PowerPoints for the Dalig and Vadan exercise

The Dalig and Vadan Exercise:
Where Political Violence Meets
Clausewitz's Friction, Fog,
Uncertainty & Leadership
Victor Asal UAlbany
[email protected]
Lewis Griffith KSIS-UDenver
[email protected]
Marcus Shultzke UAlbany
War (Political Violence) is
a Duel
By definition, the adversary wants to:
– Deny you your end state
– Thwart your plan
– Confuse, deceive, and Be unpredictable
– Play to your weaknesses and their
strengths (Asymmetric Warfare)
– Set the time, the tempo, and the scale
– Create friction and uncertainty
– Make you you to question your
leadership (or your own judgment)
Clausewitz’s Nature of War
The “Climate” of War:
– Danger
– Exertion
– Fog
– Friction
– Chance
– Uncertainty
“Everything in war is very simple, but the simplest thing is difficult. The
difficulties accumulate and end by producing a kind of friction that is
inconceivable unless one has experienced war…Friction is the only concept that
more or less corresponds to the factors that distinguish real war from war on
paper” (On War, 119).
“Everything in war is very simple, but the
simplest thing is difficult. The difficulties
accumulate and end by producing a kind of
friction that is inconceivable unless one has
experienced war…
Friction is the only concept that more or less
corresponds to the factors that distinguish real
war from war on paper. The military machine—
the army and everything related to it—is
basically very simple and therefore seems easy
to manage. But we should bear in mind that
none of its components is of one piece; each
part is composed of individuals, every one
whom retains his potential for friction…
The dangers inseparable from war and the
physical exertions war demands can aggravate
the problem to such an extent that they must
be ranked among it principal causes.” (On War,
• “By “intelligence” we mean every sort of information
about the enemy and his country –the basis, in short of
our own plans and operations…
• Many intelligence reports in war are contradictory; even
more are false, and most are uncertain…
• This difficulty of accurate recognition constitutes one of
the most serious sources of friction in war, by making
things appear entirely different from what one had
• War has a way of masking the stage with scenery crudely
daubed with fearsome apparitions. Once this is cleared
away, and the horizon becomes unobstructed,
developments will confirm his earlier convictions—this is
one of the great chasms between planning and
execution” (On War, 117-118)
Dalig and Vadan Exercise
(DVE) Basics
Two shirt colors
We will play outside.
Each team will consist of half the class – one side the Daligs and the other
the Vadans.
Game is played in simultaneous turns (each team moves at the same time).
Each team commander (TC) gets half the students and a certain/fixed number
of pre-determined points.
TCs and Deputy Commanders (DCs) are responsible for bringing note pads and
writing utensils for distributing points to all players during game play
The TC cannot move – and can only talk to other team members when standing
next to them. All team members start the game next to their TC. Newly
created or reconstituted team members start next to the TC. DCs can talk and
move and are exactly like other soldiers except they work with the TC to lead
their teams.
DVE: Victory
• If a commander of a team is killed the team
• If all the soldiers on the field are killed at the
end of a turn the team loses
• If both production centers are captured at
the end of a turn the team loses
Points & Players
• Each Team will be assigned a total pools of points (determined
by number of players/terrain/duration of play)
• Points are allocated to players in to activate them across three
– Movement
– Attack
– Defense
• Recommend a base formula of 3 points per total # of players
per team
– These do not include the 1 each that all players start with in move, attack and
defense, they are allocated in addition to these 3 base points
– These do not include the 6 Attack & 6 Defense for the Commander which are
– So 14 players per side would have 42 points by the standard formula to add to
the 13 non-commander players existing one point per move, attack, and defense
in order to form the force of players
– Not all points or players must be deployed at the start of the game
Dalig and Vadan:
Building Players
• Since each team has 12 soldiers the TC gets 70 points to
distribute amongst the soldiers at the beginning of the game.
• All soldiers start with one point in attack, defense and
movement (except the TC who cannot move):
• Points can be distributed to each soldier for movement or
attack or defense. No soldier can have more then 9 points. Not
all soldiers need to be put on the board at the beginning of the
game nor do all points need to be allocated.
• In summary, everyone starts with 1 point each in attack, defense and
movement. Commanders can add up to six points to this combination to
bring people up to 9 points
DVE: Production Centers
• Each team starts with two production centers. At the end of
every third turn if a team controls its two production centers it
gets an extra 5 points. These points can be used for new
players or can be added to existing players – if they are in
contact with the TC.
• Control of a production center is established by the last side to
touch that production center (at the start of the game all
supply centers are assumed to have been last touched by their
• If a team only controls 1 production center it must take 5
points out of the commander’s reserve points (points that
have not been used yet) or one active soldier will die each
Dalig and Vadan:
The Commander
• The TC cannot move.
• The TC cannot shout.
• The TC starts with 6 Defense and 6 attack
(this does not come out of the starting
number of points).
• If the TC is killed that team loses immediately
Commander must keep track of
how many points they have to
make soldiers
Player Points Form: Example
Player #:
(no more than 9 points per person total including 3 starting points)
M:1+( )=
A:1+( )=
D:1+( )=
Dalig and Vadan:
Movement, Attack and Defense
• Movement: Each turn, players can stride (normal walking stride, no
running) in any direction as one stride per movement points they have.
