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Hell's Highway A Recce Over The Canal
A Scenario & Battle Report By Mike Haught and Ken Camel

As XXX Corps (30 Corps) sped forward to Arnhem they encountered numerous canals and rivers that crossed their path. The Germans knew these crossings were vital to the Allied advance and took every care to make sure they didn’t fall into enemy hands.

When Son Bridge was demolished on 17 September, XXX Corps lost its most direct route across the Wilhelmina Canal. It be came very important that alternative routes be scouted out. The lead element of XXX Corps, the Guards Armoured Division, were in Eindhoven working their way amid a sea of Dutch civilians who were showing their gratitude to their liberators with fresh fruit, flowers alcohol and welcome kisses from Dutch women.

While there, the Dutch resistance informed the Guards of alternative routes. Once free of cheering crowds, the Guards
unleashed its reconnaissance squadrons of the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment (HCR) to zip down the roads and have a look at each of these new routes.
One such location was the small village of Breugel where there was a crossing over the Wilhelmina Canal. A squadron was dispatched to scout out the crossing and see what the Germans had deployed at the bridge.

Near the village the cavalry encountered some US paratroopers from the 101st Airborne Division who informed them that the bridge was lightly defended, but there were reports of German infantry in the area. The squadron immediately sent two patrols to the bridge to conduct a quick recce of the area and report back to the division headquarters.

Ken Camel and I decided to recreate this reconnaissance mission in Flames Of War. We thought that since this was a only a small patrol, we’d limit the forces to around 1000 points per side. We wanted to keep the action moving so we used a standard-sized table and placed lots of roads to keep our wheeled vehicles happy. From there we decided on a few fun special rules for the scenario. Then, we were off to make our lists.
Riverside Recce Special Rules

For the Riverside Reconnaissance scenario we came up with some rules to give the game a little extra recon flavour. In this game the 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment (2HCR) is supposed to scout out ahead and check out certain areas around the village to see what the Germans are up to. So rather than rely strictly on capturing objectives, we thought it would be fun to have something a little different for the recon to do that fits their recce job.

This scenario uses two types of objectives. Recon Objectives are specifically deployed for recon platoons to scope out.
Mike's armoured cars launch a bold assault against Ken's grenadiers.
It also uses normal objectives that the German player needs to hold by the end of the game. This gains both forces points that are totalled at the end of the scenario.

An Armoured Car Platoon recces a Recon or normal Objective instead of capturing it. If it did not move at the double in the same turn, it may recce any Objective that is within 12”/30cm and within Line of Sight instead of shooting during its Shooting Step. The reconnaissance player immediately earns one victory point, having completed the recce of that area. A platoon cannot recce more than one Objective per turn. A platoon that recces an Objective cannot, in the same turn, launch an Assault.

The German player needs to stop the enemy from assessing their strength and prevent them from capturing the bridges. The German player receives one victory point for each enemy Reconnaissance Platoon Destroyed. They also get two victory points for each objective on the bridges they hold at the end of the game.

At the end of the game the players total their points. The player with the most points wins the game, The player’s total points determine how useful their actions were to the greater cause.

6 Points: You’ve done an exceptional job and your side will capitalise on your efforts.

4-5 Points: You done enough to help your side along.

3 Points: You haven’t learned anything at all except that there are some enemy troops near the bridge.

2 or Fewer Points: Your force has utterly failed and your side will certainly run into serious problems in the very near future!
Riverside Recce
Operation Market Garden, September 1944.

Scenario Map The Allies are moving in on the village of Breugel. It is strategically placed next to the Wilhelmina Canal, making it valuable for the Allied advance up ‘Hell’s Highway.’

The Riverside Reconnaissance scenario uses the Delayed Reserves, Prepared Positions and Riverside Recce special rules.

Your Orders

British

Our next objective is the town of Breugel. Its vital bridge will give us the ability to get some tanks across the canal. However, the Germans know the value of the bridge and are likely planning a counterattack to keep it out of our hands.

We need your cavalry squadron to investigate the village and see what the Germans are up to. Check
out the points marked X to gather some intel on the bridges themselves, what weight they can carry, etc. before moving onto the other objectives.

Have a look at point 1 to see what the Germans have defending the bridge.

Also look at point 2 and see if there are any Germans reserves lurking in the forest to the north.

Be sure to also check out the village at point 3 to get an idea what the German strength in the area.
Finally, we also want an idea as to whether or not the Germans are planning a counterattack, so have a quick recce of point 4 so we can get an idea of what’s coming our way.

