Talking with the Soldiers of Reason


Definitely not as illustrated!

Next Wednesday, February 24, I will be giving a short lunchtime talk at the RAND Centre for Gaming in Washington DC: “How can civilian wargames contribute to the development of professional wargames?”

I don’t promise all, or even very many, of the answers to this question but I hope we’ll have a good general discussion. Later that day we’ll also have some more guided discussion on systems I have used in my game systems and their applications.

In advance of this I’ll post my script and slides here, as I have done for other presentations.

I’m looking forward to this very much! I’ll also be spending a couple of extra days in DC to drop in on places and people.

First talk notes

First talk slides

Second talk notes

Second talk slides


About brtrain
This blog is mostly devoted to posts, work and resources on "serious" conflict simulation games.

8 Responses to Talking with the Soldiers of Reason

  1. jeffro says:

    If you can make it out to Prezcon in Charlottesville while you’re out here, I can tell you a great many of the usual suspects will be there.

    Also: if there’s any way you can record this talk…!

    • brtrain says:

      Sorry Jeffro, it’s too far and I won’t be there long enough to make it worthwhile.
      As for recording the talk, I am going to post my script and you can duplicate the effect by reading it aloud while pinching a sensitive part of your anatomy (seriously, I hate the sound of my recorded voice).

  2. Pingback: WARGAME WEDNESDAY: The Continuing Role of Manual Wargaming –

  3. Kevn says:

    Great stuff Brian. Looking forward to reading this. I trust it goes well. I enjoyed your Green Beret and Shadow Army titles.

    • brtrain says:

      Thank you Kevin! I hope it will go well too, of course… thank you for your comments on my games on your site, and for the play of Army of Shadows.

  4. defling says:


    Per usual you see so deeply into the idiom it is difficult to have a brief, pertinent response. I’ll try anyway. I think one of the reasons why you end up speaking for your experience in design is that there is a firmity in your approach that other designers appreciate. Well, that is too obscure. Perhaps the main, unarticulated question among designers and players is “Who is responsible when a game sucks?” This is why I’m such an advocate of matrix games. If they are well animated in the presence of a subject matter expert the game always rises or descends to the level of the room. Either way, you cannot fail to generate new directions in the participants’ thinking. Whereas, any design where a team or individual assumes total responsibility at the start begins to come apart the moment any procedural dissonance arises. This is true even of established games. You tell me I’m going to pay ASL with Ivor Gardiner I immediately ask myself “Is he or is he not going to skulk?” (And if he isn’t I have to ask myself why have I agreed to this 80s era game when there are so many better options available.) The point is I’m immediately into a metagaming sphere. Anyway. Thoughts? I really look forward to your report from RAND.


  5. defling says:

    Thanks very much for the shout-out, by the way. Classy. Can riches and fame be far behind?

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