New American Security
Course Coordinator, Gaming, Military Operations Research Society
Principal, Monk’s Hood Media LLC
Adjudication:  The Squishy Parts
Adjudication can be divided into two categories:  objective and subjective.  By “subjective” adjudication we mean all of the things that Control, or the game designer, decide about the world that are not based on objective data.  You can jump out a window and break your leg, but if the Controller tells you it hurts, that is a subjective adjudication.   We do this all the time in our games, either because the objective, data driven, approach will simply take too much time, or because deciding on what the Prime Minister of Indonesia will do is inherently subjective.  Stephen Downes-Martin in his paper on adjudication describes game Control as just another player.  In fact it is through subjective adjudication that game Control does become another player.  It is also one way in which games diverge from simulations.  Since subjective adjudication is an important part of professional games, and it plays such a critical role in differentiating games from simulations, I thought it would be interesting to talk about in greater detail.
Dr. McGrady writes, speaks, and teaches on the design of professional games.  He is an adjunct senior fellow in gaming at CNAS, teaches and manages game design courses for MORS/Virginia Tech, and runs a business devoted to using games and game techniques to bring innovative experiences in new areas.   In the past Dr. McGrady built and directed a team of 10-20 analysts at CNA devoted to the design and execution of professional games.  Dr. McGrady has written, taught and presented on the topic of games and their use in organizational and individual learning.  He has designed and run games for many different clients ranging from the White House to the Department of Agriculture to the automotive industry.  Dr. McGrady has also built a team at CNA devoted to chemical and biological response operations, including domestic response operations.  Dr . McGrady has deployed as an analyst with US Forces in Haiti during operation Uphold Democracy, onboard USS Nimitz for Desert Storm and with operational E-2C squadrons.  Dr. McGrady holds a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering from the University of Michigan.  He has published extensively in the Chemical Engineering, physics, and national security literature  and is widely cited for his work on the mathematics of aggregation and fragmentation.
1000: break
1100: Mr Curt Pangracs US Army University.

Simulation Support Specialist
Directorate of Simulation Education
Army University

ABCT Visualization Exercise
Curt will discuss a project using 3D printed miniatures to illustrate a variety of military formations in order to help students ‘visualise’ formations relative to the ground they cover. This helps students plan manoeuvres and gain a ‘visceral experience’ of large scale formations. 
Mr. Pangracs is a retired Combat Medic. His interest in using games and gaming in military education began back in 1993 when he was the Medical Platoon Sergeant for 1-4 Cavalry. His use of GHQ miniatures to train his medics in operational and tactical movement helped his medical platoon to achieve a Died of Wounds (DoW) rate of less than 7% during an unusual three straight weeks “in the box” at the National Training Center in one of the first rotations with a “pure” Cavalry Squadron. A Cavalryman at heart, Mr. Pangracs has been continuously involved with computer wargaming and first-person combat simulations. His involvement in creating maps and scenarios for a game called “Blackhawk Down” directly led to his employment at the Command & General Staff College as a contractor supporting gaming and simulation use in the classroom after his retirement in 2003. He has been employed at the college ever since, transitioning to a civilian position in 2009. Over the years, his position has transformed to include: the creation of VASSAL computer game engine modules of popular boardgames and games created by students in the Army University MMAS program, 3D design and printing of custom models to support original games and other projects, and the physical design and production of original games using various processes. He has also designed several commercial computer wargames for the ProSIM Company.
1200 Dr James Sterrett. US Army University
Teaching wargaming to students for professional military education.
James Sterrett is the Chief of the Simulation Education Division in the Directorate of Simulation Education of U.S. Army University/Command & General Staff College.  Since 2004, he has taught the use and design of simulations and games, and supported their use in education.   He also earned a PhD in War Studies from King’s College London, and has participated in beta test and design teams for many games, notably including Steel Beasts and Attack Vector: Tactical.
1300: Lunch
1400: Dr Andrew Coutts. Defence Science and Technology Group
Defence Analytical Wargame Network
1500: LTCOL Brent Hughes.
Army Analytical Wargames.
The Australian Army has embarked on a campaign of experimentation to explore the future force. Two wargames have been developed to assist this exploration.
1600: LTCOL Dave Hill. SO1 Land Simulation and Wargaming.

