Battle of the Bulge snapshot
See that screen? If you play a lot of John Butterfield’s Battle of the Bulge: Crisis in Command: Volume I (actual legal name) you know something important that I am about to tell you. I’m not sure if Tom knows it, though, so I may be compromising operational security. That’s opsec for you people who are in the know like me. And not like Tom, just to reiterate that so there isn’t any misunderstanding. About Tom being in the know, I mean. Anyway. That’s the German 1st SS Panzer Division, the biggest, baddest unit in the German army. In this game, I mean – there might be other, badder units on the Eastern Front or something. I’m only in charge of this game. So getting back to the opsec, I am in Malmedy without having taken any losses. That might be because (a) I attacked the two-pip Allied armor that was there and blew it totally up, or (b) Tom evacuated it (‘bugged out’ in military vernacular) so that it wouldn’t get seriously bushwacked. Either way, the 1st SS Panzer Division is essentially guaranteed to get to Werbomont on the next day (Dec. 17th). (In Bulge there are multiple ‘turns’ per day but each unit only moves once.) Once I am in Werbomont, I am guaranteed to be able to attack Huy on the first impulse of Dec. 18th. If I can clear that space on the 18th, I have a decent chance of winning an automatic victory on the 19th. Since the game could technically extend all the way to the 28th, that’s pretty quick business by the Germans.
But here’s the thing: it’s two days early, and I already know what the chances are of me clearing that space if Tom defends it with one elite infantry. He gets two elite infantry as reinforcements on the 18th, but has two key spaces to defend with them. If he defends Huy with one of them, my chances are exactly 41.8%. I did the math so that you don’t have to.
On the other hand, if Tom had inflicted one hit of damage on 1st SS Pz during the combat in Malmedy, my chances would drop. To 27.3%.
That sounds like a lot of nerdy hoo-rah. Except that pushing for Huy and trying for an early victory is only one possible strategy in the game. Part of playing the Germans is making the Allied player think you are doing one thing when you are planning another. If Tom were reading the numbers, he’d be able to deduce that the river crossing strategy is still a viable one for me. And if you’re playing the game, and see the Germans take a hit in Malmedy on that first attack, you can breathe a little easier about the early victory, because your chances of stopping them from even getting into position for it in Huy are a hefty 73.7%. And you’d know that two days in advance.
Anyway, better keep strict opsec on this one.