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Assault Crossing! - Using the Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack with your Late War collection

Assault Crossing! - Using the Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack with your Late War collection
with James MacMillan
With the release of the Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack (FW266A), Soviet and German players had the opportunity to play through two separate linked campaigns. 

Fortified city battles: The initial probing attacks against a fortified town (‘Onslaught’ Mission), escalating attacks on defensive positions (‘Hammering the Line’ mission), breakthrough of the defences (‘Breakthrough’ mission), exploitation of the breakthrough (‘Swinging the Sickle’ mission) and then establishing a bridgehead/stopping a counter attack (‘Bridgehead’ mission).

And:

River crossing battles: The advance to a river line (‘The Crossroads’ mission), an assault river crossing (‘River Crossing’ mission), the defence/counter attack of the bridgehead (‘Foothold’ mission), a retreat to the next line of defence (‘Rearguard’ mission) and attempt to exploit the crossing (‘Breakthrough’ mission).

Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack (FW266A)

Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack (FW266A)
Contains one 12” x 48" River Mat, five Cardboard Punch-out Sheets, four Defence Unit Cards, one Mission and Rules Booklet

The liberation of the Motherland is underway. The might of the Soviet Red Army is sweeping across Eastern Europe, from the Baltic in the north to the Black Sea in the south. Along the way numerous rivers will have to be assaulted across and many German fortified cities taken. Get ready to storm the defences or hold the river crossings!

Order your Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack here...

Western Allied City Fights
When it comes to using the Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack ‘Fortified city’ linked campaign, there are a number of battles which could form the basis of a US or British force against defending Germans. 

For example, heavy fighting occurred during the clearance of the channel ports by British and Canadian troops (Dieppe, Le Havre, Boulogne and Calais), while the US forces were embroiled in similar actions at Cherbourg and Brest. The linked campaign could be used to represent, along with suitable urban terrain, the assaults on these strongholds and subsequent battles to clear them and deal with last ditch counter attacks.  

Later in the campaign, similar battles were fought for many cities in Germany, which again could form a basis of western allied attacks on fortified towns and cities and subsequent attempts to break through.

With a little thought the linked campaign could easily be used by forces other than Russians and Germans, giving some interesting games against dug in defenders, where each battle is effected by the results of the previous game.

Western Allied River Crossings
When it comes to using the terrain pack ‘River crossing’ linked campaign, there are ample opportunities to use the linked campaign and the river crossing rules with your British and American collections (or any others, for that matter). Throughout the North West Europe campaign there were a large number of significant river crossing actions. 
Assault Crossing! - Using the Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack with your Late War collection
For example, the British 43rd (Wessex) Division launched an audacious, opposed, assault crossing of the River Seine at Vernon in late August 1944. This allowed the British 30 Corps to dash across Northern France and Belgium in what became known as ‘the great swan’. The initial assault was met by dug in defenders supported by Tiger tanks. 
Assault Crossing! - Using the Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack with your Late War collection

In September 1944, the US XX Corps undertook an assault crossing of the Meuse River during their advance on the French city of Nancy. The two crossing attempts by the US 80th Infantry Division failed in the face of fierce resistance, and on the third attempt a successful crossing was made by the same unit. German forces from 3. Panzergrenadierdivision counter attacked and forced the Americans back almost to the crossing point before the situation was restored. 

Other assault crossings took place during the advance across France, Belgium and the Netherlands (where any number of canals and small rivers had to be crossed, such as the Meuse-Escaut canal), as well as during the British and US advance into Germany and the various crossings of the Rhine.

Again, the linked campaign provides a series of battles, each one impacted by the results of the previous one.

Assault Crossing! - Using the Bagration: River Assault Mission Terrain Pack with your Late War collection

Allies on the Defensive
And if you wanted to try something different, you could always play with the Germans as the attacker. With a few minor tweaks, fortifications such as gun nests (perhaps sporting 57mm A/T guns, 6-pdrs or 40mm Bofors), machine-gun nests and anti-tank bunkers (with similar anti-tank options) can be re-statted to the appropriate allied weapons (and simply avoid selecting the contentious ones, such as the tank turret bunkers).  

While German forces were often on the retreat during the North West Europe campaign, they would mount local counter attacks against allied forces. With a bit of thought, the fortified city linked campaign could be fought against British Airborne forces at Arnhem or US forces in the Bulge – or you can use your imagination to come up with other situations where the Germans are on the attack. 

Fun For All!
As outlined above, the rules, terrain and counters found within the terrain pack can easily be used to represent a variety of difficult battles for everyone’s collections - giving opportunities to try different missions and come up with army lists designed for some very unusual battles. While the contents describe battles between the Russians and Germans, there is nothing to stop you switching things up or using the linked campaign to play against your friends.

Each of the linked campaigns feature missions unique to the terrain pack, which present new difficulties for the attackers and the defenders and allow you to try something really different. The counters are of good quality, and will look great with painted figures – or to give you ideas for making your own physical representations.
~James


Last Updated On Thursday, December 9, 2021 by Luke at Battlefront