On June 28, 1914, Archduke Franz Ferdinand, heir to the Habsburg crowns of Austria and Hungary, was assassinated by Serb nationalists in Sarajevo, then the capital of Austrian controlled Bosnia-Herzogovina. The murder of Franz Ferdinand provided an excuse for the Austrian Army’s chief of staff, Conrad von Hotzendorff, to “settle accounts” with the upstart Serbs, and on July 23 Austria presented Serbia with an ultimatum with a 48-hour time limit. The Serbs appealed to their traditional protector, Russia, for help. When Russia mobilized, Germany, Austria’s ally, declared war on Russia on August 1. Having no plans for a war against Russia alone, Germany soon declared war on Russia’s ally, France, and demanded that the neutral Belgian government allow German troops passage through Belgium in order to execute the infamous Schlieffen Plan. This demand was refused, and the invasion of Belgium brought Britain into the war against Germany on August 4. In little more than a month, the murder at Sarejevo had led to the First World War. Over 4 years later, the war ended on November 11, 1918. The three great dynasties that had begun the war, Habsburg, Romanov, and Hohenzollern, had been destroyed. Lenin was waging a civil war for control of Russia, while Austria-Hungary had dissolved into its various ethnic components. The victors, France and Britain, were in scarcely better shape than the vanquished. The United States, which entered the war in April 1917, was disillusioned by the peace that followed and withdrew into isolationism. The Second World War was the result of the First. Paths of Glory: The First World War is a game that allows two Players to simulate the Great War in a fun and historically accurate game. The Central Powers (CP) Player is attempting to use his central position and the quality of his German armies to defeat his numerically superior opponents. The Allied (AL) Player is attempting to bring his larger numbers to bear against his opponent, hoping to avoid a revolution in Russia, at least until the forces of the United States can arrive. These rules are organized into 25 numbered sections and some sections are further subdivided into subsections (for example, 2.1 and 2.2). In a number of places in the rules, you will see references made to rules sections and subsections that are related to the one you are reading.
The Suicide of Europe (SoE) set of alternative rules for Paths of Glory is based on the 2004 PoG reprint. All changes to the 2004 PoG version are highlighted in blue; some paragraphs of the 2004 PoG rules have been deleted as redundant.
Additional components will be required to play with these variant rules; these have been included in a Cyberboard gamebox that can be obtained by contacting the author.
2.1 The Game Map
The game map consists of squares, 8-pointed stars, and circular spaces that are connected to one another by lines. Two spaces that are connected by a line are said to be “adjacent” to each other. All spaces are marked to show which side they belong to initially, the type of terrain they contain, if the space is a port, if the space is a Fort, and whether the space counts for Victory purposes. The four possible invasion beaches of the Allied MEF are noted on the map as well. Some spaces are connected by dotted lines which indicate restrictions on their use; these restrictions are noted on the map. Finally the Sinai space is marked to indicate the combat penalty both sides pay when attacking solely from that space. The game map also contains a number of charts and tracks to record various game functions.
2.2 The Playing Pieces
2.2.1 Combat Units
There are two types of Combat Units: Corps and Armies. Forts are not considered units. Corps represent forces of between 20,000 and 50,000 men and are 1/2" counters. Armies represent large bodies of troops (up to 300,000 men) supported by heavy artillery, air units, etc., and are 5/8" counters. All Armies and Corps are printed on both sides of the counter. The two sides are called steps. The front side of the unit represents the unit at full strength; the reverse side represents the unit at reduced strength.
Note that, for most units, the reduced strength side has a weaker Combat Factor than the full strength side of the unit, while the Loss Factor and Movement Factor remain the same.
2.3 The Strategy Cards
Each Player has his own deck of 73 Strategy Cards, subdivided into 3 groups: Mobilization Cards, Limited War Cards, and Total War Cards. Each side has 18 Mobilization Cards, 26 Limited War Cards, and 29 Total War Cards.
In addition, the Central Powers Player has 66 substitute Cards and the Allied Player 65 substitute cards.
