Saturday, June 13, 2009

Pegasus Bridge Wargame Report

As my previous post shows, we played a Pegasus Bridge scenario using the CROSSFIRE rules at the club game day last week.

The game was played by two British Players (Alan "AJ" Wright and Andrew Simpson) against two German players (Tom DiGiuseppe and Ed Mueller). The game starts with the placement of British gliders on the board where the allies want them to land. Each glider is then diced for using 1d10 and a direction die from WH40k (don't tell the rest of the club!). The Brits gambled a bit and placed two of their gliders on the west side of the Caen Canal. This gave them 1/3 of their force (and both HMG's) attacking the Pegasus Bridge from the less defended side.

Under my scenario rules the German garrison has to be "alerted" before it can react to the British. This is done on a certain die roll once the British start firing or crossing wire obstacles and assaulting positions.

The British managed to move in towards the defenses without being spotted and they eliminated the AT Gun crew on the East side of the Pegasus Bridge before the Germans started waking up. The glider troops on the West side of the canal also eliminated the HMG posts at the end of the bridge and held German troops in the western trench system at bay. Soon the Bridges were pretty well in hand and the Grondee Cafe was captured in a short hand to hand fight.

As German reinforcements (including a couple of Stug III's and PzrGren Platoon) began to arrive the Brit players had worried looks on their faces. The timely arrival of two No. 6 Commando Platoons and a couple of Shermans evened the score. In one of the better moments of the game, one of the German assault guns took out the two Shermans as they came on the board and the Brits again lapsed into a bit of concern. They quickly recovered and started to use their superior infantry by fire and maneuver as well as close assault to overcome the German defenses. The Germans tried to secure the bridges with the assault guns and managed to get one on each bridge. By that point in time they were getting short of infantry and soon the vehicles were isolated from any support. Once the PzrGren's were suppressed or destroyed the Germans capitulated and the game ended. In tallying up the victory points, the British were judged to have a marginal victory.

Some of the feedback I got included the need for a time limit on the game. As one German player pointed out, if the Germans have to hold on indefinitely then they will always lose. I can see what he means from the results of this game, however, I have seen the British crash into the river losing one entire glider worth of attackers and in other games I have seen the initial assaults turned into bloody massacres. In a couple of results the British force was so mauled that they couldn't generate enough firepower to get an attack going. Perhaps having some German indirect fire will make it a bit more balanced of a scenario. I also need to let German forces maneuver around the board once they are alerted. The players both liked and disliked the 360 degree nature of the battlefield with German reinforcements apt to come in at either bridge. This kind of helps balance out the great flexibility the Brits enjoy in picking the point of attack.

All of the commanders played a great game. As always, the camaraderie of the club was outstanding and everyone seemed to have a very good time. Overall I am pretty happy with the scenario and with just a couple of additional refinements I think it will be an even more enjoyable game.

I have heard that CROSSFIRE 2 is due out soon and I am really looking forward to seeing what changes/improvements have been made! I will soon be setting up another scenario for a club game night/day which pits some regular infantry types against each other in a more conventional battle. Stay tuned for that battle report.

D-Day Memorial Wargame

I hosted a D-Day Memorial wargame last Saturday at the Northern Conspiracy game day. The Scenario was Pegasus Bridge using the CROSSFIRE rules set and my 20mm figure collection. The scenario pits elements of the 2d Bn, Oxs and Bucks against garrison troops around the bridge and some reinforcements including assault guns and mechanized troops. Here is a photo of the game table as we started:

As you can see the game is set from Benoville to the Orne River. The silver bridge represents the Benoville (Pegasus) Bridge across the Caen Canal and the black bridge represents the Orne River (Horsa) Bridge. The building closest to Pegasus Bridge is the Grondee Cafe and the other buildings are representations of Benoville and Le Port.

The British arrive by glider and here is a couple of photos of the British with Horsa Gliders I made from card stock:

The British come from 6th Airborne Division, 2d Battalion, The Oxfordshire & Buckinghamshire Light Infantry, D Company. This unit was commanded by MAJ John Howard. They were highly trained and historically carried out their assigned tasks against the bridges in an extraordinary manner.

The Germans defending the bridges came from the 736th Grenadier Regiment, 716th Division which was a static defense unit of Ost troops led by German officers and NCO's. Historically, these troops put up a less than stellar defense of the bridge which they lost within one hour of the British gliders touching down. Here are a couple of photos of the German defenders:

In the next post I will recap the game we played.