$10.00
Ultimate Light Wargame Battle!
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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As my Ultimate RPG/Dungeoncrawl/Herogame Battle! geeklist went down so well I thought I'd run another one for Light Wargames. This list tries to capture all the best Light Wargames on the geek.

I've trawled a load of Light/Introductory/Kids Wargames geeklists to get the base list of 103 - I required a game to be mentioned on at least 2 lists to add it, then added a few obvious omissions.
Feel free to add your own suggestions.
The initial order will be based on the number of times the games appeared on the geeklists I used. This will also be used as a tide-breaker, as will ranking if required. Note that a couple of very recent games (notably BattleLore) only appear on a couple of these geeklists.

The Battle
Several of these games receive increased ratings due to nostalgia and some of them get very few ratings in the BGG database, so I'm hoping this list can provide a bit more clarity on which are the best games of this type!

1. Vote using the thumbsup icon for your favourite games. Feel free to add comments saying why you like them.
2. If you strongly dislike a game then you can add a comment with a thumbsdown. Feel free to thumb down if you think the game is not suitable for this list - i.e. not a wargame or not Light!

I'll regularly review the list and re-sort it based on the Net number of thumbsup each game has.

The comment for each game is one from a user who rates it highly - not my comments!

I know that they are of dubious value because wargamers & non-wargamers see it differently, but I'm going to add the BGG game weights to each description.

Other lists in this 'Battle' Series:
Ultimate Ameritrash Game Battle!
Ultimate 2-Player Game Battle!
Ultimate Gateway Game Battle!
Ultimate Gamers Game Battle!
Ultimate Horror/'B Movie' Game Battle!
Ultimate Solitaire Game Battle!
Ultimate RPG/Dungeoncrawl/Herogame Battle!
Party Game Battle: The (Little) BIG 13
Party Game Battle: The BIG 13
And a Metalist of them all: The Tony Awards

Also see: Best Games By Category - Polls

And... The Best Light Wargames for 3 or more players
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26. Board Game: Britannia [Average Rating:7.26 Overall Rank:347]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 2 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

Eggo: "The new version by Fantasy Flight games has to be commended as being the most perfect edition up to date. For the first time the rules really get it right, and the (minor) tweaks by Mr. Pulsipher really shine and make the game seem fresh even for veteran players like me. The board and the counters are of top quality as well, although the VP's as "change" doesn't really work, but nobody is kept from simply writing the scores down as it was done before. Yes, there is dice rolling, yes, the events are scripted, but there is also lots of strategy involved, and the more skilled player who plans ahead and saves his men for the really important battles usually wins. "Ancient Conquest" might have come first, but it is to the credit of Lew Pulsipher that we have a great classic "simple" wargame with immense flair that is still enjoyable after all these years."

Weight: 3.33

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27. Board Game: Quebec 1759 [Average Rating:6.94 Overall Rank:1436]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 7 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

cfarrell: "I played this recently and it substantially exceeded expectations. Short, simple tense - I was really taken with it, and I'm not sure why I hadn't been before. I like the simultaneous orders, I think they work very well with minimal hassle, the bluffing and hidden information works as well here as in any Columbia game, the 16 turns makes for some time pressure, and the two sides play differently.
I'm not entirely sure of game balance (the British may be favored), and the game is mostly one of bluff and logistics rather than tactics, so it's unlikely to be infinitely replayable. But I really enjoyed playing it and for the complexity and playing time, felt that it was very, very good."

Weight: 2.37

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28. Board Game: Ace of Aces: Handy Rotary Series [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1033]
Chris R.
United States
Unspecified
Missouri
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This light game is essentially Wings of War in book form. There are seven in the series. It is very similar to the game Lost Worlds. (I am told that the game pages were essentially created using a small hex grid pattern.)
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29. Board Game: Viktory II [Average Rating:6.97 Overall Rank:1764]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 9 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

Ze Weeg: "The perfect balance of simplicity, speed, and strategic depth. Though outstanding as written, the rules are easily tweaked to give you exactly the wargaming experience you are looking for. Hard for me to get motivated to play the longer wargames in my collection when I can scratch the same itch with this little gem, and get in several games during the same amount of time. Brilliant!"

