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Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online): A Short, Bloody History of Roman War Games

Posted January 21, 2011 to photo album "Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online): A Short, Bloody History of Roman War Games"

As The Eagle’s battle scenes demonstrate, the Roman Army was one of history’s most effective war machines. Legions of gamers, both in board games and online, have tried to emulate them.

Slide 1: Fight Like Channing Tatum (Online) - A Short, Bloody History Of Roman War Games
Slide 2: Managing Risk
Slide 3: Dungeons and Dragons Suit up the Player
Slide 4: The Birth of Multiplayer Online Games
Slide 5: Rome, from Boards to the Web
Slide 6: Getting on Board with Conquest of the Empire
Slide 7: Re-Conquest of the Empire
Slide 8: A Never-Ending War with Commands and Colors: Ancients
Slide 9: Ostia and the Politics of War
Slide 10: Ancient War Made Modern with Rome: Total War
Slide 11: Getting War Right with Rome: Total Realism
Slide 12: To Roma Victor Goes the Spoils
Slide 13: The Mod of War - Mount and Blade
Slide 2: Managing Risk

Slide 2: Managing Risk

The first 20th century war game with mass appeal was Risk. What Monopoly was to capitalism, Parker Brothers’ Risk was to Cold War geopolitics. Risk was created in 1957 not by a military strategist or a game designer but by a filmmaker. Albert Lamorisse is known to film lovers of all ages for his charming Oscar-winning short, The Red Balloon. One year after making that children’s classic he created the game, originally titled The Conquest of the World. In Risk, players roll dice, move tokens representing armies and collect cards as they try to militarily dominate six continents of the world. Around the same time as Risk’s publication was the founding of Avalon Hill, a Maryland-based company specializing in more-detailed games based on actual historical incidents. Beginning with Tactics but moving into games like Stalingrad, Panzer Blitz and Waterloo, Avalon Hill brought historical research to the gaming world, creating a whole subculture of weekend warriors who’d play games lasting days, weeks, even months.