Paths of Glory – Suicide of Europe The First World War, 1914–1918




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4.3.4 Central Powers War opening options

During his first Action of the August 1914 turn, the CP Player must play one of three special War opening options:



4.3.4.1 Opening Option #1: The Schlieffen Plan:

Historical Note: In the tradition of the Prussian officer corps, Schlieffen was a professional soldier who considered political questions beyond his responsibility. As chief of the German general staff from 1891 through 1905 he developed the famous Schlieffen plan. According to the plan, Germany could solve the problem of war on two fronts by first defeating France in a lightning campaign and then throwing its full weight against Russia. The plan called for a flanking movement by an overwhelmingly strong right (i.e., northern) wing, which was to advance through Belgium and Holland and, in an enveloping move, compel the bulk of the French forces either to fight with their backs to the frontier fortresses or to flee into Switzerland. Much weaker contingents were to hold back the French in the south and the Russians in the east. The plan (which disregarded Belgian and Dutch neutrality) demanded boldness for its execution.

The Schlieffen Plan opening option can be played only in the first CP action of the August 1914 turn, provided the Central Powers declared war on Holland, Belgium and France.

The CP Player must play both the Guns of August card and also the Invasion Holland (Race to the Sea) card.

This assumes Moltke retained the planned invasion of Holland (even though the optimum number of divisions was not available).

Apply the combined War Status consequences of both events (the CP War Status, Combined War Status and Russian Turmoil Status go to 3).

The CP player can execute the Schlieffen Plan opening option by playing both the Guns of August and Invasion Holland / Race to the Sea events.

The Guns of August event is modified as follows:

Transfer the German corps set-up in Danzig to Essen.

The Liege forts are destroyed.

Move the 2nd and 4th Armies to Liege. The 2nd, and 4th Armies are activated for combat. The 1st Army in Aachen and 3rd Army in Koblenz, and the corps in Essen are activated for movement and combat.

The Central Powers Player has one remaining Special Activation Point. This Special Activation Point allows the placement of an activation marker into any space free of enemy units (including Allied controlled spaces).

For this Action only Central Power units ending their move into a space activated for combat may participate in attacks as if they had not moved.

The Central Powers Player draws one card (as part of the event’s effect).

Record the fact that the Guns of August, Race to the Sea and Invasion Holland events have occurred. The two cards are discarded and substituted normally.



4.3.4.2 Opening Option #2: The Guns of August (Moltke Plan)

Historical Note: When World War I broke out in 1914 the Schlieffen plan was employed in a modified form: Moltke eliminated any violation of Dutch territory reasoning that Germany would suffer if Dutch ports (e.g., Amsterdam, Rotterdam, et al.) refused to import materials destined for Germany. Additionally, some at the time felt that the Dutch army was more effective than the Belgians, making the addition of Holland to the list of adversaries unwise. As a result, more than one million German troops were forced through Belgium, creating a logistical bottleneck that stifled the German advance severely.

The Guns of August opening option can be played only in the first CP action of the August 1914 turn, provided the Central Powers declared war on Belgium and France.

The CP Player must play the Guns of August event.

The Liege fort is destroyed. Place the GE 1st and 2nd Armies in the Liege space. The GE 1st and 2nd Armies are activated for Combat, the GE 3rd Army is activated for Movement and Combat.

For the opening action only Central Power units ending their move into a space activated for combat may participate in attacks as if they had not moved.

Record the fact that the Guns of August / Invasion Belgium event has occurred. The card is discarded and substituted normally.



4.3.4.3 Opening Option #3: Russia First!

Historical Note: The Kaiser’s displeasure at the inflexibility of the Schlieffen Plan belied the fact that he had known (and approved) the plan's contents for years. This option assumes the Kaiser mandated a change in plans, adopting a defensive posture on the Western front and turning the German Army to attack the Russians in the East instead.