Weight: 2.38
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30. Board Game: War of the Ring (first edition) [Average Rating:7.85 Overall Rank:34]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 4 'Light Wargame' Geeklists. Light?

Warbringer25: "Wow... I look at my game and I'm amazed at both its beauty and attention to detail. The game captures the spirit and strategy of the war and journey of the fellowship better than anything else I've ever seen or imagined. That said, it is very complex and may scare the faint hearted away. For me... let the games begin. "

Weight: 3.73

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31. Board Game: Battleground: Fantasy Warfare [Average Rating:7.01 Overall Rank:1085] [Average Rating:7.01 Unranked]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 3 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

jeff brown: "This is an awesome game to play, and I love to play it. The only thing that keeps it from a 10 is that there is some fiddliness in the battles with all the dice rolling and such. I don't know that, it could be avoided without hurting the game though, so its a great game.

The decision making and strategy in this game is awesome."

Weight: 2.68
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32. Board Game: War at Sea (second edition) [Average Rating:6.41 Overall Rank:1877]
 
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 3 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

Grumbling Grognard: "Very simple, elegant intro to wargaming. NOT a complex game. NOT a detailed game. It 'is' exactly what it intended on being a fun, simple game that can be played in a hour or two. I have played this with my 8-year old and I bought my copy when I was 7. Say no more."

Weight: 1.93
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33. Board Game: Risk 2210 A.D. [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:744]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 1 'Light Wargame' Geeklists - but seemed a necessary inclusion.

dodonna: "Fixes the flaws of the original "Risk" by imposing a five-turn limit and doing away with the massive army build-up. Some of the card effects are a bit random, but I find that aspect appealing. The sea zones open up the traditional world map, and the moon adds more options for would-be conquerers."

Weight: 2.84

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34. Board Game: History of the World [Average Rating:7.14 Overall Rank:389]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 2 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

The Gamester: "Just a super game. Probably the thing I like the most about it is that no one is ever totally out of the game. But that's sure not everything I like about it. The game board & the pieces are fabulous. You need to play the game with the old original rules at the back of the rule book though. That's the best game. Great fun, good strategy."

Weight: 2.91
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35. Board Game: Hannibal: Rome vs. Carthage [Average Rating:7.83 Overall Rank:68]
 
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 7 'Light Wargame' Geeklists. Light?

cfarrell: "Although only the second game in the genre of We The People-inspired games (as of 7/02, this numbers ~8 games!), Hannibal is really the system at its peak - most of the other games try to shoehorn the system into a game that doesn't quite fit it, to varying degrees of success (PoG is probably the best of the rest, althouh it is also the most significant overhaul of the basic game). Hannibal also represents, for me, a near-perfect design as a game; everything that is included has a significant purpose, the design is clean and coherent, the game has an ease of learning that belies the depth of the game, and the historical flavor is tremendous without dominating the game a la Richard Berg or acting as a straightjacket. This is a fairly complex game when compared to the modern, lighter multi-player fare, but anyone who is not too complexity-averse should try this game even if not generally into historical or simulation gaming."

Weight: 3.22

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36. Board Game: Risk [Average Rating:5.59 Overall Rank:9575]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 4 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

drakezeus: "Here is THE game that brought me into a new world. It changed my life as a kid playing with toys to a thinking boardgame environment. Me and my best friend Jeff couldn't get enough of this game and played it constantly through the night on weekends. While we played we broadened our minds to music and depending on whose house we were at we took time outs to enjoy in our Mom's hospitality & food. What great memories! Boardgames have changed since then but this game will always have a dear place in my heart."

Weight: 2.06

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37. Board Game: Shogun [Average Rating:7.62 Overall Rank:77]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 1 'Light Wargame' Geeklists - but seemed a necessary inclusion as Wallenstein is on this list.

insertcleverthing: "Shogun is a great wargame that infuses a lot of interesting ideas into the mix. I like how there is a definite economic side to things that can outweigh military campaigns, suggesting multiple paths to victory. 90% of the game seems to be planning with the longer "game" part being the resolving of all the action cards. The cube tower, while gimmicky, is brilliant and at times even more vicious than dice. If you're looking for a hybrid resource-building/wargame without the time commitment or rules clutter, look no further. This game is king of its domaine."

