Alternative history wargames to the third degree
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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Alternative history is an interesting subset of historical wargames designs. While all wargames are inherently "what if" to a certain degree -- the lure is the ability to CHANGE history, after all -- nearly all start with actual historical situations or near variants.
But a few look at planned, suggested or potential battles that ended up never being fought.
By the "third degree," I mean highly speculative wargames depicting battles or campaigns that could only have happened if a series of prior events had gone differently. Good examples of this are the various Axis-winning-WWII-and--then-fighting-each-other titles that were popular at one time.
These games are necessarily very speculative because they depend on the cumulative effect of many changes to the historical timeline. They fall short of being "science fiction" by being grounded in actual technology and some possible sequence of past events.
Excluded are actual science fiction games and games that were based on a potential "future history" valid at the time the game was published (such as all those "World War III wargames of the 1970s and 1980s).
"First degree" and "second degree" alternative history games are on prior geeklists. Feel free to add to the lists by try to stay on topic.
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1. Board Game: NATO, Nukes & Nazis [Average Rating:7.04 Overall Rank:6505]
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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Billed as the "Ultimate Wargame," this postulates the Nazis defeating the Soviets and achieving a stalemate with the Allies when they get to the Rhine. A 50-year "Cold War" ensues, similar to our world, but with the Nazis instaed of the Communists. In the 1990s war breaks out again. There is an entertaining and extensive alternative history presented. The NATO forces are mostly the actual NATO armies of 1990, but the Nazis are quite different, including a huge SS and SA contingent. Lots of special rules exploring all sorts of possible events. Many of these alternative history games seem a little dry compared to the color found in historical situations, but that observation does not apply to NNN.
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2. Board Game: Mason-Dixon: The Second American Civil War [Average Rating:6.38 Overall Rank:9644]
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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The CSA wins the Civil War in this alternate history and the two countries fight again in 1917, 1940 and 1990.
 
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Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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A game covering the 1805 invasion scare thwarted by the Nelson's victory would be a "first degree" game, but Perfidious Albion is set in 1814 and postulates a fleet of steamships designed by Robert Fulton transporting Napoleon's army to England. The game itelf has some rather odd mechanics that don't seem "right" for nineteenth century combat.
 
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4. Board Game: Hoorah! [Average Rating:6.20 Unranked]
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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This sequel to Wahoo! assumes the loss of Washington galvanizes the USA, rather than disheartening it, and also prompts British intervention. The remnants of the Army of the Potomac, Sherman's wetsern armies, Lee's ANV and a British army from Canada all clash around Pittsburgh is a wild melee.
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5. Board Game: Great War at Sea: U.S. Navy Plan Black [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:7271]
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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Imperial Germany wins WWI big and the Kaiser keeps up his "Big Navy" ways and challenges US hegemony in the Western Hemisphere. Lots of "never-built ships" figure in this game, which builds on some actual war plans by both sides.
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6. Board Game: Great War at Sea: U.S. Navy Plan Red [Average Rating:6.80 Overall Rank:7062]
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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This time it's the British winning WWI early and big. With no First World War carnage to drain the empire the British are able to deal with those upstart Americans and defend Brittania's rule of the waves. Lots of never-built ships and the actual war plans were pretty sketchy in this case.
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7. Board Game: Tomorrow the World [Average Rating:6.31 Overall Rank:8948]
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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Germany and Japan, victorious, square off for world domination.
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8. Board Game: Mississippi Banzai [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:8906]
Seth Owen
United States
Norwich
Connecticut
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Set in the same alternate history as Tommorrow the World, an operational level battle over St. Louis and vicinity in 1948.
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9. Board Game: 4th Reich [Average Rating:4.70 Overall Rank:14387]
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
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This one takes place in the far, FAR-fetched 'Future', well AFTER the "Nuclear Winter of our discontent", where "it was the worst of times, while it didn't get ANY better...and then you DIE!" Great Game, and even better with the '3rd-Player'-returning Space Beings, vying to re-establish "Even Purer-Men, untainted by eons of co-existing upon the contaminated Planet's surface"-NOT to be confused with any such "Space Nazis from HELL!" that YOU may have heard of, k?
 
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10. Board Game: Barbary Coast War [Average Rating:2.00 Unranked]
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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Does "alternative history" by bad design count? If so, this game is guilty in your "third degree"...

