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Ok I've gone through the rules and (especially) the cards and noted down any changes I can find, and put them in any fronts which they apply to. I may have missed a few, if so please point them out.
Western Front Changes.
No Austrians on the Western Front. Belgians restricted to Belgium and confined to Antwerp by Guns of August. BEF moved to Cambrai and set up at reduced strength and removed when BR 1st Army and 2nd Army have been played. GofA places a German army in Brussels. Race to the Sea rules extended to Antwerp. Moltke is now Joffre vs Moltke and works slightly differently.
Trench 0 in place everywhere except German spaces neither adjacent to France nor containing a German unit. The French corps in Grenoble cannot move until Italy is played. German War plan requires them to take Cambrai/Sedan (turn 1) then Chateau Thierry (turn 2) then attack Paris. Germans get a VP for attacking Paris for the first time in 1914-15 and again in 1917-19. French War plan requires them to attack Metz or Strasbourg with Nancy. Falkenhayn can?Äôt be played until 1915, unless the German War Plan is cancelled (in order for it to be cancelled it must be initiated: hence non GofA openings for the CP cannot reach Limited War until turn 5.) Fortified Machine Guns is not available in Trench 0. Changes to French Mutiny rules and Kaiser Schlacht rules. Operation Alberich cancels an allied attack against a level 2 Trench. Mine Attack can only be played in attacks from Level 2 Trenches. Royal Tanks Corps is now Allied Tanks Crops and can be used in two combats a turn after Summer 1918, 1 French and 1 British. Can be used in 1 British combat before that. Causes 2 right shifts rather than negating trenches. Everyone into Battle now works as an allied Sud Army and cancels French Mutiny in addition to its usual form.
Especially for those of us in Western Europe, the Western Front was the main front of World War I. Trench warfare, the invasion of Belgium, 'Flanders Fields' all these things are part of the common knowledge of the War. Its not suprising that this front has received plenty of attention from the variant. The changes to the entrenchment rules should slow everyone down a bit, as should the rules hampering movement into clear enemy spaces beyond the first. There is a significant change to the opening in terms of what Guns of August does and the War Plans it triggers and also the Joffre vs Moltke (which used to be Moltke) and Falkenhayn interaction. Moreover there is now a Vp bonus for attacking Paris and winning which should encourage the Germans to play aggressively. The disadvantages of not playing Guns of August are so great that there is now no real choice on the matter: and in turn this means the CP player cannot just stand on the frontier. It might still be possible to fall back to a Brussels to Strasbourg line once the War plans were over though.
The rules changes start to impact again towards the end of the war, with a new bonus for attacking Paris, an altered French Mutiny, and new Kaiserschlacht rules. In addition Americans will probably see the Western Front more often since there is a VP penalty if there has been no American attack and American Armies can no longer deploy in Italy. Its difficult so say what the combined effect of all this will be, but it should make for an interesting game.
German War plan requires them to take Cambrai/Sedan (turn 1) then Chateau Thierry (turn 2) then attack Paris.
..or try, at least.
it should make for an interesting game.
I hope so