A World at War

Second World War in Europe and the Pacific


This is a quick first look at A World at War available from GMT Games.

A World at War is a grand strategic game of the Second World War in Europe and the Pacific. While the rule book for this game is quite extensive at 192 pages, players do not need to read or memorize all of the rules to play the game. They can play just the land battles or sea battles and ignore rules that are not applicable to play. Also, players can break up the game even further by player just the European version or the Pacific version of the game.

The answers taken directly from the rules are as follows;

A World At War rules began as an amalgam of the rules of two predecessor games—Advanced Third Reich (64 pages) and Rising Sun (72 pages, plus 10 pages of research rules). While the consolidation of the rules into a single game saved some space, the A World At War rulebook necessarily began at over 100 pages. World War II was a complicated historical event.

But there are two reasons why the rules became longer. The first was that a great many questions and answers from the predecessor games were incorporated into the rules, as were questions from five years of playtesting. There is therefore a very good chance that questions you may have already answered in the rules.

The second reason the rules are long is that they are deliberately repetitious. This is because the rules are intended to serve as a reference even for experienced players, to be consulted when necessary. As everyone knows, there is nothing more irritating than trying to find an obscure (or even a not-so-obscure) rule during the heat of battle. Where do you look? A World At War resolves this problem by setting out the rules in several places—namely where experience has shown that players tend to look. When playtesting showed that players had trouble finding a rule, the rules were modified to meet the expectations of the players. The result was a longer, but more easily used, rulebook.


The components that you receive with A World at War are as follows;

  • Four unmounted 22” by 30” mapsheets (two for the European theater and two for the Pacific theater).
  • Ten counter sheets with 2800 Full Color Counters
  • 196 Page Rulebook.
  • 24 Page Research and Diplomacy Tables booklet
  • 24 Page Scenario booklet.
  • 8 Player Aid cards.
  • 4 Naval Status Charts.
  • Codebreaking and oil effect cards.
  • Research, diplomatic, economic and other record sheets.
  • Force pool record sheets for each major power.
  • Naval and unit construction sheets for each major power.
  • 8 six-sided dice.


A World at War from GMT Games is truly a “Monster Game” because of the quantity of counters, maps that are included and length of its documentation. However, that doesn’t mean that A World at War is a difficult game to pick up and learn. All one needs to do is to break the game down into modules and slowly work towards combining the modules till they can play the full game. With all the years of development, A World at War is a mature game that deserves a detailed look from grognard gamers.

Available from GMT Games

MSRP $195.00