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Enemy Action: Ardennes German Solo FAQ RSS Feed

FAQ for Enemy Action: Ardennes (German Solo!)

(The rules of the 3 games German Solo, Allied Solo and 2-Player are sufficiently different that it seems sensible to have separate FAQs for each!)

Info taken from FAQs in file area and various forum threads, consolidated into a Wiki page so that people can more easily find all the info in one place and update it.

If you create a thread in the game's forum, please use GS, AS, or 2P in the subject line to help forum readers!
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/19565812#19565812

List of game FAQs

Official Errata

Here is is the good useful official errata in downloadable PDF files (first from 2015-07-21 and most recently from 2016-01-01):
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/119890/official-addenda

Official game page at publisher's website

http://compassgames.com/index.php/enemy-action-ardennes.html

Last resort tiebreakers

In various rules about AI decisions, it occasionally happens that the listed tiebreakers don't suffice.

If a choice of unit remains after applying all tiebreakers, choose the unit with the lowest selector number, then the lowest corps number.

If a choice of hex remains after applying all tiebreakers, choose the lowest numbered hex.

2.0 Playing Pieces

Unit Selector Number

AS rules mention (at the end of page 7) that "In the event that you must select from units with the same selector number (possible if units are in different corps), select the unit in the lower numbered corps." This should also apply to GS.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/23150711#23150711

We can consider all corps numbers to be lower than OKW.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1453329/german-movements-same-selector-number-which-order

3.0 Setting up for Play

Card Preparation: Step 2 should read: "2. Place your initial supplemental cards in the Available Supplemental Cards box." Step 3 should read: "3. Place your German reinforcement cards in the Cards Entering Play box."
(from official errata)

4.0 Sequence of Play

II Card Preparation Phase: Step 3 should read "3. Place all Supplemental Discards from the previous day face down in the Available Supplemental Cards box."
(from official errata)

...play a Bridge Engineers card to repair and build bridges...

You may play one or more Engineer or Bridge Engineer command events in the Supply Phase, each to repair or build one bridge.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1676717/event-bridge-engineers

6. Activating German Units and Formations

General hint: The Allies get to activate units of other unactivated formations which are stacked with currently activated units, but the Germans do not get to do that!

6.4 Kampfgruppe Activation

"All units in the army that start the activation within two hexes of the KG marker are activated."
I.e. you can not selectively choose which units within two hexes are activated; they all are.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/30292686#30292686

6.5 Consecutive Activation Restriction

This was messed up & unclear in the printed rules. The intention is basically that it's corps-oriented: if you activate any unit in a given corps, by any means, then you cannot reactivate any unit in that corps again in the same or following impulse.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1465827/gs-65-consecutive-activation-restriction

6.5, second example: Delete the third sentence, beginning “You may play a division card …”
(from official errata)

7. German reserves

7.42 Activating OKW units
In the last 2 sentences, change "may be" to "are", i.e.:

OKW units are included in a Kampfgruppe activated by any army or army group card, if within two hexes of the KG marker. OKW units in a particular division are activated by playing the corresponding division card.

9. Allied reserves

New players seem to find deploying reserves one of the harder more time-consuming activities. The flowchart on the player aid seems helpful. It gets easier with practice! :)

An out-of-contact dispersed unit cannot be taken as a reserve.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31279171#31279171

9.2 Allied Reserve Deployment Methods

Deployment Process [18+], Step 2 Out-of-contact check, first sentence should begin:
"Check all eligible on-map Allied units not deployed in Step 1 that are out of contact..."

9.51 Expedite reserves

If the expedite reserve command occurs when there are two or fewer cards in the German draw pile, you are instructed to deploy the units directly to the map INSTEAD of placing them in the reserve box. If no units can be deployed to the map, the expedite reserve command is considered not conducted -- move on the next command on the Allied command card.
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/31279045#31279045

9.6 Deploying British XXX Corps

9.61: GS 9.61 is correct: Unit 29A.XXX is deployed in hex 1126 in GS if using the Basic Deployment table. In the 2P and AS games (only), the live Allied player has the option of placing 29A.XXX in Dinant (hex 1125).
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dd4b69c/2456

9.62, Deployment Under German Threat: The second bullet should read “A German unit is proximate to or within three hexes of the position.”
(from official errata)

What about unusual situations, e.g. if a German unit is barely over the Meuse in a German town/city, or just east of the Meuse, but not proximate to hex west of it? Some special cases resolved here, others still need official clarification:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1422875/gs-xxx-corp-placement

10. Allied Activations and Action Cards

General hint: For each action card in sequence, you go through the eligible units in numerical order (ascending or descending) as indicated on the card. (This can be time-consuming and require care, if many formations or units were activated and they are spread about the map in lots of multi-unit stacks.) If a unit meets the situation condition, then pay attention to whether the action card talks about "unit" or "unit/stack" to know whether you should act only with that unit or with its entire stack.

Danger of Surround

An Allied unit on a friendly map edge is always in supply, but it can be in danger of surround (if its (fewer than 6; typically 4) adjacent printed hexes on the map have Germans proximate which could make all those printed hexes be in German ZOCs)
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1463544/gs-allied-reserves-map-northern-edge

Preserve Line

Discussion about front line and gaps and preserving the line:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1440210/gs-allied-front-line-definition-preserve-line

Proximate

Strategic movement is NOT considered when checking for German proximity.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31168624#31168624

10.4 Performing Allied Actions

When moving more than one unit in an Allied action, move the lead unit first, then other units in ascending numerical order.

11. Movement

11.4 Bridge Demolition Check

A demolition check is made when a German unit "enters" a hex with an intact Allied-supplied bridge, so not only during German Movement but also during advances and retreats and reinforcements (similar to roadblock checks 15.11)

Remember to do bridge demolition checks! It is easy to forget in the heat of battle.

11.4 Bridge Demolition Check if Germans already control bridge? Yes! Ownership is irrelevant for demolition check.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1407638/gs-bridge-demolition-confirmation

Bridge Demolition Check is done before Roadblock Check.
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1393246/gs-order-roadblocks-vs-bridge-blowing

11.82 British XXX Corps Restrictions

The Exception about 29A.XXX in "1126 (Dinant)" is an error and should not be in the GS rules. Delete it.
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dd4b69c/2456

13. Combat

13.2 Undetected Allied Defenders

Dispersed units are ineligible for placement as an undetected Allied defender.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2031464/gs-undetected-allied-defender-and-dispersed-units

If the card drawn is a matching formation, but the defending allied units are out of communication and so cannot receive undetected allied defenders, then the defenders use the card for its combat tactic. I.e. Step 3, 2nd bullet of the German Combat Sequence should read "If the formation is not a match or the defending units are out of communication, and the card lists a combat tactic ..."
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/30844000#30844000

John Butterfield has clarified that if all Allied defenders are dispersed, then you should not draw a card at all for them (since they will not receive undetected defenders nor combat tactics).
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31278974#31278974

13.3 Combat Tactics

You can play combat tactics which will have no effect, just to get rid of the cards.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1414329/gs-ditching-cards-combat-tactics

But two combat tactics have requirements to play. You cannot play Fixed Artillery if outside the Fixed Artillery Range, and you cannot play Infantry Infiltration if your attackers don't include infantry.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31434591#31434591

13.4 Drawing combat chits

If the chit is blue, then immediately mix. One of the 3 blue chits does not have the word "mix" due to lack of space, but the color blue means you should mix.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1392617/combat-chit-mix

13.5 Combat Hits

Allied Defender’s Hold Chance: The third item in the list of hold chance modifiers should read "+2 if the defending units have not yet retreated and all attackers are across a river"
You may want to note this on your player aid card too!
(Hits and Step Losses: Assigning hits to defending allied units.)
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1412546/gs-priority-d-retreat
(from official errata)

13.53 Assigning Hits to Allied Attackers: Note that Allied attackers get to "cheat", never losing more than 2 steps no matter how many hits they receive.

13.6 Applying step losses

Applying Allied step losses: in rare case of tie for selector number, apply to lowest corps number.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1464484/gsapplying-step-losses-allied-hits

13.7 Retreats

A unit that is eliminated (even if eliminated during retreat e.g. due to entering an enemy ZOC) does not leave behind a path of retreat. If such a doomed unit entered a roadblock during its vain retreat, the roadblock is not removed.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31279135#31279135

Note that the only-one-unit-which-must-stop restriction concerning unbridged rivers applies to Movement but not to Retreats. Multiple units can retreat across an unbridged river (and apparently retreat a second hex as well).
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/20653542#20653542

13.73 Stay together

Retreating units must stay together except to avoid overstacking at the end of the retreat.

