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Prof. Aaron Danis and Dr. Amanda Won run series of China/Asia wargames

This fall, in partnership with Dr. Amanda Won and IWP’s China/Asia Program, Prof. Aaron Danis organized a series of commercial wargames for students at IWP.  This lunchtime series took place on six Wednesdays this fall.

The series included:

  • Sparring Dragons, an introductory Taiwan Straights operational combat game;
  • Flashpoint: South China Sea, a strategic game of influence to prevent a war…or not; and
  • Littoral Commander: Indo-Pacific 2030, which involves near-future grand tactical combat between the Chinese and U.S. Marine Corps.
Two students playing the Chinese and Taiwanese military commanders in Sparring Dragon.
Two students playing the Chinese and Taiwanese military commanders in Sparring Dragon.

This series gave students the opportunity to experience a variety of different wargames while exercising their strategic and tactical skills. “We wanted the students to experience a spectrum of wargames, including Flashpoint: South China Sea, which is not about actual conflict, but exercising on-going diplomatic, informational, military, and economic influence, much as they are taught here at IWP,” said Professor Danis.

The Chinese and U.S. players thinking deeply in Flashpoint: South China Sea.
The Chinese and U.S. players thinking deeply in Flashpoint: South China Sea.

Some students had played Littoral Commander: Indo-Pacific 2030 last spring with the game’s designer.  “I hope to keep building on that initial session and work into more complicated scenarios next spring to show students without military experience the complexity and lethality of modern war,” offered Prof. Danis.

“We will continue this wargame series in the upcoming semesters as well, targeting other rogue nations such as North Korea,” said Dr. Won.

Prof. Danis and Dr. Won plan to run games from other areas as well in the spring, including the Middle East and Africa, among others.

Students playing Littoral Commander
To everyone’s amusement, Prof. Danis realizes he can’t read the Chinese capabilities card in Littoral Commander without his glasses.
Aaron Danis showing wargames to Amb. Aldona Woś and Dr. James Robbins
Prof. Aaron Danis showing the wargames to IWP President Amb. Aldona Woś and Academic Dean Dr. James Robbins