Yesterday a friend and I played GMT Games’ card driven game on World War I, Paths of Glory. This was a welcome change because I finally got to go up against someone other than my son and it let us play a game that was a little deeper. I’m a big fan of Twilight Struggle and Paths of Glory had been on my short list of games to try that had been sitting on my shelf.
I went through the rules and most of it made sense although I did get hung up on a few things. You have a few more options with your cards than you do with Twilight Struggle and the other thing that’s different is each side gets their own deck that’s split into three phases. When you move on to the next phase, you get to add more cards to your deck and at times, you can have one player with the more advanced cards while the other player is stuck trying to move up.
Neither one of us had played before so we did sort of stumble along. Most of the early action took place on the East Front with Warsaw being a pivotal point. It seems like every time my opponent (who played the Central Powers) was close to taking it, I’d reinforce it enough to hold on. There were a couple of turns (which in most cases represent a three month period of time) where things were literally “All Quiet on the West Front” as neither one of us seemed to want to risk messing around with the larger forces on that side of the map.
Another interesting aspect is each side is given a mandatory offensive each turn and this was what caused me to finally open up things on the Western Front. By the time we finally called it a night, the Central Powers had finally taken Warsaw, but things looked grim for them on the Western Front. We called it a draw and while I think I would have won had we played it out, there were a few things on the map I was worried about.
There’s also a Near East section of the map but not a lot happened down there. This is also a subject of it’s own game, which is basically the sequel to Paths of Glory. Pursuit of Glory focuses and expands on that section of the world during WWI and would be interested in getting that game to try.
Other than the game being really long (we got a late start) it was a lot of fun and education to boot. The box says it has good solitaire suitability but I don’t really see it. Guess I will just have to try it out and see. What’s your favorite card driven game that’s out there? I’m curious to know.