The Great War is famously known for the mud and gore (you thought I was going to say blood) of the trenches from the channel to the border with Switzerland. This is a modern conflict with very little interest in the gaming community. Convention games for this conflict often involve trenches and hoards of tanks. Players often want to command the Mark IV and V tanks as they overrun the German trenches.
While these can be fun games, the war was fought in the desert of North Africa, the swamps of southern Mesopotamia, to the fridge Eastern Front. Add in the Balkans, Italy, sub-Sahara Africa, China and the Pacific and the fronts for World War I are more dynamic than people think. This is a period with technology in flux. Horses, oxen and mules pull artillery. Troops travel in taxis, double-decker buses, trucks, steamship and on foot. Messages are by telephone, radio, runners, heliograph or dropped by aeroplanes (next I will be saying aerodrome).
So now you can see why The Great War in the Middle East is so compelling. Here I have Turks in the trenches in Palestine, Australian Light Horse charging Turkish positions in Syria, and Indian Army conducting riverine operations in Mesopotamia. And did I mention Russian cavalry in Persia. All good stuff.
So what do I use for rules?
Well my friends over on Lard Island offer several period rule set. While I am a fan of Through the Mud and the Blood, these rules only cover skirmish rules for the Western Front. At some point, I guess either myself or another would be game designer in training will add Turks and Anzacs to the mix. We do have If the Lord Spare Us, a battalion level system that can cover most of the engagements for the war in the east.
The game system is based around the leadership system and open-ended turns. A player does not know when the turn will end or if he will be able to move all of his or her troops. The side with the superior generalship will often be able to move his forces more often.
That said, an underdog in a scenario can often inflict a defeat on an over confident opponent. I hope you will look these rules over and give them a try.
“…Til we meet again, if the Lord Spares Us”.