Author Topic: WW1 Strategic Level Games  (Read 318 times)

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Offline airboy

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WW1 Strategic Level Games
« on: June 23, 2020, 08:19:09 AM »
I am looking for moderate to simple rules set, strategic level WW1 games.  I would prefer a game that at minimum covers both the Western and Eastern Fronts in one game.  I have Totler Kreig & Dai Senso - and if I ever get those really figured out it will be an accomplishment.  I want the game to be playable in a reasonable fashion as a solitaire game.  Pacific Tide has been wonderful covering the strategic situation in the Pacific without bogging down in a massively heavy rules set.

I've ordered the WW1 strategic game from Compass Games using the same system as Pacific Tide - I'm really looking forward to getting it but their shipping dates have badly slipped from the plague.

I'm considering Empires & Alliances and Paths of Glory.  I've read the reviews on Board Game Geek and they seem like they might work. 

Does anyone have any first hand experience with Empires & Alliances or Paths of Glory that you can share?  Are there any other games out there that I should consider? 

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: WW1 Strategic Level Games
« Reply #1 on: June 23, 2020, 10:37:26 AM »
Paths of Glory: I have played Paths of Glory many times, along with its sister games; Illusions of Glory and Pursuit of Glory. The games are great, full of period flavor and history. However, they are based on a card hand mechanic, so probably not as good as solo games. Not knowing what is in your opponents hand adds a great deal of tension to the game. Personally, because of the card hand mechanic, I would not pick them for a solo session.

Empires and Alliances: I have not played Empires and Alliances but I have a copy and would be interested in playing a vassal game if you go with it and are interested. From the rules components point of view, it looks like a good balance between scope and playability. Also, I understand the game is based on AH's Guns of August. A game I have played and enjoyed...but that had a few issues.  Anyway, if EandA is an update / upgrade of GofA, it is likely a good game.

Some other games you might also consider:

Fatal Alliances III: Compass Games by the Australia Design Group. I have a copy of this, but have not yet played. It is basically the WWI version of World in Flames. It seems to have plenty of chrome. The naval war, the air war, production etc. Probably worth a look at, but may be more involved than you are considering.

Balance of Powers: Compass Games, John Gorkowski design. The game has some great mechanics and allows you to play the naval war and the war in Africa. However, it is pretty complex and has somewhat high learning curve. Also, the color scheme and counters are done in kind of a "art deco" style and this irked some traditional wargamers. I have played it and enjoyed it however. Plenty of period flavor. Works well in solitaire mode.

Storm of Steel: Decision Games. I have no first hand knowledge of this game since it breaks one of my cardinal rules of game buying... it has no vassal module. However, I have looked at the rules and components, and it seems like a strong contender. The map is certainly one of the better ones with these types of games. It also has full implementation of the Russian - Turkish front for example. Only Der Weltkrieg and Pursuit of Glory really flesh out this front...so it is good to see.   

Der Weltkrieg series: By SPW distributed by Decision Games. The "gold standard" IMHO. You can link all six games in a large Grand Campaign.  It is a monster game, at 10km per hex, 1 week turns down to the division level. It has an interesting take on terrain that can turn off traditional wargamers and the map is cut in some strange places. While I would not recommend the "grand campaign", there are several "mini-games" in the series like the Schlieffen Plan that you might consider. Works well in solitaire mode. Also, I have only ever played on vassal, and those who have played it physically, complain of stacks that are sometimes hard to manage.

World War I by Decision Games, a Jim Dunnigan design: A S&T magazine game that graduated to a box. I have a copy, but have not played. It may fit your needs. It gets praise for simple easy design, eight pages of rules a single sheet of counters. Some grousing on BGG about play balance, but not an issue solo..:).  There is also a vassal module.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/boardgame/5297/world-war-i-deluxe-edition

In the great games but crazy pricing category:

The Great War in Europe, OOP GMT. Ted Racier design. Would be a great choice. Simple, elegant design, an easy to play mini-monster, but priced way too high on ebay.

La Grande Guerre, OOP Azure Wish, Philippe Thibault design. Also a great choice, but priced way too high on ebay.

Honorable mention:

Glory's End and When Eagles Fight: A two-pack by GMT games. Ted Racier designs. When Eagles fight covers the main Eastern Front sections from 1914-1918. Nice easy to learn system that is fun.  Still available from GMT.

« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 10:50:50 AM by ArizonaTank »
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: WW1 Strategic Level Games
« Reply #2 on: June 23, 2020, 11:09:36 AM »
If you're looking for a solitaire both-Front (at a minimum!) WW1 game, I would think one of the available computer games would be better than trying to get that on tabletop.

That said, I'd be fascinated by an attempt at solitairing the Grand Campaign of Die Weltkrieg...  :dreamer:
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Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

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Offline airboy

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Re: WW1 Strategic Level Games
« Reply #3 on: June 23, 2020, 11:24:00 AM »
I finished a WW1 computer campaign and wrote an AAR for it (Strategic Command WW1).  I have the updated computer game - unplayed.

I'm pretty sure I have Commander: The Great War for the PC - unplayed.

Offline airboy

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Re: WW1 Strategic Level Games
« Reply #4 on: June 23, 2020, 11:25:29 AM »
Arizona Tank - thanks for the detailed reply.

I'm considering WW1 by Decision Games since you brought it up.  As you thought, the others mentioned are too much work to learn the rules or the publisher suggests they are ill-suited for solitaire play.

Offline ArizonaTank

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Re: WW1 Strategic Level Games
« Reply #5 on: June 23, 2020, 11:59:46 AM »
That said, I'd be fascinated by an attempt at solitairing the Grand Campaign of Die Weltkrieg...  :dreamer:

Funny you should mention that. I have considered a solo Grand Campaign as well....but have always thought of it as a "retirement project"...probably five to seven years off. 

However, one thing I have also considered, is a forum game version...  modeled loosely on your Republic of Rome effort.

Players would represent army, front and national commanders. The idea would be allow them to dictate strategy without getting into the nitty gritty. That would be handled by one or more game masters.  So a front commander would dictate army boundaries, allocation of supplies, give orders for offensives, and allocate corps / divisions and replacements. The army commanders would give orders to execute the front commander's orders within his bounds. The national commander would manage production and strategic efforts and also add fronts...the British going after Gallipoli for example.

Also, the campaign would be done with the idea that players come and go, and can be promoted. Sort of like real life, where generals come and go. Also with the idea that there would be times when the game master will have to fill in for positions to keep the game going.

I have seen Telemecus' wonderful Gary Grigsby War in the East games that run on a similar idea.

Anyway, just an idea..... 

Also since Der Weltkrieg only plays lip service to the naval war, I am thinking that Grand Fleet (basically the WWI version of AH's War at Sea) might be a good way to add in that element. Or, maybe just bolt on naval war elements from Fatal Alliances III, or Balances of Power.
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Offline JasonPratt

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Re: WW1 Strategic Level Games
« Reply #6 on: June 23, 2020, 06:02:53 PM »
I finished a WW1 computer campaign and wrote an AAR for it (Strategic Command WW1).  I have the updated computer game - unplayed.

I'm pretty sure I have Commander: The Great War for the PC - unplayed.

I have those, too, but just haven't been able to bring myself to play them. (...despite spending actual money on them, including on the recent remake of StratComWW1.  #:-) ) Any such game that doesn't allow stacking has a big strike against it, that I am only occasionally able to overcome.
ICEBREAKER THESIS CHRONOLOGY! -- Victor Suvorov's Stalin Grand Strategy theory, in chronological order. Lots and lots of order...

Dawn of Armageddon -- a narrative AAR for Dawn of War: Soulstorm: Ultimate Apocalypse: The Hunt Begins: Insert Joke Here!

Survive Harder! In the grim darkness of the bowl there is only, um, Amazons. And tentacles and midgets. Not remotely what you're thinking! ...okay, maybe a little remotely.

PanzOrc Corpz Generals -- Season One complete; Fantasy Wars AAR, lots of screenies.

Offline Toonces

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Re: WW1 Strategic Level Games
« Reply #7 on: June 23, 2020, 09:13:20 PM »
I have a partially punched but nearly new copy of Paths of Glory I could let go if you're interested.  I was going to try to sell it, but honestly it's not worth that much money.  If you'll cover the shipping you can have it if you want it.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2020, 09:15:28 PM by Toonces »
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Offline airboy

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Re: WW1 Strategic Level Games
« Reply #8 on: June 24, 2020, 07:05:46 AM »
I have a partially punched but nearly new copy of Paths of Glory I could let go if you're interested.  I was going to try to sell it, but honestly it's not worth that much money.  If you'll cover the shipping you can have it if you want it.

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