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1914 Glory's End/When Eagles Fight by GMT Games  This game box actually contains two separa...

1914 Glory's End/When Eagles Fight by GMT Games 1914 Glory's End/When Eagles Fight by GMT Games

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Ted Raicer

1914 Glory's End/When Eagles Fight


GMT Games

 This game box actually contains two separate games. Ted Raicer originally designed both for (sob) Command magazine. I don't have many of the Command magazines, but the few I have I keep pristine and they are some of my prized possessions. Mr. Raicer was like a prophet in the wilderness when he started designing WWI games. No one was interested in WWI; it was all static trench warfare without any room to maneuver or use any finesse. Oh, how wrong we were. World War I is actually one of my favorite eras to wargame, especially the Eastern Front. There you have sweeping and swirling campaigns. The first game, '1914 Glory's End', is about the first campaign on the Western Front of WWI. So it is about the German army's swing through Belgium to outflank the French and take Paris. This culminates with the 'Race to the Sea' and the 'Kindermord Bei Ypern' (The Massacre of the Innocents at Ypres). While history has taught us that the German reservists were actually closer to middle age, they were still massacred in droves. The second game, 'When Eagles Fight', represents the entire war on the Eastern Front. The chaotic nature of the first and second years of the war come through loud and clear.

 This is what is in the box for Glory's End:

One 34"x22" Map
Two countersheets
Two Player Aid Cards
One Pad of Roster Sheets
One Rules Booklet
One Mini-map 

 This is what you get for When Eagles Fight :

One 34"x22" Map
Two Countersheets
Two Player Aid Cards
One Rules Booklet
Two dice 

 GMT has done a complete overhaul of the original games. Not that the original versions were bad, but usually everything can be improved upon.

 Per GMT the difference from the Command version of 1914 Glory's End:

"The game scale is 9.5 miles per hex and three days per turn. The campaign game runs a full 30 turns, but the new edition will include not only a previously published mini-scenario on the Battle of the Marne, but a short ten turn campaign scenario covering the decisive opening weeks of the war. In addition the campaign games can be played in historical or free set-up versions."

 This is from GMT about the differences in When Eagles Fight:

 "But the new edition of When Eagles Fight is more than just a reprint of the original version. The Random Events Table has been exchanged for a system of random events chits allowing for more events. The effects if the Germans do not launch a Verdun offensive in France-which sometimes threw off the balance of the original design- have been revised. Changes in the stacking rules after 1914 more accurately reflect the effect of trenches on the course of the campaigns. And the map now contains the rail lines removed by Command from the first edition. The game also includes a short alternative-history scenario in which the bulk of the German army goes east rather than west in August 1914."


 This is the Turn Sequence for 1914 Glory's End:

I. Allied Player Turn A. Reinforcement & Replacement Phase (Not on Turn 1)
 B.  Entrenching Phase (Turns 10-30 Only)
 C.  Command Control Phase (Not on Turn 1)
 D. Strategic Movement Phase (Not on Turn 1)
 E.  Operational Movement & March Combat Phase
 F.  Prepared Combat Phase
 G. Attrition Phase (7.12)
 H. Allied Victory Check Phase (Not on Turn 30*) *  On Game Turn 30 make one mutual victory check at the end of the turn, adding in all conditional VPs at that time.
II. German Player Turn
 A. Reinforcement, Replacement & Withdrawal Phase (Not on Turn 1)
 B.  Entrenching Phase (Turns 10-30 Only)
 C.  Command Control Phase (Not On Turn 1)
 D. Strategic Movement Phase
 E. Operational Movement & March Combat Phase
 F. Prepared Combat Phase
 G. Attrition Phase (7.12)
 H. German Victory Check Phase (Mutual Check on Turn 30*)

 This is the Turn Sequence for When Eagles Fight:

The Russian Player Turn is the first each Game Turn. Exception: When play begins, the Russian Player Turn of Game Turn 1 is considered to have already taken place, so play begins with the “Central Powers Regular Movement Phase.”
 I. Random Events Phase (From Game Turns 5 to 24)
 II. New Units & Withdrawals Phase A. Russian  • Reinforcements  • Replacements  • Withdrawals B. Central Powers • Reinforcements  • Conversions  • Replacements  • Withdrawals III. Strategic Movement Phase
 A. Russian
 B. Central Powers
 IV. The Russian Player Turn
 A. Russian Regular Movement Phase
 B. Russian Combat Phase
 C. Russian Attrition Phase
 V. The Central Powers Player Turn
 A. Central Powers Regular Movement Phase
 B. Central Powers Combat Phase
 C. German OberOst Combat Phase
 D. Central Powers Attrition Phase
 VI. Victory Check (Game Turns 2, 6, 11, 15, 20, 24) 

 Both games are listed as a '4' on GMT's complexity 'Meter'. So, they are both easy to get into for the player, and a good step up for new gamers from introductory games. Yet, both still have all the bells and whistles that Grognards love, such as Forts, Cavalry, Strategic Movement, Sea Movement, etc. 

 In 1914 Glory's End the German Player, just as in real life, has to smash through Belgium and its forts as quickly as possible. The German player has a timetable that has to be met if he is to take Paris. The German Player is given the historical choice of invading Belgium or not. If the German Player does not invade Belgium, Britain is kept out of the war for now. If the German Player reaches 20 Victory Points, then Britain does declare war. So you have to juggle the pros and cons of invading Belguim. I think most of us budding generals will choose to follow Schlieffen's thoughts on the matter. The Alied Player must delay the German Player as much as possible. The game shows how the original distribution of the French forces leaves the German Player a small window of opportunity in Northen France. The Allied Player has to play for time until his forces can be moved into Northern France to stave off defeat. The start of trench warfare on the Western Front is very effectively shown by the game's rules.

 When Eagles Fight gives the armchair general the chance to fight the entire war on the Eastern Front in World War I. This game is a strategic one instead of operational like it's brother. In 1914 the roles are reversed in Northeast Germany. The German Player must play for time and avoid being crushed by the 'Russian Steamroller'. In the South the 'Central Powers' Player must decide what to do with the Austro-Hungarian army (although I doubt anyone could do as badly as Franz Conrad von Hötzendorf it's commander for most of the war). Luckily for the Central Powers Player he does not have to worry about Serbia, other than not being able to move the 2nd Austro-Hungarian Army on turn one. The Central Powers Player does have to worry about the Italian Front after turn seven. The game's Random Events are full of opportunities or disasters that both players must work around. The Russian Player is hamstrung by ammunition shortages, just like in reality. The Russian Player has to decide if and when he will go on the defensive and what to do on the German and Austro-Hungarian part of the Eastern Front. Luckily for the Russian Player, the game's rules show the lack of cooperation between the Central Power's armies. The Russian Player is hamstrung by ammunition shortages, just like in reality. The Russian Player also has to worry about the threat of revolution depending upon how the war is going for them. 

 The games do unfortunately come with the maps printed on each side of one sheet. This means that unless you copy one of the maps you can only setup one game at a time. The maps are, however, done in typical GMT Games fashion, meaning that they are very well done with all the tables etc. at your fingertips without making the map look too 'busy'. The counters are your typical 5-6-4 type using NATO symbols. They are 5/8" and are very easy to read, even for old eyes. The Player Aid Cards are also very well done. The components are all up to GMT Games standards.

 These games were one of the few that we could play about World War I when they were released. We now have a multitude of games we can play on the war. Some are much more complex than these two games but I think both games have withstood the test of time, and are still two of the best in depicting their different fronts and scales. The Random Events for When Eagles Fight are only that, and do not dive into the realm of fiction or non-plausible as some games do. Do yourself a favor and pick up this great bargain of two great games for really the price of one. Thank you GMT Games for allowing me to review both of these games.