My interest in military simulation dates back to my early years of playing with toy soldiers and model ships, through paper and cardboard technology wargames, to computer military simulations. During my years at BDM Corporation (1977-1991) I was primarily involved with the design and development of military simulations for studies and for the U.S. Army. Research since then has focused on technologies to improve such simulations (especially the representation of human decisionmaking). Yet, I also remain involved in the cardboard technology wargames, which in so many ways address things that the computer simulations do not.
The list below includes several papers and projects that reflect these interests.
This document is the draft of what appeared as an article of the same title in Against the Odds No. 45, 2016. This article discusses the differences between the cardboard technology "hobby" wargames that are readily available commercially, and the serious "Computer Simulations" used to represent military conflict to inform military and government decisionmakers. The context is the Cold War scenario of "Fifth Corps", the attack by Soviet and Warsaw Pact forces on NATO forces in the vicinity of Fulda, Germany. This is a scenario that was often modeled in computer simulations during the Cold War, and is also modeled by SPI's wargame Fifth Corps. My own professional activities have included both. This article is in a sense a summary of what I have learned about the subject over many years.
Conventional computer simulations simulate one "trajectory" at a time: one instance of the evolving world, where random events occur and the simulation state changes, until an end point is reached. Or, they do this same thing a number of times, each a separate "replication." This paper explores doing "Multitrajectory" simulation, where from one simulation trajectory, an event may result in the simulated world "cloning" so that each branch, from that point, follows a different trajectory. This was my primary area of research from the mid 90's to mid 2000's, later superceded by "recursive simulation" which derives from it.
This article follows up the multitrajectory research with a look at what event analysis, investigation of hew those multitrajectory events unfold, can tell you. Ultimately, the identification of which events are critical is both useful for analysis of simulation results and for the representation of decisionmaking inside the simulation.
This article follows up the one above, focusing on the probabilities of the important events being modeled in the simulation.
This is a topic of historical interest to those interested in modeling naval air combat in the Pacific during World War 2. The issue is, what is the probability of a Japanese torpedo bomber hitting a capital ship (CV or BB) during an air attack? Some attacks scored very high (on Yorktown at Midway) and others very low (on Enterprise at Santa Cruz). This paper looks at the correlations with AA, CAP and other factors to try and develop a better understanding. Bottom line: about 10%.
This draft of an article that appeared in Against the Odds No. 46 looks at the representation of AA in games and how recent data shows that the techniques can be improved.
One of my earlier wargames, a representation of combat between Japan and the US in 1931, based on Bywater's book. Some artifacts from that game (the ship markers are nice!)
A wargame of the Battle of Atlanta using The Gamers' (now MMP) "Civil War Brigade" system. This project originated about 1990, but was never published. The artifacts here have been made available to those interested in the system both here and on ConSimWorld.
This is the draft of an article published in ATO vol. 2 No 1. A comparison is made between the Seven Days and Atlanta campaign, using three war games (VG Civil War, COA War for the Union, and TF Grand Army of the Republic) to illustrate the representation of these battles in the various systems.
This article draft submitted to ATO in 2004, and later published in that magazine, compares the representation of leaders across several Civil War games, especially the Victory Games Civil War and Clash of Arms War for the Union. (Regretably, I missed For the People; I intended to revise the article to include that one; haven't gotten it done yet.)
This article draft was submitted the Volunteers newsletter a long time ago, and in edited form appeared in that now hard to obtain newletter. It analyzes the interesting Vicrory Games offering on the war, and compared probable game outcomes with history for a variety of important battles. (The large size is due to the original being prepared using a mechanical word processor application, so these are scanned images of the pages.)
This article draft was also submitted to and (as edited) published in the Volunteers newsletter. It revies the Leadership system in that game and suggess some variants. (The large size is due to scanned images of the pages.)
This draft was submitted to and (as edited) published Volunteers . It describes a possible campaign by the Confederates to capture Fort Monroe at the outset of the game. This is useful in illustrating the game mechanics. (Scanned images of the pages.)