Monthly Archives: March 2014

Review of Combat Mission Battle for Normandy – Market Garden, part 2

How does Battlefront’s latest Combat Mission game stack up? Boggit continues to fill us in.

Developed and Published by Battlefront Inc.

Reviewed by Boggit, 23 March, 2014

Click images to enlarge

Read part 1 of this review here

Formations and Weapons (cont’d)

As with Combat Mission: Battle for Normandy, and the Commonwealth expansion, combat formations remain well researched reflecting historical unit organisation during the Market Garden Operations. In game terms Market Garden specifically adds:

  • Nine new US formations including the Glider Infantry Battalion and the more esoteric Parachute Demolition Platoon.
  • 31 new, and updated German formations from across the following ground forces: Heer, Waffen SS, Luftwaffe, Kriegsmarine, and some common force formations. These include new formations that vary widely in quality from the fragile Sicherungs (Heer), Fliegerhorst (Luftwaffe), and Schiffstamm (Kriegsmarine) battalions to the definitely more punchy Tiger Battalion (Henschel) (Heer, and SS), Panzergrenadier Kampfgruppe (SS), Fallschirmjäger Battalion (Luftwaffe), and Panzer Brigade Panzer Battalion (Heer). Common formations are all flak units, but they are not boring. The Armored Flak Platoon (37mm and Quad 20mm) in particular can be a total swine for infantry suppression. Just make sure 30 Corps arrives quickly with its tanks!
  • Three new Polish formations, the Parachute Battalion, Parachute Engineer Squadron, and the Air Landing Antitank Battery. It doesn’t sound much, but they’re good troops.
  • 21 new, or revised British formations including the renowned Glider Pilot Company (the glider pilots having landed formed their own elite unit), and the Airborne Recce Squadron – so now, unlike the real event (many of their gliders crashed, and the rest mainly got shot up in an ambush) – you have another chance to rush to the Arnhem Bridge, as was part of the historic plan.
An MG42 opens up on a British patrol advancing to an Oosterbeek crossroads. Note the rather neat looking signpost.

An MG42 opens up on a British patrol advancing to an Oosterbeek crossroads. Note the rather neat looking signpost.


In addition to new formations, Market Garden also adds much more to the Battle for Normandy weapon and vehicle mix. Taking inspiration from their Fortress Italy Gustav Line expansion, both sides now have antiaircraft weapons in both towed and vehicle mounted configurations. But it’s not just new flak units, as there are plenty of other goodies too:

  • One new small arm type, namely the FG-42 rifle.
  • 12 new heavy weapon types ranging from the Bofors 40mm AA gun to the LeGrW 36 50mm mortar.
  • Four new US vehicles ranging from the agile M18 Hellcat to the awesome firepower of the M16 MGMC quad AA halftrack.
  • 27 new German vehicles, including a ton of halftrack variants. At the heavy end they include the King Tiger tank with the Henschel turretand the Jagdpanzer IV/70 tank hunter. At the lighter end there are vehicles like the Protze 70 light truck, the Wirbelwind AA vehicle, and its less successful cousin the Möbelwagen AA vehicle.
  • Seven new British vehicles ranging from the agile and hard hitting Challenger Mk VIII tank, to Major Gough’s pet project – the Jeep with a mounted Vickers K machine gun. (He actually wanted twin K guns similar to what the SAS had in the desert, but was refused on the basis that it would be impossible to supply their ammo needs during an airborne operation.) If a player only owns the Combat Mission Battle for Normandy core game then they’ll get the additional benefit of a further 21 vehicles, and variations thereof from the Commonwealth module.

Review of Combat Mission Battle for Normandy – Market Garden, part 1

How does Battlefront’s latest Combat Mission game stack up?  Boggit starts to fill us in in his two-part review.

Developed and Published by Battlefront Inc.

Reviewed by Boggit, 21 March, 2014

Click images to enlarge

Dedicated to Jim Zabek for his friendship, and mentoring

Historical Overview

On September 17th, 1944 German forces were routing from the Battle for France through Belgium and into Holland.  It was a situation that had to be exploited to maintain the momentum of the Allied advance and to end the war before the Germans reorganised to halt the Allied pursuit. The problem for the Allies was maintaining their drive to Germany having had so successful a pursuit. Lines of communication were now overextended and in the absence of a convenient and functional deep water port – like Antwerp – supplies were still had to be brought from the Normandy beachhead. With supplies running low Eisenhower had to ask himself who should be given priority for logistical support.