13.75 Two-hex Retreat

Defending Allied unit(s) will retreat in violation of stacking limits only into the first hex of the retreat and if at least one defender hit remains unfulfilled after entering the hex. The retreating units then fulfill their next hit by retreating a second hex, instead of checking the priorities of 13.52. If unable to retreat a second hex from the over stacked hex, the defending units may not retreat at all.
(from official errata)

A unit that ends its retreat due to Combat A in a hex occupied by other friendly units is eliminated if those friendly units retreat or are eliminated in a subsequent attack in the same activation (Combat B). The elimination of the unit retreated in Combat A is immediate and does not affect the retreat of the units in Combat B.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31168582#31168582

Examples of Allied retreat logic:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1455370/gsretreat-paths-and-overstacking
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1408788/gs-allied-retreat-questions

13.8 Advance after combat

Two-Hex Advance: An attacking unit advancing a second hex after eliminating the defenders in a combat is deviating from the path of retreat (since there was no retreat) for purposes of determining which hexes the advancing unit may enter.
(from official errata)

Helpful discussion of retreat, elimination, advance and how you can't advance 2 hexes from enemy ZOC to enemy ZOC if the defender was eliminated:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1407916/gs-retreat-elimination-and-advance

Advance after combat is unit by unit, not the whole stack together.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1528911/gs-advance-roadblock-stacking-timing-question

Advance after combat can trigger bridge demolition and roadblock checks as usual:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1410074/gs-and-2p-german-advance-and-allied-bridge-demolit

Good discussion and summary comment of advancing across bridged hexsides plus traffic jams:
1-hex retreat, retreating unit still with ZOC, traffic jams or not
- only 1 unit advances using bridge (because of rule 13.82, presence of enemy ZOC on the other side of the bridge)
- 1 unit advances "unbridged"(rule 13.82)
1-hex retreat, retreating unit without ZOC, traffic jams
- only 1 unit advances using bridge (because of traffic jams)
- 1 unit advances "unbridged"(rule 13.82)
1-hex retreat, retreating unit without ZOC, no traffic jams
- no advance limit because of bridge
2-hex retreat, traffic jams
- only 1 unit advances using bridge (traffic jams rules), can advance 2 hexes if mech
- 1 unit advances "unbridged" cannot advance 2-hexes even if mech (rule 13.82)
2-hex retreat, no traffic jams
- no advance limit because of bridge
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1423222/gs-traffic-jams-and-1382-bridged-hexsides

Allies win attack: Resolve each attacking unit's advance fully (1st & possible 2nd hex) before going on to resolve next attacking unit's advance.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1444503/gs-allied-2-hex-advance-questions

13.9 Dispersal

If even one unit in a defending stack is dispersed, then the entire stack can only retreat 1 hex, and the remaining hits must be taken as step losses.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1443532/gs-apply-hits-allied-dispersed-stack

14. Communication and Supply

German communication and supply cannot go through a roadblock marker.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1545925/gs-does-fill-gap-bypass-roadblocks

Enemy-owned bridges do not affect the tracing of communication across rivers. (The rules are correct, but the player aid is incorrect.)
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31279116#31279116

14.33 Isolated

Info from John Butterfield:
An isolated infantry unit may not exit an enemy ZOC when moving; it may exit an enemy ZOC when retreating.
In the next printing of the game, in rules 2P 10.23, GS 14.33 and AS 13.23, I will replace bullets 2, 3, 4, 5 and 8 with the following:
- A mechanized unit may not move or retreat.
- An infantry unit may move only one hex and if attacked may retreat only one hex.
- When moving, an infantry unit may not exit an enemy ZOC.
- When moving or retreating an infantry unit may not enter an enemy town or city, may not cross an enemy bridge, and if Allied may not enter an unoccupied Westwall hex.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/28911162#28911162

14.4 Allied Air Resupply

Ignore the rulebook paragraph: This text should match that of the corresponding event description on the Events player aid card. The text on the player aid is correct.
(from official errata)

14.5 German Fuel Shortages 20+

A command card stating that a formation on the card is out of fuel on the current day is discarded, regardless of the status of any units in the formation. (Even if all units in the formation have been eliminated.)
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dd4b69c/2475
Additionally, reserve units of an out of fuel formation cannot be deployed to the map.
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/28979783#28979783

Remember to check for fuel shortages not only in the Supply Phase (start of turn) but also at the end of each German Impulse! (It is easy to forget to check newly drawn cards in the heat of battle...)

15. Allied Roadblocks

15.1 Roadblock Check

Add bullet reading “The hex is not a German controlled town.” (from official errata)

Add bullet reading “The hex was not occupied by a German unit at any point in the current German activation.”

15.11 Checks for each hex entered

A roadblock check is made when a German unit "enters" an eligible hex, so not only during German Movement but also during advances and retreats and reinforcements

Bridge Demolition Check is done before Roadblock Check.
https://boardgamegeek.com/thread/1393246/gs-order-roadblocks-vs-bridge-blowing

Remember to do roadblock demolition checks! It is easy to forget in the heat of battle.

A roadblock marker blocks German communication. (By rule 15, it blocks German supply, but that rule does not mention communication.)
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1545925/gs-does-fill-gap-bypass-roadblocks

If a german unit is adjacent to a roadblock with a road connection to roadblock hex, can this unit be used to evaluate proximate (or to evaluate danger of surround) to another hex?
JB answer:
Yes. However the unit cannot trace proximity through the roadblock hex and the proximity path would be blocked if traced through another hex that is both adjacent to and with a road connection to the roadblock hex.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1530969/gs-proximate

16. Towns, Cities, Bridges and IPs

Some players find it easier to use wooden cubes or other such pieces (instead of the relatively wide flat counters provided) placed directly on the bridge hexsides to indicate destroyed bridges and bridge ownership. (This may also help remind you to do bridge demolition checks after every move, advance, reinforce move...)

16.2 Bridges – Control at Start: The second sentence should read "...and the five intact bridges behind the German lines (at hexes 0302, 0502, 1802..."
(from official errata)

16.21 does not say who controls a rebuilt bridge; a literal interpretation may imply that if Germans "repair" a "destroyed bridge" which was Allied-controlled, then it still remains under Allied control. 16.22 explicitly says that if Germans "build" a "new", then it is German controlled. Perhaps it's intended that repairing a bridge also makes it under the control of the side which repaired it.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/2147513/gs-bridge-ownership

17. Replacements

"If the corps has at least two reduced units in play, the corps receives replacements." It is possible that reduced units cannot receive replacements (since they are not in supply), so the sentence means "at least two reduced units in play which can receive replacements".
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1427605/gs-replacements

Events

Note that "Special" events with the > symbol cannot be selected when playing Army cards. Only "Commands" can be selected that way.

Allies Alert

If Allies Alert is drawn after the Germans have no more cards, it's still executed (with no effect).
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1541415/gs-allies-alert-after-last-german-impulse

Allies Alert means that Large Attack chits which list a date are treated as "no result", even if you draw 7 chits!
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1395579/combat-chit-large-attack

Engineers

Engineers: "Greatest German strength" means sum of all adjacent German strength, simply summing strengths on counters (with no terrain/etc effects).
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1520265/gs-place-ip-engineers-event

Allied Engineers: event places a unit from reserve, but it's a special event, not a normal deployment, so corp boundaries do not matter.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1497477/gs-engineers-allied-event-and-replacing-roadblock

Von der Heydte

The GS player aid indicates that Von der Heydte is a Special event, but the other player aids list it as a Command event, and a comment by John Butterfield suggests that it's intended as a Commaned event in GS:
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/25596461#25596461

Withdrawal

Withdrawal - If there is a tie (most steps and easternmost), use lowest selector number.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1521930/gs-withdrawal-allied-command-event-ambiguity-if-2

Combat Tactics

Assault Coordination

Assault Coordination requires all eligible units adjacent to the Defender to participate in the attack. (E.g. even green units which you'd prefer not participate.)
https://boardgamegeek.com/article/26894340#26894340

Combat Engineers

(Somewhat confusingly) the Allies have "Engineers" and the Germans have "Combat Engineers". The Allies do benefit from the Combat Engineers combat chit when attacking with their Engineers combat tactic. (Allied engineers are capable of bridge and combat functions. The Germans have bridge engineers that only deal with bridges and combat engineers that only aid combat.)
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31279237#31279237

Defender text says "Do not place ... if the attacker played the Combat Engineer tactic", but "Combat Engineer tactic" should say "Engineer tactic" (without "Combat").
(This error appears on the 2P chart also, but the AS chart is correct.)
http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dd4b69c/2488

Fixed Artillery

It cannot be played if outside the Fixed Artillery Range.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31434591#31434591

Infantry Infiltration

Infantry Infiltration vs a town or city does not give flank attack bonus (13.41 "Flank attack" trumps the combat tactic), but it does still remove the one-hex attack penalty.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1468746/gs-infantry-infiltration-question-v-towns
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1389057/infantry-infiltration-vs-town-or-city

It cannot be played if your attackers don't include infantry.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/article/31434591#31434591

