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A wargame is a game that realistically simulates warfare, as opposed to abstract games such as
chess Chess is a board game Board games are tabletop game Tabletop games are game with separate sliding drawer, from 1390–1353 BC, made of glazed faience, dimensions: 5.5 × 7.7 × 21 cm, in the Brooklyn Museum (New Yor ...

chess
. Wargaming may be played for recreation, to train military officers in the art of
strategic thinking Strategic thinking is defined as a mental or thinking process applied by an individual in the context of achieving a goal or set of goals in a game A game is a structured form of play Play most commonly refers to: * Play (activity), an a ...
, or to study the nature of potential conflicts. Many wargames recreate specific historic battles, and can cover either whole wars, or any campaigns, battles, or lower-level engagements within them. Many simulate land combat, but there are wargames for
naval A navy, naval force, or maritime force is the branch of a nation's armed forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is an intense ...
and
air combat ''Air Combat'' is a 1995 combat flight simulation video game developed and published for the PlayStation is a video game brand that consists of five home video game consoles, two Handheld game console, handhelds, a Home theater PC, medi ...
as well. Generally, events based on live action (people actually performing simulated combat activities) are not considered wargames. Some writers may refer to a military's
field training exercise A field training exercise, generally shortened to the acronym "FTX", describes a coordinated exercise conducted by military units for training purposes. In active duty Field training exercises are usually practice "mini-battles" which provide fair ...
s as "live wargames", but certain institutions such as the US Navy do not accept this.''War Gamer's Handbook'' (US Naval War College), p. 4: "The .S. Naval War College's War Gaming Departmentuses the Perla (1990) definition, which describes war gaming as "...a warfare model or simulation whose operation does not involve the activities of actual military forces, and whose sequence of events affects and is, in turn, affected by the decisions made by players representing the opposing sides" (Perla, 1990, p. 164). By doing so, this differentiates a war game from a training exercise, which uses real forces." Likewise, activities like
paintball Paintball is a competitive Competition is a rivalry A rivalry is the state of two people or groups engaging in a lasting competitive relationship. Rivalry is the "against each other" spirit between two competing sides. The relationship ...
are sports rather than wargames. Modern wargaming was invented in
Prussia Prussia, , Old Prussian Distribution of the Baltic tribes, circa 1200 CE (boundaries are approximate). Old Prussian was a Western Baltic language belonging to the Balto-Slavic branch of the Indo-European languages The Indo-Europ ...

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in the early 19th-century, and eventually the Prussian military adopted wargaming as a tool for training their officers and developing doctrine. After Prussia defeated France in the
Franco-Prussian War The Franco-Prussian War or Franco-German War,, german: Deutsch-Französischer Krieg often referred to in France as the War of 1870, was a conflict between the Second French Empire The Second French Empire (; officially the French Empire ...
, wargaming was widely adopted by military officers in other countries. Civilian enthusiasts also played wargames for fun, but this was a niche hobby until the development of consumer electronic wargames in the 1990s.


Military vs recreational

A
military wargame A wargame, generally, is a type of strategy game which realistically simulates warfare. A military wargame, specifically, is a wargame that is used by military organizations to train officers in tactical and strategic decision-making, to test new ...
is a wargame that is used by a military as a serious tool for training or research. A
recreational wargame A wargame is a strategy game that realistically simulates warfare. Wargames were invented for the purpose of training military officers, but they eventually caught on in civilian circles, played recreationally. History Early German wargames (178 ...
is one played for fun, often in a competitive context. Recreational wargames can cover a wide variety of subjects, from pre-historic to modern – even fantasy or sci-fi combat. Ones that do not include modern armaments and tactics are of limited interest to the military, though wargames covering famous historical battles can interest
military historians This is a list of historians categorized by their area of study. See also List of historians This is a list of historians only for those with a biographical entry in Wikipedia. Major chroniclers and annalists are included. Names are listed by the ...
. As military wargames are used to prepare officers for actual warfare, there is naturally a strong emphasis on realism and current events. Military organizations are typically secretive about their current wargames, and this makes designing a military wargame a challenge. The data the designers require, such as the performance characteristics of weapons or the locations of military bases, are often classified, which makes it difficult for the designers to verify that their models are accurate. Secrecy also makes it harder to disseminate corrections if the wargame has already been delivered to the clients. Then there is the small player base. Whereas a commercial wargame might have thousands or even millions of players, military wargames tend to have small player bases, which makes it harder for the designers to acquire feedback. As a consequence, errors in wargame models tend to persist. Although commercial wargame designers study consumer trends and listen to player feedback, their products are usually designed and sold with a take-it-or-leave-it approach. Military wargames, by contrast, are typically commissioned by the military that plans to use them. If a wargame is commissioned by several clients, then the designer will have to juggle their competing demands. This can lead to great complexity, high development costs, and a compromised product that satisfies nobody. Commercial wargames are under more pressure to deliver an enjoyable experience for the players, who expect a user-friendly interface, a reasonable learning curve, exciting gameplay, and so forth. By contrast, military organizations tend to see wargaming as a tool and a chore, and players are often bluntly obliged to use whatever is provided to them. Military wargames that are arbitrated by an umpire or the players themselves (manual wargames) tend to have simple models and computations compared to recreational wargames. Umpires may even be allowed to make arbitrary decisions using their own expertise. One reason for this is to keep the learning curve small. Recreational wargamers tend to have a lot of wargaming experience (it is usually considered a hardcore hobby), so learning a complicated new wargame is easy if it is similar enough to ones they've already played. By contrast, military officers typically have little or no wargaming experience. A second reason is that the technical data required to design an accurate and precise model, such as the performance characteristics of a fighter jet, is often classified.


