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The Seven Years War: Frederick's Gamble

Status:  Made the Cut
Orders To Date:  641
Regular Price: $69.00
P500 Price: $48.00

Banner designs by Rachel Billingsley


Note: All samples below are from playtest graphics, not final game art. GMT Games claims no copyright on these images. Copyright remains with the original creator.



It is spring 1757.  The Prussian king, Frederick II, arguably the supreme example of the Enlightened Despot, is surrounded on all sides by enemies. He seeks to ensure security for his land and his people.  This king commands one of the most feared and vaunted military machines of his time.  He was known to his Prussians as "Der Alte Fritz."  In history, he is simply Frederick the Great.

To accomplish his ends, Frederick seizes opportunity to annex the rich central European Electorate of Saxony before his opponents can mobilize their larger armies against him… and this risky action ignites general war not only in Europe, but a conflagration across the globe in the colonial areas of North America, India, and elsewhere.  Many scholars consider this “The First World War”: for it is The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble

In adapting GMT’s multi-award-winning The Napoleonic Wars game system by Mark McLaughlin, Designer Greg Ticer, aided by Developer Fred Schachter, create a furiously paced, card-driven, and battle/siege-intensive strategic/operational game which can be concluded  by two, three, or four experienced players in an evening or an afternoon.

Players represent the Coalition of Britain and Prussia or their nemesis, the Imperial Camp of Austria (with its Holy Roman Empire Pact Ally) and France (with its powerful Russian Pact Ally).  The four main Powers never change Camps.  Neutral Sweden and Denmark wait to possibly be swayed into one of the antagonist’s fold.  Britain and France not only contend against each other on the continent, but upon the game’s colonial mini-maps and through an abstract naval war. 

Unlike GMT Games The Napoleonic Wars, Wellington, or Kutuzov, 7YW:FG  has mechanisms unique to 18th Century warfare.  These include: Trained Troop Pools, Honors of War (bring back most eliminated pieces for a new year of play), no Army Group movement or forced marching, Kinder War… a kind of “Guerilla” action to remove enemy flags, more powerful and difficult to besiege fortresses, greater vulnerability to attrition with a variety of interesting colonial units including Forts, Native American Tribes, Sepoys and Colonial Militia.

Yet players familiar with one or more of the series’ other games should quickly “get into” 7YW:FG -particularly with aid of a special “Tutorial” which accompanies the game.

Furthermore, a 7YW:FG game does not need to “go the limit” with all possible yearly turns being completed.  Players not only experience the uncertainty of a “Peace Die Roll”, which characterize other games of the series, but also several possible “Sudden Death” game endings.  For example, when one of the four major Powers is conquered the game ends and the winning Camp, Coalition or Imperial, is determined by tabulating Victory Points… yet only a single player is declared winner!  This makes for fun, occasionally stressful, but engagingly interesting dynamics when two are playing one of the Camps.  It also means all the players are fully engaged in the game action through the contest’s entire course.   

When armies collide, battle or siege-related cards may be played; dice rolled to resolve conflict, inflict casualties, and possibly gain loot for each routed/eliminated Leader. Some cards confer special advantages such as interceptions from two Duchies distant, mandatory play of events, raise or eliminate pieces, or affect the course of the broader world-wide war (e.g. Foreign Wars).

With so many variables, including a short three year version (1757-1759), no game comes close to playing the same way twice. The Seven Years War: Frederick’s Gamble is glorious, entertaining, unpredictable, and most of all enjoyable. It stretches players' skills, hence the challenge and pleasure of a well-crafted card-driven game (CDG).


  • 22” x 34” Mounted Map Board
  • Five frames of die-cut playing pieces.
  • Control Chart/Setup Sheet
  • Battleground/Diplomacy Chart
  • Eight Headquarters Displays
  • “Tutorial” Overview of the Game
  • 110 Cards
  • A lavishly illustrated Rule book and a Campaign book
  • 24 plastic stands and eight six-sided dice



DESIGNER: Greg Ticer

DEVELOPER: Fred Schachter






Customer Reviews
# of Ratings: 2
1. on 8/5/2017, said:
the readingn of the battle field rules is a cold shower for me: the rules depart completely from the Napoleonics Wars - why not - but if your read the losses table, this one means a complete victory obtained with a maximum roll of 6-6-6 against 1-1-1 result in no losses at all for any side !!! IMHO, That appears to be a little clunky to say the least. I expect this table to be modified with loss being the greatest with a six and the lowest with a 1 for each dice... Another issue is the playtest map that is ugly but i think this is not the final version.
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2. on 11/7/2015, said:
This is a terrific period of history where no one army is overwhelming in power. While Fredrick might appear to be unstoppable, his enemies were many and he had no answer to the Austrian Grenzers conducting guerilla warfare in his back yard. Britain sided with Fredrick to protect Hanover. The French sided with Austria for several reasons including their continual warfare with Britain.
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