Over the last 5 years the US, UK and many other nations have sought to reinvigorate wargaming acknowledging its utility in developing critical thinking and exercising decision-making in a ‘safe-to-fail’ environment. To date the Australian Army has not achieved the same level of success in its efforts to revitalise wargaming. Army Wargaming 2021 – 2025 is designed to enable the reinvigoration of wargaming and enhance the cognitive capacity of our personnel; Army wants the Decisive Edge in thinking and winning in war.

Lieutenant Colonel Dave Hill is the Staff Officer Grade 1 Land Simulation and Wargaming at the Army Knowledge Centre. He has been a hobby wargamer (table top miniatures) for a long time and in 2011 he co-founded the Australian Defence Force Wargaming Association (ADFWGA) which promotes hobby wargaming throughout Defence. A logistic officer by background Lieutenant Colonel Hill has recently returned from an exchange posting to the National Simulation Center at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas. During his time in the United States, he had the opportunity to participate in the pilot Introduction to Wargaming course and a wargaming elective at the Command and General Staff College. Having seen firsthand the reinvigoration of wargaming in the US he is passionate about implementing Army Wargaming 2021 – 2025 to revitalize wargaming throughout Army.

1700: Break
1800: Elçin Ada SAYIN. Women In Command Project

KızBaşına (Just-a-Girl), based in Ankara with over 60 volunteers from all over the world, is an NGO working on reducing the effects of gender-based social inequality in Turkey.

KizBasina, searching for new and innovative ways to develop the community, wanted to address the issue of gender inequality in the defense industry. For the last 8 months; the team has been developing a conflict management game called Women in Command:Hybrid Threat Rising, funded by the US Embassy of Ankara in order to train women in modern conflict situations to give access to more women at the decision-making tables by providing them with learning and networking opportunities.

The game bears many firsts: Turkey’s first civilian wargame, the first wargame with hybrid elements, the first game that is only designed to promote women leaders and the first game to come out from Turkey to be presented in an international conference being this year’s Connections UK as well as the Land Warfare Academy of the Netherlands.

The Women in Command: Hybrid Threat Rising game creates an armed conflict scenario in a realistic way with accurate/close to real-life events and consequences to be played through a 2h period. In order to achieve the most realistic outcomes, the project team has used various documents and reports written by NATO, DSTL, Institute for the Study of War etc. The game demonstrates different aspects of hybrid war such as ISR, multi-domain operations, cyber attacks, media influence, international organizations’ effect and kinetic war itself.

1900: Dr John Curry, Senior Lecturer Games Design and Cyber Security, Bath Spa University, UK
The Wargame of Operation Sealion at Sandhurst in 1974: The Wargame that launched academic wargaming
The wargame was a serious attempt to analyse a contested area of military history using a wargame. Organised by Dr Paddy Griffith, it included senior commanders who took part in World War II. The presentation will outline the game as a case study of how to maximise credibility of a serious wargame.
John Curry is an UK academic at Bath Spa University where he specialises in cyber security and wargames. In between teaching, researching and gaming, he has authored/ co-authored/ edited more than 100 books on wargaming. This includes being the editor 2nd edition of Peter Perla’s Art of Wargaming, Editor Graham Longley Brown’s Successful Professional Wargames: A Practitioner’s Handbook, co-authored the Matrix Games handbook and co-authored The Handbook of Cyber Wargames. Currently he is gaming for various organisations about stuff. In his spare time, he plays games. He is also the chief editor of the History of Wargaming Project www.wargaming.co., the largest wargaming archaeology project in the world. J.curry@bathspa.ac.uk 
2000: End
Wednesday 15 Dec
0800: Jeffrey Hodges. US Army Modeling and Simulation School

Wargaming Continuum for Education.

Jeff will discuss the US Army’s wargaming continuum of education initiative, courses currently offered, and those in development. Jeff will also talk about the USA Fight Club, and how the club supports the professional wargaming continuum.

Jeff is the educational lead at the US Army Modeling and Simulation School, and is responsible for creating courses to support the Army Functional Area 57 (simulation operations) workforce. Prior to his current assignment, Jeff served as the Chief of the Kaiserslautern Mission Training Complex, simulation manager at the Joint Multinational Readiness Center (Hohenfels, Germany) and instrumentation officer for the same organization. Jeff, an artillery forward observer, retired from the US Army in 1998.

0900: Tom Fisher

The Last City: 2050. Hybrid warfare in a future megacity. An introductory hybrid wargame and humanitarian crisis simulation.

