The classic text, U.S. Navy Fundamentals of War Gaming, provides an in-depth introduction to the basics of military gaming and offers historical insights into the development of war gaming methodologies. It covers the evolution of gaming tools such as ancient adaptations of chess and the development of Kriegspiel to teach military tactics to Prussian officers. The employment of gaming by various military powers, before and during the World Wars, is explored and culminates with the introduction of computer support and simulations in the U.S. Navy.
Also presented is a comprehensive treatment of the various forms of war gaming, from manual games to computer-assisted games; from one-sided to multi-sided games; and from free-play games to rigid-style games. McHugh addresses every aspect of gaming imaginable, including data requirements, design, execution, and analysis. Even the use of probabilistic tables to emulate stochastic processing and the use of flow diagrams for decisions are included.
McHugh was a member of the Naval War College staff when that institution became the forerunner of all U.S. military services for applying gaming technology to educate officers and to evaluate tactical situations, operations, and strategy. He traces the history of gaming at the College from Lt.William McCarty Little in the late 1800s to the employment of the NEWS (Naval Electronic Warfare Simulator) in the twentieth century.