Wargaming has been
done recreationally for centuries. The modern incarnation of
wargaming dates back to the founding of The Avalon Hill Game Company
in 1958; commercial board wargaming at the tactical level (see the
FAQ link above if unclear on the definition of "tactical") began in
1969 with the publication of Tac Game 3, the forerunner of
PanzerBlitz. The early tactical level board games struggled to
give expression to what miniatures players had been doing for
decades in their own depictions of "modern" ground combat. Squad
Leader came along in 1977 and bridged a gap between the two,
with blatant appeals in print ads to miniatures fans while also
beckoning to the beer & pretzels board gaming crowd.
In the 1980s,
personal computers and video game consoles both arrived on the
scene, competing for hobby dollars, and there was even the
occasional role playing game title devoted to modern military
combat. Several PC titles vied for the status of being "Squad
Leader for the computer", beginning with Avalon Hill's own
Under Fire! No title succeeded; some died off quietly, others
carried on in their own way and forged successful series, some of
which have concluded now.
And in the 21st Century, we see not only
strange hybrids of board and computer gaming - with purpose built PC
games emulating hexes and dice, but also java applications allowing
online play of cardboard favourites - but an actual resurgence of
board games and even miniatures.
As developers, third party publishers,
and fans sink their teeth into creating and devouring new offerings,
it may be wise at some points to stop and reflect on the rich
historical tapestry that has become the commercial tactical
wargaming community. Many titles are now permanently out of print
and in danger of being forgotten altogether.
The purpose of this
website will be to share some pertinent information regarding the
history of commercial wargaming, with a focus on tactical level
gaming, with 20th Century or "modern" subjects. The emphasis is
further on true tactical gaming - first person shooters, for
example, or pong-like games can probably be discounted. The
webmaster's main interest is in boardgames and PC titles but is
willing to collect and share data on miniatures, RPGs and console
games if others are willing to do the same. Links to the other
excellent sources already out there - sites such as
- are provided where relevant. There is no desire
to duplicate the outstanding work of these two reference sites;
rather, a different and fresh perspective can hopefully be afforded.
Hopefully readers will feel the same.