Why are World War II Board Games Fun?

War games of the twentieth century have come a long way since kriegspiel to Risk, Axis and Allies, and Tide of Iron. These games all are different variants of war simulations, in that the three try to recreate war each with their different twists. To put things into perspective, Axis and Allies and Tide of Iron are made to recreate actual battle in World War 2. Whereas, Risk is meant to be simple, yet interplay the chances and conditions of a global infantry ground war.


The box art for Risk


Risk is game that is meant to provide easy and simple satisfaction, all the while giving an equal chance ground war. To keep things easy and for younger kids to have fun playing it with minimal effort, the game designers made every army identical. Risk has little scope in that the possibilities of the dice are complete chance, but you get to choose where you attack from and where you fortify to, during your turn so it leaves some range of player choice. There are not many different versions of the game itself however you can make some of your own rules to change it up a little bit i.e. choosing your own territories at the beginning of the game as opposed to using the cards. This game was fun because of how user friendly it is all the while keeping it competitive, even if you’ve never played before.


The box art for Axis and Allies


Axis and Allies is all about the representation of how the war plans of the prominent countries during World War 2 could have played out. This game had many different outcomes and made the player choose his actions that were pretty much unlimited as to what a player can do in one turn; the only chance aspect was the dice which was offset by unit’s statistics. This game is always the same when you play and same piece set up per game. It has three Allies and two Axis countries. It is definitely a game to try and play, if you are ever a given the opportunity to play.


The box art for Tide of Iron


Tide of Iron is a game that is a representation of how squad tactics were utilized during World War 2. This game gives the player the ability to make free choices about where you can place units, and where you can move them. It is also meant to be an accurate simulation of real combat, which it accomplishes at the expense of simplicity. Tide of Iron is also different, because each player gets different units to accomplish different goals. Tide of Iron is a game that takes a lot of pre-game knowledge to play.

All three of these board games represent different aspects of fun. For instance, Risk is easy, colorful and has small, simple ruleset. Whereas Axis and Allies’ game is similar, but it was a team effort and you’re always given the same territories, which kind of makes the fun and replay value of the game dwindle. Then Tide of Iron was not fun for either of us; the rules were astonishingly difficult, to the point where you would need at least one hour of reading the guidebook for someone who’s never played. For those that enjoy complex games and rules, Tide of Iron might be fun.