What is Firestorm Market Garden?

Firestorm: Market Garden
What Is Firestorm Market Garden?

Firestorm: Market Garden allows you and your friends the opportunity to recreate the airborne assaults, armoured attacks and desperate counterattacks that were Operation Market Garden. As an update to Battlefront’s iconic Firestorm system, new airborne, Allied armour, and variable Firestorm Troop rules have been introduced to allow the course of history to be replayed in those critical days of September 1944 within the V4 system.
While the ultimate outcome of the real Operation Market Garden can’t be changed, your game’s final result is up to you. Either side can win. Generalfeldmarschall Model could once again rally his beleaguered German troops and halt the Allied advance through Holland, or you could keep the fires lit under XXX Corps and make the 64-mile (100km) trip from Eindhoven to Arnhem in the three days allotted, break through the German defences and end the war by Christmas.

This week we wanted to give you a basic primer on Firestorm: Market Garden and the Firestorm Campaign system in general for those people who have never played a Firestorm system before.

Market Garden Cover
Campaign Map Why Play a Campaign?
Campaigns provide a way for playing lots of games that affect a bigger result. They allow everyone to get together and engage in multiple battles towards an overall goal. A good campaign integrates your local group in a common format enabling every player to know exactly when to arrive and what army to bring to support their team’s objectives. The campaign scenarios in Firestorm: Market Garden provides you with all the operational and tactical decisions faced by the actual generals who led the various formations in the British 21st Army Group and Army Group B. Each battle you fight affects the overall campaign and each general relies on your combat capability to lead their army to victory.

In Firestorm: Market Garden you can recreate parachute assaults, armoured counterattacks, and house-to-house fighting, always remembering to capture or hold the bridges. Participating in your club’s campaign provides everyone with a focused effort to improve their gaming environment, enhance their overall playing experience, and provide a structure to build and play new armies and new tables while participating in a new gaming experience.
How does it Work?
Each campaign runs for five Campaign Turns. The generals in charge of each side will allocate air missions, redeploy and reinforce their army, and set up the battle plan. Their battlefield commanders then take over, fighting battles to capture areas, take towns, secure bridges and destroy enemy forces. Every battle fought changes the situation. Troops will advance and fall back, be captured or destroyed.

The five-turn campaign makes it a realistic commitment for both the organiser and the players. Many campaigns drag on, and eventually, the players lose interest. This won’t happen in Firestorm: Market Garden as the campaign will end with a decisive outcome within five weeks (depending on how many gaming days you can play a week), or even a single weekend in a tournament-style campaign.
What happens in a Campaign Turn?
One campaign turn can usually be played each week of the campaign. A campaign turn consists of three phases: A Planning Phase, a Battle Phase, and a Strategic Phase. In the Planning Phase at the start of the turn, the Generals prepare their war plans. The Commanders then execute these war plans by playing games during the Battle Phase. There is no limit to the number of games that can be played in the Battle Phase, and each Commander can participate in as many battles as they wish. At the end of a campaign turn, both Generals reorganise their forces in the Strategic Phase to ready their Commanders for the next campaign turn. Each game of A Bridge Too Far game begins with a Strategic Phase in which only the Allied General takes part. This helps set the stage for the coming battles.
Campaign Turn
Firestorm Troops Flexibility
Flexibility is inherent in the Firestorm system and it allows you to tailor your campaign to your player's needs. Players can use their normal Flames Of War forces to fight battles and capture areas. In each game your player can lead a new force, reinforced by the main combat units shown on the campaign map, to respond to the situation they face. This allows them to recover from previous defeats and fight on.

While players may lose the support of main combat units on the map, having been destroyed in previous battles, they always get their core force. This has the advantage of keeping the campaign fun right up till the last battle. It is simply not possible for one side to become much stronger than the other, so every battle is winnable and every fight counts.
This flexibility applies to your players as well as their forces. While fielding an Allied or German force is nice from a historical viewpoint, it doesn’t matter if you don’t have one, as you can fight with any force you have. Nor is the size of your force an issue. You can play big or small battles or anything in between. You can even swap sides if you want to (although turning traitor can mark you as a target for your former allies!). All that matters is that you are playing games, contributing to the campaign’s outcome, and having fun.

Firestorm Tokens
The main playing pieces on the map board are the Firestorm Troops representing the main combat units that fought in Holland during Operation Market Garden. The Firestorm Troops in an area represent the main combat forces in that area. Not all units are represented as Firestorm Troops, and an area that has no Firestorm Troops is not devoid of combat troops. Units that are not represented by Firestorm Troops, such as the many infantry, security, anti-aircraft, and artillery battalions that took part in the battle, may supplement the basic Firestorm Troops. Firestorm Troops provide the combat power found in front-line areas. To show this, a player fighting in an area with Firestorm Troops will receive a bonus for each type of Firestorm troop fighting in the battle area.
What role can I play?
There are three kinds of positions to be filled in Firestorm: Market Garden; the Commanders, the Generals, and the Organiser. The campaign rules are separated into three parts corresponding to these three roles.

Lots of Commanders

The majority of players in Firestorm
: Market Garden are Commanders. They are the ones actually fighting the Flames of War battles to decide the campaign outcome. Commanders play their games of Flames Of War during the Battle Phase.
Commander Turn
Two Generals
Each side has a General whose main job is to be in charge of strategy. The General confers with their Commanders and devises a war plan in the Planning Phase. The Commanders execute this war plan during the Battle Phase. Once the Commanders have fought and decided all of their Flames of War games during a Battle Phase, the two Generals redeploy and reinforce their armies during the Strategic Phase to ready their army for the next campaign turn. Once the Generals have finished their planning, they may step into a Commander’s role during the Battle Phase and fight battles themselves. They then step back into the General’s role during the Strategic Phase.
Market Garden Example

One Organiser
Every campaign has an Organiser to set it up and make sure that everything runs smoothly.  An Organiser may choose to play in the campaign if they wish, or they may simply be the owner of a local gaming store where the campaign is being played. The Organiser’s chief responsibilities include selecting the scenario that will be played, arranging a suitable venue for the campaign, and recruiting as many Commanders as possible. The Organiser section also includes plenty of good advice to assist them in running a very successful campaign.

What are you waiting for
If this sounds like the campaign system you've been waiting for, Firestorm: Market Garden is available now in our online store.

Grab a copy for your gaming group.