Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Battle of the Bulge Campaign Round 1

This week we've started a small Battle of the Bulge campaign for Flames of War with my new gaming group. In this post I will explain how the campaign works and show pictures and results from the first round of gaming. Our campaign will roughly follow an escalation format. It is similar to Battlefront's Firestorm campaigns in that players play games to determine if territories with victory points are captured or not. This campaign is different in that there are no firestorm troops or supply. Each game is fought between evenly matched armies using standard Flames of War rules for determining attacker and defender. Read on for campaign mechanics and round 1 reports.

Battle of the Bulge Campaign Mechanics
At the end of the campaign, once I have everything ironed out, I will publish a little pdf on running your own campaign. Here are the campaign rules in brief:
-The Axis and Allied teams both have a Supreme Commander who decides where the team will be attacking, what territory they will be attacking from, and which companies will attack and defend at each location (chosen in secret)
-I have a chart for each game showing who makes a strategic attack, how many points the game is played at, and the scenario to be played
-games are played using the standard Flames of War rules for missions and attacker and defender
-If the Strategic Attacker (attacking on the map) wins the game, the Strategic Attacker gains that territory
-In the case of a 6-1 victory, they gain an additional territory chosen by the Strategic Defender
-If the Strategic Defender wins they have protected the territory
-If the Strategic Defender wins 6-1 they have pushed the enemy back and gain control of the territory the Strategic Attacker attacked from
-Tactical Victory Points are decided by the victory points accumulated in games
-Strategic Victory Points are decided by the victory points accumulated from captured and lost territory (change from original victory points determines the winner)

Campaign Map
I used Photoshop to build a crude map that I could modify for each game. The map below shows the territories initially controlled by each side.

The players
The gaming group I recently joined has some new players. We decided to do some escalation games to help people get their new armies on the table. For this reason, some of the armies in these campaign pictures are unpainted.

Round 1
For round one we actually played four games in total as we had five players for game night. The Axis team captured Malmedy in the first game and so the second game was fought at Malmedy as well. For round 1 we played 1000 point companies and used the Free for all mission (to avoid reserves for our tiny companies).
Game 1: Malmedy
In game 1, Glen's captured Soviets (he didn't know he was Axis, oops!) attacked Kip's Canadian Infantry at Malmedy. Despite a valiant defence, Glen's T-34/85 flame tanks broke through the Allied perimeter and capture Malmedy.
Result: 5-2 Axis Victory, Malmedy captured by Axis
The destroyed M10s leave the infantry in a bad position.
Game 2: Wiltz
As Glen's company was attacking at Malmedy, Patrick's Fallschirmjager launched an ill-conceived offensive against the entrenched US 2nd Infantry Division at Wiltz. Despite a valiant attack, the Fallschirmjager were soundly defeated and routed, abandoning Beaufort and failing to capture Wiltz.
Result: 6-1 Allied Victory, Allies capture Beaufort
Fallschirmjager advancing through the town.
Game 3: Malmedy
After losing Malmedy in game 1, Kip's Canadian infantry were looking for revenge when they attacked Malmedy with only a Panzer Lehr Panzer company protecting it. The Panzer Lehr aggressively attacked, only to get stuck in the woods and lose horribly after poorly protecting their objectives. The Germans were soundly defeated and retreated all the way back beyond Losheim.
Result: 6-1 Allied Victory, Allies capture Malmedy and Losheim
Turn 2, panzers assault for the second time and bog and bail to destruction.
Game 4: Bastogne
After the disasters at Malmedy and Wiltz, Glen's captured Soviets made a desperate push for Bastogne. With the 2nd Infantry Division surrounded, the Soviets charged in and captured the city in dramatic fashion. The Allies, stunned at the loss of Bastogne after touting the defenders in the propaganda, hastily retreat as the Axis forces capture Bastogne and Sibret.
Result: 6-1 Axis victory, Axis capture Bastogne and Sibret
2ID in the woods
Round 1 results
After 1 round the tactical and strategic scores are quite close. The Germans forces have forced a bulge in the line around Bastogne but are at risk of being surrounded and cut off if they don't protect their flanks.

The first week saw lots of action and lots of territory changing hands. Check back soon for more updates on our campaign and to see if the Germans will reach the Meuse or if they will be surrounded and destroyed!


  1. I like how you've done this. Good for new players to get into the game and not feel pressured to play their "A game" like in a tournament environment.

    1. Thanks Dai. Our group is pretty competitive, so there definitely aren't any easy games even though it is a campaign.

  2. That looks fricken cool, nice work mate, I look forward to part 2

    1. Thanks Dave. I've been meaning to post an AAR after you commented on that in my 2014 goals. If you are interested in doing the campaign, I can send the stuff I have for it to you at the end once I have made sure it all works.

    2. Perhaps you could add a something along the lines of a "Download" tab and include the data there. Excellent work!

    3. I will do! Thanks for the suggestion. I'll wait until the end of the campaign and get a bit of feedback on how things went before putting it up. Next round is starting up on Sunday.


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