Of Politics and War
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Recent events have driven home the importance of not ignoring or the cost of misplaying the political dimension in war strategy. Gamers tend to want their games "clean" (without messy politics). Here are a few wargames that tackled the political dimension, well, in addition to the military dimension of a particular conflict. All fun games!

Feel free to add - I'm trying to do a survey of well done political/military strategic level games.
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1. Board Game: Days of Decision II [Average Rating:6.35 Overall Rank:9589]
Board Game: Days of Decision
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Days of Decision. And, now version 3 is out. Can't wait to buy this one. Coupled with WIF, a great combo (WIF v5, DoD v2, without ALL the flames add ons)
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2. Board Game: Empires in Arms [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:1323]
Board Game: Empires in Arms
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Best strategic level Napoleonic game by far.
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3. Board Game: Vietnam 1965-1975 [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:2282]
Board Game: Vietnam 1965-1975
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Heard that this is good simulation and reflects political dynamics of conflict well.
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4. Board Game: For the People [Average Rating:7.74 Overall Rank:931]
Board Game: For the People
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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The Strategic Will (SW) track for USA and CSA are both handled well. Various actions (taking key cities, destroying forts, blockading, etc) result in hits to SW. USA tries to drive CSA SW to 0, CSA tries to double USA SW. Elegant. A very fun game.
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5. Board Game: 1776: The Game of the American Revolutionary War [Average Rating:6.50 Overall Rank:3349]
Board Game: 1776: The Game of the American Revolutionary War
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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My favorite. Played this in high school. Still enjoy it today. Brit and USA presence in and control of areas impacts troops levels in those areas.
 
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6. Board Game: Persian Gulf: Battle for the Middle East [Average Rating:7.44 Overall Rank:4674] [Average Rating:7.44 Unranked]
Board Game: Persian Gulf: Battle for the Middle East
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Highly recommended add-on to 3rd world series. Had an innovative card game where each side trys to pull various factions (ex: The Kurds) into their camp before the war starts.
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7. Board Game: Cold War [Average Rating:6.14 Overall Rank:8811]
Board Game: Cold War
Paul Denhup
United States
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Political, military, and economic control of the world is at stake.
 
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8. Board Game: Pax Britannica: The Colonial Era 1880 to the Great War [Average Rating:6.74 Overall Rank:3156]
Board Game: Pax Britannica: The Colonial Era 1880 to the Great War
Paul Denhup
United States
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An empire building, diplomatic, and colonial-era war and strategy game. Politics on a grand scale!
 
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9. Board Game: Napoleon in Europe [Average Rating:6.63 Overall Rank:3997]
Board Game: Napoleon in Europe
Alan Richbourg
United States
Arlington
Texas
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Well done is in the eye of the beholder, of course. NIE and its variants certainly aim at this target though.
 
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10. Board Game: A Line in the Sand: The Battle of Iraq [Average Rating:5.96 Overall Rank:12135]
Board Game: A Line in the Sand: The Battle of Iraq
THE MAVERICK
United States
Roseville
California
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The six-player diplomatic game features players in the roles of the US, Iraq, Israel, Iraq/Yemen, Moderate Arabs (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Kuwait, etc.), and Volatile Arabs (Jordan, Libya, etc.)
 
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11. Board Game: Supremacy: The Game of the Superpowers [Average Rating:5.63 Overall Rank:16397]
Board Game: Supremacy: The Game of the Superpowers
Michael Prator
United States
Chandler
Arizona
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This game (due to the time commitment necessary to play correctly) is often overlooked for its political component. Some players incorrectly believe that the goal is to quickly develop nukes and that Supremacy is Risk on steroids. The political strategy (or "strategery" for GOP members) is critical when played with the Fortuna cards (random local, regional, or world events). I found that the game is best played when you have a neutral game master to help facilitate the political mechanism and alliances. The game master (GM) is used to transmit messages between players who do not want to be seen talking face-to-face and even spreading "rumors" around to players. You know that eventually a war (Clausewitz's "continuation of politics by other means") will occur and then the GM can be used to sue for peace.
 
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12. Board Game: Bolos and Krags: The Philippine American War 1899-1902 [Average Rating:8.00 Unranked]
Board Game: Bolos and Krags: The Philippine American War 1899-1902
Terence Co
Canada
Vancouver
BC
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Political will, 1900 U.S. presidential elections, guerilla warfare what more....
 
