The Megagame Archive
Price of Victory
Designer(s): Andy Grainger Date:21 October 2007 Number of participants: c. 40
Venue: St Olav's School, Orpington Quote of the Game:
Game Description
The megagame of the Battle of the Somme 1916
In November 1918 the British Army was the most powerful in Europe having just won the greatest victory in its history. But the price had been high. Nearly three years before, its commander, Douglas Haig, had said “I do not have an Army in France really but just a collection of Divisions”. The Battle of the Somme launched on 1st July 1916 had two aims – to relieve the French at Verdun and to demonstrate the total commitment of the British Empire to the defeat of German militarism.
The Army that was available for this task was the largest ever raised by Britain – but was both inexperienced and under-equipped compared with its allies and its enemy.
The Somme still remains one of the most controversial battles in British history. The Price of Victory sets players at GHQ, Army and Corps levels in the British, French and German forces.
At the battlefront the forces will be locked in titanic struggle, trying to make best use of artillery, aircraft, gas, tanks and other weapons. But, higher up, the politicians will be asking whether the price of victory is too high. Is there not another way? Or should we replace you and find another man? Perhaps he will be able to find it?
Will General Haig win his Napoleonic bataille de rupture, shatter the German front and become the new Marlborough or Wellington? The German Supreme Command will not wish to withdraw forces from Verdun. “Was wir haben, halt’s”. What we have, we hold. But at what price?
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© Megagame Makers 2006