Connections 2019

DRAFT Connections 2019 Agenda (last updated 5/23/2019)

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

2019 Theme/Goal: Futures of Wargaming

Day 1, Tuesday, 13 August 2019

Time Activity Location
0740 Registration Opens  
0830 – 0840 Welcome

Matt Caffrey and Tim Wilkie

0840 – 0910 Admin and Host Welcome and First Timer’s Brief  
0910 – 0930 Break  
0930 – 1030 Seminar Session I

(See box below for details)

1030 – 1050 Break  
1050 – 1150 Seminar Session II

(See box below for details)

1150 -1250 Lunch  
1250 – 1350 Game Lab Session I  
1350 – 1410 Break  
1410 – 1510 Seminar Session III

(See box below for details)

1510  – 1530 Break  
1530 – 1700 Gaming Showcase

Merle Robinson and Gordon Bliss

1530 – 1700 Demos and Posters Session

Sean Brady

1700 – 2000 Wargames Testing and Interactive Demonstrations/No Host Social

Mike Dunn





  Room 1 Room 2 Room 3
Seminar Session I

(Tuesday AM)

Topics on the theory of games and play

Ed McGrady      

Monk’s Hood Media

Introduction to Wargaming

Matt Caffrey

Air Force Research Lab

Defense Resourcing Wargaming

Mark Leno

Army War College

Seminar Session II

(Tuesday AM)

TBA Data Collection and Analysis

Christopher Weuve

Air Force Research Laboratory

Seminar Session III

(Tuesday PM)

LTG John H. Cushman: Operational Wargaming in Korea 1976 – 1978

Michael W. Garrambone

InfoSciTex Corporation, a DCS Company

Introduction to Combat Modeling

Joe Saur

A wargaming approach to computational international relations

Karl Selke            

Group W Inc.

Seminar Session IV


Gaming Urban Terrain and Megacities

Ed McGrady and Mike Dunn

Monk’s Hood Media and Army Command and General Staff College


Megagame Design and Development

Scott Silsbe

Logistics; the Red Headed Stepchild of Wargaming

George F. Nafziger, PhD, Captain, USNR-Ret

Seminar Session V


TBA How to Improve Your Communication Skills

Dana Lombardy              

Lombardy Studios

WAR CRY! – Combat Force Cohesion & Cognitive Capacity Disintegration

Uwe Eickert

Academy Games



Day 2, Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Time Activity Location
0830 – 0840 Welcome

Matt Caffrey

0840 – 0940 Keynote 1 – Dr. Steven Stoddard

HQDA G-3/5/7 Deputy Director for Force Management

0940 – 1000 Break  
1000 – 1140 Panel: Futures Gaming


CNO Strategic Studies Group Gaming

John T Hanley Jr, PhD    

Naval War College Non-resident Research Scholar




Experimental Gaming at the Nuclear Threshold

Andrew W. Reddie          

University of California, Berkeley

1140 – 1150 Introduction to Game Lab

Scott Chambers

1150 – 1250 Lunch  
1250 – 1350 Game Lab Session II  
1350 – 1410 Break  
1410 – 1510 Seminar Session IV

(See box above for details)

1510 – 1530 Break  
1530 – 1700 Panel: Analytical Wargaming


Programming with People

Jeremy F. Sepinsky         

Center for Naval Analyses


Incorporating Structured Analytic Techniques into Business Wargaming

Kenneth Sawka

Crumpton Group


Army War College Analytic Wargaming


Army War College

1700 – 2000 Wargames Testing and Interactive Demonstrations

Mike Dunn





Day 3, Thursday, 15 August 2019

 Time Activity Location
0830 – 0900 Department Wargaming Alignment Group Brief

COL Garrett Heath

Joint Staff J-8 Studies, Analysis and Gaming Division

0900 – 1030 Panel: Modeling and Wargaming


Online serious gaming: Developing wargames for the crowd

Jon Whetzel & Kiran Lakkaraju 

Sandia National Laboratories


Toward Automating the Course of Action Generation and the Staff Wargame

Michael K Robel               

StrongPoint Simulation and Modeling, LLC


War Game Networks for Digital Distribution and Collaboration

Brian Kirkpatrick              

ExoAnalytic Solutions


Modeling the player: A requisite for structured wargaming

Karl Selke            

Group W Inc.

1030 – 1050 Break  
1050 – 1150 Seminar Session V

(See box above for details)

1150 – 1250 Lunch  
1250 – 1350 Game Lab Sessions III  
1350 – 1410 Break  
1410 – 1730 Working Groups


Wargaming the Future

Stephen Downes-Martin


The Future of Wargaming

Ed McGrady and Mike Ottenberg


Wargaming for Future Leaders

Mike Dunn and Dr. James Morningstar





Day 4, Friday, 16 August 2019

 Time Activity Location
0830 – 0930 Keynote 2 – TBD

Ed McGrady

0930 – 0950 Break  
0950 – 1020 Game Lab Outbrief


Scott Chambers

1020 – 1130 Working Group Outbriefs


Stephen Downes-Martin

Ed McGrady and Mike Ottenberg

Mike Dunn and Dr. James Morningstar

1130 -1140 Closing Remarks

Matt Caffrey, Tim Wilkie, and Mark Leno

1140 -1200 Hotwash

Matt Caffrey and Tim Wilkie



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 (aka Wargames Testing and Interactive Demonstrations)

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.