#Wargame Library – Wargaming Studies / Journal Articles / Magazine Articles / Blog Postings (updated September 2022)

There are so many articles and special blog postings out there that any list is insufficient. This is more or less (actually much less) a sampling of the wargame-related articles I collected over the years. For every one listed here I have undoubtably read and discarded dozens of others. Some (most?) are available online if you search; not all may be accessed for free but if really want it you often can find a (legal) way to get it that doesn’t necessarily cost you your arms and legs.

Anderton, Charles H., “Toward a Mathematical Theory of the Offensive/Defensive Balance,” International Studies Quarterly (1992), 36, 75-100. “Jack Levy argues that the offensive/defensive balance needs to be defined more explicitly and rigorously before it can be used in historical analysis. We offer a more explicit and rigorous theory of the offensive/defensive balance based on Hembold conventional war equations (a generalization of Lanchester equations) and Intriligator nuclear war equations.”

Armstrong, Michael J., “The Salvo Combat Model with Area Fire,” published online 25 October 2013 in Wiley Online Library (wileyonlinelibrary.com). “This article analyzes versions of the salvo model of missile combat where area fire is used by one or both sides in a battle.” Basically the Salvo Equation for artillery!

Armstrong, Michael J. and Steven E. Sodergren, “Refighting Pickett’s Charge: Mathematical Modeling of the Civil War Battlefield, Social Science Quarterly, Volume 96, Number 4, December 2015 (DOI: 10.1111/ssqu.12178). “We model Pickett’s Charge at the Battle of Gettysburg to see if whether the Confederates could have achieved victory by committing more infantry, executing a better barrage, or facing a waker defense.”

Arnold, James, Maj, USMC, “Matching Strike Dice Rolls to the Chinese Calculus,” Naval War College Thesis, DTIC Public Access AD1144299, 5/14/2021. The Halsey Alfa Advanced Research Program explores potential military decisions using a two-team (Red vs. Blue) wargame scenario representing high-end conflict between the People’s Republic of China (PRC) and the United States (US).

Asal, Victor, “Playing Games with International Relations,” International Studies Perspectives (2005) 6, 359-373. Use of simulations as a pedagogical tool.

Augier, Mie and Major Sean F. X. Barrett, General Anthony Zinni (Ret.) on Wargaming Iraq, Millennium Challenge, and Competition, Center For International Maritime Security (CIMSEC), October 18, 2021, https://cimsec.org/general-anthony-zinni-ret-on-wargaming-iraq-millennium-challenge-and-competition/ “Discusses how the differing objectives of service chiefs and combatant commanders manifest in wargames.”

Aum, Frank and Jessica J. Lee, “Beyond Deterrence: A Peace Game Exercise for the Korean Peninsula – Quincy Brief No. 20,” Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft, Feb 14, 2022, “This report describes a virtual role-playing peace game exercise conducted in October 2021 that simulated diplomatic negotiations aimed at making tangible progress toward improving relations, enhancing security, and building confidence on the Korean Peninsula.”

Bell, Arvid and Alexander Bollfrass, “To Hell with the Cell: The Case for Immersive Statecraft Education,” International Studies Perspectives (2022) 23, 129-`50, DOI 10.1093/isp/ekab004. Use of wargames to teach statecraft.

Bocek, Laura and John Schaus, “Decisionmaking at the Speed of the Digital Era,” CSIS Briefs, August 2022“At present, however, the Department of Defense underutilizes publicly available data and the software development community to build tools that enable faster modeling, hypothesis testing, and variability analysis than traditional wargaming or modeling alone. This brief describes the speed and utility of developing a simple software tool to stress test a hypothetical People’s Republic of China (PRC) surprise attack against U.S. facilities in the Indo-Pacific.

Bolgers, Aneli and Jose L. Torres, “Revisiting the Battle of Midway: A Counterfactual Analysis,” Military Operations Research, Vol. 25: No. 2 (2020), pp. 49-68. (https://www.jstor.org/stable/10.2307/26917214) Using Hughes’ Salvo Combat Model to explore different Battle of Midway conditions.

Carroll, Patrick, “Bringing Us All Together: Competitors, Socializers, and Dreamers,” The General, Volume 25, Number 5. An early attempt to build a taxonomy of gamers.

**NEW**Compton, Jon, “A Tale of Two Wargames: An Entirely Fictitious Tale of Wargaming Woe and Tragedy,” War on the Rocks, September 22, 2022. “Wargame providers continue to plan events rather than conduct analytical studies, and resistance to dedicated teams in the Defense Department remains high.” 