US paratroopers from 505th PIR return fire after making contact on the first turn of this scenario.

US paratroopers from 505th PIR return fire after making contact on the first turn of this scenario.


Of the three main army groups in northern France, Bradley’s First Army was approaching Aachen, and the Huertgen Forest, Patton’s Third was in Lorraine about to take on the Metz Fortified Area, with the West Wall next – all difficult terrain favouring the defence. On the other hand Montgomery’s 21st Army group was on the northern flank, closer to the sources of supply, potential supply ports, and seemingly relatively open terrain. It was a logical choice for maintaining an effective pursuit on a serious supply budget.

Operation Market Garden

A daring plan to bypass the West Wall and drive into Germany’s industrial powerhouse – the Ruhr area – was set in motion. What would follow would be a massive airborne operation – similar in size to the D-Day operation – to grab key Dutch bridges, whilst the British 30th Corps linked up with the air drops and exploited their success. What happened was that the Allies overstretched themselves, and were let down by a series of intelligence and operational planning errors that, taken together, contributed to the ultimate failure of the main objective of the operation.

By 26th September, Operation Market Garden was over. The Allies had failed to take Arnhem – the jump off point for exploitation to the Ruhr – and the British 1st Parachute Division had also been destroyed as a fighting unit, losing all its heavy equipment, and approximately 70% of its strength. As the commander of the 1st Allied Airborne Corps (General Browning) put it: The operation was “a bridge too far”.

Although the operation failed to achieve its purpose, it was not an unmitigated disaster. The Allies had seriously damaged many German formations. They also gained a salient running through Holland to the Lower Rhine, and the German border. Whilst at first glance it might appear that all they had gained was a road leading nowhere, the Allies cut off substantial German garrisons in Western Holland, which would ultimately be reduced, predominantly by the Canadian Army. They also extended the front lines committing Germany to find additional troops to defend it, so weakening resistance on the Eastern Front. It was a failed operation, but not a disaster in the greater scheme of things.


Thirty Corps advance up Hell’s Highway – apparently this is the wide bit!!

Thirty Corps advance up Hell’s Highway – apparently this is the wide bit!!

Birth of the Federation, an AAR, Part 4

Part 4: Terraformin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo

While the terraforming goes well on Tohvun or Tenpin or whatever it’s called, the NX-01 Seadragon continues its clockwise path around its outer range.


We come across the star system that the Department of Galactic Naming calls Hurada. Note to assistant: mandatory drug tests for the Department of Galactic Naming. What they’re coming up with sounds like what my bowels did last night after that plate of ripe Ga’hk.

Hurada looks like a decent enough system, with an Oceanic planet that has a food bonus. That’ll be on the list of future colonies, to be sure; at least for now it falls behind Sarona.

Finally, those slackers on the first Colony Ship finish the work of terraforming the planets of the Tohvun system. I might have been off by a few pop points, but this system can handle 270. Since every 10 pop points equals one slot in the production queue, that’s 27 potential workers for the Federation’s glory. Not too bad. Could be better, but definitely could be worse. And if I were playing the vanilla version of Birth of the Federation, it likely WOULD be a lot worse.



Tuesday Screenshot – Mexican Attack!

This Tuesday Screenshot sees the surrounded defenders of Mexico City facing long odds during the Mexican Civil War of the 1860s.



Armies mass nearby
Here comes the cavalry charge
The civil war ends

Image & Haiku: That “Brant” Guy again

Share your screenshots here >>

GARPA 40 – GrogHeads Advanced Research on Projects Advisory

This week, GARPA has some nifty little strategy games for you to check out.


The Ancient World  (Red Raven Games)
$21,000 or $15,000, ends 3 April 2014

From the creator of Eight Minute Empire comes a new civ-builder set in the ancient Mediterranean with a box full o’ cards that cover trade routes, combat, knowledge, and building.  Red Raven’s artwork is some of the best thematic art on the market, and although it’s a light worker-placement game, it feels like your civilization is rising from nothing to dominate the neighborhood.  At $50 for a copy, this is a good deal for a game that’s likely to become a staple of any game group that’s not exclusively grogs.  Go see the Kickstarter page and get a load of the game, and some gameplay videos.