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 The Lamps Are Going Out World War One: 2nd Edition by Compass Games  Let us first take a look at this bemedaled group photo on the cover. &...

The Lamps Are Going Out: World War One 2nd Edition by Compass Games The Lamps Are Going Out: World War One 2nd Edition by Compass Games

The Lamps Are Going Out: World War One 2nd Edition by Compass Games

The Lamps Are Going Out: World War One 2nd Edition by Compass Games

 The Lamps Are Going Out

World War One: 2nd Edition


Compass Games

 Let us first take a look at this bemedaled group photo on the cover.

"In May 1910, European royalty gathered in London for the funeral of King Edward VII. Among the mourners were nine reigning kings, who were photographed together in what very well may be the only photograph of nine reigning kings ever taken. Of the nine sovereigns pictured, four would be deposed and one assassinated.

Within five years, Britain and Belgium would be at war with Germany and Bulgaria. Only five of the nine monarchies represented in the photo still exist today.

Standing, from left to right: King Haakon VII of Norway, Tsar Ferdinand of the Bulgarians, King Manuel II of Portugal and the Algarve, Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany and Prussia, King George I of the Hellenes and King Albert I of the Belgians.

Seated, from left to right: King Alfonso XIII of Spain, King George V of the United Kingdom, and King Frederick VIII of Denmark.

There are several family relations in that picture. For instance, Frederik VIII of Denmark (bottom right) was the father of Haakon VII of Norway (top left), while Wilhelm II of Germany (top, 3rd from the right) was the first cousin of both George V of the United Kingdom (bottom center), and Queen Maud of Norway who was wife to Haakon VII of Norway and sister to George V of the United Kingdom – which made Haakon VII of Norway and George V of the United Kingdom brothers-in-law.

George V of the United Kingdom’s and Queen Maud of Norway’s mother was incidentally Alexandra of Denmark, sister to Frederik VIII of Denmark. This means that Frederik VIII of Denmark was also the uncle of George V of the United Kingdom.

George was a grandson of Queen Victoria and Prince Albert and the first cousin of Tsar Nicholas II of Russia and Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany. The funeral of King Edward VII was the last time all of the great European monarchs would meet before the First World War, the same war that would end most of the monarchical lines of Europe for good. Imagine, they all knew a war was coming, all knew it was going to be between them."

 Okay, now that you have ingested that blurb that would put an Ancestry.Com page to shame, here we go. The First World War, and its terrors, was for many years placed at the foot of Germany and Kaiser Wilhelm II. The event that really sparked it off was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary during a state visit to Sarajevo. With hindsight, and historians poring over records, we now know that the assassination was fostered by certain groups in the Kingdom of Serbia. However, many diplomats thought that this incident would blow over, just as many others did in the preceding years. Back to Germany, and whether it was totally responsible or not. Historians now are torn as to just who was to blame, or was any one nation more to blame than others. The astute Otto von Bismarck had said "One day the great European War will come out of some damned foolish thing in the Balkans" He did however, also say "The Balkans are not worth the life of a single Pomeranian Grenadier." British Foreign Secretary Sir Edward Grey's quote "The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our life-time", is where the title of the game comes from. So, let us take a look and see what comes in the box:

1 22”x34” MOUNTED MAP

•    176 5/8” counters

•    100 Event Cards

•    20 Technology Cards

•    2 Player Aid sheets

•    1 Rules booklet

This is the information given about the game:

Product Information

•    Complexity: Medium

•    Solitaire suitability: High

•    Time Scale: Seasonal turns

•    Map Scale:  Variable-Sized Areas

•    Unit Scale: Field Armies

•    Players: 2-4

•    Playing Time: 4-6 hours

 As mentioned, the map is mounted (something which is happening more and more on the release of games, instead of an upgrade that you can buy separately), so kudos to Compass Games for this. It is an area map, and not a hex one. The map has areas from Scotland to the Ottoman Empire and Moscow in Russia. There is also a box on the left of the map for the fighting in Africa. While Africa was really a sideshow to the whole war, it is a nice touch to include that part of the war. The map is colorful without being gaudy, and I can read everything on it even without my glasses. There are not many maps I can do that with now. The Rulebook, Design Notes, and Player Aid Sheet are all in full color. The rules themselves are twenty-six pages long. Added to it are Designer Notes, and an Extended Example of Play. There is a separate booklet that has the 2nd Edition Designer Notes, and a description of all 100 Event Cards. There are also descriptions of the eight Optional Cards. The Cards all have a separate actual photograph from World War I on them, along with their information. I believe that anything that adds to a player's immersion in a game is a nice touch. The 5/8" counters are great for old hands and eyes. They also come pre-corner clipped for those who it matters to. Seeing as I have never clipped my counters I do not know if that is a good or bad thing to you clippers out there. Even though this is a game about World War I, which usually means high stacks of counters, the scale of the game makes that a non-issue. 

