Saturday 19 October 2019
United States Naval War College Manual Wargaming (1969)
Wargames at the Start of the Missile Era
As part of the History of Wargaming Project’s continuing wargaming ‘archaeology’, agreement was given to publish this set of rules as an example of the US Naval War College’s use of wargaming as part of their curriculum in 1969.
What is interesting about this set of rules is they are complete and they have a sample scenario which helps illuminate the thinking of the wargame designers. There are straightforward rules for surface-to-air missiles (SAMs), gunnery, air, torpedoes and mines etc. The use of these rules is clearly illustrated in the sample game. The rules were clearly written for others to play the game, even in the absence of the game designers.
The sample game gives the background and briefings and the two sides ORBATs. Then it sets out the plans of the two sides. It goes on to set out how the game is setup, managed and played. The rules are supported by numerous examples of the forms used to manage the game, such damage assessment flowcharts and surface to air missile assessment flowcharts. There is sufficient information for the modern wargamer to understand how the game was conducted or to recreate the games for themselves.