With the Russia First! opening option, bowing to the Kaiser’s wishes, Germany will devote the main initial effort against Russia rather than against France and Belgium.

As his first action of the war the CP Player may either play the “Eastward” event or take any one of the normal 10 possible actions, as per 8.1.3.

4.3.5 Allied Powers War opening conditions

DESIGN NOTE: This portion of the rules aims to re-create the atmosphere of the first chaotic days of the war, when the opposing Armies were expected to execute the established plans like clockwork, with little or no scope for thinking.

The Plan XVII and “Pantalons Rouges” conditions apply from the France’s entry into the war and last until the end of the turn following France’s entry, or until the end of the Fall of 1914.

These conditions are likely to lead to heavy losses for the French Army, eventually sufficient to convince the French General staff to declare a French General Retreat.

The French General Retreat will in that case replace the Plan XVII conditions, and will normally last until the end of the turn following France’s entry into the war.

The Allied Player has various opportunities to deviate from this path, but doing so may require the investment of resources, or the adoption of a radically different Alternative Plan that would put in question the rationale for joining the war, with severe consequences on national morale (i.e. in VPs).

The Pantalons Rouges conditions reflect the relative disadvantage facing the French Army in the opening weeks of the war. The Pantalons Rouges and the Plan XVII / French General Retreat conditions can only be in place at the same time: lifting the Pantalons Rouges conditions will terminate the Plan XVII / French General Retreat conditions, and vice-versa.

The Élan event provides an additional way for the Allied Player to bring a neutral France into the War in 1914, and provides a combat bonus to alleviate the disadvantage French attacking units face at the beginning of the war. The Élan card is discarded when the Pantalons Rouges conditions are lifted.

A set of special conditions apply from the moment France joins in the war, as detailed below.



4.3.5.1 Plan XVII

Historical Note: Plan XVII had been devised Foch: it was based on the offensive spirit and disposition of the French Army, and on a mix of brute force and of mystical belief in the French fighting spirit.

Plan XVII conditions apply from the moment France enters the war (provided this occurs before the Winter of 1915) and are indicated in the Plan XVII marker card, which is placed on the Played Cards zone as soon as France enters the War.

Note: the Plan XVII marker card is treated as a normal Temporary event; (see 9.5.4.2).

While the Plan XVII marker card is in the Played Cards zone, the following conditions apply:



  • A space containing FR units can only be activated for movement if at least one other space containing a FR Army is already activated for Combat (a space can be activated for movement and combat).

  • As long as they are at full strength FR Armies 1st and 2nd can only attack spaces that contain an enemy unit or Fort, and can only exit the Nancy space as a result of an advance or of a retreat. These restrictions are lifted from each unit individually as soon as they are at reduced strength.

  • As long as they are at full strength FR Armies 3rd and 4th can only attack spaces that contain an enemy unit or Fort, and can only exit the Verdun space as a result of an advance or of a retreat. These restrictions are lifted from each unit individually as soon as they are at reduced strength.

Plan XVII conditions are lifted (and the marker card discarded):

  • if one FR Army between 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th, advances after combat;

  • if the AL Player declares a French General Retreat (see 4.3.5.3);

  • if the AL Player declares a French Alternative Plan (see 4.3.5.5);

  • if the “Pantalons Rouges” marker card is discarded from the Played Cards zone.

  • at the end of the Fall 1914 turn

  • if discarded as a “Temporary” event

Clarification: even if none of the other occurrences come to pass, the Plan XVII marker card will “age” in the same way as any “Temporary” Event Card, therefore the Plan XVII conditions will naturally expire by the end of the turn following France’s entry into the war.

4.3.5.2 French General Retreat

At the start of any Allied Action the Allied Player can declare a French General Retreat, provided Plan XVII conditions are in force and the number of full strength FR Armies between 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th is two or less.

The declaration is made prior to taking the action for the round, and the AL Player can take any allowed action in the round in which a French General Retreat is declared.

