war games played with pieces on maps, 1811 as a German word in English, from German Kriegsspiel, literally "war game," from Krieg "war," from Middle High German kriec, "combat," mostly "exertion, effort; opposition, enmity, resistance," from Old High German chreg "stubbornness, defiance, obsinancy," perhaps from PIE *gwere- "heavy" (see grave (adj.)) or cognate with Greek hybris "violence" (see hubris; cf. also war (n.)). For second element, see spiel (n.). Introduced 1870s as officer training in British army.