The Schlieffen Plan

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Now included as part of The Western Front: 1914 – 1918.

The Schlieffen Plan: covers the campaign in Belgium and France from August to November 1914. In this simulation, you assume the role of either the German or Allied armies. The forces available to you are the same that were available to the historical participants. But it is up to you to make your own strategic decisions, and to execute your own plans as you see fit.


August 1914:

The Germans move towards war according to the Schlieffen plan. As chief of the pre-war German general staff, von Schlieffen envisions a powerful group of German armies (the Right Wing) quickly moving through Belgium and northern France to attack Paris from the rear, while weaker forces protect the German border with France.

France mobilizes according to their own ‘Plan 17’. This offensive-minded plan calls for the bulk of French forces to quickly re-conquer those parts of France lost to Germany in 1870. To do this, France masses her armies along the German border between Belgium and Switzerland.

As the Schlieffen plan is executed, tiny Belgium is invaded by four separate German armies. The Germans believe that the Belgians will offer no resistance, or will be quickly swept aside by their might. But Belgium does resist, fighting on in the face of hopeless odds, even as the Germans employ secret weapons like the massive ‘Big Bertha’ guns.

As events quickly unfold, Great Britain lands an expeditionary force in France to help defend Belgium and assist France. It meets the German juggernaut as it pushes through Belgium.

The French, meanwhile, incur huge losses when they execute ‘Plan 17’. They now rush to stop the Germans from reaching Paris.

The plans of both sides fail, due not only to mistakes in execution, but due to causes that could have been forseen and acted upon. As a result, neither side is able to achieve its objectives, and the consequence is the stalemate of trench warfare.


Components:

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  • Scale: 20 km per hex
  • 4 days per turn
  • Unit Sizes: Division / Brigade
  • 680 Backprinted Counters
  • One 34″ × 22″ Map

 

Playtests

Setting up for the Schlieffen Plan scenario
Setting up for the 1914 scenario.

Opening Phase of the Schlieffen Plan -at Liege
August 1914: The advance past Namur.

The German drive gets underway.
The German drive gets underway in earnest.

The larger picture of the intial drive
The larger picture of the Western Front in August 1914.

The aftermath of Plan XVII
August 1914: the impact of France’s Plan XVII.


The Frontier Battles.