Paths of Glory is a game of war. Victory is, therefore the ultimate aim, although players have the option to negotiate peace terms. In most tournaments, a peaceful conclusion will result in both players recording a loss, so it may not be a very clever tactical decision.
The vast scope of the game means that the focus is on the entire war, and not on individual battles. The way this plays out is that most battles are fought with a single roll of the dice by both players, after which things like terrain, army stats, and cards played, influence the outcome. While a single battle is never fought in great detail, the speed at which conflict happens means that players can go through many notable battles that took place during the course of the five years of the war. The full course of the game runs for 20 rounds, which means that each round represents roughly 3 months of the war.
Here are some of the events and figures that are depicted in cards that are played during the game.
- Guns of August: This card can only be played at the beginning of 1914. It depicts the first battles of the war in August 1914.
- Von Francois: Hermann Karl Bruno von Francois was an infantry general in the German army, who helped secure many Eastern Front victories.
- Chlorine Gas: Various toxic gases were used early in the war, but gas masks soon made them ineffective.
- Mata Hari: She was a Dutch exotic dancer and escort, executed for being a German spy.
- Bolshevik Revolution: The revolution unseated Tsar Nicholas II, and caused Russia to exit the war in 1917.
- Rape of Belgium: Belgium was caught between France and the invading Germans at the start of the war.
- Arab Northern Army: This army was assisted by Lawrence of Arabia against the Ottomans.