Top 10 Thirty Years' War Games
Robert Carroll
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Below is my Top 10 list of games covering the Thirty Years' War. These are games that meet substantially all of the following criteria: (1) focuses on the Thirty Years' War; (2) can be strategic in scale or covering individual battles of the Thirty Years' War; (3) primarily a wargame, but can address elements of the political, diplomatic and economic pressures associated with the Thirty Years' War; (4) addresses the "theme" in an interesting or compelling manner that leaves the player with a better understanding of the Thirty Years' War (and its various aspects); and (5) fun to play (understanding that this can be very subjective, especially for wargames). This is a list of the BEST! As always, your mileage may vary and some entries may be "controversial." As such, please feel free to comment, debate, or just express your own point of view. Feel free to thumbsup this list (to draw attention and more comments) or any pleasing, interesting or thought provoking entries. If I missed one that you feel is essential or I am "insane for not listing" (trust me, it has been said before), then by all means let the comments fly . . . just be civil. FYI - I am a sucker for comments and discussion and usually thumbsup most if not all of them.

I find that these lists sometimes are helpful for others seeking similar games and the more rich the discussion for more useful the list.

See also Top 10 Gustavus Adolphus Games for more games on this topic.

For a complete listing of my Top 10 lists, see--MetaList: Nap's Top 10 Lists.

As always, thanks for reading and participating!

NOTE: Where I have included quotes from BGG users, I have included the BGG user name in parentheses.
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1. Board Game: Thirty Years War: Europe in Agony, 1618-1648 [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:2440]
Robert Carroll
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Truly the thirty years war! Ebb and flow between the high tides of the imperial and the protestant faction, very historical with a lot of possibilities for alternate steps to change the course of history. Wallenstein system is ingenious. Every nation gets it's special rules, but not too much so. Above all, a very playable game system, becoming natural at the latest after turn three. Towards the end of the war, Germany is becoming a true wasteland and every army without foreign aid may suffer from starvation and desertion. Fun, interesting, challenging, informative. Up to now, the best of my cdg's.

--D S (Bloody Gauntlet)
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2. Board Game: Thirty Years War: the Great War 1618-1648 [Average Rating:6.05 Overall Rank:10689]
Robert Carroll
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One of my all times favorite. A keeper all the way !

--Allan Glois (The Berserker)
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3. Board Game: Gustav Adolf the Great: With God and Victorious Arms [Average Rating:7.76 Overall Rank:2642]
Robert Carroll
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+ Wonderful components; maps great, counters great, just great
+ Historical detail and research
+ The gamesystem; perfectly working, great simulation of the period and the specific warfare (make sure to use the latest ruleset)
+ THE GAME THE GAME THE GAME!!!
+ Very solitaire friendly, unlike the back of the box states

---

- Most of the games are out of print/stock (but they'll get reprints)

---

I have only played three of the scenarios so far. But the gamesystem is great, it is the best system that I have ever played. (I do not have played too many games though...)
The rest of the series is a dead sure investment.

--Christopher Scholz (ElFluppe)
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4. Board Game: Sweden Fights On [Average Rating:7.72 Overall Rank:2923]
Robert Carroll
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Best mix of tactical detail, command and control and simplicity I have seen. The simple command chit system forces you to plan ahead. The game rewards the proper use of reserves. Timing is also an important skill in this game. A line of fresh troops charging into the enemy's tired and worn out formations will often bring victory to your side.

--John Vasilakos (John Vasilakos)
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5. Board Game: Thirty Years War Quad (second edition) [Average Rating:6.73 Overall Rank:5895]
Robert Carroll
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Cracking Quad. Doubt there are many better. All 4 battles are playable, but maybe Nordlingen is the one with the greatest strategical posiibilities.
The system is very clean in terms of rules. One of my opponents remarked that this meant that "he could forget about the rules and just get on with the strategy and tactics." Perfect in that respect! Rule wise, I'd give it 9.5. Maybe, just maybe, it could be a mite more detailed and so that's why it only got 9. The pieces though, are gorgeous and the game is great value for money!

--David Seddon (Admiral Fisher)

Includes Thirty Years War (first edition).
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6. Board Game: With Fire and Sword: A Strategic Game of the 30 Years War [Average Rating:5.05 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
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The Thirty Years War seems to attract those who like to put everything in there (and a side order of onion rings)as if thirty years wasn't enough.

This game proceeds in another direction; it cuts things to the bone. Its leader death rules work well (though not when you are playing and everyone dies just as you are about to win) and there are some rather tedious sections that require work. Otherwise it plays quickly and you get the war finished.

You'll probably want to add a few bits - but that way madness lies...

--Charles Vasey (Charles Vasey)
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7. Board Game: Breitenfeld: Enter the Lion of the North [Average Rating:6.51 Unranked]
Robert Carroll
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Part of DG's Folio Series-covering the Battle of Breitenfeld during the Thirty Years War. It uses the Pike & Shot system and does a decent job of capturing the era. The DG Folios Series is simplified, yet detailed (enough, just enough) set of wargames that are good intro-tools to wargaming in general.

--Robert Carroll (Nap16)
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8. Board Game: The Thirty Years War [Average Rating:6.88 Unranked]
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Surprisingly solid treatment of the Thirty Years War.

--Tim Taylor (Herr Niemand)
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9. Board Game: Europa Universalis [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:4038]
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History of Europe in a box, absolutely sublime. Even in its unfinished state it's unbelievable in scope and grandeur. The rules are as muddle as La Grand Guerre but the effort to understand it worth every second. Not just a wargame.

--Cheong Sang Eric Lai (Garfink)


The most ambitious empire-building game I've seen.

As many point out, the rules need some serious effort
to decipher. I've done this for the original (to my
own taste). Would like to put the same effort into
the EU 8/9 updated version.

All that said, the game has many many flaws beyond
just the rules. The historical basis for the original
game is not well executed in some places. It is very
unbalanced in the campaigns.

There are a lot of small 'war' scenarios, which play
out in a fairly short time frame. These are the way
to ease into this game, which is so much more than
a wargame.

--Enrico Viglino (calandale)
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10. Board Game: Lion of the North [Average Rating:6.27 Overall Rank:7102]
Robert Carroll
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GBoH series are one of the best strategy games ever. The leadership rules realy makes a differense against other games there you are free to move every soldier in play at everyy given time. In GBoH - if there is no leader no move... Lion of The North is in my point of view a easier game than its predesessors.

--Henrik Bjugård (TrollHenrik)
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