Before the award-winning World War I designs Paths of Glory and The Great War In Europe, Deluxe Edition, designer Ted S. Raicer had revived interest in gaming the Great War with a series of WWI campaign games for the late lamented Command magazine. GMT is proud to present a set of revised boxed editions of these classic “players-games”.
In August 1914, Imperial Germany gambled its future on a rapid conquest of France, designed to free up the German army within six weeks to face the Russian steamroller of France’s Tsarist ally on the eastern front. Seven German armies deployed opposite five French armies, the army of “plucky little Belgium”, and the “Old Contemptibles” of the British Expeditionary Force in a series of battles that turned August and September 1914 into the bloodiest months of the entire war.
1914: Glory’s End covers the first three months of the Great War on the western front, from the Guns of August to First Ypres. This oft-gamed campaign receives a unique treatment, emphasizing playability without compromising on historical feel. Units are mostly corps of four steps (two counters per unit), along with a few especially strong (or weak) brigades and divisions, along with counters for the feared German Krupp and Skoda guns. The corps level Order of Battle accurately reflects the operational doctrine of the campaign, while also limiting the number of counters on the map to an easy-to-manage level.
The game scale is 9.5 miles per hex and three days per turn. The campaign game runs a full 30 turns, but the new edition will include not only a previously published mini-scenario on the Battle of the Marne, but a short ten turn campaign scenario covering the decisive opening weeks of the war. In addition the campaign games can be played in historical or free set-up versions.
1914: Glory’s End uses an Igo-Hugo system with two types of combat to demonstrate the tactical realities of the campaign: Prepared Combat and March Combat. Prepared Combat allows you to bring all your adjacent units to bear against a defending hex, but only with units that don’t move. This gives the defender time to reinforce, retreat, or pre-empt your combat with his own attack. To avoid this, you can “attack off the march” during your movement, but March Combat may only be delivered by a single stack at a time, limiting the force you can bring to bear. Furthermore, March Combat cannot be used against entrenched enemy units.
The coming of trench warfare is reflected by a unique Entrenchment rule: starting on turn 10 players may entrench one or two hexes per turn, PLUS any hexes adjacent to enemy trenches. The result is that trenches appear first as a tactical consideration, but then turn into a strategic problem as they spread with ever-increasing rapidity along the front.
1914: Glory’s End manages to cover all the important characteristics of the campaign (with rules for forts, cavalry, command and control breakdowns, supply, strategic rail movement, Allied sea movement, German forced marching, Plan XVII, Paris in Danger! and more) while remaining easy to play. The new GMT version will of course incorporate all errata from the original edition, but adds updated artwork, a corrected historical campaign Order of Battle, additional scenarios, and a tweaked set of rules.