Innovation in Wargaming

In 1972, Tom Dalgliesh and Lance Gutteridge had an inspiration when working on the classic wargame, Quebec 1759. Instead of using traditional die-cut counters, they would use wooden blocks instead creating the first block wargame.

This change would revolutionize wargaming gameplay for reasons you are about to understand.


Traditional wargames have a “God’s eye view” of the battlefield where each player can see the other’s forces and strengths. This is not an accurate depiction of information commanders would have.

With the Columbia Block System, however, each player’s unit types and strengths are hidden from the other, giving a true fog-of-war feel that is vital to any combat simulation.

Step Reduction Adds Depth

Standard units in wargaming have two values, full strength and weakened.

With the Columbia Block System, blocks are rotated to allow units to show up to four different levels of strength. This adds to much more flavor and variety in overall gameplay.

Where to start?

There are a lot of Columbia Block Wargames out there, but these are a great place to start!

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar brings the drama of the Roman Civil War (49-45 BC) to life. Players take control of the legions of Caesar or Pompey and fight to determine the future of Rome: republic or empire. Marc Antony, Cleopatra, Octavian, and Brutus also play key roles.

Wizard Kings

Wizard Kings is an exciting fantasy battle game with armies of elves, dwarves, orcs, undead, and three human armies (feudal, barbarian, amazon). Players customize their armies and fight for control of strategic cities and terrain.

War of 1812

War of 1812 is an elegant strategy wargame depicting the Anglo-American struggle to control the Great Lakes and Canada. Unit types in this edition include artillery, cavalry, infantry, and navies. War of 1812 sets up in five minutes and plays in 1-2 hours.


On June 18, 1815, one of the most decisive battles in military history was fought in fields ten miles southeast of Brussels. This classic is a favorite amongst wargamers.