|HOME GAME PLAY & DESIGN WOMEN IN (WARGAMING) HISTORY||
This page provides a brief description of the different games systems currently available. Each game is briefly described, and information on how to obtain it is given (free download, URLs for purchase, etc.), along with whatever technological requirements/limitations I know about. Anyone who notices something missing should contact me with details.
Carnage & Glory
This is perhaps the oldest and best known of the computer-assisted (they use the term "computer-moderated") miniatures wargames systems. Originally written as a DOS program, it is now Windows-based. With different programs covering Pike & Shot, Marlburian, Seven Years' War, Napoleonics, American Civil War, and 19th Century European conflicts, the system has a broad scope. It uses the computer to handle all aspects of record-keeping and logistics, as well as to moderate combat. I can speak from experience - this game is great fun, and leverages many of the advantages of applying computers to tabletop miniatures games. It is highly recommended. Currently, there is work on a campaign system to supplement the tactical programs. The Carnage & Glory II site has up-to-date descriptions and information about purchase.
Berthier Campaign Manager
Another veteran of the genre, Berthier Campaign Manager is a system not for conducting tabletop battles, but for taking the pain out of managing campaigns. It has been through several iterations, and (as of this writing) is in version 9. It is a stand-alone program for Windows. Information (and free download) is available here.
This is a free campaign system based on the Berthier engine. It is a virtualization of campaigns run using a set of glued-together matchboxes, hence the name (yes, sadly, I am old enough to remember this...). The system is available here. It is a stand-alone Windows application, requiring only unzipping - no install.
Computer Strategies, Ltd.
Yet another veteran of the genre, Clinton Reilly's Computer Moderated Wargame Rules for Historical Miniatures has information about all of the many rules sets he offers, covering many historical periods (land warfare from the Biblical period to Moderns), fantasy, and Victorian science fiction, with each period in its own program (see the listing on the home page - there are 14 entries as of this writing). The programs are developed to run on Windows (it was originally DOS-based). Each period-specific program supports tactical, grand-tactical, and campaign-level play. Information on purchase is available on the site.
A grand-tactical game of WWII combat, where battalions are the maneuver units and players run division- or corps-sized formations. Battles can run for multiple days. The game is a Microsoft HTML Application (*.hta), so it will run on any computer which has Internet Explorer on it (and likely any modern version of Windows). The game is free and can be downloaded here. Just unzip on your computer and double-click on the file ActiveArmor.htm.
ShipBase, TankBase, and Related
ShipBase is a system for running naval miniatures games, covering (at least) WWI and WWII. I am not sure of the current status. Developed originally by a company called ArmourSoft, Inc., the rights to the popular ShipBase III were purchased by Critical Hit, Inc., who still distribute the rules packaged as a board game (including the software), I believe (at least you can still buy the game online). There are a number of interesting links on Dave Ferris' site regarding this system, including various downloads (he was an original developer of these games). He also links to his various tank games (eg, TankBase). ShipBase III is a commercial product - other downloads are free.
Panzer Combat II
A set of WWII rules for tank-oriented tactical combat, these are described on the Panzer Combat II site. They employ a web-cam for sighting and firing, and the computer screen for displaying what goes on inside the tank. The game also produces the sound of the tank gun firing. Models are 1/48 or 1/35 scale from what I can see. This looks like a low-level tactical game to me, and one which is quite different from other systems. It has a "high score" feature similar to a video game. The game is open-source (that is, free), and runs on both PCs and tablets (I'm not sure of the platforms, but it was written in Java, so should go cross-platform - a visit to the site may give you a better idea). You can find the sourceforge download here. They have links to an online trial feature (and a YouTube video) on the sourceforge download site. The game is networked, so that it can be run simultaneously on multiple tablets/PCs at the same time, and they will stay in synch.
Wargames Systems provide computer-assisted games for Windows, including eRules Modern War and eRules WWII, based on the corresponding WRG rulesets. These are commercial offerings. On their site, they also have tabs for "eRules Napoleonics," which is free, and "MapMaker," which looks interesting but has no download that I could find on their site.
The Electronic Brigadier
The Electronic Brigadier is a mobile (tablet and phone) based computer-moderated system designed for the horse and musket period. It pairs quick-play tabletop procedures with multiple cloud-based devices to speed and simplify data entry during play. The interface is mobile-friendly and leverages a series of button-based menus. Casualty rates are tuned to match historical losses for each period. Four to six player games can be played to conclusion in 3-4 hours. Games are limited in size only by the availability of figures, table space and number of mobile devices. At this time the game is in development and not available to the public, except at local conventions. (If you are in New England the developer is running a game at Huzzah! 2018.)
Available for free here, AWIRules is a computer-assisted version of the free AWI rules from Will McNally. This is a stand-alone program for Windows, with the only data entry being at set-up - the game itself is mouse-driven. (I heartily approve of this type of design, even if the interface is somewhat dated.)
The Other Side of the Hill
La Guerre à Outrance
Treads and Turrets
This is a WWII system based on the venerable Tractics rules. They system is free, and can be found here.
With the Colours in the Late War
Games I Cannot Find
I have run across mention of two Napoleonic systems which I cannot seem to get an active download for. The first is titled Hougomont, which says it is based on Irregular Miniatures 2mm/6mm rules. The other - which looks from the pictures like it might run on a smart phone - is called ActionFront. If you are the creator of either system, please contact me.
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