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Wargaming-like experience at IT²EC 2024

 IT²EC 2024 - defence training and technology event

New for 2024: Why was this an important part of the show?

Whilst Wargaming is used extensively in an analytical sense, it remains largely an underused method in training.  It offers a fast-to-fail, safe, quicker than real-time, cost-effective and security-bound methodology that offers utility in developing operational advantage. With the IT²EC community keen to raise awareness of how wargaming-like experiences can be more widely exploited by training communities, this experiment offered a view of how a non-native wargaming software tool can be adapted to fill this gap.


  • Each team consisted of up to 12 players
  • Duration: 30mins (3x10min turns) + 10 mins AAR.

Please note: highlights from 2024 will be published shortly. More information for 2025 event will be revealed in due course.

About the experiment

The IT²EC wargaming experiment kicked off with a selection of presentations from dynamic speakers, including Major Tom Mouat MBE and Major Theo Bossom, who overviewed the pivotal role wargaming held in military education and land warfare strategies.

The action then began as our two teams, captained by representatives from the Land Warfare Centre, took their positions. The experiment fused a wargaming scenario and narrative with a commercial off-the-shelf simulator using ‘out of the box’ real-world terrain and high-fidelity computer-generated entities with associated properties and behaviors. Players, ideal for non-wargaming communities including Training Designers, were grouped into two teams (or battlestaffs), provided with a range of tactical military capabilities and an objective. Over several turns, each team collectively decided how to achieve the objective and had their decisions injected into the simulation. Each team was blind to the other, and each turn was played out by the simulation.

As the team's capabilities maneuvered and interacted with each other, the simulation adjudicated and reconciled outcomes. As such, teams necessarily lived with the consequences of their decisions and actions as each turn progressed the scenario. Representatives of the UK Land Warfare Centre and other key stakeholders observed using a God’s Eye view of the wargame and provided after-action review and critique of the teams’ actions and decisions to facilitate and promote subject matter expert learning outcomes.

“Wargaming is a powerful tool. I am convinced that it can deliver better understanding and critical thinking, foresight, genuinely informed decision-making and innovation. Sir John Chilcot’s report highlighted these very themes. I have also been struck by how important wargaming is becoming among many of our allies and partners. It allows those involved to experiment and learn from their experiences in a ‘safe-to-fail’ environment. I wish to reinvigorate wargaming in Defence to restore it as part of our DNA. Historically the UK military was accomplished at wargaming but this culture has largely been lost. Where it exists, it is ad hoc and uncoordinated, with demand outstripping existing expertise. We must seek to regenerate this culture and the associated skills among our people – military and civilian alike – at all levels and in all areas of our business. This effort requires everyone’s participation and encouragement, but particularly at senior levels.”

VCDS Foreword of the MOD Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre Wargaming Handbook