The briefing is short and to the point: an introductory scenario that simulates a small airborne operation to seize a river crossing. There is no preference indicated as to what side was intended to be played by the scenario designer, so naturally I selected the Allies in order to inflict some much needed whoop-ass on the virtual Waffen-SS Panzer Division.
The Allies are represented by the 1st Para Brigade and begin the mission with the 1st Para Battalion already on the ground. With the scenario orders delay set to 60 minutes, all other brigades and the HQ element land within the first 30 minutes which allows for some rapid deployment to the two map objectives: Renkum Ferry to the north of the Neder Rijn and Rhine South Bank on the other side.
Renkum Ferry pays out 67 Victory Points, but all (actually 66.7) are awarded on completion of the mission: there is nothing for occupying the objective throughout the scenario. Rhine South Bank yields 33 Victory Points (actually 33.3), again all at the completion of the mission. The final (non-map) objective is to Destroy the Enemy at 67 Victory Points (actually 66.7) that accumulates throughout game play.
Once all of my troops were on the ground, I had at my disposal a force comprised of the following: 2,681 personnel, 2 armored fighting vehicles, 32 guns, a 416 Anti-Personnel Firepower rating and a 245 Anti-Armor Firepower rating. Much to my chagrin, I have no air support, no artillery units and no additional reinforcements. I have to use a Para Brigade to attack, secure and defend two objectives against a Panzer Division (of unknown composition and quality).
Detach T Coy 1st Bn to defend to the W.
Detach A Coy 3rd Bn to defend to the SE.
Detach B Coy 3rd Bn to defend to the S.
Detach C Coy 2nd Bn to defend to the N.
Move Recce Sqn to the NW.
1st Para Bn attacks to the W while glancing past the Renkum Ferry Objective.
2nd Para Bn delays from the W back to E to the Renkum Ferry Objective.
3rd Para Bn attacks and holds the Rhine South Bank Objective.
1st Para Bde HQ defends at the Renkum Ferry Objective.
The Axis Rail Bridge Garrison and Flak Platoon is no match for the 1st Para Bn that sweeps to the west and is subsequently crushed as the 1st Para Bde HQ has secured the Renkum Ferry Objective and has begun to dig in. In the south, the 3rd Para Bn has likewise made quick work of the flak and garrison platoons there and controls the Rhine South Bank objective.
All units have reached their assigned areas and have dug in proper awaiting the German counter-attack that is sure to come.
As in all Panther war-games, I freak out and decide to improvise my initial plans. A Coy 2nd Bn is ordered to defend north of the Renkum Ferry Objective (I never said I was Patton).
Everything seems to be in order, but the Axis forces are moving in to be sure (otherwise my cat could beat this scenario in his sleep).
The British forces come under attack from four separate approaches at the same time (smart Axis AI to not piecemeal it like was done in real life at Bastogne). The only force that is positively identified at this point is KG Weber coming from the west. However my Para’s are well entrenched and ready to inflict some serious terrain advantage hurt on the SS.
2nd Para Bn in the east has fallen back under delay orders twice since 12:00, and will fall back one more position before the scenario ends. A Coy 2 Bn has been harassed and knocked off of their defensive position to the north of the Renkum Ferry Objective, but has been able to keep the heat off of the 1st Para Bde HQ.
Review Final Situation
T Coy 1st Bn did an excellent job in the west holding off a large coagulation of Axis forces coming down the main road. Likewise the Recce Sqn to the north was able to confuse and scatter the enemy into the woods which significantly delayed their approach.
After Action Report
I lost a total of 189 personnel compared to 617 for the Germans. Overall this was an enjoyable short scenario that plays well and does present some tactical challenge.