The CONFLICT Simulation Wargame is a highly flexible geostrategic and military simulation meant to educate players on strategy in a heuristic manner, conduct theater-level operational analyses and help the participants understand more about the theater in question. Based on open-source and de-classified data for tactical, operational, theater and strategic levels of analysis, CONFLICT allows the participants to work through diverse sets of scenarios, test old assumptions and develop new concepts of operations.
An idealized map overlay of the theater under study is interposed on Google Earth. This overlay reflects terrain features that impact on movement and combat. This helps to give the players a visual means of understanding the environment and helping execute their strategy.
Units are broken down to the brigade/battalion, wing/squadron and task force (4-6 ships)/ship level, depending upon the size and duration of the scenario under study. The simulation includes air, sea, and land units. Units are differentiated by type, such as motorized brigades versus armored brigades versus an air superiority wing or a ground attack wing. The same type of unit is further differentiated from its counterparts on the basis of technology generation and training level, for example, a 4th generation fighter wing with 120 hours of annual flight time versus a 5th generation fighter wing with 200 hours.
Diplomacy can be reflected in a multi-national or multi-organizational game. Players are free to interact in any way they see fit and are free to conduct policy within the framework of the objectives. Thus, a certain country can elect to exit one alliance or enter another, allow basing rights for one major power or another etc. Control under no circumstance enforces agreements, reflecting the “self-help” nature of international relations. CONFLICT can assist in addressing complex scenarios that leverage non-kinetic new generation or hybrid warfare techniques and often employ each countries interagency to explore actions nations can take prior to armed conflict.
Players are given a set of objectives which can be modified according to the scenario control wishes to emphasize. These objectives can be weighted either by control or the players themselves in order to measure different variables. Objectives serve as primary method of shaping player behavior. Objectives are usually centered on protecting national sovereignty, controlling territory, etc.
Time management within the game is determined by the type of game being conducted. Land warfare is typically run using daily turns, while naval warfare is done is shorter, multi-hour turns. Player teams are typically given 60 to 90 minutes to decide what to do and enter unit orders via Google Earth. Processing the orders is usually completed within 30 minutes.
The attrition engine is the heart of the simulation. It uses unclassified information and data to develop individual equipment and weapon system strengths in a variety of categories. Weapon systems are characterized as a type of target (e.g. Heavy Armor or Infantry), and one or more weapon system types (e.g. Anti-Tank Guided Missile or Light Indirect Fire). Within each general category, weapons and targets are given a firepower or self-defense ‘score’ that is used in the attrition calculation. Some weapons are restricted from being able to engage some target types, either from a physical inability to do so, or because the likelihood of using a particular weapon type against a particular target type is very low. The attrition is then calculated in a specific sequence, starting with air defense and ending with direct fire combat. Suppression is also included in the engine. The engine can be run purely deterministically, or can include a random component to represent lucky or unlucky shots.
Combat multipliers for morale, homeland defense, cyber, electronic warfare, training, and other factors can be applied to both shooters and targets to reflect bonuses and liabilities that some units may experience in real life. Combat concludes when one side or the other has suffered casualties in excess of the casualties they are prepared to take to execute an offensive or defensive mission, as determined by player orders. Attackers either break of their attack, or defenders will leave their defensive positions, allowing the attacker to perhaps exploit a breakthrough opportunity.
CONFLICT is an analytic wargame that can be used for high level analysis, such as major force structure composition, overall strategy or the need for pre-deployment or rapid mobilization of forces. If a client desires to perform more detailed, engineering level trade studies, the New Generation Warfare Centre can conduct additional runs in the laboratory to clarify the questions and issues and then finish the engineering level analysis in the Parsons Universal Modeling Laboratory (PUMA). Both tools are designed to be run at the unclassified level with multi-lateral participants. A typical game can be constructed in a few months, executed in a few days, and, a report on the game outcome can be prepared in a few weeks.