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 grognard.com, boardgamegeek.com and videogamegeek - 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.

tacticalwargamer.com 2008-2014    email: The Tactical Wargamer