By Kevin Kubecka
Battle of Arnhem-A Bridge Too Far!
GameMaster: Stephen Wilcox, Lone Star Historical-Dallas/Ft. Worth Chapter, Texas, USA
Location: Texas Toy Soldier
Date: Sunday, January 10, 2016
The Dallas/Fort Worth Chapter of Lone Star Historical Miniatures hosted a massive 15,000 point Flames of War brawl reconstructing the Arnhem Bridge engagement of September 17-26, 1944. Nine lucky players commanded their troops on a colossal six (6) by sixteen (16) foot board modeled on period reconnaissance photographs. Who says, everything isn’t bigger in Texas!
All the usual characters made this fight:
BRITISH TROOPS GERMAN TROOPS
Colonel Frost’s Perimeter Force Spindler’s Blocking Force
-2 players, 1,250 points each -3 players, 1,250 points each
General Urquhart’s Parachute and Airlanding Forces Gräbner’s Reconnaissance Force
-2 players, 1,250 points each -1 player, 1,250 points
XXX Corps Armor-British Armored Force Hummel Armor Force-Tigers!!
-1 player, 1,250 points -1 player, 1,250 points
Knaust Reserve Force
-1 player, 1,250 points
11 players listed with forces, however only nine actually participated.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Frost must hold out until XXX Corps arrives on Turn 6;
SECONDARY OBJECTIVE: Urquhart’s forces must push through the town and link up with Frost.
PRIMARY OBJECTIVE: Reclaim bridge head from Frost’s Forces;
SECONDARY OBJECTIVE: Prevent Urquhart’s forces from linking up with Frost.
Frost establishes command post on bridge head and digs in those pesky six-pounders.
Urquhart’s Airlanding Forces arrive on Western edge of town preparing to work their way to reinforce Frost at the bridge.
A platoon of fearless infantry from Frost’s Company prepare to assault a German Flak position along the Rhine resulting in one sad German player and one smoking ruin of a Flak gun!
Meanwhile, a mortar from “you guessed it” Frost’s Company takes out a second Flak position. This one covered the main road through town. Well, it did…but not anymore!
Recce jeeps from Urquhart’s Airlanding Company begin their push down the road nestled against the industrial area and the Rhine. Only to be sidetracked by a German Sniper position. Top of an oil tank is not a good place to hide for snipers. Burn baby…Burn!
(Yep, I know the sniper was a proxied mortar team-what’re ya going to do..)
Frost shifts infantry into a row of houses along East side of bridge in preparation for German armor reinforcements.
German positions consisted mainly of infantry taking up residence in the town buildings and trading pot shots with Frost and Urquhart’s forces until their respective armor reserves arrived.
Oh drat! The German Strumhaubitze 42s have arrived… Three platoons of these monsters arrived from reserves in turn 2 and turn 3.
One platoon of Strumhaubitze 42s push on Frost’s western perimeter and meet with heavy resistance. Dug in 6 pounders make quick work of these nefarious metal monsters!
Another platoon of StuH 42s works its way around the flank of Frost’s western perimeter hunting those pesky 6 pounders!
In the East, freshly minted Tigers arrive to place Frost in a vise. All seems lost now!
And if Tigers were not enough, Gräbner Recce Force arrives on the Bridge, but wait, is that a minefield up ahead? And what are those whistling noises overhead?
Hummel arrives with his Tigers on the Northern side of Arnhem and pushes aggressively into Frost’s eastern perimeter.
Hummel is beaten back by lowly infantry and 6 pdrs
Time ran out on our game with a full 5 turns being completed. XXX Corps had not arrived yet. The bulk of General Urquhart’s forces were beginning to taste action in turn 5. However, with a second platoon of Tigers approaching Frost’s Eastern perimeter , it was doubtful he could hold out.
All had a great time and the majority concurred that a full day of gameplay was needed to adequately play the Arnhem Bridge scenario out to conclusion.