The Full Wiki

Wargame (video games): Wikis

Advertisements
  

Note: Many of our articles have direct quotes from sources you can cite, within the Wikipedia article! This article doesn't yet, but we're working on it! See more info or our list of citable articles.

Encyclopedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Strategy video game.svg
Part of a series on:
Strategy video games

Wargames are a subgenre of strategy video games that emphasize strategic or tactical warfare on a map, as well as historical (or near-historical) accuracy.[1]

Contents

Game design

The primary gameplay mode in a wargame is usually tactical: fighting battles. Wargames sometimes have a strategic mode where players may plan their battle or choose an area to conquer, but players typically spend much less time in this mode and more time actually fighting.[2] Because it is difficult to provide an intelligent way to delegate tasks to a subordinate, war games typically keep the number of units down to hundreds rather than hundreds of thousands.[2]

Units are usually scaled to be disproportionately large compared to the landscape, in order to promote effective gameplay.[2] These games usually use a much faster time line than reality, and thus wargames do not model night time or sleep periods.[2]

Advertisements

Comparison with traditional wargames

Many contemporary computer strategy games can be considered wargames, in the sense that they are a simulation of warfare on some level. The mechanics and language have little in common with board and miniature games, but the general subject matter is popular.

Tabletop wargames are usually categorized according to the scale of the confrontation (e.g., grand strategy wargame, strategic wargame, operational wargame, tactical wargame or man-to-man wargame). The qualifiers "real-time" and "turn-based" are not taken into account as all tabletop wargames are, by necessity, turn-based. However, sometimes video wargames are also described according to the scale of conflict.

History

Computerized version of the Avalon Hill classic, Squad Leader

The computer gaming industry generally evolved with minimal reference to board games, so the term "wargame" is not traditionally used in the context of computer games. However, the wargaming community saw the possibilities of computer gaming early and made attempts to break into the market, notably Avalon Hill's Microcomputer Games line, which lasted from 1980 to 1987 and covered a variety of topics, including simple adaptations of some of their wargames.

Strategic Simulations, Inc. (SSI) and Strategic Studies Group (SSG) were computer game companies that specialized in games that borrowed from board and miniature wargames. They enjoyed a certain popularity throughout much of the 1980s and into the 1990s. TalonSoft started in 1995 with a similar focus, until purchased and later closed down by Take-Two Interactive in 2002.

The popular direction of the current market is towards real-time strategy games exemplified by Starcraft and others. It should be noted that these games are "strategic" in the gaming sense, but "tactical" in the military sense. These are generally high-action games that include a number of conveniences that enhance gameplay, but ignore reality.

Notable computer wargames

  • Panzer General - (Strategic Simulations, Inc., 1994) - probably the most widely popular computer game that is recognizably a traditional wargame next to Close Combat. It spawned several sequels, some of which explored different subject matter.
  • Steel Panthers - (Strategic Simulations, Inc., 1995) - an early tactical wargame on the same scale as Squad Leader, which led to two sequels, and a complete revision of the title for free release.
  • Close Combat - (Microsoft, 1996) - not the first wargame to break out from hexes, and still presented in a 2-dimensional format, Close Combat nonetheless uniquely addressed factors such as individual morale and reluctance to carry out orders. The original title led to five very successful sequels for the general public, as well as being developed into a training tool for military use only. Close Combat stemmed from an early attempt to translate the Squad Leader boardgame to the computer.
  • Combat Mission - (Big Time Software, 2000) - not the first 3D tactical wargame (titles such as Muzzle Velocity preceded it), but a groundbreaking game series featuring simultaneous order resolution, complete orders of battle for numerous nationalities, with three titles based on the original game engine. As of 2006, a campaign layer is in testing as well as a revised game engine to be released before 2007. CM's genesis was also as a failed attempt by Avalon Hill to translate Squad Leader to the computer.

References


Advertisements






Got something to say? Make a comment.
Your name
Your email address
Message