They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
-For the Fallen, by Robert Laurence Binyon
Balance of Powers pays fitting tribute to the fallen with a respectful presentation of their bitter struggles in the air, on land, and at sea.
The game offers players a corps-level recreation of the entire First World War from the Somme through Dar-es-Salaam and on to Tsingtao. A roll-to-hit system enables air and (optional) naval combat to scale from the small dogfights of the Fokker Scourge to the mighty clash of dreadnoughts at Jutland. On land, corps entrench by flipping which opens up an in-hex dimension for every trench battle to simulate the tactical ebb and flow that animated the front even during strategic “stalemate”.
Since victory hinges on territorial control, the opposing sides feed men into the mill hoping to win a war of attrition before accumulated demoralization triggers a domestic political crisis to upset their balance. The prospect of a “breakthrough” to the green fields beyond motivates ceaseless attacks, but it’s ephemeral until tanks and planes arrive in numbers. The presence of specific admirals and generals, including the U-boat ace Lothar von Arnauld de la Periere, makes the game personal.
A haggle-based diplomacy system enables history buffs to recreate the land-swap politics of the period, or players can opt for a simpler, streamlined schedule of neutral entry with a dash of randomness added for surprise. Production is as simple as 1-2-3 to avoid excessive math while enabling players to comprehend the “cost” of their losses. In the end, victory goes to the side that beats its historical record.