On the Design of Educational Course of Action Wargaming


  • Leandro Ouriques Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Carlos Eduardo Barbosa Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro
  • Geraldo Xexéo Universidade Federal do Rio de Janeiro


The Joint Planning Process is a document that describes the guidelines to employ the Brazilian Armed Forces. The military can also apply these guidelines for educational purposes, to train their staff in times of peace. The Brazilian Ministry of Defense intends to simulate the employment of military forces to speed up the decision-making cycle and increase the chances of operational success. Consequently, actions would be better planned and risks would be better assessed. The Course of Action (COA) Wargaming simulates each friendly COA against the possible enemy COAs. However, the doctrinal process lacks information to describe how to conduct a COA Wargame. Therefore, doctrinal knowledge is limited to systematizing this analysis. COA Wargaming has been subjective and has relied on tacit knowledge. This work aims to propose a method to conduct the COA Wargaming, and a conceptual model to structure the COA Wargaming, enabling the further use of computer systems to support its conduction. Wargames’ concepts inspire this game design. Wargames are defined as models or simulations of conflicts in a synthetic environment, involving opposing forces, in which players make decisions based on rules, procedures, and information. Improving COA Wargaming as an educational wargame tool would simulate military planning, support players to build effective strategies, support instructors to analyze players’ decisions and umpire engagements, and build a technological framework to collect decision data for future applications in knowledge management and artificial intelligence.