Tom Fisher, President of Imaginetic, is a Serious Games and Simulation-Based Training Deigner, Developer, and Facilitator with over 30 years of scenario and games development experience. In 2011 he developed the Crime Analysis Simulation Exercise System (CASES) for the World Bank’s Financial Market Integrity and Stolen Asset Recovery group and collaborated with several international financial intelligence agencies in the development and delivery of a strategic intelligence analysis course integrating traditional classroom work with a multi-faceted simulation. He was also game developer and graphic artist for Rex Brynen’s AFTERSHOCK: A Humanitarian Crisis Game and AFTERSHOCK EXPANSION #1: The Gender Dimensions of Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Relief, as well as MaGCK, the Matrix Game Construction Kit with Maj. Tom Mouat and Prof. Rex Brynen. He has extensive experience in game facilitation with both small and large (100+) participant groups.

1000: Stephanie Game

Diversity and inclusion in the wargaming and crisis simulations world.

Stefanie holds a BA in Political Science and International Development from McGill University. She is currently a design associate at Imaginetic where she has worked on projects for Global Affairs Canada, the United Nations, and women’s empowerment initiatives for Kisbasina. To date, Stefanie has designed over 100 games for Imaginetic on topics ranging from future warfare to environmental conservation.

1100: Break
1200: Mr Darren Huxley.

Defence Strategic Wargaming.

Darren Huxley is the Director of Strategic Gaming and Exercises for the Strategic Policy Division within the Australian DoD. As part of their remit, the section has been experimenting with various gaming methodologies to assist with policy innovation and assurance. In 2020 they undertook a trial run of the RAND designed and published game Hedgemony. After some positive feedback from the Australian participants, they decided to modify the game to better suit Australian objectives. During this presentation, Darren will highlight the small tweaks his team has made to the game and how he thinks it supports national security policy conversations for the Australian defence community.

Darren was a mechanised infantry officer for a long time but has been a board wargamer for longer. He is a graduate of the USMC School of Advanced Warfighting and the US Army War College, and was part of the Australian Defence College instructional team before retiring from full-time service in the Australian Army and taking up his current role. He is passionate about the ability of games to teach decision-making skills and is always looking for gaming systems that might be usefully applied to discussions on defence policy.

1300: Break
1400: Deane Baker & Jenna Allen. UNSW

Ethics in Wargaming and Wargaming for Ethics

Deane-Peter Baker is an Associate Professor and Co-Convener (with Prof David Kilcullen) of the Future Operations Research Group in the School of Humanities and Social Sciences at the University of New South Wales, Canberra

Jenna Allen is a Research Assistant for the Future Operations Research Group at UNSW Canberra at the Australian Defence Force Academy and co-founder of Women in Future Operations. Jenna originally hails from the Big Sky country of Montana, moving to Australia to complete a federal parliamentary research internship in comparative politics through the Australian National University. She holds a bachelor degree from the University of Texas at Austin in Government where she was a Jefferson Young Fellow. She holds dual master degrees from the Australian National University and UNSW. She is interested in multidisciplinary approaches to moral injury and ethical behavior in future warfare with a focus on the use of wargaming as a tool to examine and address ethics issues in conflict.

1500: AVM John McGary

Designing an educational wargame that modelled current the geopolitical contest in the South China Sea using the DIME (Diplomatic, Information, Military, Economic) construct.

 AVM John McGarry transferred to the Air Force Active Reserve in 2017 after a 35 year career. His service included several postings as a transport pilot, command at squadron and wing level, and various staff appointments in joint operations at the operational and strategic levels and senior appointments in Defence intelligence agencies. Since his transfer to the Active Reserve he has designed and facilitated CDF’s Seminar Wargame series and numerous other scenario-based seminars and planning activities.

1600: Break
1830: Ian Robinson & Mark Flanagan

Sweeping Satellites

The developers of the game sweeping satellites will describe their game followed by a demo and then Q&A.

Ian Robinson has a bachelor’s degree in Physics and a PhD in Materials Science, both from Queen Mary, University of London. He is the author of numerous scientific papers, and worked for 32 years in the UK Chemical Industry as a scientist and applied statistician. He is also a life-long recreational wargamer, a member of the UK Wargames Developments (WD), and attendee at the Connections global series of conferences, and with Mark Flanagan he has designed Sweeping Satellites. He also designs wargames under the name ‘Hearts of Oak’.

