For the next two years this blog will be focusing on the US role in World War I. As faithful readers know I like to play games based on historical conflicts. Last week I enjoyed reading two posts on World War I board games and World War I computer games. Both posts were featured at the The Wargamer. The post on board World War I games was written by Bill Gray:
Decision Games – Folio games series where in general you receive a 17 x 22” map, 100 counters and two four page rule books. The game is played at brigade level and each hex is three miles. Titles include Lettow-Vorbeck in East Africa, Loos the Big Push, Vimy Ridge, Meuse-Argonne, Massuria, Tannenburg, Suez 1916 and Gaza 1917. The price is $19.95 US each or $12.95 for Lettow-Vorbeck.
Decision Games – Over the Top! This is really a redo of the older SPI game Great War in the East Quad, but with new battles to include the Brusilov Offensive, Riga 1917, St Mihiel 1918 and Damascas 1918. The game is $50.00 US and contains rules, two 34 x 22“ maps and 560 counters.
Decision Games/SPW – Die Weltkrieg (the World War) This is not a single game but a series of hyper detailed, operational level games each with individual scenarios as well as a complete campaign game. Graphics for both maps and counters are spectacular and unique. The details for one of the games, The Eastern Front 1914 – 1917, include 1680 backprinted counters, four 34 x 22” maps, two 17 x 11” maps with a scale of 20 km per hex, four days per turn and brigade or division level units, all for $119.95 US. The rest of the series counts Tannenburg Intro Game ($19.95), Ottoman Front ($79.95), Western Front ($69.95), Italian Front ($49.95), the Grand Campaign (adds logistics and production, $79.95) and The Complete Series (all of the above, $399.75). Most games have updated editions, and yes, you can combine all the games into a single monster simulation.
GMT – 1914 – Offensive a outrance (Attack to excess) This monster game covers the Marne Campaign and Schlieffen Plan, costs $115.00 US and contains seven and ½ counter sheets and three full color map sheets. Scale is 8 km per hex, two to four days per turn with division and brigade size units. A sister game by GMT, 1914 – Twilight in the East, is currently out of print but still listed on the GMT Website.
Go here to read the rest. The post on computer World War I games was written by James Cobb:
Hubert Cater of Fury Software and Battlefront entered the fray in 2010. The base game is derived from the popular Strategic Command series with its hallmarks: terrain is bland but functional while the 3D units are entertaining. The normal IGO/UGO turn system is here with clicks ordering movement and combat. A row of buttons gives entree to research, diplomacy and the like. Events, different weapons and even more emphasis on national morale set this game apart from its World War II stablemates.
The British blockade eats away at Central Power morale while research allows simple growth in air, tank, infantry and gas tactics. Creating havoc to British supplies is made easier by clear convoy routes and silent sub modes. Domestic policy is handles abstractly. How players react to events can change the complexion of the game. The first campaign covers the entire war while adding two shorter campaigns, seven operations and even a World War II campaign. The 2012 expansion Breakthrough gibes spice to the game by providing am alternative 1914 campaign twist, a look at the First Balkan War 1912-1913 and the Franco-Prussian War, nineteen more operations and battles covering all theatres of the conflict. This game proved the breadth of the war could be captured with fairly simple mechanics. Available from Battlefront.com.
Go here to read the rest. A well done game on a war can provide insights that sometimes are missed when a student of a conflict merely reads about it in cold print. Being placed in command brings a small sample of the pressure that the actual general and political leaders were under to produce a victory commensurate with the sacrifices that the warring populations were making.