There are numerous definitions of Wargaming. Most of them are too elaborate for our use. The definition I am using now is: The process of evaluating your options in light of your situation and the circumstances. Wargaming is a way determining if:
- Your tactics work.
- The tactics employed contribute to your strategic end goal.
- There are significant possible negative outcomes
Wargaming has the following characteristics:
- Evaluates a possible Course of Action against opposing adversary.
- It is an iterative process of action, reaction, and counteraction.
- At a minimum, it should start if you go to Condition Orange. When you’re on the ground, in a pre-contact situation, the wargaming will not be very in depth. But the better your grasp of your end goals, possible options, and negative outcomes, the quicker and simpler it will be.
First, you have to decide what your end goal is. This should be done before you walk out the door of your home each day. Deciding your end goal does not mean saying “I would do this.” That is just one step of the process and not the first.
In my previous post about Tactical Decision Making, I listed some end goals and some possible negative outcomes. Both of those lists, and any additions you may have to them, are worth reviewing from time to time.
It’s extremely important to take into consideration the possible negative outcomes. Failure to consider consequences is a huge gap in most people’s analysis of the situation. Some of the consequences are legal but not all of them are.
Some concrete examples of negative outcomes are:
- Zimmerman shooting – Extensive and costly interaction with legal system ($2.5 million in attorney fees)
- Theodore Wafer shooting, Detroit – Murder conviction
- Jerome Ersland, Oklahoma City pharmacist – murder conviction, life sentence in prison
- Petit murders, Connecticut – Loss of wife and daughters under horrible circumstances
- Joseph Robert Wilcox, Las Vegas – murdered trying to stop an active killer
- Joe Hendrix, Georgia – shot an elderly man with Alzheimer’s – consequences to be discovered in the future
There are three areas you must consider as part of your wargaming. They are your situation, your options, and the circumstances; i.e., your surroundings and the event. We’ll discuss these in the next installment.