Wargame SITREP 230312 N5 Plans – Bibliography for Wargaming Modern PRC Conflict

This coming week I am making an appearance on a future episode of the “Mentioned in Dispatches” podcast for the Armchair Dragoons. The topic is “China Wargaming.” The assumption I’m going into the podcast with is that we will be talking wargames about modern PRC confrontations/crisis. To help myself I’m creating a bibliography of wargames, books, and various articles I (mostly) have on hand so I can reference it during the recording.


Taipei: China Invades, Joseph Miranda, Decision Games (Strategy & Tactics #202, Mar/Apr 2000)

Next War: Taiwan, Mitchell Land, GMT Games, 2014 (I do not own but have next printing on P500)

Breaking the Chains: War in the South China Sea, John Gorkowski, Compass Games, 2014

South China Sea: Modern Naval Conflict in the South Pacific, John Gorkowski, Compass Games, 2017

Dragon and the Hermit Kingdom: The Second Korean War, Eric R. Harvey, Decision Games (Modern War #45, Nov 2019)

  • Indian Ocean Region: South China Sea – Vol. II, John Gorkowski, Compass Games, 2020

Next War: Vietnam, Mitchell Land, GMT Games, 2020

China’s Navy: Ships and Aircraft of the People’s Republic of China, 1955-2021, Expansion for Harpoon V, Admiralty Trilogy Group, 2021

Flashpoint: South China Sea, Harold Buchanan, GMT Games, 2022

Littoral Commander: Indo-Pacific, Sebastian Bae, The Dietz Foundation, forthcoming 2023.


Ackerman, Elliot, and James Stavridis. 2034: A novel of the next World War. New York: Penguin Press, 2021. 

Brands, Hal, and Michael Beckley. Danger Zone: The coming conflict with China. New York: W.W. Norton & Company, 2022.

Bussert, James C., and Bruce A. Elleman. People’s Liberation Army Navy: Combat Systems Technology, 1949-2010. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2011.

McDevitt, Michael A.. China as a Twenty First Century Naval Power: Theory, Practice, and Implications. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 2020.

Saunders, Phillip C., Arthur S. Ding, Andrew Scobell, Yang Andrew N D., and Joel Wuthnow. Chairman XI Remakes the PLA: Assessing Chinese Military Reforms. Washington, D.C.: National Defense University Press, 2019. 

Singer, P.W., and August Cole. Ghost Fleet: A novel of the next World War. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2015.

Articles, Dissertations, Reports

China Wargame Simulation: NPEC Wargame Report 2001. NPEC, Oct 2020 (features work by Mark Herman)

Sokolski, Henry ed., China Waging War in Space: An After-Action Report (Occasional Paper 2104), , NPEC, Aug 2021.

Kania, Elsa B., and Ian Burns McCaslin. Learning Warfare from the Laboratory: China’s Progression in Wargaming and Opposing Force Training. ISW, Sep 2021.

Dougherty, Chris, and Jennie Matuschak, Ripley Hunter. The Poison Frog Strategy: Preventing a Chinese Fait accompli Against Taiwanese Islands. CNAS, Oct 2021

Seitz, Sam and Elliot Ji. “Wargaming a Taiwan Crisis: How to interpret recent findings.” uscnpm.org, 30 Sep 2022.

Ryo, Nemoto. “Japan’s Taiwan war game exposes hurdles to expat evacuations.” Tokyo Nikkei Asia, 9 Aug 2022.

Myers, Diana Y., Thinking About the Unthinkable: Examining North Korea’s Military Threat to China. Diana Y. Myers, Pardee RAND Graduate School dissertation, Sep 2022.

Cancian, Mark F. and Matthew Cancian, Eric Heginbotham. The First Battle of the Next War: Wargaming a Chinese Invasion of Taiwan, CSIS, January 2023.

“Unified Pacific intel wargame ‘Pacific Winds’ offers key insights to deter potential adversaries and address global challenges.” U.S. Department of Defense Indo-Pacific Command press release, 2 Feb 2023.

