Remembering the Great War in Game Terms

Michael O. Varhola

Strange as it may sound, I have been anticipating this blog post for more than a decade (all the more strange in that I had never even heard the term "blog" at that point). 

Sometime around 2000, however, I began to collect vintage illustrated books, especially ones dealing with history and folklore, in earnest and with a number of goals in mind. One was for purposes of having an ample supply of suitable and interesting images for my own publishing projects, a need that became all the more pressing once I launched Skirmisher Publishing LLC in 2002. Another goal — and one that guided me in the particular sort of history book I was moved to acquire — was my interest in publishing or republishing a number of books during the anniversary years of World War I. As it began in August 1914, that day is now upon us and we are now well into the centennial of the Great War. 

Whether I will fully achieve the ambitious goals I conceived of initially remains to be seen; 2014 has already proven to be a strikingly busy year and for the most part work on the Great War venture has been pushed off in lieu of more imminent projects. We are on track, however, to release a number of related items over the coming months. 

* The first volume of a history of the World War I through images, especially ones culled from European works published during the conflict depicting troop types and other elements unlike those most Americans will be unfamiliar with. Most English-language works on the conflict gravitate toward the Western European theater of war and are weighted toward images of Allied forces. This work will contain, however, a much greater than usual proportion of images depicting the forces of the Central Powers, like those I have chosen to accompany this post (one of the above images illustrates the "German-Austrian-Hungarian brotherhood of arms," while below we can see part of "a bitter night battle between Hungarians and Russians." 

* A licensed collection of high-resolution stock art that other people can use to illustrate their own projects. 

* A Call of Cthulhu adventure that begins in the trenches of Belgium during the Great War and in which the characters are all members of the same Allied unit. 

* One or more game sourcebooks for the OGL v.3.5 and/or Pathfinder game systems or which are system-free. 

We will, naturally, provide more information about all of these projects as they move forward and near completion, so just keep your eye on this space for more about Skirmisher's and d-Infinity's efforts to commemorate the centennial of the Great War!