Board Wargames Published in 2006

Comprehensive list of board wargames published in 2006, compiled on behalf of the International Gamers Award Historical Simulations Committee. Over 100 items on the list.


  1. Stephen Ramsay said,

    January 8, 2007 at 10:36 pm

    Looks like rumors concerning the demise of wargaming are greatly exaggerated.

    There’s no question that the industry has contracted since its heyday (according to Stromata, SPI used to advertise on television!). So what does it mean when the publishers no longer have any hope of reaching the sales levels they once held, but still remain viable as a businesses? Is the audience now made up entirely of serious hardcore fans? Has the industry decided that it can survive without trying to appeal to a wider audience? Is that a good thing?

    I’m utterly intrigued by the idea that this style of gaming might be undergoing a resurgence. Because if that’s true, it might indicate a subtle modulation in the culture of gaming in general. But I wonder if it’s really just a change in the economic model. In other words, the publishers realize that while the audience isn’t large, it’s fiercely loyal and dedicated. None of them will become Hasbro, but they can stay alive and be profitable.

  2. Matthew said,

    January 9, 2007 at 9:35 am

    I think it’s basically the latter Steve, that is the fiercely loyal cottage industry model. Most wargames these days have a print run of maybe 3-5 thousand copies, which sounds pathetic until you realize that beats most university press runs handsomely. Much debate in hobby forums over why this is so, what happened to the golden days of yesteryear. The irony is that publishers are publishing a lot more, since there is a small but established customer base for the product—gamers who started out in their teen years and are now comfortably middle class so they can afford to buy new releases even if they don’t have time to play them.

    By contrast to wargames, the market for so-called German or Euro boardgames is thriving. There’s a much more robust boardgaming scene in Europe than in the States (when was the last time you walked into a Borders or B&N and saw a game that wasn’t a retheming of Monopoly or Trivial Pursuit?) and there are some good cross-over wargames/Euros that have been quite successful. In general people seem to want faster, lighter-playing games. GMT, one of the hobby’s major publishers, reportedly boosted sales 40% this past year, largely on the strength of those kind of releases. That said, hardcore wargaming is still a genre for design innovation and experimentation, which to me is what keeps it relevant to game studies.

  3. Ben Kirman said,

    January 9, 2007 at 10:47 am

    I find the GMT P500 system to be a really interesting “business model” ( for publishing niche games, by holding the game ransom until X people pre-order (and thereby pay for the print run).

  4. Matthew said,

    January 10, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Very much the way novels used to get published, back in the day. Dickens worked on such a model.