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Thread: Wargaming Small Wars (merged thread)

  1. #101
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    To add to what Rob said, this looks like an excellent and rich simulation that would have a lot of relevance for NGOs that are deploying teams to a mission environment. Have you seen any such interest from that quarter?
    No, although a fairly large number of students who take the course go on to work in this area (and generally find the SIM useful).

    It would be interesting to see if the rather offbeat, and sometimes rather dark, humour would work off campus (although its very much the kind of humour that we all use for survival when working in conflict zones).

  2. #102
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rex Brynen View Post
    It is rare that an agreement is reached without some fighting
    I have an idealogical axe to grind here, but doesn't that suggest that - under certain circumstances - you can't have peace, until you first have a war?

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    Default ideological axes

    Quote Originally Posted by Rank amateur View Post
    I have an idealogical axe to grind here, but doesn't that suggest that - under certain circumstances - you can't have peace, until you first have a war?
    No, I don't think that's the lesson they take away. I certainly hope not!

    The simulation starts in the midst of a protracted civil war, at a potential peacebuilding moment. Given that students haven't "lived" the previous years of war, its only natural that many test the parameters a bit to see if they can achieve an easy win through armed force.

    The way the SIM is set up, they can't--after all, that's why its been a protracted civil war to begin with--no easy winners.

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    Council Member nichols's Avatar
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    Here's what's going on now with JSAF down at JFCOM. We are also looking at incorporating aspects of PMFserv into a first person shooter that already links up with JSAF through a HLA link.

    http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~npelecha/...V_CROWDS05.pdf

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Rex,

    What is the chance that an outsider could somehow monitor the goings-on the next time that you run the simulation? I am considerably interested in the world of NGO behavior, especially as it applies to personal security protocol, and I think something like this sim would greatly increase my depth of overall NGO/humanitarian knowledge.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    Rex,

    What is the chance that an outsider could somehow monitor the goings-on the next time that you run the simulation? I am considerably interested in the world of NGO behavior, especially as it applies to personal security protocol, and I think something like this sim would greatly increase my depth of overall NGO/humanitarian knowledge.
    .....PM sent.....

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    Default More games on small wars

    I am new to SWC but I have been designing manual simulation games on irregular warfare generally for a number of years. (Rex, I don't know if you remember me, but we used to play tabletop games at UVic back in the 1980s.)

    I'm uncomfortable tooting my own horn, but I thought I would list some of the more applicable ones I've done:

    Tupamaro - about the Tupamaro urban guerrillas in Uruguay, 1968-72.

    Shining Path - for two players. About the Sendero Luminoso guerrillas in Peru, 1980-???.

    Somalia - about the UN intervention there.

    Green Beret - on the military situation in the Central Highlands of Vietnam in 1964-5.

    Battle of Seattle: A mini-game inspired by the anti-WTO riots in Seattle November 30 - December 3, 1999.

    Algeria: On the 1954-62 French colonial struggle, a slightly altered version of this was used by the Counterinsurgency working group at the recent MORS conference on Irregular Warfare.

    Greek Civil War: On the 1947-49 civil war, which was actually the third and final act of a conflict that began in 1941. One of the few times a Communist-inspired insurgency was beaten by a Western government.

    Here is a link to fuller descriptions of these and other designs: http://islandnet.com/~ltmurnau/text/mygames.htm

    Thanks,

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by nichols View Post
    Here's what's going on now with JSAF down at JFCOM. We are also looking at incorporating aspects of PMFserv into a first person shooter that already links up with JSAF through a HLA link.

    http://www.seas.upenn.edu/~npelecha/...V_CROWDS05.pdf
    I hate to talk down our own products, but I am deeply skeptical of the utility of the "non-kinetic" models being developed here (=JFCOM) and elsewhere, like SEAS and JNEM. Creating a complex, social environment that reacts to a training audience's actions in simulation in realistic ways, is not just beyond the technology as it exists today, I don't think we understand that sort of thing mathematically well enough to model it to the degree where it could be a useful interactive training tool. Maybe it is not even possible?

