updated 031201

From: Web grognards From: CardSharks <>
Subject: Re: The Europa Series (GDW)
I recently completed a detailed collector's overview of the GDW Europa
Series, complete with production numbers.

Please send comments to

The GDW Europa Series (1973-1985)

The first game published by Game Designers' Workshop in 1973 was also the first game in the ambitious Europa Series, a comprehensive simulation game history of European World War II. The Europa Series established basic parameters (which included division-level units, two-week turns, and sixteen mile hexes) for a series of games covering the entire theater of war, and then defined campaigns within the theater. Each of these campaigns is an individual game playable by itself, but ultimately mateable with the others in the series-- to allow re-creation of the entire war.


Over the years, Europa Series games have been produced in a variety of packaging formats which reflected a growing or evolving marketing sophistication by GDW. Originally, gamers were packaged in generic brown cardboard containers; later games came in transparent ziplock bags; finally, they were packaged in flat store boxes. The following is a list of Europa Series packaging types.


The following information has been gleaned from available GDW records, from archival copies of the games, and from the memories of staff.


Japanese Editions

Hobby Japan / Post Hobby translated the Europa series into Japanese and produced the series as a boxed game between 1981 and 1987. These games are occasionally seen in the American market.
Designer Editions
GDW typically noted the publication of a new title by affixing a tag or label with the game title, date, and the statement "N of 10" to the first 10 copies of a game that came off their assembly line. These tags were usually signed by the game designer. Most of these games were distributed to GDW staff, designers, or corporate friends. Designer Editions are the first off the line and thus do not have later upgrades or errata sheets which later production copies included.

The Series The Entire Europa Series was planned to include at least 12 games: They included-

The Europa Newsletter

To provide a vehicle for publication of news about Europa upcoming releases, background, and scenarios for various games, GDW established the Europa Newsletter in 1976. Promoted through GDW catalogs and flyers, it asked for an order blank to be submitted and in return provided a free 4-issue subscription.
At the end of the first four issues, the newsletter turned into Grenadier Magazine, which covered a broader range of game subjects (and not just GDW publications). Ultimately, the Grenadier was acquired by Jeff Tibbetts.

Draft Europa Air OB/OA

Experimental air rules, aircraft values, and order of battle/appearance.
Designed by Marc W. Miller

In 1976-77, GDW produced a draft air order of battle for the eastern front using game rules and concepts developed in the design of Their Finest Hour. The information was made available to Europa gamers on request. In addition, the draft material in its printed form served to perpetuate the concepts for the GDW design staff in a way that mere typescript manuscripts could never do.

Print Runs

Production data of the Europa Series from the purchase order files indicates the following print runs of Europa games.

In 1986, GDW transferred the Europa Series to Winston Hamilton and GRD, which has continued to produce and revise the game system.

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