Connections 2018

Below is an archived version of the Connections 2018 agenda.  Presentations are linked at each agenda item if they are available for distribution.

2018 Agenda

2018 Theme/Goal: (War)gaming for Understanding

Day 1, Tuesday, 17 July 2018

Time Activity Location
0745 Registration Opens Lincoln Hall (LH) Lobby
0830 – 0840 Welcome

Vice Admiral Fritz Roegge, President, National Defense University

LH Auditorium
0840 – 0940 Introduction to Wargaming

Matt Caffrey

LH Auditorium
0940 – 1000 Break LH Lobby
1000 – 1120 Seminar Session I

(See Box Below)

LH Auditorium, 1105/1106/1107/1108/1119
1120 – 1230 Lunch

Careers in Wargaming Table in LH 1105

LH South Atrium, Cafeteria, 1105/1107/1119
1230 – 1350 Seminar Session II

(See Box Below)

LH Auditorium, 1105/1106/1107/1108/1119
1350 – 1410 Break LH Lobby
1410 – 1430 Introduction to Demos and Game Showcase

(See descriptions at the bottom of this webpage)

LH Auditorium
1430 – 1700 Game Showcase (Facilitated Wargame Tutorials)

Merle Robinson and Gordon Bliss

LH 1105/1106/1107/1108/1119
1430 – 1700 Demos and Posters Session

Sean Brady

LH 1105/1106/1107/1108/1119
1700 – 2000 Icebreaker LH South Atrium and Cafeteria


LH Auditorium LH 1105 LH 1107 LH 1119 LH 1106 LH 1108
Seminar Session I History of Wargaming

Matt Caffrey

Wargaming as Part of the US Army’s Military Decision Making Process (MDMP)

Mike Dunn

Game Design 101

James Sterrett

Kriegsspiel in the British Army – Design, Procedure, Experience

Tom Mouat

Effective Playtesting

Christopher Cummins

Perspectives on Counterinsurgency Wargaming

Brian Train

Seminar Session II Wargame Pathologies

Chris Weuve

Military Heuristic Bias Decisions

Uwe Eickert and Mark Gelston

Introduction to Combat Modeling

Joe Saur

Matrix Gaming Introduction

Tom Mouat and Rex Brynen

Graphic Design for Wargaming

Mike Markowitz

Wargaming Literature Overview

Tim Moench



Day 2, Wednesday, 18 July 2018

Time Activity Location
0830 – 0840 Welcome

Matt Caffrey

LH Auditorium
0840 – 0930 Keynote:

Playing War: U.S. Naval Interwar Wargaming

John M. Lillard

LH Auditorium
0930 – 0950 Break LH Lobby
0950 – 1140 Panel: Design

Design and Decide with War-Games: IDF’s Strategic Wargaming in Operational Design and National Security Decision-Making

Goor Tsalalyachin, IDF General Staff – Operations Directorate, Dado Center for Interdisciplinary Military Studies


Beyond the BOGSAT: the case for structured strategic wargames

Becca Wasser, Georgetown University

Stacie Pettyjohn, Johns Hopkins SAIS


Gaming and Technology as a Game Changer

Frans F.A. Kleyheeg, TNO Defense, Safety & Security, The Netherlands

LH Auditorium
1140 – 1150 Introduction to Game Lab

(See description at the bottom of this webpage)

Scott Chambers

LH Auditorium
1150 – 1250 Lunch LH South Atrium, Cafeteria, 1105/1107/1119
1250 – 1510 Game Lab

(See description at the bottom of this webpage)

LH 1105/1106/1107/1108/1119
1510 – 1530 Break LH Lobby
1530 – 1700 Panel: Education

Educating Future Cyber Strategists Through Wargaming:  Options, Challenges, and Gaps

Hyong Lee, Center for Applied Strategic Learning, National Defense University


Rush to Judgment – Training Attorneys in Strategic Decision-Making with Games

Phillip Reiman and Colby Sullins, United States Air Force, Legal Operations Agency, Commercial Litigation Division


Battle for Atropia: Army Division Level Wargaming

Patrick Schoof

LH Auditorium
1700 – 1710 Introduction to Wargames Testing and Interactive Demonstration

James Sterrett and Mike Dunn

LH Auditorium
1710 – 2000 Wargames Testing and Interactive Demonstration (Game Night)

(See description at the bottom of this webpage)

LH South Atrium and




Day 3, Thursday, 19 July 2018

 Time Activity Location
0830 – 1000 Panel: Perspectives and Tools

In the Eye of the Beholder? Cognitive Challenges in Wargame Analysis

Rex Brynen, McGill University


Future Analytical S&T (FAST) Wargames

David O. Ross, Air Force Research Laboratory


Will to Fight: Adding Brutal Realism to the Military’s Games and Simulations

Ben Connable, RAND


LH Auditorium
1000 – 1020 Break LH Lobby
1020 – 1150 Panel: Narrative

Fiction as a Wargame?

