Hearts of Iron III Battle of the Bulge German AAR

Today I will be playing the Battle of the Bulge standalone scenario in the grand strategy epic title Hearts of Iron III by Paradox Development Studio. The settings chosen for this effort are hard difficulty and normal game mode. The selections for diplomacy, production, technology, politics and intelligence are actually irrelevant as the scenario designer disabled them.

The Allies Victory Conditions are to remain in control of Den Hagg until 1/2/45 and to remain in control of Calais until 1/2/45. The Axis Victory Conditions are to capture Den Hagg and capture Calais. The scenario starts on December 16, 1944 at midnight. I will be commanding OB West, led by Gerd von Rundstedt. This force is comprised of Heeresgruppe B (Model), Heeresgruppe G (Balck), Heeresgruppe H (Student), 7. Armee (Brandenberger) and 14. Flieger Division (Udet).

Given the Victory Condition set up by the scenario designer, this force is more than adequate for the task of capturing the province of Calais, in most part because the Germans are already in control of Den Hagg from the outset. While I could simply zerg rush Calais with the whole of OB West and be home by Christmas (not quite), I decide to force a broader front and assign von Rundstedt the following objectives: Calais, Paris and Troyes provinces.


Capture Calais and you win the war: it seems so simple.


The three objectives assigned to OB West: Calais, Paris and Troyes. I really don’t care about Paris here and its 30 Victory Points, I just want to push the Allies back that way.

Battles of the Week


The Allies lost 3,998 troops during the Battle of Luxembourg.


The Axis lost 1,701 troops during the Battle of Venlo.


End of Week One: December 23, 1944 00:00.

Battle of the Week


The Allies lost 1,848 troops and the Axis lost 1,383 in the Battle of Cattenom. The bleed through in the image is the result of stacked battle result messages and their semi-transparent backgrounds.


End of Week Two: December 30, 1944 00:00.

Battles of the Week


The Allies lost 2,265 troops during the Battle of Breda.


The Axis lost 1,679 troops during the Battle of Turnhout.


End of Week Three: January 6, 1945 00:00.

Battle of the Week


The Allies lost 3,162 troops and the Axis lost 2,505 in the Battle of Saarbrucken.


End of Week Four: January 13, 1945 00:00.

Battles of the Week


The Allies lost 2,284 troops during the Battle of Gent.


The Axis lost 1,822 troops during the Battle of Phiilppeville.


End of Week Five: January 20, 1945 00:00.

Battle of the Week


The Allies lost 2,049 troops and the Axis lost 2,871 in the Battle of Bruxelles.


End of Week Six: January 27, 1945 00:00.

Battle of the Week


The Allies lost 2,470 troops and the Axis lost 1,922 in the Battle of Toul.


End of Week Seven: February 3, 1945 00:00.

Battle of the Week


The Allies lost 2,166 troops and the Axis lost 2,586 in the Battle of Mezieres.

After-action Reports



Post Mortem

When writing this AAR and researching the various forces involved in the battle, I came across some discrepancies with the identified commanders of particular units. In a previous attempt at this same scenario (but as the Americans), I came across Marine General Alexander Vandegrift commanding XII Corps in the Luxembourg province.


I think not.

As far as I know, this command was headed up by Manton Eddy as Vandergrift never served in Europe. These kinds of errors made me quite uncomfortable in writing specific details of force commanders and the actual units involved as I am having some doubts regarding the accuracy of the data.

Everything I have ever heard about this game is that it is the pinnacle of historical accuracy; however something is going terribly wrong here. I doubt that War in the East has similar issues.

3 comments:

  1. Thanks for this. You know I've been waffling about this game, but this AAR has pretty much convinced me that it just isn't my thing. I'm sure it's a good game, but it feel like its just too abstract for me.

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  2. I think I played the demo for this on Steam or one of the Hearts of Iron games. I never got past the first 30 minutes or so. Battlefront's stategic command seemed to be a better fit than this, though I never ended up getting it either. That has a demo and is worth a try especially if you are looking into a grand strategy game for ww2.

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  3. I didn't know you could do that. Cheers. I've been dipping in out of the full game but it really does need a lot if time and care. I'm still finding it fun even when my head hurts :)

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