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Breitenfeld (Video Review)

13 February 2013 2 Comments


 The Thirty Years War game system is an operational simulation of warfare in Europe during the fist half of the seventeenth century. Each game in the system is based on one of the more significant and interesting battles of the period. The playing pieces represent the armies which took part in the battles, and the map represents the terrain over which those armies fought.

(Ok, so it doesn’t give away any secrets…)

turn: 45 minutes
hex: 175 meters
strength point: 75-100 men
Leaders are represented by separate units.

The map has starting locations printed on the map for each unit. Terrain includes lane, marsh, road. town, forest, river, and crest.







DAR (wrap and review at end of final video)


Recovering hobo, one-time actor and street corner philosopher, now trying to enjoy the less fine things in life (like everyone else does). One thing has been nearly constant in my life - gaming. Even before discovering wargames (at the tender age of 10 or so - purely fortuitous), I would play out family games (including the 3M series) solitaire. But, life situations interfered not too long ago, and I was largely without board gaming for the better part of a decade. The last couple of years have seen me devoting myself to the hobby again - and learning a lot of the newer designs - so, I'm looking from the eyes of an old grognard (ah, how I fought against THAT term when first used on me) but an open mind and willingness to see if newer games appeal.
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  • Brandon said:

    I’m not sure I agree with your final statement that, “the wargames of that time were fairly simple.” As you say, it’s difficult to compare across the decades in anything but general terms. I think SPI’s quads were designed to be 1) part of a simple family of games, 2) relatively inexpensive 3) easy to learn and fast to play. They were more a product of SPI’s (in)famous feedback system than designers’ brain-childs or pet projects. I think they were also designed to sell primarily through the retail channel rather than mail order.

    In today’s parlance they were more “gateway games” than simulations to satisfy grognards. Some of them played wonderfully and made good vehicles for competition (Napoleon at Waterloo.) A few had no feel whatsoever for the nature of the combat they portrayed (Crusader) and apart from the designations on the counters and maps, bore no resemblance to history.

    My point is that SPI’s Quads WERE simple (unto simplistic) but some folks were playing games like AIR WAR back then too. And remember, role playing games were breaking out about then too.

    – Brandon

    P.S. When I was in high school and college I loved the Quads. But over time I came to see not so much that their simplicity was a limitation as that the really bad Quad games were entirely misleading historically and therefore pretty hard to excuse except insofar as they helped SPI stay afloat financially a little bit longer.

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  • Calandale (author) said:

    FWIW, air war came out a year after this. There were some heavier games (Third Reich, Squad Leader, Wellington’s Victory, ect), but the hobby was just drifting into the era of more complex games. Still, I was probably thinking this came out a little earlier than it did.

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