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“Ben, you’re the commander now.
We suspected the old man would crack the first time we slugged it out with the Germans.
The colonel just couldn’t handle the pressure.”
--Battalion S-3 commander, CPT Bob McGee to CPT Ben Legare,
with news that he was assuming command of 2nd Battalion, 394th Infantry Regiment, 99th Infantry Division,
via radio in the early morning of December 16, 1944.
The Peiper Dream
Campaign Game and Optional Rules
©2011 Paul Rohrbaugh
Players can link all four of the Peiper Pocket Battle Games to form The Peiper Dream and play a “Grand” (using the term
very loosely here!) Campaign that simulates the entire series of battles with KG Peiper during the Ardennes Offensive. The
Campaign Game will also require the use of one six-sided die (not included) to adjudicate certain game outcomes. There
can be up to 20 turns (run through the card deck up to 20 times) in the Campaign Game.
All four maps are arranged, with the east edge of Map B lining-up with the west edge of Map A. Similarly, Map C lines up
with B and D with C. All units for both sides from Paying the Peiper set up per that card’s rules. Deploy one US Fuel Depot
on Map B and one on Map C, on any hex containing a road. The US 99 and 106 BG units deploy anywhere on Map B,
but may not move until a German unit enters Map B. Set up initial US and German (GE) forces and enter reinforcements
for Turns 2, 3 and 4 as stated in the Paying the Peiper rules.
Subsequent Reinforcements: At the end of turns 6, 11 and
17 play is temporarily suspended and the new German and
US units available with A Dash of Peiper, The Bagged Peiper,
and Just a Peiper Dream? games enter play as follows:
Turn 6: The following 7 new German units from A Dash
of Peiper are set up in or adjacent to the hex with the Spitze
panzer battalion unit if it is in supply. Otherwise the units
can be placed anywhere on board A on a road hex that can
trace supply back to the east A board edge.
• 1/1 LAH Panzer
• 3/2 LAH Panzer Grenadier
• 501 Tiger
• Spitze Recon (Halftrack symbol)
• 3FJ/KG1 Infantry
• 3FJ/KG2 Infantry
Hexes chosen must not be occupied by US units. If there are
insufficient hexes for these units to deploy with the Spitze
unit, the excess German reinforcement units set up in any
road/city/town hex on Map A that is not adjacent to a US
unit that can trace a supply line to the east edge of Map A
(see German Supply below). The following 3 new US units
from A Dash of Peiper may enter along the North or South
map edges of any map.
• 30/117/1 Infantry
• 30/117/2 Infantry
• 2/23/3 Infantry
Turn 11: The following 6 new US units from The Bagged
Peiper may enter along the North or South map edges of any
maps B to D.
• 30/117/3 Infantry
• 30/119/1 Infantry
• 30/119/2 Infantry
• 30/119/3 Infantry
• CCB/3/1 Tank
• CCB/3/1 Tank
Turn 17: The following 2 new US units from The Bagged
Peiper may enter along the any of the North map edges of
boards B to D, or South map edges of maps C or D.
• 101/BG Paratroop
• CCB/3/3 Tank
US Reinforcement Entry: As stated, US Reinforcement
units may enter along the North or South map edges of
indicated maps on the reinforcement schedule. For example,
a US unit scheduled to enter play along the north map edge
of Map B on turn 6 could instead enter along the north
map edges of Maps A, C or D on the same turn. Use the
combined reinforcement schedule with entry location above
for all units except those listed in Paying the Peiper.
Campaign Game Air/OBA markers:
• The German player can use up to 2 OBA and 1 Air
markers during turns 1-6 (regardless of what map
German units may have reached).
• Both players can each use up to 2 (GE) or 1 (US) OBA
markers (no Air) from turns 7 through 16. Remember,
if any German unit cannot trace supply, the German
player cannot use his OBA units to support any ground
attacks by the unsupplied unit(s) until the German units
are back to being capable of tracing a supply line.
• The US player can use up to 3 OBA and 1 Air markers
during turns 17-20 (if playing with the die-cut counters,
use one of the US OBA markers twice). The German
player cannot use any OBA during turns 17-20.
