Information
Designer
Publisher
Year Published
1968
# of Players
2
User Suggested # of Players
Best with 2 players
Recommended with 1, 2 players
(4 voters) [poll]
Mfg Suggested Ages
12 and up
Playing Time
360 minutes
User Suggested Ages
14 and up
(4 voters) [poll]
Language Dependence
Some necessary text - easily memorized or small crib sheet
(4 voters) [poll]
Subdomain
(5 voters) [vote]
Category
Mechanic
Expansion
Primary Name
1914
Alternate Names
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ObjectID: 4962
Description Edit | History

1914 is a traditional hex and counter wargame that attempts to simulate the opening phases of WW I on the Western Front. This was James Dunnigan’s second game for Avalon Hill. Like many wargames combat is resolved through the use of dice and a Combat results table (CRT).

The players accumulate victory points by occupying 24 key areas at the game end as well as points for enemy units destroyed. The Eastern Front with Russia is abstracted and the German player may receive victory points for deploying part of his initial forces there, and will lose points for invading Belgium, Luxembourg or Holland. The player who most effectively wears down his opponent and holds geographical objectives will win the game.

This game is particularly complex in comparison to other Avalon Hill games at the time. Not only does it have a 34 page rulebook, use unit facing, supply line limitations, and a CRT, there are also multiple options for fog of war (counters turned upside down or dummy counters), and step losses for units. There is a short and long version of the game as well as cards for several variants. Several options such as simultaneous movement and delayed commands require a third player as a referee. The long version of the game may take multiple sittings to accomplish.

While not an easy 'game' to play, 1914 is a rewarding simulation both innovative for its day and enjoyable to play. While this game is very different from other games from the period and has a couple of faintly tedious mechanics it is worth the effort and can be quite exciting to play. By today's standards we would like to see forced march and some command hurtles for the over extended Germans but one could say something similar about most old games. This game does not allow players to ramp up a decided combat advantage from a god's eye point of view. No individual combat is decisive and one can only manage this not overcome it. The game needs to be played with all its bells and whistles (minus those requiring a referee) and when one bothers to do this they find an intriguing game of deception where planning pays off.

For those who do not have the revision kit:

Forced March:
Each unit rolls on a D6 (as I recall this is limited to infantry and cavalry units)
1,2 Cannot move at all.
3-6 Gain 1 mp.

The Plan 17 rule requires the French to make 6 attacks on turns 1-3.

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More Information Edit | History

From "The Avalon Hill General Index and Company History, 1952-1980"

1914 (1968) Discontinued 1973
Freelance design revised by Avalon Hill
Designed by James Dunnigan

1914 was a sales success. Unfortunately, it was a lousy game. The mapboard, though innovative for its day, was an unplayable monstrosity and the rules suffered from being incomplete. Perhaps it was too good a simulation in reflecting the trench warfare of World War One because it sure wasn’t much fun to play. Convinced that it was losing them long range customers, the game was discontinued despite continuing relatively strong sales.

I strongly beg to differ with the above 'opinion' and will provide my own. Consider the above statement one players opinion. You can certainly find the above criticisms echoed over the years but I strongly doubt the majority of this originates from contemporary players writing in the games prime. The above commentary evinces this by implying that the simulation may be boring because it simulates trench warfare. 1914 is not about trench warfare. It is easy to tear apart a game design in retrospect especially if you haven't actually played it.

While not an easy 'game' to play, 1914 is a rewarding simulation both innovative for its day and enjoyable to play. The game is neither incomplete nor any more unclear than most other games of the day. And the map is beautiful and works just fine. While this game is very different from other games from the period and has a couple of faintly tedious mechanics it is worth the effort and can be quite exciting to play. By today's standards we would like to see forced march and some command hurtles for the over extended Germans but one could say something similar about most old games.

This game does not allow players to ramp up a decided combat advantage from a god's eye point of view. No individual combat is decisive and one can only manage this not overcome it. The game needs to be played with all its bells and whistles and when one bothers to do this they find an intriguing game of deception where planning pays off.


Magazine References:

The GENERAL Index Article List:

Magazine References:

  • Number 56 Nov-Dec '72
    • 1914 - "Let's Play 1914" (Review), Chuck Holland

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1914
Nick: 
Avalon Hill First Edition
Publisher: Avalon Hill
Artist: 
Year: 1968
Product Code: 714
Size: 14.50 x 11.25 x 1.50 inches
2.70 pounds
English
Release Date:  
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6 1914.doc
Questions and Answers taken from The General magazine
2006-10-26
8 1914 Components.txt
1914 Game Components
2005-06-10
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Statistics
Board Game Rank: 8625
War Game Rank: 2110
Num Ratings: 199
Average Rating: 5.62
Standard Deviation: 1.62
Num Views: 52851
GeekBuddy Analysis: Analyze
Similarly Rated: View
Avg. Game Weight: 3.7
Fans: 15
Personal Comments: 110
Users Owning: 540
Users Wanting: 8
Users Trading: 31 [find trade matches]
Has Parts For Trade: 5
Want Parts In Trade: 0
Price History: View
Total Plays: 109
Plays This Month: 0
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Num Ratings 2
Average Rating 7.00
Average Weight 0.00
Num Owned 19
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Want in Trade 8
Wishlist 11
Comments 3
Year Published 1969
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