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13. Board Game: Democracy under Siege [Average Rating:7.47 Overall Rank:5083] [Average Rating:7.47 Unranked]
Board Game: Democracy under Siege
Luca Cammisa
Italy
Monza
MB
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Democracy under Siege is a card-driven strategy game that reproduces the geopolitical conflicts and political struggles that led to the Second World War. The game covers the period spanning from 1933 to 1940 and is designed for two or three players. Each player takes the role of one of the three Ideologies that led the major struggle for power during the time-line covered by the game: Democracy, Nazism and Communism.
Democracy under Siege offers an accurate and detailed historical context, supported by more than 110 game-cards: players deal with historical events and political actions in an effort to achieve the political supremacy. Wars are simulated by an abstract combat system that allows players to intervene and influence the outcome of conflicts.
The main concepts reproduced in the game are the ideological struggle among the major powers, the race for rearming in order to prepare for WW2 and the building up of a network of diplomatic links with minor nations. These elements concur to the determination of the victory conditions.
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14. Board Game: 1936: Guerra Civil [Average Rating:7.60 Overall Rank:3587]
Board Game: 1936: Guerra Civil
Arturo García
Spain
Madrid
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The game has both military and political objectives and may be won through victory points of one type, the other or the combination of both (or by demoralizing the enemy, the other way to win).
 
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15. Board Game: Triumph of Chaos [Average Rating:7.57 Overall Rank:3248]
Board Game: Triumph of Chaos
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Political cards and factions build on the Persian Gulf: Battle for the Middle East model.
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16. Board Game: La Grande Guerre 14-18 [Average Rating:7.82 Overall Rank:6425]
Board Game: La Grande Guerre 14-18
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Incredible national will model.
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17. Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe [Average Rating:8.30 Overall Rank:1252]
Board Game: Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe
Andy Cowen
United States
Union Springs
New York
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"Unconditional Surrender! World War 2 in Europe (USE) is a strategic level game covering the World War II European Theater. Players make the political decisions and control the military forces of the three major factions that struggled for European dominance and survival.

With its emphasis on force projection and decision making, players remain focused on the big picture of managing their front lines and political opportunities. Through simple mechanics and low on-map counter density, players easily handle the strategic action without a myriad of complicated subsystems or tall stacks of counters.

Variable Politics: Most countries’ belligerence and faction alliance is not predetermined."

I also think it includes rules for the political will of nations, to determine whether they stay in the war or not.

I've played the pnp Unconditional Surrender! Case Blue and really enjoyed the game; looking forward to trying the full game when it gets published.
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18. Board Game: Andartes: The Greek Civil War 1947-49 [Average Rating:6.10 Unranked]
Board Game: Andartes: The Greek Civil War 1947-49
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Greek Civil War, 1947-49. First overt conflict of the Cold War, beginning of the Truman Doctrine, one of the few successful counterinsurgencies. Uses development of system in Algeria: The War of Independence 1954-1962 / Shining Path: The Struggle for Peru.
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19. Board Game: The Greek Civil War, 1947-49 [Average Rating:6.67 Overall Rank:13304]
Board Game: The Greek Civil War, 1947-49
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Greek Civil War, 1947-49. First overt conflict of the Cold War, beginning of the Truman Doctrine, one of the few successful counterinsurgencies. Uses development of system in Decision: Iraq.
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20. Board Game: Ukrainian Crisis [Average Rating:6.37 Unranked]
Board Game: Ukrainian Crisis
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Free PnP game of the spring 2014 crisis, designed during the events themselves. Simpler, short pol-mil game.
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21. Board Game: Arabian Nightmare: The Kuwait War [Average Rating:5.12 Overall Rank:19229]
Board Game: Arabian Nightmare: The Kuwait War
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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The optional political pre-game that sets up the conditions for the military invasion has some interesting mechanics.
 
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22. Board Game: Algeria: The War of Independence 1954-1962 [Average Rating:6.87 Overall Rank:11678]
Board Game: Algeria: The War of Independence 1954-1962
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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23. Board Game: Shining Path: The Struggle for Peru [Average Rating:6.86 Unranked]
Board Game: Shining Path: The Struggle for Peru
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Game on the Sendero Luminoso insurgency, 1980 --
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24. Board Game: Tupamaro [Average Rating:6.43 Unranked]
Board Game: Tupamaro
Brian Train
Canada
Victoria
British Columbia
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Urban guerrilla warfare in Uruguay, 1968-72. Many "non-kinetic" political options.
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25. Board Game: Carthage: The First Punic War [Average Rating:7.38 Overall Rank:3719]
Board Game: Carthage: The First Punic War
David Dockter
United States
Minnesota
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Microbadge: Guns, Dice, Butter fanMicrobadge: Citizenship Recognition - Level IV - The journey of a thousand crits begins with a single roll...Microbadge: Wargamer of 40+ yearsMicrobadge: Triumph of Chaos fanMicrobadge: First Minnesota Historical Wargame Society member
MUCH politics baked into this outstanding game. Damm the Senate of Rome!
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