The Eindhoven scenario is one of three historical campaigns (Arnhem, Eindhoven, and Nijmegen) that form the backbone of the Operation Market Garden representation in the Airborne Assault engine at that time (preceded by Red Devils Over Arnhem and followed by the HTTR expansion pack for Command Operations). The missions feature various elements of the Allies 30 Corps fighting against the Axis 1st Fallschirmjäger Army and 2nd SS Panzer Corps.
Please refer to the previous entry covering Day Nine action for detailed information about how the battle progressed to this point. Note: all links used in this post are to actual articles containing additional information about the subject matter referenced and are not any form of automated link advertising.
Day Nine Analysis
I am currently in control of all 16 location objectives.
The total force strength is 19,658 personnel, 950 armored fighting vehicles, 360 gun units, a 6,197 anti-personnel firepower rating, a 10,486 anti-armor firepower rating, a 3,696 Armor rating, and a 1,310 bombardment rating.
There are no reinforcements remaining in the scenario.
I currently have four artillery batteries under my direct Fire Control: 377th (12 X 75mm/out of ammo), 321st (12 X 75mm/out of ammo), 907th (12 X 105mm/out of ammo), and the British 26.7 (8 X 5.5 inch/out of ammo).
All batteries are on call with “Rest After Bombard” deselected so as to allow the various AI commanders use of these assets.
If the scenario were to end right now, I would have killed 9,542 Axis personnel, 162 armored fighting vehicles, and 346 gun units (17 destroyed by fire and 13 by surrender).
Allied losses would be 3,227 personnel, 131 armored fighting vehicles, and 104 gun units. There have been three units destroyed by Fire and one by Surrender.
From this point forward combat power values will be abbreviated (armored fighting vehicles=AFV, etc.)
At midnight going into the second day of battle I am in control of all known threats, the largest being the contingent of Germans attempting to cut the road between Koevering and Veghel. While there is some action around the outskirts of Eindhoven, it is not perceived to be serious at the moment, and the area around Son and St. Oedenrode has been largely ignored by the Axis forces.
Some of the notifications are circumspect such as this one where C Company 1/7th Queens Infantry has surrendered at 05:51 in the face of one nearby Axis unit while surrounded by multiple other British units (C Coy is the yellow cross partially obstructed by the chit for C/65).
At noon in the Veghel sector there are no current reports of Axis forces (using the Intelligence Filter) however there is a boatload of crosses indicating their destruction, surrender, or merger with another unit.
In the St. Oedenrode sector it is likewise relatively quiet with a sole contact at Best.
In the Eindhoven sector there are no serious threats as well. I see no need at this point to issue any new order to any unit and I am content to ride it out until the end of the scenario.
By 18:00 the only real development in what is shaping up to be a sleeper of a final day is that the Best Rail Bridge changed hands back and forth. Other than that the entrenched Allied units kept slaughtering the Axis units moving out in the open.
This has been a bloodbath for the Germans to say the least.
By 21:00 a couple of more Axis units realize the effort is futile and surrender with an hour to go on the battlefield (union rules: everyone has to be home by midnight).
The scenario ends in a Draw outcome with the Allies leading 100 Victory Points to 90 over the Axis forces. Field Marshall Sir Bernard Montgomery issues his disgust with the result of the overall operation but there is a great deal more going on here than meets the eye.
The Allies claimed 10,304 personnel kills, 187 armored fighting vehicles, and 359 gun units (18 having been destroyed by Fire and another 18 by surrender).
That is the equivalent of an entire division evaporating on the battlefield.
The Axis claimed 3,545 personnel kills, 151 armored fighting vehicles, and 119 gun units (three having been destroyed by Fire and two by surrender).
Review Final Situation
Click here for a full sized image.
The Devil is in the Details
While this may seem perplexing given that I held every objective for the majority of the game play, the answer lies within the configuration of the Axis objectives.
There are two types of victory point allocation: Occupation and Completion. To understand the first, the latter should be dealt with initially.
A Completion objective that would award all of the VP for that category alone would produce a situation where the Allies could hold an objective until the last minute of the last hour of the last day then be completely blown off of the location by the Axis who seize it just in the nick of time before the scenario ends.
In such a situation the Allies would receive 0 VP for holding the objective for the entire length of the scenario except for the last minute when the Axis came in like gangbusters and stole it away from them, at which point the Axis forces would receive 100% of the Completion VP.
Occupation VP accumulates over time and once they are earned they cannot be lost. In the same theoretical situation above, 100% Occupation VP would produce the exact opposite result: the Allies would achieve (quite possibly) 99% of the VP and the Axis would get 1% (or none) for taking it over at the end.
This disparity when dealing with 100% of one mode or the other is what makes using objectives like this in the scenario design a poor choice. Blended objectives such as awarding the VP for 75% Occupation and then 25% Completion are a much better design decision.
I scored 100 VP (the maximum amount that can be scored in the game engine for any scenario), but the Germans almost did as well, resulting in the Draw outcome (only a 10 point difference).
So what happened? Did the Axis have secret objectives that were unknown to me?
The answer is no, they had the same exact objectives active for the same exact time frame and scored in the same exact manner (all Occupation VP).
The issue is that the German player (AI or human) technically cannot lose this scenario as the amount of VP available is substantially larger than what is available to the Allied player (AI or human):
For example, the Eindhoven Objective for the Allies awards 17 VP all through Occupation. I would have to have immediately seized the objective at the beginning of the scenario and not lose it one time for the entire duration to be awarded 17 total VP.
The Germans however are awarded 113 VP for Eindhoven all through Occupation. If they held it for a day and a half (say the beginning of the scenario when I had no forces down there) that would achieve 17 VP alone (that could never be taken back).
There is simply no way that I could compete with that setup across the board with what they were sitting on from the beginning (their top five objectives).
All of the other objectives are jacked up in a similar fashion compared to what is made available to the Allies. I would have had to have some force at each location and in control of the objective (or at least contesting it) as close to the very beginning of the scenario as possible so as to deny the Axis the ability to accumulate VP.
While this may simulate the necessity for the rapid taking of all of the bridges, in terms of game play and scenario design it is a cheap device that weakens an otherwise stout representation of the 101st Airborne area of control in Market Garden.
Did I really lose?
I effectively “lost” the scenario at the very beginning when I did not send individual units to each objective to take them, if not prevent the Axis from automatically calculating Victory Points from the start. In real life there were several companies that were dispatched to various objectives (such as H Company, 2/502 at Best) whereas I approached all objectives at the Battalion level (and attacked Son at the beginning with an entire Regiment).
I effectively “won” the scenario (in my opinion) by taking both the Son and Best bridges, and holding all bridges at the end (even having one blown and rebuilt during combat). In real life both Son and Best were blown by the Germans which presented significant complications that had to be dealt with. In my effort I was able to keep the road open enough to transit sufficient force strength to the far north rather quickly.
I win in terms of body count.