This video shows how wide ranging issues within a seminar war game may be. The issues here
are arguably not part of national defence, under a restrictive definition. Yet, this video shows
how the military have to be aware of economic consequences. Seminar war games, when appropriate,
must have plausible means to assess the interaction between economic issues and military issues
-- they cannot always be kept separate.
Unified Quest 2011 included seminars that hardly had a war game structure at all. Participants
were given scenarios of the future and engaged in seminars to assess the consequences in a professional
manner on assigned topics. The video describes how scenarios and seminars (and this was short of
being a seminar war game) can address critical issues of the military profession.
Over several decades the Public Broadcasting System and Columbia University produced television
programs of seminars intended to educate Americans on issues of public importance.
Fred Friendly, former president of CBS
News and later on Columbia's faculty, initiated this work and his name has become associated with the
ongoing activity. Snippets of recent programs illustrate the use of 'hypotheticals' or 'case studies'
that are largely the civilian counterparts to seminar war games, as they would be used in a military
setting. In particular the snippets illustrate the skills required of a facilitator in seminar war
gaming. Some examples can be seen at:
More than twenty years before this presentation, Peter Perla published
"What Wargaming Is and Is Not" (written with Raymond Barrett) where he said "First and foremost wargaming
is not analysis in the usual sense of rigorous quantitative dissection of a problem." So why was he invited
to talk to analysts on "Wargaming and Analysis"? Perla restates his position from 1985 and segregates game
designers into three categories: "analyst", "artist", and "architect". The delineation is instructive, although
he acknowledges: "Most actual designs incorporate elements of all three approaches." Perla claims that designers
who live only in the "analyst" community are now in retreat, with those incorporating ideas from the other two
communities in the ascendency. Text to accompany Perla's presentation was published in
MORS Phalanx magazine (Dec 2008); it
provides a deeper understanding and a more nuanced characterization of his points.
This is the complete text of the second edition that has been made available on the Web. A third edition
has been published (see below). The book acknowledges recent advances in
computer-based gaming, but it seems like the author's heart is still in a dingy basement in Manhattan when
civilian fans of board gaming felt they
could take on the big guys of professional war gaming, like the US Army, and win. Well, they did! But time
has passed and computer-supported games of following generations are more than simply the old rules and
maps transferred to computers (as Dunnigan reckoned they would be).
However, this book is still relevant to game designers for its coverage of issues like roles within a
game-designing team and the production cycle to get a game design out to its audience (have you considered the
need for quality control in game production? Dunnigan was doing that in the early 1970's.)
An issue of US Air Force Space Command's High Frontier magazine was devoted to the Schriever Wargame
2010 (the sixth in the series). The various articles cover the activity from many perspectives: the Commander's,
civilian political leaders', USAF scientists', and allies'. The main topics within the games were highly technical
-- the space and cyber domains -- but the focus of the games was to have leaders debate the consequences and other
issues though a dialectic approach that would be familiar to the ancient Greeks -- it was largely the
Socratic Method. The senior participants discussed
the impacts of future technologies from the space and cyber realms, and also the implications back on the military
of greater engagement of civilians in these areas. The Air Force's Chief Scientist and his staff found support for
various technical initiatives, such as an increasing need for systems that exhibit "cyber resilience".
Caffery is at Air University and spent a substantial portion of his career in air force war gaming. This
PowerPoint presentation submits "ACE" as a mnemonic for how war games can assist designers and participants:
to Anticipate, to Communicate, and to Educate. Caffery also elaborates on the use of war
gaming in developing strategy and on the US Air Force's commitment to its
Title X War Games: the Air Force Futures Games.
Lt Col Caffery opens with his views on distinguishing between modelling, simulation, and war gaming. Most
of the article is a concise history of the various eras of using game-based methods to develop a stronger
understanding of military issues of the day, and to develop doctrines that are relevant and effective for their
time. He goes back as far as the origins of games like chess and go for some historical context, but he focuses
on a century and a half of development and application that started with the Prussian military schools using
Kriegsspiel in the mid-1800s.
This public statement from the Navy's top leader includes many points on war gaming as an important method
in achieving institutional goals of the US Navy. The document gives guidance for a wide spectrum of issues to
ensure the relevance of the Navy, so war gaming is only a small part of his guidance, but a vital one.
