Exercises present scenarios which model the strategic challenges likely to be faced in the near future. By responding to the scenario, participants are forced to make decisions within the game and consider the consequences of diverse actions. Often faced with unclear choices and incomplete information, participants examine and challenge assumptions in a low-risk environment. Participants must consider interagency resources and constraints across diplomatic, military, economic and political realms. As a group, participants coordinate and develop feasible solutions to complex security issues.
Role Playing – Each participant is given a specific role and responds to a situation from the point of view of their respective position. Game Cell Organization refers to how teams relate to one another. There are three main types:
parallel: multiple teams playing similar roles exposes variety of response
adversarial: pits teams against each other
cooperative: teams work toward common goal or objective
Pathway - As a group, participants are presented an initial scenario. Reacting to the situation, participants develop a course of action. Based upon the course of action chosen, participants receive a “scenario update” with new game information to consider. Over time, the group creates its own path, since their decisions affect the overall direction of the game. This type of game is particularly useful for reviewing political, economic, diplomatic and military strategies.
Policy - Participants are brought together in their professional capacity to pool their expertise and discuss issues. A set of scenarios on a topic is presented, and participants establish key issues and collaborate on policy recommendations.
Process - Participants simulate the interagency decision process. Given a scenario, the group acts as an Interagency Policy Committee to highlight coordination limitations and capabilities.