Listing of Military-themed Role Playing Games

The first commercially available role-playing game (RPG) was Dungeons & Dragons, published in 1974. It was inspired by fantasy themes such as those developed in J.R.R. Tolkein's Middle Earth legendarium. D&D was itself based on a medieval themed miniatures wargame called Chainmail which had a distinct fantasy element.

In 1981, Bruce Galloway wrote in his book Fantasy Wargaming that role playing games had "virtually supplanted all previous forms of "historical" wargaming."1 He was no doubt in error, but the popularity of D&D and RPGs was at an obvious peak in the period in which he was writing. The table below reflects that straight military adaptations of the RPG format peaked in this period as well.

Year Title Publisher Boardgamegeek Era
1979 Commando Simulations Publications, Inc. BGG link 1939-1945
1981 Merc Fantasy Games Unlimited nil Contemporary
1982 Behind Enemy Lines FASA nil 1939-1945
1982 Recon (1st Edition) RPG nil Vietnam
1986 Delta Force Task Force Games nil Contemporary SF
1986 Eternal Soldier Tai-Gear Simulations nil Universal
1986 Freedom Fighters Fantasy Games Unlimited nil Contemporary/Survivalist
1986 Phoenix Command (1st Edition) Leading Edge BGG link Contemporary
1986 The Price of Freedom West End Games nil Contemporary/Survivalist
1986 Recon (2nd Edition) Palladium Books nil Vietnam
1987 Phoenix Command (2nd Edition) Leading Edge BGG link Contemporary
1989 Phoenix Command (3rd Edition) Leading Edge BGG link Contemporary
1991 Phoenix Command (4th Edition) Leading Edge BGG link Contemporary
1999 Recon (Deluxe revised edition) Palladium Books nil Vietnam
2002 Action! System Core Rules Gold Rush Games nil Universal
2002 Generic Universal Role Playing System (GURPS) WW II Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
2002 Hand of Steel (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(Special Forces)
2002 Iron Cross (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(German)
2002 Return to Honor (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(French)
2003 Dogfaces (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(American)
2003 Frozen Hell (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(Finnish)
2003 Grim Legions (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(Italian)
2004 All the King's Men (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(British)
2004 Doomed White Eagle (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(Polish)
2004 Motor Pool (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil 1939-1945
(Vehicles)
2005 Combat! A Military Action Game ComStar Media, LLC nil Contemporary
2005 Michael's Army (GURPS WWII) Steve Jackson Games nil Second World War
(Romanian)
  Notes

1. Galloway, Bruce, Mike Hodson-Smith, Nick Lowe, Bruce Quarrie and Paul Sturman Fantasy Wargaming (Stein and Day, Briarcliff Manor, NY, 1982) p.vii

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