Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Market Garden Flames of War game

This weekend just passed, eleven players from the Deeside Defenders club met up to play a Market Garden-based game, which saw 30 Corps trying to break through Fallschirmjaeger lines around the Neerpelt bridgehead, 101st and 82nd US Paratroopers struggling to take and hold bridges along Hell's Highway despite vigorous counterattacks from Stug and Panzer Kampfgruppes and British and Polish paratroopers struggling to take and hold Arnhem and it's bridge from a mixed grenadier and panzer kampfgruppe.

The first day saw para drops along the whole length of the board and the seizing of all the bridges, although the German defenders were holding out in Nijmegen, blocking the road to Arnhem, although Poles and US paratroopers were converging on the town and bridge.

Looking along Hell's Highway (on the right) from Neerpelt towards Eindhoven, Nijmegen and with Arnhem in the far distance.  This was the situation on Sunday morning, with 30 Corps pressing along both roads and about to cross into the 101st table.

Hell's Highway with wall to wall Shermans pressing down the road.

30 Corp's armoured column on Hell's Highway.

30 Corps at the bridge on the left flank.

Fallschirmjaeger retreating onto the 101st table, using the "collapsing bag" technique.

101st Airborne around Nijmegen.  A platoon of paratroopers had cleared the buildings in the right foreground, only to be effectively wiped out by Stug reserves coming onto the table.  However, air support has knocked out the Co commander (lower left) and is about to knock out the Kingtiger, leading to a local collapse in German morale.

Polish airborne advance across the bridge on right and dig in around the bridge approaches.

Further west of Nijmegen, 82nd AB defend a hedgerow attempting to secure the bridge upper left, awaiting the inevitable German counterattack.

Polish paratroopers secure the "Island" side of the Nijmegen Bridge.

Polish paratroopers deployed along the raised causeway across the "Island" between Nijmegen and Arnhem, passing through the village of Elst on the right edge of the picture.

A German Stug Batterie starts to push into the flank of the "Island" threatening the Arnhem Bridge, although Polish paratroopers seem to have the situation under control, although not before a few jitters.  The village of Driel is visible to the left of the picture.

Some intense fighting in the built up area of Arnhem.

The German Kampfgruppe surrounding Arnhem.

British paratroopers still struggling to get to the bridge in Arnhem.

Arnhem, looking towards Oosterbeek in the distance.

Later, German forces attempt to cut the causeway across the "Island" with a Stug Batterie and a Grenadier Company.  The Poles are still confident!

The Stugs threatening Nijmegen have been dealt with, but now an armoured kampfgruppe is approaching from the west in the far distance.  At the same time, an armoured kampfgruppe is threatening the nearest bridge on the left from the next table.

Stugs and panzers start to push across the bridge into the 82nd AB flank, having brushed aside local resistance from 101st AB.

101st AB and Fallschirmjaeger bitterly fight over Eindhoven and the surrounding fields.  Where is 30 Corps?

There they are, stuck on the bridge.  Press on chaps, clear that jam and bag those Jerries.

On 30 Corps left flank, progress is better and lead Stuarts have crossed onto the 82nd AB table.  Artillery seems to be deployed en mass along the canal.

The game ended with both bridges between 101st and 82nd AB in German hands, although 30 Corps was close by the most westerly bridge and could be expected to oust the Germans in a turn or so.  However, the German force advancing on Nijmegen might have been tougher to deal with as 30 Corps were still back around Eindhoven.

So, no glorious sight of British armour streaming across the Arnhem Bridge, despite the allies holding an airborne corridor for most of the game.

Thanks for looking.


  1. Brilliant looking game Andy, Well done mate looks like you had a great weekend.
    Richard P

    1. It was great fun, thanks Richard. Perhaps too historical in that 30 Corps had masses of troops but made very little headway once they came up against any kind of determined resistance. I can already see what a 6mm game would look like, played over a much more realistically scaled terrain.

      Cheers, Andy

  2. Wow, what a game! Market-Garden remains one of my favorites, ever since I was a kid. I always loved watching Hopkins in the rubble of Arnhem, and Redford in his 'crossing the Delaware.' Pretty cool Andy, thanks for posting.


    1. Thanks Jack. Yes ABTF is now the definitive movie on the subject - so many little quotes that make it so entertaining. My definitive Arnhem movie though is "Theirs is the Glory" made in 1946 in B&W, focussing on 1st Br AB, but filmed at the actual battlefield sites with all the authentic equipment and a cast of extras who were veterans of the battle. It's a bit "stiff upper lip", but worth persevering if you get the chance.

      Now thinking about what I'd need to stage this in 6mm using BKCII.

      Cheers, Andy