The Epsom-based developer of war games Command and Flashpoint Campaigns, Slitherine, has signed a £1.5 million two-year contract with Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) to develop “several wargaming tools based on strategy games which can be bought and played at home”.
Stating the game simulators “offer an additional way of looking at combat strategy as well as being relatively easy to learn and operate”, Dstl has now placed a contract with a British video games firm. A press release states Wargaming experts (not to be confused as experts from developer Wargaming) from Dstl demonstrated “the potential of the games with the Royal Navy, which is now trialling the use of one of the games for educational purposes”.
“We work on computer-assisted wargaming and manual wargaming. I have played strategy video games myself – even some of the titles that we looked at for this project,” said a principal analyst from Dstl. “They are generally easier to learn how to use and have far larger user bases than analytical defence simulations. Of course, there are things we can’t use these for. Our own simulation modelling, as well as more traditional manual wargaming, is still vital. It’s just another tool for the job.
“We’ll use these tools with our own data and scenarios to provide better ways of visualising military problems. The benefits are accessibility and ease of use, and the amount of existing users there are. For example, we’ve been able to train users quicker by going out to Dstl staff who have played these games and training them to use them in a professional capacity. We’re always looking for things to give us a wargaming edge. These games help us to think more creatively around issues. ”
“We are excited to be working with a non-traditional supplier such as Slitherine, supporting the UK’s prosperity agenda,” added Rob Solly, division head for defence and security analysis. “We are always looking for creative, collaborative solutions to the challenges of effective and user-friendly wargaming and simulation.”