The Megagame of the Iran-Iraq War

By Ben Moores

London - 18th November 2017

approx 70 player roles

Before the 1991 Operation Desert Storm, before the 2003 invasion of Iraq there was the Iran-Iraq war; in the grim darkness of the 1980's there was only war.


This game will cover the Iran-Iraq war which ran from 1980 to 1988. Saddam's Hussein's Ba'athist Iraq versus Ayatollah Khomeini's revolutionary Iran. Saddam invaded a weakened post-revolutionary Iran in order to secure his internal position and establish Iraq as the dominant state in the region. Khomeini's Iran fought back desperately and both countries began a vicious cycle of escalation in order to land the knockout blow.

This megagame will capture the confusion of a fast developing war and demonstrate the difficulties of managing military operations. The game will do this by creating real time pressure through a new approach to turn time and through the use of a structure that conceals enemy force strength and makes friendly force strength uncertain.

A primary goal of the game is to simulate the discussion and tension that came from each side learning about war, and the difficulties of trying to spread that learning to their forces in often dysfunctional organizational structures. Therefore this will be a game about communication, tension and trying to join the dots rather than moving units in hexes and using combat tables.

This is a megagame that explores the conflict through three prisms:

Firstly: The political challenges of high level decision implementation in brutal, unstable, dictatorships. Players will be part of the ruling council trying to influence the supreme leader and the goals of the war. They will be trying to create a rationale where possible and ensure that their personal goals are achieved.
Secondly: The game will look at the military conflict that was fought from the mountains of the north to the marshes of the south in the land, sea and air. Players will be military commanders in the Navy, Air Force and Army fighting the war and trying to achieve enough success to build a personal power base or stop others doing the same.
Thirdly: The game will look at the international arena in which both sides leverage foreign policy to achieve domestic goals, international support and weapons. Some players will have the opportunity to play the foreign office and procurement departments of each side, dealing with the super powers and any state that might help finance the war or supply arms.

There will also be a Control Team running the game and playing the role of the myriad of states trying to influence the war.

All players will be looking to win a war and make sure they are not held responsible for any military failures along the way. If they can survive both of these they will be looking to ensure that their personal faction dominates at the end. Due to the relatively high mortality rate players may cycle through many of the roles over the course of the day.

Game Roles

Ruling council - Heads of the major departments including; Foreign affairs, Defence acquisition, Domestic Affairs, War Operations, Finance.
Army - Front commanders and Senior commanders
Navy - Fleet Commanders and Senior commanders
Air Force - Wing Commanders and Senior commanders
Government - Procurement and Foreign affairs officials
Control - Military, council and political


Booking Options

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