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"Verdun to Victory" variant

Ivan Mostinckx, John Loth

Verdun to Victory (VtV) The 1916 Total War Historical PoG Variant

Verdun to Victory (VtV) presents the PoG player with the strategic decisions facing the major opponents of World War I on January 1, 1916. Efforts to win the war on the cheap through blockades and dramatic campaigns on the peripheries had failed. Now players are invited to test their skill by using the ‘Total War’ Event cards of Ted Raicer’s excellent WWI game.

  Too often Standard PoG games end without these cards being really used in their proper context. To solve this we redesigned some of the less played ‘Total War’ Event cards to make them more historic and critical to victory.

  VtV does not strive for a blow by blow redo of actual history. Rather it makes possible events and situations which either did or could plausibly have taken place in during WW1: US intervention and Russian capitulation; the deadlock on the Italian Front; the dramatic Kaiserschlacht offensives, followed with the ‘Everyone into Battle’ allied counter-offensives. Even the deadlock in Italy could have been broken if Ludendorff forgoes offensives on the Russian or the Western Front and redirects resources to Italy. Historically such a campaign was considered a real possibility.

  Conversely, VtV prevents game situations which, historically, could not reasonably have taken place: Bulgarians conquering Egypt; German armies entrenched behind the Rhine; German armies poised at the Italian border ready to blitzkrieg through Italy moment the "foolish" Italians enter the war; the US entering the war without ever seeing a single American soldier on the continent; Italian armies in the Balkans with Anglo-French troops defending Italy, to name a few favorite ahistorical Standard PoG game tactics.

  On a larger scale, VtV explores such questions of how WWI might have played out had there been no great Kaiserschlacht battles or no US land forces on the European continent.

  All changes in this tense, tested, playable, balanced and shorter simulation of WWI are based on detailed reading and historic research. We invite you to read through the VtV rules and the accompanying design notes which put our changes into historical context. To facilitate quick access to each design note and also to learning the rules, there are extensive hyperlinked cross references throughout the document. There is also a four page quick reference of just the rules.

  Thanks to the generous support of Serge Bettencourt we can present PoG players a different, virtually "new game" experience of PoG.

  Note: VtV is best played with Cyberboard only or with Acts and Cyberboard. Contact John Loth if you would like to have an Acts Set-up for a playtest. John can also walk you through a couple of turns; or you can play a favorite opponent posing questions to John and Ivan. Sharks are directed to Ivan who, as designer, is best qualified to discuss strategy and rationale behind certain changes and give a shark a good game.