Tuesday, 8 May 2018

BG Market Garden test table layouts and games

Getting ready for the Battlegroup Market Garden gaming weekend this weekend, we decided to test out some table layouts.  This first one is from Thursday evening and shows 4 tables laid out using club terrain and some of Will McNally's ditched roads.  Hell's Highway rather simplistically runs straight as a die along the tables, with a built up area at the far end representing Nijmegen.

Needs more scatter terrain to break up the open table.

We played out individual games using flank attack.  The force I brought was designed for the attack/defence scenario, so only included a single sniper.  Will swiftly dealt with him with a barrage of off table mortars.  Once our main forces started to arrive, things started to swing in favour of the German armour, with first two, then a third and eventually 4 Stug IIIGs entering the table.  A timed 105mm artillery strike also hit the windmill, which was a cornerstone of Will's defences around his deployment zone.  I also positioned a pre-planned artillery marker within his deployment zone, which narrowed down the opportunities for bringing troops on table quickly and them not being where they were needed.

My Stugs began to engage Wills 75mm artillery batteries at extreme MG range, but even with generally less than stunning dice rolls, they managed to reduce his crews and loader teams until they broke.  Will managed to position his 57mm AT gun along a hedge overlooking the canal bridge, but this was dealt with by a combination of heavy mortars and Stug MG fire.  His infantry rushed across the open fields to try and set up some kind of stop line by the hedge and woods.

My FHQ were deployed in the woods on my side of the canal, calling in artillery, but suffered at the hands of Wills off table mortars, but the surviving Stugs and infantry kept firing and moving forwards.

A mortar spotter concealed in woods.

The demise of Will's 57mm lead to my assault pioneer section and 251/16 rushing the bridge to squirt the yankee paratroopers.  Alas, pinning fire from the paras spoilt that plan, as did a bazooka in the windmill, which despatched another Stug.

A Stug and supporting Kriegsmarine try to deal with a pesky Yankee paratrooper recce section in the woods on the German side of the canal, while more Kriegsmarine and another Stug cross the canal bridge to support the engineers.  We called time as it was approaching 11pm, with the US airborne significantly closer to their BP than the gallant Germans.

Then on Saturday we tried out a larger game, more tables and players, using club and personal terrain (the latter mainly Will's).  We also made Hell's Highway a bit more irregular in plan.

Table for 30 Corps vs a scratch Jerry battlegroup.

My plucky 9th SS recce battlegroup would take on Will's US paratroopers (yes, Will again, but tables were allocated randomly on both nights).

Another table for 30 Corps to take on a German armoured battlegroup.

And yet another 30 Corps battlegroup taking on a German armoured battlegroup.

Some gratuitous shots of my scout 250/9.  It may never be seen again as in its' first two on table appearances, it has been blown up on the first turn in each game.  Time to opt for the cheaper 222.  If it's going to get blown up, it might as well be the cheaper option.

Recce screen was the scenario and we rolled for 5 turns, so no regular reinforcements until Turn 6.  Will's airborne scouts quickly fanned out on his side of the canal, taking up good observation positions.

My Germans were to secure the farmhouse in the foreground and set up a heavy mortar OP there as well as to try and get troops into the farm house by the canal bridge and onto ambush fire ASAP.  Alas, it wasn't to be, Will's Daimler rushed forwards and despatched the 250 and passengers with a well aimed 2lb shot, while his two batteries of off table mortars dealt with the 250/9 and pinned a load of my observers.

The game changer turned out to be an aircraft chit which I drew and successfully rolled for an FW190 armed with 8 small bombs and 2 autocannons to come on table.  The first tranche of small bombs scattered wildly and did no damage.

Next turn, bombs KO'd the 57mm jeep tow and put casualties and a pin on the 57mm crew and loader team.  Meanwhile, my Stugs had started to arrive and dealt with the Daimler, but not without loss of a Stug abandoned through mortar fire.

Will drew an aircraft and got a MG-armed Mustang, which didn't do a lot to my armoured vehicles.  It was eventually force to return to base when the pilots bottle went after taking hits.

The game turned out to hinge, once again, on US paratrooper sections crossing the canal bridge and occupying the central farmhouse.  My stunning operational plan was to suppress the defenders and then close assault with one of my MG34 sections.  The suppressed defenders took quite a few hits from grenades and MGs, but saved quite a few.  Then rolled a beyond the call of duty test, unpinned and swept my MG team away with fire.  Subsequent pinning and aimed fire reduced that team to 2 men, but they were reinforced with an engineer squad armed with a flamethrower.  Fortunately, I managed to keep them pinned and noticed Will wasn't spending chits to lift pins, which could only mean one thing.  I shot up another paratrooper squad behind the hedge next to the canal, which broke and suddenlt Will was 2 past his break point.  Not a moment too soon as I was 2 short of my breakpoint.  By the narrowest of margins, Hell's Highway had been cut in our sector.  On my left, 30 Corps had broken the Germans, while on my right, 30 Corps had been repulsed, while on my extreme right 30 Corps had pushed the Germans back.  So, the game ended with 30 Corps in control of the two ends of Hell's Highway, but with a German blocking force cutting it.  No supplies to the forward elements of 30 Corps for their push on Arnhem today.  Iron Cross first class to the gallant flieger in the FW 190 and purple hearts all round to the survivors of the paratrooper squad in the farmhouse who rallied and defeated the SS close assault, possibly candidates for the CMH.

Thanks for looking.

1 comment:

  1. Wow...that's a loooong table. Looks like a great representation of the tactical limitations of an entire advance relying on one road.