Operation “Link Up” is a fictional Crossfire scenario set in late summer 1944. It is based on Bennett’s (2003) what-if Rapid Fire scenario called “Operation Comet”. I converted it from Rapid Fire to Crossfire and tweaked. There are three players per side. You might also want to check out my other Rhine Crossing scenarios.
Setting: North-West Europe; Late Summer 1944
Essentially an Allied Airborne assault triggers a German counter-attack, and eventually leads to the arrival of the Allied Link Up Force. There are three players per side, with the third player being the commander in chief (A3 and G3).
Given Bennett’s (2003) article refers to Operation Comet this is obviously a historical what-if:
Montgomery initially suggested Operation Comet, a limited airborne coup de main operation that was to be launched on September 2, 1944. Comet envisioned using the 1st Airborne Division, along with the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade, to secure several bridges over the River Rhine to aid the Allied advance into the North German Plain. The Divisional Headquarters for the 1st Airborne Division, with the 1st Airlanding Brigade and the Polish 1st Independent Parachute Brigade were to land at Nijmegen, 1st Parachute Brigade was to land at Arnhem, and 4th Parachute Brigade was to land at Grave. However several days of poor weather and Montgomery’s concerns over increasing levels of German resistance caused him to postpone the operation and then cancel it on September 10.
Wikipedia: Operation Market Garden
The forces arrive in a staggered fashion as follows:
|Time||Allied Arrivals||German Arrivals|
|Pre-battle||Pick Drop Zones (DZ)||SS deployed on table (Player G1)|
|0600||US Airborne (Player A1)|
|0800||British Airborne (Player A2)||Fallschirmjager (Player G2)|
|0900||Recon Unit (Player G1)|
|1000||Panzer Grenadiers (Player G3)|
|1200||Link Up Recce (Player A3)|
|1200 +||Link Up Force (Player A3)|
Before the game starts the Allied players must pick two Drop Zones (DZ); both DZ must be a field or rough feature east of the zone marked G. They must also choose which DZ each of the British Airborne units will drop on.
Map produced in CC2
Click on the map to see the full size version
- The River is in the lower (west) end of the table.
- The odd table shape reflects the shape of the table at the shed.
- The Germans set up in zone G, i.e. the town and surroundings.
- The Allied Airborne units arrive by air into drop zones (DZ) east of the town (top of the table).
- A, B, and C are entry points for German reinforcements.
- D is where the Allied Link Up Force arrives.
Note, there are no sub-tables; this scenario uses a different method for handling multiple players (see the special rules below).
Get the Link Up Force across the river to meet the the airborne units.
Forces Available to Player A1
- 1 x US Parachute Battalion (Veteran; German C+C)
- 1 Squad per US platoon has a bazooka.
Begins scenario with initiative. Deploys second. Has 3 infantry companies and a support company (HMG and 81mm mortar). Drops one company on each DZ in their first initiative using Special Rule 24: Airborne Troops. The 3rd and 4th companies arrive in the second initiative. The BC and SMG Squad can drop with any company.
Reinforcements (Player A2 and A3)
All reinforcements are British. The times given are the earliest on which they will arrive; roll 5+ at the start of the friendly initiative after which the Moving Clock has advanced for the unit to arrive.
Player A2’s British Airborne Contingent arrives from turn 4 in Horsa gliders using Special Rule 24: Airborne Troops: A company can land on each DZ each initiative, until all troops have arrived.
- 1 x Airlanding Battalion (Veteran)
- 1 x 17 Pounder ATG (optional Morris tow)
There are six companies in this force: four infantry, first support company (Recon Platoon, 3″ Mortar and 2 HMG) and second support company (ATGs, Engineer Platoon). The BC and SMG Squad can land with any company.