We can’t let this to develop into a full scale battle just yet as XXX Corps is still catching up, so be careful not to attract too much attention. Just get in there, have a quick look at what’s there and then get out!

German

The town of Breugel contains a vital bridge over the Wilhelmina Canal. We need make sure doesn’t fall into Allied hands. We are sending you to either secure or, as a last resort, demolish it. A small garrison is guarding the bridge, but they will need your troops to help defend. Hold off the enemy until rest of the Kampfgruppe can reinforce your position.
Preparing for Battle

1. Set up a table as shown on the following page. Place two normal objectives on the bridges at the points marked X and place four recon objectives at each points marked 1,2,3, and 4.

2. The German player deploys his free Breugel Garrison Force which consists of a Grenadier Platoon placed in the buildings marked B, a Luftwaffe FlaK Platoon placed at point C, and one platoon from his Kampfgruppe force anywhere in the German deployment area. The remainder of the German force is placed in Delayed Reserve.

3. The British player now deploys their platoons anywhere within the British deployment area.

Beginning the Battle

1. All German teams on the table start the game in Prepared Positions, so they are in Foxholes and Gone to Ground.

2. The British player has the first turn.


Ending the Battle

The battle ends:

At the start of the British turn 7.


Deciding Who Won

Both players total up their points using the Riverside Recce special rules. The player with the most points wins the scenario.

If the British player has more points they have managed to get enough recce information to help push XXX Corps through Breugel and onto Veghel.

Otherwise, the German player wins. The bridge is no longer an option for the Allied advance—they’ll have to find another way through!

Mike's 2nd Household Cavalry

Readers may remember from the previous issue of Wargames Illustrated (Issue 264) that I’m something of a recon nut. Not that I’m an expert at playing recon forces, just that I’m a bit fascinated by the romantic cavalry élan of bravery and daring charges with big (though, for me, often fatal) result.

The 2nd Household Cavalry Squadron found in Hell’s Highway is very appealing to me. It has a lot of flavour and fits my aggressive playing style. They have some special rules that give them teeth that other recon forces do not have.

First of all, they are Guards so they are unflappable, meaning they remain calm under difficult circumstances. In Flames Of War, the Unflappable special rule gives them the ability to re-roll any failed platoon and company morale checks. This will help keep them on the table to conduct their mission.

Mike Haught - Writing/Web Team: Battlefront Miniatures, plane nut, Minnesotan, Twins fan.
The 2nd Household Cavalry Regiment (2HCR) was noted as having ‘sangfroid’ (literally translated as cold blood) which describes their aggressive actions conducted with disciplined clarity. To reflect this in Flames Of War, the 2HCR has the Sangfroid special rule, which allows their armoured car platoons to try and Disengage (break off from enemy fire) even if they shot in their previous turn (under normal circumstances a platoon cannot Disengage if it shot in the previous Shooting Step).

In Flames Of War, recon platoons that fail any save have to roll a Motivation Check to see if they will be Forced to Disengage. If the check is failed the whole platoon has to Disengage and then Reorganise. Recon teams and vehicles that have disengaged have to spend the following turn reorganising, which means they cannot move any closer to enemy teams they can see and cannot shoot or assault. The Sangfroid special rule also allows the armoured car platoons from the 2HCR to re-roll any failed Motivation Checks to avoid being Forced to Disengage.

The Sangfroid special rule allows recon platoons from the 2HCR to take a few more risks and will help my armoured car platoons keep the initiative as they press forward.

In my force I brought the two armoured car patrols that were sent to Breugel as well as some support. The first platoon I included was the Armoured Car Support Platoon to give my cars some infantry support to hold ground.

I know that there is at least a small garrison to overcome straight away, so I needed some AEC III support from the Heavy Armoured Car Platoon. Their 75mm guns should help contend with enemies holed up in buildings.

Finally, I included the US Parachute Rifle Platoon which my squadron encountered on the way to the bridge. The platoon’s Lieutenant agreed to help me secure the bridge. The large size of the platoon and the bazooka and 60mm mortar makes it a great well-rounded task force. These troops will help me overcome any enemy resistance and keep the Germans away from the bridge.
Mike's 2nd Household Cavalry Squadron (This force can be found in Hell's Highway)
Squadron Headquarters
 
with two Staghound I Armoured Cars
110 points
Armoured Car Platoon (Number 1 Platoon)  
with two Daimler I armoured cars and two Daimler Dingo scout cars
160 points
Armoured Car Platoon (Number 2 Platoon)  
with two Daimler I armoured cars and two Daimler Dingo scout cars 160 points
Armoured Car Support Platoon
 
with three Support Squads and PIAT and Light Mortar teams
195 points
Heavy Armoured Car Platoon  
with two AEC III heavy armoured cars 165 points
Parachute Rifle Platoon
 
with three Rifle Squads
255 points
Total: 1045 points
Mike's Army
Mike's Plan The Plan

I heard that the enemy force is under the command an old Major (Ken) brought out of military retirement by the German high command. They must be getting desperate after all!

Ken is a great commander and besting him is certainly a point of pride to those lucky few in the studio who have managed to do so. But his luck has to be running out.

It will be difficult to overcome the sheer size and quality of Ken’s force. But I don’t have to launch an all-out assault on his force. I only need to identify a few points and report back to HQ. I’d say the biggest challenge is actually going to be keeping myself from charging Ken’s troops like Alice after the white rabbit.

I’ll quickly recce the bridges and then shoot up the road to scout the others. Hopefully, Ken will forget to bring his lucky SS dice so his reserves will stay off the table.

Using the Sangfroid special rule I’ll gun my way up the left flank hoping to recce the objectives closer to the German deployment area first and then work my way back. That way I should be done checking out the dangerous ones by the time Ken’s support comes onto the table.

The left flank provides me with a bit more cover as well so I’ll try to keep using that to maximise the recon rule Cautious Movement. I intend to make good use of the roads as well to keep my cars moving.
Meanwhile, I’ll get my infantry onto the bridges and keep the Germans from capturing them. The US paras will take the right flank with their larger platoon, while the Armoured Car Support Platoon will grab the bridge on the left.

I will need to time my reconnaissance and map out my path carefully, as one mishap will certainly put my troops in a world of hurt! Once the recon objectives have been scouted out, I’ll bring the cars back and get out of there before Ken can bring the bulk of his force to bear. My strategic plan is to make a run up the left with my armoured cars, leaving the infantry back to establish a defensive perimeter around the bridges. The AEC III heavy armoured cars will try to knock out any threats that stray into view.

Then, after scouting the furthest objectives, I’ll fall back, checking out the rest as I retreat. That’s the plan. but how well
will it survive contact with the enemy?

Ken's Fallschirmjäger Kampfgruppe

Cut off after the initial Armoured thrust into Eindhoven, my company was isolated east of the main road from the rest of the 6th Fallschirmjäger Regiment. I’ve slowly worked my way north around the eastern edge of Eindhoven, eventually, ending up near Breugel. On 18 September I settled the company in the woods to the northwest of town.

Heeding the call for reinforcements at St Oedenrode, I’ve dispatched one of my Fallschirmjäger platoons and an SS anti-tank platoon to help halt the American airborne troops up north.

Meanwhile in Breugel, my first platoon has been well-rested with almost twelve hours of rest and stands ready for its next action. 
Ken Camel ‘Hump’—Writing Team: Battlefront Miniatures, native Chicagoan, Cubs Fan, USAF (Ret).
The 1st Parachute Army, commanded by Generaleutnant Student has assigned me the area around the town of Breugel. (Mike’s come up with this scenario in hopes of showing us how good his Household Guards are, but I seriously doubt they’ll be any match for my Fallschirmjäger much less SS-Panzerpioniers!).

I have received word that a platoon of Grenadiers and a Luftwaffe FlaK battery are currently holding the town. (Probably will be plenty to keep light recce at bay for as long as I can keep the 8.8cm gun in the game). Fortunately, my first platoon and my headquarters are currently deployed in the woods to the west of Breugel. (This should be able to back up the grenadiers and the HQ Panzerschrecks should take care of any armour that Mike tries to send in).

I have ordered the platoon and our regimental anti-tank assets to return from their mission in St Oedenrode as quickly as possible. (I’ve placed a Fallschirmjäger platoon and an SS-Anti-tank gun platoon with 7.5cm PaK 40 guns in reserve. These will keep any recce unit from getting to far).

I have also been promised an SS-Panzerpionier Platoon to help destroy the bridges at Breugel if required. (I need to get them onto a bridge to demolish them and it’s game over!).

I have been trying to contact the garrison in town but have not been able to raise them. (Typical Heer troops holding a quiet town). I guess I will have to send reinforcements to the bridges.

