How Did War Become a Game? -

How Did War Become a Game?

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In this video we continue to take a look at the history of Kriegsspiel and explore the early days of wargaming that eventually gave rise to modern table top games such as Warhammer and Dungeons & Dragons.

Research: Jon Peterson
Script: Invicta
Narration: Invicta
Artwork: Gabriel Cassata
Editing: Invicta

Playing at the World by Jon Peterson
Debugging Game History: A Critical Lexicon by Henry Lowood
War Games: A History of War on Paper by Philipp von Hilgers
Pluie de Balles – Complex Wargames In the Classroom by Jorit Wintjes and, Steffen Pielstrom



  1. I hope you all enjoy this video! I relied quite heavily on the research of Jon Peterson and his book "Playing at the World". For anyone interested in this topic I highly recommend it as he does a fantastic job making the topic detailed yet accessible. Please use this link: for any purchases as I do see a cut of the sale which helps support the channel. Thanks!

  2. Reiswitz inventing kriegspill "Now this is what i call a pro gamer move"

  3. I really think war in antiquity had a lot to do with boredom lol

  4. So you are telling me Prussia is a country ruled by gamers

  5. Nicely laid out and informative but the progression is very logical. Everyone commenting who are surprised by this would be easy opponents.

  6. Please talk about Little Wars by H.G. Wells!

  7. Kriegsspiel waws truly impressive, they even had fog of war

  8. Help me out with this one, gentlemen:

    A while ago I read the story of a student who entered a certain war game competition, using an AI to defeat all other players. The game was about spaceship fleets fighting. This story takes place in the early days of home computing, if I remember correctly… But I cannot remember the name of the game, the AI, or its creator… Greatly reducing my ability to simply Google the damn thing…

    This student created an artificial intelligence, the name of which I don't remember, and trained with all the rules and many possible games so it could eventually come up with its own strategies, which eventually it did.

    The guy, instead of creating a varied fleet, just made hundreds of the most basic ship and sent them against the enemy, overwhelming them and winning quickly with no regards for his own losses.

    The competition organizers banned his tactic because it went against the "spirit of the game" yadda yadda…

    If any of you know what I am talking about, it would be amazing if you could tell me the names. Thanks again, gentlemen!

  9. And at last, Advanced Squad Leader was born, alleluia !

  10. i'm no historian, but i would assume that it's because the qualities of war(other than all the human carnage and suffering it brings) are perfect for games. war simulations can(and should) be very intricate involving a lot of aspects like military stragety, logistics, economics, morale, and many other factors.

  11. I want them to play empire tw

  12. I really wonder what would happen if you went back in time with a full Warhammer 40K set

  13. That's like asking: "How did amphetamines become a drug?" Probably because quite frankly, it's exciting. In the case of wargames, tho, they're much less potent and deadly as the real thing.

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