Not strictly wargaming but useful texts for designers and players.
Brown, Ian T., A New Conception of War: John Boyd, the U.S. Marines, and Maneuver Warfare, Quantico: Marine Corps University Press, 2018. Major Brown, USMC, tells the story of Col John Boyd and how his concepts of war came to influence the U.S. Marines as expressed in their own seminal doctrine manual, Warfighting. A must read to understand Boyd and his theories.
Clausewitz, Carl Von, On War, New York: Penguin Books, 1968. How can you study military science without the (western) Father of Military Science?
Dunnigan, James F., How to Make War: A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Warfare in the 21st Century (Fourth Edition), New York: Harper, 2003. Dunnigan is a prolific wargamer designer and while this book is not a set of rules or the like, it does provide insight into what it was about war he considered important enough to model in his games.
Dupuy, Col. Trevor N., U.S. Army [Ret.], Attrition: Forecasting Battle Casualties and Equipment Loses in Modern War, Falls Church: NOVA Publications, 1995. A follow-on to Numbers, Prediction & War that expands on the QJM (Quantified Judgement Model) and TNDM (Tactical Numeric Deterministic Model).
Dupuy, Col. Trevor N., U.S. Army [Ret.], Future Wars: The World’s Most Dangerous Flashpoints, New York: Warner Books, 1992. Excellent inspiration material for wargame designers. Appendix B is a short tutorial on “The Tactical Numeric Deterministic Model (TNDM)” which is very useful for wargame designers to study.
Dupuy, Col. Trevor N., U.S. Army [Ret.], Numbers, Predictions & War: Using History to Evaluate Combat Factors and Predict the Outcome of Battles, Indianapolis: The Bobbs-Merrill Co., Inc., 1979. This book is where Col. Dupuy’s Quantified Judgement Model (QJM) that eventually becomes the Tactical Numeric Deterministic Model (TNDM) is born.
Dupuy, Col. Trevor N., U.S. Army [Ret.], Understanding War: History and Theory of Combat, Falls Church: NOVA Publications, 1987. Discusses much of the historical basis for the QJM and TNDM.
Hughes Jr., Capt. Wayne P. (USN, RET), Fleet Tactics: Theory and Practice (First Edition), Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1986. Written at the height of the “Reagan Navy” built by Navy Secretary Lehman, this was the book that underpinned the Maritime Strategy. First introduction of the “Salvo Equation” that today not only is used to describe anti-ship cruise missile combat but even modern artillery theories apply it.
Hughes Jr., Capt. Wayne P. (USN, RET), Fleet Tactics and Coastal Combat (Second Edition), Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2000. Updated for the emphasis on littoral combat.
Hughes Jr., Capt. Wayne P. (USN, RET) and RADM Robert P. Girrier (USN, RET), Fleet Tactics and Naval Operations (Third Edition), Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2018. Updated yet again to show the connection of fleet tactics to naval operations.
Lawrence, Christopher A., War By Numbers: Understanding Conventional Combat, Lincoln: Potomac, 2017. Lawrence is the successor to Col. Dupuy at The Dupuy Institute. This book explains the work of “quantitative historical analysis” as it applies to modern conventional combat. Students of the War in Ukraine should be dusting off this text and the previous works of Trevor Dupuy.
Ryan, Mick, War Transformed: The Future of Twenty-First-Century Great Power Competition and Conflict, Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2022. Mick Ryan is a retired Army Major General from the Australian Defense Forces who brings a perspective steeped in U.S. and U.K. military thinking but with that different “down under” approach and mentality.
Feature image Col. Trevor N. Dupuy, father of the Tactical Numerical Deterministic Model (TNDM) and the Quantified Judgement Model (QJM). Read about Col. Dupuy and TNDM/QJM at the Dupuy Institute.