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The Ardennes Offensive: Dec. 1944 - Jan. 1945
Veteran game designer Joseph Miranda has designed scores of wargames, but he has always resisted “doing yet another ‘me too’ game” on The Battle of Bulge. That is why only now he has created something truly new for the wargaming hobby, his game design opus: Bulge 20: The Ardennes Offensive.
Bulge 20 introduces the Command Staff™ system, where a “Headquarters’ Perspective” of the campaign means players focus on strategy through staff planning using G-1 (Administration), G-2 (Intelligence), G-3 (Operations), and G-4 (Logistics) cards. On-map maneuvers and battle outcomes are not laborious mechanical exercises, but quickly resolved to provide “news from the front” that must be dealt with through proper planning and staff work.
“What I’ve learned playing Bulge 20 is that it’s the opposite of what most wargamers are used to. Usually, you learn a game by reading the rules, develop skills using its mechanics by pushing the pieces around, and coming to grips with how Zones of Control, Terrain Effects, Supply, the Combat Tables, etc. all work. You don’t really get to ‘think’ until after you mastered these tasks and you can finally start to really plan the game out. But Bulge 20 is just the opposite; you have to plan first and then execute; it’s a thinking game from the outset. It’s a very interesting and refreshing approach.” – Donald Lazov
In Bulge 20, the Allies don’t know which German strategic objective is being pursued. Allied intelligence work is required to ascertain the real German intentions so as not to overreact to the threat, because this time, the Germans can win if their staff can outthink and outmaneuver the Allies’ staff!
Number of Players: 2
Ages: 13 and up
Playing Time: Approximately 75 minutes
Complexity: 4 on a 9 scale
Solitaire Suitability: 3 on a 9 scale
Time scale: Each game turn equals 3 days
Unit scale: Armies organized around Corps units (to provide “steps”)