|A naval war game in Pringle Hall during the early 1950s|
Conducted initially on tables in Luce Hall, games were eventually moved to entire rooms, using linoleum checker board floors as grids. Pringle Hall opened in 1934 and became the center of war gaming on the campus. The second level was dedicated as a floor-size maneuver board with a mezzanine for greater viewing capacity.
|Range wands on exhibit overhead in the NWC Gallery|
Range wands were used by participants during war games to measure distances between combatant ships. The wooden sticks are painted with alternating black and white sections. A description in the "Conduct of Maneuvers" developed at the College in 1930 describes the first section as six inches long (representing 1500 yards) and all other sections at four inches long (1000 yards). Varying in size, range wands could be 104" long and represent distances as far as 26000 yards. The wands were placed on the floor with the zero end at the center of the target ship. Students would then make note of which section the firing ship was in, evaluate, and plan moves accordingly.
The wands were used primarily during the Pringle Hall era (1934-1958) and earlier in Luce Hall as well. The evolution of war gaming took a huge step forward when in the fall of 1958, the Naval Electronics Warfare Simulator opened in Sims Hall. War gaming would now be done electronically, using computers and simulators. No longer needed, the wands and other war gaming equipment were stowed in a campus building until discovered several years ago.
|Detail of two range wands on exhibit|
Images courtesy of the Naval War College Museum