There are many ways to commemorate the centenary of the First World War (1914-1918), a historic cataclysm that indeed shaped modern history. One can attend memorial events, pay tribute to the ancestors at their statues or graves, visit the military exhibitions or just read some of the vast amount of history books published on the occasion of the 100th anniversary of the “Great War”. However, if you are not only into history but board games too, you can take a different strategy of remembrance as well. All you need to do is support and play “Heroes of the Great War: Limanowa 1914“, a brand-new Hungarian board game that has just hit Kickstarter.
The tactical war board game, which is intended to be the first installment of a series, is based on the events of the Eastern Front of the Great War. In December 1914, the armies of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy and the Russian Empire faced off in the region of Galicia and the Carpathian Mountains. The stakes were high – the battle was a turning point on the Eastern Front, as a victory here would open the way straight to the heartland of the enemy. According to the creators of the game, “Heroes Of Limanowa” is one of the few “historically accurate” board games. All units and features are based on historical events and real-life military tactics. The miniatures in the game are exact representations of the armies of the Great War – guns, uniforms, beards and moustaches. The generals’ skills are based on their life and battlefield prowess, and unit abilities represent their real-world functionality. Even the town layouts look similar to their real-life counterparts.
The players’ goal is to lead their side to victory by accomplishing a set of historical strategic goals – which they can only achieve in close cooperation with their ally. The players control three main types of units during the battle: infantry, cavalry, and artillery. Each unit miniature represent a sizeable military force on both the Austro-Hungarian and Russian side. These units have different combat values and special abilities which influence their tactical and strategic utility. As generals, the players can give their units ad-hoc or secret orders, represented by 40 different – either strategic or artillery battlecards. The more cards a player possesses, the bigger his or her chance to win the smaller encounters or to counter the enemy’s maneuvers and actions. Moreover, during the battle, the geography and weather can also be factors to be reckoned with, since game board precisely displays the battlefield with forests, heights, settlements and strategically important roads and railway lines.
Since most historical war games are too overwhelming for casual players and many war-themed board games are too simple for hardcore wargamers, the creators vowed to design Heroes of the Great War: Limanowa to be fit for both groups. One can play the simplest version even if he or she rarely plays board games, or use and master the vast array of options the game has to offer to create a complex and realistic battle simulation. Furthermore, the unique modular structure of the game board ensures replayability and variety: the game board consists of four pieces, and each piece in itself can host its own minigame. Players can play either a long, several hour campaign on the big board, or a short, 1-hour skirmish minigame on one of these pieces.
On Kickstarter you can pledge between £8 and £80 plus shipping costs to purchase the different editions of the board game even before they hit the shelves of the retailers. The most tempting offer may be the all-in-one “Hussar Colonel Box”, which includes not only the base game, all the miniatures and stretch goals but a metallic Acting Player badge as well. This box is only available during the Kickstarter campaign, and will not be released in retail.