Connections Australia 2017

The 2017 Conference will be held on 11-13 December at the University of Melbourne in the "Old Metallurgy" building (link).

Registration is now closed.

Monday 11 December

1000 Welcome, Introduction and Morning Tea.

To start the conversation we will have a brief introduction and foreshadow some of the activities we will be running over the coming days. A selection of games will ne on display that illustrate different approaches to modelling and wargaming.

1100 Workshop 1 Introductory Games.

We will break into groups and try our hand at a small selection of simple games. The groups will each them brief back to the group their observations about the games including strengths, weaknesses and ways in which similar games might be used professionally. This session is based on one conducted back in 2014.

1400 Lunch

Cary on the conversation in one of the many cafes and restaurants within walking distance in Carlton.

1500 Workshop 2. Wargames for Breakpoint Analysis. Marcus Tregenza. DST Group.

Some example wargames will be used to identify the critical factors of success and failure within the systems and how the force operates on the boundary of success. This activity uses a paper-based wargame of maritime and air combat set in the near future. The model addresses (in a simple way) the relationships between maritime and air systems and demonstrates the interrelationships between plans (tactics), force structure and technical capability. No military knowledge is required.

1800 Close of day

1900 Dinner (Lygon St Carlton)

Tuesday 12 December

0900 Keynote 1

Dr Jeff Appleget, Senior Lecturer at the US Naval Postgraduate School. Amongst other subjects, Jeff teaches wargaming and simulation within the operations research faculty

Jeff will introduce what NPS does with wargaming including on and off-site courses, and discuss the challenges the US DOD is currently facing that wargaming can help with and comment on how Defence organizations can benefit from the commercial wargaming world’s creativity and talent. Download the slide pack here.

1000 Workshop 3 Wargaming for studying history

Oleksandr Pushkarov. Wargaming as a Military History Research Tool.

Wargaming is a powerful and flexible tool for analysing historical events by allowing us to probe plausible reasons for historical oddities. It is also an inexpensive and readily accessible way of checking assumptions and testing viability of hypothesis arisen from analysis of historical evidence.

Rowland Dickinson. Modelling the phalanx of Alexander the Great - Simplicity versus Complexity in War Gaming.

In historical war gaming a balance needs to be reached between simplicity for both enjoyment and to achieve a result in a reasonable time, and complexity to achieve a true representation of the battle. Using the long spear of Alexander the Great’s Macedonians (330-300 BC) as an example we look at this contention in generic long spear (pike) rules.

Clinton Reilly. Using Computer Moderated Wargames for Validating Historical “what if’ Scenarios. Download the slide pack here.

The demonstration will use the related battles of Isandlwana and Rorke’s Drift as an example and will provide a slide show to discuss “what if” scenarios related to those battles. It will also provide an overview of how such simulations can be developed.

Panel discussion and questions regarding using wargaming to study history.

1300 Lunch

Cary on the conversation in one of the many cafes and restaurants within walking distance in Carlton.

1400 Workshop 4 MiG Alley Wargame Study. Marcus Tregenza, DST Group.

A hands on activity, using a commercial wargame, to explore what a wargame is and gain an understanding how these models may be applied to real world problems. This activity uses a paper-based wargame of historical air combat set during the Korean War (1951-52). This activity is an introduction to wargaming and will demonstrate many of the approaches to wargaming and wargame design. No Military knowledge is required.

1700 Close of Day

1900 Informal Wargaming Evening

This will be an opportunity for attendees to try some games in an informal setting. A selection of multi-player board games will be provided and those interested can sign up to play the game(s) they are interested in.

Wednesday 13 December

0900 Keynote 2. Dr Fred Bowden. Group Leader Joint Simulation, Experimentation and Wargaming, Defence Science and Technology Group.

Fred will describe how and why DST Group use wargaming as a component in their analysis campaign approach. Download the slide pack here.

1030 Wargame Design. Jeff Appleget will present a few thoughts on designing wargames. Download the slide pack here.

1030 Workshop 5 Hands on wargaming

A second chance to play some longer games and discuss their strengths, weaknesses and applications.

1300 Lunch

A shorter working lunch break

1330 Game Design. Peter Williams, DST Group.

Peter will present material he is collecting to help answer the question "so how doyou deisgn a wargame?"

1400 Debrief.

1600 Close

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