Martin Luther and Reformation Games

On The Game Crafter site, where Canon The Card Game can be found, I came across a game related to the Reformation: Martin Luther: Life and Legacy. Another game on this theme that I’ve come across is Sola Fide. There is also a game by GMT Games called Here I Stand: Wars of the Reformation. And Reacting to the Past has a microgame, Cuius Regio. And don’t forget the one I saw at Gen Con, A Mighty Fortress. Has anyone played one or more of these? They are outside of my teaching area, but I’m still interested in them. I am especially interested because some of them seem to focus on the battle of ideas, while others are about kingdoms and politics, but very few if any manage to include both in a substantive manner. That may be OK – but playing two games that have these two different kinds of focus might be precisely what is needed in a class about the Reformation. I can see myself doing something similar with games related to the history of ancient Israel or the spread of Christianity. Looking at the spread of ideas, and at the utilization of military force, and then asking what each is missing and how they complement one another, can potentially be very educational indeed, especially for those used to thinking about either religion or politics in isolation from the other.

One Trading Card Game that looks like it has some of the basics that I could use – but also aspects that are problematic – is the Redemption TCG from Cactus Game Design. On the one hand, it has cards for Shalmeneser V that has as its effect “Discard a Samaria Site; Capture King Hoshea.” On the other hand, it has a Son of God card whose effect is “Rescue any Lost Soul in Play.”

Shalmeneser V Son of God card

You can find out more about that game on the Board Game Geek site. What about a game that focused on the Bronze Age collapse, and its impact on Mycenae and/or Canaan?

Some of the games on The Game Crafter website are created by educators, and still other games that educators have made available elsewhere either are created using The Game Crafter, or got their start there. Attending Gen Con made clear just how many educators are involved in gaming and just how many gamers care about education.

Of related interest, I also came across a rather extensive index of religious games a while back…

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  • Scott P.

    I have played several of them. Here I Stand does include both warfare/diplomacy and the ‘battle of ideas’. In this multiplayer game, while the Ottomans are invading the Hapsburg domains and England is fighting France, you have the Papacy and the Protestants in a religious struggle, as the Protestants seek to spread their faith while the Papacy engages in counter-Reformation. There is a lot there, including the exploration of the New World and religious debates where the loser can be burnt at the stake. It’s a pretty hefty game, though, aimed at a conflict gaming audience.

    • James F. McGrath

      Wow, that sounds amazing. I’m going to have to find an opportunity to play it! Unfortunately it seems to be out of print, but I’ve nonetheless added it to the top of my Amazon wishlist in case someone who reads this blog really thinks I ought to have a copy, no matter how much it costs… :-)