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SPI is remembered by many for their innovations in game design, marketing, and packaging. In 1975, they pioneered another great innovation - the creation of the Quad format.

A Quad was a set of four games on a similar subject, sharing the same scale, and most importantly, the same rules.

Redmond Simonsen announced their coming in Moves 17, in the Designer Notes Column:

The Quadrigame

"Announcing, the 'quad game' concept, which you will be seeing in the spring. The Quad Games are so named because we are packaging four complete games, each with its own map, counters. rules, and an OB folder, into one package, for $12.

In addition , we will sell the individual games for $4 each (not $3. as a typo in the feedback questionnaire of S& T 46 put it). 

The separated individual games will not be in our plastic box. It will be in a lighter paper package (basically, a flat. stiff folder with an interior pocket). The Quad Games will almost all use as their basic rules a variation of the Napoleon at Waterloo rules. But, along with a high degree of playability, these games will also have a considerably high degree of realism. It took a lot of "basic research" to make that happen."

What RAS didn't mention is the maps would add another innovation for SPI - four color maps!

Quads were a huge bonus for the purchasers and players. if you could play one of the games in the set, you could play all of them.

What makes a "Quad?"

The Quad games launched in 1975 and became extremely popular.

bulletFour Games on a related subject.
bullet2 copies of the Series Rules booklet, which applied to all four games, and usually fit on four pages.
bullet4 Copies of the Exclusive rules - generally only a few pages. 1 per game.
bullet4 Maps, in color - originally 'folio sized' meaning 17" x 21" - 1 per game.
bulletA different Order of Battle for each game - originally, 100 counters each game.
bullet1 die.

Within 1 year, they would release 7 of these sets - that's 28 games! While slightly above the 'beer and pretzel' level of gaming, each of these games were clearly the equivalent of any early AH classic - i.e., the level of wargaming before 1970 when SPI challenged and then changed  the standard. Much of that was from the original 'Tactical Studies Games' (TSG) that were highly tactical, with ranged fire, etc. (Tactical Game 3 would sold to Avalon Hill and become Panzerblitz, which expanded the wargaming hobby greatly.)

Advertisement / Promotion

Though SPI always budgeted in magazine ads for their new games, in another innovation for at least the first year, each new Quad got a full page, text-heavy advertisement on page 3 of S&T. This started with issue 49 and ended over a year later, with issue 57. (They still got a full page after this, but later in the magazine.) I have attached these pages to the title link below, so you can read in detail about each game. (Links are with the game lists below).

"5th Game"

A later innovation in the Quad was the use of that month's S&T game to be a feature game for a soon to be released quad, which also proved popular with the audience. These have become known as the "5th" game to most gamers. Dr. Al Nofi points out "The 'fifth' game was actually usually the first," delivered in the magazine "as a teaser to intro the quad & the game system."   I have listed these 5th games with each set.


And though the Quads were sold as a set, you could also purchase them separately by mail, but with an added bonus to the Zpack format. The game was still in a plastic bag, but with a folder to hold the game. The folder featured the title and photo on the cover, and promo materials on the back, with a pocket to hold rules on one side, and map on the other. These continued to be offered until mid 1979, but it appears The Crimean War (publish 4/78) was the last quad given folio cards - at least, that's what the catalogs show. Not certain I've seen Crimean War folio games, though I have seen Modern Battles II games as folios. Also, later folios were single cards, printed front and back - not a folder.  Link to Folio lists


Late in their lives, some quads made the transition to Capsule Games, listed as the Moments in Conflict capsule series. Army Group South and Great Medieval Battles would be offered this way, along with three others, including two of the all-time best individual quads (Arnhem and Chickamauga).  Link to Capsule list

With the advent of the Monster games - nearly the opposite of a quad game - the pace would slow. And Art of Siege would not follow the Quad rules at all, since the games did not share a basic set of rules. By the end of SPI's initial run, they had produced 16 sets of these fast setup / fast play games. 

The List

Below are notes for each set. I will develop individual pages for each set as time allows. (The link will appear on the name.)

