Thursday, January 02, 2014

Buchholz Station, a Scenario for Flames of War

I've been doing a bit of reading on The Battle of the Bulge recently, focusing mostly on the northern sector. This is the area where the 6th SS Panzer Army was supposed to break through. The American divisions located in that sector, the 99th and 2nd infantry divisions, put up a significant resistance, which delayed the breakthrough and contributed to the overall failure of the attack.

This is a small scenario that captures one of the encounters on the morning of the first day of the offensive. The 12th Volksgrenadier Division was supposed to take the Losheimergraben Crossroads and allow Kampfgruppe Peiper to break through along that route. One regiment attacked the crossroads from the north, while a second regiment attempted to flank it from the south west. The flanking force moved along a railroad line and ran into an American unit located at Buchholz Station, much to the surprise of both sides. They traded rifle and artillery fire for several hours, but the arrival of some towed anti-tank guns forced the Germans to retreat. This scenario represents that battle.

Buchholz Station, December 16th, 1944

American Forces

Company L, 394th Infantry Battalion, 99th Infantry Division
Rifle Company:  Confident Trained
Setup: One rifle platoon and the company HQ sets up within 4" of the chow truck. The other rifle platoon sets up in Ambush. The rest of the forces enter as Delayed Reinforcements. See also SSRs 1 and 3.
  • Company HQ: ­ 1x CinC Carbine, 1x 2iC Carbine
  • Rifle Platoon: 1x Command Rifle, 6x Rifle, 1x Bazooka
  • Rifle Platoon:­ 1x Command Rifle, 6x Rifle, 1x Bazooka
  • Rifle Platoon: 1x Command Rifle, 6x Rifle, 1x Bazooka
  • Weapons Platoon: ­ 1x Command Carbine, 3x M2 60mm mortar, 4x M1919 LMG
  • Trained Towed Tank Destroyer Platoon ­ 1x Command .50cal Recon Jeep, 2x Recon Jeep, 1x Command Carbine, 2x M5 3in gun (late)
  • Mortar Platoon: 1x Command Carbine, 4x 81mm Mortar

German Forces

Elements of 1st Battalion, 27th Fusilier Regiment, 12th VG Division
VG Rifle Company: Confident Veteran
Setup: All platoons set up in the SE half of the map no closer than 16" from the center line. See also SSR 2.
  • Company HQ: 1x CinC Panzerfaust Assault Rifle, 1x 2iC Panzerfaust Assault Rifle
  • Sturm Platoon: 1x Command Panzerfaust Assault Rifle, 4x Panzerfaust Assault Rifle, 1x MG42 HMG team
  • Sturm Platoon: 1x Command Panzerfaust Assault Rifle, 4x Panzerfaust Assault Rifle, 1x MG42 HMG team
  • Schutzen Platoon: 1x Command Panzerfaust Rifle/MG, 6x Panzerfaust Rifle/MG, 1x MG42 HMG team
  • Mortar Platoon: 1x Command SMG, 2x Observer Rifle, 4x 8cm mortar

Scenario Special Rules

  1. The American mortar platoon sets up off board and never enters play. All American Command stands can call in fire. It doesn't count as a unit for company morale, so the Americans will have to lose three platoons before they begin to roll to see if the company breaks.
  2. The German mortars set up off board, but the Observer Teams do set up on board. It doesn't count for company morale, so the Germans have to lose three platoons before they begin to roll to see if the company breaks.
  3. The Americans start the game with two Rifle Platoons and the HQ units on board. One of these platoons can set up in Ambush. The other platoon must set up within 4 in of the chow truck. Everyone else enters as Delayed Reinforcements. The tank destroyer platoon must be the last platoon to enter the map.
  4. Because of the surprise nature of the attack, the Americans are not in Prepared Positions. In addition, neither side can fire or call in artillery on their first turn. 


The Americans set up on the left (NNW) while the Germans set up on the right (SSE). I used individual trees, but feel free to set up clumps of wooded terrain, since one large mass of woods would be a bit dull. The chow truck and the objective buildings are clearly marked. Note the walls around the buildings in the NW corner of the map. I included an opening to make it easier to enter and exit the area, but feel free to tweak as appropriate.

Victory Conditions

The Germans are attacking into the Station from the southeast. The two large buildings are the scenario objectives. The Germans win if they take and hold either of them. The Americans win if the Germans haven’t captured an objective by Turn 10. If either side fails a company morale test at any time, then the other side wins.


  1. William C. C. Cavanagh, The Battle East of Elsenborn. South Yorkshire: Pen and Sword, 2012.
  2. Stephen M. Rusieicki, The Key to the Bulge. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2009.
  3. Hans Wijers, Battle of the Bulge. Volume One: The Losheim Gap / Holding the Line. Mechanicsburg: Stackpole Books, 2009.

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