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Arnhem Bridge Fight (a variant) - September 18, 1944 - September 20, 1944

By: Ubergeek - Last update: 06/22/2004
Axis Player: Allied Player:
x6 x5 x5 x5
first You play first    


There are problems with this scenario: it cannot be set-up using the standard terrain tiles of Memoir '44 and the selected extensions. There are too many terrains of one or more types. Please contact the author.

Historical Background:
The largest Airborne drop ever designed, Operation Market Garden was Field Marshall Bernard Montgomery’s plan to end the war on the Western Front early. If successful, it would threaten the flanks of German defenses along the Siegfried line and behind the Rhine River, helping an Allied crossing and precipitating the fall of Berlin. The operation famously ended up being “a bridge too far”, handing Montgomery his only high-profile defeat.

The airborne plan on 17th September was for the 1st British Airborne Division to secure Arnhem bridge and the high ground to the north. At the Bridge, 2nd Battalion Lieutenant Colonel Frost commanded a force of about 500 men that took up a strong position at the northern end of the bridge. The Germans soon discovered that the airborne troops were a formidable enemy, and more than infantry assaults were needed to blast Frost's men out of their houses. A charge by the 9th SS Reconnaissance Battalion across the bridge was destroyed; likewise were attacks from the north. Despite being short of ammunition and with no food or water, the airborne force held the northern part of the bridge, denying the Germans a crossing place, until the night of 20/21 September. The last British resistance near the bridge ceased on September 23rd.

The stage is set, the battle lines are drawn, and you are in command. The rest is history.

DESIGNER DISCLAIMER: THIS SCENARIO WILL REQUIRE MORE THAN 1 SET OF M44. I have made city hexes for my own use to accomodate the higher number of city hex tiles required. The clear hex areas represent roads and major streets through and around the town and bridge area. There are no special rules associated with the clear spaces.

Briefing:
Axis Player: Take 6 command cards.
You move first.

Allied Player: Take 5 command cards.

Conditions of Victory:
5 Medals

DESIGN NOTES: I've playtested the heck out of this redesigned scenario and found it to be a much closer fight. The Allies should still win 70% of the time. Previously, the Axis player would get annihilated before being able to mount much of an advance, which was true of the initial rush across the bridge, but this doesn't make for very fun game play. I've added the pontoon bridge that was set up to the west, and also an additional Axis infantry unit to the Northwest of town. The Allies get a Bren Carrier unit. These added units present both opportunity and liability. The Brens can be easily killed, but if used properly they can rush out and secure the final medal. The Germans entering town from the Northwest have the best chance of damaging the annoying artillery units but will probably get hammered by the Allies dug into the buildings. The addition of the Axis victory point on the end of the Arnhem Bridge is best used for them to secure the 5th Medal. Keeping a unit on the VP location just to secure it is risky since they can get hit by 3 Allied units securing the exit from the bridge. Plus, a retreat from that hex forces the units there to back up on the bridge. If the route is backed up, expect further losses. The SS Armor division was just too bogged down on the Southeast side of the river. Reducing the woods by one hex took care of this problem. Now they at least have a chance to see some action. Finally, in the absence of roads, I've added plenty of city hexes. The spaces between them actually represent roads. Originally, I toyed with the variant that all armor units could not enter city/town hex spaces. This change was too drastic since the narrow streets caused additional losses to armor when they couldn't retreat. Though this may seem more realistic, there's enough of a penalty on armor fighting into or out of city hexes that the additional restriction is unnecessary. Try it and you'll see.

Special Rules:
- All the Allied units are Special Forces Elite Airborne units. Therefore, there is no need to place badges with the units. These units may move 1 or 2 hexes and still battle.
- The Axis Special Forces tank units have 4 figures.
- The Axis Special Forces infantry are Elite Grenadier units. Place an Axis special force token in the same hex with these units to distinguish them from the other units. The Elite Grenadier units may move 1 or 2 hexes and still battle.
- Units may only enter or exit Arnhem Bridge from or onto the hexes as noted at the ends of the bridge. Movement along the span of bridge is normal.
- Infantry units may not target units on the opposite side of the Rhine River, which is too wide in this section.
- The Allied side Arnhem bridge hex is an Axis victory point hex. It must occupied at all times by an Axis armor or infantry unit to claim the Medal.

BRIDGES:
- Arnhem Bridge blocks LoS
- Units may pass under the bridge from East to West or vise versa but may not stop on the bridge if passing under it.
- The pontoon bridge does not block LoS

ARMOR:
- The Allied Armor unit is actually a Bren Carrier team with a 50cal machinegun that was used to quickly shuttle ammunition around to where it was needed most. Place only 2 units at start. It moves up to 4 hexes and is treated as armor for all movement, card, and defensive purposes including overruns, but fights like an infantry unit (3,2,1). It may either move or attack but not both. It fires into or out of city hexes with the same penalties as armor units (-2 firing into or out of city).

Scenario Bibliography:
DESIGNER DISCLAIMER: THIS SCENARIO WILL REQUIRE MORE THAN 1 SET OF M44. I have made city hexes for my own use to accomodate the higher number of city hex tiles required. The clear hex areas represent roads and major streets through and around the town and bridge area. There are no special rules associated with the clear spaces.

Warning:
Please note that this scenario was not approved by Richard Borg or Days of Wonder, so you have to check yourself about playability, potential gaming issues, etc.

Set-up Order
25 
4
10
7
4
8