Overview

The exact definition of "wargame" varies from one writer to the next and one organization to the next. To prevent confusion, this section will establish the general definition employed by this article. *A wargame simulates an armed conflict, be it a battle, a campaign, or an entire war. ''Business wargames'' do not simulate armed conflict and thus fall outside the scope of this article. *A wargame is adversarial. There must be two opposing sides whose players react intelligently to each other's decisions. *A wargame does not involve the use of actual troops and armaments. This definition is used by the
US Naval War College The Naval War College (NWC or NAVWARCOL) is the staff college and "Home of Thought" for the United States Navy at Naval Station Newport in Newport, Rhode Island. The NWC educates and develops leaders, supports defining the future Navy and associat ...
. Some writers use the term "live wargames" to refer to games that use actual troops in the field, but this article shall instead refer to these as field exercises.


Setting and scenario

A wargame must have a ''setting'' that is based on some historical era of warfare so as to establish what armaments the combatants may wield and the environment they fight in. A ''historical setting'' accurately depicts a real historical era of warfare. Among recreational wargamers, the most popular historical era is World War 2. Professional military wargamers prefer the modern era. A ''fantasy setting'' depicts a fictional world in which the combatants wield fictional or anachronistic armaments, but it should be similar enough to some historical era of warfare such that the combatants fight in a familiar and credible way. For instance, ''
Warhammer Age of Sigmar ''Warhammer Age of Sigmar'' is a miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop that simulates battles between armies by using miniature figurines. Games are typically played on a relatively flat surface such as a dining table, bespoke gaming tab ...
'' has wizards and dragons, but the combat is mostly based on medieval warfare (spearmen, archers, knights, etc.). A wargame's ''scenario'' describes the circumstances of the specific conflict being simulated, from the layout of the terrain to the exact composition of the fighting forces to the mission objectives of the players. Historical wargamers often re-enact historical battles. Alternatively, players may construct a fictional scenario. It is easier to design a balanced scenario where either player has a fair chance of winning if it is fictionalized. Board wargames usually have a fixed scenario.


Level of war

A wargame's level of war determines to the scope of the scenario, the basic unit of command, and the degree to which lower level processes are abstracted. At the ''tactical level'', the scenario is a single battle. The basic unit of command is an individual soldier or small group of soldiers. The time span of the scenario is in the order of minutes. At this level, the specific capabilities of the soldiers and their armaments are described in detail. An example of a tactical-level games is ''
Flames of War ''Flames of War'' (abbreviated as ''FoW'') is a World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states ...
'', in which players use miniature figurines to represent individual soldiers, and move them around on a scale model of the battlefield. At the ''operational level'', the scenario is a military campaign, and the basic unit of command is a large group of soldiers. At this level, the outcomes of battles are usually determined by a simple computation. At the ''strategic level'', the scenario is an entire war. The player addresses higher-level concerns such as economics, research, and diplomacy. The time span of the game is in the order of months or years.


Examples

* ''
Axis & Allies ''Axis & Allies'' is a series of World War II strategy game, strategy board games. The first version was first published in 1981 and a second edition known colloquially as ''Axis & Allies: Classic'' was published in 1984. Played on a board depic ...
'' is a strategic-level historical wargame simulating most of World War Two. * ''
Flames of War ''Flames of War'' (abbreviated as ''FoW'') is a World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states ...
'' is a tactical-level historical
miniature wargame Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming A wargame is a type of strategy game that realistically simulates warfare, as opposed to abstract strategy games such as chess Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played between ...
that simulates land battles during World War 2. * ''TACSPIEL'' is an operational-level military wargame developed in the 1960s by the US Army for research into guerilla warfare. * ''
Hearts of Iron IV ''Hearts of Iron IV'' is a grand strategy computer wargame developed by Paradox Development Studio and published by Paradox Interactive. It was released worldwide on 6 June 2016. It is the sequel to 2009's ''Hearts of Iron III'' and the fourth ma ...
'' is a strategic-level computer wargame set in the mid-20th century. * ''Wings of War'' is tactical-level historical wargame that simulates World War 1 aerial dogfights. * '' Star Wars: X-Wing'' is a fantasy wargame whose rules are based on ''Wings of War''.


