Millennium Wars Advanced

What is it?

Millennium Wars Advanced (MWA) is a system that Modern Conflict Studies Group and One Small Step build modern military and political simulations around. The first of those game is States of Conflict, a boxed game covering the history of the Arab-Israeli conflict. States of Conflict is in the final pre-press stages. The next game in the series covers the current and near-future conflicts in southeast Asia.

So what?

MWA is something new, and it is very, very special. We built a new design from the ground up. Our intent was to leave all of the normal mechanisms on the cutting room floor, unless they could establish themselves as the finest means of abstraction for a particular purpose. Almost no legacy war game methods made the cut. We did keep some of the best ideas from the original Millennium Wars and used them as foundational structures in a whole new design.

The game covers conflict on land, sea, and air, but also includes battle-spaces in near earth orbit and cyberspace. The core is a magnificent political system that provides control and understanding of the drivers for the conflict, and how those change as each side pursues objectives.

The game does not focus on kinetics. Units have neither combat strengths nor movement allowances. The variety of units in modern warfare requires a bit more creativity/open-mindedness than an old-school system could provide on a good day with a favorable tail wind. Each unit type has one or more Capabilities. Each Capability gives that unit one or more Missions that the unit can undertake. Missions from several units combine to create an Operation. Operations achieve objectives.

Each Operation type is associated with a specific Casualty Chain. A Casualty Chain is a collection of effects the target of the Operation can suffer

What is the scale?

That depends. In the original Millennium Wars, each game in the series had a unique scale. We standardized the scale in Millennium Wars Advanced, so that large seminars could conduct conflicts at a grand scale simultaneously, using a common framework. There are three core concepts that have scale in the game: Time, Area, and Units.

In the time dimension, there are two scales: Political (PolScale) and Military (MilScale). PolScale is used when kinetic operations are at a very low intensity. Each turn represents about a month, and available missions focus on strategic intelligence gathering, building efforts, and infrastructure deployments. Kinetic and high-intesity operations are resolved at MilScale. MilScale is the more typical time scale used. Each MilScale turn represents approximately one day.

In the area dimension, there are also two scales: Strategic and Operational. Strategic Scale is rarely used, and does not even appear in States of Conflict. Each hex represents approximately 300km. It is used to deploy forces and visualize counter deployments at a strategic scale, with the entire theatre represented. Operational Scale is where the scrapping takes place. Hexes are about 10km across.

In the unit dimension, there is only one scale. Air units are wings. Land units are generally brigade size. Naval units are individual ships. Offboard assets can be agency size or smaller.

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