The Allied force consists of 2,702 men, 341 armored fighting vehicles and 36 gun units providing an Anti-Personal firepower rating of 1,450, an Anti-Armor rating of 1,695, an Armor rating of 1,496 and a Bombardment rating of 135. During the battle I would have several airstrikes at my disposal as well.
There are four objectives to the mission: The Road Bridge for 60 Victory Points upon completion, the Rail Bridge for 30 Victory Points upon completion, St. Anna for 30 Victory Points upon completion and destroy the enemy for 50 Victory Points.
D1 12:01: My initial orders are as follows:
- 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards are to form-up at the N326 just above the Sports Park and attack the left flank of the Road Bridge objective.
- 13/18 Hussars are to use the same forming-up point and attack the right flank of the same objective.
- Nottingham Hampshire Yeomanry, using the same FUP will pivot east and attack the St. Anna objective.
- HQ section of the 8th Armored Brigade to defend just outside of Hees.
- 147th Field Artillery Regiment (24 25-pounder guns) to establish a firebase NE of Alverna.
D1 15:00: All elements ordered to cross the bridges at Honinghutje have made it across uncontested and have reached the FUP where they make contact with the enemy. The HQ section of the 8th Armored Brigade has reached their defend objective and have already entrenched.
D1 18:00: Nottingham Hampshire Yeomanry have reached and achieved the St. Anna objective, and are in the process of securing it. Their position to the NE of this objective was intentional so as to form a phalanx parallel to the rail lines and the most likely approach of the enemy.
D1 21:00: The Hussars are moving towards their assigned assault corridor whereas the Royal Dragoon Guards are lagging behind. This would be the beginning of a tortuous process for the force as they would encounter heavy resistance on the left flank for the remainder of the scenario. Later on at 22:00 I would lose B Company of the 12th KRRC (subordinate to the 13/18 Hussars).
D2 00:00: No rest for the weary: The Hussars are fully engaged in their press towards the objective while the Royal Dragoon Guards begin routing in the face of heavy Axis forces. Although there appear to be probes at St. Anna, the Nott’s are holding firm.
D2 06:00: The Royal Dragoon Guards appear to be reformed and proceeding with their attack but this will be short lived at best. The HQ section of the 8th is beginning to look bored so I ponder having them probe the Rail Bridge objective just to see what shakes out up there.
D2 12:00: With the Royal Dragoon Guards completely splintered and under a withering assault by the Axis armada that has formed outside of the Road Bridge objective, I proceed to task the HQ section of the 8th Armored Brigade to probe the Rail Bridge objective and possibly bring some relief to the fractured Guards force.
During this time frame I would take the remainder of my losses in terms of disbanded forces: B Squadron 4/7 RGD, A Company 12th KRRC and the Recce Troop as part of the RDG.
D2 18:00: As the Royal Dragoon Guards are essentially lost as a combat effective force, it is surprising to see the soft HQ section of the 8th having achieved the Rail Bridge objective. The 13/18 Hussars on the right flank of the Road Bridge objective are providing sufficient pressure on that objective to swing the Win-O-Meter totally into my favor.
Review final situation screen
A classic meeting engagement between two armoured brigades, as the 8th Armoured Brigade battles the reinforced Panzer Brigade 107 for control of the Nijmegen Bridges.
Secure the objectives and inflict maximum damage on the enemy while minimizing friendly casualties.
There is no separate briefing for the Allies in the scenario.
There is no separate briefing for the Axis in the scenario.
Matrix Forum Post
After-action report July 14, 2011
The first time I played this scenario I only managed a draw due to some tactical errors made on my part, and what I had perceived to be some strange behavior on the part of the AI. That text of that post from my original blog is maintained here for your entertainment value:
All the faith in the AI programming that I have in the Airborne Assault series was sorely tested at the very end of this supposedly straightforward 1 ½ day campaign mission between two relatively equal armor brigades. What specifically happened at the end, in fact in the very final hour is both perplexing and delusory.
The Allied 8th Armored Brigade (2,702 men, 341 armored fighting vehicles and 36 guns) squared off against the Axis 107th Panzer Brigade (2,974 men, 76 armored fighting vehicles and 4 guns). The mission settings were realistic orders delay, weather, supplies and no reinforcements.
There were four objectives to the mission: The Road Bridge for 60 victory points upon completion, the Rail Bridge for 30 victory points upon completion, St. Anna for 30 victory points upon completion and destroy the enemy for 50 victory points. Watching the win-o-meter throughout the mission, I could tell a decisive victory could be had by controlling the Rail Bridge and St. Anna, and denying the Road Bridge to the enemy.
My forces were broken out into a HQ section and three frontline HQ units as follows: The lead element on the road north to Nijmegen was the 4/7 Royal Dragoon Guards, followed up by the 13/18 Hussars, then came the HQ section of the 8th Armored Brigade followed up by the Nottingham Hampshire Yeomanry in the rear.
I detached the 147th Field Artillery Regiment (24 25-pounder guns) and brought them directly under my control, having moved them on the road north to Alverna to provide on-call fire support as I saw fit. I ordered the Dragoons and the Hussars as a combined force to the Road Bridge objective, the Hampshire force to the Rail Bridge objective and the Brigade HQ section to St. Anna.
The lead element cross the bridges at Honinghutje at D1 12:58 uncontested and continued their movement forward. First contact with the enemy came at D1 13:30 on the SW spoke of the Karel Plein when my lead element encountered a company of PzKw IV H’s (16 armored units) and their supporting elements.
My lead element became bogged down with this frontal assault into an enemy center mass just south of the Road Bridge objective area. I ordered the Hampshire force from the Rail Bridge objective which they had taken and then moved the Dragoon/Hussar combined force to the left of the enemy center mass and up the highway to the Rail Bridge objective just vacated by Hampshire force, to avoid further pointless direct frontal contact.
This endeavor while somewhat sound on paper was an abject failure on the battlefield as the Hampshire forces moving to the Road Bridge objective were quickly engaged and overwhelmed, resulting in 3 out of the 4 units of the total force having been broken and routed.
At this point I detached B Coy 12th KRRC (212 men and 48 armored fighting vehicles) and ordered them to hold the Rail Bridge objective. I took the remaining force of Hampshire, Dragoon and Hussars to form a battle group in which I would engage the Road Bridge objective to secure it, or at least deny it to the enemy.
All was well and good and several times this combined force battle group actually had control of the Road Bridge objective for a superior decisive victory as I also held the Rail Bridge objective and St. Anna. When I was not in control of the Road Bridge objective, I still had denied it to the enemy giving me even then quite possibly the slimmest of decisive victories.
Then all my faith in the Airborne Assault series AI, from Red Devils Over Arnhem through Battles From The Bulge took a severe shaking when I noticed my combined force retreating from the Road Bridge objective they had been denying to the enemy. At D2 23:25 - :35 minutes to mission end, the force was moving off the objective and there was nothing I could do to stop them in time.
Right at mission end, a sufficient number of my force left the objective area to cease denying that objective area to the enemy, and instead hand control of it over to them, which is all that is required at the end of the game to receive the full 60 victory points. This stupid, unexplainable action from the AI subordinate commanders cost me not only a decisive victory, but even a marginal one at that.