Design issues


Realism

A wargame must simulate warfare to a reasonable degree of realism, though what counts as "reasonable" depends on the context. Military wargames need to be highly realistic because their purpose is to prepare officers for real warfare. Recreational wargames only need to be as realistic as it pleases the players, so in most recreational wargames the emphasis is on verisimilitude, i.e. the satisfactory appearance of realism. In any case, no wargame can be perfectly realistic. A wargame's design makes trade-offs between realism, simplicity, and fun, and functions within the constraints of its medium. Fantasy wargames arguably stretch the definition of wargaming by representing fictional or anachronistic armaments, but they may still be called wargames if they resemble real warfare closely enough. For example, ''
Warhammer Age of Sigmar ''Warhammer Age of Sigmar'' is a miniature wargame produced by Games Workshop that simulates battles between armies by using miniature figurines. Games are typically played on a relatively flat surface such as a dining table, bespoke gaming tab ...
'' has wizards and dragons, but the bulk of the armaments are taken from medieval warfare (spearmen, knights, archers, etc.). ''Validation'' is the process by which a given wargame is proven to be realistic. For historical wargames, this usually means being able to accurately recreate a certain historical battle. Validating military wargames is sometimes tricky as they are typically used to simulate hypothetical future scenarios.


Complexity

Whereas the rules of chess are relatively simple, wargames tend to have very sophisticated rules. Generally speaking, the more realistic a wargame seeks to be, the more complicated its rules are. This makes wargames difficult to learn. Even experienced wargamers usually play with their rulebook on hand, because the rules for most wargames are too complex to fully memorize. For many people, the complexity also makes wargames difficult to enjoy, but some players enjoy high realism, so finding a balance between realism and simplicity is tricky when it comes to recreational wargames. One way to solve the problem of complexity is to use a referee who has the discretion to arbitrate events, using whatever tools and knowledge they deem fit. This solution is popular with military instructors because it allows them to apply their own expertise when they use wargames to instruct students. The drawback of this approach is that the referee must be very knowledgeable in warfare and impartial, else they may issue unrealistic or unfair rulings. Another way to address complexity is to use a computer to automate some or all of the routine procedures. Video games can be both sophisticated and easy to learn, which is why computer wargames are more popular than tabletop wargames.


Scale

Every wargame must have a sense of ''scale'', so that it may realistically simulate how topography, distance, and time affect warfare. Scale is usually expressed as a ratio, e.g. a scale of 1:1000 indicates that 1 cm on the game map represents 10 m (1,000 cm). In miniature wargaming, scale is more often expressed as the height of a model of a human measured from the base of its feet up to the eyes, e.g. 28mm. Military wargames typically aim to model time and space as realistically as is feasible, so everything in the simulation conforms to a single scale. Recreational wargame designers, by contrast, tend to use abstract scaling techniques to make their wargames easier to learn and play. Tabletop
miniature wargame Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming A wargame is a type of strategy game that realistically simulates warfare, as opposed to abstract strategy games such as chess Chess is a recreational and competitive board game played between ...
s, for instance, cannot realistically model the range of modern firearms, because miniature wargaming models are typically built to a scale between 1:64 and 1:120. At those scales, riflemen should be able to shoot each other from several meters away, which is longer than most game tables. If model soldiers could shoot each other from opposite ends of the table, without the need to maneuver, the game would not be much fun. The miniature wargame ''
Bolt Action Bolt action is a type of manual firearm action of a typical double-barreled shotgun, with the action open and the extractor visible. The opening lever and the safety catch can also be clearly seen. In firearms A firearm is any type of gu ...
'' solves this problem by reducing a rifle's range to 24 inches, a sub-machine gun's range to 12 inches, and a pistol's range to 6 inches. Even if these ranges are not realistic, their proportions make intuitive sense (a rifle's range ought to be longer than a sub-machine gun) and thus preserve some verisimilitude, all the while compressing the battle to fit the confines of the table. Additionally, the ranges are multiples of 6, which makes them easier to remember.


Fog of war

In real warfare, commanders have incomplete information about their enemy and the battlespace. A wargame that conceals some information from the player is called a ''closed'' game. An ''open'' wargame has no secret information. Most recreational wargames are open wargames. A closed wargame can simulate the espionage and reconnaissance aspects of war. Military wargames often use referees to manage secret information. The players may be forced to sit in separate rooms, and communicate their orders with the referee in the game room, who in turn reports back only the information he judges the players should know. Some recreational wargames use an referee too, often referring to them as "the GameMaster" (e.g. '' Warhammer 40,000: Rogue Trader''). The fog of war is easy to simulate in a computer wargame, as a virtual environment is free of the physical constraints of a tabletop game. The computer itself can serve as the referee.


Types


Miniature

Miniature wargaming Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming in which military units are represented by Miniature model (gaming), miniature physical models on a model battlefield. The use of physical models to represent military units is in contrast to other ta ...
is a form of wargaming where units on the battlefield are represented by miniature models, as opposed to abstract pieces such as wooden blocks or plastic counters. Likewise, the battlefield itself is represented by model terrain, as opposed to a flat board or map; naval wargames are often played on a floor because they tend to require more space than a tabletop. Most miniature wargaming is recreational because issues of scale get in the way of realism. Miniature wargaming tends to be more expensive and time-consuming than other forms of wargaming. The models tend to be expensive, particularly when they have a distinctive copyrighted design, such as models made by
Games Workshop Games Workshop Group (often abbreviated as GW) is a British manufacturer of miniature wargame Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming in which players enact battles between opposing military forces A military, also known colle ...

