24 October 2014

Editorial: Command Ops: Highway to the Reich Scenario List

Wargamer gets a bit of a peek into the scenario list for the upcoming pausable real-time strategy game expansion from Panther Games.

Published on 25 JAN 2012 2:07am by The Wargamer
  1. Panther Games
  2. Matrix Games
  3. world war ii, ground combat, strategic, real-time pausable

This is a small sample of some the scenarios in the upcoming Command Ops: Highway to the Reich, slated for release in the very near future from Matrix Games. For more information get it here at the official site on Matrix Games.

 

Screaming Eagles Over Hell's Highway

Eindhoven Sector - Septenber 17, 1944: 1300 hrs

Historical Scenario

Duration: 9 Days, 9 Hours

Map Size (Km HXW): 40X28

Click for full image

The 101st "Screaming Eagles" Airborne Division was tasked with securing 20kms of Hell's Highway from Eindhoven to Veghel. In the process it had to capture ten bridges and then keep these open while 30th Corps drove on through to Arnhem.

Historically, the 101st commander, Gen Taylor, launched a number of offensive actions to try and rest the initiative. Given the resources at hand the 101st performed well, but was handicapped by a lack of artillery support on Day 1 and like the rest of the airborne operation was forced, by Air Force fears of heavy flak, to use drop zones well away from initial objectives.

Unfortunately, the vital Son Bridge was blown by the German defenders, which delayed 30th Corps for a vital 24 hours. Then the 107th Pz Bde intervened at Son and again at Veghel. Each time forcing the 101st to dispatch a "fire-brigade" force to re-open the road.

The final cut at Koeverung blocked the highway for a vital 48 hours and to an extent doomed the hapless British Airborneat Arnhem. The cut was only restored by another counter-march by the American paratroopers with the support of elements of the Gds Arm Div.

More than the other airborne sectors this was very much a mobile operation with the American units manning a series of outposts along the highway and having to march and counter-march up and down to keep the road open.

The German forces pitted against the Allies were a mixed bag indeed, ranging from elite SS Panzer Grenadiers, crack FJs, veteran infantry to "march" battalions and raw recruits. In many cases understrength and inexperienced units were thrown into the fray in a desperate struggle to rest control of the highway. Given the resources they had, it is hard to believe that the Germans could have done much better in this sector.

 

All American over Nijmegen

Nijmegen Sector - September 17, 1944: 1300 hrs

Historical Scenario

Duration: 4 Days, 10 Hours

Map Size (Km HXW): 20X28

Click for full image

The 82nd Abn Div was tasked with securing the biggest of all the crossings along Hell's Highway, the road and rail bridges at Nijmegen. It was also responsible for securing the highway crossings at Grave and Honinghutje and seven other bridges across the Maas and the Maas-Waal Canal, not to mention securing the 10km of the Groesbeek Heights, through which any direct attack from Germany must come.

Their objectives, in particular the highway bridge at Nijmegen were vital to the success of Market Garden. That they failed to do so in time to effect the relief of John Frost's 2nd Para Bn at Arnhem is a testimony to the priority and effort the Germans afforded Nijmegen and to the poor planning and judgment made by the Allied commanders. Even so the soldiers of the 82nd Abn Division performed brilliantly and earned the praise of Gen Dempsey - "the finest division in the world".

The Scenario starts with the air drop by the parachute regiments of the 82nd Abn Div and continues until the end of Day 5. The 82nd Div arrives in multiple lifts. In keeping with American standard operating procedures, the Parachute elements dropped first, then the glider borne Divisional assets ( Day 2 ) and finally the 325th Glider Regt - scheduled for Day 3 but in fact they did not arrive until late on Day 5. ( The 325th is therefore only available under the Favour Allies Reinforcement option ).

Also for the Allies, The 43rd Wessex Inf Div, which was earmarked to push onto Arnhem, is only available in the Favour Allies reinforcement option.

 

Red Devils Over Arnhem

Arnhem Sector - September 17, 1944: 13:0

Historical Scenario

Duration: 9 Days, 9 Hours

Map Size (Km HXW): 28X27

Click for full image

Field-Marshal Montgomery believes that the Arnhem Highway Bridge offers the route by which his 21st Army Group can drive a "single full-blooded thrust" into the heart of Hitler's Thousand-Year Reich. Splitting the industrial heartlands of the Ruhrgebiet and Rhineland from their supply sources to the East will cripple German war production and bring the Western Allies within striking distance of the ultimate prize - Berlin!

