Kriegspiel is also a war game from Avalon Hill published in 1970. It has two levels of rules, Game 1 and Game 2. The rules for Game 1 fill up exactly two sides of one page and is perhaps the easiest war game to learn. There are no elements of chance in the game, its all about strategy and tactics.
Despite its small size it is a full-scale war game for two players. One player is the United Black and the other is the Republic of Red. Unit counters display the combat factor, movement factor, unit type, id icon, and corps structure.
Game 1 has a simple turn sequence and easy victory conditions. A move consists of a player moving some, none or all of their pieces up to their movement factor limit. Any units that move next to any enemy unit stops immediately regardless of how much movement they have left. This is called moving into an enemy’s zone of control.
After all the pieces are moved combat may occur with any pieces next to any enemy pieces. Odds are made up by comparing the combat factors of all the attackers in question over the combat factor of the defending unit. The defender then gets to say if they are abandoning the position, fighting while withdrawing, standing fast or holding at all costs. The odds and the defenders stance are cross-referenced on the battle table to find the outcome.
The only other twists in the rules for Game 1 are:
- Airborne assault units, which can be dropped on any space on the map provided they start the turn in a friendly city.
- Special forces units, which may move over water and use coastal spaces to move onto any other coastal space on the map.
- reinforcements, which come on turn 4
- terrain effects which can alter combat and movement.
- The rules for Game 2 get a little more detailed covering such items as weather, air cover, prisoners, logistics and a few other things.
All in all this is a great first war game with a high replay potential. Making up new scenarios and maps adds to the longevity of the game. Because it is easy to learn and yet still challenging after many games there are hordes of die-hard Kriegspiel players all over the world. If you do a search of the web you will find tons of sites with players and variations.