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Wargaming (conflict simulation, consim gaming) is a hobby in which one or more players simulate battles or entire wars.

Wargaming is also used to mean the model or computer simulation of possible scenarios in military planning, also called warfare simulation. See also defense contractors.

Wargaming can also refer to the full-scale rehearsal of military maneuvers as practice for warfare. In this case, the two sides in the simulated battle are typically called "blue" and "orange", to avoid naming a particular adversary.

Table of contents
1 History of wargaming
2 Board wargaming
3 Computerized wargaming
4 Types of military wargaming
5 Notable Wargamers
6 Publishers of wargames
7 Wargames and Wargaming as computer terms
8 External Links

History of wargaming

Modern wargaming grew out of the military need to study warfare and to 'reenact' old battles for learning purposes. The stunning Prussian victory over the French in the Franco-Prussian War (1870-71) is sometimes partly credited to the training of Prussian officers with the Kriegspiel.

The first specific non military wargame club was started in Oxford, England in the 19th century.

H.G. Wells' book Little Wars was an attempt to codify rules for fighting battles with toy soldiers (miniatures), and make them available to the general public.

Wargames have existed for centuries—chess is an ancient example. In fact, one could make a case that all competitive zero-sum games may be considered wargames.

Wargames, like all games, exist in a range of complexities: some are fundamentally simple (so-called "beer-and-pretzel" games), while others (generally in an attempt to increase the 'realism' of the situation) produce rule sets that may encompass a large variety of actions (so-called "monster" games).

One of the main difficulties with wargaming is the level of complexity of rules and record keeping. Extremely detailed wargame rule sets (some of which require hundreds of pages of small print and intensive recordkeeping) generally result in a slow (and for many, less enjoyable) game. Simple rule sets, on the other hand, may not cover events that historically took place in a conflict, forcing the players to invent "house rules" to resolve disputes.

Board wargaming

A typical non-computerized wargame (Kriegspiel) consists of the following components: Board wargames typically use cardboard counters to represent the units, and a printed mapboard as the playing surface. Miniatures games typically use miniature plastic or metal models for the units and model scenery placed on a tabletop or floor as a playing surface. Games with miniatures are often called Table-top games. Computer wargames may take either approach and display the units and scenery on the monitor screen.

Computerized wargaming

Computerized wargames have several distinct advantages over paper and pencil wargames: Disadvantages of computerized wargames: Traditional wargaming differs from so-called real-time strategy computer games in that traditional wargames are generally turn-based (an obvious exception being 'in-the-field' wargaming by military organizations). Traditional wargames focus on the ability to analyze in-depth, plan to achieve a goal, and adjust plans to changing circumstances. Real-time strategy games (which might better be called vastly-speeded-up-time strategy games) focus more on reflexes, coordination, and the ability to make snap decisions with limited information. Also, real-time strategy games require less sophisticated artificial intelligence on the part of computer players.

Computer wargames are often played against human opponents via e-mail (by exchanging save-game files) to provide the human interaction and a more interesting opponent than that of the program. This has the disadvantage of taking much longer to finish the game, depending upon how often the players check their e-mail. It is still much quicker (and easier) than the older method of playing board wargames by postal mail. A faster alternative (not available with all games) is playing over a direct connection, either LAN, modem or Internet.

Types of military wargaming

Usually, military wargaming can be broken down based on what technology is available to the 'armies' involved, what military era or war the 'army' is from, and the scale of the conflict.

All periods of history have their wargaming enthusiasts. Games are generally by these periods:


Notable Wargamers

Publishers of wargames

Wargames and Wargaming as computer terms

Another common use of the term "Wargame" is among the
Hacker community (specifically White-hats), referring to a server that is set up specifically for the purpose of being hacked into. This allows the hacker to have a server to hack into, without the need to worry about the legal issues, as the owner is knowingly allowing this to happen.

External Links