Connections 2018

Draft agenda below is current as of April 18, 2018.

2018 Agenda

Enduring Mission:  Advance and Preserve the Art, Science, and Application of Wargaming

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

Matt Caffrey and Host

LH Auditorium
0840 – 0940 Introduction to Wargaming

Matt Caffrey

LH Auditorium
Seminar, Game Lab and Working Group Preparation

Scott Chambers

LH 1105/1107/1119
0940 – 1000 Break LH Lobby
1000 – 1120 Seminar Session I

(See Box Below)

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

Careers in Wargaming Table in LH South Atrium

LH South Atrium and Cafeteria
1230 – 1350 Seminar Session II

(See Box Below)

LH Auditorium, 1105/1107/1119, 1106
1350 – 1410 Break LH Lobby
1410 – 1430 Introduction to Demos and Game Showcase LH Auditorium
1430 – 1700 Game Showcase (Facilitated Wargame Tutorials)

Merle Robinson and Gordon Bliss

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

Wargaming Education Resources Table in LH 1105

Sean Brady

LH 1105/1107/1119, 1106
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

Author’s Corner


Seminar Session II Confrontation Analysis Workshop – A hybrid OA/ wargaming tool

John Curry

Matrix Gaming Introduction


Design Thinking


Introduction to Combat Modeling Graphic Design for Wargaming

Mike Markowitz



Wargaming Literature Overview


(BOLD = confirmed seminar, ITALICS = seminar under development)


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

Beyond the BOGSAT: the case for structured strategic wargames

Becca Wasser, Georgetown University

Stacie Pettyjohn, Johns Hopkins SAIS


Procurement: Gaming and Technology as a Game Changer

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


Learning Policy Lessons from US Military Wargaming Successes and Failures:  An Historical Perspective

Brian Nichiporuk, RAND


LH Auditorium
1140 – 1150 Introduction to Game Lab

Scott Chambers and Paul Vebber

LH Auditorium
1150 – 1250 Lunch LH South Atrium and LH 1119
1250 – 1510 Game Lab LH 1105/1107/1119, 1106
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

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) LH South Atrium and

LH 1105/1107/1119, 1106/1108






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: the View from the Lip of the Trench

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, Prescott


Narrative Analysis of Wargaming

John Derosa and Lauren Kinney

Narrative Center, George Mason University


Wargaming Hybrid Warfare

Anja van der Hulst, TNO, The Netherlands (invited)


LH Auditorium
1150 – 1250 Lunch LH South Atrium and LH 1119
1250 – 1420 Game Lab LH South Atrium and LH 1119 or

LH 1105/1107/1106/1108

1420 – 1440 Break LH Lobby
1440 -1450 Introduction to Working Groups

Matt Caffrey

LH Auditorium
1450 – 1730 Working Groups

In-Stride Game Adjudication (LH Auditorium)

Merle Robinson

Stephen Downes-Martin


Wargaming as a Catalyst for Innovation (LH 1105)

Matt Caffrey


Critiquing a Framework for Linking Purpose to Game Design (LH 1107)

Ellie Bartels, Pardee RAND Graduate School


Wargaming in Education (LH 1119)

Scott Chambers and Tim Wilkie, NDU

LH Auditorium, 1105/1107/1119
1730 Dinner by Working Group

Day 4, Friday, 20 July 2018

 Time Activity Location
0830 – 0920 Keynote 2 LH Auditorium
0920 – 0940 Break LH Lobby
0940 – 1000 Game Lab Outbrief LH Auditorium
1000 – 1120 Working Group Outbriefs LH Auditorium
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.