Updated 150610
  1. TITLE: Bitter Woods; Deluxe Bitter Woods
  2. PUBLISHER: The Avalon Hill Game Company (TAHGC as Bitter Woods); L2 Design Group (L2DG as Deluxe Bitter Woods)
  3. SCOPE: Battle of the Bulge, December 16 - December 26, 1944
  5. L2DG GAME BOX DESCRIPTION: Since the landings in France the previous June, The Anglo-American Armies had compiled a record of unparalleled victory. On December 16 they were preparing a massive drive toward the Rhine River that promised to break the back of German resistance. Bun on that day, in the foggy dawn, the German Army counterattacked with the fury of a lightning bolt. The result was the famous Battle of the Bulge. The Bulge was a brutal struggle in a dismal winter landscape against an enemy imbued with a fanatic conviction that victory could be snatched from defeat. It was the United States Army's greatest and most fiercest battle of World War II. Over a million men and thousands of guns, tanks, and other fighting vehicles were engaged. In those "Bitter Woods", fighting against heavy odd, the American soldier slowed and then stopped the spearhead of two elite Panzer Armies, forever emblazing themselves in the annals of military history.
  6. YEAR PUBLISHED (EDITIONS): BITTER WOODS was published by TAHGC in 1998; the distinction of the last game published prior to the demise of TAHGC in August of 1998. L2 Design Group published Deluxe Bitter Woods (DBW) in 2003. A Expansion addendum was latter also published which added game materials for "Erasing the Bulge" scenario depicting December 27-29, 1944
    • TAHGC (1998) Bitter Woods
      • Design:
      • Development:
    • L2 Design Group (2003) Deluxe Bitter Woods
      • Game Design and Development: Randy Heller
      • Expansion Game Design and Development: Bruno Sinigaglio
      • Special Assistance: Bob Ryan
      • Order of Battle: Bruno Sinigaglio, Danny Parker, and Randy Heller.
      • Map Research: Danny Parker and Bruno Sinigaglio.
      • Map, Player Aid Cards, Rules Layout and Counter Graphics: Mark Simonitch.
      • Box Cover: Reagan Heller
      • Rules Book & Player's Handbook Covers: Art Lupinacci.
      • Producer and Production Coordinator: Art Lupinacci.
      • Playtesting: Phil Evans, John B. Grant Jr., Tom Gregorio, Paul Koenig, Brian Laskey, Steve Likevitch, Forrest Pafenberg, Bob Ryan, Eric Seadale, Bruno Sinigaglio, Daniel Tierney.
      • Special Thanks To: Pam, Reagan, and Courtney Heller who graciously allowed me the time to pursue my passion for "The Bulge".
  8. NUMBER OF PLAYERS: Typically 2; although 4 in two teams works well.
  10. TYPICAL PLAYING TIME (HOURS): .Varies per scenario and speed of players.The full 22 campaign game is estimated at 10 hours.
  11. MAP SCALE: 2 miles per 1" hex.
  12. UNIT SCALE: Regiments, Battalions, Brigades
  13. TIME SCALE PER TURN: AM and PM turns
  14. NUMBER OF GAME TURNS: 22 in Campaign Game, 28 in the Expanded Campaign Game, tournament games defined for 6 and 8 turns.
  15. ARTICLE LISTING: click here
  16. GAME INVENTORY: (L2DG) 384 5/8" counters, 30 x 44" heavy stock mapboard, 20 x 12" game box, Deluxe Edition Rules of Play booklet, Deluxe Edition Player's handbook, two Terrain Effects Summary Charts, one Charts & Tables card, Allied Setup Card, German Setup Card, Plan Martin German setup card, Patton's Relief of Bastogne scenario setup card. . The L2DG Deluxe Expansion version adds 96 additional counters, Expansion Edition Rules of Play, Scenario Card, Allied Setup Card, and German Setup Card for this scenario.
  17. WBC & AVALONCON HISTORY: BTW has had a regular appearance at World Boardgame Championships since 1999; DBW is also now regularly played at Prezcon as well.
    1. A fully functional DBW Java application VASSAL module is now posted with permission by Bruno Sinigaglio. Some items such as the markers, are merely functional with improved graphics to be incorporated later. The module is based on the WGA Vassal Module Template. Vassal is free, platform independent (Macintosh, Windows, Unix, Linux), and supports both PBEM & server play using the benchmark remote play tool.
    2. The latest modulewould normally be posted here but am having capacity issues. The DBWv13b07 file (7.2MB) is posted on the Vassal site.Latest Version History.
    3. Remote play currently utilizes Aid De Camp II using the L2DG module on CD (Windows specific application).
  19. PBEM OPPORTUNITES: An active play be email ladder is ongoing administrated by Bruno Sinigaglio. Both Ladder and Tournament Activities are tracked on the Bitter Woods PBEM site.
  20. WARGAME ACADEMY COMMENTS: My game experience is limited to a three turn tutorial by Bruno Sinigaglio and participation in a two team/four player campaign game (I was of limited usefulness in the first half of the contest). Based on this, my limited opinion is Deluxe Bitter Woods is the culmination of the Battle of the Bulge title and the definitive game on the subject. As setups are predefined, initial setup time is minimal. This is a operational level strategy game; it is not driven by cards or extensive die rolling. By the nature of the game scale, most combat results engage or push the defenders backwards/allow advance of variable distances in addition to sep loss rather than outright elimination.
  21. WARGAME ACADEMY GAME TOOLS: One game copy of L2DG Deluxe Bitter Woods with Expansion and ADC2 CD; Trustee of DBW Vassal Module (responsible for ongoing maintenance and enhancement).

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