Now I don't want to give the impression that there are no enjoyable WW1 games out there. This is completely untrue.
Warfare 1917 is a strangely addictive strategy game where you get to play as either the British or the Germans over a series of levels and smash the opposition forces before you.
There's no real story and, as such, no need for an excessive narrative or editing of the conflict. You just make sure you kill the enemy and take their trenches. If you're a Conan fan you might also want to hear the lamentation of their women, but that's not really for me.
Dogfight 1 & Dogfight 2 are a pair of rather joyous flight simulator type games. Although if you can get past the level in Dogfight 2 where you have to protect bombers from enemy fighters then you're clearly a better Red Baron than I.
However during the email discussion about WW1 games with the ISFWWS someone mentioned a table top game called '1914: Twilight in the East' and it's upcoming sequel '1914: Offensive a Outrance'.
Here's a picture.
Now I haven't really got the faintest idea how these indepth tabletop military games work. I know how to play Risk (and I love Risk) but this seems unbelievably indepth.
And yet I couldn't give a damn. I want it. I don't know if I'll ever be able to work out how o play it, and yet I want it nonetheless. Defending against (or initiating) the Schlieffen Plan over the course of numerous hours strikes me as a rather fitting way for me to waste time under the pretence of actually doing work relevant to my thesis.
After all, I can't really discuss the British impressions of the French Army in 1914 if I haven't tried commanding it myself can I? Thought not.