Year Published
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2 − 5
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 3 players
Recommended with 3 players
(1 voter) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
Playing Time
1080 minutes
User Suggested Ages
16 and up
(2 voters) [poll]
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Primary Name
The War: Europe 1939-1945
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A board wargame of the European and North African theaters in World War II. The War ("TW") is a hex-and-counter strategic-level game which aims to provide the challenge of a monster game with the ease of play of a moderate complexity war game. Experienced players should be able to play a campaign game in a weekend.

The game includes several scenarios designed to be fun, challenging mini-games in their own right, each playable in an afternoon. An array of variants and optional rules offers enough scope to make TW most replayable.

(from Compass Games website)

The War: Europe 1939-1945 (TW) is Compass Games’ new WWII strategic level game combining all the best features of the genre into an intuitive, challenging new game. While offering all the expansive features of the WWII Monster Game genre (such as U-Boat warfare, diplomacy, espionage, strategic bombing, jets, rockets and numerous variants for each Major Power), TW also offers tremendous scope in its 12 scenarios (see below).

Although not a card driven game (and thus a good candidate for solitaire play), TW includes card play for the U-Boat War, Strategic Bombing, Espionage and Counter Espionage and naval warfare. The cards add elements of bluff and surprise more traditional hex-and-combat-table games cannot. But they’re optional, so TW can be played solitaire in a way CDG’s and block games cannot. Between two (or more) skilled players, no two games are ever likely to be the same. For multiplayer games, up to five gamers can play Campaign Games as Italy, Germany, France, the U.S., Britain and USSR.

For the hard-core military and naval history buff, TW addresses the details of WWII strategy: what if the Germans really built the carrier Graf Zeppelin; what if Mussolini had upgraded the quality of Italian forces; what if Stalin hadn’t shot many of his best generals during the purges; what if the U.S. had entered the war earlier…or later; what if the British had been able to mobilize the Empire and the Dominions more effectively; what if the U.S. had developed the atomic bomb early enough to use in Europe, and so on.

Although the game is the result of extensive research by its designer, TW isn’t a simulation and isn’t intended to be. It’s a "gamer’s game" with quick, user-friendly combat systems on land, in the air and at sea. Veteran gamers familiar with classic WWII strategic level games should pick up the game very quickly. For new recruits, the short scenarios teach the basics, but can be played as stand-alone games in their own right. Both realistic and playable, TW should present a rewarding challenge for any WWII strategy game buff.

Scenario List for The War: Europe 1939-1945:

  • 1939 Full War Campaign
  • 1941 Campaign
  • 1942-43 Turning Point Campaign
  • Poland 1939
  • Norway 1940
  • France 1940
  • Barbarossa 1941
  • North Africa 1941-43
  • The Atlantic Lifeline 1939-45
  • Bolshevik Hordes 1944-45
  • Regia Marina
  • D-Day to VE Day 1944-45

Complexity: High (about 8 out of 10)
Playing Time: 50 hours for full campaign (1.5 hours and up for scenarios)
Solitaire Suitability: Good

Designer: Ernie Copley
Developer: Paul Shackleton
Artist: Mark Mahaffey


  • 2 maps
  • 9 full sheets of 5/8” counters
  • Approximately 20 full color 8.5" x 11" cards with various displays, tracks, reminders, tables, charts, worksheets, etc.
  • 1 rules booklet
  • 1 scenario booklet
  • 1 deck of variant cards
  • 2 dice
  • 1 full color box and lid – the big 3” deep box

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The War: Europe 1939-1945
First Edition
Publisher: Compass Games
Year: 2012
Product Code: CPA1015
Size: 9.40 x 11.90 x 3.30 inches
4.50 pounds
Release Date: 2012
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Pg. 1 of 2 »
2 Ground Units Overview
This an overview of ground unit capabilities. I created this because I find it hard to remember everything during movement and combat. If anyone spot a mistake, please let me know, thanks.
2 TW Rules
TW's living rules, as of June 2014
2 Extended EOP - the U-Boat War
TW Extended EOP - the U-Boat War
0 TW Naval-Air EOP
TW Naval-Air Extended EOP
1 TW Production Sheets
Revised version which accounts for no Fortifications purchased by U.S. and Italy; information regarding Logistical Efforts for Germany and Italy; and typos corrected
2 Air Support EOP
TW OAS Extended EOP
8 Shortened Rules for Simplified and/or Solitaire Play
This has a few more corrections/clarifications ("BRPs" changed to "NARFs"; USEL clarifications; etc ...).
1 Record Sheets in Spreadsheet format
For each Major power, three record sheets, 1) diplomacy (tracks NARFs and number allocated, ie to assess if one is available for a variant) and calculates NARF cost, 2) NARF income spreadsheet, and 4) variant records. The US Entry tracks and calculates the current total. A POP summary is automatically generated with total for the Western Allies, Soviets and Axis, by country. The summary provides a reference for the POPs allocated to each country. Useful for playing solitaire or tracking progress in a multi-player game.
3 Event Calendar
The enclosed document lists the calendar specific events, in turn order, for example, the US SAC has -1 drm starting in the Spring 1944 turn. Also included are events that are conditional in a second table.
2 The War - Task Force Display
If you want another chart or charts then this is for you. The enclosed file may be printed out to create the British Task Force markers and Army Group displays for the various nationalities. I cut mine into four section and place them near the corresponding force pools.
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