Tabletop wargames to be launched Monday: Taiwan military

05/15/2022 03:35 PM
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The Ministry of National Defense in Taipei. CNA file photo
The Ministry of National Defense in Taipei. CNA file photo

Taipei, May 15 (CNA) Taiwan's annual major military exercises this year begin Monday with a five-day tabletop wargames phase to simulate the military's defense tactics against possible Chinese invasion scenarios, according to the Ministry of National Defense (MND).

Unlike previous editions, this year's wargames will not be held in a computerized format but will instead employ an actual wargames map on a table, according to the MND.

A military source told CNA that the computerized wargames format was dropped this year was because an actual wargames map simulation allows generals to meet face-to-face to discuss strategy and brainstorm.

In this way, top-level military officials can better come up with an understanding and reach consensus on the armed forces' defensive strategy, which is beneficial to the planning of overall military operations, the source said.

In addition, unlike computerized wargames which involve large numbers of personnel from the various branches of the military nationwide, tabletop wargames only feature a small number of senior military personnel and their staffers, the source said, noting it is a better option given the ongoing domestic COVID-19 pandemic outbreak.

The wargames phase, which runs from Monday to Friday, is the first of the two-part annual Han Kuang exercises that are routinely held in two stages -- wargames and live-fire drills.

Meanwhile, the live-fire drills, will be staged from July 25-29 at military drill grounds around the country.

The annual Han Kuang exercises, first held in 1984, are the nation's largest military exercises involving all branches of the armed forces and designed to test the country's combat readiness in the event of a Chinese invasion.

The 38th edition of the Han Kuang exercises will also incorporate lessons learned from Russia's invasion of Ukraine to sharpen combat preparedness against a Chinese invasion, the MND previously announced.

The exercises will focus on testing the armed forces' asymmetrical warfare capability, its ability to combat cognitive warfare and mobilize reserve forces, as well as its overall defense readiness by incorporating civilians, according to Major General Lin Wen-huang (林文皇), who is in charge of combat and planning affairs at the defense ministry.

(By Matt Yu and Joseph Yeh)


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