Upon declaration of a French General Retreat, the Plan XVII conditions cease to apply immediately. The Plan XVII marker is discarded and the French General Retreat marker card is placed on the Played Cards zone.

While the French General Retreat marker is in the Played Cards zone the following conditions apply:


  • FR Armies 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th can not participate in any attack (even if these units are in a space activated for attack; only the other units present in the space will be allowed to attack).

  • Spaces occupied solely by FR Armies 1st, 2nd, 3rd or 4th can not be activated for Combat.

French General Retreat conditions are immediately lifted:

  • if the CP Player gains control of any space adjacent to Paris;

  • if the Paris Taxis Event occurs;

  • if the AL Player declares a French Alternative Plan (see 4.3.5.5);

  • if the “Pantalons Rouges” marker card is discarded from the Played Cards zone.

  • at the end of the Fall 1914 turn

  • if discarded as a “Temporary” event

Clarification: even if none of the other occurrences come to pass, the French General Retreat marker card will “age” in the same way as any “Temporary” Event Card, therefore the French General Retreat conditions will naturally expire by the end of the turn following France’s entry into the war.

4.3.5.3 Pantalons Rouges

Historical Note: The French Army embraced an offensive vision: the war to recover the lost provinces of Alsace and Lorraine would have been won by a small number of professional heroes, their supernatural offensive spirit easily dispatching the hordes of enemies rising to oppose France.

In this vision numbers and equipment were of minor consequence; French troops were still to be equipped with the famous red pants. The red pants meant French soldiers could be more easily spotted from afar and in the opening weeks of the war led to horrendous casualty rates when the French troops faced the merciless machine gun technology.

DESIGN NOTE: discarding the Pantalons Rouges marker card is a way for the Allied Player to lift Plan XVII and French General Retreat conditions.

Pantalons Rouges conditions apply from France’s entry into the war (provided this occurs before the fall of 1914) and are indicated in the Pantalons Rouges marker card, which is placed on the Played Cards zone as soon as France joins the war.

While the Pantalons Rouges marker card is in the Played Cards zone, the following conditions apply:



  • Defending GE units receive one column shift in their favour when firing on attacking FR units

  • Attacking GE units receive a +1 DRM when firing on defending FR units.

Pantalons Rouges conditions apply as long as either the Plan XVII or the French General Retreat conditions are in place, and are immediately lifted as soon as neither applies.

During any Allied Replacement phase the Allied player can discard the Pantalons Rouges marker by:



  • paying 2 FR RPs if Plan XVII conditions are in effect; or

  • paying 1FR RP if French General Retreat conditions are in effect.

4.3.5.4 The Élan event

The “Élan” unique event can only be played before the Winter 1915 turn, and only while France is neutral or while Plan XVII conditions apply.

It provides 3 OPS points to the Allied Player and also a temporary improvement to the offensive abilities of French attacking units.

The event will also bring a neutral France into the War (in this case a FR Mandated Offensive is recorded).

The card is placed in the Played cards zone, and remains in play until the Pantalons Rouges conditions are lifted.

4.3.5.5 French Alternative Plan

At the start of any Allied Action the Allied Player can declare a French Alternative Plan, provided Plan XVII or French General Retreat conditions are in force, by paying 2VPs.

The declaration is made prior to taking the action for the round, and the AL Player can take any allowed action in the round in which a French Alternative Plan is declared.

Upon declaration of a French Alternative Plan, the Plan XVII or French General Retreat conditions cease to apply immediately.

Discard the Pantalons Rouges marker card and the “Élan” event card if any of these are in the Played cards zone.
5.0 Determining Victory

5.1 General Rules

5.1.1 Victory is determined by the VP level when the game ends.

Each scenario has different VP levels to determine the winner.



