Last updated 4 January 2009: Added Diplomacy to Boardgames section
Games of skill, chance or a combination of both have been a part of human civilisation from early times. Chess and the oriental Go and Mahjong are hundreds if not thousands of years old, while card games also have a long pedigree.
Boardgames are a relatively newer phenomenon, but have produced some internationally-recognised classics as Monopoly and, a few decades later, Risk. Boardgames are actually a fairly diverse category, having sectors aimed both at the family format (typically, games which anyone aged 8 to 80 can play) and those aimed at the adult, the latter typically involving military or historical strategy (though not always) and often complex rules. To a certain degree this overlaps the category of the wargame, which again has varied from being a non-too-serious diversion to the level of serious simulations sometimes “played” by professional military men to explore possible outcomes of a strategy or tactic.
The advent of the popularly-available (and -affordable) PC really brought the development of computer games to the fore, both in the conversion of existing titles (such as Diplomacy, Risk or Monopoly) and the development of new titles. PC games had two big advantages: a game could be played without occupying physical space (often the family table) with boards and counters, and the program did all the bookkeeping and rule observation for all the player. At the same time there some differences: most games, initially at least before the development of computer networks, were played against the computer (or “AI”) rather than against another human, and the rules and available counters/playing pieces/units were set in stone: it was impossible to go beyond or around what the computer allowed. The very ease of setting up a computer game could also be something of a mixed blessing, since it allowed players to spend hours playing with little awareness of the time.
This section of the site will only be updated on a sporadic basis owing to changing priorities: nevertheless hopefully some games aficionados will at least find the information here interesting or helpful, especially ASL and SASL players.
Advanced Squad Leader (includes link to Solitaire ASL)
Panzer General II
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