Connections 2019

For a copy of the 2019 conference report and select presentation slidedecks, visit our archive.

Connections 2019 Agenda (last updated 8/3/2019)

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

2019 Theme/Goal: Futures of Wargaming

Day 1: Tuesday, 13 August

Time Activity Location
0740 Registration Opens AHEC Lobby
0830 – 0840 Welcome from Major General John Kem, Commandant,

U.S. Army War College (be seated NLT 0825)

Room 1
0840 – 0900 Host Welcomes and Conference Orientation Room 1
0900 – 0920 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
0920 – 1020 Seminar Session I See seminar schedule on page 2
1020 – 1040 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
1040 – 1140 Seminar Session II See seminar schedule on page 2
1140 -1240 Lunch Cafeteria Seating Area
1240 – 1340 Seminar Session III See seminar schedule on page 2
1340  – 1400 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
1400 – 1530 Panel: Wargaming Methods

Programming with People

Jeremy F. Sepinsky         

Center for Naval Analyses

Incorporating Structured Analytic Techniques into Business Wargaming

Kenneth Sawka

Crumpton Group

U.S. Army War College Wargaming

Jim Markley

U.S. Army War College

Room 1
1530 – 1550 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
1550 – 1650 Seminar Session IV See seminar schedule on page 2
1730-2200 (Pre-registration and ticket required)

Wargames Testing and Interactive Demonstrations/No Host Social

Desperate Times Brewery

1201 Carlisle Springs Rd, Carlisle, PA (10 min drive from AHEC)


Seminar Schedule (Sessions I – IV on Tuesday 13 Aug, Session V on Thursday 15 Aug)

Session Room 1 Room 2 Room 3
Tuesday 13 Aug
Seminar Session I


Introduction to Wargaming

Matt Caffrey

Air Force Research Lab

PLA Wargaming: Chinese Writings on Bingqi (兵棋)

Mr. Dean Cheng, Senior Research Fellow for Chinese Political and Security Affairs

The Heritage Foundation

Computer-Assisted Wargaming (with Microsoft Office)

Mark Leno

U.S. Army War College

Seminar Session II


Introduction to Combat Modeling

Joe Saur


A Wargaming Approach to Computational International Relations

Karl Selke

Group W Inc.

Logistics; the Red Headed Stepchild of Wargaming

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

Seminar Session III


Topics on the Theory of Games And Play

Ed McGrady

Monk’s Hood Media

Megagame Design and Development

Scott Silsbe

On Wargaming – Book Talk

Matt Caffrey

Air Force Research Lab

Seminar Session IV


The Use Of Design Thinking for Designing Wargames

Yuna Wong


Gaming Urban Terrain and Megacities

Ed McGrady and Mike Dunn

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

WAR CRY! – Combat Force Cohesion & Cognitive Capacity Disintegration

Uwe Eickert

Academy Games

Thursday 15 Aug
Seminar Session V


Data Collection and Analysis

Christopher Weuve

Air Force Research Laboratory


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

Michael W. Garrambone

InfoSciTex Corporation, a DCS Company

How to Improve Your Communication Skills

Dana Lombardy

Lombardy Studios



Day 2: Wednesday, 14 August

Time Activity Location
0830 – 0840 Welcome

Matt Caffrey

Room 1
0840 – 0940 Keynote 1 – Dr. Steven Stoddard

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

Room 1
0940 – 1000 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
1000 – 1130 Panel: Futures Gaming

CNO Strategic Studies Group Gaming

John T Hanley Jr, PhD    

Naval War College Non-resident Research Scholar

Matrix Gaming, Scenario Planning, and Systems Thinking

Deon Canyon

Experimental Gaming at the Nuclear Threshold

Kiran Lakkaraju               

Sandia National Laboratories

Room 1
1130 – 1230 Lunch Cafeteria Seating Area
1230 – 1320 Game Lab Session I See game lab schedule
1315 – 1330 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
1330 – 1420 Game Lab Session II See game lab schedule
1420 -1440 Break and Demos Set-up Cafeteria Seating Area
1440-1700 Gaming Showcase & Demos and Poster Session Room 1/Central Corridor
1700-1730 Dinner Cafeteria Seating Area
1730-2200 Wargames Testing and Interactive Demonstrations Rooms 1-3


Day 3, Thursday, 15 August

 Time Activity Location
0830 – 0900 Department Wargaming Alignment Group Brief

COL Garrett Heath

Joint Staff J-8 Studies, Analysis and Gaming Division

Room 1
0900-0920 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
0920-1130 Panel: Modeling and Wargaming

Online serious gaming: Developing wargames for the crowd

Jon Whetzel

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.

Room 1
1130-1230 Lunch Cafeteria Seating Area
1230-1330 Seminar Session V See seminar schedule on page 2
1330-1350 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
1350 – 1650 Working Groups
The Future of Wargaming (Ed McGrady and Mike Ottenberg) Room 1
Wargaming the Future (Stephen Downes-Martin) Room 2
Wargaming for Future Leaders

(Mike Dunn and James Morningstar)

Room 3


Day 4: Friday, 16 August

 Time Activity Location
0830 – 0930 Keynote 2 – “The Future of Gaming.  It’s up to you!”

Ed McGrady

Room 1
0930 – 0950 Break Cafeteria Seating Area
0950 – 1020 Game Lab Outbrief

Scott Chambers

Room 1
1020 – 1130 Working Group Outbriefs


Stephen Downes-Martin

Ed McGrady and Mike Ottenberg

Mike Dunn and Dr. James Morningstar

Room 1
1130 -1140 Closing Remarks

Matt Caffrey, Tim Wilkie, and Mark Leno

Room 1
1140 -1200 Hotwash

Matt Caffrey and Tim Wilkie

Room 1

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.