In 1996 a NATO study was launched to consider technologies and their applications in land operations circa
2020. As the study proceeded a long list of canditate technologies was winnowed down in what was called the
CRITECH exercise (for critical technologies). CRITECH started with 142 technologies and culled this to a list
first of 63 technologies and then to 34 technologies. For a subsequent technology seminar war game 12 concept
systems were constructed from the CRITECH results. Chapter 6 of the study report provides a summary of the
technology seminar war game method as it was applied. The same wargaming methods were later applied to a NATO
study of urban operations.
Following NATO's Land Operations 2020 study, a follow-on study was commissioned to
investigate specifics of urban terrain and highly populated areas in the same epoch -- the NATO Urban Operations
2020 study. Annex D covers the application of a seminar war game, and it followed fairly closely the application
in the earlier Land Operations 2020 study.
This article is valuable from a historical perspective. During his tenure as Army Chief of Staff,
General Dennis Reimer initiated seminar war gaming by
Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) to "conduct broad studies of warfare
to about the year 2025 to frame issues vital to the development of the Army after about 2010". The series is now
called Unified Quest and continues to engage the Army's leaders in thinking about its future, linked jointly
to other military services and to allies as well.
This article focuses on efforts to shape the US's military forces through "the conduct of simulated conflicts,
or wargames, in the laboratories of the nation's think tanks and war colleges". It provides a valuable historical
perspective dating back to the early twentieth century, and leading into General Reimer's instigation of a new round
of war gaming to consider the shape of US Army of the future. Acknowledging that it would be unrealistic for a series
of war games to determine "a precise estimate of requirements", the authors propose that "the goal is to describe a
range of capabilities that joint and combined forces will bring to operations in the first decades of the next century".
The authors start with: "Wargaming is an established and time-honored mechanism through which proposed defense concepts,
doctrine, and tactics are explored, and there is a rich literature that describes its uses and applications." But they observe
that towards the end of the 20th century "single-service wargames find it easy to avoid the tough choices likely to be generated
in a joint environment". They highlight several technologies that should be studied in a joint context lest a single-service
perspective deem them low priorities for that service: "stealth, long-range precision strike, reduced logistic footprints, and
command and control". In the intervening decade all have emerged as vital in the joint context.
The authors review Title X war games as played by the Navy, Army, and Air Force at the turn of the century (2001). "The
mechanics of the games, each typically involving hundreds of military and civilian professionals, are quite similar, positing
a future conflict between the armed forces of the United States (occasionally assisted by allies) and a capable, although not
necessarily symmetric, adversary." The authors are cautious about the use of computer support in such activities: "The temptation
to trust the 'fast, accurate, but dumb' computer, unquestioned by 'slow, sloppy, but brilliant' humans, is one of the greatest
hazards for war gamers... Describing most large wargames as 'model-aided' is therefore more accurate than terming them 'computer-driven.'"
The authors dwell at some length on how each of the Title X games of that era had 'a decidedly single-service orientation' (a point
they pursued in a previous article). In the intervening decade determining outcomes in Title X games
continues to be 'model-aided' (no single computer program has emerged with an ability to adjudicate results), but their nature has
tended more towards joint operations, which must allow the authors some satisfaction.
This brief entry provides the context of Millennium Challenge 2002 war game, "likely the largest such exercise in history". As
with the whole Millennium Challenge series, the activity in 2002 was intended to illuminate the impending transformation of US military
Lt Gen Paul Van Riper, USMC (Ret'd), started JFCOM's Millennium
Challenge experiment of 2002 as the Red Commander. During the play of the seminar war game he resigned his position in protest
over not being permitted to exercise "free play" -- at this point in the game many major surface combatants in the US fleet that he
had sunk or crippled had been "re-floated" by the game's umpire. The
controversy that followed Van Riper's resignation contributed to the perpetual debate on just how much (or how little) player
creativity should be constrained or allowed within a war game.
Under the leadership of MGen Mike Ward, a Canadian Army team conducted seminar war gaming on concepts for the future army operating
in open terrain. The intent was to compare and contrast two force structures (EXFOR A and EXFOR B) through war gaming them in a scenario
set in 2020.
