The Great Wargame

Map and dragoons

The big project of Graphic Wargames this year is to create a graphic story based on the 1914 campaign in north-western France and Belgium, using the excellent recently published design by Mike Resch, ‘1914, Offensive à Outrance’ (GMT Games).  Mike has kindly given me access to the game graphics which will enable me to make a graphic AAR of the campaign.  My intention is to follow the fortunes of two soldiers, one French and one German, throughout those dramatic first months of the war, and to make a graphic novel out of their story.

‘1914, Offensive à Outrance’ will tell the story at the level of division/brigade:

Armies mapFirst Army

Then there will be a ‘window’ from division to battalion level (as in the lower illustration above), using the rules of ‘La Fleur au Fusil’ (Vae Victis) to fight the engagements in which the characters’ divisions are involved.

Further ‘windows’ will simulate the action at platoon and finally squad/individual soldier in order to tell exactly what happens to my two fictional characters, and the result will be made into a graphic story.  The game will write the story.

This is obviously a BIG project, and my idea, if I get enough interest in the project, will be to publish the story serially as part of an emagazine which will involve other stories from other games (like the ‘En Pointe Toujours’ sample in my first post).  In future posts I will outline ideas I have been working on for other games.

Please do drop me a line at ian.hamilton@sfr if you are interested in being put on the provisional list for a future emagazine.

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4 responses to “The Great Wargame”

  1. Robert Lloyd says :

    Dear Ian

    A very interesting project. I saw your ideas for graphic AARs recently and thought you were very much on my wavelength. That is that the AAR format is a very important means of promoting war games – but something needs to be done to make them more accessible and interesting.

    I try to do this myself and you will find some examples scattered over the internet – including a Paths of Glory as a play in 20 parts. I often try humour.

    My latest project is also very big as it is a full report on a campaign game of Der Weltkrieg by SPW/Decision – which is my own WWI memorial project. It is called The Great Aar and there are so far 21 chapters published on the consimworld thread – only another 30 to go. It is not written in one style, some chapters are straight reportage and others are based on characters caught up in the game world. There are also sections of analysis and lots of maps.

    I would certainly like to hear more about what you are doing. I have a little familiarity with La Fleur au Fusil as I looked at that when I was designing a game on the Ardennes Offensive in 1914 last year. This was on the Kings College Consim MA module.

    Robert Lloyd

    • ianhamilton2014 says :

      I am glad to hear someone else is doing a large AAR of ‘Der Weltkrieg’. I was going to use David Schroeder’s excellent design for this project, but the detail in ‘1914, Offensive …’ was the deciding factor for me. If ‘The Great Wargame’
      is a success I am thinking of carrying on through the war with ‘Der Weltkrieg’, and expanding the characters to British, Austro-Hungarian, Russian, etc.

      • Robert Lloyd says :

        I will be interested to see Offensive a Outrance in action. I admired TiTE – the map especially. I will buy OaO just for the map and OOB.

        Is the Battle of the Frontiers mandatory or induced by a bribe or does it somehow make rational sense. That is my reverse order of preference.

        How are the French gearing up for the centenary? The wargame community there seems quite healthy as far as I can tell.

  2. ianhamilton2014 says :

    The Battle of the Frontiers is induced, but in a clever way, I think, with set geographical objectives for various French armies at the start. These plans can be abandoned at any stage – the distance measured from the objective when the plan is abandoned then determining different victory point totals to the Germans.

    There is a lot of interest in France over the coming centenary, with the bookshops laying out a wide spread of publications on the ‘poilus’ and their tragic efforts to save ‘la patrie en danger’. There are a lot of new graphic novels, too, on the subject – graphic novels being very popular here. You never know – I might be able to add my own to the list!

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