What you need to know about wargames

History to Wargames: What you need to know about wargames

Wargames are hugely popular in the board game community for their historical significance as well as addicting gameplay. You’ll find thousands of players playing the different variations of this board game for hundreds of hours.

However, given its immense popularity, wargames still aren’t as popular as they should be with some people not even knowing what these are and that’s where we come in! Here at History to Wargames, we love this board game deeply because of the fun experience that it provides and how important it was to the military back in the day. These are also the reasons why we want more people to know about this game as much as possible. 

Aside from connecting with other players from around the world, part of our job on this website is to inform the public about it. That’s why in this blog, we’re going to go over some of the most important things that everyone should know about wargames, from their history, gameplay, strategies and more. If you’re eager to learn more, here’s everything you need to know:

History of wargames

The history of wargames can be dated back to as early as the 18th century when this board game was used by the Prussians in the military for various reasons. Aside from being used as a recreational activity to pass time during the war, miniature wargaming was used to teach the military some tips surrounding strategies and tactical warfare.

The game was proven crucial to the Franco-Prussian War when the latter eventually won the battle. They partly attributed their victor to their wargaming traditions even because they didn’t have any advantage weapon-wise and they had around the same number of troops.

After winning the war, countries all over the world started taking notice of wargaming knowing how it helped the Prussians in winning their war against the Francos. Since then, it was adopted by various countries around the world such as the U.S and U.K.

Throughout the years, it was turned more into a board game that follows a similar premise to chess in which the player’s goal is to defeat the opponent’s army through strategic planning. However, playing wargames are much more complex than chess as it introduces various gameplay mechanics that are more than moving your pawns across the board.

The first board wargame

It wasn’t until 1954 however when the first successful board wargame was invented in the form of Tactics. Unlike previous releases that only had a rulebook inside, Tactics was shipped complete with everything that the players need to play the game. This includes the pieces which act as pawns as well as the board that already had a fixed layout. 

Tactics was invented by an American named Charles S. Roberts and he was one of the first few people to bring wargaming to a larger scale. Moreover, it was the first mass-produced version of this game which solidified it as being one of the most in-demand board games at the time. 

Different types of wargaming

Wargaming spawned various types which all played differently from each other. Some of them have a more traditional approach while others added minor tweaks into the game such as introducing cards, themes and many more.

To help you understand the different types of wargaming, we’ve compiled them below and provided a brief explanation of each one.

Miniature wargaming

To some players, miniature wargaming is the most immersive type of this board game and we can’t blame them! With this type, the battlefield is complete with miniature figures that represent the different units that you need to command. 

This is a far cry from the earlier depictions of the game where the units are only represented by random figures such as plastic pieces and wooden blocks. Moreover, the map itself isn’t just a flat piece of paper as it’s more of a terrain landscape.

Because of these factors, miniature wargaming is considered more of an art form rather than a game because of the artistry involved in creating the figures and the map itself. For example, instead of shipping ready to use figurines, the manufacturer will ship them out in pieces and the players would have to assemble them on their own. 

Moreover, they’re also given the freedom to paint these miniatures just the way they want which can let them express their creativity even more.

Card wargaming

Because of the abstract nature of wargaming, this leads it to be a great game to play using cards. Although it still follows the same goal of the classic game, it incorporates a deck of cards that can alter the flow of the battlefield. This includes the ability to create a terrain, spawn fire pits, produce rain and many more.

The effects of these cards will be evident throughout the entire game and it adds a layer of excitement and challenge because anything can change in one card.

Wargame tips

To help you become the best player you can be, you have to be equipped with various strategies. You can’t just go in without a plan because it will only lead you to lose the game. That being said, here are some tips that you can incorporate into your gameplay to help you win more matches in wargames:

Be cautious

When it comes to playing this tension-filled board game, you can’t be too careful because one wrong move can cost you the game. This is why one of the most important tips that you need to keep in mind is to be cautious at all times.

For example, before you make a move, make sure to think it through. Check to see the effects of each move if it will benefit your army or put them in danger. These last minute-thoughts can be the deciding factor for your fate so make sure to analyze the battlefield thoroughly!

Think steps ahead

Another important tip that can help you avoid losing is to think steps ahead. This means that before you spend your turn, think of how your opponent will react to your move. By doing this, you can always stay one step ahead of the enemy and they won’t be able to predict your next move.

Moreover, thinking ten steps ahead can also help prevent you from losing important pawns in the game. This is because if you’re thinking ahead, that also means that you’re predicting your opponent’s next move.

Analyze your surroundings

Depending on who you’re playing with and how competitive the game is, you may want to think twice before making a decision. In casual situations, you can easily backtrack and change your move entirely. However, you can’t do the same when playing under serious circumstances.

That’s why before making a move, make sure that you’ve thoroughly analyzed the battlefield first until you’re confident with that decision. This way, you won’t have to put your piece back to its place and enrage other players in the game.

Don’t get carried away

If things are going your way and you’re slowly defeating your enemy, make sure not to get carried away. This can cause you to make unwise decisions which can turn things around for your opponent and eventually lead them to win the game.

Instead, when you’re having consecutive successful moves, keep your composure and stick to your plan just to be sure that you’ll come out victorious. 

Several players have made the mistake of getting overwhelmed by the success that they get carried away and lose the ball. By sticking to your strategy, you can further lock in your status as the victor because after all, it’s what led you this far in the first place.

Play for fun

The last tip that we can give players looking to try wargames is to play it for fun. Many people get overly competitive to the point where the enjoyment from the gameplay disappears which is a shame because it’s the biggest highlight of wargames.

Don’t get too overwhelmed with your desire to win the game because you may unknowingly kill the fun and excitement with wargames. Instead, play to have fun because that’s what it was designed for, especially with the creatively-themed ones.

Moreover, playing to win may also cause you to make wrong decisions that can eventually lead you to lose the game. When you’re playing for fun, you’ll be more calm and composed which can help you make wiser decisions in the process.

Invite your friends to play wargames!

These are the most important things that you need to know to get started in wargames. They will give you a better grasp on how the game is played as well as understand how it came about in the first place which can give you a newfound appreciation for it. 

However, reading about wargames isn’t as exciting as playing them in real life! Invite your friends now and discover the wonders that this board game has to offer.

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