Tuesday, December 3, 2013

A Ford Too Far - Preliminary Discussion

The Irish historian Cornelius Ryan wrote several narrative histories on the Second World War; the most famous include The Longest Day, The Last Battle and A Bridge too Far.  Cornelius Ryan's writings and the films made based upon his books had a serious impact on my views and choice of hobbies.   I have slowly been painting up the figures to run Operation Market Garden using 15mm figures and "Spearhead" rules.  

Over the years the Centurions have discussed using historical scenarios in different periods; for example the Battle of Gettysburg set in 1779 between the British (Union) and the Continentals (Confederates), or Waterloo in 1870.   

However an intriguing idea was presented as Operation Market Garden set in the French and Indian War, dubbed a Ford too Far.   Would it work, can it be played, what rules, scale...

Obviously with a far number of 25mm Figures painted up already (even though not much is playable, see last post) the scale of the project was chosen for us.

As for rules, my love hate relationship with all rules is clearly in play, however we have been leaning towards Batailles de l'Ancien Régime (AKA BAR) locally and for now with nothing else peaking anyones interest BAR gets the nod.

So we have rules, scale, figures and now the start of creating a scenario.

To me the first step was breaking the game into playable areas or tables.   Specifically the space the table becomes the rivers/canals.   Between Table 1 and Table 2, the Rhine with Oosterbeek and Arnhem on Table 1.   Between Table 2 and Table 3 is the River Waal with Nijmegen located on Table 3.  Between Table 3 and 4 you have the Wilhemina Canal with Eindhoven located on Table 4.

The next step is locating whose where and how do you represent them.
The 1st British Airborne is located on Table 1 holding the crossing there in Arnhem.   The Polish Parachute Brigade is on Table two attempting to take the crossing from Arnhem.   The 82nd is attempting to take the crossing from Nijmegen on to table 2, and the 101st is attempting to take Eindhoven and the crossing onto table 3.
The Germans have a series of Kampfgruppe on each of the tables, including an SS Division, a Parachute Division, a Panzer Brigade and several unique divisions.  

The 1st Airborne - 80th Regiment of Foot
Polish Parachute Brigade - Allied Native Americans
82nd Airborne - American Rangers
101st Airborne - American Rangers
Guards Armored - Highlanders
Wessex Division - Regular infantry
Northumberland Division -  Regular Infantry

The question then becomes how many figures....
If you figure each player will command four units of 10/12 figures than ...
80th Regiment of Foot (Gage's Light Infantry) - Five skirmishing units of 10 figures.
Native American - Three Skirmishing units of 15 figures
American Rangers - Three Skirmishing units of 10 figures
American Rangers - Three Skirmishing units of 10 figures
Highlanders - Four Regular Foot Divisions of 15 Figures
45th Regiment of Foot - Four Regular Foot Divisions of 12 Figures
15th Regiment of Foot - Four Regular Foot Divisions of 12 Figures

Additional Figures
Grenadiers - 8th Armoured Brigade?

More later on all the Kampfgruppes

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