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Lawrence Hung
Hong Kong
Wan Chai
Hong Kong
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Faded Memory: Guns of August

Avalon Hill's, and in the history of wargame, first major attempt at the First World War on a grandiose scale. All the European theatres, Eastern, Western and Balkan fronts, are covered. The game is rich in historical flavour with thousand of infantry counters pushing forward and backward along the frontline. Though true to the historical realities, the game's playability is very much constrained by the nature of the trench warfare and limited breakthroughs due to the lack of mobility of the infantry divisions. Coupled with a rigid sequence of play system which was very much characterised in the beginning of development of the commercial wargames, the static combat results table often leads to exchange of losses at both sides. With abundance of troop supply, the front is static and troop advance is difficult. The result is a game which simulates the warfare with the correct emphasis at the expense of a good gaming experience. It was a typical AH game at that time with rigid Zone of Control (ZOC) and sequence of play. It cannot be more significant than it could have be and was, just like the First World War, quickly over-shadowed by other games of conflicts in the wargame history. Since then, I never become interested in First World War again.
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John Griffey
United States
Houston
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Good simulation
This realistic yet simple and playable game has a sophisticated neutral variable entry rule which has never been surpassed. It nicely captures how the Allied blockade slowly eroded the will of the Central Powers. Its use of cities as generators of resource points is reasonably accurate, and makes players fight for every city. It is slow, yes, but so was the war.

It chose to ere on the side of realism over playability, so it lacks the chrome which later WWI games use, such as tactical and strategic air power, aces, poison gas, and personalities, none of which were decisive.

It could easily be improved with a few tweaks. The scale (30 mile hexes, monthly turns)is good for the subject and has been re-adopted by several later games. I thoroughly enjoyed this game, and own two mauled copies.
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