German Supply: Throughout the game, German units
attempting to move or fire must normally trace a supply
line back to the east map edge of Map A to be considered
in supply. Units not in supply may move only 1 hex per
ACT, have a +1 CD modifier when attacking, and the GE
OBA marker may not be placed to assist in any attacks.
In addition, a German unit’s Proficiency Rating
(PR) is also reduced by 1 if out of supply. The
only time German units do not have to trace a
supply line is if a Fuel Depot marker is captured on Maps
B and/or C. Each captured Fuel Depot allows the German
player to ignore tracing supply lines for any and all units for
4 turns after the Depot is captured (Note: NOT the turn of
capture, however). Place the captured Fuel Depot marker
on the Game Turn Record Track as a reminder of when the
German player must resume tracing supply.
Regroup Phase: When playing the Campaign Game both
players can attempt to return reduced units to full-strength,
or return eliminated units, at reduced strength, to play. At
the end of turns 7, 12, and 17 both players roll a die for each
reduced unit. If the DR is < unit’s PR the unit is flipped to
its full-strength side. If > to the PR it remains as-is. For each
eliminated unit the owning player performs a CD. If the
German player draws a black face card the unit is returned
to play on any hex with a town or village on Map A that is
not occupied by a US unit. Eliminated US units are returned
to play at any town/city hex under US control on Map D if
the US player draws any red face, ace or 10 card. Any other
CD will result in the owning player’s unit remaining in the
“dead pile” for now.
Rebuilding Bridges: Up to 2 bridges demolished
by the American player can be rebuilt by the
German player during each Regroup Phase. Up
to 4 bridges can be rebuilt by the German player during the
course of the game. The bridge(s) to be rebuilt may not have
a US unit in either hex connected by the bridge, and both
hexes must be able to trace a supply line to the east edge
of Map A. Once these conditions are established, and the
German player indicates the bridge is one of the four he can
rebuild, the Blown Bridge marker is removed.
The US player can rebuild any number of bridges during the
Regroup Phase, in a similar manner to that of the German
player. The US player is not limited to rebuilding just 4
bridges, and can rebuild more than 1 per Regroup Phase.
Note: Players are encouraged to use other makers, coins or
whatever to record demolished bridges. The US player is not
limited to the counter-mix as to the number of these that he
can destroy. The US player may demolish a bridge that he/
she rebuilt earlier.
Use of Proficiency Ratings in Combat: After indicating
the firing and target units, the firing player rolls a D6. If the
DR is less than the attacking unit’s PR the defender does
not benefit from terrain, and the attacker also gets -1 CD
instead. Add the terrain modifier back in and no favorable
CD modifier if the attacker’s PR check failed.
Winning the Campaign Game: In the Campaign Game, at
the end of any turn, the German player wins if there are any
unit(s) in Andenne and/or Huy that can trace a supply line
to the east map edge of Map A. The game can end before
the end of turn 20. Otherwise, the US player wins the game.
Optional Rules
The following rules can be used to add a bit more historical
realism to the game, or to balance play between opponents
of differing abilities. Enjoy!
Infiltration Movement: A unit that begins its activation
in a hex adjacent to an enemy unit may move directly to
another hex adjacent to an enemy unit (same or different)
if DR < to the unit’s PR is made. The hex entered must be
allowable for the unit to enter (non-prohibited terrain in
the hex or the hex side crossed). If the PR check is failed the
unit may not move at all (pro-German in Paying the Peiper
and A Dash of Peiper, pro-US in The Bagged Peiper and Just
a Peiper Dream?).
Tiger Tanks: Instead of firing on its own the 501 Schwere
(heavy) Panzer unit can instead confer a -2 Anti-Tank
modifier to any one unit with which it is stacked.
This Anti-Tank CD modifier is -1 if the unit itself
is reduced. The Tiger tank unit does not count
toward stacking (i.e., this can be a third unit in a German
stack (pro-German).