Weight: 3.43
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38. Board Game: The Creature That Ate Sheboygan [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:2607]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 2 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

sisteray: "Great little 2 player mini-game that captures most everything you would want out of designing a monster and rampaging a city. It is a bit funner to play the monster but the game is short enough to trade off.
The excitement really comes on when you start to discover what you are up against. You just never expect the power combinations as the cops. Lots of fun (if only the firemen made any kind of logical sense in the game as creatures don't get points for burning buildings and as the defenders you want the buildings to burn to open line of sight)
This is a true classic that stands the test of time."

Weight: 1.64
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39. Board Game: Wizard Kings [Average Rating:6.72 Overall Rank:1226]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 9 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

elijah234: "This is one of the best gateway wargames around. Very simple ruleset yet the game can give such an immense variety of tactical situations to explore. Playing time can be as short or as long as you want it - just pick your scenario. And the expansions really livens up the game and gives so much more options to discover. Of course, enjoyment of the game is dependent on the scenario you play, but part of the fun of WK is to encourage you to come up with your own scenarios."

Weight: 2.81
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40. Board Game: Conquest of the Empire [Average Rating:6.81 Overall Rank:756]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 2 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

nishikawa-collector: "Slightly dumbed-down version (but elegantly done) of Struggle of Empires, which I also rate a 10, but the production quality here and variety and ease of game play make this a solid 10 for me. Like randomness and variety of cards (more limited choice than all the tiles in Struggle and better combos) and the Senate vote mechanism adds a whole new element. Gotta love the map and plastic pieces. Speed of play is fast with little or no down time due to quick two action turns. Thank you Martin Wallace and Eagle Games!! Every game we've played so far has been close. This rating is for the new game rules, not the classic game, which we have yet to try."

Weight: 2.99
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41. Board Game: We the People [Average Rating:7.34 Overall Rank:619]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 7 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

dougadamsau: "The game that inspired a batch of very good and successful wargames. This game simulates the American War of Independance in an original and playable manner via a deck of cards. The cards control the events, military actions, and political influence of the war. The end of the game is triggered by either sudden death victory conditions, or a random "war ends" mechanic. Excellent stuff."

Weight: 2.89

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42. Board Game: Napoleon at Waterloo [Average Rating:6.54 Overall Rank:2514]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 2 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

da pyrate: "It serves its function perfectly - it is a great game to introduce non-wargamers to wargaming. Its beauty is that there are only small forces for each side so it is easy for new-comers to deal with a smaller-than-normal number of decisions-per-turn for this type of game.
For a quite old game this plays great. There is tension due to the victory conditions - a draw is a possibility."

Weight: 2.31
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43. Board Game: Gettysburg (125th Anniversary edition) [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:2238]
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
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Another AH gem - IMO the best of their Smithsonian Series introductory wargames. Short playing time, and yet an engaging experience.
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44. Board Game: Crusader Rex [Average Rating:7.20 Overall Rank:758]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 5 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

crackedlcd81: "Tremendous. The virtues of Hammer of the Scots are preserved here and in many ways enhanced, making for a deeply engaging, compelling wargame that is both completely accessible and full of detail and specficity. The Franks have a tough time of it through the first few years, fighting to keep their strongholds while the Muslims stage a nasty counterattack. It's a matter of waiting for the Crusaders to show up and strike back.
I think it's slightly better than HOTS (itself an awesome game) mainly because there's more options and it doesn't feel quite so hopeless for the weaker side. The only complaints are those that are typical for a Columbia game- lo-fi production and the map could stand to be larger. All in all, one of the best games of the year and one that stands with the best of Columbia Games' fantastic products."

