Friday, 8 July 2016


#2 PATHS OF GLORY (1999)

A standard opening move for the Central Powers:
Liege falls and the German Army pours westward in the Guns of August

Before commenting on this illustrious title, just a reminder that this list is not a consecutive count-down of my favourite games. Instead, these are five games that currently sit at the top of my 'appreciation' list. To me, all deliver a satisfying blend of depth of play, historicity, quality components and fun! They also repay repeated play (if you get a chance, which is a challenge in itself in this hobby, though Vassal certainly helps!).

So, Paths of Glory (PoG) - a grand strategic, card-driven duel between the Allies and Central Powers of the First World War. Designed by Ted Raicer, this was one of the early CDG designs and given the fact that it is now into its 3rd or 4th Edition and remains a favourite at gaming tournaments, has stood the test of time. PoG deserves a place in every serious wargamer's collection, and what better time to achieve that, but when the centenary of WWI events are still being commemorated around the world?

Like any CDG, PoG rewards replay as this builds your awareness of the cards and strategies associated with how best to employ them, and when. I am not going to pretend to have any particular expertise to offer on strategic game play in PoG. I don't. Instead, I am still a traveller embarking on an absorbing and fascinating journey into the world of hard decisions and strategic agony that is PoG. Each card has multiple capabilities, but which to choose? Shall I use its 'ops' value to plug a gap in the line or ready for an attack? Move and attack....? Forget it....this is WWI and it takes TIME to prepare many of your offensives. Shall I play a reinforcement card, knowing that this hands the initiative to my opponent? Will I use that high value card for replacements, but leave my line open to exploitation in the process? Do I exercise that high-ops value event NOW? On the one hand, this one has an asterisk and will leave the game, robbing me of those ops into the future. But on the other hand, not playing it will prevent me from progressing to the 'Limited War' deck to gain an edge on my opponent.

Gnhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......that's the sound of my brain burning, and such is the engrossing power and attraction of PoG!

After quite a long hiatus, I recently returned to PoG and have played several games, all of which found some kind of game winning/losing resolution - or simply ran out of time on my table - before reaching the 'Total War' deck. I'll get there one day!

My recommended book companion for PoG is:

The First World War by Australian historians, Robin Prior and Trevor Wilson is a handy overview of the entire conflict, crammed with illustrations and thoughtfully drawn maps. There is a useful chronology at the front and each chapter covers a single year of the conflict.


  1. Random observation but...did you take the photos of the games yourself? A couple of great shots in there.

    1. Unless attributed to a source, I took these myself. Luckily, when discussing my favourite games, I tend to have a copy of my own so can set up for a 'photo shoot' :-)