ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Wargames: What Are They? How Do you Design One?

Updated on April 10, 2009

A war game is usually a historical simulation on a specific battle based upon the history of the battle. The game plays much like the intensity of Chess, which is really an abstract version of a war game. A wargame comes in two varieties, a computer version where you play against the computer or a board game with playing pieces and rules.

An example is like Firefight games' Eastern Operation 1941, which is a historical yet hypothetical simulation of could have occurred immediately after the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor. The game simulates what might had occurred had the Japanese invaded Oahu, Hawaii, as they originally planned right after the historic air raid of Pearl Harbor. Very interesting, to say the least.

In any wargame, each player is the general of all their forces, and within certain restrictions imposed by the game rules and beginning setup, the player's can try to change history by conducting an attack that did not occur historically to reach the victory objectives. The objectives are usually geographic and\or the amount of losses. The game's playing pieces or "counters" are usually 1/2 inch squares with unit designations or strengths on them according to the actual units that made up a specific battle. Player's alternate turns moving and conducting combat during the game to achieve the objectives. Combat is resolved mostly by rolling the dice and referring to a special combat table for that specific game. Units move across the map with "movement points" usually printed on the counter. Terrain features on the game map usually have assigned movement entry costs and these are subtracted from the unit moving. When the unit has no more movement points to move with that turn, it cannot move (but other units not already moved may move).

Designing a wargame is a craft and art. You must love to research historical battles or potential ones, you must obtain the raw data of the units and their nuances that were in the actual battle. This can take time. You need to read a wide variety of sources about the battle from all angles and both sides. This will allow you to get a complete picture and provide you with info about how to craft the rules that govern the game, what is allowed, what is not allowed (because it did not happen historically or could not have). The order of battle for the game is critical and must be correct as must the game map, based on historical sources. You will need to recreate this into a map using hexagons, which are used to regulate movement.

Just getting the battle information may take weeks. Reading source material is also very time consuming. Then, the designer needs to translate this info into a game with rules, a map, and counters using graphic art software. So, one game may take months or a year to produce from time research starts to the end product.

Firefight Games' North Russia has the British attacking in 1919
Firefight Games' North Russia has the British attacking in 1919
A counter from Eastern Operation
A counter from Eastern Operation
A map from FFG's Anzio 1944
A map from FFG's Anzio 1944
German units from Hitler's Stalingrad 1945
German units from Hitler's Stalingrad 1945
Cover to FFGs Petrograd 1919
Cover to FFGs Petrograd 1919

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • FunFacter profile image

      FunFacter 

      9 years ago from Canada

      chess YAAA

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)