Games Workshop
. Furthermore, most manufacturers do not sell ready-to-play models, they sell boxes of model parts, which the players are expected to assemble and paint themselves. This requires skill, time, and money, but many players actually prefer it this way because it gives them a way to show off their artistic skill. Miniature wargaming is as much about artistry as it is about play.


Board

A
board wargame A board wargame is a wargame with a set playing surface or board game, board, as opposed to being played on a computer or in a more free-form playing area as in miniatures games. The modern, commercial wargaming hobby (as distinct from military e ...
is played on a board that has a more-or-less fixed layout and is supplied by the game's manufacturer. This is in contrast to customizable playing fields made with modular components, such as in
miniature wargaming Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming in which military units are represented by Miniature model (gaming), miniature physical models on a model battlefield. The use of physical models to represent military units is in contrast to other ta ...
.


Block

In block wargaming, the
Fog of War The fog of war (german: links=no, Nebel des Krieges) is the uncertainty Uncertainty refers to epistemic Epistemology (; ) is the branch of philosophy Philosophy (from , ) is the study of general and fundamental questions, s ...
is built into the game by representing units with upright wooden blocks that are marked on only one face, which is oriented towards the player who owns the block. The opponent cannot see the markings from his position. The first such block wargame was ''Quebec 1759'' by
Columbia Games Columbia Games is a maker of board game, board and role-playing games including ''Hârn'' and a variety of games, mostly wargaming, wargames (''Wizard Kings'' and various historical and quasi-historical games) using blocks instead of the more con ...
(previously named Gamma Two Games), depicting the campaign surrounding the Battle of the Plains of Abraham.


Card

Because of their nature, cards are well suited for abstract games, as opposed to the simulation aspects of wargames. Traditional card games are not considered wargames even when nominally about the same subject (such as the game ''
War War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (new ...
''). An early card wargame was ''
Nuclear War Nuclear warfare (sometimes atomic warfare or thermonuclear warfare) is a military conflict War is an intense armed conflict between states State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a ...
'', a 'tongue-in-cheek game of the end of the world', first published in 1966 and still published today by
Flying Buffalo Flying Buffalo Inc. (FBI) is a Scottsdale, Arizona game company that publishes role playing games, card games, gaming materials, and runs play-by-mail games. History In 1970 Rick Loomis invented a game called ''Nuclear Destruction'', a play-by-mail ...
. It does not simulate how any actual nuclear exchange would happen, but it is still structured unlike most card games because of the way it deals with its subject. In the late 1970s
Battleline PublicationsBattleline Publications was a board game, board Wargaming, wargame company founded by Steven Peek in 1973. Output was relatively low at first, with each game being funded by sales of the one before, but their games were generally well-respected. Seve ...
(a board wargame company) produced two card games, '' Naval War'' and ''
Armor Supremacy Armour (British English) or armor (American English; see American and British English spelling differences#-our, -or, spelling differences) is a covering to protect an object, individual, or vehicle from damage, especially direct contact weapons ...
''. The first was fairly popular in wargaming circles, and is a light system of naval combat, though again not depicting any 'real' situation (players may operate ships from opposing navies side-by-side). ''Armor Supremacy'' was not as successful, but is a look at the constant design and development of new types of tanks during World War II. The most successful card wargame (as a card game and as a wargame) would almost certainly be '' Up Front'', a card game about tactical combat in World War II published by Avalon Hill in 1983. The abstractness is harnessed in the game by having the deck produce random terrain, and chances to fire, and the like, simulating uncertainty as to the local conditions (nature of the terrain, etc.). Dan Verssen Games is a specialist designer and publisher of card games for several genres, including air combat and World War II and modern land combat. Also, card driven games (CDGs), first introduced in 1993, use a deck of (custom) cards to drive most elements of the game, such as unit movement (activation) and random events. These are, however, distinctly board games, the deck is merely one of the most important ''elements'' of the game.


Computer

The term "wargame" is rarely used in the video gaming hobby; the term "strategy game" is preferred. "Computer wargame" distinguishes a game from a "tabletop wargame". Computer wargames have many advantages over traditional wargames. In a computer game, all the routine procedures and calculations are automated. The player needs only to make strategic and tactical decisions. The learning curve for the player is smaller, as he doesn't have to master all the mechanics of the game. The gameplay is faster, as a computer can process calculations much faster than a human. Computer wargames often have more sophisticated mechanics than traditional wargames thanks to automation. Computer games tend to be cheaper than traditional wargames because, being software, they can be copied and distributed very efficiently. It's easier for a player to find opponents with a computer game: a computer game can use artificial intelligence to provide a virtual opponent, or connect him to another human player over the Internet. For these reasons, computers are now the dominant medium for wargaming.


