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"Breakthrough! - Northern shoulder of the Bulge 1944" Topic

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Ponder Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2019 7:11 a.m. PST


On Sunday, Sept 15th participated in a playtest of Breakthrough! being developed by Frank Chadwick and Glenn Kidd. John Drye organized the game, and the game was played at the Eagle & Empire store in Alexandria, Virginia.

The game portrayed the initial German attack on the northern should of the Battle of the Bulge.

German forces consisted of: 12th and 277th Volksgrenadier divisions on board at start, and later reinforced by the 1st SS Panzer Division.

US forces consisted of the 106th Infantry Division supported by 14th Cavalry Mech Group, and later reinforced with CCR of the 9th Armored. The 106th was deployed with two regiments (RCT) forward, and the third RCT back.

Corps artillery assets were present for both sides.

The game was somewhat abbreviated as the store opened at noon, and closed at 5pm. Between 1:30 and 4:30 (3 hours) we played five turns (so a little over 30 min per turn).

Photo1 Terrain view from North

Photo 2 Terrain view from East (Germans attacking from east to west)

Photo 3 US deployment, view from south

The Germans massed against 4 of the 6 US frontline battalion positions with attacks on the morning of Day 1 (December 16th). Their attacks were successful. Reinforcements for both sides arrived in the afternoon. The US had moved their engineers to the rear, so if needed they were available for bridge demolition.

Photo 4 Volksgrenadiers continue attacks in the afternoon of Day 1

Photo 5 Initial attack by 1st SS Panzer (KG Peiper)

Overnight, CCR of the 9th Armored moved north and set-up roadblocks in an attempt to frustrate the German advance.

Photo 6 Morning of Day 2, Peiper has shifted north, but the 1st SS continues the assault in the center, meanwhile to the north, Shermans face of with King Tigers (oh my! We know how that turned out burning Shermans) --- Hooray, three cheers, for American artillery which disrupt Peiper's Tiger battalion.

Photo 7 German Day 2 morning attacks successful in pushing back the 106th.

Photo 8 End of the game, in sharp fighting CCR is largely rendered combat ineffective. However the US is delaying the German advance, and their attack is behind schedule.

In summary, the 106th took it on the chin. Four of nine battalions rendered combat ineffective, and CCR of the 9th armored has been decimated. Yet, the Germans have taken some key losses as well, engineers and recon forces from both the 1st SS and the Volksgrenadiers were lost. They will be hard pressed to make their offensive successful. A pyrrhic victory for the Germans it seems.

It was a very interesting and fun game. I look forward to the planned Kickstarter for Breakthrough!.

Ponder on,


Ponder Supporting Member of TMP16 Sep 2019 4:42 p.m. PST

Should have been US 99th ID, not 106th, which historically was further to the south.


Martin Rapier16 Sep 2019 10:59 p.m. PST

So, I guess those are battalion sized stands?

Fitzovich Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 4:05 a.m. PST

5 turns in 3 hours?????

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 9:15 a.m. PST


Yes, battalion sized stands. So a US Regimental Combat Team consists of a HQ stand, 3 infantry stands, and an artillery stand.

Each turn is 8 hours, so 2 daylight and 1 night turn per game day. The Sunday game was fairly dense in terms of the number of units on the table, yet, play moved along at a good pace. It was a fun game; and given the subject matter one of those game you remember for a while. I'm quite impressed with Breakthrough!.

Ponder on,


lkmjbc317 Sep 2019 10:25 a.m. PST

What is the ground scale?

Joe Collins

Ponder Supporting Member of TMP17 Sep 2019 10:35 a.m. PST

Breakthrough! has a ground scale of 1 inch = 500 yards.


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