Provides an overview of the course methodology, materials and expectations. Students will be introduced to the course schedule and provided an overview of how wargaming is used as a tool for exploring decision-making possibilities in an environment with incomplete and imperfect information. Further, students will play a foundational wargame used as a reference during subsequent class sessions.
These sessions provide an overview of the process used for initial wargame planning. Key activities in the tasking phase include: initiating contact with the game sponsor at a Concept Development Conference; forming a game team; defining the game problem, game purpose, and game objectives; creating an initial game project schedule; creating a proposal document to record mutual understanding of game details; and conducting an Initial Planning Conference.
These sessions will describe game design considerations, including: level of war; number of sides; scenario; level of information sharing; selection of player activities that will lead to attainment of game objectives; identification of the players needed to perform player activities; describing how time is managed in a game; and methods of adjudication. The design is game tested, improved as required, then codified in a game design document. The design document includes the game analyst's research plan to collect and analyze needed information based on the selected design. The design phase concludes with a Mid Planning Conference.
This portion of the course reviews how the design phase transitions to making the game playable through game development. Development is the creation of player game products, such as templates and charts, and refinement of game processes, such as determining what products and information is required to execute player activities. During the development phase, schedules are refined as the game team gains experience with the time required to complete assigned player tasks. Concurrent with player product and activity development, the game analyst develops specific products such as player survey questionnaires, and initial final plenary discussion topics.
These classes review the purpose of a game beta test. A beta test ensures successful integration of player products and processes, such as whether sufficient information is provided to the players to accomplish assigned game tasks, whether sufficient time is provided to perform assigned tasks; and practice of the selected adjudication method. A Final Planning Conference concludes the testing phase.
The rehearsal phase is a planned activity for game support personnel, such as facilitators, assistant facilitators, data collectors, and technical support personnel to practice the tasks to be performed during the game.
Theses classes include a review of lessons learned from prior games, planning for the including the inclusion of senior officers in a game; pre-planned options in the event of technical problems during game execution; and daily coordination meetings among game team members. These sessions will also review data collection techniques.