Monday, October 14, 2013


After a discussion with Julian yesterday while engaging in the Bautzen refight, this morning I went in search of World in Flames.  Sadly the copy I had has presumably stayed in Canberra (or otherwise lost in transit, storage or something), so it goes.  Anyway, in doing some research I came across this post:

I quote:

2. World in Flames. For those board gamers who aren't satisfied with one map they have to watch, this one has five. I don't know how so many WWII board games of incomprehensible length sprang up in the latter half of the 20th century, or what demographic these games targeted. Somewhere in France there's probably a society of old men who laugh at society while smoking and meeting to play games like World in Flames. Playing time: 100 hours.

All I can say is we never played this in France, never smoked while playing and when we started we weren't old. Playing one night a week for about a year – yep, 100 hours would be right.

But coming in at number 1:

1. The Campaign for North Africa. Prepare to have your mind blown by the fact that people have actually played this game. The map is 10 square feet. The game takes 10 players. The game includes 18,000 counters and a rulebook in three volumes. Each team consists of a Commander-in-Chief, a Logistics Commander, a Rear Area Commander, an Air Commander, and a Frontline Commander. And games have clocked in at 1500 hours, more than 2 months. It's said that no one has actually ever finished the game, which leads us to wonder; how do we know the players didn't just kill themselves after 1500 hours? Playing time: 62 days.

I have this and brought it over from Canberra (what was I thinking?).  I actually started to play it with someone who had advertised for an opponent, but after a few sessions we were still doing the set up and never really got into it.  I remember the game’s nickname was Lust in the Dust, a true work of love on behalf of the developers and those with an interest in the period.  


  1. I went and counted the counters in my copy of the game - there are only 1,800. I must be missing a few. As to the map size, it was more all the TO&E sheets for all the units that needed space from memory.

  2. Did you ever play "Third Reich" Mark? That was a good game to play over several 'sessions'.

  3. The short answer is no.

    The long answer ... back in the 1980s when I would go to the Canberra Games Society on Thursday nights a young chap would come in and watch us play while he waited for his lift home after his squash game in the nearby courts.

    This was a regular occurrence and we got chatting. I must have said something about SPI's War in Europe and he mentioned Third Reich. I found myself invited to a game on a Sunday. The Saturday must have been a big night out as I was feeling rotten, but having made a commitment, dragged myself out of bed. Near death I took a call just before I left. The game had been cancelled.

    That was as close as I got the Third Reich.

    More recently I have played Axis and Allies.

    In a bizarre twist of fate, both my partner and I, but independently, worked with the young man's wife. The really nice thing is that Dean, the young man in question (well he was back then) has gone on to run a wargaming business, so all that watching must have triggered something.

    So, that is the long winded word association for me and Third Reich.

    Just for reference purposes here is the link to the game: