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Battle of the Bulge: the simulation game for the iPad's video poster

A simulation game of the Battle of the Bulge by John Butterfield, published by Shenandoah Studio coming to the iPad! Read more

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This project was successfully funded on May 28, 2012.

A simulation game of the Battle of the Bulge by John Butterfield, published by Shenandoah Studio coming to the iPad!

About this project


On behalf of all six of us at the Shenandoah Studio, we want to thank you all for your support and interest in our project to bring real wargames to the iPad. Your support has far surpassed our goal and your comments and notes have been incorporated into our project plans. We will be in touch soon.



Founder & CEO, on behalf of Nick, Miguel, Jeff, David, and Pat

Battle of the Bulge: Crisis In Command Volume 1

Battle of the Bulge is the first game by Shenandoah Studio, a group of veteran game designers and developers who have come together to publish top quality strategy games on the iPad, in the spirit of classic board games. Collectively, we have over 160 years of game design and development experience. See our video above for more about the game and the Studio's vision for gaming on the iPad.

Battle of the Bulge is a serious historical simulation game about the famous World War Two battle. John Butterfield, one of the most accomplished game designers ever, has created Bulge from the start for the iPad. It is turn-based and you can:

  • Play by yourself, as either the Germans or Allies, or
  • Face-to-face by passing the iPad, or
  • Face-to-face using two iPads, or
  • Over the Internet, asynchronously.

You can play as many games simultaneously as you would like, “Wars with Friends” if you will. The touch screen totally changes the experience of simulation games, making them faster to play, more interactive, and more fun.

User-Interface Demo

This informal video, recorded in our offices by producer Jeff Dougherty, shows the player activating a unit, moving it, and the updating of the page. It is two minutes long (and shows our debugging lines and circles), enjoy.

Why this Game Matters

Battle of the Bulge matters for a variety of reasons: one, it is a fun game in its own right!; two, it is a serious simulation game, a memorable educational experience; and three, it begins the process of bringing these types of games to a new generation of players. Because it is an iPad game, it is simple to learn, fast to play, yet deep in its value both as fun and education.

Battle of the Bulge is a kind of living history. 

Battle of the Bulge Game Details

Battle of the Bulge is a classic gaming situation, with a surprise attack, desperate defense, and bold counterattack. The Germans rush to exploit their initial strength, while the Allies struggle to hold on and then counterattack. The game play is quick and the strategy deep.

The illustration below shows a prototype map with the battle underway and three American divisions cut off in Bastogne. Likewise, a German panzer division has broken through and gotten to the Meuse River, but is cut-off and out of supply.

The Battle of the Bulge was fought in December 1944 and the graphic design conveys the cold, snowing conditions.

Zooming in is a simple matter of using your fingers to pinch the screen. Here’s a mockup of a closer look at the ongoing battle in Bastogne:

When you are thinking of making an attack you can view the Combat Preview panel to gain important information, such as the strength of both sides, factors influencing the battle, and an estimate of the number of hits likely to occur and whether or not a forced retreat is probable. The Combat Preview below shows a German attack: notice the number of hits the American are expected to take, almost enough to wipe them out!

Battle of the Bulge is in development and we are still working on presentation concepts. The illustration below shows some of our animation ideas: fog blowing across the battlefield for instance, the Combat Resolution panel, and aircraft – high resolution or symbolic? We have not decided yet!

Announcing "El Alamein by Mark Herman

We are pleased to announce the first sequel to Battle of the Bulge, Mark Herman's El Alamein. Mark is a veteran game designer with many game designs to his credit and he is a member of the Game Design Hall of Fame. Mark's game takes the new Crisis in Command series of games to North Africa and one of the great turning points of World War Two: El Alamein. Mark will be writing a Design Diary on the game as he designs it this summer, so check our website for his updates. Here's the splash screen:

Get Battle of the Bulge and El Alamein!

We have added El Alamein to the rewards list and thus every level of $20 or more will now receive El Alamein too. We are doing this to enrich the rewards to make the levels more attractive and to add new levels. Our first new level is at $20, which gets you both games and both wallpaper sets. Our second new $40 level has been created specially to create an "all electronic reward" for our non-North American friends - but it should appeal to many of you - it adds Player's and Designer's Guides for both games. See the rewards for details.

About Our Kickstarter Campaign

But why Kickstarter? Two reasons:

  • We would like to provide features and production values that, as a startup on a shoestring, Shenandoah can’t otherwise afford; and,
  • We want to give the community (YOU) a voice in choosing the feel and features that will deliver the most value and best possible play experience.

By supporting this project you will show that gamers want serious simulations on the iPad. You’ll also ensure that the game has the features that matter the most to you.

As the campaign proceeds we will report on what people are telling us and announce additional rewards and surprises, so stay tuned. We will use to keep in touch too.

The reward dates are when we expect to finish sending you all the rewards items. We will send electronic-delivered items as they are completed and physical items will be mailed all at once, so depending on the reward, you will receive a stream of items. The game is on the iPad so you'll get it first! We expect to publish the game in late August. We will keep updated!


We will have three t-shirts and the votes from backers for our Battle of the Bulge t-shirt have been tallied and the t-shirt below won the vote for one design.

We are working on the design for the Shenandoah Studio t-shirt and haven't started the El Alamein version yet. The Shenandoah shirt will be two-color and will have a much smaller image, more business-like; El Alamein will be designed in the spirit of the Bulge t-shirt.


Starting at $60 rewards require shipping. Shipping is free to the US and Canada, but for delivery elsewhere please add the indicated supplement to your pledge. 

Thanks for Your Help!

The game is scheduled for launch in late summer. We hope you will tell your friends about this campaign too and we look forward to keeping you informed about the progress of the campaign.


Eric Lee Smith

Shenandoah Studio (stop by and visit!)


  • Yes we will, in fact Battle of the Bulge was designed for the iPhone first. That said, we are not sure of the timing of the iPhone release other than it will be after the initial release.

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  • Good question. We will purchase our own App from the App Store and gift it to you. Apple takes their percentage and the balance comes back to us. Kickstarter is not a way of avoiding Apple's distribution system.

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  • Yes, please add the indicated increment for rewards at the $60 level and above. Depending on the destination country you may also be responsible for customs duties.

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  • At present we are focusing on optimizing interface and performance for the iPad. While we'd love to make the game available to players on other platforms there is no timetable for doing so.

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  • You selected
    Pledge $10 or more

    319 backers

    YOU GET THE GAME, Battle of the Bulge, two glorious wallpapers for your iPad, and listing in the game credits as a FRIEND.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $20 or more

    272 backers

    NEW! YOU GET BOTH GAMES: Battle of the Bulge AND El Alamein, plus four delightful wallpapers for your iPad, and listing in both games as a FRIEND.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $25 or more

    255 backers

    Above + a ready-to-print PDF version of Battle of the Bulge as a board game (a $20 value); another wallpaper this time a detail of the Bulge map showing the Battle of Bastogne; an MP3 of the Bulge theme music; a copy of the Bulge Player’s Guide in PDF format; credit as a SUPPORTER (rather than a Friend).

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $40 or more

    103 backers

    NEW: Above + ready-to-print PDF versions of the El Alamein game as board game, Player's Guide, and Designer's Guide; plus the Battle of the Bulge Designer's Guide PDF.

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $60 or more

    44 backers

    Above + a printed copy of the Bulge map on high-quality paper; the official Shenandoah Studio t-shirt; a copy of the Bulge Game Designer’s Guide in PDF format; two phone ringtones based upon Bulge sound effects; the inclusion of a “NICKNAME” for yourself in the credits, i.e., Mark “Smilin’ Eyes” Wilson. (Please add $20 for shipping outside the US, see the FAQ for details.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $100 or more

    24 backers

    Above except a Kickstarter exclusive Battle of the Bulge t-shirt replaces the Shenandoah t-shirt; plus printed Player’s and Game Designer’s Guide; exclusive voting rights to determine Bulge sequels; access to secret codes to display hidden content within Bulge – one includes your name; credited as a CHAMPION. (Please add $35 for shipping outside the US.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $150 or more

    40 backers Limited (460 left of 500)

    Above (i.e., both t-shirts) plus a third personalized t-shirt; plus a complete copy of Battle of Bulge as a board game: mounted map, die-cut counters, and printed rules (a $50 value). Credited as a CHAMPION. (Please add $40 for shipping outside the US.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $250 or more

    10 backers Limited (40 left of 50)

    Above + a second copy of the Battle of Bulge boardgame, with the map being signed by John Butterfield (game designer) and Pat Ward (graphic artist); play of a complete campaign game of Bulge on the iPad versus a Shenandoah staff member; membership in the Benefactors Forum where you will have direct access to the Shenandoah team; credited as a BENEFACTOR. (Please add $50 for shipping outside the US.)

    Estimated delivery:
  • You selected
    Pledge $500 or more

    5 backers Limited (5 left of 10)

    Above + membership in the Shenandoah Studio Design Forum where upcoming games are discussed and planned, game art is reviewed and revised, and where playtest kits are distributed (you may opt out of this part as it requires a non-disclosure agreement – we talk serious business here and we would love to have your early input); you will become an official tester for all of Shenandoah’s games (and credited as such) and will receive direct access to all our games while in development; another mounted Bulge map signed by the entire Shenandoah team; play of a complete campaign game of Bulge on the iPad versus Shenandoah’s CEO, Eric Lee Smith; credited as a SPONSOR. (Please add $75 for shipping outside the US.)

    Estimated delivery:

Funding period

- (32 days)