Lost games :
- Legionnaire (aka “Legionnaire 1979“) by Chris Crawford (Commodore PET, 1979)
This is the second game by Chris Crawford, self-published in 1979 with around 200 copies distributed. The 1982 re-edition by Avalon Hill is well-known but that version is so different it is basically another game. Very high historical value.
- Battle Cruiser Action by Mytopia Gameware Institute (Apple II, 1981)
- Stellar Action by Mytopia Gameware Institute (Apple II, 198?)
- Dungeon Action by Mytopia Gameware Institute (Apple II, 198?)
The two first games are very early instances of tactical games on PC, the last one an early cRPG. A nice anon’ managed to locate the manuals of the first two ones, but the games themselves seem lost. I contacted the developer (Frank Heffner) who told me he lost his copies in a flood, so no point to contact him anymore. According to him, Battle Cruiser Action shipped less than 500 copies (including 200 in UK), and Stellar Action 250 copies.
- Hannibal by Richard Bodley-Scott, published by Molimerx (TRS-80, 198X)
- Triumph of Rome, by Richard Bodley-Scott, published by Molimerx (TRS-80, 198X)
- Admiral Graf Spee, author unknown, published by Molymerx (TRS-80, 198X)
The British company Molimerx released several wargames, some of which are now lost. The two first ones are of particular interest as they have been designed by Richard Bodley-Scott (of Field of Glory fame). I contacted him and he does not have them. The last one may have been an exclusivity of Molymerx, the New Zealand & Australia branch / partner (“it is complicated“) of Molimerx.
The first two games may or may not have been released on BBC Micro.
- Ironclads by Dynacomp (CP/M, 1983)
- Attack on Kabul by Dynacomp (IBM, 1983 or 1984)
- Leipzig 1813 by Dynacomp (Atari 8-bits, 1983)
- Waterloo 1815 by Dynacomp (Atari 8-bits, 1983, possibly 1984)
- Mission Intergalactic Diplomacy by Dynacomp (IBM & CP/M, 1983 or 1984)
- Threat Force by Dynacomp (Atari 8-bits, 1983 or 1984)
A list of games found on the Dynacomp catalogue. I am missing the manual for all of them. Leipzig 1813, Waterloo 1815 and a game called Shiloh 1862 were also released as the Atari War Game Series in 1984. The series was later joined by Threat Force.
- Battle of the Bulge by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Battle of the River Plate by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Convoy by C.P.S. Game (Atari and ZX Spectrum, 198X
- Task Force South by Stellar Services (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Crusade by Venn Software (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Trenches by Venn Software (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- Shiva Inferno by Red Shift (ZX Spectrum, 198X)
- LandWar by Color Software (Atari and Apple II, 1981)
Various games I found in one list or another. I am not even sure all of them are wargames.
- Carrier Strike by KW Software (ZX81, 1982)
- Napoleon at Austerlitz by KW Software (ZX81, 1982)
- Desert Rats by KW Software (ZX81, 1982)
- Midway by KW Software (ZX Spectrum, 1983)
Most of the early work of Ken Wright (“computer-assisted boardgames” except Midway) is lost.
Manuals required to play games that are NOT lost :
- Crusaders by Simon Ford, published by Molimerx (TRS-80 and BBC Micro, 198X)
- William of Normandy by Simon Ford, published by Molimerx (TRS-80 and BBC Micro, 198X)
Two more Molimerx games. They are not playable without the manuals, as they are fairly complex simulations. William of Normandy in particular is not about the landing but the diplomatic preparation of it, which makes it pretty unique.
- DDay-Invasion of France by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)
- Battle of the Bulge : St Vith by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)
- Battle of the Bulge : Bastogne by David Landrey (TRS-80, 1980)
Those three games may take the second position after Tanktics in the “first computer wargames ever released” category, depending on when exactly in 1980 they were released. They are also the first games by David Landrey (of Tactical Design Group fame). I have not been able to contact David Landrey. You need the manual to play them, as the game expects you to respect the movement rules yourself, and to tell it which units are in-supply or out of supply according to the manual.
- Hypergate Patrol by Synergistic Solar (TRS-80, 1982)
- Hypergate Centurion by Synergistic Solar (TRS-80, 1982)
Synergistic Solar has released a string of innovative games, especially given the constraints of the TRS-80. Those two games received rave reviews, but they are not playable without their manuals, and said manuals are lost.
- Bez MX, by Bez-MX (not a typo !), (Apple II, 1982)
A turn-based artillery game with real-time elements, it is sometimes listed as a RTS precursor.
- Delta Squadron by Nexa Corporation (Apple II, 1982)
A turn-based Death Star trench-run game that visually looks waaayyyy more advanced than 1982, it is impossible to play without its manual.
- War by Adventure International (various platforms, 1982)
The only solitaire wargame published by Adventure International, it would be great to play it. I asked Scott Adams and he gave me a good lead that may take time to go through, so if someone has it…
- Wings Out of Shadow by Berserker Works (Apple II, 1983)
A very unique game whose manual included a short story by the author of Fred Saberhagen’s Berserker series
- Battle of Britain by Maincomp (Commodore VIC, 1983)
- Shiloh 1862 by Dynacomp (Atari 8-bits, 1983)
- Tactics Apple War Game by StarCraft Inc. (Apple II, 1981)
- Panzer War by Windcrest (Atari, 1983)
- FrontLine by SubLogic (Apple II, 1982)
Foreign games I need translated (at least their manual)
- Moritan no Battlefield by Enix Corporation (PC-88, 1982)
The first game by Enix and, possibly, a precursor to Advanced Wars. It sure looks like it.
- Combat [konbatto] by Koei (PC-88 (I think ?), 1982 (probably ?))
- Battle of Normandy [Norumandî Jyouriku Sakusen] by Koei (PC-88 (I think ?), 1982 (probably ?))
- Battle of Gettysburg by Softwride (Color Computer, 1982). Incredible find by LanHawk from the CRPGAddict blog. It turned out to be the worst game so far on my blog.
- ZorphWar : SuperSpace War by William Seurer (Sol-20, 1977) – Found by LanHawk
- Fall of the Third Reich by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)
Armor Car by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)
Mount Suribachi by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)
Middle Earth by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)
Panzer by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X)
Blitzkrieg by Dynacomp (Atari, 198X) Found by Porkbelly. Those 6 games (and 2 more), all multiplayer-only, were released by Dynacomp as part of a compilation called “Battlefield!!!”, with some standardisation (no more arachnids, it is all “infantry” & “armor”) Sometimes, game history is hard to piece together. See below :
Die Haendlertrilogie by Wicosoft (ZX Spectrum, 198X) Found by LanHawk. Actually “The Trader’s Trilogy” in English, is well-documented but not a wargame.
Star Wars by Spartan (ZX Spectrum, 1983) Found by LanHawk. Not a wargame
- Starblazer, by Ark Royal Games (Color Computer, 1982) Someone finally added it to the Color Computer archives, and LanHawk found it there
- Zendar by SubLogic (Apple II, 1982) Sent by Porkbelly
- Max Command by Rockroy (Apple II, 1982) French-Canadian manual sent by Porkbelly.
- The Final Conflict by the Hayden Book Company (Apple II, 1982) Uploaded by Hoeksmas