Ken's Fallschirmjäger Kampfgruppe (This force can be found in Hell's Highway)
Headquarters
 
with two Command SMG Teams, three Panzerschreck teams, and three 8cm GW42 mortars 205 points
Fallschirmjäger Platoon
 
with Command Panzerfaust SMG team and two Fallschirmjäger squads 185 points
Fallschirmjäger Platoon  
with Command Panzerfaust SMG team and two Fallschirmjäger squads 185 points
SS-Panzerpioneer Platoon
 
with three Pioneer squads 230 points
SS-Anti-tank Platoon
 
with three 7.5cm PaK40 anti-tank guns 180 points
Total:
985 points
Breugel Garrison Force (Bonus Free Troops)
 
Grenadier Platoon
 
with three Grenadier squads  
Luftwaffe FlaK Platoon
 
with one 8.8cm FlaK36 and two 2cm FlaK38 anti-aircraft guns  
Ken's Army
Ken's Plan (If I don’t, the bridge defence’s 8.8cm FlaK36 anti-aircraft gun will probably be taken out and overrun).

I do not expect any intelligence from headquarters as communications have been few and intermittent so we’ll let the
enemy make the first move and reveal their strength. (Besides Mike will probably try to sneak around and would just love to catch my FJ in the open. So I’ll keep in the woods and out of sight until I can ambush any recce platoons).

In any case, my boys are rested and quite able to take care of any Ami or Tommy patrols that wander into my area. (Especially if I can get the first attack). I only hope the Grenadiers and FlaK troops will still be there when I arrive. (A couple of lucky rolls by his armour could make it tough. But if my 2cm AA can get a
few lucky rolls of their own, Mike’s recon will be high-tailing it back to Belgium).

Without the garrison’s help my one platoon will be hard pressed to hold both bridges if they are attacked simultaneously before my second Fallschirmjäger platoon and anti-tank guns arrive from St Oedenrode. (Delayed reserves may stretch my staying power. But if the grenadiers and Flak can hold then there should be no problems).

The SS-Panzerpioniers will be helpful in making sure no one crosses my bridges. (They’ll eat recce platoons for breakfast and if I can get them dug in around a bridge, Mike will be whining once again as he tries to cut through my fearless defenders!).
Once I get my entire company in place, backed up with SS-Panzerpioniers, I’ll be prepared to take on the British Armour should they try and cross over the bridges. (A company of Fallschirmjäger with anti-tank guns and SS backup should have no problem holding two bridges. A Sperrverband (blocking force) can do it while being Reluctant Veterans much less Fearless Veteran Fallschirmjäger!).

Setup


Ken and I collected our armies and began deploying them on the field of battle. We decided that the bridges were quite obvious objectives in and of themselves, so we didn’t clutter them by placing an objective marker on them.

Ken deployed a Fallschirmjäger platoon with what can only be described as a Panzerschreck Horde from the company HQ platoon in the woods near Recon Objective 2. He placed the garrison troops along the river in front of the stone bridge according to the scenario map.

Turn Map Key
Table Setup
Turn One Map

Turn 1

Mike’s Thoughts (British)

When Ken deployed the FJ near Recon Objective 2, I immediately had to reconsider my deep reconnaissance strategy. The woods now contained three billion anti-tank rockets. So, with that much anti-tank waiting for me, I decided to play a bit conservative against that objective or bypass it. Still, it beats driving into the teeth of the FlaK platoon!

I had the first turn, so I sent off my platoons using reconnaissance deployment. Numbers 1 and 2 platoons bounded across the bridge, not pausing to have a good recce—I left that task to my
CiC.

Once the initial recon moves were made, I charged the force forward. The armoured car platoons raced forward. I hoped to get Number 1 Platoon through the second right turn and on its way to scouting out Recon Objective 3 before Ken could cut me off with his FJ in the forest. So the armoured cars charged up the left road hoping to squeeze through, but didn’t quite have enough movement.

Number 2 Platoon hooked around the first right turn and headed for the village. The AEC cars moved forward and knocked out a 2cm FlaK gun.

The Paratrooper and Support platoons pushed up to the bridges and my CiC and 2iC recced the bridges.

Hopefully, if all goes according to plan, I’ll pummel the garrison platoon with AEC fire, and then try to fold the grenadiers from the flank with Number 2 Platoon.