5.1.2 The VP level changes for reasons and in amounts given in the Victory Point Table on the Player Aid cards. The VP level can exceed 20 and go below 0 during the game; automatic victory is only checked during the War Status Phase of each turn.
5.2 Automatic Victory

5.2.1 In all scenarios, the Central Powers win an Automatic Victory if the VP total is 20 or higher during segment B.2 of the War Status Phase of any turn.

5.2.2 In all scenarios, the Allies win an Automatic Victory if the VP total is 0 or lower during segment B.2 of the War Status Phase of any turn.
5.3 Introductory Scenario

5.3.1 This scenario ends at the conclusion of the Fall 1914 turn (turn 3).

5.3.2 Neither Player’s War Commitment Level may increase in this scenario regardless of their War Status level.

5.3.3 Do not use rule 16.5.2 (Peace Terms) in this scenario.

5.3.4 The space which the VP marker is in at the conclusion of this scenario is compared to the appropriate levels below to determine the winner or if the game ends in a draw.

Central Powers Victory: 14 or more

Draw: 11 to 13 (the historical result)

Allied Victory: 10 or fewer.
5.4 Limited War Scenario

5.4.1 The Limited War Scenario ends with any of the following:

  • if a Player achieves an Automatic Victory,

  • either Player reaches the Total War commitment level,

  • at the end of the Summer 1916 turn (turn 10), or

  • in a Victory by either Player, or in a draw following an Armistice after accepted Peace Terms.

5.4.2 The space in which the VP marker is in at the conclusion of this scenario is compared to the levels below to determine the winner or if the game ends in a draw.

Central Powers Victory: 17 or more

Draw: 13 to 16 (the historical result)

Allied Victory: 12 or fewer
5.5 Campaign Scenario

5.5.1 The Campaign Scenario ends with any of the following:

  • if a Player achieves an Automatic Victory,

  • at the end of the Winter 1919 turn (turn 20),

  • as a result of an Armistice (16.2.1), or

  • in a Victory by either Player, or in a draw following an Armistice after accepted Peace Terms.

5.5.2 The space which the VP marker is in at the conclusion of this scenario is compared to the appropriate levels below to determine the winner.

5.5.2.1 Victory Conditions

Central Powers Victory: 13 or more

Central Powers Victory: 11 or 12, provided the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk Event was played, otherwise the game ends in a draw.

Draw: 10

Allied Victory: 9, provided:

  • The US joined the War;

  • the Central Powers made an opening declaration of war on France (i.e. the Central Powers are deemed to have been the aggressors) and Paris was never under Central Powers control;

If any of the above conditions are not met, then the game ends in a draw.

Allied Victory: 8, provided the US joined the War; otherwise the game ends in a draw.

Allied Victory: 7 or fewer
5.6 Tournaments and Victory

5.6.1 Either the Limited War or Campaign Scenarios can be used for tournament play.

5.6.2 Players in a tournament should bid VP to determine sides. Each Player rolls a die. Player with high die declares a side he wishes to play AND the amount of VP he will “cede” to the opposing Player—any whole number including a bid of zero.

The opposing Player either accepts the bid (and thus plays the other side), or bids a higher VP number to play the same side.

Bidding ends when one Player accepts the opposing Player’s bid. At the END of the game, the final VP total is adjusted by the ceded points.

5.6.2.1 The VP bid is not considered when determining Automatic Victory. The final VP total is adjusted for the amount of the bid only at the end of the game.

5.6.3 The standard Victory Conditions given in each scenario, 5.4.2 and 5.5.2, are used, except a draw is considered an Allied victory.
6.0 Sequence of Play

Paths of Glory is played in turns, each of which is subdivided into Phases and Segments which must be strictly followed in the order listed below.

A. Action Phase

Mobilization

Each Action Phase is divided into 8 Action Rounds.

Each Action Round allows both Players to take one or more actions.

The Central Powers Player takes his action first in each Action Round.



Exception: starting with the Fall 1914 turn the Allied Player can discard a card at the beginning of a new turn to have a chance to take his action first in each action round: see 8.2.1.