Press the Attack

The Press the Attack combat tactic has no special advantage. Like all other combat tactics its play allows the attacker to draw a combat chit.
(from official errata)

Reinforce Battle

The movement of a reinforcement unit can trigger bridge demolition and roadblock checks as usual (thus causing the unit to in fact not reach the intended hex to reinforce battle).
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1546385/gs-back-basics-reinforce-battle
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1392429/gs-roadblock-checks-reinforce-battle

Units already in a battle hex can reinforce without moving.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1512387/gs2p-reinforce-battle

Units selected to reinforce do not have to move; they can also stay in place.
If they move, they must move to a battle hex; they can not move to a non-battle hex.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1408571/2p-reinforce-battle-stack-movement-question
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1393761/gs-reinforce-battle

A stack reinforcing may split up to move to different battle hexes, or some move and some do not.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1511229/2p-reinforce-battle

A reinforcing allied stack moves each unit individually in ascending numerical order as in 10.63 (even though 10.63 is formally about actions, not combat tactics).
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1426891/gs-reinforce-battle

Example of moving to reinforce attack:
If multiple possible hexes adjacent to target, move the reinforcing unit to the farther west one, then the lowest numbered hex (= farther north).
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1443801/gs-movement-priorities-allies-moving-reinforcing-a

Great example of subtle Allied reinforcement situation and determining whether hexes are in danger of surround:
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1443576/gs-roadblock-effects-deploy-allied-reserves

Allied Action Cards

Germans Exposed

Germans Exposed is not an attack per se, so unsupplied Allied units (which can't attack) can nonetheless do this special action.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1519520/gs-germans-exposed-and-unsupplied-allied-troops

Strengthen

Allied Action Card 15, Strengthen: Situation description should begin “Unit proximate to but not stacked with unit/stack with total strength ≤ 3 (≤3 steps if in VP hex),…”. First sentence of Action description should read: “Move to closest qualifying unit/stack, then weakest.”
(from official errata)

Strengthen's very concise expression "proximate to but not stacked with" means:
A unit stacked with other units (which themselves possess a total strength of 3 or less) and to which 7 or more German strength points are proximate is not eligible to conduct the "Strengthen" action. Logically, a unit in a position under German threat would not move away to strengthen a weak position if doing so leaves its own position weak. But if this candidate unit is the only unit in its hex, then it is eligible to move away to strengthen some other hex.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1442079/gs-strengthen-action-confusion

So if Hex 1 and Hex 2 are both threatened by 7 proximate German strength, then a unit in Hex 1 will move to strengthen Hex 2 if:

  • Hex 1 has no other units OR Hex 1 has one or two other units whose total strength (steps if VP hex) is more than 3

AND

  • Hex 2 has one or two units whose total strength (steps if VP hex) is not more than 3.

In case of equally closest & weakest candidate stacks to strengthen, choose the higher selector number (per definition of "weakest" in 10.3).
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1440847/gs-another-strengthen-allied-action-question

Withdrawal Under Fire

Helpful example of simply ignoring German ZOC for first step.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1470185/gs-withdrawal-under-fire-pull-back

Allied Command Cards

Allied Command Card 20: 101AB (airborne) is talking about the 101 units (arriving on Dec 18).

Allied Command Card 23: “4th Armored Division” should read “4th Infantry Division”
(from official errata)

German Command Cards

German Command Card 43: “I SS Panzer Corps” should read “II SS Panzer Corps”
German Command Cards 58, 59, 66, 67, 70 & 71: “7th Panzer Army” should read “7th Army”.
(from official errata)

Presumably "7th Panzer Army" should read "7th Army" also on cards 65 & 69.
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/filepage/119890/official-addenda

Counters

Counters: The combat strength on the reduced side of CCA/9A/VIII should be “2”. The combat strength on the reduced side of CCB/9A/VIII should be “3”.
(from official errata)

A good quality black pen can easily correct this...

Map

A bridge depiction should exist across the 2302-2303 hexside.
(from official errata)

Day 16 on the turn track mentions "1st German turn"; this means "1st German impulse". "Turn" usually means "game turn / date" but in a few places it means "impulse".
https://www.boardgamegeek.com/thread/1488341/gs-question-about-day-16-allied-command-value

Limits on German movement, not deployment, are lifted on Dec 20.

Strategy

There are many online discussions of EAA strategy. Some particularly good interesting ideas appear before and after this list of notes by Joshua Gottesman at csw (it's ostensibly about 2P, but much of it is applicable to GS):

http://talk.consimworld.com/WebX?14@@.1dd4b69c/2528

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