How Does the US Navy Run Wargames? - A Guided Tour of the US Naval War College Wargaming Facilities -

How Does the US Navy Run Wargames? – A Guided Tour of the US Naval War College Wargaming Facilities

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We visit the US Naval War College to find out more about US Naval History and Naval Wargaming. In this video, I provide an overview of the college grounds and follow up with a guided tour of their impressive Naval Wargaming facilities which have been used throughout the history of the Navy from the 19th to the 21st centuries.

A big thanks to Peter Pellegrino who hosted the tour and provided an excellent educational overview of the military wargaming which took place over the years. The tour starts in Founders Hall which hosted the first classes in 1884 following the US Civil War. At this time they had access to US Navy ships sailing up the Narragansett Bay. However access would be limited shortly thereafter and the college increasingly relied on the naval wargaming which was introduced by Lieutenant William McCarty Little in 1886. This new technique quickly became a core part of the curriculum which acquired many new wargaming facilities as the college expanded over its history. We get a chance to visit Pringle Hall where the Pacific War was planned, Sims Hall where the first computer was introduced for warfare simulation, and McCarty Little Hall where classified modern wargaming takes place.

I hope you enjoy this educational navy documentary on the history of the navy and the development of wargaming in the US Navy.



  1. Suddenly, I realized how my perfect mancave is going to look like.

  2. were you invited to this opportunity or did you reach out first?

  3. Hold on, was that the most unappealing face reveal ever?

  4. Invicta PLEASE upload the modern wargaming video fast. I CAN'T WAIT

  5. It takes a month to learn the rules? I'd love to see that rule book!

  6. This is an excellent interview. I always noticed that when a interviewee is talkative, it's best to sit back and listen. Invicta was brilliant in this interview by allowing the historian to present his full presentation uninterrupted. I felt like we received a lot of data in a very short time.

    I can't stand the Joe Rogan's of the world who cuts off the guest and takes them off topic. I feel like we miss half the story.

    Invicta should have a gaming facility of his own where he can teach people how to be a strategic documentary producer. 🙂

  7. When I read "How to Make War" by Jim Dunnigan, I learned that our government basically plays glorified Starcraft to estimate how wars will go and plan accordingly – based on math from a guy who watched WW1 airplane dog fights and extracted algorithms and math equations to predict results – with strong statistical success! Most of the debate centers around what "stats" to give the units based on historical engagements and events on Aberdeen Proving Grounds etc; and what equations represent how forces interact. In my opinion, and that of the book, these systems are fundamentally flawed (tho useful, and no better alternative exists) because they ignore the most crucial detail – force employment. Caesar's legions in Gaul could be exactly the same in 2 cases, but the force is much more effective when following Caesar's commands than those of someone with 0 military sense (who, for the sake of argument, has all of Caesar's charisma for morale etc). The Confederates in the Shanandoah Valley campaign weren't super-effective because they were super-powerful, it was because of how they were used. It's like trying to judge how good of a fighter Mohammad Ali was, and ignoring that much of his success was due to his using the "rope a dope" strategy. He'd have done worse if his mindset was unwavering fixed on a toe-to-toe clash. It's like trying to use math to prove if Terrans, Zerg, or Protoss is the better race by basing "stats" on historical performance – and forgetting the player is the most important variable.

    This practice works well for small fights set in one specific time, like clones of the Battle of 73 Easting with early 90s tech. But you can't use the same system for the 1986 Miami FBI shootout, Alexander the Great's victories, the Battle of the Bulge, Gettysburg, and Operation Anaconda.

  8. The guide kind of looks like George Clooney

  9. You look just as I pictured it. 😆 good job on your videos

  10. Part of the success and feedback loop were the annual fleet exercises that tested rules, results and tactics used in games, it both let the gaming inspire exercises and let exercises put realism into the gaming. I believe no other navy was teaching, gaming and exercising its leadership, its tactics and its officers in this way, both theory and practice for war to come.

  11. Jane also did Jane's Wargames for PC.. Had F/A 18 Hornet (fly as a F/A 18 pilot), 688(i) Hunter/Killer (Be a Los Angeles class Attack Submarine commander) and my personal favorite Jane's Fleet Command where you control an entire Carrier Group, including the planes off of carriers.

  12. Visited the Naval College Museum at Annapolis a couple years back . Need to visit this one too. A old friend Roger Rhodes was an instructor at the Naval War College. I played plenty of wargames with him before that.

  13. We're lucky these days that all we have to do is to download World of Warships.

  14. It takes one month to learn the game?
    So you're saying video game nerds who play all day would be the best candidates for naval officers?

  15. I’m so glad this channel is finding success and expanding. You provide some of the best info out here for us armchair tacticians.

    Ps: crossover with lindybeige. Just sayin.

  16. I love your content in general but HOLY CRAP was that cool. I guess I didn’t realize that the Navy has been playing military D&D since the 1800s. I have quite a bit of research to do, and I’m looking forward to the upcoming vids on this topic!

  17. I had a chance to go for a week when I was 16, but the training got cancelled. I am impressed and incredibly jealous you got to have this opportunity. Thank you so much for sharing.

  18. great video. thanks for sharing. have you done one for the Army War College? or perhaps the Command and Staff school?

  19. Depends how badly the marine playing the Iranians kicks their asses.

  20. Nah… I'm going back to playing Battleship

  21. I want to see Prestige military school vs Pro HOI player in this game.

  22. That last building sounds fascinating, makes you wonder how the USN is doing in wargames against China over the south china sea/taiwan

  23. Newport, RI is also home to Navy's Officer Training Command, which trains, you guessed it, new Navy officers outside of USNA

  24. I love the story about Japanese war gaming out the invasion of Midway in 1942. In the war game, the officer playing out the Americans managed a carrier attack on the Kido Butai and sank 2 carriers. The umpire for the war game declared that the Americans shouldn’t have been where the officer had put them and reset the game.

  25. Admissions officer: so why are you interested in attending?

    Me internally: don't say you wanna play fancy warhammer don't say you wanna play fancy warhammer don't say you wanna play fancy warhammer

    Me: I wanna play fancy…magic the gathering

  26. you hitting the gym recently Oakley?
    those arms are looking thicc son

  27. Not American but would still want to go there lol

  28. Is it just me or is the sound in the interview extremely unsynced?

  29. YAY Kriegsspiel! The origin of pretty much all games played today.

  30. Great idea to start making such videos. Thank you.

  31. It must have been really hard to wargame before the d20 was invented!

  32. I was in North Kingstown last week , near the Quonset Base .

  33. Simple, taking wargames serious is the difference between invading Normandy, and cavalry charging into machine gun fire.
    Always ask the question "if I where my enemy, what would be the best move" and then switch sides again after finding a counter.
    Helps in Chess, games, live and war.

  34. Out of curiosity… Why would they not use decommissioned ships for their practical training? The USN got plenty of those, during its history.

  35. Fascinating tour and interview, thankyou to the War College for allowing this!

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