Wargame Demo--1000 to 1500, Wednesday 23 August: Ellis Hall, Marine Corps University, Quantico, VA

Come one, come all to participate in or witness a number of different wargames played in historic Ellis Hall at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Virginia, from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on Wednesday, 23 August.  This event is hosted by Dr. Bill Lademan of the Wargaming Division of the Marine Corps Warfighting Laboratory.  The event is free, so come on over!

I'll be running my Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit #1 demonstration using Scenario S1: "Retaking Vierville" with space for four players!  You do not need to know the rules in order to play; I'll be teaching them as we go along!

To find out more about the game, see here.

To find out more about the scenario, check out the attachment!

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     I'm glad you're doing this.  If I can get leave, I'll join you all.  What's Lademan running?  Will Jim Lacey be there?



I'm not sure Jim Lacey will be there, but I'll be surprised if he doesn't stop by since he works just across the quad.  Wargame Division is just demonstrating commercial wargaming.  The miniatures game looks to be quite awesome--if I wasn't doing an ASLSK demo, I'd be playing in it!

Hope you get a chance to escape for a bit!



Here we see the commanders of the 1st Battalion, 504th Parachute Infantry Regiment, deciding on their approach to reinforce a beleaguered platoon in the center of Vierville on 7 June, 1944.  The game is Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit #1.

Matt Woodhead (left) and Brian Burgess (right) are the wily Germans, seeking to wrest Vierville from the Americans and block the egress of forces from Utah Beach beginning on June 7th, 1944. The game is Advanced Squad Leader Starter Kit #1.

Turns out I had already committed to running a SimBAT course this past week.  When will I ever get my work and home calendars linked in my head?

    I ran a one-day event -- ironically, on the 23rd.  I used L2 DesignGroup's re-issuance of War at Sea.  First time trial run.  Sounds silly, I know, but I find simple games can be used to highlight deep fundamentals when they are embedded as lab in a lesson plan involving some talk and a series of supporting exercises (checklist-style drills requiring students to understand the game and link it to concepts presented).  For War at Sea, it's pretty simple: sea control/denial and the principles of war (especially mass vs economy of force...maybe I'll go Clausewitzian and hit them with 'attrition' vs 'annihilation'...I'm still designing the lesson plan).

     Stay in touch, Tim

I like War at Sea a great deal and can easily see your points!  The L2 version is certainly a much nicer surface to play on!  

I've found some success in coming up with short one-pager "strategy' tips--ideally a player gets several and chooses one to execute.  Gets people oriented faster.  Can think of several strategic approaches/controversies for your game that might suffice.  

Didn't do that for my game and probably should have as the U.S. team members were not wargamers and it might have helped them.  

That's an interesting idea.  I usually have my trainee/player cells 'JOPP' their way to a CoA/oplan through deliberation and CFA exercises (Critical Factors Analysis -- Joe Strange stuff with the errors about Critical Requirements fixed).  But I'm not sure how easily WaS lends itself, and the Eur-Lant-Med situation lent itself, to strategic planning.  How to cut through the distributed attrition to a focused plan that exploits CritVulns?  (Very Clausewitzian qstn!)  I myself have not determined all of these CVs yet and would appreciate your insights greatly.

    I will say that my Allied Cell found a good plan: take out the Regia Marina through a massive shift of forces south/economy of force north, and then shift back for the long northern struggle.

    Actually, I ran two tables in this, my first adult iteration (after a trial run with my lads).  At one table, the Allies won a decisive victory; at the other, the Axis did.

    Well!  So much for me recognizing any patterns!

Lot of wargame literature whether to do the Med early as the Allies or not to.  So that would form at least two different one-pagers; one could work CFA into the estimate paragraph for either.  If  I remember correctly there's also debates on how much to commit to the Barents Sea as well.  Axis one-pagers could be built as response strategies to whichever one the Allies pick.  Again, the wargame literature is pretty extensive and could be leveraged to write these.

The Strange/JP 5-0 CFAs work well enough to arrive at deficiencies; how vulnerable these are depends on the statistical analysis of what can be massed against a particular weak area.  The issues usually revolve around force allocation dilemmas and risk.  

Of course, your mileage will vary.  Those strategies in the literature are after hundreds of plays.  And luck does matter (YAHTZEE!!!!)....   :-)


Is there a chance this event may be run next summer as well. I am changing school districts this year and was in new teacher training so I missed this years occasion. I would love to attend something like this. Please keep us informed of such meetings. I think they are great ideas.

Wayne, indeed, it will happen next summer.  Wargame Division does this every year.  Like you, I've not always been able to attend because of teaching.  I think there's going to be an even near Christmas as a sort of "one off"--people want to do this more often than just once a year!


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