December 9, 2023

#UnboxingDay ~ The Bitter Woods by Compass Games

Billy Riley, 20 October 2022 ~ #UnboxingDay

I’m a sucker for a Bulge game. This was attractive to me because of the relatively low counter count (528) and the size of the map and units. It’s a pretty big map and it uses Regiments with some battalions and brigades thrown in.

Box Art

An ambush of King Tigers line a forest path covered in snow. Pretty topical I suppose. At least they’re not M47 Pattons!


click images to enlarge

The back shows the map as a whole, along with details of the game and some example counters



Dice – Two dice, black and white, are provided



Players Handbook

This is stock matte paper and holds no less than 7 scenarios and two treatises on Kampfgruppe Peiper and Artillery in the Ardennes.

The scenarios are 

  • Six Turn Tournament Scenario
  • Eight Turn Tournament Scenario
  • Patton’s Relief of Bastogne
  • Von Rundstedt’s Plan
  • Southern Shoulder
  • Erasing the Bulge
  • Extended Campaign Game



Surprisingly the rule book is pretty short at total of 24 pages with the TEC taking the last page and the Designer Notes taking 2. There’s actually only 10 pages of rules with a further 8 pages being assigned to Optional Rules and Variant Rules. Finally – there’s two pages of Examples of Play which don’t look particularly in depth…but I’ve not read them yet so I don’t know if they cover the essentials.



The counter sheets are warped…kind of like when you’ve left paper or card out and it’s got damp and then dried. I think the counters will be fine when they’re out and clipped though.

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Player Aid Cards

There’s a few of these…some are double sided like the scenario setup ones.


The Map

The map is in two pieces and measures 30” x 44”. It’s busy but plain if that makes sense. It’s kind of old school…there’s no ambiguity…you know what the hex is in terms of terrain. I like it



Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed a look under our hoods!  You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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