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 March on the Drina WWI by Princeps Games  Just as envisioned by Bismarck, a great Europeans war did occur because of "some damned fool...

March on the Drina WWI by Princeps Games March on the Drina WWI by Princeps Games

March on the Drina WWI by Princeps Games

March on the Drina WWI by Princeps Games

 March on the Drina WWI


Princeps Games

 Just as envisioned by Bismarck, a great Europeans war did occur because of "some damned foolish thing in the Balkans". The Austria-Hungary grab of Bosnia Herzegovina is where it really started. By foolishly adding more Slavic people to its domains, Austria-Hungary had started the clock on a time bomb. There were two wars in 1912 and 1913 in the Balkans. First between the different Balkan kingdoms and Ottoman Turkey, and then between the Balkan countries over the spoils of the first war. Serbia had close ties to the Russian Empire and had always been at loggerheads with Austria-Hungary, especially after their grab of Bosnia Herzegovina. The bullet from Garolav Princep set in motion a slow starting and moving avalanche that soon crushed all before it. Three empires and their rulers would be swept away by the tide of World War I. Only after the greatest conflict up to that time had taken place did the dust somewhat settle. Many historians now classify the Second World War as just a continuation of the first. Did the freedom fighter/assassin (depending on your view) have any inkling what he had started in motion after he shot?

 The Drina River is 215 miles long and was the western border of the Serbian Kingdom and the Austria-Hungary states of Bosnia Herzegovina. The Austro-Hungarian General in Chief Conrad von Hetzendorf believed that a part of his army could conquer Serbia very easily and then get on trains to fight Russia. This was actually in his timetable structure of the war. The Austro-Hungarian Army and Conrad were in for a very rude awakening. The Serbians fought like lions and not only defeated the Austro-Hungarian attacks, but also pushed some of their forces behind their starting lines. Serbia would not be conquered until Germany, and Bulgaria decided to help the Austro-Hungarians. Even then, the Serbian Army stayed together and helped defend Salonika (in Greece) after they were pushed out of Serbia proper. 

 So, this then is the game. You can either take control of Serbia or the forces of the Central powers (Austria-Hungary, Germany, Bulgaria) against her. The game can be played with two to four players. For a four-player game, both Germany and Bulgaria have a player, and for three player, Germany/Bulgaria is played by one person. This is what comes with the game:

Mounted Game Board


4 Player Cards

13 General Cards

42 Luck Cards

4 National Military Capacity Chart


Minimap Sheets

24 Control Markers

18 Albanian Orders

45 Military Capacity Units

31 Infantry Units

18 Cavalry Units

15 Artillery Units

13 General Units

84 Tokens

84 Counters

 The game components are definitely a mix of a wargame and a Euro game. The mounted map is beautiful, and nice and large for the play area. The map hexes have either clear, city, or impassable terrain. There is no benefit/penalty between a city or a clear terrain hex. The Rulebook is set forth very well and it is easy to follow along, or to look for a particular rule, etc. It is only twenty pages long. Then there another eleven pages of pictures of the fans who helped make the game possible. The nicest touch is that the pictures of these fans were put right on the counters. The unit counters are rectangular and are meant to set into small round stands. This is another part of the Euro game feel to the components. There are small round magnets that can be added to the troop stacks (no more than two per stack). 

  The Sequence of Play is:

 It is played in rounds, with each country's turn as follows:





 This is from the Rulebook:

"Each round is played as follows:

• The Calendar is adjusted to the next period.

• Players apply the effects which that period brings.

• Players play their turns at the order listed above. At the end of his turn, a player collects MCU (Military Capacity Units). When his turn comes, a player decides whether he will move all units, some units or no units. A player decides whether he will engage in combat or not. After that phase is finished, a player collects as much MCU as it is shown on NMCC (National Military Capacity Chart) and in that way he finishes his turn. When all players finish their turn, a round is over, The Calendar is adjusted to the next period and a new round begins."

 The rules for the game are simple. Each unit can only have three strength points assigned to it. Only one unit at a time may attack. So, you cannot try for a two or three hex attack on one hex of the enemy. The Luck Cards mean that you can only guess at your actual attacking and defending strength. A Luck card is drawn by both the defender and attacker. Their value goes from zero to plus three. With its simplicity and the fact that there is no terrain benefit or hindrance the game may put off the real grognard players. This is a shame, because this is a great game to have around to play with newbies to the fold. The game mechanics of building up your forces or rebuilding them is deceptively deep. So, there is some meat there for grognards to chew on. I think the game is a nice change of pace from playing a really in-depth game with hundreds of counters etc. I believe Princeps Games have done a wonderful job on their first game. It introduces players to a very overlooked part of World War I and does it in a simple and easy way. The components are really well done and definitely catch the eye when you open this large box for the first time. 

 Princeps Games second game has been released. It is called 'Downtown Chase'. It is not a wargame, but from what I read it is a good game night Euro game. Links will be below.


March on the Drina:

March on the Drina - Princeps Games

Princeps Games:

Home - Princeps Games

Downtown Chase:

Downtown chase - Princeps Games