Computer-assisted

In the recent years, programs have been developed for computer-assisted gaming as regards to wargaming. Two different categories can be distinguished: local computer assisted wargames and remote computer assisted wargames. Local computer assisted wargames are mostly not designed toward recreating the battlefield inside computer memory, but employing the computer to play the role of game master by storing game rules and unit characteristics, tracking unit status and positions or distances, animating the game with sounds and voice and resolving combat. Flow of play is simple: each turn, the units come up in a random order. Therefore, the more units an opponent has, the more chance he will be selected for the next turn. When a unit comes up, the commander specifies an order and if offensive action is being taken, a target, along with details about distance. The results of the order, base move distance and effect to target, are reported, and the unit is moved on the tabletop. All distance relationships are tracked on the tabletop. All record-keeping is tracked by the computer. Remote computer assisted wargames can be considered as extensions to the concept of play-by-email gaming, however the presentation and actual capabilities are completely different. They have been designed to replicate the look and feel of existing board or miniatures wargames on the computer. The map and counters are presented to the user who can then manipulate these, more-or-less as if he were playing the physical game, and send a saved file off to his opponent, who can review what has been done without having to duplicate everything on his physical set-up of the game, and respond. Some allow for both players to get on-line and see each other's moves in real-time. These systems are generally set up so that while one can play the game, the program has no knowledge of the rules, and cannot enforce them. The human players must have a knowledge of the rules themselves. The idea is to promote the playing of the games (by making play against a remote opponent easier), while supporting the industry (and reducing
copyright Copyright is a type of intellectual property Intellectual property (IP) is a category of property Property is a system of rights that gives people legal control of valuable things, and also refers to the valuable things themselves. ...

copyright
issues) by ensuring that the players have access to the actual physical game. The four main programs that can be used to play a number of games each are ''Aide de Camp'', ''Cyberboard'', ''
Vassal A vassal or liege subject is a person regarded as having a mutual obligation to a lord Lord is an appellation for a person or deity who has authority, control, or power (social and political), power over others, acting as a master, a chief ...
'' and '' ZunTzu''. ''Aide de Camp'' is available for purchase, while the other three are offered free. ''Vassal'' is in turn an outgrowth of the ''VASL'' (Virtual ''ASL'') project, and uses
Java Java ( id, Jawa, ; jv, ꦗꦮ; su, ) is one of the Greater Sunda Islands in Indonesia. It is bordered by the Indian Ocean to the south and the Java Sea to the north. With a population of 147.7 million people, Java is the world's List of ...
, making it accessible to any computer that can run a modern JVM, while the other three are
Microsoft Windows Microsoft Windows, commonly referred to as Windows, is a group of several proprietary {{Short pages monitor


Board

While a List of board wargames, comprehensive list will show the variety of titles, the following games are notable for the reasons indicated: *''Diplomacy (game), Diplomacy'' – (1954) a classic multi-player game from the "golden age" of wargames in which strategy is exercised off the game board as well as on it. * ''Tactics II'' (Avalon Hill, 1958) – the wargame that launched Avalon Hill. * ''Risk (game), ''Risk'''' (Parker Brothers, 1959) – Widely accepted as the first mainstream wargame. * ''Gettysburg (game), Gettysburg'' (Avalon Hill, 1958) – the first modern era wargame intended to model an actual historical event. * ''Tactical Game 3'' (''Strategy & Tactics'' Magazine game, 1969); re-released as ''PanzerBlitz'' by Avalon Hill in 1970. The very first tactical wargames, tactical wargame. The game pioneered the use of "geomorphic mapboards" and PanzerBlitz was a game ''system'' rather than just a game in that forces could be used to depict any number of actual tactical situations rather than one specific scenario. Pioneered several ground-breaking features, such as use of various types of weapons fire to reflect battlefield conditions. Also created new level of realism in reflecting tactical armored vehicles. * ''Quebec 1759'' (
Columbia Games Columbia Games is a maker of board game, board and role-playing games including ''Hârn'' and a variety of games, mostly wargaming, wargames (''Wizard Kings'' and various historical and quasi-historical games) using blocks instead of the more con ...
, 1972) – The first wargame to use wooden blocks with labels to provide a fog of war and four possible steps of strength. * ''Sniper! (board game), Sniper!'' (SPI, 1973) – along with ''Patrol (board game), Patrol'', the first Man to Man wargames where game pieces depicted a single soldier. An adaptation of ''Sniper!'' also became one of the first multi-player computer wargames. * ''Wooden Ships and Iron Men'' (
Battleline PublicationsBattleline Publications was a board game, board Wargaming, wargame company founded by Steven Peek in 1973. Output was relatively low at first, with each game being funded by sales of the one before, but their games were generally well-respected. Seve ...
, 1974
Avalon Hill Avalon Hill Games Inc. is a game company that publishes wargames ''WarGames'' is a 1983 American Cold War science-fiction film, science fiction techno-thriller film written by Lawrence Lasker and Walter Parkes, Walter F. Parkes and directed b ...
, 1976) – the definitive game of Age of Sail warfare for many years. * ''Rise and Decline of the Third Reich'' (Avalon Hill, 1974) – The first serious attempt to model World War II in Europe in its entirety, including (in a limited way) the economic and industrial production of the nations involved. It has seen numerous versions and editions, and is currently available as ''John Prados' Third Reich'' from Avalanche Press, and as a far more complex descendant game, ''A World At War'', published by GMT Games. * ''La Bataille de la Moskowa'' (Martial Enterprises, 1974) Later republished by Games Designers Workshop and Clash of Arms. With 4 maps and 1000+ counters, it is credited with being the first "monster" wargame (by famed designer Richard Berg.) * ''SPQR (board game), SPQR'' (GMT Games, 1992) * ''
Squad Leader In the United States military The United States Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is ...
'' (Avalon Hill, 1977) and ''Advanced Squad Leader'' (1985) have become the most prolific series of wargames, including 3 add-on modules for the former, and 12 for the latter, with additional Historical modules and Deluxe modules also having been released. ''ASL'' also sets the record for sheer volume of playing components, with thousands of official counters and 60+ "geomorphic mapboards" not counting Deluxe and Historical maps. * ''Star Fleet Battles'' – (Task Force Games, 1978) one of the older still actively played and published wargames today; based on ''Star Trek'', it is arguably the most successful tactical space combat system that does not rely on miniatures (published by Amarillo Design Bureau). * ''Storm Over Arnhem'' (Avalon Hill, 1981) – pioneered the use of "point to point" or "area movement" in tactical wargames. * ''
Axis and Allies ''Axis & Allies'' is a series of World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a World war, global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. It involved World War II by country, the vast majority o ...
'' – (Nova Games, 1981) the most successful of Milton Bradley's (1984) 'GameMaster' line in an attempt to bring wargaming into the mainstream by appealing to non-wargamers through simplicity and attractive components. * ''Ambush!'' – (Victory Games, 1983) the first solitaire board wargame depicting Man to Man wargame, man to man combat, in which each game piece represented a single person. * ''Blue Max (board game), Blue Max'' – (GDW, 1983) is a multi-player game of World War I aerial combat over the Western Front during 1917 and 1918 with an extremely easy to play mechanism but allow the development of complex strategies. * ''We the People (game), We the People'' – (Avalon Hill, 1994) this game started the Card-Driven wargame movement, which is very influential in current wargame design.


