Michael Eckenfels, 20 May 2021 ~ #UnboxingDay
After unboxing Koningsberg, also by Revolution Games, and letting them know about that article, Revolution generously offered to send The Deadly Woods for review. I was very interested in this one because I’d acquired Celles, another title of theirs, which deals with the ‘high tide’ of the Axis advance during that same battle. An excellent game in and of itself, I thought it would be great to take a look at this game, covering the entire battle.
The cover art is interesting in that we’re just looking at snowy woods laced with a blanket of thick mist, which brings to mind the environment in which this battle was fought. No ubiquitous panzers, no half-frozen soldiers, just…terrain. It’s a nice touch, and especially awesome considering the title of the game.
click images to enlarge
The back of the box is good design as well; not too busy, not too light on details. Speaking of, Revolution Games delivers this title in both a Ziplock bag and a game box; they sent me the game box version.
Opening the box, the first thing you see is the rulebook. Ted Raicer’s name of course lends a hint of solid design, and the frosty Shermans make the game even more interesting to dive into.
The back of the rulebook shows the manual is only 23 pages long.
Inside, you’ll see a two-column format with easy-to-read print though few graphics or images of the game itself. A wargamer of any stripe shouldn’t let that worry them, because I like the rules to Konigsburg and feel like Revolution does the same general design and approach to all its rulebooks.
In this case, despite being text-heavy, there’s not a LOT of text. Plus, the rules seem to be laid out in a clear and logical sequence. I don’t expect any issues given my previous experience with their titles.
The Designers Notes section, ubiquitous as it is in wargames (thankfully, as I do enjoy reading the thought processes that go into these games), immediately begs the question of why in the world yet another Battle of the Bulge game would need to be made – but then answers its own question by saying if you’re reading this, well, you’ve pretty much got your answer.
Two Player Aid cards are included, both showing the same information. The image above shows what’s on one side at left, and the other at left, flipped.
Another Player Aid, showing unit labels, icons, and other important information. This is why you don’t see more graphics in the book – they place this information on this helpful sheet where it’s much more eye-catching in color.
The game comes with two counter sheets – one full-sized with 176 half-inch counters…
…and one half-sized with 88 half-inch counters.
Two maps are included – the full game map and a Setup Map that helps with…you guessed it, game set-up.
The game map in all its glory. I do like that the map seems exceptionally large even though it’s a standard 22” x 34” size, with plenty of room for tracks and holding boxes off to the side.
A close-up of Namur and the Meuse crossing, one of the targeted bridges by the German offensive to seize along the way to Antwerp.
And of course, Bastogne, reflecting its real-world road hub importance.
Another closeup, this time of St. Vith and the surrounding areas.
The Setup Map is laid out on top of the map just to compare the two.
And here’s a closeup of the Setup Map.
The game looks great and I’m hoping it’ll play just as well as it looks!
Thanks for joining this month’s #UnboxingDay with the Armchair Dragoons and we hope you enjoyed our recon of our recent acquisitions.
You can always leave us your feedback in our #UnboxingDay thread, or in the comment area on this article, below.
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