Staff Tactical Exercises were simply military problems for discussion. The standard format was to present a situation to officers, with a map and the forces at their command. The officers would retire to consider their options, then return a written, reasoned discussion of their answers. The directing staff (referred to as the DS in modern armies) would discuss the officers suggestions, then outline the DS solution to the problem. The implication being this staff solution was the correct one. Moltke (1858) - 3 examples of his style
During the 1980's, in western armies, the DS solution was no longer presented as THE solution, but merely a good one. The reasoning was that winning on the real battlefield was all that mattered. Experience had shown there were many ways to win in any situation.
I have included 5 of the very best of examples of staff problems produced over the last two centuries.
Defense Duffers Drift (1903), Boer War, denying a crossing to the enemy
The Defense of Bowler Ridge (1929) Infantry blocking vital ground against armor
The Defense Bloodford Village (1940) WWII Defending a village in the British countryside
Special Reconnaissance Patrol No.5 (1980) A Cold War Russian Military recce patrol exercise