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Connections UK 2017.

Dates. The 2017 dates are confirmed as 05 to 07 September 2017.

Location. The 2017 location will be Kings College London, .

Connections Conference

Plans. Current plans are: (subject to change and the whims of the organising committee)

Day 1. Tuesday 5 September 2017

Wargaming 101. A shortened theory session for newcomers; no old sweats, please! Complemented by the on-line reading pack. This will only take a couple of hours, before the newcomers join in the Megagame (if we can work out how to do that), if not there will be an alternative game.

Megagame. DIRE STRAITS: A megagame designed by Jim Wallman and Rex Brynen to explore a potential crisis involving China, Taiwan, and beyond.

Evening Informal gaming session: Bring a game, find a table - and play.

Day 2. Wednesday 6 September 2017.

UK military Tri-Service and FCO wargaming examples.

Update on UK military wargaming doctrine.

Seminar and Matrix Games.

Current innovations in hobby gaming.

Games Fair session 1: Prof Sabin will promulgate details early, and you will need to sign up before the conference, to allow better consideration of what you play and watch.

Keynote speaker.

Games Fair session 2: Evening.

Day 3. Thursday 7 September 2017.

Wargaming in education.

Modelling Human Terrain.

Breakout workshops: 'Skinning the cat'. The intention is to take a topical subject and develop several nascent approaches that tackle the issue at different levels (e.g. tactical or operational) using varied wargaming techniques.

   

Commentary:

We have listened to the points you raised in your feedback. Connections UK 2016 appeared to be generally what you wanted in terms of content, timings, frequency and location. Hence, if it ain't broke, don't fix it - just make it better! The specific suggestions were:
  • An update on how the UK military and Foreign Office use wargaming.
  • Time to network.
  • Another megagame.
  • A Games Fair and more hands-on sessions.
  • Worked examples of wargame design.
  • A short 101 for newcomers (only).
  • More hobby gaming and gamer involvement.
  • Presentations on wargaming in education.
  • Sessions on how to run Seminar and Matrix Games.
  • Ideas how to wargame Human Terrain.
Three comments from the Committee:

1. While Connections UK appears to be the largest gathering of wargaming professionals in the UK, we do not have any formal remit to progress wargaming. We will strive, along with Connections US, NL and Australia, to 'Advance and Preserve the Art, Science and Application of Wargaming'. This accords with the vision of an ongoing high-level UK initiative, which is that: 'Across Defence, Wargaming is understood and appreciated, widely and correctly applied, done well, and delivers tangible operational and business results.'

2. Several comments suggested that Seminar Wargames had been belittled at last year's Conference. We were somewhat baffled by this as we all use, and promote, Seminar Games, so any derogatory inferences were entirely unintentional. There will be a plenary this year on Seminar and Matrix Games.

3. The question was asked why we don't devote more time to computer-only simulations. While we all use computers, and argue that they are entirely complementary with manual simulations, we feel that computer simulation receives sufficient coverage elsewhere. If you want computer-based games you might be better served at ITEC/IITSEC conferences. For the moment, Connections UK concentrates on manual simulations, high-engagement role-playing games, computer-assisted games and complementary approaches within the professional environment.