Battlegroup has been our go-to rule system for 2018, replacing Flames of War and Bolt Action as our platoon to company level WWII game, having scheduled it for multiple game nights. We'll play it one final time in December, but in September Rob hosted another scenario from the Market-Garden campaign book.
Rob contributed the following after-action to go with our photos below.
We had a large crowd for the September Beer & Pretzel Game Night. In honor of the 74th anniversary of Operation Market Garden this month I ran Battlegroup WWII rules and a scenario from the Market Garden Campaign of the 2nd South Staffordshire Para Glider Regiment fighting through the western suburbs of Arnhem trying to reach the bridge on September 19, 1944. Opposing them were recently arrived 10th SS troops led by Maj Sepp Kraftt.
Some players knew the BG system so we divided them up and got straight into the action. The SS pushed west along the north side of the Utrechtsweg road, with one squad on the south side. The British evenly divided their platoon occupying buildings north (houses) and south (museum) of the road and waited for the German advance.
The player soon learned the value of pinning as the Para light mortar team and rifle squad started to score against the German rifle squad and MG team advancing in the south toward the museum. We made one small error here and were treating the rifle + MG team as one unit but soon fixed that after the first pin and morale test.
The AAA fire into the rear houses and the British 6pdr gun offboard both seemed to invoke more caution than actual results. The StuGs hung back and were not inclined to cross into the LOS of the British ATG. Instead, we all learned the ‘shooting at buildings’ rule as the StuGs consumed their HE rounds shooting into the houses on the north side of the street. One structure took 2 of the 3 possible structural damage points but was able to out-last the German HE ammo supply. The British teams inside vacated regardless due to the implied threat. The museum was assaulted once by a German rifle squad from the reinforcing platoon but was repelled. After both PIAT teams were knocked out by a very well placed German MG-34 team on the NE corner house from the museum, a very brave Para rifle team attempted to assault a StuG with anti-tank grenades but was not successful. German mortar strikes inflicted a few casualties and we applied a building damage opportunity when the mortar bombs struck a house.
I actually cannot remember which side hit their battle rating first, but it was close [I believe the Germans hit their battle rating first, giving the British the win. - ed.]. The players all enjoyed learning the rules better, I don’t think we made any major mistakes after the first small error w/ a rifle team and MG team. I enjoyed getting my Dutch terrain out and seeing the small soldiers do what they do best, bring enjoyment to our gang of players and honoring the many soldiers and civilians who were lost fighting in Arnhem 74 years ago.
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