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NATO WIN23 – Aftermath

As you maybe know, Thin Red Line Games (err, me!) is just back from Rome where I’ve attended the Wargaming Initiative NATO 2023 (WIN23).

This was my first time as part of such a high-level event, so it took me the whole first day to get over the “Shock & Awe” effect, with some precious help from the French and Italian expeditionary forces there….Thank you guys 🙂

In short, it was a blast. During the plenary meetings I’ve learned a lot about NATO ACT (Allied Command Transformation) and its approach to the present and future challenges. Several things, including the position of ACT in NATO’s hierarchy, were quite new to me.

And of course, we had wargames! The schedule was densely packed and the time short, particularly when you have a demo to run and a lot of “networking” activity, so I was able to explore only the tip of the iceberg but I had a lot of fun commanding the Iraqi Special Forces in an urban fight against the Insurgents, well led by a couple of French Officers. In the end, our Iraqi Security Forces lost horribly after a disastrous disengagement and a strike with chemical weapons previously hidden in some kebab shop of the old city (“The best Mustard Kebab in Iraq! Try it, and you’ll never go for anything else!”).

On the top of that, we had a demo – maybe better defined as an “open discussion” – of the C3 system, using the Welcome to Braunschweig Scenario from The Dogs of War and attended by Italian, German, French and Hungarian Officers (I hope I’m not forgetting someone!). After I distributed a short Situation Report describing the scenario and the High Command orders, we spent a couple of hours evaluating the various possibilities and discussing Soviet doctrine, opposed river crossing, units composition, and more.

For the inquisitive minds, here’s the SITREP and the Situation Map we used:

Of course, no AAR is complete without photos….not too many and not exactly top quality, but here they are! And a big thank you to NATO ACT for the incredible opportunity.

9 thoughts on “NATO WIN23 – Aftermath

  1. I look forward to your later comments on how you see NATO using wargaming, both commercial and non-commercial. in their planning and training programs.

    For right now: Way cool! Three cheers for TRL and their fearless leader.

  2. Awesome opportunity! Attended a lecture by ACT’s French CO recently, though it was mostly about industrial-technical issues and not wargaming. Hurray for TRL and FV!!

  3. I’m really hoping you can port your current gaming systems to modern day conflicts…

    1. It’s possible that NATO will have something to say on that 🙂

      1. Waiting for further instructions…😉

    2. Count me also in for that !

  4. I hope you use this new information in your new games.

  5. How nerve-wracking, but glad to hear it went well. Good job! Were there any Ukrainian military there? Not that they’re NATO…yet.

    Speaking of which, after the performance of the Russian military over the past year, are both military professionals and game designers taking another look at their (Russian, not Soviet) capabilities? If nothing else, it shows the enormous impact of moral and emotional “drive”…on both sides of the equation.

    1. Mike, as you said Ukraine is not part of NATO so no Ukrainian officers there…or maybe they were well hidden!
      Regarding the war, I’ve heard about a couple of “lessons learned” now being assessed, but I’m not sure I can give out additional details.
      I know, I’m sounding like a smartass but it’s my first time in an event like that, so better safe than sorry 🙂

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