Europe’s Earliest Kriegsspiel? Book Seven of Reinhard Graf zu Solms’ Kriegsregierung and the ‘Prehistory’ of Professional War Gaming

Jorit Wintjes

Abstract


The history of professional war gaming is usually understood to have begun around the turn of the 18th to the 19th century and mainly associated with the Prussian Kriegsspiel, with chess-based predecessors traceable down to a game published in 1664 by Christoph Weickmann. Yet already a century before Weickmann and more than two centuries before the invention of the Prussian Kriegsspiel a Hessian nobleman published a game of cards that was intended to be used both for preparing young noblemen for military decision-making and for supporting command and control in the field. It thus may well have been the earliest professional war game of the post-medieval period.

 


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