Dong, Shuquin, et.al., “Intelligent decisionmaking method of battle command based on situation data driving.” Proceedings of the China Conference on Command and Control, 3 Feb 2023.

Ryan, Mick. “How China is using Ukraine to wargame Taiwan.” Opinion Newsletter, 8 Feb 2023.

Akutsu, Hiroyasu. “‘Linkage of Fighting and Thinking’ as Seen in U.S. Army’s Unified Pacific Wargame Series.”, Japan-U.S. Alliance Study, https://www.spf.org/japan-us-alliance-study/en/index.php?prev1&d=article&p=document-detail004.html, 22 Feb 2023.

Chen, Stephen. “Chinese AI plays war games like a human, with military strategists unable to identify it as a machine, developers say.” South China Morning Post, 23 Feb 2023.

Reiko, Miki. “Japan could lose 144 jet fighters in Taiwan crisis: simulation.” Tokyo Nikkei Asia Online, 24 Feb 2023.


CNAS wargame on NBC Meet the Press
CNAS Wargame lessons learned

Feature image courtesy PRC netizens

RockyMountainNavy.com © 2007-2023 by Ian B is licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0

12 thoughts on “Wargame SITREP 230312 N5 Plans – Bibliography for Wargaming Modern PRC Conflict

  1. Are you looking for additions to this list? If so, there are a number of obvious things to add:


    Next War: Korea

    Red Dragon Rising

    I also found that Miranda’s (iirc) S&T game about the potential invasion of Formosa in 1945 was an interesting look at what the US was planning to do – they were vastly more experienced in amphibious warfare then than the PLA(N) is now

    Books: Graham Allison’s Destined for War (the Thucydides trap) is a pretty essential look at how such a war might be averted (and how difficult that might prove to be)

    Brendon Taylor’s Four Flashpoints, how Asia goes to War is a good overview of where the danger lies

    Taylor’s Dangerous Decade puts some flesh on the bone of a Taiwan scenario

    But the daddy of them all is Ian Easton’s The Chinese Invasion Threat, a wargamers level assessment of how an invasion of Taiwan would unfold

    Articles: There are literally thousands, but for your purpose the US Naval War College series the Chinese Maritime Report is gold. They are up to #26 now, and even the report titles will get the juices flowing.

    I also keep my eye on Foreign Affairs, War on the Rocks and the various reports DoD and others present to various congressional committees.

    Good luck with the speech.

    1. I was listing titles I hold in my collection, but ALWAYS on the lookout for a more complete listing. Appreciate your adds!

  2. One other possible future scenario for Chinese conflict is that one day the country’s internal stresses will make it fall apart into regional part-states that fight with each other for control over resources and infrastructure, as has happened many times in the past.
    Years ago I made up an extensive variant for SPI’s 1979 game The China War called “The East in Shreds” that covered an up to six-way war of warlords within China, including incursions or assistance by Russia, Taiwan and the US. Last version was done in 2013; I could not change the map but I did make counters to account for the much smaller PLA, and some updated unit types not present in the original design.



    1. Interesting (off to download what I can)…

      1. Small bit of crafting involved but I hope you will find it interesting.

      2. What’s a wargame without a bit of some crafting?

    2. “The East in Shreds.” Brian, you are killing me! That’s hilarious. I had the original “The East is Red” oh so long ago…I see it’s on BGG for cheap. Where is my wallet?

      1. Correction, the original “China War” is going for as low as $11 in like new condition. Hmmm.

      2. Copies of The China War are not that hard to find, this was about peak circulation time for S&T when their print run was well over 20,000 copies.
        An intrepid fellow could make up a set of these new counters for the game’s VASSAL module (I’m sure one exists) if they have no physical copy.

  3. You left out “Red Dragon Rising Deluxe Edition” currently in the Decision Games Pledge program – https://shop.decisiongames.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=P1029 or the original S&T version on the secondary market.

    1. I (unfortunately) neither own nor have pledged for that one (working to rectify error of my ways…).

      1. I think the deluxe version was supposed to be out last fall, but it’s late…shockaroo.

        If you have ever done Matrix games, these are available (I use them in school):

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