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Using the Bulge: German Command Cards

Using the Bulge: German Command Cards
with Ryan Jeffares

Alongside the release of Bulge: German comes a new pack of command cards, which add a variety of new units, options, formations and warriors to those available in the book. In this article we’ll examine a selection of the new cards available and how they’ll impact your games.

Build Cards

Armoured Trucks
Representing the armoured trucks used by Kampfgruppe Gräbner in their ill-fated attack on Arnhem bridge, these are available to SS Reconnaissance platoons as an alternative to halftracks. Whilst not as fast or as well armoured as the Sd Kfz 250, these trucks are capable of resisting small arms fire, while retaining an MG for anti-infantry firepower. 

Volks 7.5cm Artillery and Volks 8.8cm Artillery
These two cards give you the opportunity to represent the unusual composition of the Artillery batteries of Volkgrenadier Divisions, which often utilised anti-tank guns as artillery pieces. The cards replace the 10.5cm guns with either 7.5cm Pak 40s or 8.8cm Pak43s, which gain the ability to fire bombardments while retaining their anti-tank capability. The dual role nature of these platoons makes them very appealing, as they’ll be able to excel against enemy forces that are both infantry and tank centric.

Enemy Disguises
This card can be used to upgrade Panthers, StuGs, Looted M8 Armoured Cars or softskin transports, giving them Enemy Disguises. These disguises prevent the enemy from shooting at them unless they can pass a skill test beforehand and are automatically lost if the disguised units shoot or launch an assault. As well as providing a unique modelling opportunity, disguised units can be quite a headache for your opponent, adding an extra complication to the shooting phase, helping you to get your vehicles where you need them, whilst hopefully taking less enemy fire.

Using the Bulge: German Command Cards

Looted M8 Armoured Cars
A flavourful historical option, this card lets you field some of the captured M8 Greyhound armoured cars used as part of 150. Panzerbrigade. This card gives you access to a support unit of 2 M8s with enemy disguises, which can use their spearhead, scout and enemy disguises rules to deploy forwards, and sneak around enemy flanks to cause trouble and hassle vulnerable enemy units.

Kampfgruppe Von Swoboda Luftwaffe 8.8cm Flak and 2cm Flak
Everyone’s favourite gun line is back as a pair of cards, which downgrade your 8.8cm and 2cm guns to Reluctant, Aggressive and Trained in exchange for a points decrease. Furthermore, if you have an 8.8cm Heavy AA Platoon in your force you may take an additional 2cm Light AA Platoon and vice versa, so you can squeeze eight Flak 36s and eight 2cm AA guns into your force.

2cm Quad Flak and 3.7cm Flak
These two cards provide you with new alternatives to the standard 2cm AA gun, offering either higher rate of fire or better AT and firepower for a small points cost. With a ROF of 5/3, the Quad 2cm is much more likely to hit its targets, be they aircraft or unfortunate infantrymen, while the 3.7cm gun’s AT 7 will be a menace to light vehicles and it’s FP 4+ means it is more likely to destroy what it hits.

Force Cards

Skorzeny’s Commandos
There are a series of command cards representing the chaos and disruption caused by the commandos of Operation Grief, where English-speaking troops infiltrated behind Allied lines during the Battle of the Bulge.

Spread Rumours
This card can be discarded at the beginning of an opponent’s turn to pin down one of their units, though this occurs before your opponent rolls to unpin their units. Though there is a chance this could have no effect, the ability to pin down a crucial enemy unit could shift the balance of a game dramatically.

Using the Bulge: German Command Cards

Reverse road signs
Another one-use card, when discarded, this forces your opponent to reroll their reserve rolls, which can potentially delay their reserves arriving for an entire turn. Whilst not guaranteed to succeed, this card can be very useful in missions where your opponent has delayed reserves, as it will buy more time for your troops to win before the enemy reserves can even arrive on the table. 

 

Observe defences
This card is especially interesting as it allows you to move an objective up to 4”/10cm before deployment, though the final placement of the objective must follow the mission’s objective deployment rules. Although 4” doesn’t seem like a huge distance, this card can help you take the selected objective more easily, by moving the objective away from buildings or concealing terrain which would benefit the defenders. An even more devious use of this card is to play mind games with your opponent, as your opponent is more likely to focus their troops on defending the objective that you’ve moved, potentially leaving other objectives more vulnerable.

 

Tank Escorts
This formation build card is available for SS Tiger II and Panther companies and allows your SS Panzergrenadier and Fallschirmjäger infantry platoons to shoot whilst mounted on your tanks, as well as to Dismount from them when assaulting. 

Using the Bulge: German Command Cards

Formation Cards

Volks Hetzer Tank-Hunter Company
Volksgrenadier Divisions included an entire company of Hetzer tank hunters as part of their anti-tank battalion, which can be fielded here as a complete formation. Consisting of a single HQ Hetzer and 2-3 platoons of Hetzers, you can field a formation with 13 Hetzers for only 33 points! This card will definitely be useful to support your Volksgrenadiers and other infantry with mobile firepower.

Using the Bulge: German Command Cards

512. Schwere Panzerjäger Abteilung 2nd Company
This card downgrades the motivation and skill of your Jagdtigers and anti-aircraft tanks to Reluctant, Trained for a discount per tank, allowing you to squeeze more into your Jagdtiger company or to field more support units. 