German Surprise: All German attacks on Turn 1 have a -1
CD modifier, in addition to any others and regardless of any
PR check results. Beginning with turn 2 the German player
rolls a die after the deck is shuffled but before the first card
is drawn for Activation. If the DR < the number of turns
played the -1 Surprise CD modifier is permanently lost. The
Surprise CD modifier is permanently lost, if still in play,
beginning with turn 6 (pro-German). US combat units may
stack once German Surprise is ended.
Tougher Bridge Demolition: For those who feel the US
has too easy a time in demolishing bridges the following is
in effect:
• A US unit must be within 3 hexes of the bridge to be
blown and designated as the demolishing unit. It cannot
have moved or attacked earlier in the current turn. If the
CD is even this counts as the unit’s activation for the
turn (i.e., it cannot move, attack, or attempt another
bridge demo). If the CD is odd the unit may activate
again in the turn. Add 2 to the bridge demo CD if the
unit is reduced.
Note: If this rule is utilized it is recommended the German
player be allowed to rebuild up to 6 bridges (not 4).
Malmedy Massacre: The turn following the one in which
any German unit has exited Map A, the US player rolls a die.
If the DR is even the news that SS soldiers are massacring
American POWs is out. Once a turn, for the rest of the game,
the US player will receive either a -1 CD for any attack made
by a US unit, or impose a +1 CD on any German attack.
Continue performing this DR check each turn until the
“news gets out” (an even DR is made). (pro-US)
“Panzers Marsch!”: There was considerable debate among
the German commanders as to whether the tanks should wait
for the infantry to open a hole for them to drive through the
morning of the 16th, or should the initial attack be made
directly with their armor? To simulate this, allow the German
player to freely choose any six units to enter Map A on Turn
1. All remaining units may enter on Turn 3 or 7 (for the
remaining SS units) or later (neutral). Note: If this optional
rule is used then do NOT use German Surprise (above).
Also see the “Achtung! Minen!” rule below. Designer’s Note:
The sound of so many tanks moving up would’ve tipped-off the
front line troops something was up, even if the rear-area brass
were clueless.
Achtung! Minen!: If the “Panzer’s Marsch!” rule (above) is
taken by the German player the US player can designate any
two German units and have a PR check made for them. Add
2 to the DR if the designated unit is SS. If the modified DR
is > than the unit’s PR it starts the game reduced. Designer’s
Note: Historically, Peiper was very frustrated with the traffic
jams and disorganization in the rear area that blocked his units’
advance to the start line. At one point he even ordered his men
through a minefield to bypass the clogged roads, losing a halfdozen tanks and halftracks, as well as some of the men inside the
vehicles, in the process (and this has been taken into effect with
the units in the game). One can imagine the effects of an even
more frenetic and hurried deployment on his KG…
Fall Back! A US unit that is hit in combat may retreat
instead of being reduced or eliminated if it passes a PR
check. Increase the DR for the PR check by the difference of
the unit’s PR and the “to hit” CD used for the combat. For
example, a 1 result in the combat with a German AF of 4
would add 3 to the retreat PR check. If successful, the hex
to which the unit retreats must be one it can enter normally
(armor cannot retreat into a Rough or Heavy Forest hex
unless along a road from the hex it defended, nor across
an un-bridged river hex side). The hex the unit retreats to
may be one adjacent to an enemy unit, but not further from
the west map edge (i.e., a US unit cannot advance while
retreating). If the unit fails its PR check, or there is no hex
into which it can retreat, the unit must take the step loss
(pro-US). Designer’s Note: Why not the Germans? They were
under a great deal of pressure to attack and advance, regardless
of the losses.
“Our victory lies behind the last battle!” Any time the
German player draws a face card in resolving a unit’s attack,
the German player MUST draw another card. If this second
CD does not result in the reduction or retreat of the targeted
unit the German unit that fired is instead reduced (proUS). Designer’s Note: The German attack went in with little
advance notice and with a great deal of pressure from Berlin for
success. Losses among the poorly trained Volksgrenadier, as well
as among veteran units who were attacking for the first time in
months or even years, were very heavy.
Designer’s Notes
“Hinter de letzen Schlacht dieser
Kriege Esteht unser Sieg!”
(“Behind the last battle of this war stands our victory!”)
--Graffiti found scrawled somewhere in Luxemburg by
a German soldier during the Ardennes offensive.
