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An excellent overview of the history / original Kriegspiel is up today

What are you thoughts?

James Sterrett:
So now you want to play Kriegsspiel - and it's a great game!

You can buy PDFs of the Leeson translation, and the (gorgeous Leeson-hand-colored) maps from TooFatLardies http://toofatlardies.co.uk/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=8&zenid=2dc7682ce5d116b506747ffdabd9b1fa

Pieces can be a bit of a pain; I'm very happy with the pieces (including rulers) I got from Photon Cutter Studios:  http://www.photoncutterstudios.com/kriegsspiel.html       Tom Evans is happy to customize what you get; the pieces have proven to be both good looking and very hard wearing.

Last but not least, Kriegsspiel News is a site run by the same group Bill Leeson was a part of and is a great source of information:  http://forum.kriegsspiel.org.uk/

Jack Nastyface:
Excellent article...loved the in-depth review and examples.  As a long time grognard, I have of course always been aware of Kriegspiel but am embarrassed to admint that I had never looked into its history or application or rule structure.
I find it very interesting that dice play an important role in the game.  In my casual acquaintance with a professional military games designer, he says that most modern military organization shy away from dice-rolling mechanics.  I would assume that is because dice  introduce a level of chance that simply doesn't have a equivalent paradigm in military strategy and tactics.  Meaning...when rolling dice, it is possible (although perhaps unlikely) that an entire platoon of M1A1 Abrams could be taken out be flurry of RPG attacks scoring "golden BB" hits.  In reality, such a thing is unlikely, so why model it.  Of course, history offers more than a few examples of very bad luck.  IIRC, the British airborne at Arnhem bridge lost almost all of their long-distance radios in the few gliders that were destroyed.  Sorry for the long digression, and again, great article.
Yours in gaming,
Jack Nastyface

Robert A Mosher:
Thanks for posting the links to supplier for anyone interested in trying it themselves, I obtained my copy some time ago and wasn't sure what the current marketing arrangement was.  Also, the UK based Kriegsspielers group is indeed still very active and I track their efforts.  The use of the dice in this initial period was one of the reasons for wanting to write the series of articles. It wasn't just Clausewitz in this era who recognized the role of chance in warfare.  The test of a real commander is and was what do you do when your plans don't survive contact with the enemy.  Dice were a great game mechanic for creating that situation.  However, by 1928 (as Reisswitz himself was fading from knowledge) the Prussians appeared to be moving to a more mechanistic game though they never gave up on dice completely.  I regularly work with the Army, Navy, and Marines on exercises and have noted that there is still a limited role for chance but almost all of these exercises have a check list of things to be done and the scripting reduces the amount of leeway the exercise controllers can leave for things to go wrong - although I have seen exercises in which everything went very wrong as a result of training unit decisions and they were allowed to crash.

Robert A. Mosher

Second in the series is (finally!) up today.  Robert's had it done for a while, but it was getting bumped for more timely coverage, especially around the Home of the Wargamers and Origins big events.


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