Miniature

* ''Rules for the Jane Naval War Game'' (S. Low, Marston, 1898) – The first published miniature wargame. A 26-page rule set limited to naval miniature battles. It came in a crate measuring 4 ft. X 4 ft. X 2 ft. Written by Fred Jane. As only a handful of these games survive, they are highly collectible. * ''
Little Wars ''Little Wars'' is a set of rules for playing with toy soldier ) toy soldiers by Imperial Productions of New Zealand. A toy soldier is a miniature figurine A figurine (a diminutive form of the word ''figure'') or statuette is a small, thr ...
'' (H.G. Wells, 1913) – The first popular published wargame rules. Includes the common miniature wargaming mechanics of dice rolling, range, line of sight, and moving in alternate turns. This game earned Wells the title "The Father of Miniature Wargaming".A reprint is available from history of Wargaming Project a
wargaming.co
/ref> * ''Miniature Wargames du temps de Napoleon'' (John C. Candler, 1964) – First period-specific historical miniature wargame. Also the first in a long line of Napoleonic miniature wargames. * ''Chainmail (game), Chainmail'' (Guidon Games, 1971) – An extension and distillation of rules previously published in various periodicals. While mostly about historical medieval combat, it had an addendum that covered fantasy elements. Major elements of this game were adopted by the role-playing game ''
Dungeons & Dragons ''Dungeons & Dragons'' (commonly abbreviated as ''D&D'' or ''DnD'') is a fantasy tabletop role-playing game (RPG) originally designed by Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson. It was first published in 1974 by TSR (company)#Tactical Studies Rules, Tacti ...
''. Unlike ''Dungeons & Dragons'', ''Chainmail'' used two six-sided dice to resolve combat. Previous fantasy miniature wargames had been written, but this was the first one published. Drawing on the popularity of ''The Lord of the Rings'', this game featured the novelties of combat magic and fantastic creatures as combatants. * ''Warhammer Fantasy Battle'' (
Games Workshop Games Workshop Group (often abbreviated as GW) is a British manufacturer of miniature wargame Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming in which players enact battles between opposing military forces A military, also known colle ...

