(photo of Ukrainian Crisis in play, from Paxsims website)

Over at the Paxsims blog, Rex Brynen tells about a recent and very busy week spent at the UK’s Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (DSTL):


Among many other things, people played a series of games to explore “hybrid warfare”, including LCOL Dave Barsness’ Kaliningrad 2017, Volko Ruhnke’s Labyrinth, and my own Ukrainian Crisis.

Rex concludes matrix games FTW for analyzing this form of warfare, at least for the broad strokes, and I would tend to agree. But here’s the typical Brynen wit:

Ironically, one of the problems of a matrix game approach is that it does not require a great deal of preparation, nor need it involve a great deal of materials and complexity. This makes it an unattractive proposition for defence contractors and consultants since product creation and delivery generates relatively few billable hours. Similarly, a sponsor may feel that it does not seem enough of a tangible product compared with a more complex, traditional wargame.

Hm! Words to live by, I guess… though a poorly prepared and executed matrix game is just as much a failure as a poorly done game of another type.

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

5 Responses to RB @ DSTL

  1. Neil Spry says:

    Hi Brian

    Some of those player aids & counters look different or new.



    • brtrain says:

      Rex used the latest rules, map and counters as available currently on this website, but he spiffified the components somewhat. For example, the counters were enlarged and stuck onto 1″ wooden disks. He also printed the charts etc. onto coloured card.

  2. Pingback: WARGAME WEDNESDAY: The Wargamer’s Take on Eurogaming – castaliahouse.com

  3. defling says:

    Albeit one that cost a lot less time and man-hours to prepare. MGs are still an excellent return on investment.

    • brtrain says:

      A well done MG is potentially a jackpot for insights, with the right facilitator and people.
      Or it can be a pointless rules-lawyering bickerfest with the Head Monkey.

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