‘Out Beyond Jointery’: Developing a Model for Gaming Multi-Domain Warfare


  • Keith Scott De Monfort University, Leicester, UK




multi-domain conflict, serious gaming, information warfare, cyber warfare


What Huizinga is saying here is not that conflict is playful, but rather, it is a game, following set rules of conduct and occurs within a defined zone of action. Elsewhere in Homo ludens, he argues that modern warfare operates without the ritualised, rule-based structure of, for example, the mediaeval tourney. The purpose of this paper is to consider the ways in which a model based on the structure of games may help us better engage with the challenges of Multi-Domain Conflict. We are all familiar with the concept of Cyber as the 5th Domain of warfare, but we need to consider it not as a discrete zone, but as running through and interpenetrating the other 4 (Earth, Sea, Air, Space), the informational spine that enables all other forms of conflict. This paper will: 1. Discuss the developing concept of Multi-Domain Conflict as a move ‘beyond jointery’ (as General Sir Nick Carter put it) into a truly integrated form of warfare, blurring and collapsing boundaries between kinetic and non-kinetic, between the services, and between military and civilian authority; 2. Outline a theoretical model for conceptualising Multi-Domain Conflict as gamelike in form, with environments of operation (‘boards’), protagonists (‘players’), and possible forms of action (‘moves’). As befits a conference on Cyber and Information Warfare, it will argue that the D5 model of IW (Deny, Disrupt, Degrade, Deceive and Destroy) is portable and scalable across the other 4 domains (Land, Sea, Air, Space); 3. Show how this theoretical model can be employed both to model and simulate Multi-Domain Conflict; wargames have been a key element of military planning and training for at least a century – this paper argues that we need to develop a new Kriegspiel to better understand coming conflicts.