A Mighty Fortress PBEM (Play By Electronic Mail) game page


A Mighty Fortress was published in 1977 by SPI (SimulationsPublications Inc). The game is long out of print.

A mighty fortress is our God, a trusty shield and weapon;
He helps us free from every need that hath us now o'ertaken.
The old evil Foe now mean deadly woe; deep guile and great might
Are his dread arms in fight; on earth is not his equal

- first verse of the hymn, A Mighty Fortress, written by Martin Luther

A Mighty Fortress simulates the conditions which made possible the spread of the Lutheran Reformation and the subsequent Catholic reaction (the Counter-Reformation) in the years 1532-1555. The game recreates the actual historical objectives of the major countries in Europe in the Sixteenth Century as well as their military strength and resources. There are six players in the game representing the six major countries, England, France, the Ottoman Empire, the Hapsburgs, the Pope, and the collection of German states we will call The Lutherans. The Hapsburgs have, by far, the largest number of combat forces. Unhindered by other problems, they could easily suppress Lutheranism. However, other players have objectives that can usually be achieved only at the expense of the mighty Hapsburgs. Therefore, depending on the rapidly shifting political situation, there will probably be several alliances against Hapsburg influence. Because of this convoluted political situation, the players will often find themselves at cross-purposes with other players whom they were aiding the Game-Turn before. Thus, the possibilities for political and military interaction are extensive.

The game covers all actions from the year 1532 - right after the formation of the Schmalkaldic League - until 1555 and the Peace of Augsburg, which guaranteed Lutheranism as a religion and allowed the German estates to choose between that and Catholicism. .

A brief review of A Mighty Fortress is available, together with errata from Moves magazine and a game insert.

The PBEM game of A Mighty Fortress

The PBEM rules and rules clarifications used.

Cyberboard gameset used.

The game:-

The Final Result

  Final Score  
England 16 (VP set 2) End of game statement
France -5 (VP set 2)  
Hapsburgs -5 (VP set 2) End of game statement
Lutherans 27 End of game statement
Ottomans -5 (VP set 2)  
Papacy 9 End of game statement

The sides/players:-

The neutral observers:- Most of the players are members of AHIKS Europe, a society dedicated to PBM/PBEM play of wargames.