Market Garden and Memoir ’44

The campaign game, modelling

Work continues on preparing the gaming table for the next engagement at Arnhem, 18th September 1944.
It seems that the consistency of the stone effect spray paint from B&Q has been changed (or as they say in the trade, “improved”).
It is now thicker in texture and does not cover the surface as well as the first batch that I used. The shade has also darkened somewhat. The new spray paint requires two coats, 24 hours apart, to effectively cover a single plastic Kallistra tile. The result is also a rougher texture.

And so I hope to finish the final four city tiles tomorrow, ready for deployment of buildings and the ruins thereof.

The completed version of this part of Arnhem city will not be the same as the same area in previous games. All that matters for the game is that the overall terrain effects conform to the master map.

The Campaign game, operational

This is similar to the way that I roll anew to determine the exact composition of the available troops in each “battle”, reflecting the variable availability of specific arms at any time in this campaign, where both sides made use of ad hoc forces as available to the local commander.

Thus infantry companies may benefit from or be deprived of mortars, machine guns and anti-tank weapons; armour may be PzIVs, Panthers or StuG assault guns (or appropriate Allied choices); and so on, according to the scenario set-up dice rolls.

Before each engagement, the relevant players in command are given a map overview and a list of their forces, together with the estimated overall strength (in companies) of the enemy, with area locations for each battalion unit.

The Campaign game, rules.

I play the battle using “Memoir 44” rules with some local additions, to the best of my ability for each side, according to tactical plans from the opposing generals and the cards drawn during the game.

Notes on application of Memoir 44 rules in the campaign.
Victory Points
An individual engagement (game) ends when one side achieves the number of Victory Points (VP) required.
This is normally set at half the number of companies in the smaller force.
One VP is gained for total elimination of an enemy company.
VP may be allocated for possession of specific hexagons (e.g. bridges), or for leaving the table via specified “exit” hexagons.

Tactical cards.
Each standard battalion unit of 4 companies rolls 1 average die (233445) to determine how many cards are held.
Understrength units roll a D4 (1234) for 3 companies, a D3 special (112223) for 2 companies, or a D2 (coin flip) for 1 company for their card allocation.
Overstrength units roll a D6 (123456).
If a unit has an HQ company/platoon, 1 card is added to the total.

Combat cards.
Each side rolls a D3 special (112223) for the number of combat cards issued.
These cards are generally used to add combat bonuses, but may be used to cancel “retreat” combat results.  (The original intention in the Memoir ’44 game was to use these cards for “winter wars”, specifically the Ardennes battle in 1944/5, but they work well for city combat too.)

Nationality and other cards
All US airborne troops benefit from the US Marines “Gung-Ho” rule, which allows one extra unit to be activated within the tactical card rules.  This reflects the attitude of the US airborne forces after their efforts in Normandy on and after “D-Day”.

All airborne and SS troops are “elite”, which means they may move 2 hexagons (500m) and then fight. (Regular troops can move only 1 hexagon and fight).

British troops have the “Stiff Upper Lip” rule, allowing them to counterattack when a company is reduced to one platoon.  British parachute troops are elite, but not as “Gung-Ho” as the Americans.

House rule.
Polish paratroops are “elite”, may ignore the first “retreat” result and may fight back with 1 die against any enemy attack.  This reflects their hatred of and determination to kill Germans.

Published by

General Whiskers

Wargaming butterfly (mainly solo), unpainted model figure amasser, and Historical Re-enactor of the black powder era.

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