Player A3’s Link Up Forces arrives from turn 12 on the line D-D. The first on the table are the the reconnaissance elements:
- 2 x Humber Armoured or Scout Cars
- 1 x Bren Carrier
The main body of the Link Up Force is formed of a Motor Infantry Battalion and Armoured Support. It begins to arrive the initiative after the Recce force arrive. Something will arrive every initiative, however, the elements that arrive in a particular initiative is determined randomly. No item in the table can appear more than once, so reroll duplicates.
|1d6||A3’s Link Up Force – Reinforcements|
|1||1 x Platoon of Shermans: 2 x 75mm Shermans; 1 x Sherman Firefly|
|2||1 x 1st Infantry Company (3 x Inf; 1 x Carrier platoon)|
|3||1 x 2nd Infantry Company (3 x Inf; 1 x Carrier platoon)|
|4||1 x 3rd Infantry Company (3 x Inf; 1 x Carrier platoon)|
1 x Support company
1 x FO for off table 25 pounders (Heavy Artillery)
1 x BC (+1)
1 x SMG Squad
1 Squad per British infantry platoon has a Piat.
The entire Link Up Force is Regular.
Cut off the Allied airborne units from their link up force by retaining control of the town at the end of the game.
Forces Available to Player G1
- 1 x reduced SS Motorised Infantry Battalion (Veteran)
- 1 x BC (+2)
- 1 x SMG Squad
- 1 x FO and on-table 120 Mortar and truck
- 1 x 75mm Pak40 ATG and tractor
- 2 x Infantry Companies (remember company heavy weapons are 1 x HMG and 1 x 81 mortar)
- 1 squad per German platoon have Later Panzerfausts.
Deploys first, hidden in the zone marked G.
Reinforcements (Player G2 and G3)
The times given are the earliest on which they will arrive; roll 5+ at the start of the friendly initiative after which the Moving Clock has advanced for the unit to arrive.
Player G2’s Fallschirmjager (Veteran) arrive at 0800 hours at either A-A or B-B – roll randomly
- 1 x Fallschirmjager Battalion
- 1 x 75mm Pak40 and truck to replace 75mm Recoiless Gun
Player G1’s Recon unit (Regulars) arrives on turn 6 at either A-A, B-B or C-C – roll randomly
- 1 x Panzer IV H
- 1 x Motorcycle Platoon
Player G3’s Panzer Grenadiers (Regulars) arrive at 1000 hours on line B-B:
- 3 x Panthers
1 x reduced Panzer Grenadier Battalion
- 1 x BC (+2) in 251
- 1 x SMG Squad
- 1 x FO for off-table 120mm mortar
- 1 x FOand on-table 251/9 (75mm IG)
- 2 x Panzergrenadier Companies (One company has half-tracks)
On the initiative any German reinforcements arrive, any FO included can shoot from off-table at any target visible from the line of arrival. If they do shoot they move onto the table in the following initiative.
Still pondering this but probably end up with
- Terrain objectives in the town, which the Allied Link Up force must take (probably 3 and probably one in the south, centre and north of the town; or a slightly more complicated solution would be to give alternative routes through town and the Link Up Force must take one of the routes).
- Casualty limits on the Allied Airborne troops, i.e. if they take too many casualties they lose.
If Allies achieve both objectives they win. If one, it is a draw. If neither it is a German victory.
(Possibly some kind of link up objective too, i.e. Airbourne must be near Link Up Force or have LOS to escape route or some such.)
Scenario Special Rules
- Special Rule: Turns is in use. Throw for the clock at the end of the German initiative. The clock advances one turn (30 min) on 5+. The Game ends after 20 turns.
- Special Rule: Planned Operational Zones is in use.
- Use Special Rule for Airborne Troops.
This involves a lot of forces so many of the infantry battalions have been scaled down. Could probably be scaled down again, maybe to 2/3 the size, i.e. a battalion becomes 2 companies.
This scenario is based on the article:
Bennett, S. (2003, Feb). Operation Comet: A 1944 Rapid Fire Scenario. Wargames Illustrated, 185, 28-29.