Game of the Week - Feb 19 - 25

We're back with the next installment of Game of the Week! This round we bring you Musket & Pike: Seven Years War. This title is on sale for 25% off now and for the next 7 days.

The Seven Years' War (1756-1763) was a global conflict involving most of the great powers of the time and fought in various theaters around the world, including Europe, North America, South America, Africa, and Asia. It was primarily a struggle for global supremacy between two European coalitions: the Kingdom of Great Britain, Prussia, and Hanover on one side, and Bourbon France, the Austrian Habsburg Monarchy, Russia, Spain, and Sweden on the other. It was fueled by longstanding colonial and territorial rivalries, as well as shifting alliances and power dynamics.

The war began in 1756 when Frederick II of Prussia, known as Frederick the Great, invaded the Austrian province of Silesia, sparking the Third Silesian War. This prompted France, Austria, Russia, and their allies to join forces against Prussia and Britain. Battles were fought across Europe, including in present-day Germany, Austria, and the Czech Republic. In North America, the conflict is often referred to as the French and Indian War. It was fought primarily between British and French forces, with Native American allies on both sides.

The war ended with the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763. The treaty resulted in significant territorial changes, with Britain emerging as the dominant colonial power. France ceded Canada and most of its territory east of the Mississippi River to Britain, while Spain ceded Florida to Britain but gained Louisiana from France. In Europe, the status quo ante bellum was largely restored, with some minor territorial adjustments. The Seven Years' War had far-reaching consequences, setting the stage for future conflicts, including the American Revolutionary War and the Napoleonic Wars. It also solidified Britain's status as the world's foremost colonial power while weakening France's position in North America and India. Additionally, the war contributed to growing tensions between Britain and its American colonies, eventually leading to the American Revolutionary War. Overall, the Seven Years' War was a pivotal moment in world history, reshaping the global balance of power and laying the groundwork for the geopolitical landscape of the modern era.

This Musket & Pike title focuses on the European battles associated with this war. The Early American Wars: French & Indian War focuses on the North American Side of things.

With the now included expansion pack, Seven Years War has  113 stand-alone scenarios and 4 campaign files - which pull from another 71 scenarios. This title has 26 scenarios that have been specifically scripted for play against the AI. All the remaining scenarios can also be played against the AI as well, but they use the "Flag" approach - so general over-all orders rather than having specific attack and defend paths established.

Regarding the campaigns, there are four entries. The challenge behind campaigns during the 18th century (and earlier) is more often than not it was a battle or two - with one being large - during the campaigning season and then troops would head into winter quarters. Unlike WWII for example which had fighting year around and many major engagements during the course of a year, things moved much slower the further back in history you go.  

The year 1757 was an exception, so that campaign has 5 battles that took place relatively close together. Even still, we are covering months - July to December - so force reorganizations took place and so losses do not carry over between the battles. This is why the Hypothetical campaign is included which uses a single OOB to fight the campaign and so losses will carry over between the actions. 

The two "Campaign in one" entries are a given situation with multiple choices for each side which will lead to the scenario having different dispositions for the forces based on each side's choice.

As with all of our games, there is a variety of documentation included. 

First we have the Design Notes which you can read here

Then we have a document that we dub "Operations" that lists all the stand alone scenarios and specifics of each such as size, number of turns, recommended method of play and intro notes. You can view that document here.

And the last document we'll specifically call out today is one to help players transition from the Napoleonic series over to this title. While they are somewhat close in relation to dates, there are many aspects of play that are very different. You can view that document here.

We have two book recommendations on this topic. The first is an excellent book on the period by Christopher Duffy. It is a bit specific in it's focus, but includes lots of details about the time period and how the armies fought. The second is a bit more general, but also an excellent book. It covers both the North American aspect of the conflict and Europe, but with a primary focus on N.A.

Now for video content:

The Mack has multiple videos relating to this title. Most of them are a few years old, and significant updates have happened since then, but it will give you an idea of the game. See his channel here.

SmartWargames also has some content, but it is also several years old. You can view that here.

Now a few more screen shots for various battles and view levels to give you a taste of what it has to offer. (Each image can be clicked for a full-sized view.)

 

And finally, here's the Musket & Pike specific section on the Official WDS forums if you wish to discuss the game, or any games within that series.

Ok, that concludes our preview of the game. You can head on over to the product page for Seven Years War and pick up a copy for yourself when ready!

Enjoy!


9 comments


  • Dale Henken

    Cannot comment on the game yet but I can attest to the quality of one of the reference books. Crucible of War is one of the best experiences I have had in a long line of history reading. Love the Game of the Week series.


  • Dion Ritter

    Nice 3D graphics. Very representative of the time period. Can’t wait to play.


  • Bart Power

    Have been enjoying the Vienna demo and decided to get SYW. I think that the GotW program is a great idea and benefit to all of us who enjoy playing WDS games. Thanks very much and keep up the great work!


  • Dale Henken

    Great job on the Game of the Week series. I like the inclusion of references on the campaigns. I was pleased to see Crucible of War because it is one of the best books I have read and an old favorite of mine.


  • Rich Hamilton

    @William – the 4 campaigns are listed in the center of the first screen shot my friend!


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