Connors, David, Michael J. Armstrong, and John Bonnett, “A Counterfactual Study of the Charge of the Light Brigade,” Historical Methods, April-June 2015, Volume 48, Number 2. “Researchers use a mathematical model to perform a counterfactual study of the 1854 Charge of the Light Brigade.”

China Wargame Simulation: NPEC Wargame Report 2001 (October 2020), Nonproliferation Policy Education Center (NPEC) https://npecstrategygames.org . “NPEC commissioned Mark Herman,, a nationally renowned wargame designer, to create and organize the war simulation. The wargame is designed for Congressional and U.S. government staff.”

Dougherty, Chris with Jennie Matuschak and Ripley Hunter, The Poison Frog Strategy: Preventing a Chinese Fait Accompli Against Taiwanese Islands, Center for New American Security (cnas.org), October, 2021. “To explore potential policy and strategy options to prevent such a calamity, the Gaming Lab at CNAS wargamed this scenario with Taiwanese, American, and regional experts.”

Emery, John R., Moral Choices Without Moral Language: 1950s Political-Military Wargaming at the RAND Corporation, Texas National Security Review, September 07, 2021, https://tnsr.org/2021/09/moral-choices-without-moral-language-1950s-political-military-wargaming-at-the-rand-corporation/ . “…they created the first political-military simulations, called the “Cold War Games.””

Gayl, Franz, “CSIS’ inflammatory games expose it has no clue how core China’s sovereignty is to its 1.4 billion citizens,” China Global Times, Aug 18, 2022 04:49pm. Be careful mentioning the author in the presence of Marines! Here only for the CSIS wargame mentions.

Haneker, Lars, “Exploring military victory in battle: A qualitative study on contemporary tactics,” Defense Studies (2020), Vol. 20: No. 2, 161-181. Observations of tacticians in wargames.

Hirst, Angie (2022) “Wargames Resurgent: The Hyperrealities of Military Gaming from Recruitment to Rehabilitation.” International Studies Quarterly, https://doi.org/10.1093/isq/sqac021 . “While games are commonly viewed as frivolous fun, their rapid proliferation across the US defense establishment compels us to think again. Spanning spheres as diverse as total immersion training, near-peer/cyber conflict, and future force strategies, a gaming renaissance is currently underway across the US military. Surprisingly, given international relations (IR) interest in the production and porjectin of military power, the discipline has neglected to engage with this revival.”

Jensen, Benjamin and Michael Rountree, “Driving the Dark Road to the Future: A Guide to Revitalizing Defense Planning and Strategic Analysis,” War on the Rocks, https://warontherocks.com/2022/07/driving-the-dark-road-to-the-future-a-guide-to-revitalizing-defense-planning-and-strategic-analysis/. “What if instead of the traditional continuum of planning exercises, classroom instruction, and lectures, students were introduced to different analytical methods and wargame designs as a means of empowering them to answer vexing questions of increasing complexity and uncertainty such as the optimal future force design?”

Kania, Elsa B. and Ian Burns McCaslin, Learning Warfare from the Laboratory—China’s Progression in Wargaming and Opposing Force Training, The Institute for the Study of War (understandingwar.org), September 2021. A rare look at wargaming in the People’s Liberation Army.

Lacey, James & Tim Barrick, Nathan Barrick, “The Wargame Before the War: Russia Attacks Ukraine,” War on the Rocks, March 2, 2022,

Lacey, James & Tim Barrick, Nathan Barrick, “Wargaming a Long War: Ukraine Fights On,” Modern War Institute, April 4, 2022.

Lawrence, Christopher A., “What We Have Learned from Doing Historical Analysis,” PHALANX (Summer 2022), Vol. 55: No. 2, 50-52. Historical analysis is not operations research and not history, but a scholarly field in the middle. Wargamers should be aware that much of their background data comes from this sort of work.

Meet the Press, “War Games: The Battle for Taiwan.,” May 13, 2022 (Video). “Meet the Press takes over the NBC News Washington Bureau to stage a full-day war game between the U.S. and China.” Wargame from CNAS.

Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Research and Engineering, Department of Defense Defense Science board, Final Report of the Defense Science board (DSB) Task Force on Gaming, Exercising, Modeling, and Simulation (GEMS), January 2021. “Increased use of GEMS will be necessary to ensure that the DoD is able to meet future challenges in training, systems development, acquisition, training, deterrence, and warfighting.”

Parshall, Jonathan B., “What WAS Nimitz Thinking?,” Naval War College Review, Vol. 75: No. 2 (Spring 2022), Article 8. Parshall used Hughes Salvo Combat Model to explore yet more Battle of Midway scenarios.

Perla, Peter P., Design, Development, and Play of Navy Wargames, Center for Naval Analyses (CNA Professional Paper 450 / March 1987. “This paper describes some of the important elements of wargame design, development, and play. Wargame deign is the art of creating a warfare model or simulation to be used in wargaming; wargame development is the process of testing and refining the model to make it more effective in achieving its objectives; and wargame play is the exercising of the model by becoming an integral part of it.”

Perla, Peter P. and Ed McGrady, “Why Wargaming Works,” Naval War College Review, Vol. 64: No. 3 (Summer 2011), Article 8. Maybe the best discussion of what a “serious” wargame is about.

Pettyjohn, Stacie, Becca Wasser, and Chris Dougherty, Dangerous Straits: Wargaming a Future Conflict Over Taiwan, Center for New American Security (CNAS), June 2022. The public study report to accompany the Taiwan wargame played for Meet the Press (see other entry).

Phillips-Levine, Travor and Michael Kanaan, Dylan “Joose” Phillips-Levine, Walker D. Mills, and Noah Spartaro, “Weak Human, Strong Force: Applying Advanced Chess to Military AI,” War on the Rocks, July 7, 2022, https://warontherocks.com/2022/07/weak-human-strong-force-applying-advanced-chess-to-military-ai/. Discusses “Kasparov’s Law” and applications to military AI developments.

Reddie, Andrew W. and Bethany L. Goldblum, Kiran Lakkaraju, Jason Reinhart, Michael Nacht, Laura Epifanovskaya, “Next Generation Wargames,” Science, Vol362, Issue 6421 (21 December 2018), pp. 2-4. Explores “utility of new experimental gaming and data analysis methods in both policy-making and academic settings.”

Ryo, Nemoto, “Japan’s Taiwan war game exposes hurdles to expat evacuations,” Tokyo Nikkei Asia Online in English (https://asia.nikkei.com/Politics/International-relations/Taiwan-tensions/Japan-s-Taiwan-war-game-exposes-hurdles-to-expat-evacuations). Discusses a wargame used in the Japan Forum for Strategic Studies.

Seipp, Adam R. (2022) Fulda Gap: A board game, West German society, and a battle that never happened, 1975-85, War & Society, DOI: 10.1080/07292473.2022.2087401. A fascinating discussion of how Jim Dunnigan’s 1977 wargame Fulda Gap from SPI played into the anti-nuclear movement in West Germany.

Sepinsky, Jeremy and Sebastian Bae, “War-Gaming Taiwan: When Losing to China is Winning,” Center for Naval Analysis (CNA), April 3, 2022, in Foreign Policy https://foreignpolicy.com.2022/04/03/taiwan-china-war-game-military-planning-strategy/ . “Done right, war games are a plausible method of providing a brief and limited glimpse into a possible future—a single future in a multitude of possibilities.”

Sololski, Henry (2022) “A China-US war in space: The after-action report”, Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists, 78:1, 11-16 DOI 10.1080/00963402.2021.2014230. Final game report of a Non-Proliferation Center (NPEC) wargame.

Sprulin, LTC (Retired) Dale and LTC (Retired) Matthew Green, “Demystifying the Correlation of Forces Calculator,” Infantry, January-March 2017, 14-17. “This article describes the development of the COF calculator currently in use with the Department of Army Tactics (DTAC) at the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College (CGSC). It addresses the methodology used to determine the values, suggest appropriate uses of the tool, and suggest some ideas for adding professional judgement to the results.”

Uncredited, Why Machines May Kill Us in Our Sleep, general-staff.com, Accessed 11/18/2021, https://www.general-staff.com/why_machines_may_kill_us_in_our_sleep/. “Yeah, the machine performed perfectly, brilliantly, in fact. But the error in the data set killed him.”

Unattributed, “Beijing wouldn’t have an easy time with Taiwan,” Budapest Magyar Nemzet, Aug 18, 2022Interviews a lecturer at National Institute of Public Service in Budapest who uses the RAND Hegemony game.

Unknown, A Brief History of War Gaming – Reprinted from Unpublished Notes of the Author Dated 23 October 1956. “The conclusions and recommendations of this paper are those of the authors and not necessarily of the Operations Research Office. No official approval of the Department of the Army, express or implied, should be inferred.” I found this paper on the Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC) long ago, printed it, but apparently missed the accession sheet because it is missing. In was ingested into the Armed Services Technical Information Agency in October 1960.


Feature image “Naval Postgraduate School students, faculty, and visiting allied military officials execute a war-gaming exercise on hybrid warfare tactics in the Arctic region. Technology has improved war gaming at both NPS and the Naval War College, but the practice of war gaming will always be as much art as science. – U.S. NAVY (SHAWN J. STEWART)”

RockyMountainNavy.com © 2007-2022 by Ian B is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

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