150 Panzerbrigade
The famous commando Otto Skorzeny assembled a unique Panzerbrigade from a variety of captured and disguised equipment which would fight in the battle of the Bulge. This formation must include an HQ of 2 MP40 teams, a platoon of either Late Panthers or Fallschirmjäger and either a second platoon of Fallschirmjäger or StuGs. There’s also an option for a third Fallschirmjäger platoon as well as optional Pak 40s and 12cm Mortars. However, all the Panthers, StuGs and softskin transports bought for units in this formation must be equipped with the enemy disguises card.

Kampfgruppe Knaust
Representing the training units formed together into a Kampfgruppe by Hans-Peter Knaust during Operation Market Garden, this card modifies the motivation of a Brigade Panzergrenadier Company, upgrading them to confident for 1-3 points per unit. This helps mitigate the poor morale of the Brigade Panzergrenadiers, making your troops more likely to unpin and more likely to stick around as they take casualties.

Kampfgruppe Hummel
Made up of a hodge-podge of worn-out tanks, Kampfgruppe Hummel was a training unit which would fight in both Operation Market Garden and the Battle of the Bulge. This formation consists of a Tiger Company HQ and 2-3 platoons of Tiger tanks, however as their crews lack experience, the tanks in this formation are rated as Confident, Aggressive and Trained, with a Last Stand and Remount of 3+. Furthermore, the worn-out nature of the tigers has reduced their movement speeds by 2’/4cm across the board, and lowered their cross value to 4+. I’m sure this card will be popular, given the appeal of cheap Tigers and the modelling opportunities offered by the training tanks.

 Kampfgruppe Gräbner
This command card represents a Kampfgruppe led by Hauptsturmführer Graebner which tried to force the bridge at Arnhem during Operation Market Garden. The formation consists of a SS Reconnaissance Company HQ, and 2-3 Ardennes SS Reconnaissance platoons, only 1 of which can have 250 halftracks. In addition, the formation can also include troops of Sd Kfz 221s, 250s, 231s as well as a platoon of Sd Kfz 251s armed with 7.5cm infantry guns.

SS Schnellgruppe Knittel
SS Fast Group Knittel was assigned to support SS Kampfgruppe Hansen as part of the Ardennes Offensive, though rather than providing reconnaissance, the unit would end up serving as a reserve for Kampfgruppe Peiper instead. SS Schnellgruppe Knittel is made up of a veritable smorgasbord of armoured cars with the HQ and compulsory platoons mounted in either Pumas, Sd Kfz 234/1s or 250s and the option to field SS Reconnaissance platoons mounted in Sd Kfz 250s, as well as armoured mortars and infantry guns.

Using the Bulge: German Command Cards

SS Kampfgruppe Hansen Vanguard
Another SS Kampfgruppe which took part in the push towards the Meuse was Kampfgruppe Hansen, based around the Panzer IV/70s of SS-Panzerjäger Abteilung 1. This formation consists of an HQ Panzer IV/70, 2 platoons of SS Panzer IV/70s along with the option to add a unit of Sd Kfz 10/4s and either a third platoon of Panzer IV/70s or a SS Panzergrenadier Platoon.

There are also command cards to cover a variety of more traditional formations, such as Heer Panzer IV, StuG and Panzergrenadier companies or SS Panzergrenadier or Panzer IV Companies.

Warriors 

Siegfried Moldenhauer
A Battalion commander in 12. Volksgrenadierdivision, Moldenhauer had significant experience fighting on the Eastern Front. Only available to a Volksgrenadier Company, he hits on 2+ in assault and makes infantry units he launches a joint alongside hit on a roll one better than usual. Furthermore, he enables formation units within 6”/15cm of him to pass counterattack and rally rolls on 3+, helping his formation stay in the fight longer and hit harder when they assault.

Using the Bulge: German Command Cards

Hans-Peter Knaust
Commander of the aforementioned Kampfgruppe Knaust, Hans-Peter Knaust lost a leg on the Eastern Front and would bravely lead his men against British paratroopers during the Battle of Arnhem. Available for a Brigade Panzergrenadier Company HQ, Knaust passes range in tests on a 3+ and allows you to reroll a failed reserve roll each turn, helping ensure that your reserves will arrive when they’re needed.

Otto-Ernst Remer
A veteran of the Eastern Front and Commander of Führerbegleitbrigade, Otto Remer can replace the formation commander of an Ardennes Armoured Panzergrenadier Company. His vast experience allows units within 6”/15cm to pass Tactics rolls on a 2+, all but guaranteeing your troops will be able to make use of movement orders whenever you want. Furthermore, Remer hits on a 2+ win an assault, as does any infantry unit he conducts a joint assault with.

Using the Bulge: German Command Cards

Jochen Peiper
Commander of the eponymous Kampfgruppe Peiper, which led the charge to the Meuse better known as the Battle of the Bulge. Mounted in his own Panther tank, he allows you to reroll one failed reserve roll per turn. Furthermore, in missions with scattered reserves, Peiper allows you to roll two dice per unit and pick a result to determine where the unit arrives, helping to alleviate the you’re your reserves will arrive in completely the wrong place.

~Ryan


Last Updated On Thursday, June 16, 2022 by Luke at Battlefront