A second seminar war game for the Canadian Army investigated future army concepts applied to urban terrain. In this case there were
three force structures played in three simultaneous war games. The benchmark for comparisons was EXFOR C, a slightly modernized version
of Canada's existing Main Contingency Force. EXFOR A and EXFOR B were redesigned for the era (2025), one evolutionary and the other
In 2006 the Canadian Forces conducted seminar war games on the Army of Tomorrow, a force for circa 2020. Below are links to a
handbook prepared for the participants, a primer of background information they could use as reference material, and the proceedings. As
a package this trilogy provides prototype documentation how a war game has been planned and executed.
Handbook for Army of Tomorrow Seminar War Gaming. In advance of the seminar war
game, this document was widely distributed to prepare participants and to apprise others of what was about to transpire. It provides
a useful paradigm of the sort of preparatory document that should precede most seminar war games.
The Army of Tomorrow -- Assessing Concepts and Capabilities For Land
This war game introduced a number of features that most participants
would have found novel, even revolutionary. To prepare them thought
pieces on a variety of topics were prepared as a read-in package. The
participants were told that one objective of the seminar war game was
to test and critique the material in the primer: they were by no means
to take the material as sacrosanct. While a read-in package is not
necessary for all seminar war games, it can be valuable in getting a
quick start to the activity.
of the Army of Tomorrow Seminar Wargame.
Following the war gaming activity, this document was distributed to all
concerned. In one package it contains a recapitulation of much of the
preparatory material, e.g., rules, scenarios, and force structures.
the others in this trilogy, it provides a format for communicating the
results of a seminar war game.
The full text of the second edition of this useful
handbook is on line. The text has been superseded by a third edition.
All three editions focus on the board games techniques that were
popular in 1960s, 1970s, and 1980s. While Dunnigan discusses aspects of
computer-based wargames, the second edition sees this as largely a way
to automate the algorithms of the board games. The third edition
(published in 2000) is out-of-date about computer-based gaming, and is
little better than the second edition since the text in two chapters on
computer wargames has hardly changed.
When Commander-in-Chief of CENTCOM (1999), Gen Zinni
commissioned a war game on Iraq that would address a period following
the fall of Saddam Hussein.
Declassified material on DESERT CROSSING shows how the scenarios were
developed, participants chosen, and the seminar war game conducted. The
after action report is particularly illuminating. Redacted emails from
the preparation phase illustrate some of the issues that were
discussed amongst Zinni's staff, such as criteria for choosing who
should participate in war games and what roles they should be assigned.
Today - The OR Society Newsletter
In an article from the OR society newsletter Douglas
remarks on recent
publications on the
use of gaming to develop strategy, including a
mention of Gen Zinni's DESERT CROSSING exercise. The author poses a
relevant question about seminar war game methods: "Is There O.R.
John Mingers, a noted British OR practitioner, takes his
American colleagues to task for largely ignoring soft
outlines impediments he perceives within the structure of the American
OR community that seem to draw OR practitioners towards using
quantitative methods, even while more "qualitative" or
"judgement-based" approaches might suit the problem at hand. While not
specifically mentioned in the article, seminar war games should be
classified as a soft OR method, albeit with some aspects of
math-physics in areas like resolving combat outcomes. The methods that
Mingers describes can be valuable in the problem structuring that
accompanies preparing for a seminar war game, brainstorming in the
middle of a seminar war game, and addressing of
the results. Minger's
list of references is available to those who may wish to
Col Peter Garretson provides a recent briefing (2008) that covers views
on the future of war gaming from the perspective of HQ USAF. He
playfully charactertizes findings from gaming by four visceral
responses: "A-Ha", "U-Oh", "Ooops", and "Hmmm". He pejoratively
characterizes the current US military communities' Title X wargames as
BOGSAT (bunch of guys sitting around a table) and clearly aspires to
see the USAF do better.
wrote this article in 1997 when the Army After Next (AAN) was the focus
of the US Army's Title X war games. Here he uses four "alternate
futures" to encourage thinking about where the Army will be in 2020. In
many respects it is a military counterpart to the scenario-based
thinking from authors in the business world like Schwartz, Ralston and
Wilson, and van
Engle focuses on "storytelling games". While his approach may initially
juvenile, he highlights some important aspects of seminar war games --
that they could be used to tell stories of military operations,
historical or fictional. "The Engle Matrix Game is a simple low tech
game engine for running a wide variety of games." More on matrix games
is available from the hobby gaming community, notably Wargame
The report has a very detailed description of seminar war
gaming for a domestic security issue, planning for the Olympic Winter
Games in 2010. A presentation
to accompany the report is available. These games were used to draw
together agencies with diverse cultures by "helping the marine security
agencies organize their planning, and uncover gaps and issues in their
plans, and to gain
mutual understanding of their respective capabilities and mandates".