    "Simulation-driven exercise" (as opposed to MSEL-driven exercises) is the latest craze and is supposed to be the fruit of increasingly sophisticated behavioral modeling, but I don't think we'll see the day. Automated red/white/gray forces might work at a very tactical level (like maybe in VBS2), but at a larger scale it gets too complicated, too quickly. I am also concerned we're barking up the wrong tree if we think we can reduce complex social, cultural and political contexts and interactions to something calculable. I know the adage "all simulations are wrong, but some are useful," but improperly used simulation can also be counterproductive, because it can teach the wrong lessons and/ or breed false confidence in the assumptions underlying the models.

    Simulation is excellent for creating simulated physical reality that allows training where it would otherwise be impossible or impractical in a completely live setting, but falls far short of simulating human reality.

    EDIT: it is nice to see this discussed on SWC
    He cloaked himself in a veil of impenetrable terminology.

  9. #109
    Council Member Ron Humphrey's Avatar
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    Post True enough

    Quote Originally Posted by Stevely View Post
    I hate to talk down our own products, but I am deeply skeptical of the utility of the "non-kinetic" models being developed here (=JFCOM) and elsewhere, like SEAS and JNEM. Creating a complex, social environment that reacts to a training audience's actions in simulation in realistic ways, is not just beyond the technology as it exists today, I don't think we understand that sort of thing mathematically well enough to model it to the degree where it could be a useful interactive training tool. Maybe it is not even possible?

    Which is one reason that design should be more focused on what the audience needs to learn, then on what the sim needs to be able to replicate.


    Quote Originally Posted by Stevely View Post
    "Simulation-driven exercise" (as opposed to MSEL-driven exercises) is the latest craze and is supposed to be the fruit of increasingly sophisticated behavioral modeling, but I don't think we'll see the day. Automated red/white/gray forces might work at a very tactical level (like maybe in VBS2), but at a larger scale it gets too complicated, too quickly. I am also concerned we're barking up the wrong tree if we think we can reduce complex social, cultural and political contexts and interactions to something calculable. I know the adage "all simulations are wrong, but some are useful," but improperly used simulation can also be counterproductive, because it can teach the wrong lessons and/ or breed false confidence in the assumptions underlying the models.
    Defining the scope of a programs capabilities to replicate reality would seem to always be a losing proposition. That said should the main concern with any simulation meant for training be not to replicate reality so much as to have the ability to create in those who use it a similar decision making requirement to that which they will experience in real life.

    Much like raising our own children there is too often IMHO the habit of providing direction rather than guidance. By that I mean we tell them what to and what not to do in circumstances as they arrive. This may be effective in preparing them for much of what they will face but it leaves out a key component of learning. By providing solutions we infer a lack of necessity to prepare for that which is different or unplanned for. They may make the right decisions when they see similar things but when it comes down to something completely different what tools have we actually provided them with for effectively making the right choices on their own.

    Yes, I realize we're talking about adults here but in order to honestly do our best to provide good tools we must be willing to recognize that which we may not like too. To often adults tend to follow the same pattern of looking for the answers rather than seeking out how to find the answers and as such there is often a repetition of bad answers since those were the ones most readily available. Precedent may be a good thing in some constructs but over all they tend to negatively reinforce bad habits just as much as they help. There is a difference between principles and prescriptions and if we don't make a concerted effort to delineate between them we will continue to fail in efforts to provide workable tools for decision making.

    In relation to things becoming too complicated as the training audience gets larger, I simply ask that we consider this. Anything whole is made up of it's parts. If you can train the parts with relative efficiency why does it not follow that training the whole would be any more difficult since each of those parts still have the main requirements to fill which you train at the smaller scale.

    This is what I think those who seek to teach how to think rather than what to think really are trying to get at and personally I can't see what the problem is with that.



    Quote Originally Posted by Stevely View Post
    Simulation is excellent for creating simulated physical reality that allows training where it would otherwise be impossible or impractical in a completely live setting, but falls far short of simulating human reality.
    As I said true enough, just keep in mind what the learning objective actually is.
    Any man can destroy that which is around him, The rare man is he who can find beauty even in the darkest hours

    Cogitationis poenam nemo patitur

  10. #110
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Humphrey View Post
    Which is one reason that design should be more focused on what the audience needs to learn, then on what the sim needs to be able to replicate.
    This is exactly what we are doing. The requirements from TECOM are based off of Cognitive Task Analysis and T&R standards based training.

    About 5 years ago we would get a sim and 'fit' it into training, today the sim has to fit the training requirement.