These are utilised by each player to replace the unique event strategy cards as they are removed from play.
Please refer to section 25.0 for a description of all the SoE cards.
DESIGN NOTE: the new decks are made up of the original 55 cards, plus 18 additional variant cards per side (4 Mobilization Cards, 6 Limited War Cards, and 8 Total War Cards).
3.0 Symbols and Terminology
* (asterisk): Events on a Strategy Card with this symbol can only be played once per game. The card can be normally used as an Operations, Strategic Redeployment, or Replacement Points card before and in some instances after the play of the one-time event.
Activated: When a space has had its Activation cost paid for movement or combat during an Action, all the units in the space are considered Activated and can conduct the action indicated by the Activation marker.
Active Player: The Player who is taking an action during his part of the Action Round.
CC: Indicates this Strategy Card is a Combat Card Event, playable in support of combat units.
Note: forts are not considered units, so CCs cannot be played in support of unoccupied forts.
Certain Combat Cards have the phrase “May only be used in one Combat per turn.” These CC cards are discarded immediately after use; they may not affect more than one combat per game turn (See 9.5.4.).
Combat Factor (CF): The combat ability of a unit or Fort. It is used to resolve combat on the Fire Tables. A Fort has a CF equal to the number printed next to it on the map. The CF is a measure of a unit’s ability to inflict damage in Combat. Note that a Corps may be weaker in Combat than an Army with a lower CF number because Armies perform their Offensive or Defensive Fire on a better Combat Fire Table than Corps.
Control of Space: Every space on the map is controlled by either the Allied Player, the Central Powers Player, or is neutral.
Control of a friendly space changes to the enemy when an enemy unit occupies it and there is not a friendly intact Fort in it. If a friendly besieged Fort is eliminated or surrenders, control of the space passes to the enemy immediately. Control of Spaces can also change during the Attrition Phase.
Die Roll Modifier (DRM): The number added or subtracted from a die roll.
Event Name: An underlined Event Name indicates the event is a prerequisite for another event and that there is a counter which lists this Event’s name which can be used as a reminder that this Event has occurred.
Loss Factor (LF): The durability of a unit or Fort to withstand combat. An opponent’s Loss Number must be equal to or greater than a unit’s LF for it to be reduced. A Fort has an LF equal to the number printed next to it on the map.
Loss Number: The result from a Fire Table during Combat.
Movement Factor (MF): The number of spaces a unit may enter during an Action when Activated for movement.
Movement Points (MP): The cost to enter a space. All spaces in Paths of Glory cost 1 MP.
OPS Value: The number of Activation Points which a Player may spend for movement or combat in an Action.
Out of Supply (OOS): This occurs when a unit cannot trace a supply line to a friendly source. An OOS unit is impacted in its movement ability and its combat efficiency will decline and eventually lead to it being eliminated.
Permanent Events: Event Cards that bear a “P” symbol on the upper right corner. These Events are placed in the Played Cards zone when played. These cards remain in the Played Cards zone either until the end of the game or until discarded through other means (as indicated on the card).
Replacement Points (RP): These are used to rebuild reduced strength units and to recreate eliminated units.
RP Box: The nations and the number of Replacement Points recorded when the card is played as a Replacement Point action.
Space: Each location on the map to which a unit may be moved.
SR Value: The number of SR Points a Player conducting a Strategic Redeployment action may use.
Strategic Redeployment (SR): The action by which Players may quickly move units great distances within friendly territory.
Temporary Events: Event Cards that bear a “T” symbol on the upper right corner. These Events are placed in the Played Cards zone when played. Temporary Events receive an “ageing” counter at the end of the turn, and are discarded when receiving a second ageing counter.
Tactical Redeployment: is a peculiar kind of Redeployment where the distance covered by redeploying units is small. It is useful to arrange units in the front line at an affordable cost.
VP: Victory Point(s) used to determine victory in the game.
VP Space: Any space with a red name and red outline. When control of any of these spaces changes, adjust the VP marker per the Victory Point Table.
