CONNECTIONS 2013 conference on professional wargaming

Started by btrain, May 10, 2013, 01:22:02 PM

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The Connections 2013 conference will be held 22-25 July in Dayton Ohio, near Wright-Patterson Air Force Base.

Connections is the only national event dedicated specifically to professional military wargaming. Organized and chaired since its beginning in 1993 by (now retired) Air Force COL Matt Caffrey, the annual Connections conference has worked to advance the art, science and application of serious wargaming by bringing together all elements of the field (military, commercial and academic) so participants can exchange information on achievements, best practices and needs.

The theme for 2013 is: "Enhancing Wargaming Support to Budget Decisions." Given the current and future uncertainty over US Department of Defense budgets, this is a timely theme indeed.

Another valuable element of Connections is the chance to meet leaders from across the spectrum of wargaming. Past attendees and speakers have included Larry Bond, James F. Dunnigan, Joe Miranda, Al Nofi, Peter Perla, John Prados and many more.

Keynote speakers for this year are:

- COL Chris Froehlich, Chief Strategic Planning Division, Air Force Material Command
- Dr. Peter Perla, author of The Art of Wargaming, Lead, Wargaming, Centre for Naval Analysis
- Dr. Thomas Allen, Deputy Director for Studies and Analysis, Joint Staff

Connections is open to all contributors to the field of professional wargaming: military, government, defense contractor, academic, and recreational. It is an unclassified event. Many of the attendees are recreational wargamers in their spare time, but the emphasis of the conference is on discussion of activity and issues in professional wargaming, from the military, commercial and academic perspectives.

See the conference website and agenda at

Contact Matt Caffrey at ( or me ( for further information.

Thanks for your interest,

Brian Train

Capn Darwin

You're killing me here. Historicon is the week before this and WBC the week after this. Now I'm going to have a to flip a coin.  :'(
Rocket Scientist by day, Game Designer by night.


I have to add a clarification, and some further details from Matt Caffrey:

Dr. Thomas Allen will be participating in the conference via Video Teleconferencing (VTC).

"One further point on Connections 13: sequestration across most of the US Federal Government has greatly accelerated an ongoing trend in the recent Connections. In 2011 Connections linked to 6 VTC sites, in 2012 it was 20 sites. For 2013 we will be greatly expanding the virtual element. For example our keynote speaker, Dr Thomas Allen, Deputy Director for Studies and Analysis, Joint Staff, will both give his remarks and participate in the keynote speaker panel via VTC. Also, while we have limited physical participation to practitioners in the field to maintain critical mass for participant interaction, there is no reason not to let anyone interested in wargaming to call in. I suspect this year we may well have more people participate in Connections via VTC, phone and web then will participate in person. That is by necessity because of the current budget constraints, still the long term impact may turn out to be a significant increase in the total number of people who can participate in, hence benefit from, Connections.

One of the most exciting elements of Connections 2013 will NOT lend itself to virtual participation. Luftwaffe Colonel Uwe L. Heilmann will be bringing a NATO team to conduct a game lab. He and his team will conduct a manual NATO wargame that was designed for leadership development. Participants will them discuss how the wargame could be modified to enhance its ability to provide budget insights, some or all the modifications will be implemented, then the wargame will be played again."

So, CPT Darwin, there might be a chance for you to catch some of the conference online....




Just reminding people that Connections is on, in only 12 days!
Here is a message from the Co-Chairs:

Remember the old beer commercial, great taste vs. less filling?  The Connections team has worked very hard this year to make Connections 2013 both worth participating in and easy to participate in, even during this time of sequestration.  Through their efforts, chances are you should and you can participate.

We have a great agenda this year.  Those new to wargaming can learn enough through the Monday afternoon tutorials to benefit from the balance of Connections.  Our keynotes speakers are among our best ever:

Dr. Thomas Allen, Deputy Director, Studies and Analysis, Joint Staff (via VTC),
Dr. Peter Perla, author The Art of Wargaming and lead for wargaming at CNA and
Col Chris Froehlich, Chief Strategic Planning Division, HQ AFMC.

Other speaker panels will deal with wargaming in support of planning, programing and budgeting, as well as the effective wargaming of the far future. This year NATO will be conducting a Game Lab examining the utility of manual wargaming in both leadership training and rapid prototyping.  As always, Connections 2013 will include wargame demos, working groups and networking opportunities.

We have gone to great lengths to make Connections accessible even in the face of sequestration.  This year we have no official military sponsor and no conference fee. So, meals and refreshments will be "no host" and any speaker who would have required funding to speak in person will speak via VTC.

For those who cannot attend in person, virtual participation via remote access (both VTC and a call-in phone number) will be available for some portions of the program.  While participating via VTC or phone will not  enable participation in the NATO game lab, demos, working groups, and other highly interactive elements of the program, much of the remainder will be accessible virtually. 

The Connections experience is first and foremost about collaboration and idea sharing among the professional community and developing the  professional connections among wargamers. Little if any of this can be accomplished over VTC or telephone.  Still, much can be learn remotely, especially by those new to the field.  We also hope as many people as possible will get a taste of the Connections by participating virtually this year, to whet their appetite for in person participation during Connections 2014 and beyond.

To learn more and/or register please go to CONNECTIONS-WARGAMING.COM.  ( There should be an element of Connections relevant to your mission and a method of participation within your resources.  Connections 2013 is more relevant/easier to participate, a way to increase your wargame effectiveness, even in this time of sequestration.

Hoping to see (or at least hear) you at Connections.

Matt Caffrey
Tim Wilkie
Connections 2013 Co-Chairs