U.S. Naval War College (NWC) staff members listen to a brief during a wargame reenactment of the Battle of Jutland at NWC in Newport, Rhode Island.
U.S. Naval War College (NWC) staff members listen to a brief during a wargame reenactment of the Battle of Jutland at NWC in Newport, Rhode Island. The historical World War I naval battle was fought May 31, 1916, between the British Royal navy's Grand Fleet, under British Adm. Sir John Jellicoe, and Imperial German navy's High Seas Fleet, under German Vice Adm. Reinhard Scheer. The battle was later studied in great depth at NWC by Fleet Admirals Chester W. Nimitz, Ernest J. King and William F. Halsey, and helped shape U.S. Navy warships, tactics and doctrine in the years leading up to World War II. During the wargame reenactment, Rear Adm. P. Gardner Howe III, NWC president, commanded the German High Seas Fleet and retired Rear Adm. Samuel J. Cox, director, Naval History and Heritage Command, commanded the British Grand Fleet. 160510-N-PX557-186 NEWPORT, R.I. (May 10, 2016)


Simulating complex war situations—from sea to space to cyber—builds analytical, strategic, and decision-making skills. Wargaming programming not only enriches our curriculum, but it also helps shape defense plans and policies for various commands and agencies.

Simulations at sea—and beyond

Wargaming has been an integral part of Naval War College since 1887. While the tools and technology used in simulations have evolved over the past century, the value of wargaming in maritime leadership development remains strong. Today, we conduct more than 50 gaming events per year, and they range in variety from complex, multi-sided computer-assisted games to simple, single-sided seminar games.

Wargaming supports our academic mission in many ways. Games foster an understanding of the decisions that military leaders and civilians make in maritime and joint warfare. Wargaming also opens discussion and debate of strategic and operational concepts. Finally, gaming provides insights and builds important risk assessment and analytical skills

Wargaming Topics

Wargaming allows students to gain practical experience and a better understanding of the dynamics of warfighting, but simulations are also designed to prepare military leaders for national disasters and humanitarian relief.

Wargaming covers a wide range of issues including:

  • Space
  • Cyber
  • Political-military relationships
  • Sea control
  • Nuclear deterrence
  • Humanitarian assistance
  • Disaster relief
  • Homeland security/defense 

Collaborations and partnerships

Gaming not only helps our students grow as leaders, but it supports internal research needs and external requests from other commands and civilian agencies. We work individually with requesting sponsors to develop gaming programs.

Partners and games have included:

  • Chief of Naval Operation (Global Title X War Game Series)
  • Office of the Secretary of Defense (Proliferation Security Initiative Game)
  • OPAV (Maritime Domain Awareness Operational Game)
  • U.S. STRATCOM (Strategic Deterrence and Escalation Game)

Wargaming at NWC

Wargaming Facilities

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History of Wargaming at NWC & Captain William McCarty Little

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Wargaming Faculty and Staff

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News, Media, & Events


Naval War College Kicks off Lecture Series

Jan. 10, 2018
News Publication

Issues in National Security: Looking Outward to the Future

Jan. 23, 2018
4:30 p.m.
U.S. Naval War College, 686 Cushing Road, Newport, RI 02841

Blue Hair in Gray Zone

Jan. 10, 2018
War on the Rocks
Article Publication

More Information on Wargaming

Naval Wargaming Virtual Community of Practice

The Naval Wargaming Virtual Community of Practice (vCoP) has been established to create a collaborative network for stakeholders from across the Naval enterprise to inform national policy, prepare our warfighters for successful combat operations, and contribute to the development of our Sailors and Marines as professionals and as strategic thinkers. Users will need CAC authentication to visit vCOP.

Go To vCOP

About Wargaming

Wargaming at the Naval War College has an incredibly rich history as an integral part of the college since 1887. As part of the Center for Naval Warfare Studies, the War Gaming Department remains the world’s premier gaming organization conducting approximately 50 games and events a year.

Learn More on Wargaming

Game Reports

While the U.S. Naval War College has a long tradition of naval wargaming, the intent of the war game reports site is to focus on contemporary challenges in the operational art of naval operations.

See Game Reports