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Mark Johnson's irregular podcast about smaller wargames
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Wargames To Go 10 - Battle of the Bulge (John Butterfield interview)

Mark Johnson
United States
Santa Clarita
California
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That's a Palm Pilot on the left, and a pink iPod mini on the right. Yes, I've been doing BGTG that long!
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Mark Johnson's irregular podcast about small wargames
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M10 Tank Destroyer
at Bastogne's Mardasson Memorial
John Butterfield
When it comes to this podcast, December means two things: a desire to replay the Bulge, and holiday busy-ness. It happens every year. This time, in 2016, I'm just as busy as ever, but the podcast commitment meant I pushed forward to play some Bulge games. Not as many as I would've liked, but enough for the episode. Besides, you've heard how the real focus of my podcasts nowadays are the interviews. I'm learning that the fast, one-month pace I'm keeping for these episodes always compresses my gaming time, but I can still get the podcast out on-time by relying on the interview. It's working.

Knowing December would probably not allow me to visit a historic location, I also picked Bulge because it's a place I've visited previously. Back in 2012 I went on a father-son trip before my son went to college, and we visited Bastogne, spent the night in Luxembourg, went to a top Bulge museum, and even saw that cheesy movie. At the time I wasn't doing a wargame podcast, but I included a whole lot about that trip in my longstanding eurogame podcast. You might want to check that out, too.

This time, though, I can still talk about another film or two, some light games I've played, and--most of all--feature an interview with designer John Butterfield. In our discussion I had a focus on his famous digital game from Shenandoah/Slitherine called Battle of the Bulge, the one that launched the Crisis in Command series. I've played a ton of it, and have enjoyed jumping back in again. Besides that title, John talks about the Bulge in general, his Enemy Action Ardennes game, and some other stories from his extensive history in the hobby. I know you'll like it.

There are a few books I've read on this venerable topic, notably Antony Beevor's Ardennes 1944. Some of the best material I read came from Strategy & Tactics magazine, along with World at War. I learned about the Premium library subscription offered by Decision Games, which lets me access the entire library of SPI/Decision's magazines (no games). Wow! What a goldmine. Along with the article index, I can quickly find which issues contain articles on Bulge/Ardennes, and read those. Danny Parker's extensive articles from 1978 were fantastic.




Movies
The Battle of the Bulge (1965)
Band of Brothers (2001) episodes 6 and 7 focus on the Bulge
Everyman's War (2009)
Battleground (1949)
The Big Red One (1980)
A Midnight Clear (1992)
Saints and Soldiers (2003)


Books
Ardennes 1944 by Antony Beevor


The steep review valleys of the Ardennes . . . and a display at Diekirch's National Museum of Military History


Remember to follow along & chime in on my geeklist/discussion) for all of my Bulge explorations. If you're a wargamer on social media, follow me on Twitter (@WargamesToGo). Feedback is always welcome.

-Mark

P.S. If you want to get started on my next topic, it will be the Spanish Civil War.



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