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Axis & Allies: Battle of the Bulge» Forums » Sessions

Subject: An Nailbiter in the Ardennes rss

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rick nichols
United States
San Antonio
Texas
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This was my third game of Axis and Allies: Battle of the Bulge, so I had some ideas as to how to manage the supply system and the unique combat system in which attacks take place before movement (alternating between Germans and Allies). Kirk decided he wanted to give the Germans a shot so I took over the Allies.

My forces fared fairly well in the first part of the attack. A good number were retreated rather than being destroyed and I held onto Clarveaux for a turn in the south and St. Vith for several turns in the center. I tried to make sure that he captured as few supply tokens as possible. The big choice that I had to make in the early game was: should I give ground, thereby augmenting my force pool, or should I hold my position, knowing that the few units left to stall the advance had an infinitessimally small chance of survival. I decided to go with the latter approach. I realized that the German Achilles Heel in the game is supply. If I simply pulled back it would cost the Germans one supply to advance into the vacated space. However, if I held my ground, the Germans would have to spend a supply to attack the unit left behind and another supply to move forward. In addition, I decided whenever possible I would counterattack his hexes that I could reach that contained supply.

The German attack picked up steam making an steady advance across the front with a strong infantry/artillery force on the northern and southern flanks and two giant armored fists, one in front of Bastogne and the other before Trois Ponts. I pumped a large amount of troops into Bastogne and the northern most cities (a source of many victory points).

This was where the other key element of my strategy came into play: make the German make hard choices when he had to pick hexes to attack. Frequently, the Germans wanted to drive straight west to create the deepest penetrations or into a city hex. So I'd place one infantry in these hexes. In the hexes adjacent to the northwest and southwest, I placed several armored units or an armored and an artillery unit. The Germans had to decide to waste a lot of their firepower mowing over the lone infantry or go off course to kill my units that could actually couterattack.

The Germans decided to go forgo deep penetrations and wage a war of attrition. Suddenly, I started sweating bullets as my losses were piling up. He then launched a massive assault on Bastogne, driving all my forces from the town. Nuts! In the North I was barely holding onto Verviers against repeated attacks.

Finally, turn 5 arrived and with came my air power. Now I launched a full fledged attack on his supply and trucks from the air and counterattacking from the ground whenever and wherever possible. His drive slowed but didn't stop. My strategy of attacking his supply was having minimal success, though I could tell his attacks were becoming harder as his supply dwindled. The Germans had 22 points. If he would have captured one more city and held it, the game would have been over. This is when the key airstrike arrived. On turn seven, I hit a hex in the north loaded with armor and supply and due to stroke of luck I wiped out all four supply units. There would be no attacks in the north on this turn. Whew! Now to hold him off in the south. He could only manage one or two attacks, and I conterattacked with a vengence wiping out lone armored advances.

He made his final assault on turn 8, but I was able to hold him off and squeeze out a tight victory. This was one hell of a ride. I know we're due to play this one again soon, reversing sides.







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Will Green
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Alameda
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I recently picked this game up, and have yet to play it...however, this description makes me want to get right home, get an opponent, and start driving tanks across snow covered lands! Nice report!
 
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rick nichols
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I've got to admit that I didn't think I was going to like this one, but every time I've played it, it has been a blast. There's a lot of tough decisions involving deployment and supply. I'm sure you'll have as much fun as I have.




 
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