J. Furman Daniel, III, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University


Narrative Analysis of Wargaming

John Derosa and Lauren Kinney

Narrative Center, George Mason University


Wargaming Hybrid Warfare

Anja van der Hulst, TNO, The Netherlands


LH Auditorium
1150 – 1250 Lunch LH South Atrium, Cafeteria, 1105/1107/1119
1250 – 1420 Game Lab

(See description at the bottom of this webpage)

LH 1105/1106/1107/1108/1119
1420 – 1440 Break LH Lobby
1440 -1450 Introduction to Working Groups

Matt Caffrey

LH Auditorium
1450 – 1730 Working Groups

Wargaming as a Catalyst for Innovation (LH 1105)

Matt Caffrey

Tom Choinski


Critiquing a Framework for Linking Purpose to Game Design (LH 1106)

Ellie Bartels, Pardee RAND Graduate School


In-Stride Game Adjudication (LH 1107)

Merle Robinson

Stephen Downes-Martin


Wargaming in Education (LH 1119)

Scott Chambers and Tim Wilkie, NDU


LH 1105/1106/1107/1119



Day 4, Friday, 20 July 2018

 Time Activity Location
0830 – 0920 Keynote:

(War)gaming for Understanding Complexity

Volko Ruhnke

LH Auditorium
0920 – 0940 Break LH Lobby
0940 – 1100 Working Group Outbriefs

Wargaming as a Catalyst for Innovation

Critiquing a Framework for Linking Purpose to Game Design

In-Stride Game Adjudication

Wargaming in Education

LH Auditorium
1100 – 1120 Break LH Lobby
1120 -1140 Closing Remarks

Matt Caffrey, Tim Wilkie, and Host

LH Auditorium
1140 -1200 Hotwash

Matt Caffrey and Tim Wilkie

LH Auditorium

For additional information about some of the components of the conference, see below for short descriptions of the following segments: Game Showcase, Demonstrations and Posters, Game Lab, Game Night.

Game Showcase

The Game Showcase is intended to expose Connections participants to different game formats, especially from commercial game designs.  Games and facilitators are pre-arranged to cover a range of formats.  The focus during this session is for a facilitated overview of games with open discussion of each’s design choices and their advantages/dis-advantages.  Because of the large number of parallel games running during this session, there may be opportunities for shorter engagements with games or partial play-throughs that cover the key mechanics but do not involve a complete run of a longer game.  Bottom Line: Organizers select games and recruit facilitators to present a range of game formats to Connections participants to broaden their awareness of game structures and mechanics through game play.

Demonstrations and Posters

Held alongside the Game Showcase, the demo and poster session is an opportunity for Connections participants to show off things of interest to other attendees.  This can include games, but is not limited to them and may include other topics or tools expected to be of interest, generally connected to wargaming.  Presenters during this session volunteer to bring what they want to present during this session, notifying organizers ahead of time to make arrangements for space and any other requirements, such as availability of a power outlet or projection capability, which will be accommodated to the extent possible.  Bottom Line: Participants volunteer ahead of time to bring something to share with their fellow attendees.

Game Lab

The Game Lab provides an opportunity for small group discussions of specific gaming-related issues among Connections attendees.  Questions are submitted by participants and attendees have the option to join whatever table’s conversation they like.  The Game Lab fosters conversations across experience levels and backgrounds, resulting in some of the most focused exchanges of the conference.  Questions relate to game design challenges, both topical and methodological, and the participants who submit questions then lead the subsequent conversations.  These questions will ideally focus on a contextualized discussion of a methodological challenge.  Depending on scheduling, there may be multiple rounds of questions and discussions within a single session of the Game Lab. Prior to the conference, participants will be asked to submit topics, challenges, and questions. The responses will form the core of Game Lab with a limited number of spots available for the additional topics raised at the conference.  Bottom Line: Small group discussion of specific, participant-submitted questions and topics related to game design challenges.

Game Night

Traditionally held on the second night of the conference, the Connections Game Night is both a social event and a chance to play some games that might not otherwise be available in the conference program.  Participants bring games they want to run or play, in an environment with ample table space and a pool of conference attendees to draw from as players.  There is also an opportunity for the Game Night co-chairs to make specific arrangements for particular games of interest to take advantage of the longer, uninterrupted block of time available.  Bottom Line: A focus on volunteers who bring games they want to run or play, with the opportunity for prearranged games of particular interest.