But first, something has to be done about that 8.8cm FlaK36 sitting on the road. It is perfectly placed to nail Number 2 Platoon if it pokes its head around the corner and also smear anything that tries to cross the bridge.
Mike’s armoured card swing around the first bend and head for the town.
Ken’s Thoughts (German)

As the Recce platoon moved up on right flank I moved the Fallschirmjäger and HQ platoon in the wood up closer to the road to prevent the recon from moving too far across the bridge.

I called in mortar fire from the HQ platoon onto the recce platoon heading toward my FJ. The bombardment caused three hits and bailed one of the Dingo scout cars.

However, using the new Sangfroid special rule, the platoon was not forced to disengage and remained where it was.
I then used the German Stormtrooper special rule to get the FJ and HQ platoons to the crossroads, keeping them just inside the wood to make sure that if Mike wanted to take a shot at me he’d have to close to within Panzerschreck range!

The Luftwaffe FlaK and Grenadier platoons stayed concealed and gone to ground as they didn’t have
any targets to shoot at. An active defence ought to keep Mike’s recce platoon at bay on the right. I’ve managed to secure the crossroads he’ll need to get to Recon Objectives 2 and 4.

Hopefully the Grenadier and FlaK platoon will keep the enemy tied up on the bridge long enough
for my reserves to arrive.

Victory Points Tally

Mike 2; Ken 0.

Turn 2

Mike’s Thoughts (British)

Thanks to Sangfroid, Number 1 platoon was still up and operational heading toward Recon Objective 2. However, Ken closed the gap with a stormtrooper move, and cut me off.

I decided that I’ll send a Dingo ahead to scout out Recon Objective 3, keeping the rest of the platoon back out of harm’s way. The Dingo zipped up to the crossroads and had a look at the objective. Three recon objectives down,
three to go.

Mike’s 60mm mortar knocks out Ken’s 88 defending the bridge.
As a side note, I have to stress just how useful the two Dingo scout cars are in the platoon. Their extra mobility means you can send one ahead to complete a recon task, such as Eyes and Ears*. They are very small making the easy to conceal and you are keeping the rest out of harm’s way. When the Dingo gets in trouble it can disengage and run back to the rest of the platoon. The cars that didn’t disengage are free to move and shoot on their next turn, sending the second Dingo out and so on.
The Support platoon tried to dig in near the wooden bridge, but failed—presumably due to too many tree roots in the ground. The AEC III cars and the 2iC fired into the grenadier platoon, hoping to dislodge a few troops, but to no avail.

I then moved my paratroopers out to prepare to push the Germans away from the stone bridge. I decided on a bold move. I sent the platoon’s 60mm mortar onto the bridge and ordered them to try and knock out the 8.8 gun. The mortar fired a shot over the heads of the paras and the shell found its target, blowing the gun away—a lucky shot!

With the 88 destroyed, Number 2 platoon could afford to be a bit more aggressive. It was in a good position on the
Grenadier’s flank so I launched an assault against them. I figured they could only bring six shots to bear and felt the risk was acceptable. But lucky Ken hit me five times with Rifle/MG fire, halted my assault and destroyed one of my Daimler I cars!

I pulled back, and prepared to try again next turn. Still, I had 50% of my objectives scouted.

Turn 2 Map Ken’s Thoughts (German)

I can’t believe I lost the 88 to a stray 60mm mortar shot! Losing that seriously compromises my timetable. I don’t want to have to send the FJ platoon to reinforce the bridge and give all of the rear objectives away. For now the grenadiers seem to be holding out, so hopefully they can keep the enemy away until my reserves arrive.

I moved my FJ and HQ platoons out of wood to fire on recce platoon on the crossroads. The Panzershrecks fired first but sneaky Mike’s recce platoon disengaged and ran away.

The Luftwaffe 2cm gun opened up on paratrooper platoon on the stone bridge. It hit the paras three times but didn’t cause any casualties.

Then the Grenadier platoon opened up on Mike’s paratrooper platoon and managed to hit them six times, killed two paratrooper teams, and pinned them down on the bridge.

I used stormtrooper to move the FJ and HQ platoons back into woods to keep them out of sight from the Recce platoon that ran away. Hopefully, I can keep Mike’s recce platoon reorganising for a few turns to throw his plans off.

Victory Points Tally

Mike 3; Ken 0
Turn 3

Mike’s Thoughts (British)

Ken’s troops tucked themselves away in the forest where I couldn’t see them after spooking my armoured cars away. Number 1 Platoon had to reorganise after disengaging during Ken’s turn. However, because he piled deep into the forest, he couldn’t prevent my reorganising cars from sneaking forward to within 12’/30cm of Recon Objective 2. Because a platoon cannot shoot while reorganising, we agreed that it could not try and recce a recon objective either. So I’ll have to wait to do that next turn.