 This is the Sequence of Play:

Faction Sequence of Play

Players execute these phases in sequence for the current 

faction under their control.

A. Event Card Phase (5.0)

  1. Rebuild Event Deck (Spring Turn only)

  2. Draw Event Card

B. Movement Phase (6.0)

  1. Move Armies, Artillery and Tanks

  2. Redeploy Stosstruppen Marker (Germany only)

  3. Move U-Boats (Germany Only)

  4. Move Fleets (WA & Germany only)

C. Combat Phase (7.0)

  1. Resolve Naval Combat (WA & Germany only)

  2. Resolve Amphibious Invasions (WA only)

  3. Resolve Ground, Guerilla & Beachhead Attacks

D. Production Phase (8.0)

  1. Production Modifiers (8.2)

    a. Check Blockade Box (WA & Germany only)

    b. Resolve Events

    c. Resolve U-Boat Attacks (Western Allies only)

    d. Resolve U-Boat Attrition (Germany only)

    e. Receive Transferred Production

  2. Production Spending (8.3, by nation, least to most PP)

    a. Refit Units

    b. Raise New Units

    c. Construct Trenches

    d. Transfer Production

  3. Technological Advances (8.4) (WA & Germany only)

    a. Draw Bonus Technology Cards (by Event only)

    b. Research Technology

    c. Discard G1 Technology

E. Regroup Phase (9.0)

  1. Determine Air Superiority (WA & Germany only)

  2. Reset Heavy Artillery

 'Lamps' plays out in seasonal turns. There are rules for the following Special Combat Units:

Triple Entente Air Superiority
Western Allies Heavy Artillery
Western Allied Trenches

 The U-Boat War is a big part of the game, and just like in history a very big plus and minus for the Central Powers. Unrestricted U-Boat Warfare can really help to tilt the USA to join the fray against the Central Powers. So the CP player must decide whether it is worth it in the long run. The collapse of Russia is just as large an event in the war as the USA joining in. This again shows how the game plays historically, without tying the players' hands. The capture of Berlin or Paris assures an Automatic Victory. Other than that Victory Points are added up by both sides at the end of the Fall 1918 turn to decide the winner.

 The game rules are easy to digest, but it is not an easy game. It puts you in control of either the Entente or the Central Powers at the highest level. You control the destiny of your entire coalition, not just one country. The game is really meant to be two player, but it also plays well solo too. There are also rules to play it as a three or four player game. This is the 2nd edition, but according to the designer it is essentially the same. The game has had some tweaking done to it, and some cleaning up and clarification of certain aspects. Some of the event cards have also been changed. According to the designer, he really wanted to work on the Technology part of the game. Apparently, in the 1st edition, it was possible to have some strange play throughs as far as Technology each side can possibly get. In this edition the designer has made it easier for either side to catch up in Technology. There were apparently some games from the 1st edition that had technology very lop-sided on one side or the other, or at least the possibility of that happening in a game. The inclusion of the 'Rasputitsa' Card in the new edition helps to make the weather in Russia a much more potent and more of a monkey wrench to be thrown into either sides plans.

 I was fully prepared to not really take a shine to the game. I am much more used to having a WWI game with huge stacks of counters that look like man made mountain ranges on a map. A game that plays from this vantage point and with not many areas on the map is not one that I would usually look for. I was very pleasantly surprised in the game and game play. It is a much deeper game than I was suspecting after opening up the box. The game gives each side's player a lot of options. Yes, it does have a meat grinder feel to it with the land war. I am not sure why some people have mentioned this. A World War I game is supposed to feel like a meat grinder. It is the nature of the beast, or at least should be.

 Thank you very much Compass Games for letting me put 'The Lamps Are Going Out' through its paces. Please take a look at their whole line of games, especially the games based on the 'No Peace Without Spain' design. I have all of them and they are excellent, and there are more on the way.


The Lamps Are Going Out:

The Lamps are Going Out: World War 1, 2nd Edition – Compass Games

Compass games:

Compass Games – New Directions In Gaming

No Peace Without Spain:

No Peace Without Spain – Compass Games