War board games are very close to strategy board games. Both of them are usually trying to simulate the real-life progression of a battle, a war, or the development of a civilization. Compared with abstract games like chess, checkers or go, they are usually more realistic and often have a background story which relates them to real life. But compared to wargames, which are more closely related to real military maneuvers, the board versions are not as serious and do not try to simulate all the elements of a battle.
War board games games usually put more emphasis on strategy rather than pure luck. And that’s why many players who get to know this game type never get tired of them. Each following battle, one can try to improve his strategy and when the victory is finally there, it’s a real satisfaction of the mind as it’s thanks to the decisions that he has made during the game.
For people who like an element of competition, it’s much more motivating to play against the strategies of other players than against their luck. Generally taken, all games are a type of competition – so bringing the topic of war conflict into the game is quite normal. Like all games played against opponents, the board battles give a chance for social interaction. But in addition, you can learn things like situation analysis, risk assessment and logistics.
Some games try to imitate historical battles, like Memoir ’44 that revives the battles of World War II. This game type also gives an opportunity to learn history while playing. Other games like Axis and Allies are generally historical, but not related to concrete battles, but Risk example is entirely generic and not linked to any specific place or historical era.
Because of the success of computer games, the popularity of board games suffered at first, but now it’s rising again. In fact, many computer-gamers have discovered that war board games are in much similar to computer war games. Moreover, board versions have been created from many known computer war games like Starcraft or the Age of Empires III.
Article by Tony Goat, also published on the website of War Board Games