Marines at Brandywine

What?!  Marines at Brandywine?  Yes!!

Teachers at military schools around the world are now using Pub Battles in the class room for training. 

Many hobbyists enjoy the Pub Battle series as a fast and simple board game.  Don’t let the short rule book fool you.  This game system is a serious model of military conflict.

Rather than focusing on the detailed complexity of comparing unit morale and weapon systems, Pub Battles focus on command decisions in a chaotic and unpredictable battlefield.

Though it functions well as a two player game, it was originally designed for multiplayer use:  cooperative teamwork with limited communications.  A perfect platform for training groups in a classroom.   

D. O’Connel has been using Brandywine to train Marine facilitators and school staffs in training workshops at Pendleton, Parris Island, Lejeune, and elsewhere.

We are currently working with him to design a game specifically made for classroom training with the USMC.

O’Connell also runs a great facebook page:  The Warfighting Society


Bio Information

D. O’Connell is a military historian, world-recognized teacher of decision games, and Senior Learning and Development Consultant for the Cognitive Performance Group. From 2012-2016, he led the efforts of Marine Corps University’s Case Method Project to institutionalize the case method at The Basic School (TBS), the Marine Corps’ school for newly commissioned and appointed officers. His duties at TBS included developing decision-forcing cases (DFCs), regularly teaching DFCs to students and staff, and conducting workshops for students and staff on DFC development and facilitation. O’Connell also served as the project’s lead for all work with the Infantry Officer Course, the Schools of Infantry, and the Fleet Marine Force.

O’Connell’s DFCs, in addition to seeing extensive use at TBS, have been integrated into the curriculum of several Marine Corps courses, including the Infantry Small Unit Leaders Course at both Schools of Infantry and the Sergeants Course, which runs at each of the six Staff Non-commissioned Officer Academies.

Outside of his work with the Marine Corps,O’Connell has presented multiple times at the Royal Norwegian Naval Academy, the Swedish Defence University, the Finnish National Defence University, the Estonian National Defence College, the Baltic Defense College, the US Naval Academy, and the FBI National Academy, among others.


Commander MIA

Here is an interesting Kriegsspiel situation.  You never see this in regular wargames.  What if you lose contact with your commander?  What should you do? 


Our campaign began with our army dispersed wide over a province.  The enemy declared war and intell reports that a large enemy army has crossed the border and is heading our direction.


I received no starting orders.  Of my own initiative, I moved my Corps to a central location, in anticipation of a concentration.  I immediately sent a report to the Army commander informing him of my intent and planned march. 

I have been marching and fighting now for a week.  I have destroyed 1 enemy Corps and am about to attack and destroy a second.  I have been sending 1 Sit Rep every night to my Army commander.  Reporting on my daily events, enemy positions and strength, and my intentions for my next maneuvers. 


What is the response from the Army commander?  Silence.  I have yet to receive any orders or messages for the entire game.  What does this mean?  What should I do now?  What would you do?  Have I over stepped my bounds?  Am I going way too far?  Am I on the right track? 


We usually think of silence as peaceful and serene.  Here I find it fearsome and disturbing.