“I have no division… I have two regiments out on
the Schnee Eifel, and my son is in one of them.”
--General Alan Jones, commander of the 106th Division,
December 16, 1944.
I particularly enjoy designing the Against the Odds’ Pocket
Battle Game series, and when Steve Rawling offered me the
opportunity to do a series of “linkable” ones that could be
played separately as well as together, we both immediately
thought of the Battle of the Bulge as the setting. Jochen
Peiper’s Kampgruppe became the subject, as the series
of battles fought with what became the vanguard of the
German Ardennes offensive, was a series of incredible
against the odds battles. The determined stand by Americans
as they contested the initial onslaught of Wacht am Rhine,
to the increasingly desperate contests for crossroads, bridges
and fuel depots waged by the SS as they made their way
westward towards the Meuse River, put paid to the German’s
final large-scale offensive on the Western Front, as well as
any remaining notions of Aryan/SS supremacy (either on
the battlefield or anywhere else).
The Pocket Battle Game series came together rather quickly
as KG Peiper’s “dash” was essentially four days, and the
route of the German’s offensive divided up rather easily into
4 map sections that each could be fit onto a postcard that
linked to its neighbor. Once the concept was proven doable,
then the research for both sides’ OOB was made, followed
by playtesting for each individual game, and then for the
“grand campaign.” The larger Campaign Game proved the
most time-consuming as the optional and variant rules, as
well as the linking rules, all had to be tested, tweaked and
then re-tested. The amount of time, effort and consideration
that went into these little games easily matched, and in some
instances, surpassed that made for some “regularly sized”
titles I’ve done in the past. I commend Steve’s persistence and
patience in giving me the time, resources, and opportunity
to bring these games to you.
Historically, Peiper’s KG only made it onto the easternmost
hexes of Map C. I’ve included Map D to show what the
German’s were trying to do, as well as giving players a fuller
scope of the challenges faced by their historical counterparts.
That said, it should be very difficult for the German player to
win the historical “Campaign Game.” Not only do they have
to drive the length of all 4 maps to get to the objective(s),
but the Germans will be challenged in maintaining a viable
supply line back to the start-line in the face of growing
American opposition, capturing Fuel Depots to keep the
drive going should the supply line be cut, blown bridges,
facing units that have regrouped, as well as American air and
artillery support that is much more reliable than that fielded
by the Germans.
I wish to dedicate this series of games to the memory of my
Uncle Walter Rohrbaugh, who served in General Patton’s
Third Army. Although his ordeals, part of which included
having his unit overrun and his being missing in action
behind enemy lines for nearly three weeks in mid-December
to early January (of which no one in the family ever fully
learned what happened), and those of thousands of other
US soldiers like him, the history of the Battle of the Bulge,
the end of WWII, and likely that of much of post-WWII
Europe would have been very different. They endured and
triumphed in countless against the odds situations that
December of 1944 here in the Ardennes.
Enjoy and learn!
Additional Reading
Agate, Patrick. Jochen Peiper: Commander Panzerregiment
Leibstandarte. Manitoba: J.J. Fedorowicz Publishing, 1999.
Cole, Hugh M. U.S. Army in WWII, ETO, the Ardennes:
Battle of the Bulge. Washington, DC: OCMH, 1965.
Eisenhower, John S.D. Bitter Woods: the Dramatic Story, Told
at all Echelons, From Supreme Command to Squad Leader,
of the Crisis That Shook the Western Coalition. New York:
Putnam, 1969.
Game Turn Record Track
Note: Use a penny or some other marker to record the current turn
Turn 1
Turn 6
Turn 2
Turn 3
Turn 4
Turn 5
End of German
End of German
End of German
End of German
Turn 7
Turn 8
Turn 9
Turn 10
Turn 13
Turn 14
Turn 15
Turn 18
Turn 19
Turn 20
US Reinforcements
GE Reinforcements
Note: End Luftwaffe
Note: Regroup Phase
Turn 11
Turn 12
US Reinforcements
Note: Regroup Phase
Turn 16
Turn 17
US Reinforcements
Note: Regroup Phase
first. Start US Air
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