top of page

Kriegspiel 2030: A Free-Play Tactical System for the Infantry By Capt William Allred, USMC

Updated: Oct 9, 2023

Kriegspiel 2030 is a free-play wargame system that allows infantrymen to spar tactically against live opponents. Incorporate it into PME to train junior leaders in the infantry. It is equally effective in garrison and the field and requires only field-expedient materials. The system is best utilized at the platoon-reinforced level and below, but larger scenarios can also succeed with multiple players on each team controlling subordinate elements of larger formations.

Unlike commercial wargames, Kriegspiel 2030 does not strive to achieve play balance by giving each side an equal chance of accomplishing its mission. It is designed to consistently reward sound tactical planning and punish tactical mistakes via force on force. The system requires two players and a “referee”- typically the leader hosting the exercise. The referee generates scenarios, assigns OPORDs, adjudicates effects, and modifies these rules according to their best judgment. In simple scenarios, the referee can play the “Red Cell” against another player. Referees should be familiar with weapons' capabilities and limitations and the principles of fire and maneuver.

Referees should generate realistic scenarios, not fanciful “fair fights,” when such do not align with training objectives. For example, before a live-fire range, the referee may generate a scenario depicting said range and host a free-play session to help Marines better understand the rationale behind the live-fire scheme of maneuver. A referee may also translate an appropriate TDG into a Kriegspiel 2030 scenario. Referees should never prevent the Blue Force from losing when Blue’s tactics are unsound and should debrief each scenario to draw real-world tactical considerations from the game.

For scenarios involving only direct-fire weapons, use the core rules only. To incorporate HE assets, indirect fires, or more advanced procedures for machine gunnery, reference the relevant modules in the rules. You may find a PDF copy of the rules below.

Kriegspiel 2030
Download PDF • 273KB

Finally, the following URL will always link to the most updated version of this document in Google Drive:

Author Bio: Captain Allred served as company commander at Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry-East, and, before that, as a rifle platoon commander in 3rd Battalion, 8th Marines. He started playing wargames with his brothers as a child and credits Axis and Allies: D-Day with sparking his interest in military history that led him to the Marine Corps.

2,056 views0 comments


bottom of page