The author points out some serious application of matrix gaming that
were derived from the Engle Matrix Game.
Edward Tufte's campaign to improve how quantitative
should be presented can be followed at his web site.
Techniques in Evidence Presentations and Graphing
(this thread starts in 2001, so scroll to the bottom to see
the latest, including pros and cons of R). Tufte's material is intended
to cover all aspects of presenting quantitative material, and there is
no specific connection to seminar war games.
In a period of just over 20 years, the Naval War College
from relatively unrealistic assessments of what might happen in a
US-Japanese war in the Pacific to a fairly accurate assessment of what
the US Navy and the other US services would have to do if they were to
defeat the Japanese Empire.
Although dated, this RAND report contains advice on
design for political-military or military war games. Chapter IV on
"Scenario Composition" in particular has advice on developing scenarios
appropriate to the issues at hand.
This paper is a summary based on the authors' involvement
with war gaming
at the Naval War College in the early 1980s -- war gaming that was
innovative for its time and had a considerable impact on the US Navy,
the other US services, and American allies.
authors take the view that: "A wargame is, at heart, an
exercise in human interaction, and the interplay of human
decisions...". They also make the point that: "The fourth element of a
wargame [of the six they propose] is a set of models, usually
which translate data and decisions into game events. Models must
be flexible enough to deal with unforeseen player decisions". For some
seminar war games an umpire or controller will resolve event
interactions (particularly when the interactions are complex and no
suitable model is available). It is appropriate to note that from the Kriegsspiel
idea the German war games split into "rigid" and "free" Kriegsspiel
with "free Kriegsspiel" having similarity to seminar war games for the
discretion which is allowed to an umpire or control staff in deciding
outcomes. For resolving other event interactions, e.g., the time
required to unload an amphibious ship or the results of a combat
engagement, reliable models may be available; there may even exist
well-respected computer code that can quickly give accurate results.
Perla and Barrett characterize war games as "either
games or system games". They go on: "In a seminar game (typically an
open game), opposing players discuss the sequence of moves and
countermoves they are likely to make in a given situation, arriving at
a mutually reasonable assessment of what interactions are likely to
occur. The control team assesses the results of those interactions and
reports back to the players. The process is repeated for each of the
"moves" in the game. Usually seminar games use moves of various lengths
of real time (time steps) and so tend to resolve different periods of
the war at different levels of detail."
Perla and Barrett provide a comparison of
gaming, campaign analysis, and systems analysis. At that time,
campaign analysis was heavily based on attrition models and gaming
provided a means to investigate the human dimension of military
operations in a way that allowed players to have more impact on
Perla and Branting compare exercises with war gaming:
usually focus on training, with research interests largely centered on
measuring operational capability. War games have also been used
traditionally as training aids, but have become more and more popular
as tools for exploring decision processes." Then they compare analysis
with wargaming: "Wargaming, on the other hand, is a tool for exploring
the effects of human interpretation of information. Wargames focus on
the decisions players make, how and why they are made, and the effects
that they have."
This article provides wider public access to a previous
publication from the Center for Naval Analyses on the topic. Perla
provides a taxonomy if three ways that the Navy evaluates its combat
capabilities: (1) war games, (2) systems or operations analyses, and
(3) exercises. In a detailed comparison between war gaming and
he points out the many similarities, but particularly elaborates on the
ability of war games to 'allow for the continual adjustments of
strategies and tactics by both sides in response to developing results
and events not seen in campaign analysis'.
The ABCA Armies' Program developed their
Analysis Handbook to be applied a variety of coalition activities including
seminar war games and command post exercises.
This handbook covers the critical steps of planning and executing analysis for
a large-scale event, in this case a division-level command post exercise with the
military services of five nations participating. The procedures include activities
that are critical to good analysis like developing an analysis plan and a data collection
and management plan (DCMP). The handbook also includes more mundane aspects like room
layout, scheduling of events, qualifications for members of the team, and the training
of analysts and observers.
Thomas B. Allen, War Games:
Secret World of the Creators, Players, and Policy Makers Rehearsing
World War III Today, Naval Institute Press, Annapolis, MD,
This book has an element of conspiracy theory behind it:
author returns over and over to the theme of: What scenarios are gamed
the secret depths of the Pentagon? Why are the scenarios and results
not shared with the public?
Dunnigan, How to Make
War: A Comprehensive Guide to Modern Warfare, rev. ed.,
Morrow, New York, 1988 (Now available in a third
Peter P. Perla, The Art of Wargaming: A Guide
Professionals and Hobbyists, Naval Institute Press,
This remains an essential reference in the study of war
It represented Perla's synthesis of many articles of the previous
decade that he had authored or co-authored.
Schwartz. The Art of
the Long View: Planning for
the Future. Doubleday Paperback, April 1996
Schwartz singles out Herman Kahn and his
“thinking about the unthinkable” which started with Kahn using
scenario building for the US Air
Force in the early Cold War (when at the RAND Corporation). The book
describes a method of using
scenario building to foster institutional learning and to assist
long-range planning. The author has experience in using this method
with major corporations (notably Royal Dutch Shell) as a way of
encouraging leaders to see beyond the limits of their own perspectives,
biases, assumptions and expectations. The book constitutes a handbook
on the process of scenario planning, with a road map included. His
approach consists of the following:
Define a common question
Reflect on individual biases and assumptions
Engage in broad and creative research
Think critically about the most important factors and
Act out the implications of decisions in multiple
Develop a shared analysis and plan of action that is
for all plausible futures”
The book has appendices with a step-by-step guide to
scenarios and a user’s guide for incorporating scenario building into
“strategic conversations”. Schwartz is a co-founder of GBN Global Business Network,
that continues to develop scenarios for the business community. The
company web site has background
and training material on scenarios. The Ralston
Wilson book is more recent than Schwartz's book and
more in the format
of a handbook. The Kees van
book covers similar ground and is a more recent view of
building by Royal Dutch Shell.
Handbook: How to Play and Design
Commercial and Professional Wargames, 3rd ed., Writers
Press, San Jose, CA, 2000
The author is a former captain in the US Marines who
doctrine writer and concept developer. He subsequently produced this
handy guide on developing military concepts. While targeted for readers
with a similar background -- service personnel assigned to a concepts
or future-thinking team -- the contents are valuable to all engaged in
developing, proposing, testing, and promoting future military concepts.
In the context of seminar war games, this guide covers what is
necessary in concept development to get to the start of the war gaming
is covered in the epilogue, along with a spectrum of other methods
used to develop and validate a concept.
TRADOC Analysis Center. Constraints, Limitations, and Assumptions
Guide. TRADOC Analysis Center, 255 Sedgwick Avenue, Fort Leavenworth, KS, May 2005
This guide provides analysts with advice on maintaining a list of constraints, limitations and
assumptions (CLA) within a study. While not intended specifically for games, the guide remains of
value for those preparing to use games for any analytic study. Ultimately the results of the study
will depend on CLA associated. It is best to maintain a list as a "living document" as CLA can emerge
unexpectedly and should be recorded as they become apparent.
Bill Ralston and Ian Wilson. The Scenario Planning Handbook: Developing
Strategies in Uncertain Times. Thompson, Mason, Ohio, 2006
This book opens with an introduction on using scenarios of the future to develop strategic plans in
the corporate world. While not intended for those who plan and execute seminar war games in a largely
military setting, there is still a lot of valuable advice for those who do. As the title suggests, the
authors provide a series of steps (18 in all) that go from developing a case with clients, customers, or
sponsors on scenario-based thinking through to communicating the results once scenarios been developed and
the consequences studied. The book is not about war gaming, so has little to say about how to arrange that
aspect. However Step 15 is for "rehearsing the future with scenarios", and has advice on how to engage a
team in playing decision-making roles where they have to delve into the scenarios developed in earlier steps
and consider the consequence. Since scenario-based thinking (and this book) is more about developing scenarios
and since the book is for those working largely in a business setting, the procedures of Step 15 are
hardly adequate for planning and executing a seminar war game in the context of military conflict.
The book includes handy appendices with checklists on running workshops -- valuable for any brainstorming
workshop, not just those related to scenario development.
Kees van der Heijden. Scenarios: The Art of Strategic Conversation.
2nd ed. Wiley, Chichester, UK, 2005
The author was also associated with the successes at Royal Dutch/Shell in scenario-based thinking.