Limited War

As soon as one Player reaches Limited War commitment level, the number of Action Rounds in the Action Phase is immediately increased to 9.

Players still at Mobilization commitment level will have 9 action rounds, but must take at least one “pass” action every turn, or lose 1 VP during the End Turn Phase.

Total War

As soon as one Player reaches Total War commitment level the number of action Rounds in the Action Phase is immediately increased to 10.

Players still at Mobilization commitment level will have 10 action rounds, but must take al least two “Pass” actions every turn, or lose 1 VP per each “Pass” action not taken during the End Turn Phase.

Players still at Limited War commitment level will have 10 action rounds, but must take at least one “Pass” action every turn, or lose 1 VP during the End Turn Phase.


B. End of Turn

B.1. Mandated Actions Phase

Allied Powers Segment:

  • Verify that the Allied Player has taken at least one Voluntary Economic Action during the turn. If not, then the Allied Player suffers a 1 VP point penalty and immediately executes a Mandated Economic Action.

  • Verify that the Allied Player has taken at least one Voluntary Political Action during the turn. If not, then the Allied Player suffers a 1 VP point penalty and immediately executes a Mandated Political Action.

Central Powers Segment:

  • Verify that the Central Powers Player has taken at least one Voluntary Economic Action during the turn. If not, then the Central Powers Player suffers a 1 VP point penalty and immediately executes a Mandated Economic Action.

  • Verify that the Central Powers Player has taken at least one Voluntary Political Action during the turn. If not, then the Central Powers Player suffers a 1 VP point penalty and immediately executes a Mandated Political Action.

Combined Segment

  • Check whether a Player currently at a lower commitment level has taken the required number of “Pass” actions in the turn: if not, he loses 1 VP per each required “Pass” action not taken.

B.2. War Status Phase

Check the Victory Point table and make any changes called for under the “During the War Status Phase” section of the table.

Determine if either Player has won an Automatic Victory.

Determine if an Armistice has been declared.



B.3. End of Turn

Discard (or eliminate and substitute, as required) any “Temporary” Card in the Played Cards zone that was not played in the turn just completed (i.e. cards that were played in an earlier turn). Cards that were played in the turn just ended receive an “ageing” counter. Any “Permanent” Cards in the Played Cards zone are ignored and remain in place.

If the war has not ended and the last turn of the scenario has not been reached, advance the Game Turn marker to the next turn on the Turn Record Track and begin the Sequence of Play again with the Action Phase.
7.0 Mandated Offensives

7.1 General Rules

7.1.1 Each Player rolls once on the Mandated Offensive (MO) Table during the Mandated Offensive segment of his Economic Actions. Place the MO marker on the resulting space on the MO Table.

7.1.2 If the result is a neutral BR, then Great Britain immediately joins the Allies and the BR MO is recorded normally.

If the result is “None” or any other currently neutral nation, there is no effect.



Exception: a FR MO obtained while France is neutral is treated as a RU MO instead (see 4.3.3.2).

If the nation’s capital (both Budapest and Vienna in the case of Austria-Hungary) is currently controlled by the enemy, that nation does not have a MO and the MO is shifted one space to the right on the MO Table.



7.1.3 If the result is a non-neutral nation, the nation listed must place the Mandated Offensive marker to the correct box on the appropriate Mandated Offensive Table to indicate the result.

The Player must conduct at least one attack with units of the indicated nation against an enemy combat unit to move the marker to the “None or Made” space.

If the mandated attack is not conducted before the Mandated Offensives segment of his following Economic Action, the Player will suffer a 1 VP penalty per MO not fulfilled.

This penalty applies even if the nation does not have any units on the map which can make a legal attack.

Note that some events might lead to more than one MO being required at a single point in time.

If the CP Player suffers the penalty, the VP level is decreased by one.

If the Allied Player suffers the penalty, the VP level is increased by one.

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