Ken’s Panzerschreck Horde comes out to play. Mike wasn’t so keen
Meanwhile, my CiC joined Number 2 Platoon because its platoon commander was Destroyed in the assault last previous turn. The platoon’s Dingo moved forward to try another assault.

During the shooting step the CiC designated the remaining Daimler as the platoon commander. The platoon then opened fire to try an pin down the grenadiers. Their shooting was surprisingly effective, killing two teams with
machine-guns and pinning the enemy down. The AEC platoon fired in support as well, knocking out a third team.

The paratroopers moved in to lob another mortar shell at the last 2cm AA gun. With another lucky hit, it killed the gun and the way was now open for an assault on the garrison troops. Number 2 Platoon launched its assault without taking any defensive fire hits, but failed to hit any targets! Ken broke off and pulled his grenadiers into the buildings and Number 2 Platoon moved into position to recce Recon Objective 1 next turn.
Turn 3 Map Ken’s Thoughts (German)

Finally, turn three arrives and with it hopefully some Reserves. But, alas, no reserves showed up this round. I really need them to reinforce the stone bridge as I’m slowly losing ground there. Especially since the Luftwaffe platoon evaporated last turn.

I need to hold the town and keep Mike’s recce platoons away from Recon Objectives 2 and 4.

I moved the Fallschirmjäger and HQ platoons out of woods to once again scare the recce away. I moved the Panzerschrecks out first to ensure that Mike got the message. If he disengages he’ll have to spend the next turn reorganising.

During the Shooting Step, Mike disengaged his platoon as I had planned. I stormtrooped the FJ back into both woods positioned on either side of the crossroads. This time I kept some eyes on his platoon so he couldn’t sneak up again.

I moved the remainder of the grenadier team to the right of the bridge into the nearest houses for cover after the recce assaults. Then the grenadiers fired on the paras but I failed to score any hits.
The mortars fired on Mike’s recce platoon entering the town from the right flank. They scored a hit but the armoured cars made its save and the bombardment had no other effect.

Reserves will hopefully arrive next turn to help reinforce the town position. If not, I’ll have to reinforce it with my FJ platoon. I need to make sure that I can grab one of the bridges!

Victory Points Tally

Mike 3; Ken 0
Turn 4

Mike’s Thoughts (British)

Number 1 Platoon was forced to disengage during Ken’s turn, meaning I’ve lost another turn to use them offensively. Still, Ken appears to making a move on the wooden bridge so I moved the armoured cars back to the bridge and moved the Support Platoon forward across.

Number 2 Platoon has moved forward to get into a good position and recced Recon Objective 1, having thoroughly assessed the remaining German strength at the bridge.

The paratroopers moved forward to keep the pressure on the bridge garrison. The mortar tried to shoot the Grenadiers, but missed.

Mike’s Number 2 Platoon scouts Recon Objective 1.
Apparently the crew is good at spotting guns but have a bit of trouble spotting infantry. The AEC cars also had issues seeing any enemy troops.

At this point I’ve managed to scout four recon objectives. I’ll have to get daring to grab the others. My plan is now to put pressure on the town to force Ken to commit his Fallschirmjäger to either the town or the wooden bridge. Which ever way he moved, I would push my recon up the other and try for Recon Objectives 2 or 4. If I were a betting man, I’d guess he’ll go for town as my strength there is more depleted and there
is better cover for his troops.
Turn 4 Map Ken’s Thoughts (German)

Still no reserves! With the loss of the Luftwaffe platoon and the Grenadier platoon being quite depleted, I need to bring in the Fallschirmjäger and HQ platoons towards the town. I’ll have to just hope that any reserves can hold off Mike’s recce from getting to the back recon objectives.

The Fallschirmjäger and HQ platoons moved towards the town. A couple of armoured cars were within shooting range of my Panzerschrecks so I decided to take a shot at them.

First I fired my mortars and hit one of the Dingo scout cars which failed its armour save and the crew bailed out. The platoon was not Forced to Disengage. But when the Panzerschreck opened fire, the recce platoon disengaged with all but the bailed out scout car. Nevertheless, the Panzerschreck team fired on the bailed Dingo and it exploded into a ball of flame.