Weight: 3.09
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45. Board Game: Battle Masters [Average Rating:6.09 Overall Rank:2451]
Andrew Clark
United States
Bloomfield
Connecticut
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This is great fun, though it's not light to pick up! Played on a 4.5 ' mat, it's like a heroquest-light warhammer fantasy battle. It's too bad there weren't more of these...
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46. Board Game: Attack! [Average Rating:5.88 Overall Rank:3342]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 6 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

walk_softly: "Really like the mechanics to this. Fixes what is wrong with Axis and Allies and Risk. The die rolls are even and force you to have a balanced army rather than a cheesy tank army. There is no bonus for continents so it allows you to consolidate your army early on so no one gets stuck surrounded on all sides. And, the person who early into the game secures Australia or South Africa does not get any bonuses. Having one person own the sea at any time and therefore control trades and sea movement is a very powerful position and makes the game much more interesting. I also like the fact that empty terratories are not free! Another good aspect is: on your turn you can do 3 actions and there are 7 different types so production is not a given and you have to resource plan better. I highly recommend this game!"

Weight: 2.56

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47. Board Game: Rommel in the Desert [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:625]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 4 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

RichardV: "A fine game. Tense, rewarding skill. Few pieces but plenty of choices. Some scope for manouevre. Scenarios vary from 2 hours through to 8 hours in duration. There are some good ones in the 3-4 hour range. Feels a bit more dynamic than East Front. Everything fits together well to make a very playable game with a good historical feel. The rules are short, but are poorly written, which is really the only strike against it."

Weight: 3.59

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48. Board Game: Hellas [Average Rating:6.24 Overall Rank:1684]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 3 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

pmboos: "An OUTSTANDING game that is playable and addictive. Goes pretty fast and can have a lot of good tension between players. Some rules are a little confusing, but the Q&A articles can help clarify them. Probably due to the translation of the rules from German."

Weight: 2.11

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49. Board Game: Midway [Average Rating:6.53 Overall Rank:1994]
Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 7 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

Admiral Fisher: "A true wargaming classic. Would have to be one of the best 10 wargames of all time. The rules are easy to digest and newcomers will recognise a super-variant of Battleships in the search method. Don't let that put you off, as there is a lot of skill in the searching here, you only get so many searches per turn and your enemy is moving! Once you find your opponent you have to strike, but sometimes you are aware that he may strike you in the same turn, or that it may be better to strike next turn, especially if night is approaching.
If you're the Americans, you get an opening advantage as the Japanese are vulnerable early on. If you're the Japanese, do you risk an early attack on Midway when your relatively unsupported carriers could be sunk? To do this, you really need to spot the US player before he spots you. If you're the American, it's easier for you to hide. Do you play for an early attack when the enemy is weak, or do you sneak off somewhere and strike when and where it is least expected.
Endlessly replayable, full of possibilities and variations in strategy and tactics. Super fun! Since the rules are very easily grasped, this is perfect for anyone wondering about wargames and not knowing where to start. And, if that's you, and you want to get into wargaming, here's 10 reasons to buy this one:
1. It's chock full of S and T
2. It's more replayable than almost anything else wargames-wise - you can play it with loads of different strategies.
3. The unequal sides with diff strengths and weaknesses - dilemmas abound.
4. The fact that you'll recognise the method of searching intuitively if you've ever played battleships. This is the adult version of that.
5. The suspense of the chase.
6. The sense of history. Midway was one of the 5 key battles of WW2. I'd put it with BoB, Stalingrad, D Day (if you think of the first day or two as a battle) and Kursk.
7. The easy rules that allow you to concentrate on S and T.
8. It's cheap on Ebay
9. You can get loads of great writing on it in the old AH Generals if you want it.
10. It's fun and exciting. You won't feel like you've been dragged through a hedge backwards by the end of it."

Weight: 2.70
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Tony Ackroyd
United Kingdom
Brighton
E Sussex
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On 9 'Light Wargame' Geeklists

jormungandra: "Really enjoyed the games of it I've played, expect to put it on the table again in the near future. Does a great job of providing a fast-playing game with strong period feel. Attacker has the harder tactical task in most scenarios as it can prove difficult to approach the enemy without being chewed up by their fire. (unlike Battle Cry, most units cannot move & fire)
Also very impressed with the balance and testing of the scenarios. We've had very few runaway wins but ordinarily both players have been in it until the end. In the 1 or 2 cases where a blow out has occured, an alternate strategy proved to tighten the odds dramatically."

Weight: 2.27
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