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  The Deadly Woods by Revolution Games Designed by Ted S. Raicer    So, we have another Battle of the Bulge game to enter the fray. Three ba...

The Deadly Woods by Revolution Games The Deadly Woods by Revolution Games

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 The Deadly Woods


Revolution Games

Designed by

Ted S. Raicer


 So, we have another Battle of the Bulge game to enter the fray. Three battles pretty much flood the board wargaming industry: Waterloo, Bulge, and Gettysburg. Some would argue that enough is enough. Those same people might also like to eat turkey, ham, or whatever. You do not hear them being upset that someone has cooked their favorite meal again. To me, The Battle of the Bulge in wargaming is an acquired taste. It is one of those battles that one side has the scales all tipped in their favor. The German generals were pretty much in agreement that the plan was slipshod at best. Even Sepp Dietrich, rabid Nazi that he was, thought the plan was beyond the resources assigned to it. That, and the atrocious weather needed to keep the Allied planes grounded, also affected the ground troops of both sides. As it was, the German Schwerpunkt (main point of attack), the SS Panzer Sixth Army in the north, did not punch through the American lines. The American troops bled and died there on the Elsenborn Ridge to stop them. The deepest penetration during the battle was actually further south by von Manteuffel's Fifth Panzer Army.

 This is what comes with the game:


22x34" game map

11x22" setup map

1 1/2 x 5/8" countersheets


Player aids

Game box or ziploc


This is a blurb from Revolution Games about The Deadly Woods:

"In December 1944 Hitler launched a massive offensive against the weakly held Ardennes forest section of the Allied front in Belgium. Achieving complete surprise, the Germans nevertheless faced tough resistance from the battle's opening days, and the offensive was virtually over 10 days after it began. Their followed a bloody Allied counterattack which gradually erased the bulge the Germans had created in the Allied line.

But you probably know all that. Yet another Battle of the Bulge game? Why yes. But one with a different approach. Specifically, award-winning designer Ted S. Raicer has taken a modified version of the chit pull system pioneered in GMT's The Dark Valley: The East Front 1941-45 and brought it west for an exciting new take on this classic wargame subject.

So another Bulge game, but one with the historical action and decisions of games with a much bigger footprint and playing time. And with a unique take on the chaos and friction of the battle that makes it a great choice for solo play. Even if you are bulged out, you'll want The Deadly Woods in your collection!"

 Exactly why do we want another Battle of the Bulge game? The key point to the information above is the name Ted S. Raicer. That name should get you to perk up your ears like a dog. ​

 As you can see above, the map is smaller than most Bulge maps at three miles per hex. However, this also means that a lot of the necessary items for play, Turn Record Track etc., have a place on the map. This gives the game a smaller footprint. The size of the map fits right in with the design for a smaller, easier to play, Bulge game. Not simple, just easier setup and shorter play time. The map itself is well done and is fully functional instead of heading in the artsy direction. It is after all a map. The game also comes with a small 'Setup Map' that makes it easier to see where the starting units are placed. The oversized hexes of the map allow the counters to be larger in turn. All of the unit counters are 1 1/2" in size. Their size allows all of the historical and pertinent game information to be read easily. The units that start on the board have their 'Setup Number' on them for ease in setting up the game. The other counters, out of supply etc., are still large at 5/8". We old grumblers always appreciate that in a game. The Rulebook is in black and white and is twenty-three pages long. The rules do not come with a historical background simply because this is a game about the Bulge. However, the Designer Notes are an interesting read. There are three Players Aids that are in full color and are hard backed and not just sheets. They are akin to the rest of the components in having large print. One thing I have to mention is the artwork on the box. For us grognards it might seem a bit strange. There is no Peiper or at least a Tiger or a Sherman adorning the cover. In fact, it is bereft of any soldiers or weapon of war. It is simply a picture of trees, mostly conifers, in a winter setting along with snow. After looking at it for a bit though, I get a bit of the foreboding that was put into it. What is in those trees? So, the cover as a piece of art is to me a really well done, suspenseful looking and feeling picture.

 The game is slated as playing well both for single player and two player games. I can attest that it plays well as a solitaire game. Most of the units have stepped counters, so there are not large amounts of counters to deal with each turn. A minimalist Bulge game is what we are looking at. This seems completely contrary to the norm in Bulge games. Usually, they try to go down to the level of individual tanks etc. I am jesting, but you know what I mean. Most come with four to five maps and hundreds if not thousands of counters. This game, although much smaller, has been able to add in all of the glitz of the Bulge as in:

Bridges: intact and blown
Divisional Integrity
Airborne Units
SS Withdrawl
Operation Greif

 The design is based on Mr. Raicer's 'Dark' series of games. Due to legality etc., the campaigns he is designing for Revolution Games will be called 'Deadly'. Beyond the name change, there is not supposed to be much difference in the play. So, anyone playing the Dark series should have no trouble understanding the Deadly series and getting down to playing them rather easily. The game is easy to learn and the rules are setup well. As the Germans, just as historically, you have to get the 6th SS Panzer Army moving. The 'easiest' way across the Meuse is at Liege. Of course, the Allies know this too, unless your opponent's map reading skills are subpar. As the Allies you have to hope that your troops can pull off another miracle at the Elsenborn Ridge. The game comes with two scenarios. The first is the 'German Attack' and it lasts six turns. The other is the "Campaign' which lasts twelve turns. There are nineteen Victory Point hexes with nine of them being across the Meuse. Do not, repeat, do not as the Germans expect to get there. There is a 'Sudden Death' victory for the Germans if they are able, at the end of any turn, to have five Victory Point hexes with a line of supply or have nine or more Motorized steps across the Meuse in the British Area in the north of the map. If you are playing the Attack scenario, the Germans win if they have four Victory Point hexes with a line of supply. If you are playing the Campaign scenario, the German player needs either two, if he withdraws the SS, or three Victory Point hexes with a line of supply if he does not withdraw the SS.

 The bottom line is that this is a refreshing take on the Battle of the Bulge. A relatively simple design, certainly not beer and pretzel, and it is a quick playing 'fun' game. Its small footprint allows for the player(s) to try many different strategies without having to worry about the space the game takes up. I can easily recommend this game to both grognards and people starting out in the hobby. Thank you, Revolution Games, for letting me review this game. Please check out their other fine games when you go to their website. 


Revolution Games:

Revolution Games | Main Page

The Deadly Woods rules in PDF:

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This is my review of 'Longstreet Attacks' another fine game from Revolution Games:

Longstreet Attacks by Revolution Games - A Wargamers Needful Things