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. You've got die & dice backward: die is the singular…

    Other than that, a very interesting video. I had no idea the roots of wargaming were so far back.

  2. Because war generals are cool and people wanna be like them

  3. It happened shortly after love was turned into one…

  4. The true wargame is the one our bank accounts play with GW…you know…the one where we all lose. hits add to cart

  5. … So Kriegspiel is basically Shogun: Total War?

  6. And now, Kevin Zucker's wargame "Napoleon at the Crossroads" is calling me…

  7. Never heard of this game…..this sounds intense.

  8. It's like command and conquer game with extra steps

  9. War only became a game AFTER it became a *business*.

  10. Humans: literally died because of war
    Also humans: Let's make war a game.

  11. Put a bunch of creepy people in a room and sprinkle a little profit on top.

  12. Northwest Historical Miniature Gaming Society, runs a gaming convention on Memorial Day Weekend and you can sign up for any of 2 or 3 sessions per day that last up to 4 hours and 30 plus history scenarios from ancients to modern. The website has some photos and info.

  13. thank you for making this. very interesting

  14. Chess was meant to represent political warfare, not battlefield warfare.

  15. An interesting look at game design. I wonder if we can go back to wargaming with such a system that doesn't require mortgaging your house to afford an army.

  16. That's really cool. Maybe I'm related to Johann.

  17. Check out Hearts of Iron 4 if you like thisss XD

  18. ahh, the great grandfathers of warhammer 40k. :]

  19. wow Kriegspiel is the first Empire total war , EUROPA UNIVERSALIS-those damn war Ratios

  20. ,,How Did War Become a Game?"
    Do you know how many war games are out there?

  21. I have a better question of the day: how did games become a war?

  22. And today we have Wargame: Red Dragon

    Because nothing says strategy more than excessive amounts of Cluster Artillery with the only purpose of clearing the way for a single Maglan team to move into that one forest or treeline next to the enemy position just to take out one high-value vehicle with the Spike and then immediately walk away or die to some random IFV spotting them.

  23. So the Umpire was the first Gamemaster and in a way Kriegsspiel was not only the first tabletop but also the first pen and paper rpg


  25. War has always been a game! A game government since the first established civilization were conceived.

  26. My answer before watching the video, or not having the video as a context:

    "Well I imagine a bunch of guys were talking one day and said:' Hey you know, if itwasn't for all the death and destruction and pain and ultra-high stakes, this would actually be really fun!' "

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