The bold and imaginative plan calls for a "carpet" of airborne troops to seize the key bridges between XXX Corps' start line at Neerpelt and the grand prize - the Lower Rhein Highway Bridge at Arnhem, the final major water barrier between the Allies and Germany. Shortages of transport, however, have forced the attack to be made 'by installments'; it will take several days to amass the full combat power of the Major-General Urquhart's 1st Airborne Division in Arnhem. Added to this, although the plan predicts a rapid advance along Hell's Highway by the tanks of the Guards Armoured Division, in fact stiff German resistance and stubborn counterattacks will hold up the relief column for more than two days.

The Germans, caught off-guard by the landings, quickly grasp the Allied plan - aided by a copy of the orders which falls into their hands. As Feldmarschall Model throws the bulk of his force against the Allied Schwerpunkt to the south, Oberstgruppenfuehrer Bittrich's 2nd SS Panzer Korps must contain and destroy the bridgehead at Arnhem before the Allies can reach it. With reinforcements - many of the poorest quality - slowly filtering in as they can be released from fighting further South, the Germans must husband their resources and react quickly to snuff out the Allied threat before disaster ensues.

 

Breakout From Joe's Bridge

September 17, 1944: 1435 hrs

Historical Scenario.

Duration: 1 Day, 4 Hours, 26 Minutes

Map Size (Km HXW): 33X20

Click for full image

"This is a tale to tell your grandchildren... and mighty bored they'll be." So said Lieutenant-General Brian Horrocks at the briefing to his XXX Corps on 16th September 1944. Two days later the Corps, lead by the Irish Guards Group, were off at the start of the "Garden" part of "Market Garden".

This scenario covers the first 24 hours of the advance from the start line just over Joe's Bridge and should end with the liberation of Eindhoven the first Dutch City to be freed from four years of Nazi occupation. Should end; the original plan expected Eindhoven to be reached by 17:15 on the first day but this was just the first of many missed deadlines of this doomed plan.

The British have 350 guns ready to start a rolling barrage. Rocket firing typhoons are waiting in a cab rank overhead - ready to swoop down on any German unit game enough to resist. But resist they will for they know that the road ahead is the Highway to the Reich.

 

From the Muese to the Rhine (Mega Scenario)

Nijmegen & Arnhem Sector - September 17, 1944: 13:00

Historical Scenario

Duration: 9 Days, 9 Hours

Map Size (Km HXW): 44X27

Click for full image

Field-Marshal Montgomery believes that the Arnhem Highway Bridge offers the route by which his 21st Army Group can drive a "single full-blooded thrust" into the heart of Hitler's Thousand-Year Reich. Splitting the industrial heartlands of the Ruhrgebiet and Rhineland from their supply sources to the East will cripple German war production and bring the Western Allies within striking distance of the ultimate prize - Berlin!

The bold and imaginative plan calls for a "carpet" of airborne troops to seize the key bridges between XXX Corps' start line at Neerpelt and the grand prize -  the Lower Rhein Highway Bridge at Arnhem, the final major water barrier between the Allies and Germany. Shortages of transport, however, have forced the attack to be made 'by instalments'; it will take several days to amass the full combat power of the Major-General Urquhart's 1st Airborne Division in Arnhem. Added to this, although the plan predicts a rapid advance along Hell's Highway by the tanks of the Guards Armoured Division, in fact stiff German resistance and stubborn counterattacks will hold up the relief column for more than two days.

20 Kilometers south of Arnhem, the 82nd Abn Div was tasked with securing the biggest of all the crossings along Hell's Highway, the road and rail bridges at Nijmegen. It was also responsible for securing the highway crossings at Grave and Honinghutje and seven other bridges across the Maas and the Maas-Waal Canal, not to mention securing the 10km of the Groesbeek Heights, through which any direct attack from Germany must come. These objectives, in particular the highway bridge at Nijmegen, were vital to the success of Market Garden.

The Germans, caught off-guard by the landings, quickly grasp the Allied plan - aided by a copy of the orders which falls into their hands. As Feldmarschall Model throws the bulk of his force against the Allied Schwerpunkt to the South at Nijmegen, Oberstgruppenfuehrer Bittrich's 2nd SS Panzer Korps must contain and destroy the bridgehead at Arnhem before the Allies can reach it. With reinforcements - many of the poorest quality - slowly filtering in as they can be released from fighting further south, the Germans must husband their resources and react quickly to snuff out the Allied threat before disaster ensues.