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My PhD - Wargaming Urban Conflict

In early 2022 I started a PhD in wargaming under John Curry at Bath Spa, he of History of Wargaming Project fame. I'm doing the PhD part-time, so will probably take 5-6 years. After some discussions with John and kicking various more hobby/generic ideas around we decided that Urban Conflict was the best bet as it a) built on work I was already doing for MOD, b) is a key current area of interest for the world's militaries and c) hasn't been over-researched academically. As with all PhD the first year is probably going to all about reading (and playing) widely and deciding on a more precise scope and research question but for now my (updated) provisional title is:

What are the unique challenges in trying to wargame modern military operations in an increasingly urbanised world and (how) can they be better addressed?

Now that I'm using Obsidian for my day-to-day note taking I'll mainly update this blog when I produce new reports (eg game AARs, battle summaries, short papers), and then to a major update and Term Sheet one a term, so it won't be quite the scratch pad I originally thought but will still be pointing people to things I'm working on and using it to consolidate game reports, research etc.

Urban Wargaming Resources

  • Urban Wargames Database - of course a good starting point is knowing what has been done before, so here's my growing list of urban wargames. If you know on one that's not on there please email me at david at burden dot name.
  • BoardGameGeek Urban Wargames GeekList - this mirrors the database with all games from the database that have a BGG page

The Evolving Thesis

I'm also interested in the whole idea of doing a PhD “in public” and the use of Wikis/Data Gardens/Digital Gardens/Second Brains/Personal Knowledge Management (PKM) tools etc to support them - so here are a few notes on PhD Wikis.

You can contact me at:

phd.txt · Last modified: 2024/01/24 21:25 by admin