Monday, 1 April 2013

A bayonet or a machine gun? Paths of Glory.

Headlining our tabletop day at The Black Knight was Paths Of Glory (POG), again by GMT games. We do love you so GMT!

POG is a  is a card-driven strategic wargame which manages to cover the First World War in a surprisingly manageable way. Indeed following a relatively brief learning session last Wednesday evening we kicked off the introductory scenario on Saturday morning with very few hitches. 

The POG map covers Europe, parts of Asia and the Near East with armies and corp set-up along two primary fronts (pictured below). We elected to play the introductory Scenario which lasts just three full turns with the Central Powers trying to achieve 14 or more victory points and the Allied Powers looking to keep it at 10 or less for victory. Anything in-between would result in a draw.

Card play is at the heart of POG and drives everything in the the game. Each player has their own deck which is split into three parts, Mobilization, Limited War and Total War. Each of these cards can be played in a number of ways:
  • For OPERATIONS - To activate spaces on the map for movement or attacks.
  • For the EVENT - To trigger the event specified on the card.
  • For STRATEGIC REDEPLOYMENT - To move units longer distances through friendly controlled territory.
  • For REPLACEMENT POINTS - To provide you with replacements for your depleted armies and corps.
POG Cards

 The short scenario that we were playing would only use the Mobilization cards. I took on the role of the Central Powers and MrB played the Allied Powers. I elected to start with the Guns Of August card (optional at the start of the game) in my hand and lead with it to put immediate pressure on the Allies by destroying the forts at Liege to open up the Western front.

German advances in Belgium
 Play was cagey through the first few turns and focused mostly in Belgium around the gap that had been opened up at Liege. I took Brussels, Antwerp and Ostend along the coast and repelled Allied attempts at Metz. By turn three I had victory in my sights and pushed to get over the 14VP target despite being severely limited by some clever Allied card play through the MOLTKE* event (see below).

 It was not to be though as my hard earned VPs were cruelly taken in the last Allied action of the game where Liege fell and cut-off supply to my troops in Cambrai, Brussels and Antwerp. MrB won with the score at 10VPs. Devastating!

Allies cut German supply at Liege
 A great first game of POG, with many lessons learned. Maybe a longer scenario on VASSAL next time MrB?

3/4 MOLTKE * (BR:1 FR:1 IT:1 RU:2)
May only be played in August or September 1914.
CP Activation in Belgium or France costs 1 OPS per unit (not space) until the "Falkenhayn" card is played.

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