War Commitment Level: This determines which group(s) of Strategy Cards are allowed to be in each Player’s Draw Pile and also affects the number of rounds that are played each turn.
War Status Number: Some of each Player’s Strategy Cards have this number. When one of these Strategy Cards is played as an Event, both the Active Player’s War Status marker and the Combined War Status marker are increased by this number.
4.0 Game Set-up
Paths of Glory has three Scenarios: Introductory, Limited War, and Campaign. All three scenarios start in August 1914 and use the same set-up given below.
4.1 Marker Set-Up
Place the Game Turn marker on the August 1914 space of the Turn Record Track.
Place the Victory Point marker on the 10 space of the General Records Track.
Place all three War Status markers on the 0 space of the General Records Track. Place the BR Entry / US Involvement Status marker and the Russian Turmoil Status marker on the 0 space of the General Records Track.
Place the GE, AH, Allied, BR, FR, RU Replacement markers on the 0 space of the Replacements Track.
Place the Current CP Russian VP marker on the 0 space of the General Records Track.
Place the Allied and CP Mandated Offensives markers near their respective tables.
Place the US Entry marker in the US Neutral box on the US Commitment Track.
Place the Russian Capitulation marker in the God Save the Tsar box on the Russian Capitulation Track.
Place the BEF marker card in the Played Cards zone
Each Player places eight Action markers near his Action Round Charts.
Place the Move/Attack markers near the Central Powers Player, because he will take the first action.
Place the At War markers for Germany, Austria Hungary, Russia, Serbia and Montenegro in the “Powers At War” areas; place the At War Markers for all other countries on their “Neutral” side and in the respective Replacement boxes.
Place the “Neutral Territory” marker on top of the connections between Sedan and Koblenz and Sedan and Metz, to highlight that these are impassable as long as Belgium remains neutral.
Place all other markers within easy reach.
4.2 Unit Set-Up
4.2.1 Place the units for both the Central Powers and the Allied Players in the spaces listed in section 24. Note that some corps start in the Reserve Box, not on the map.
NOTE: Some spaces have level 1 trenches in them as part of the initial set-up.
4.2.2 Neutral nations do not begin the game on the map. A neutral nation’s units are set-up in accordance with the Set-Up Chart immediately upon the play of the Neutral Entry Event for that nation.
Exception: French, Belgian, Dutch, British and Turk units are placed when these countries join the war: see 4.3 and 126.96.36.199.
4.2.3 Place all other units within easy reach.
4.3 The outbreak of the Great War
4.3.1 The initial set-up is described in section 24. Note that France, Belgium, Great Britain and Holland are Neutral at start.
The Central Powers Player may choose to start the game with any of the following Event Strategy Cards in his hand:
Race to the Sea
Guns of August
The Central Powers Player must inform the Allied Player of his decision. The other Central Powers Mobilization Cards are shuffled and the Central Powers Player draws his initial hand of 7 cards, counting the Guns of August, Race to the Sea and Ober Ost cards if chosen.
Choosing any of these cards as part of the opening hand does not force the CP Player to take any specific opening option (see 4.3.4).
4.3.2 The Allied Player starts with the “Élan” card in his hand.
Shuffle the other Allied Mobilization Cards and deal a further 6 cards to the Allied Player.
4.3.3 The Central Powers Player records a GE Mandated Offensive.
The Allied Powers Player records a special Russian Mandated Offensive: this special offensive can be satisfied by an attack on German units or by the Russian occupation of a space in Germany.
188.8.131.52 First Nations at War
At the start of the game the following countries are at War:
Austria-Hungary (declared war on Serbia);
Germany (declared war on Russia)
Serbia (received a declaration of war from Austria-Hungary)
Russia (received a declaration of war from Germany)
Montenegro (declared war on Austria- Hungary)
184.108.40.206 Opening Declarations of War
After having examined his opening hand of cards and prior to selecting his opening option and action the Central Powers Player may make opening declarations of War on any of the following countries:
An opening declaration of War against Holland results in Holland, France and Great Britain immediately joining the Allies, and is necessary for the CP Player to select and execute the Schlieffen Plan opening option.