His book is a worthy companion to the Ralston and Wilson book. However, this book
is a bit less of a handbook. Nevertheless it well-structured to teach scenario-based thinking. Operational
research analysts will find Chapter 9 "The Practitioner's Art" valuable for its advice, inter alia, on
interviewing, running a SWOT workshop, and eliciting
feedback in other forms. Chapter 12 on "Scenario Development" provides excellent advice on the topic (with
recipe-like clarity) and includes using influence
diagrams for the alternate reality that will ultimately be captured in the scenarios.
Perla's article provides background from his talk to a MORS workshop on "Wargaming and the Analyst". While
the text accompanying the original presentation provides a glimpse of Perla's thinking, this article provides a
more complete development of his points. One of his points, with the provocative use of 'black swan', is to point
out that much of the campaign analysis he has seen is based on the most expected outcomes. Thus 'black swan'
outcomes, unexpected results, must be addressed in some other manner -- Perla proposes war gaming to deal
Mark Herman, Mark Frost, Robert Kurz, Wargaming for Leaders: Strategic Decision
Making from the Battlefield to the Boardroom, McGraw-Hill, New York, 2009
The authors have all been associated with seminar war games that Booz Allen Hamilton developed and conducted
for US military commands. The book briefly covers some of these, including DESERT CROSSING done in 1999 for
Gen Zinni when he was CINC CENTCOM. The authors reveal little of the mechanisms their company's consultants
have used to develop and conduct seminar war games. They provide compelling arguments that seminar war games
have been valuable in military decision making in the past and are growing increasingly valuable in contributions
to developing strategies in the business world.
Andrew Krepinevich. 7 Deadly Scenarios: A Military Futurist Explores War in the
21st Century. Bantam, 2009
Krepinevich asserts that "Scenarios can help Pentagon planners confront difficult questions that the
secretary of defense poses to them". To assist, he proposes seven scenarios he has crafted to take them
"out of their comfort zone". He does not claim his book will inoculate DoD planners against all surprises:
"Does this [that the seven scenarios cannot cover every eventuality] mean that the United States may still
find itself surprised? Yes, but properly done, a scenario-planning process will reduce the likelihood of its
being caught totally unawares."
This is a practical guide for military desk officers working on future concepts and deals with assessments
of potential concepts. For example, section 2.6 deals with sources of expertise for assessment, from the leading
"action officer" who typically has considerable experience from a specialization within military operations,
through all of the supporting expertise that needs to be available, from doctrine specialists, to analysts, and
on to cost estimators. This checklist of necessary expertise is just as applicable to a game-based project, which
can be a component of an assessment study. Thus the steps in the user's guide provide a valuable and practical
road map to conducting studies by applying game techniques. Games are mentioned frequently as one of many methods
that can and should be used in assessments, with an operator's view on the merits of these diverse methods, and
As preparation for a report to the Naval War College on the future of its gaming procedures, the authors
interviewed a number experts and practitioners in multi-level seminar war games. Participants ranged from those
in the private sector through academia to the four military services -- army, navy, marines, and air force.
This report is a summary of those interviews. Since this report was largely a transcript of interviews, the
contradictions and different perspectives between experts is evident along with significant points of
This report constitutes advice to the Naval War College on its future Title X games (predominantly the
Global War Game series). The scale of these games is at the extreme of seminar war game applications, with
hundreds of players representing tactical, operational and strategic levels simultaneously -- typical seminar
war games have tens of players working at either the tactical or the operational or the strategic
The authors call previous activity, like a Global War Game of the 1980s and early 1990s, 'a melded seminar
game'. In this report they provide the term 'multi-level war game' for games we are likely to see in the future
at NWC. In large-scale seminar war games, the controller functions are divided between a Game Director and his
principal supporters (a Director of Assessment and a Director of Adjudication), and these may have large staffs
in their own right. While seminar games on a smaller scale may not have the luxury of such a robust control staff,
it is well to keep the functions intellectually isolated to ensure each role is properly addressed.
Another notion that can be adopted in seminar gaming at all levels is 'a hybrid process of closed planning and
open adjudication' (a term the authors attribute to gamers at Quantico). This means that player sides are
sequestered from each other for planning activity but meet for 'an open adjudication process'. This is to retain
critical aspects of 'surprise and uncertainty', fundamental characteristics of most military operations.
The US Army and the Army War College -- Seminar War Games for Education and Professional Development