1914, Offensive à outrance, The Initial Campaigns on the Western Front in WWI realistically covers the battles fought in Belgium, France, and Germany during the first months of World War One.
Historically, Germany launched its armies through Belgium and northern France in an attempt to achieve a quick triumph and avoid a long costly two-front war. The first weeks of the war resulted in a series of German victories that took them to the outskirts of Paris. There, in early September, the French counter-attacked at the River Marne and forced the Germans into a short withdrawal. Subsequently, when the Allied counter-offensive stalled at the Aisne River, the belligerents unsuccessfully maneuvered to outflank each other in what is known as the “Race to the Sea.” The campaigning season ended in exhaustion and stalemate at the Battle of Ypres.
1914, Offensive à outrance (translation: Offensive to excess) is a comprehensively researched model that explores this fascinating set of campaigns with an accurate order of battle and detailed game map. The map encompasses the entire theater of war from the English Channel to the Swiss Border. The game system used is a streamlined derivative of the 1914, Twilight in the East system, modified to speed play, with care not to lose focus on those aspects of warfare that made the opening stages of WWI so unique. This game system, in conjunction with the accurate map, allows the German advance to be conducted along historical routes with the eminent “Open Flank” present (instead of units strung out from map edge to map edge). The Allied player has an opportunity to recreate a “Miracle of the Marne” type victory or to stop the Germans earlier. Likewise, the German player has a chance to change history and defeat the Allies’ armies in 1914.
The Grand Campaign scenario covers the period from the fall of Liege on August 16th to exhaustion at Ypres in mid-November. Two shorter scenarios, The Battle for Lorraine (a learning scenario) and From the Marne to Stalemate are also provided.
1914, Offensive à outrance is a playable “Monster Game” designed with the expressed goal that the majority of the game can be completed by four dedicated players in one five-day long Expo. The 24-page rules booklet is concise, well written and organized. The game is exciting and gives wonderful insights into one of the most important campaigns of the twentieth century. The result is that 1914, Offensive à outrance is a game that the "WW1 enthusiast" must have and that a gaming connoisseur will enjoy.
1914, Offensive à outrance is designed by Michael Resch, winner of the 2007 CSR Award for Best pre-WWII Board Game and Best Wargame Graphics for his design 1914, Twilight in the East (GMT 2007).
Scale and Design Credits:
Time Scale: Game turns vary between two and four days in length.
Map Scale: Eight kilometers per hex.
Unit Scale: Division/Brigade.
Number of Players: one to many (well suited for four players).
Game Designer: Michael Resch
Research and Design Assistance: Rian van Meeteren
Developed by: Dick Vohlers
Map Design Assistance: S. G. Stewart
1960 multi-colored ½” die-cut counters
70 multi-colored ½”x1” counters
Three 22" x 34" mapsheets
24-page Rule Booklet
Two (x2) 8-1/2”x11” Player Aid cards
One 8-1/2”x11” GT Record Track
24 small army organizational displays
Four 6-sided dice