Hitler’s War- Game Review



Hitler’s War is an old strategic wargame on WWII.  What is it like?  Is it any good?  Though I am almost embarrassed to admit it, this is actually one of my favorite games.  Serious wargamers (WiF, A3R, AETO) scoff at it.  Axis & Allies players would be disappointed in no minis.  What could I possibly see in this game?

Well, compared to Axis and Allies,  it doesn’t have the cute minis but it does a much better job in recreating the war:  economics, bombing, subs, Africa, Minors, you can start in 39.  The rules used to be  longer but Axis & Allies rules keep growing.  These days, Hitler’s War rules might even be shorter.  Hitler’s War used to take a little longer to play too but again the play time for Axis & Allies has grown.  I’d almost bet Hitler’s War could be played faster now.    

Hitler’s War does have some quirky things in how your armored spearheads work.  It is abstracted but then again, look at Third Reich.  Hitler’s War isn’t THAT whacky and gamey looking.

WiF and ETO are hard to beat for realism.  They are wonderful games.  The question is:  Do you have time to play them?  Do you have space to set them up?  I love those big, monster games but Hitler’s War is a game you can actually fit into your life.      


You can pretty much play through the entire war in a good day.  Try that with WiF or AETO! 

Yes, much of the detail is gone but in many ways I like this better. This allows you to focus on the truly strategic issues.  What is your production compared to the enemy?  What should you produce?  What countries do you attack?  When and why?  These big level issues are what really determine the war’s outcome anyways.  All the rest is just matter of grinding out the results isn’t it?

There is some detail. You can produce infantry, armor, air, bombers, navies, subs and ASW.  You can even invest in technology.  There are partisans and great leaders like Patton and Rommel.  You can direct the flow of the war by controlling how much you spend on these weapon systems.  Hitler’s War gives you the feel of WWII without bogging you down in tons of rules. 

Hitler’s War is a great example of how less it more. Removing all the minutiae allows players to focus on the big trends. Who should we invade first?  Poland, France then Russia?  Or Poland, Russia then France?  How about France, Poland, then Russia?  Guess what?  In Hitler’s War, you could test out all 3 of these plans on a Saturday!

In many ways this reminds me of Pub Battles. One of our play testers commented that Pub Battles is the game he has played the most this year.  Why?  It is exciting and has great re-playability but one of the biggest things going for it is speed.  It plays fast.  He just doesn’t have the time it takes to play a regular wargame these days.  He can always fly through a battle of Brandywine in a spare hour.  How many other games can you do that with?  Time and again, he finds himself pulling out Brandywine because it is fun and convenient.

Maybe Hitler’s War was onto something. Should we do a WWII Pub Battles?  Do you still like and play Hitler’s War?  What do you like about?  Hate about it? 

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