The grenadiers fired on Mike’s paratroopers that were now in the open crossing the bridge. But they only got one hit, which Mike promptly saved.
The majority of the Fallschirmjäger and HQ platoons stormtrooped into the town to hold off Mike’s recce. At least he’ll have to spend a turn reorganising now, buying me some more time to get reinforcements.

I left a small portion of the HQ and FJ platoon in the woods directly above the wooden bridge to keep Mike’s full-strength armoured car platoon from coming to the rescue of the stone bridge.


Victory Points Tally

Mike 4; Ken 0

Turn 5

Mike’s Thoughts (British)

Time is running out and I still need to scout two more recon objectives. Unfortunately, they are situated deep behind enemy lines, and I just know that as soon as I make a run for them his heavy guns will turn up to blast my armoured cars back to Britain!

Still, ‘no guts, no glory’, as they say so time to take the big gambles and head for the deep recon objectives.
Number 1 Platoon, back in operating order, ran forward taking advantage of the road to cover as much road as possible.
Ken’s Panzerschreck scores a direct hit on the Dingo scout car.
I ignored the FJ in the woods except to fire some random shots at a Fallschirmjäger team in the open, opting to let the Support Platoon deal with them.

The Support Platoon moved off the bridge and closed with the FJ in the woods. I pinned Ken’s Fallschirmjäger with shooting from Number 1 Platoon, the CiC and the support platoon. The infantry went in clearing out the wood.

Meanwhile on the other flank, Number 2 Platoon moved back from the Germans toward Recon Objective 4, still reorganising and keeping out of sight of the enemy.

The US paratroopers moved into assault positions to deal the knockout blow to the garrison. The 2iC armoured car and the AEC platoon shot into the Grenadiers and pinned them down. A desperate assault followed.

The paras crashed into the Grenadiers but missed both of their initial attacks. The Grenadiers came back and destroyed a paratrooper team. Undaunted, the paras rallied but only took out a single grenadier team. Ken bounced back and got another para team. This time, my paras decided to back off. Fearless veterans indeed! Still, Ken’s grenadier troops had had enough and failed their platoon morale check and left the table.

I figured the bridges were now secured, even if Ken’s reserves arrived. I just need to now focus on getting to Recon Objectives 2 and 4.
Turn 5 Map Ken’s Thoughts (German)

Turn five and still no reserves! At this point, I need to keep Mike away from the recon objectives and try to kill a recce platoon. The recce platoon in the town is down to half-strength. Recon cars are tricky to hit, but if I can knock out one armoured car, if not both, I can force a morale check.

The grenadiers are now gone, having given the US paras a good fight. I moved the Fallschirmjäger and HQ platoons into the centre of the town hoping to catch the last two vehicles in the recce platoon before it can disengage.

Last time the mortar proved quite helpful in setting up a kill, so I tried it again. However, the mortars failed to range in and the recce platoon was left unharmed.

With only six shots coming from the co-ax machine-guns on Mike’s armoured cars, I tried to assault the recce platoon. But the armoured cars still hit my FJ five times with six defensive fire dice and pinned my assault down! The Fallschirmjäger platoon was now down to only four stands.

I could really use those reserves about now!

Victory Points Tally

Mike 4; Ken 0
Turn 6

Mike’s Thoughts (British)

This is it—the final turn. I need to get to those objectives and see what’s there. I don’t want the Guards boys to stumble into a serious fight without my troops doing the most to help!


I moved Number 1 Platoon up the left flank and got them into position to see Recon Objective 2.
Ken’s Pioneers finally arrive to blow the bridge.

I’m worried that Ken’s reinforcements will arrive and blast the platoon, so I kept the Daimlers and a Dingo back out of sight and sent a scout car ahead to recce the objective.

I had intended to run Number 2 Platoon up the road on the right to recce Recon Objective 4, but Ken had cleverly blocked the road with his Fallschirmjäger platoon. I was forced to give up on the objective and begin my withdrawal
across the river.

The Support platoon moved up to the edge of the wood and tried to shoot a few exposed Fallschirmjäger teams, but could not destroy any targets. The AEC and Company HQ vehicles met with similar results.

The game was over and my armoured cars had won the game. With five recon objectives scouted out I felt that was the best I could do. I received word that the Guards tanks were near by and they would pick up the fight where I left off. I now had to focus on getting my men safely back across the river.