Games Workshop
, 1983) – An internationally successful fantasy miniature wargame. The First Edition rules introduced innovative open unit design rules, however later editions eliminated the option to build custom units and make use of standard army lists mandatory. Warhammer was one of the first newly developed miniature wargames to enjoy popularity after role-playing games came to market in 1974. In fact, it is because of Roleplaying games becoming so popular, and people having too many models that were rarely used, that this was first published. * ''Warhammer 40,000'' (Games Workshop, 1987) – A futuristic wargame featuring rival armies with different fighting styles. This wargame has very conceptual artwork suggesting a post-apocalyptic neo-gothic universe with heavy Dystopia, dystopic themes. Unarguably the most profitable miniature wargame ever , it has popularized competitive tournament gameplay in large, international events sanctioned by Games Workshop. * ''De Bellis Antiquitatis'' (
Wargames Research Group {{Infobox organization , name = Wargames Research Group , full_name = , native_name = , native_name_lang = , logo = , logo_size = , logo_alt = , logo_caption ...
, 1990) – Radically minimalist rules differentiate this game from other notable miniature wargames. A number of systems have been strongly influenced by DBA. * ''Mage Knight'' (WizKids, WizKids Inc., 2001) – Innovative game popularizing the combat dial, pre-painted plastic miniatures, and the collectible miniatures games. ''Mage Knight'' has inspired numerous collectible, skirmish miniature wargames. * ''Warmachine'' (Privateer Press, 2003) – A steampunk-inspired miniatures game featuring steam-powered robots fighting under the direction of powerful wizards. Also has a sister game, Hordes (game), Hordes, which features large monstrous creatures in the place of robots. * ''Heroscape'' (Milton Bradley Company, 2004) – An inexpensive, simple wargame that has been successfully mass marketed to both younger wargamers and adults. As miniature wargaming is often an expensive hobby, ''Heroscape'' and the collectible miniatures games have opened the miniature wargaming hobby to a new demographic. * ''Infinity (wargame), Infinity'' (Corvus Belli, 2005) is a tabletop wargame in which sci-fi themed with 28mm scale metal miniatures are used to simulate futuristic skirmishes. * ''Brikwars, BrikWars'' is a wargame that uses Lego bricks as miniatures and scenery and gained popularity mostly due to the looseness of the rules. * ''
Flames of War ''Flames of War'' (abbreviated as ''FoW'') is a World War II World War II or the Second World War, often abbreviated as WWII or WW2, was a global war A world war is "a war War is an intense armed conflict between states ...
'' (Battlefront Miniatures, 2002) – Popular World War II wargame at 15mm (1:100) scale, currently focusing on the European and Mediterean theatres. Splits into three time periods (Early War 1939-41, Mid War 1942-43 and Late War 1944-45) to bring some balance and historical matchups. * ''Malifaux'' See also List of miniature wargames.


Computer

* ''Panzer General'' – (Strategic Simulations, Inc., 1994) – probably the most widely popular computer game that is recognizably a traditional wargame. It spawned several sequels, some of which explored different subject matter. * ''Steel Panthers'' – (Strategic Simulations, Inc., 1995) – an early tactical wargame on the same scale as ''
Squad Leader In the United States military The United States Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is ...
'', which led to two sequels, and a complete revision of the title for free release. * ''Close Combat series, Close Combat'' – (Microsoft, 1996) – not the first wargame to break out from hexes, and still presented in a 2-dimensional format, Close Combat nonetheless uniquely addressed factors such as individual morale and reluctance to carry out orders. The original title led to 5 very successful sequels for the general public, as well as being developed into a training tool for military use only. Close Combat stemmed from an early attempt to translate the ''
Squad Leader In the United States military The United States Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is ...
'' boardgame to the computer. * ''Combat Mission (computer game series), Combat Mission'' – (Big Time Software, 2000) – not the first 3D tactical wargame (titles such as ''Muzzle Velocity (computer game), Muzzle Velocity'' preceded it), but a groundbreaking game series featuring simultaneous order resolution, complete orders of battle for numerous nationalities, with three titles based on the original game engine. As of 2006, a campaign layer is in testing as well as a revised game engine to be released before 2007. CM's genesis was also as a failed attempt by Avalon Hill to translate ''
Squad Leader In the United States military The United States Armed Forces are the military forces A military, also known collectively as armed forces, is a heavily armed, highly organized force primarily intended for warfare War is ...
'' to the computer. * ''TacOps'' – (Major I.L. Holdridge, 2003 for v4) – commercial version of “TacOpsCav 4”, an officially issued standard training device of the US Army. It is a simulation of contemporary and near-future tactical, ground, combat between the modern armed forces of the world. * ''Wargame: Red Dragon'' – (Eugen Systems, 2014) – a 3D regiment or brigade scale simulation set as a "Cold War Gone Hot" themed game in both multiplayer and singleplayer environments. Players construct customized armies through use of a deck system comprising land vehicles, infantry, and helicopters from several NATO and Warsaw Pact nations and manage logistics such as fuel and ammunition while on the battlefield. There is no cohesive campaign, the game instead taking place in several hypothetical conflicts. * ''Total War (video game series), Total War'' – a wargame set in different time periods, with a turn based map, and a real time battle component, featured on the television series ''Time Commanders'' *Hearts of Iron, Hearts of Iron (series) – (Paradox Interactive) − a grand strategy wargame series that is focused on World War 2. Player may act as any reasonably sized nation at the time, influencing international politics, economic and military development, and can control battlefields on both strategic and operational levels using combined arms. Frequently used to entertain and simulate alternative history scenarios as well as recreate historical events. *Hegemony (video game series), Hegemony - (Longbow Games) - a historical real-time strategy series with real-time tactical combat and supply simulation. Campaigning takes place on a single continuous map where players can zoom between the 3D tactical map and the 2D strategy map at any time.


Unique game systems

* ''Ace of Aces (picture book game), Ace of Aces'' – (Nova Games, 1980) – this flip-book system has long been considered one of the best simulations of aerial dogfighting. * ''BattleTech'' – (FASA Corporation, FASA, 1984) – initially conceived as a board game, it has created a brand that now includes various different boardgames (tactical as well as strategic), miniature game rules, a role-playing game, computer games, flip-book games (by Nova Games) as well as novels and a TV series. * ''Car Wars'' – (Steve Jackson Games, 1982) – initially printed as a board game, it quickly evolved to incorporate elements of miniatures games. * '' Up Front'' – (Avalon Hill, 1983) – A popular card wargame.


