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"Please advise us, we're going "A Bridge Too Far"" Topic

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Grandviewroad Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 7:51 a.m. PST

We're a group of experienced gamers and familiar with FoW also. However, we're going to set ourselves to the task of trying out our first Firestorm game, Market Garden.

This has been a popular scenario at cons with various gaming systems. Our challenge as I see it is to understand a Firestorm Campaign (a FoW concern) and also to uncerstand and present the specialized terrain (from dikes to huge bridges) of the operation.

So if you've run the battle with ANY game system, and built the game boards, we'd love your advice. And if you've run a Firestorm campaign – especially MG – then we'd love you advice, also!

We've about 8-10 players, and a wide variety of forces we can use or adapt, including plenty of Red Devils and Germans. But force suggestions are also welcome.

Thanks in advance – we're excited to attempt to go "A Bridge Too Far"!

Tom Reed Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2012 8:17 a.m. PST

We ran A Bridge Too Far at our local con years ago using Disposable Heroes in 54mm scale. We had 6-7 tables all connected with large bridges, with Arnhem at the end. I think the entire game was 30' long. We had one GM per table.

Big Martin Back18 Dec 2012 8:37 a.m. PST

We played it a few years back. Unfortunately, the guy who organised it didn't allow for scale and the move distances in the rules. I spent most of the weekend just moving figures to get anywhere near the bridge and he kept complaining that we weren't getting the paras up fast enough until I told him I'd spent the entire game moving as fast as the rules allowed. He had to have a rapid re-think three-quarters of the way through the game.

lasalle012 Supporting Member of TMP18 Dec 2012 8:37 a.m. PST

I would suggest picking up the "Rapid Fire" supplement on Market Garden. They have the boards laid out to take you from the opening attacks all the way to Arnhem. Very easy to follow and lay out as well, and to modify based on your resources.

Chris B Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 9:20 a.m. PST

I played in the FoW Market Garden Firestorm campaign a little over a year ago, There were 6 of us, I think…
It went pretty well. We did our best to adhere to the right forces for the campaign, and found the 1st Airborne lists were pretty strong against the German perimeter forces. The British secured Arnhem pretty easily. Meanwhile, the US paratroop commander got a little over aggressive and let his drop zones get overrun, making it hard for the XXX Corps player to drive to Nijmegen as quickly as he could have otherwise. The Allies did manage to get a victory, though. We talked about making a custom Arnhem board, but I'm glad we didn't. There wasn't much fighting there, as it turned out!
My advice is to pay attention to the map part of the campaign… especially in regard to Allied air supply.
Make sure all players are committed to playing. It will probably take a month or so to play out, if your club members meet once a week. There is a good system for resolving battles with a die roll – don't be afraid to use it if everyone else is waiting for one pair of players to get a game together. Also, I think the FoW Market Garden books are about to be reissued in HC, so it might be worth waiting until they come out. We all agreed the campaign would have worked fine with just about any rule set with little modification… we may try it again with Blitzkrieg Commander sometime.

(Stolen Name) Inactive Member18 Dec 2012 1:01 p.m. PST
1815Guy18 Dec 2012 6:04 p.m. PST

+1 for Rapid Fire! supplement.

South London Warlords did a *fantastic* Arnhem in 20mm a number of years ago. Might have been when Kensington hosted Salute!

The fact that I still recall it shows how impressive it was. You might like to contact them and see if they still have anyone there who could give you some advice. Im sure there will still be someone around! And yes, it really was that good.

Personal logo Martin Rapier Supporting Member of TMP19 Dec 2012 2:58 a.m. PST

I've done Arnhem on a number of occasions, both the whole campaign and various tactical/grand tactical actions.

Whole campaign was generally done in one sitting using operational sets (albeit taking all day) although on one occasion we had a separate operation planning day too. Tactical games were usually regiment/brigade sized covering key events in the campaign (Frost at Arnhem bridge, the 107th Panzer Bde at Veghel, Elst etc).

I've also played it a lots using board and computer games.

Along with the RF supplement mentioned above, the Command Decision/Test of Battle Market Garden scenario book is an excellent resource with lots of scenarios and photos with terrain ideas.

We didn't really make any special terrsin at all as it is all fairly standard north european scenery albeit with lots of river, canals and bridges. I've been up and down the Eindhoven-Nijmegen-Arnhem corrider and it is just like northern France or even souther Britain, albeit flat and wet (apart from the hilly bits). We did build a big version of Arnhem bridge for the Frost game out of cardboard. A bit crude but did the trick. It was mainly there for Graebners battalion to get shot to bits on, although we also had a random event with a badly repainted Leopard charging over the bridge from the south.

Force-wise, MG is one of the thsoe campaigns where you can have anythign and everything – penal troops in tropical uniforms rubbing shoulders with veteran FJ, King Tigers and Flammpanzer Char Bs and of course US & British airborne and British & Belgian infantry and armour.

Campaign-wise (as in the account above) Nijmegen is key, Arnhem is virtually a side show. The British are generally strong enough to bull into the city and even if they fail they can easily hold off the whole of IInd SS Panzer Corps and KG von Tettau on the north bank of the Rhine. But the whole campaign hinges on Nijmegen, if the Germans can slip units across the Rhine at Pannerden to reinforce the garrison and prevent the 82nd taking the bridge, the whole campaign hangs in the balance. 15th Army can really mess things up by pushing strongly for Grave rather than wasting its time around Best & Eindhoven as well.

Conversely, the 82nd need to focus on taking Nijmegen bridge rather than mucking around on the Groesbeek heights.

Anyway have fun, one of my favourite WW2 operations. Not sure of the specifics of the FGOW campaign, but it should be fairly well balanced, maybe 55:45 in favour of the Germans. We've certainly managed to win it as the Allies (and go down to horrible disaster of course).

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