GMT’s PATHS OF GLORY – FIRST WORLD WAR 1914-1918 – SOLITAIRE PART 3 Autumn/Winter 1914

Posted: April 2, 2014 in GMT games, Paths of Glory, wargames
Tags: , , , ,

IMG_2647As 1914 drew to a close both sides moved up their war status from Mobilisation to Limited War. To achieve this the mechanics of the game require a side to achieve 4 or more War status points.  These are gained during the game through play of strategy cards as specific events.  Those cards that have a number in parentheses add that number to the sides War status.  Once the required amount has been attained, that side changes its war status to Limited War. The advantages are that this then allows the player to add a whole new deck of cards. The events are wide ranging from Russian Revolution and US entry into the war to reinforcements or more local scale events.  The cards can and in most instances are used for other purposes however.  The top left hand corner number provides a number of Ops points with which to conduct combat and movement operations.  The set of numbers on the bottom are used instead if that player wished to use the card to provide for vital replacments of troops.  In the end it comes down to managing the deck as best as you can. The Central Powers who have the momentum at the present reached Limited War status through play of Guns of August (2 pts), then Oberost (1pt) and then Falkenhayn (2pts). The allies made it though British reinforcements of the 1st and 2nd Armies (1pt each) on either side of the Blockade (2pt) event.  

IMG_2617

Autumn 1914 – 1st battle of Verdun. Germany launches a massive attack on the French fort system around Verdun. The French refuse to give up the ground resulting in catastrophic losses

Western Front – The Central Powers maintain momentum with a series of devastating attacks on the French lines culminating in an all out attack on Verdun. 1st battle of Verdun.  With the 3rd Army holding the Sedan sector they launch a 2 pronged attack with alongside the 4th and 5th armies.  The defenders number the 3rd and 5th French armies and a corps. Desperately clinging on despite horrendous casualties, when the dust settled one French army and the corps were destroyed, the other reduced.  The Germans didn’t have it all their own way, their 4th and 5th armies also suffering a reduction in capability. With the potential of a German breakthrough very real, the AP were forced to bring in fresh troops but this was at the expense of handing all momentum to the CP and going onto a defensive war footing. Eventually they managed to dislodge the German forces in Sedan and attempted to entrench the area but at very high cost. The CP also successfully entrenched at Liege and heavily repulsed an Anglo-Belgian attack

Eastern Front – This theatre took on a more fluid aspect than the Western Front.  The CP managing to make small inroads but frustrated by fortress cites Warsaw and Lomza holding out behind their lines could not exploit the gains.  These cities affected the CP supply chain and held back any major advances while the AP reinforced.

Balkan Front – This sector remained quiet with some CP Austrian units moving into position

Near East Front – Turkey’s entry into the war directly threatened both Russia and the British Empire, however apart from some reinforcing of units on borders the sector remained quiet.

Summary – The attritional battles of the Western Front continued to dominate the War.  The situation for the Allied powers was particularly alarming with use of strategy cards for replacements taking precedence but curtailing operations while the CP could attack wherever he liked.  The Eastern Front looked like a tinder box just waiting for the fall of Warsaw and Lomza to signal a massive CP offensive. The Balkan Front had stabilised into a minor sideshow while the lack of any action in the Near East was a welcome relief to the AP

NEXT – Spring and Summer 1915 – The Central Powers consider whether to switch focus to an offensive in the East or attempt to break through in the West.

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Comments
  1. scugrad says:

    I’m assuming the CP played the Falkenhayn card only on the 3rd turn or later. If you play it any earlier, the Allies will need to have played the Moltke card first (and they didn’t). 🙂

    • simonsmrt says:

      I think Moltke was played in September and Falkenhayn very quickly after in the same turn. I am convinced that the CP players cards used as events offer more of an advantage if you want to take a more aggressive approach. Oddly despite losing some ground in Russia, the Russian forces were massively strong at the end but I just couldn’t get them into play as the western front had degenerated into a complete catastrophe for the allies and was being bled white by continuous German offensives. The Sedan space in particular was THE place of exection

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