Most men are now of the SNAG variety; liberated from masculine stereotypes and embracing everything from child rearing to baking cupcakes, but there are times when – well, they just want to behave like old fashioned blokes. Blame it on testosterone or nostalgia for bygone times – the evidence shows that war themed board games are hot. But is it still cool to play war games and what’s the real appeal?

Release your inner warrior
There are a whole range of board games that are guaranteed to release a man (or woman’s) inner warrior and they’re not all set in WWll. One that is, but does it well, is Axis and Allies Europe: 1940 Edition (2010) published by Avalon Hill. This 2 – 4 player game is designed to combine with the Axis and Allies Pacific: 1940 Edition to create a 6 player game that can take over 3 hours to play. If you want to go back a little further in time, why not play Battles of Napoleon: The Eagle and the Lion (2010). This 90 minute game attempts to realistically recreate Napoleonic warfare at an operational and tactical level with detailed terrains, miniature figures and modular boards.

Wage war in outer space
Not only do people love the concept of doing courageous battle, they also love to wage war in outer space! Whoever said “the sky’s the limit” didn’t know the length and breadth of board game theme diversity! Battlestar Galactica (2008) is a much loved sci-fi game based on the popular TV series. Invite a few mates over to play your favourite characters from the show and indulge in a struggle for survival against the Cylons, while flushing out a traitor in your midst.

Lead your armies of infantry, archers and cavalry
Fantasy games let you act out your lust for battle in all sorts of exotic locations, which may take your mind off the fact that there are currently real wars being waged around the globe.Wizards of the Coast’s Castle Ravenloft (2010) is a game that stars larger-than-life heroes on challenging quests. Or how about Warriors (2004), the game of Monsters, Myth and Mayhem, which lets you lead armies of infantry, archers and cavalry to fight the Undead.

Battle Orcs, Dragons, Demons and the Undead
Warrior Knights (2006) is a remake of the 1985 game by Derek Carver which includes new elements not included in the original. With fantastic graphics and very clever mechanics, it can take up to 4 hours to play. It’s highly addictive, so be warned! Defenders of the Realm (2010) by Eagle Games is a great game for 1- 4 players in which you can play as a Cleric, Dwarf, Eagle Rider, Paladin, Ranger, Rogue, Sorcerer or Wizard doing battle against Orcs, Dragons, Demons and the Undead.

Everyone has an inner warrior
War games aren’t for the exclusive enjoyment of men. Everyone has an inner warrior that hungers to bring peace to the land—in whatever universe it may be in.

>But is it cool to take pleasure in the concept of war—or are war games an anachronism which should go the way of the dinosaur? And is it possible to separate fact from fiction or are the realities of war too real and painful to allow us to play war games guilt-free? What do you think; should we continue to enjoy playing war games or not?