War Games with politics/religion and/or economics
John Alper
United States
Oregon
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I'm looking for a wargame that has another focus than just the fighting. Religious, political, and/or economic motivations to get players into and out of wars. PLease add any suggestions.
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1. Board Game: Pax Britannica [Average Rating:6.68 Overall Rank:2546]
John Alper
United States
Oregon
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Mainly it uses economics to get you in and out of wars, but there is also a heavy political element behind those economic decisions.
 
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2. Board Game: Here I Stand [Average Rating:7.93 Overall Rank:181]
John Alper
United States
Oregon
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The whole concept of this game is focused on religion and the war(s) that ensued.
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3. Board Game: Princes of the Renaissance [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:626]
John Alper
United States
Oregon
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This game is about intrigue and political manipulations in order to win certain wars at certain time, with the right people winning. Plus it has an interesting economic mechanic too.
 
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4. Board Game: Twilight Struggle [Average Rating:8.33 Overall Rank:5]
Brian Morris
United States
Raytown
Missouri
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The political war of two different political systems.
 
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5. Board Game: Struggle of Empires [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:352]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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There is definitely combat and conflict, but like Pax Brittanica, economics really drives this game of colonial expansion and conflict.
 
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6. Board Game: Junta [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:994]
Arcadian Del Sol
United States
Unspecified
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okay not a 'wargame' and its fairly light, but this game has minor 'wargame' elements and the entire gameplay is fueled by greed, alliances, political powers, and the occasional coup (hence the wargaming part).

This is also a fun, tongue-in-cheek, beer-and-pretzels game.

 
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7. Board Game: Empires of the Middle Ages [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:2594]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Recently reprinted by Decision Games, this multiplayer empire builder features religion, ethnicity and even linguistic affinity. Economics also drives planning. A great game for its time, but perhaps a little too chaotic and long for contemporary game playing.

 
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8. Board Game: After the Holocaust [Average Rating:5.97 Overall Rank:8268]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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A post-apocolyptic wargame, but this one had an economics system for a CPA to love.
 
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9. Board Game: A Mighty Fortress [Average Rating:6.30 Overall Rank:8523]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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In many ways, Here I Stand is the modern successor to this game. Players of Here I Stand will recognize much of this game's religious conflict subsystem.
 
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10. Board Game: The Plot to Assassinate Hitler [Average Rating:5.63 Overall Rank:13593]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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A quirky idea for a game. It does not quite work, but still the only game I know about assasinating an historical figure. I consider it political in its way.
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11. Board Game: Origins of World War II [Average Rating:5.89 Overall Rank:7336]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Origins is not much of a wargame, but it is about the politics that form a prelude to the war. An area control game before area control was cool.
 
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12. Board Game: Days of Decision [Average Rating:6.26 Overall Rank:7842]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Like Origins, this is pretty much the prewar politics of WWII. It can set the stage for a game of World In Flames, or be played in its own right. Has sort of a "choose your own adventure" quality.
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13. Board Game: Empires in Arms [Average Rating:7.54 Overall Rank:1015]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Perhaps appropriately known as "Empires in Arguments" you will definitely spend as much time on the politics and diplomacy of the Napoleonic period as you will the movement of armies.
 
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14. Board Game: Supremacy [Average Rating:5.60 Overall Rank:13901]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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OK, maybe its not a good economic system -- or really a good game for that matter. But there is no denying that economics plays an important role in this game (along with nuclear R&D).

 
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15. Board Game: War of the Ring (First Edition) [Average Rating:7.79 Overall Rank:83]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
Virginia
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Well, this has got a lot more than combat going on. Is the corruption of your soul through a magic ring count as something different?
 
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16. Board Game: Revolution: The Dutch Revolt 1568-1648 [Average Rating:7.35 Overall Rank:1318]
Hunga Dunga
Canada
Coquitlam
British Columbia
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Greta political and economic systems. Finally bought my own copy a couple of weeeks ago.
 
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17. Board Game: John Prados' Third Reich [Average Rating:6.39 Overall Rank:5011] [Average Rating:6.39 Unranked]
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Politics, economics, war. This one has everything!!
 
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18. Board Game: World War II: Barbarossa to Berlin [Average Rating:7.25 Overall Rank:1269]
 
Manuel Pombeiro
Portugal
Sao Joao do Estoril
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Another one where the economic management is allways present
 
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19. Board Game: Russian Civil War 1918-1922 (first edition) [Average Rating:6.92 Overall Rank:4686]
Darrell Hanning
United States
Jacksonville
Florida
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A political game from front to back.
 
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20. Board Game: Wallenstein (first edition) [Average Rating:7.50 Overall Rank:365]
Jason Matthews
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Alexandria
Virginia
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I am in a small minority of euro gamers who do not think much of this design. Despite being named after an important general of the 30 Years War -- in my mind the quintessential confluence of religion, politics and war -- it is totally flavorless. Its more like an improved version of Risk.

That said, it does have a robust economic subsytem with real resource choices involving troops and infrastructure (guns or butter?).
 
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21. Board Game: Successors (second edition) [Average Rating:7.03 Overall Rank:2527]
Jim Marshall
United Kingdom
York
North Yorkshire
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The card driven wargames originating from Avalon Hill's "We The People" and "Hannibal" beautifully combine military and political control.

The miltary units are the strongest and most dynamic in the games. In contrast, political control markers are relatively weak, but drive the ultimate victory conditions. Consequently, the military units exist to serve the placement and preservation of the politcal control markers that will decide the winner.

Unsupported political control is very vulnerable - a house of cards waiting to fall. Military might on its own is impressive but impotent - it must be used to exert political control. Understand the subtle balance between the two, and you are on the path to victory.

I've recommended the mutiplayer "Successors" (the final game in the series from AH) as it adds a layer of dynastic influence on top of the basic military and political control, which seems in step with the query driving this list, without being any more commplex than WTP or Hannibal. It's also cheaper when it comes up for sale!

While I haven't played any of the more modern setting (Napoleonic, WW1/WW2) games in the series from GMT, based on reviews/reports they seem longer and more complicated, with more of a pure wargame feel. (It's only fair to say that they are highly rated, regardless).
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22. Board Game: Canadian Civil War [Average Rating:5.44 Overall Rank:13241]
Jason Matthews
United States
Alexandria
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Not much "war" to this title. Rather, it is a multiplayer game of coalition building with a note of secessionist extremism. However, if things go badly, there is a little wargame to play out too.
 
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23. Board Game: Warrior Knights [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:864]
Kenneth Ellis
United States
Massachusetts
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Politics? Check.
Religion? Check.
Economics? Check.

Heck, we've even got your tactical manuvering by with two methods of winning combat in a simple card driven system.

Winning in Warrior Knights becomes a delicate balance of pure aggression, monetary control, dealing, double dealing, electing, and blessing. And all of these things become entwined as part of the game system. The Head of the Assembly can choose to initiate expeditions for economic gain, while the Head of the Church can give them insurance with a blessing, or leave it up to chance. Trying to gain favor of both the Church in the form of Faith and of the Assembly by means of votes, the simple drive to become the leader of either of those bodies can become a vital asset even should you fail in overtaking the current Head. Faith gets you out of bad Fate cards, while votes can reap you special reward in the form of titles and personal armies.

And all of this ties in to the manner of action resolution, because the wrong move politcally, religiously, or militarially, can have dire consequences to your bottom line, should your play bring forth the Assembly one turn too early to have that one vote you need to protect yourself from being named the Traitor, or, calling about payday for your troops and mercenaries. Knowing when to extend your reach in one area of influence, or to consolidate, is key.
 
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24. Board Game: Bolos and Krags: The Philippine American War 1899-1902 [Average Rating:0.00 Unranked]
Terence Co
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Lots of politics in this one, political will, U.S. 1900 Presidential elections, President Mckinley, hearts and minds and more...
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