Of some interest at this point might be a question of how the market responded. Here's a link to the SPI Bestseller lists for 1975 and 1976. This link will also open in a new window.
(SPI Bestsellers 1975 link  | SPI Bestsellers 1976 link )

And don't miss this article from Brian Train lists ALL the feedback offers of "The Quads that Never Were" !! link


  Link to Full Page Ad Game Scale



Release Date: 6/1/1979

Games included:

bulletOperation Star

Units are Divisions / Regiments
Maps vary from 7.5 to 17 km/hex.
Turn scales vary from 2 days to 2 weeks.

S&T Game: Kharkov (5/1/78) -(questionable)


Part 1 Part 2

Release Date: 7/1/1979

Games included:


Mixed systems, all different scales.

S&T Game: Constantinople (1/1/78) (Questionable)

BATTLES FOR THE ARDENNES Release Date: 11/1/1978

Games included:

bulletSt. Vith

Each Combat Unit represents 1000 to 7000 men; Armored Units are 40 to 180 tanks; Artillery units are 60 to 100 guns.

Scale: Each Hex 3.2 km
Each Turn represents 12 hours

BLUE & GRAY Release Date: 5/1/1975

Games included:

bulletCemetery Hill

Scale: 400 meters / hex

Each Strength Point = 350 to 400 men.

Extremely popular.

BLUE & GRAY II Release Date: 12/1/1975

Games included:

bulletHooker vs. Lee

Scale: 400 meters / hex

Each Strength Point = 350 to 400 men.

S&T Game: Road to Richmond (1/1/77)

CRIMEAN WAR Release Date: 4/1/1978

Games included:


Tactical warfare on the Crimean peninsula in the mid 1800's.

Hex size and strength points vary by game.

S&T Game: None?

GREAT MEDIEVAL BATTLES Release Date: 11/1/1979

Games included:

bulletKing Arthur
bulletThe Black Prince
bulletRobert at Bannockburn
bulletTamburlaine the Great

Scale: Highly tactical.
Hexes: 50 yards / Hex
Counters: From 100 to 300 men in some games to 500 to 1500 in others. Turns represent 20 minutes real time.

S&T Game: None?

GREAT WAR IN THE EAST Release Date: 9/1/1979

Games included:

bulletBrusilov Offensive
bulletVon Hindenburg in Poland

Scale: Varies by game, from 6 to 12 miles.

S&T Game: Tannenberg  (7/1/78)

ISLAND WAR Release Date: 11/1/1975

Games included:

bulletBloody Ridge

The ground combat battles from WWII in the Pacific.

Scale: Varies by game, but roughly 500 to 2000 yards. Turns are 1 to 2 days.

MODERN BATTLES Release Date: 7/1/1975

Games included:

bulletChinese Farm

Scale: Highly tactical

Fast battles in a system that highlights fast action and quick turns of fortune.

MODERN BATTLES II Release Date: 6/1/1977

Games included: Link


Scale: Highly Tactical

(Some claim Berlin 85 is the 5th wheel S&T game. Since it is not in the Basic/Exclusive rules format, I do not.)

NAPOLEON AT WAR Release Date: 8/1/1975

Games included:

bulletBattle of Nations (Leipzig, 1813)
bulletJena-Auerstadt (1806)
bulletMarengo (1800)
bulletWagram (1809)

Perhaps the original 'gold standard for SPI. They moved well beyond this, but Napoleon at Waterloo is the standard for all the early quads.

S&T Game: Well, technically, could Eylau and Dresden qualify? (7/1/79)  Borodino predates.

NAPOLEON'S LAST BATTLES Release Date: 9/1/1976

Games included:

bulletQuatre Bras
bulletLa Belle Alliance (Waterloo)

Scale: 1 hex = 480 m.

Each SP = 350 to 750 men, or a battery of artillery.

Four small games, but maps interlock to create the battle of Waterloo Campaign game!

NORTH AFRICA Release Date: 7/1/1976

Games included:


The World War II North Africa battles from 1941 to 1943.

 Each hex is from 1.7 to 3.0 miles depending on the game.


Release Date: 5/1/1976

Games included:


Operational warfare from first half of 17th century.

Scale: Each hex is 175 m.
Each Strength Point  75 to 100 men.
Each Turn is 45 minutes.

S&T Game: (3/1/76) Breitenfeld



Release Date: 2/1/1976

Games included:

bulletBastogne (II)
bulletHurtgen Forest

The Operational west front ground battles from WWII 1944-45.

Scale: 500 to 2000 yards. Each game turn is 12 to 24 hours.




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This site was last updated 06/14/22