    The drive behind that AI is for mission rehearsal on the tactical level (VBS-2 & DARPA's Real World).

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    I just sat through a tech div brief at the Combined OAG, and that prompted me to find and download the FO sim and CAPT. Interesting tools, although there has to be a better way of navigating to a single point on the portal, and downloading one zip file that has everything. It seemed like files were saved haphazardly.

  12. #112
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    I just sat through a tech div brief at the Combined OAG, and that prompted me to find and download the FO sim and CAPT. Interesting tools, although there has to be a better way of navigating to a single point on the portal, and downloading one zip file that has everything. It seemed like files were saved haphazardly.
    I've had a strange 'task organized' three weeks. I pulled booth babe duties on Monday for the OAG (black Trasys shirt). That Friday was booth babe duties at HMX-1 hangar for the Congressional Staffers. The week before that my boss decided to take me out of my swim lane and throw me into a completely different swimming pool. I attended a Hybrid War wargame, I ended up in Col Walters group. I was kinda hoping that he would post something in here. I pushed to get rid of the yellow footprints in bootcamp

    Referencing your comment on the portal, no excuses, we need to dedicate manpower to that. We have been running it haphazardly since we took it out of the .com domain. The Tactical Language site is running pretty smoothly but, it is .com.

    If you find some time pop an email to Maj Mcdonough JP, Capt Dmochowski, and myself (paul.nichols.ctr@usmc.mil). TechDiv and Trasys are getting ready for the summer PCS moves so the sooner you get this in....the better.

    S/F

    Paul

  13. #113
    Council Member BayonetBrant's Avatar
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    Thumbs up Gaming & Irregular Warfare

    http://www.escapistmagazine.com/arti...-Man-s-Warfare

    PART 1 of 2

    The Thinking Man's Warfare

    by Rob Zacny, 16 Sep 2008 12:48
    issue_167

    For the past seven years in Afghanistan and Iraq, the United States and its allies have fought irregular enemies who eschew traditional military confrontation in favor of asymmetric tactics. These wars have been costly, painful and, consequently, highly controversial, both within the military and among the public at large. More than most other areas of popular culture, videogames have demonstrated awareness of their historical moment, as the plethora of military shooters and dystopian plotlines can attest. But thus far, games have avoided engaging the real-life issues to which they are responding.
    Last edited by Tom Odom; 09-16-2008 at 07:48 PM. Reason: Do not post entire articles
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    Sorry - didn't mean to break the rules about posting entire articles...
    Brant
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    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

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    Quote Originally Posted by BayonetBrant View Post
    Sorry - didn't mean to break the rules about posting entire articles...
    no apologies needed

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    I'd like to see someone game the interagency collaboration process, perhaps in a PRT like setting in Iraq. the scenario - you are assigned to lead/manage a PRT in Iraq and here's your team, AOR and objective - Get 'er done!

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    That would be a complex wargame with a lot of competing agendas. A lot more than a binary action, reaction, counteraction.
    "Law cannot limit what physics makes possible." Humanitarian Apsects of Airpower (papers of Frederick L. Anderson, Hoover Institution, Stanford University)

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    Quote Originally Posted by CR6 View Post
    That would be a complex wargame with a lot of competing agendas. A lot more than a binary action, reaction, counteraction.
    Perhaps it is time to move from wargames to war-MMORPGs.
    "In times of change learners inherit the earth; while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists." - Eric Hoffer

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    Quote Originally Posted by jonSlack View Post
    Perhaps it is time to move from wargames to war-MMORPGs.
    Yes... but how do you keep everyone 'in character'?
    Brant
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    “their citizens (all of them counted as such) glorified their mythology of ‘rights’… and lost track of their duties. No nation, so constituted, can endure.” Robert Heinlein, Starship Troopers 1959

    Play more wargames!

  20. #120
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    I've played "wargames" since I can remember, but I have a slight issue with the idea of a "game". In combat, you can have winners and losers. The end states are easy to define and the limits can be pretty well understood. The "game" analogy works and is de-facto professional education

    The issue here I suggest is with "Simulations". Simulations have limits, and as I see many limits to what "gaming" can contribute to the human and social side of the issue we call COIN.

    Trying to "game COIN" might be like trying to "simulate" marriage just using an inflatable sheep. The lack of realistic responses would show up pretty quickly!
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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