See also

* Air wargaming * Naval wargaming *
Miniature wargaming Miniature wargaming is a form of wargaming in which military units are represented by Miniature model (gaming), miniature physical models on a model battlefield. The use of physical models to represent military units is in contrast to other ta ...
* Tactical wargame * Business war games * International Wargames Federation * List of wargame publishers


Footnotes


Bibliography

* * *
translation by Bill Leeson, 1989
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * The tactical gears www.pts-steelshop.com


Further reading


Books

* Stuart Asquith ''Wargaming World War Two '', Special Interest Model Books; New edition (31 December 1998) * Stuart Asquith ''Military Modelling Guide to War Gaming '', Special Interest Model Books 1987 * Stuart Asquith ''Military Modelling Guide to Siege War Gaming '', Special Interest Model Books 1990 * Stuart Asquith ''Military Modelling Guide to Solo War Gaming '', Special Interest Model Books 1989 * Phil Barker ''Know The Game: War Gaming'', EP Publishing 1978. * Phil Barker ''Airfix magazine Guides : Ancient Wargaming'', P.Stephens Ltd 1975. * James F. Dunnigan, Jim Dunnigan, ''The Complete Wargames Handbook: How to Play, Design, and Find Them'', Quill 1992. This is available online a
hyw.com
(verified December 2011). * Jon Freeman (game designer), Jon Freeman, ''The Complete Book of Wargames'', Simon and Schuster 1980. * Nick Palmer, Nicholas Palmer, ''The Comprehensive Guide to Board Wargaming'', Arthur Baker Limited London 1977. * Nick Palmer, Nicholas Palmer, ''The Best of Board Wargaming'', Hippocrene Books, Inc. New York, NY 1980. * Donald Featherstone ''Featherstone's Complete Wargaming'', David & Charles UK 1989. * Donald Featherstone ''War Games'', Lulu 2008, * Donald Featherstone ''Advanced War Games'', Sportshelf & Soccer Assoc 1969. * Donald Featherstone ''Tank Battles in Miniature: Wargamers' Guide to the Western Desert Campaign, 1940-42'', P.Stephens Ltd 1973 * Donald Featherstone ''War Game Campaigns'', S. Paul 1970 * Donald Featherstone ''War Games Through the Ages Vol. 2 1420–1783 '', S. Paul 1974 * Donald Featherstone ''War Games Through the Ages Vol. 3 1792–1859'', S. Paul 1975 * Dorca Bis Alejo, "El Hobby de los soldados en miniatura, el wargame, el rol, el modelismo y el coleccionismo." primera edición: 23 de agosto de 2008, , 212 p. * Dorca Alejo, "My Toy Soldiers & Me" Second edition. * Charles Grant ''Battle! Practical Wargaming'', Model and Allied Publishing (MAP) 1970. * Paddy Griffith ''Napoleonic Wargaming For Fun'', Ward Lock Ltd, London, 1980, reprinted 2008 by the History of Wargaming Project]
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* Paddy Griffith ''Sprawling Wargames multiplayer Wargaming'', Ward Lock Ltd, London, 1980, reprinted 2009 by the History of Wargaming Project]
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* Peter Perla ''The Art of Wargaming'', Naval Institute Press 1990. * Mark Herman, Mark Frost, Robert Kurz ''Wargaming for Leaders'', McGraw-Hill 2009. * Bruce Quarrie ''Airfix magazine Guides : Napoleonic Wargaming'', P.Stephens Ltd 1974. * Bruce Quarrie ''Airfix magazine Guides : World War 2 Wargaming'', P.Stephens Ltd 1976 * Philip Sabin: Simulating War. Studying Conflict Simulation through Games, London 2012. * C.F. Wesencraft ''Practical wargaming'', Hippocrene Books, 1974 reprinted by the History of Wargaming Projec
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* C.F. Wesencraft ''With Pike and Musket'', reprinted by the History of Wargaming Projec
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* Andrew Wilson ''War Gaming'', Penguin 1970. * Terence Wise ''Airfix magazine Guides : American Civil War Wargaming'', P.Stephens Ltd 1977. * Terence Wise ''Introduction to Battle Gaming'', Model and Allied Publishing (MAP) 1972. * Terence Wise ''Terry Wise's Introduction to Battlegaming including his unpublished wargaming rules'' Printed by the History of Wargaming Projec
link


Articles



Time Magazine, December 14, 1942.
War games
by Dr. Brett Holman, PhD in History, 5 August 2007.
Dice against the Nazis: Propaganda aimed to reduce fear
By Clive Gilbert and Kevin Allen, BBC News Magazine, 24 August 2007. *
Return of the hex-crazed wargamers
Is the Net breathing new life into an endangered hobby--or just postponing the inevitable?," by Andrew Leonard, Salon Magazine, May 29, 1998. * * {{Authority control Wargames, Military historiography