In this section of War in the Age of Intelligent Machines, Manuel de Landa recounts the role of modern war games in predicting military conflict. When modern war games first came into being, there were two theories of how these games should be played to accurately predict battles. There was the theory of Jomini: war as a purely military concern, governed by a set of eternal laws that act as the basis of the game. There was also the theory of Clausewitz: war as an extension of politics with outside factors such as friction and fear, taken into account. In the end, it was Jomini’s theory that became the basis of modern war games.
De Landa suggests that war games consist of two components: hardware and software. The hardware component consists of a model of a stretch of terrain or a map. The software component consists of a relatively rigid set of rules that represent the laws of warfare, as suggested by Jomini.