Mark Flanagan is a Digital Solution Designer/Solution Architect in the NHS, being an experienced software developer and systems designer for over thirty years (BSc in Computer Science, MSc in Applied AI and a PhD in Educational Technology). He is proudly a life-long recreational wargamer and an active member of the UK Wargames Developments (WD) organisation. With Ian Robinson he has designed Sweeping Satellites which has been demonstrated at Connections UK, US and now Oz conferences. He is currently interested in applying systems modelling and knowledge guided learning techniques to improve manual wargames.

2000: End

Thursday 16 Dec

0800: Dr Jeff Appleget. US Naval Postgraduate School

Wargaming in Support of Campaign Analysis.

0900: David Redpath

F35 vs J20 – A wargamers insight into Tactical deployment of Stealth Fighters and an  increasing similarity to anti-submarine warfare.

David is a Retired British Army Infantry officer (Royal Regiment of Fusiliers). His last posting was as Chief Instructor at the School of Infantry. Since then he has designed and run training games, exercises and simulations for multinational companies – automotive, aerospace, transportation and health services. He is currently Senior Wargames Designer for the Canadian DND at the Canadian Joint Warfare Centre.

1000: Mick Reilly. Director, MASSICK

Improving Performance in Teams: Insights from Research on AARs in Army Combat Training

While the After Action Review (AAR) has been employed for over 50 years by military forces and other industries through the world, there remains no theoretical basis for its role in improving team performance. This research was initiated to address a lack of satisfaction, by both facilitators and participants, in the AARs conducted during Army advanced collective combat training. The research evaluated the effectiveness of the AAR within the Australian military context looking at; related learning theories; the ability of AARs to support learning; and factors influencing the conduct of successful AARs. A range of findings have been distilled to several insights that will support improving the effectiveness of ‘post-experience feedback sessions’. This presentation will highlight the links between this research and opportunities to improve learning and performance through feedback, using LVC simulations, including wargames, as experiential learning opportunities. The session will also offer some practical suggestions to help improve your activities.

Mick leads the PARARE Consulting team, in preparing and improving the performance of crisis leadership teams, particularly through facilitated feedback, post experiential learning activities. He has successfully consulted to a range of commercial and government organisations over a several decades. After extensive leadership and functional roles in the military, Defence research and commercial industries, Mick is skilled in facilitating measurable improvement in decision-making teams and in developing assessable organisation-wide plans that reduce organisational risk. He has been extensively involved with the Army Combat Training Centre (CTC) for over a decade, where he currently undertakes the role of Director, Analysis and Evaluation. Mick provides support in the exploration and implementation of options for enhancing experiential learning activities including training, exercise design, coaching, technology, learning, evaluation and performance improvement. He has lectured at Australian universities, is a graduate of the ADF ACSC, the AICD Company’s Director Course and has several post-graduate academic qualifications. Mick served in the military, in a range of full and part-time roles, for over 35 years and has deployed operationally with the ADF to East Timor three times and the Middle East including Iraq, Afghanistan and other areas, twice. He is currently completing Doctoral level research at CQUniversity related to ‘Improving Performance in Teams: After Action Reviews in Army Combat Training’.

1100: Before the Debrief – where/when do you begin to prepare for a debriefing? Dr ELyssebeth Leigh, Scott Arbuthnot, Mick Reilly

The much-needed increase in attention to debriefing processes mostly focuses on the process itself. Following on from the previous session we will explore factors related to preparing for a debriefing. We consider every simulation to be a mini system, which may be complex or comparatively simple. Whatever the case, a vital task for facilitators is to identify how to draw out the learning from the myriad micro and macro events within a particular activity
Managing a debrief requires simultaneous attention to at least three challenging perspectives.
• The first is your state of mind and awareness (which Howard Gardner calls intrapersonal intelligence). As the facilitator/debriefer you are a focus of attention requiring heightened alertness to both your own level of emotional engagement and your awareness of events during the action phase.
• The second complexifying factor is the experiences of each and all the participants, no two of whom have had exactly the same experience, and all have the potential to take the conversation in any direction at all.
• The third, and most crucial, is the multiplicity of interactions that no one person (including the facilitator) will have been able to track, but wherein is contained much of the information essential to shaping the learning.
This will be an interactive session to explore how participants currently integrate such factors into their debriefing preparation and consider what additional preparation might enhance their approach to debriefing.

1200: Break
1300: Open discussion on future Connections
1430: Open discussion on ethics
1600: End