We fought a “Bridge Too Far” inspired game of Disposable Heroes recently and I thought I’d post an AAR about it as it was quite a fun game.
First let’s talk about the opposing sides. For the Allies we had 3 forces in play:
- A British para unit consisting of an HQ, 3 squads, some PIAT and MG support, two Tetrach light tanks, 2 75mm howitzers, an ATG and an SAS group of 3 jeeps (with twin Vickers machine guns of course) and 15 men.
- An American para unit consisting of an HQ and 3 squads
- The “30 corps” group consisting of: British engineers and an assemblage of tanks including 2 75mm shermans, a Sherman firefly, an M-10, a Churchhill, a Cromwell, and a couple M-8’s.
I took less note of the Germans but essentially they had an SS PzGr platoon, a Heer PzGr platoon, a Fallschirmjager unit, an 88, a Pak40, and a pile of various StuG’s, PZIV’s, JagdPanther, halftracks etc.
A map of the game looks something like this (note this is just an approximation):
The American flag in the lower left corner is where the American para’s landed, the English flag in the upper right is the British para landing area, the English flag in a lozenge in the upper left is the allied reinforcements and, the 6 numbered black lozenges are the random arrival locations for the Germans. Both the British and American para’s were required to hold their landing sites until they met up with the relieving forces or suffer a reduction in their firepower from lack of supplies.
The only onboard figures at start were a squad plus MMG of Germans in each of the towns and one in foxholes near the bridge from “Nijmegen”
Here’s what the table looked like:
This is near the beginning of the battle, right after the airborne landings. The Americans are off screen to the lower left and you can see the British para’s in the upper right. Most troops landed safely however one of the Tetrachs was destroyed in a glider accident.
Below is another view at the start behind “Arnhem”
Close up of the British landings.
The American landing. Other than a few elements scattered into the woods to the right it was achieved without loss. In the middle distance you can see a group of Germans hiding behind the stone wall.
In the north the British have deployed their artillery and begun to advance towards the bridge. You can just see a destroyed bridge in the foreground. This was a random event as to whether it would be intact or not. You can also see the British have begun to take losses from both an MMG in Nijmegen and a squad holed up in the white building.
British infantry has been pinned down but the SAS jeeps raced ahead and are adjacent to the large white building near the bridge. Just to the upper left of the photo the remaining Tetrach and a 6# ATG have setup a blocking position on the road to cover reinforcements coming that way.
As it turned out the reinforcements arrived the very next turn in the from of a StuGIII and some infantry. The little British tank was able to shoot down some of the infantry. However, the German SPG was able to take out the Tetrach before itself falling to the 6#.
Meanwhile, back in the south, the Americans were advancing into Nijmegen when German reaction forces appeared behind them. This began a bloodbath on the hill as the Germans rolled 5 straight times to bring reinforcements into the same area. The following series of pictures show the results.
Just when it was looking grim (and a Tiger is very grim indeed) the reinforcements began arriving at the south of Nijmegen. Some of the American para’s had actually survived and helped clean out the town of pesky German infantry. Almost immediately a Firefly headed towards the hill and with a lucky shot took out the Tiger putting an end to its rampage.
Notwithstanding the loss of their tank the Germans began consolidating onto the hill east of the town.
Meanwhile….up in the north.
The British SAS close assaulted into the white building housing the Germans while at the same time one of their jeeps rounded the corner of the house and took out a German MMG covering the bridge. The jeep was damaged during the fight but lived to fight on…for a while.
While this was going on, more German reinforcements arrived at the north end of town including a PZIV and some infantry.
They proceeded to advance through town towards the bridge and would cause significant problems to the Allied forces.
To the south the Americans and reserves pushed across Nijmegen bridge, taking out the entrenched infantry on the way, and met a unit of SAS who had crossed over from Arnhem. It was looking like a win for the Allies!
Alas it was not to be. More German reinforcements arrived on the east side of the map between the rivers and the pesky PZIV from the north made its way down and captured Arnhem bridge. It was close, but the remaining para’s would be left stranded.
it was a lot of fun and played out very well for the first time playing the scenario. It came down to the wire and both sides stood a very good chance of success right to the end.