Ardennes II is a reissued game in the Standard Combat Series (SCS), based on the award-winning Ardennes game from 1993. This updated edition incorporates additional research provided by the BCS game Last Blitzkrieg. Much like its predecessor, Ardennes II focuses on the German Wacht am Rhein offensive that occurred in December 1944 along the previously quiet front of the Ardennes Forest.
Despite suffering significant losses on both the Western and Eastern Fronts, the German Army sought to reinvigorate its offensive capabilities by conscripting elderly, infirm, and very young individuals. The defending US forces were in the process of recovering from their rapid advance across France and were using the Ardennes area to allow their exhausted units to refit and offer new reinforcements some essential battle-zone experience.
This historic event is now known as the Battle of the Bulge.
Despite the initial surprise attack, the US forces managed to assemble a series of resolute defenses, timely bridge destructions, and harnessed the formidable power of their well-supplied artillery to halt the feared German Panzer troops almost entirely.
Ardennes II depicts all of these actions in game turns, with each turn representing one day of combat, and a hex scale of 1 mile per hex. Typically, units in the game are reinforced battalions or smaller. The full campaign game spans 16 turns, running from December 16 to December 31, 1944.
In addition to benefiting from enhanced research on order of battle (OOB) and map data from Last Blitzkrieg, Ardennes II distinguishes itself from its predecessor in several ways. It underscores the unique nature of the artillery employed by both sides, corrects the original "Supply Wagon" supply system, and allows units the option to withdraw before an enemy assault. The game also streamlines the number of complex rules, making it more accessible and reducing the impact of minor forces.
Ardennes II maintains the SCS tradition of a straightforward Sequence of Play, clear unit interactions, and a simple method for determining victory.
This game is highly recommended for those looking to introduce beginners to the world of wargaming, thanks to its easy-to-learn mechanics.
- Ardennes Campaign: 2 maps, 16 turns
- Breakthrough Campaign: 1 map, 6 turns
- KG Peiper: Part of 1 map, 5 turns
- The Goose Egg: Part of 1 map, 5 turns
- Bastogne: Screaming Eagles Under Siege: Parts of 2 maps, 8 turns
- Tip of the Spear: 1 map, 4 turns
- SCS rulebook (Version 1.8)
- Ardennes II game-specific rulebook
- Two full-color 22" x 34" game maps
- 560 counters
- 6 scenarios, including four on a single map
- Game box and dice