• If two players come into contact, the player who initiated the contact
(who reaches out and touches the opponent) is the attacker.
• If two or three players (no more than three) hold hands or link arms (at
the elbow like a wedding march) then they can add together all their
attack or defense points (depending on if they are attacking or defendingbut they have to be literally holding hands/linked when they move and
when they are stopped.
• All the points of the attacker and anyone s/he is holding hands with
(three people max) is put up against the defender and anyone s/he is
holding hands with. No pushing or striking is allowed – and if someone
tries to go past you a player can reach out and touch them (without
moving feet).
• Whoever has fewer points is eliminated. If the point values are equal
then no one is eliminated and the next turn is played.
• If eliminated, a soldier goes back into reserves and can be recreated using
new points or points that have not been spent.
DVE: Turns
1) Turns are simultaneous – both teams move at once
2) The time of each turn is preset or open at the instructors
preference and fixed pre-exercise
3) Instructor will announce a new turn
4) Players who can and wish to move can do so until either:
a) someone from the opposing team touches them or
b) they run out of moves or
c) time is called
5) combat is then resolved
6) Eliminated people leave the game and go to stand behind
the commander
7) Points for ownership of Production Centers are added or
8) Builds/Points are made if any
9) Next turn is announced
Field Layout (without terrain)
Dalig PC1
Vadan PC1
TC Dalig
TC Vadan
Dalig PC2
Vadan PC1
• The Dalig and Vadan need to come up with a
strategy BEFORE the game is played and have
filled out Point forms for each person on their
team to be handed out before game play. In
addition, they must have relayed these values
to their players before the game and must arrive
with points cards for each player.
• This can be done via a group process, by TC and
DC, or any hybrid approach as suits class,
context, and educator preference.
DVE Variation #1:
Suicide Bombers
• Any player can be made a suicide bomber and
that player will self-destruct whenever they
attack an opposing player – killing that opposing
player and whoever is holding hands with that
player as well as themselves
• Suicide Bombers can have additional movement
and defense points, but only the minimal 1
attack point
• Suicide Bombers are just like other players in
defense & for all other rules
DVE Variation #2:
Friction “Freezes”
• The Instructor can select, based on criteria
drawn from course/context, to inform players of
a certain type or designation to “freeze” for a
given turn.
• If players are numbered, the selection can be
based on random designation (both teams #5
player is frozen for turn 7 for example).
• Frozen players can defend, but cannot move or
join an attack.
Foundational Questions
• What impact does material superiority have? Why?
• What impact does terrain, weather, or geography
have? Why?
• What impact does being on the defense have? Why?
• What impact does luck, change or the unpredictable
• What impact does strategic thinking have? Why?
• What are the implications of different leadership
• What is of the most important of these element?
Experiential Questions – Part I
• What did you experience or observe during the
simulation that illustrates what we have defined as
fiction? And fog?
• What effect did fog have in each of the simulations?
Did it interfere with your team’s plans? If so, how?
Did it help your team? If so, how?
• What effect did friction have in each of the
simulations? Did it interfere with your teams plans? If
so, how? Did it help your team? If so, how?
• How did the effects of fog and friction change as the
rules of the simulation were changed ? Which rules
do you feel were best able to recreate fog and friction
in the simulation?
Experiential Questions – Part II
• How much of your team’s success was a result of
• What seemed to be the best ways of overcoming
problems caused by friction?
• What seemed to be the best ways of overcoming
problems caused by fog?
• What kind(s) of leadership and command structure(s)
did your team use? How effective were these?
• How well did the DVE help you understand fog and
friction as opposed to the readings and lectures
Additional Topics:
The Trinity
“As a total phenomenon…always make war a
paradoxical trinity—composed of primordial
violence, hatred, and enmity, which are to be
regarded as a blind natural force; of the play of
chance and probability within which the
creative spirit is free to roam; and of its
element of subordination, as an instrument of
policy, which makes it subject to reason alone”
(On War, 89)
The Trinity (Standard View)
All war then has as its nature the
interaction of a remarkable trinity
1. Violence and irrationality (people)
2. The interplay of chance and
probability (the army/armed forces)
3. War subordinated to policy (the
What is Clausewitz talking about below?
“If wars between civilized nations are far less cruel and destructive
than war between savages, the reason lies in the social conditions of
the states themselves and in their relationships to one another…
If, then, civilized nations do not put their prisoners to death or
devastate cities and countries, it is because intelligence plays a larger
part in their methods of warfare and has taught them more effective
means of using force than the crude expression of instinct.
The invention of gunpowder and the constant improvement of
firearms are enough in themselves to show that the advance of
civilization has done nothing practical to alter or deflect the impulse
to destroy the enemy, which is central to the very idea of war at the
bottom of the conception of war, is in no way changed or modified
through the progress of civilization.” (On War, 76)
How does this apply to Dalig
and Vadan?
How does Clausewitz…
• Help us understand connection between
strategy and war and the larger picture of
• Which political science theory best connects
to Clausewitz?

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