It's 1801. Ships of the Line from the U.S. Navy (!) and Barbary States (!!) square off in the Mediterreanean as masses of ground troops sweep back and forth across the African desert just like Montgomery and Rommel. Of course, none of this is anything at all like the historical campaign (or reasonably related to the actual plans of the combatants), so "alternative history" it is!

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11. Board Game: Hard Vacuum [Average Rating:7.29 Overall Rank:5120]
Trey Stone
United States
Texarkana
Texas
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World War 2, Earth orbit as an additional front. Great space combat game and cool alternative look at history. Nice pulp feel, too.
 
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12. Board Game: SS Amerika [Average Rating:6.13 Overall Rank:9994]
Frank da man
Thailand
Chumpohn
Chumpohn
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here is one more and it´s vene a good one !
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13. Board Game: Dixie [Average Rating:4.45 Overall Rank:14979]
Paul B.
United States
Frostburg
Maryland
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Dixie is an SPI game that fits these criteria. Covers same territory as Mason Dixon.
 
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14. Board Game: Black Gold (Texas Tea) [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:10620]
Greg Ernest
United States
New Haven
Indiana
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15. Board Game: America in Flames [Average Rating:6.45 Overall Rank:7557] [Average Rating:6.45 Unranked]
David Wessman
Netherlands
Breda
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America in Flames (“AiF”) is Australian Design Group’s strategic level game of an imaginary Invasion of America by the Axis powers, gorged on victory in the Second World War.

America in Flames is a complete game playable either by itself or with World in Flames.
 
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16. Board Game: Seven Seas to Victory [Average Rating:7.16 Overall Rank:8997]
Ethan McKinney
United States
El Segundo
California
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Carrier battles around the Panama Canal, using essentially the same buckets o' dice system as Victory at Midway (which was then refined in Solomon Sea).

Horribly busy counters obscured the ship art. There were some really cool Nazi dive-bombers, though!
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17. Board Game: Warplan Dropshot [Average Rating:6.88 Overall Rank:8778]
Matthew Barratt
United Kingdom
Royal Leamington Spa
Warwickshire
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This NATO vs Warsaw pact game was produced after the fact, so would it be appropriate for this list.
 
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18. Board Game: Nine Navies War [Average Rating:6.66 Overall Rank:9499]
Paulo Vicente dos Santos Alves
Brazil
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I guess this one fits here too.
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19. Board Game: Secret Weapons of the Third Reich [Average Rating:7.05 Overall Rank:6576]
Luca Cammisa
Italy
Monza
MB
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From the game-box:

"The date: March 1938. The vast majority of Austrians cheer the Anschluss of their country by the German Reich. Central Europe is falling into Nazi hands and all the best European scientists will soon compete under the aegis of Heinrich Himmler, for whom no scheme is too wild or too improbable. But which team has the imagination, the courage and the drive to most successfully accomplish their goals?

Secret Weapons of the Third Reich is a game for two to four players simulating the arms race of World War II from the German perspective. From secret submarine bases in Greenland to the mysterious Base 211 in Neuschwabenland, Antarctica, this game recreates the incredible tales of Nazi technology, from the famous V-1 buzz bombs and V-2 rockets to the unlikely flying saucers derived from the work of Nikola Tesla. Will players be able to deliver the Haunebu project to completion? Will Hans Kammler escape with his last battalion of flying saucers to the dark side of the moon? Will the secret submarine fleet sail to Antarctica to pursue the war after the war? Or could German scientists produce an atomic bomb to be dropped on New York by an electro-gravitational flying saucer or within the warhead of a futuristic intercontinental V-3? Would it even be possible to build a huge solar satellite gun to strike America?

Discover the answers to all these questions in Secret Weapons of the Third Reich, the weirdly addictive semi-cooperative, semi-competitive worker placement game for all fans of science fiction and alternate history.

The game can be now purchase on The Game Crafter:
https://www.thegamecrafter.com/games/secret-weapons-of-the-t...
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20. Board Game: Amerika [Average Rating:7.54 Unranked]
Bob Zurunkel
United States
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New game, sort of Axis & Allies meets SS Amerika. Has a lot of cool pieces, such as Panther II tanks and B-48 bombers.
 
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