There are probably as many definitions as to what a wargame is as there are wargamers. A couple of useful ones are:
“a warfare model or simulation whose operation does not involve the activities of actual military forces, and whose sequence of events affects and is, in turn, affected by the decisions made by players representing the opposing sides” (Perla, 2011) or
“a structured representation of adversarial situations in which outcomes are shaped by the decisions of the players. Effective wargames generate an immersive narrative which can be used for training, education, planning and decision making” [and of course fun and entertainment!] – (Longley-Brown, 2019)
Given the breadth of games that WD plays, including political and committee games, the latter definition is probably the closer in embracing what we do.
Our focus tends to be on “manual games” - wargames played without the need for a computer - although we’re quite happy to play them on Roll20, Vassal, Zoom, Google Sheets or Tabletop Simulator if we can’t get together in person.
Beyond that anything goes, from traditional miniatures/toy soldier games, through classic hex-and-counter style board games to matrix and committee games. To help you better understand the types of wargame that we design and play then check out:
- A “potted history” of wargaming to show the long history of the art
- An introduction to some of the different types of wargames.
- Our 64pp WD Handbook (Third Edition, 2022), including 15 pages of wargame definitions, and useful in-depth article on different wargame types (some of which are also reproduced on this website).
If you’d like more information on wargaming, as a hobby, career, or academic discipline then please check out the following:
- Our page of Useful Wargaming Links, including non-WD Wargaming Conferences.
- The ConnectionsUK Introduction to Wargaming page.
- And of course our own Members Websites and Blogs.