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"Does Operational Kriegsspiel Exist? " Topic

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6mmACW18 Aug 2017 8:26 a.m. PST

Recently I've become interested in the classic, 1824 Kriegsspiel rules. I know Too Fat Lardies prints a revised translation for PDF, but most KS games I've seen run are at the original battle scale, where units are battalions and half battalions. Has anyone played higher level KS, at a more strategic or operational level? Are the same rules generally in effect at this scale? I'm wondering if instead of the Battle of Waterloo, a KS game could handle the entire 1814 campaign in France. The original rules would have to be re-scaled to 1 Turn = 1 day or half a day and the units on the map would need to at least be brigades.

Mike the Analyst18 Aug 2017 9:45 a.m. PST

The Kriegsspiel group has conducted higher level games and I am aware of "Army Level KS".

Have a look in

One example including an AAR here


6mmACW18 Aug 2017 10:32 a.m. PST

Thanks. That's certainly helpful. I'm looking for any information I can find on this sort of strategic/operational KS experience.

forwardmarchstudios18 Aug 2017 10:51 a.m. PST

I've asked myself this same question before, because I also like kriegspiel. I think they are the most accurate representation of command in war that you'll get without being in one, and the only true way of capturing fog of war.

Now, that said, operational level kriegspiel require a ton of detail, and people who really know the period. One place you might start, if you have any interest, is with a chit-based counter game. I just picked up a used copy of Struggle of Nations, which covers almost every conceivable facet of the 1813 campaign. It's one of those very dense old school war-games with tons of charts, complicated turn mechanics, and a lot of factors to keep in mind. That said, from what I can tell reading through it, its exhaustively researched and captures the actual situations as faced by the commanders on both sides (or on the four sides, I might say).

Here's the boardgamesgeek link:


The map is gigantic, as it covers everything from East Prussia to Leipzig in one continuous expanse.

But, if you want to run a historically accurate operational kriegspiel, this might be a place to start. This or another, similar game. Since you're doing kriegspiel anyway you'll already have a referee and at least two players. You could try to get more. The referee at least would have to know the rules really well- he could distill questions or explain options to players as the game went along. The ref would be the only player who knows the positions of all the troops, which he would keep on a master game board. The players would forward their moves to the ref each turn, and he would send back information to the players concerning the information that they were receiving about enemy forces (and about their allies as well).

For a game of this size to really pop you'd need a dozen or so players, with corps commanders represented. It might make for an interesting PBEM game . . . or maybe a weekend thing in a rented hotel room.

6mmACW18 Aug 2017 12:15 p.m. PST

In the research I've done so far on this subject, it seems there is no one set of "rules" for an operational Kriegsspiel. It just seems that people are devising their own rules or borrowing from board games, but applying the core Kriegsspiel principles of (1) using a referee; (2) providing separate maps and counters for each side; and (3) having the referee conduct all the movement/combat/intel resolution. Aside from those three main principles, I suppose pretty much anything could be called, in name, operational Kriegsspiel?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP18 Aug 2017 1:23 p.m. PST

At the operational level I would just use a boardgame and follow the suggestions og 6mmACW above.

LORDGHEE18 Aug 2017 11:11 p.m. PST

I used Dupuy's Number predictions and war as an operation game.

had to figure out a supply system.

Allan F Mountford19 Aug 2017 2:01 a.m. PST

'Struggle of Nations' is one of a series of operational Napoleonic games by Kevin Zucker. The series includes the 1814 campaign in France and I highly recommend it.

Mike the Analyst19 Aug 2017 9:08 a.m. PST

Found this thread in the Kriegsspiel site


Unfortunately the link to the KN archive no longer seems to work. I will try and locate a copy.

FWIW for an Army/Operation level game I wold focus on the length of the columns marching on the road as a key factor in work out when forces can concentrate for combat. – it takes time for a corps to start the march, stretch out and close up especially when you consider the presence of artillery ammunition caissons etc taking up road space.

Also use a march table to keep track of movement both to record marches ordered and completed to consider things like fatigue, straggling and rest.

arthur181519 Aug 2017 2:05 p.m. PST

It's not, technically, a Kriegsspiel being a more modern, highly stylized boardgame, but I think you could benefit from examining the Generalship Game in Paddy Griffith's Napoleonic Wargaming For Fun (Ward Lock, 1980; but reprinted in John Curry's History of Wargaming Project).

I have used it as an umpire system to run a 'closed', umpire-controlled game successfully. The stylised, simple rules make adjudicating combat between large forces both quick and easy – very important to maintain the pace of the game and avoid umpire 'burn-out'.

Funnylittlewars29 Aug 2022 1:35 p.m. PST

The HG Wells approach to Kriegspiel (HG spelling) will feature in Funny Little Wars, Volume 2 Garden Kriegspiel. It is currently being playtested:

Cdr Luppo30 Aug 2022 12:04 p.m. PST

you can also try "le vol de l' aigle" by Didier Rouy (same spirit as KS for operational games)


For Struggle Of Nations (SoN), you can consider those variant rules (about the combat system). the base game from AH is rather cheap, you can always design custom counters for on map use to suit your tastes ! ; )


best regards

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