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The Battle of the Bulge» Forums » General

Subject: Historical Accuracy rss

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Don Clarke
United Kingdom
Nantwich
Cheshire
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This game has been criticised for its lack of historical accuracy, but I can't find anywhere on the net any details backing up that criticism. I checked the opening setup with the US Military History website and everything seems fine, no glaring errors. Admittedly I didn't do any work on the reinforcement schedule, but if people think this game is inaccurate it would be good to hear why.
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Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
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The game has been considered 'historically inaccurate' because the German units are too strong. The Americans have no chance to mount a serious counter attack -- the Third Army reinforcements will be desperately needed at the front to stem the German advance. Hence, throughout the game the Germans are on the strategic offensive and the Americans on the strategic defensive.

The game is well-balanced, however, and in my view is one of the greatest war games ever made. A well-played game will invariably end with the Germans in strength at or near the Meuse, perhaps without enough supply or time left to force the Meuse and win; perhaps not.

Between competent opponents the game is a nail-biter, with each side having to make some gut wrenching decisions. If, for instance, the Germans play safe and operate a steam roller, they will push everything before them on a broad front -- but will fall far short of the Meuse. In order to win they must take risks by moving advanced units into exposed positions, forcing the Americans to counter attack at unfavorable odds or withdraw more rapidly than they should. The Germans must play in such a way as to eventually punch holes in the American line & race ahead, leaving American units in their rear -- at the risk of having their increasingly narrow supply channels cut.

If the Americans try to execute a safe, technical withdrawal, they will be overwhelmed. They must selectively attack at unfavorable odds, risking having their units surrounded and eliminated on the next turn, as against slowing the German attack and, at times, eliminating German units which have advanced into exposed positions.

I've played games in which the Germans have managed to engage & tie up just too many American units, with their forward Panzers finding a hole in the line and racing ahead & eventually forcing the Meuse. I've also played games in which the Americans have snatched victory at the very end by eliminating key German panzers in unfavorable attacks by units which had been left well behind the German advance. In one game I played, the Germans had crossed the Meuse with just enough units to win and were desperately trying to contain the American units which had been by-passed in their advance. They lost two key panzer units in a 1-2 attack against them, which denied them the ability to plug all the gaps, and on the last turn of the game -- their fourth turn across the Meuse -- a single American unit found the gap he needed and went galloping from Dinant to Huy, cutting the German supply & winning the game for the Americans.

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Gerald Upton
Canada
Kitchener
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In the Avalon Hill General in Volume 11 #3 there is an article about "historically accurate" counters for the earlier AH Battle of the Bulge game. I have the article, and the counters that go with them.

The article goes on and on about what units were where and who attacked whom in great detail. I have not read through all the article in great detail, just the first half and I skimmed the second half.

Nowhere can I find any specific instructions on what to do with the "accurate" counters. Do I replace some of the existing counters with them? Some of the original counters stay - I think - but which ones?

Can anyone give me advice on this, pls?
 
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