If no opening declaration of War against Holland is made, then the CP Player is restricted to the Moltke – Guns of August Plan opening option or to the Russia First! opening option.
Holland remains neutral and will enter the war only if the Invasion-Holland Event is played by the Central Powers Player.
An opening declaration of War against Belgium results in Belgium, France and Great Britain immediately joining the Allies, and is necessary for the CP Player to select and execute the Schlieffen Plan opening option or the Moltke – Guns of August Plan opening option.
If no opening declaration of War against Belgium is made, then the CP Player is restricted to the Russia First! opening option. Belgium remains neutral, and will enter the war only if the Invasion-Belgium Event is played by the Central Powers Player.
Note that the Rape of Belgium event can not be played while Belgium is neutral.
While Belgium is neutral the connections between Sedan and Metz and Sedan and Koblenz are considered to be inactive and impassable (as they would cross into Belgian territory).
An opening declaration of War against Great Britain results in Great Britain and France joining the Allies.
If no opening declarations of War are made against Great Britain, Belgium or Holland, then Great Britain remains neutral.
Note: Paris is a supply source for FR units. London is a source of supply even while Great Britain is neutral.
The Blockade event can not occur while Great Britain is neutral.
No BR Reinforcement Events can be played while Great Britain is neutral.
No BR RP points can be recorded while Great Britain is neutral.
BR units can not be activated nor moved by SR, and BR spaces can not be entered by units of any other nationality while Great Britain is neutral.
A neutral Great Britain will instantly enter the war if:
Belgium is invaded (through the Invasion – Belgium CP event or through an opening declaration of War by the Central Powers);
Holland is invaded (through the Invasion – Holland CP event or through an opening declaration of War by the Central Powers);
Turkey enters the war;
The Allied Player rolls a BR Mandated Offensive;
the BR Entry Status marker reaches a level of 8;
France is in the war and the VP status reaches a value of 15 or more at the end of any Central Powers action.
When Great Britain enters the war, turn the BR Entry / US Involvement Status marker to its “US Involvement” side.
Historical Note: The German mobilization plans required the violation of the Belgian neutrality and implied a state of war with France. In a moment of last-minute anguish Kaiser Wilhelm II requested to General Moltke that the trains at that time transporting the mobilizing German Armies towards the French and Belgian borders be instead re-routed to the East against Russia. Moltke protested that such a last minute change in plans would have thrown the German Army into confusion, so that all chances of victory would have been lost.
An opening declaration of War against France is necessary for the CP Player to select and execute the Schlieffen Plan opening option or the Moltke – Guns of August Plan opening option (see 4.3.4). The “Russia First” option is available regardless of whether an opening declaration of War against France is made.
If no opening declaration of war against France, Belgium or Holland is made by the Central Powers Player, then France remains neutral at start and the opening set-up of the German units is modified as follows:
German Armies 1st, 2nd, 4th and 6th are set up as usual but on their reduced sides.
German Armies 3rd and 5th are set up in Breslau and on their reduced sides;
Any event affecting French units can not occur while France is neutral.
No FR Reinforcement Events can be played while France is neutral.
No FR mandated offensives can be recorded while France is neutral: treat an FR result while France is neutral as a RU MO.
No FR RP points can be recorded while France is neutral.
FR units can not be activated nor moved by SR, and FR spaces can not be entered by units of any other nationality while France is neutral.
A neutral France will instantly enter the war if:
Britain enters the war;
The “Élan” event is played;
France is subjected to a declaration of war by the Central Powers: at the start of any of his future Actions (except the opening action) the CP Player may make a declaration of war on France: following such a declaration France enters the war immediately.
Note: The decision of whether to attack France in the opening Action has a bearing on the Victory Conditions in case the War ends with an armistice, as the Central Powers are deemed to have been the aggressors if an opening declaration of War on France was made.