Metagaming was a company located in Austin, Texas that produced a diversity of fantasy games in the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to Dungeons and Dragons type fare and futuristic warfare games, they also produced two straight Second World War tactical microgames. Led by Howard Thompson, the company is credited with pioneering the concept of the microgame with their Ogre title in 1977. As their own ad copy described it:

Founded: 1970s
Produced: ►Tactical Wargames
Demise: April 1983

This is the first in a new series - MicroGames. Small in format but big in play value. MicroGames are for the person who enjoys games but doesn't want to spend a lot of money -- or spend all day playing. But MicroGames aren't kid stuff. They're challenging, fast-moving, and fun. When you finish one game, you'll want to play more...and you'll have the time to do it. Check out the MicroGames. You may find you're getting more play for less money.


In all, 22 titles were released in the microgame line, the first titles being released in plastic bags, and later in cardboard boxes made of lightweight cardstock, approximately 4" x 7".


Game designer Steve Jackson left Metagaming in 1980 to form his own company, Steve Jackson Games. SPI also began to compete with Metagaming by producing "capsule games" beginning in 1979. TSR followed suit in 1981 with a line of Minigames, followed by Heritage USA. These were all fantasy and futuristic tactical titles; few seemed interested in producing straight historical titles on modern tactical subjects.


Metagaming ended its business in April 1983.

Tactical Games Published by Metagaming

Year Title Type
1978 Rommel's Panzers Board
1981 Stalin's Tanks Board 2008-present    email: The Tactical Wargamer