Turn 6 Map Ken’s Thoughts (German)

Finally I got some reserves! My SS-Anti-tank platoon with three 7.5cm PaK 40 guns and SS-Panzerpioneers arrived at the table edge, if a bit too late. My only chance for a Victory Point is to kill the two-vehicle recce platoon lurking in the town.

I deployed the PaK 40 guns across the back of the table. One was set up to fire at the recce in town, one to fire at Mike’s Company Command vehicle in the centre, and last one to fire at the Dingo scouting out Recon Objective 2.

The SS-Panzerpioneers motored 16”/40cm up the main road towards the town to reinforce the FJ and HQ platoon.

The Fallschirmjäger and HQ platoons moved towards the two-vehicle recce platoon to try and assault the armoured cars again.

Both the CiC and Dingo vehicle near Recon Objective 2 disengaged away from my PaK40 guns.

Earlier in a pervious turn, the mortars ranged in and bailed out the Dingo in the town while a PaK 40 gun shot and chased remaining recce vehicle behind a building.
The remaining Daimler I failed its first roll for the platoon morale check, but using the Guards Unflappable special rule to re-roll the result, the platoon was saved.

The Fallschirmjäger assaulted the bailed-out Dingo and captured it. They consolidated further into the town and secured themselves in the buildings.

SS-Panzerpioneers stormtrooped out of their vehicles and deployed just north of town.

Although I lost the game, having failed to stop Mike’s recon force from scouting the area, I still had a relatively intact force. I’ll have to now focus on securing the stone bridge and prepare for the Allied assault.

Victory Points Tally

Mike 5; Ken 0
Summary

Mike:

I won the game thanks to my cavalry squadron scouting out five of the six objectives, which gained me five victory points in the end. After reporting in at Division HQ, we’ll hit the road once again to be the eyes and ears of the Guards Armoured Division. Unfortunately, I missed Recon Objective 4, which could prove to be a problem.

Making copious use of the Dingo I helped me to complete the mission. The small profile of the scout car allows it to hide away and conduct reconnaissance tasks while not needlessly endangering the rest of the platoon. I found that if you treat the Dingos as disposable, as indeed they were, you will be able to accomplish a lot more and keep the platoon operating throughout the game.

The Daimler I armoured cars were useful in fire-support, using their 2 pdr guns to knock out dug-in gun teams and machineguns to keep infantry honest. They can also cover a lot of ground using roads to get to where they need to be.

There were a lot of opportunities to use the reconnaissance special rules, especially Disengage from enemy shooting. However, I lost some critical time having to reorganise. In my next mission, I’ll make sure that I position my platoons better so that my entire platoon isn’t forced to reorganise so I can keep the pressure on
the enemy.

Sangfroid and the Guards Unflappable special rules help make the 2nd Household Cavalry a very sturdy and effective reconnaissance force. What’s more, it has the option to stand and fight, if the enemy isn’t too well endowed with anti-tank assets.

Ken:

With no reserves until turn six, I had next to no chance of taking back the bridges. I really needed at least one platoon early in the game to be able to keep the recce far enough away to prevent them from getting to their objectives. Blasted Allied air cover must have harassed my second platoon, anti-tank, and SS-Panzerpioneers
as they tried to reach us.

Nevertheless, we will be ready for XXX Corps. Mike failed to recce Recon Objective 4, which would have told the British that our reserves had arrived. We’ll be able to establish a defensive perimeter with the PaK40 guns in the woods. The pioneers have orders to blow the main bridge if we can’t hold off the Allied
assault. We’ll get them tomorrow!

The Final Outcome
General Comments

A few things came up about the scenario that we though would be worth trying. We think the scenario is great fun when played as it is, but like all avid gamers, we immediately set out to make a few alterations.

One idea we had was to bring in delayed reserves a turn sooner, so begin rolling on turn two rather than three. However, we both agree that Ken’s bad luck with rolling for reserves might have influenced that a bit! With average rolls another German player may have better luck.

Another idea that came up we actually implemented in the game. We decided that the garrison and FlaK platoon was not part of Ken’s company and therefore didn’t count toward morale. This kept the game running, and was especially a good idea when Ken’s reserves took as long as they did!

In general, we had a great time. Small 1000 point games have all the action and flavour of bigger games. Small forces on a big table also create some new and exciting challenges in terms of manoeuvring, making for a very dynamic game.

When the game ended, we were left wondering just what would happen next. Would the Guards make it through Ken’s defence?

We’ll have to find out some day!

GUARDS WIN!


Last Updated On Thursday, February 4, 2010 by Blake at Battlefront