Simulating War: Studying Conflict Through Simulation Games

Simulating War: Studying Conflict Through Simulation Games

Book rating: 05 Hardback

By (author) Prof. Philip A. G. Sabin

$47.48

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  • Publisher: Continuum Publishing Corporation
  • Format: Hardback | 336 pages
  • Dimensions: 162mm x 238mm x 42mm | 662g
  • Publication date: 22 March 2012
  • Publication City/Country: New York
  • ISBN 10: 1441185585
  • ISBN 13: 9781441185587
  • Edition statement: New ed.
  • Illustrations note: 24 colour, 2 bw illustrations
  • Sales rank: 93,465

Product description

Over the past fifty years, many thousands of conflict simulations have been published which bring the dynamics of past and possible future wars to life. Philip Sabin used such techniques in his acclaimed previous book Lost Battles to cast new light on Greek and Roman land engagements. In this new work, he explores the theory and practice of conflict simulation as a topic in its own right, based on his thirty years of experience in designing wargames and using them to educate both military and civilian students. Simulating War sets conflict simulation in its proper context alongside more academically familiar techniques such as game theory and operational analysis. It explains in detail the analytical and modelling techniques involved, and it teaches you how to design your own simulations of conflicts of your choice, as do Philip Sabin's MA students. The book provides eight simple illustrative simulations of specific historical conflicts, complete with rules, maps and counters. These games have all been employed successfully in class, and you can use them to see exactly how conflict simulation works. Simulating War is essential reading for all recreational or professional simulation gamers, and for anyone who is interested in modelling war, from teachers and students to military officers. A key feature of the book is its inclusion of illustrative wargames designed by Professor Sabin for use in class, complete with rules and full colour maps and counters. These are as follows: - Second Punic War (multiplayer diplomacy) - Roma Invicta? (Hannibal's early campaigns in Italy) - Kartenspiel (card game of Napoleonic battle) - Hell's Gate (the Korsun pocket, winter 1944) - Big Week (US bombing raids, February 1944) - Fire and Movement (WW2 British infantry battalion attack) - Block Busting (WW2 urban combat) - Angels One Five (grand tactical aerial dogfighting in WW2)

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Author information

Philip Sabin is Professor of Strategic Studies in the Department of War Studies at King's College, London. He has worked closely with the armed services and appears regularly on TV and radio. He has also co-edited the two volume Cambridge History of Greek and Roman Warfare.

Customer reviews

By Hans Korting 06 Jun 2012 5

With his latest book, Simulating War, Philip Sabin shows us how use is made of board- and computerwargames to teach his students and the
military how 'games' can be used to show the complexities of military conflict.

What it stresses is that it doesn't always take intricate computer models or boardwargames with tons of rules and hundredths of counters to show how a conflict or battle in history evolved and why. Even a regular set of cards can be used to show this. It tells us about the advantages of using a cardboard and paper game over a computer wargame, but also how one can design such a game. The appendices give hints and tips on how to create one's own game and game components, and more.

Filled with lots of examples and including eight illustrative simulations covering Ancient times to WWII, Simulating War is a must have for every boardwargamer or professional wargame designer of gamer.

Review quote

'Brilliant. Professor Sabin has produced a masterwork, one worthy to grace bookshelves that are home to Von Reisswitz's Kriegsspiel, Wells's Little Wars, Morse and Kimball's Methods of Operations Research, and Schelling's The Strategy of Conflict. If you want to learn more about the unquestionably horrible but quintessentially human activity that is War, you need to read this book.' Dr Peter Perla, Center for Naval Analyses, Alexandria VA, author of The Art of Wargaming. 'In Simulating War Professor Sabin provides us with a scholarly and very useable toolkit that allows us to supplement the dry data of statistical analysis or computer simulation with the realities of human interaction and the play of Clausewitz's "chance". Wargaming is a neglected and misunderstood art in the modern military: this book does much to put that right, and should be on the shelf of any thinking military professional.' Brigadier Andrew Sharpe OBE, Head of Research in the Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, UK Defence Academy.

Table of contents

Introduction; Part 1 Theory; 1.Modelling War; 2. Accuracy vs Playability; 3. The Utility of Simulations; 4. Simulation Research; Part 2 Mechanics; 5. Designing the Components; 6. Modelling Conflict Dynamics; 7. Modelling Command Dynamics; 8. Development and Playtesting; Part 3 Simulations; 9. Ancient Warfare; 10. World War Two; 11. Air Combat; Conclusion; Appendix 1: Some Basic Maths; Appendix 2: Cyberboard as a Design Tool; Index.