Command Ops: Lonsdale Force Update

This is going to take me longer than I thought.  The editor is becoming a little bit easier but now I am second guessing the scenario idea I had in mind.

Below is a rough screenshot minus a few Brit units and a lot of German units (units are placed in their historical positions as best as I could determine) of the morning of September 20th. By this time Maj. Dickie Lonsdale has taken over command of the units furthest east of the British perimeter at Oosterbeek and is organizing them to repel against likely German attacks.  At this point in the battle, it's pretty apparent the British aren't reaching the bridge though Frost could attempt to breakout.

Historical side note, Frost doesn't breakout for a variety of reasons, probably the most important one is that he was fully engaged at that point.  The 9th SS recon battalion has tried and failed the day before to dislodge him and KG Knaust (not pictured here) has moved into the center of the city from the north with armor and lots of SS from the 9th SS Panzer Division.

My original idea was to simulate the fight Lonsdale engages in on the 20th and then the 21st when he takes over the section of 1st Airborne's perimeter along the Rhine east of Oosterbeek.  He is in command of roughly three shattered battalions including his own (11th Para) and has artillery support from 1st Airlanding's guns.  I am now wondering though if it might be better to simulate the fighting along the river road on the 19th along what the British called the Lion route.

Here are some of the pros and cons as I see them for each idea:

Lonsdale Force scenario:

Pro: Dickie Lonsdale is a heck of an interesting guy who deserves more attention for his role in the battle.  Frost and Urquhart get the most attention deservedly but I would put what Lonsdale accomplished right up there.
Pro:  Desperate fight.
Pro: Smaller amount of units to manage (I just played Skorzenys Bid for Glory and I appreciated managing a smaller force)
Con:  With only so much real estate to use, if the force balance is accurate it primarily becomes a stalemate.

Lion Route idea:

Pro:  More uncertainty about the outcome.  The attack along Lion route starts at 3:30 in the morning in the fog.  The three battalions sent to relieve Frost on the bridge get within 2000 meters of the bridge before the Germans hit them around 630am. You might actually be able to get to the bridge.
Pro:  More units to command (1st, 3rd and 11th Parachute battalions participate in the attack.)
Pro:  With a reinforcement schedule in place the German commander will receive fresh troops all day. and the British commander will receive very few.  This is historically accurate and if you are playing as the German commander it will make the morning hours very challenging until the full weight of your force arrives.
Pro:  I would add in Frost's men on the bridge and the 9th SS Recon Battalion as well.  While the Red Devils are pushing their way along Lion, 2nd Para is fighting for their lives at the bridge. Would be fun to see this play out.
Con:  Much bigger scope with many more units.
Con:  Lonsdale isn't there.  He is injured during the drop of his unit and doesn't return to his battalion until the 20th.

I really like the idea of the smaller Lonsdale fight but I want there to be a point to the effort people put in as a player and me as the scenario creator.  The Lion route idea seems to add in more doubt about the outcome which is very appealing to me.  Who hasn't read about Arnhem and not wondered what it would be like if Frost has been reinforced. That said it is a bigger battle.


What the map might look like on the 20th in the Lonsdale force scenario.  The majority of German units are missing.  Positions are historically accurate as best as I can tell.


Doug Miller said…
Why not do both? It seems like the Lion route scenario might be easier to play in the sense of a traditional scenario, since there look to be more plain, achievable objectives. Holding the Lonsdale force together, if you can define some good objectives to defend, looks pretty interesting, though.

Certainly I'd be interested in playing either. You're also to be commended for doing what I never seem to take the time to do: creating new scenarios!
Chris said…
Hah thanks Doug! It's not finished yet! I think you are right. Its probably worth trying my hand at both. I've learned a lot about the editor over the last couple of days but it is still a bear. Initially I wondered why there weren't many scenarios in the matrix forum for as popular as the game is, now I know why!

Phil said…
Yeah Chris looking good. I would like to have a go at trying it out if you share it.

Can you recommend a few books to read to tie in with this game? i'm reading Battle Of The Bulge by Danny S Parker (really enjoying it)
Chris said…
Hi Phil. Haven't read that book but will check it out!

I have two Arnhem books that I like. The classic Bridge Too Far by Cornelius Ryan and an Osprey Books campaign title called Arnhem 1944 by Stephen Badsey. The Badsey campaign book has some great maps of troop dispositions throughout the battle, including one that shows Frost's positions around the bridge. I am actually editing the scenario now on my lunch break and placing Frost's units according to the book. Thanks for the comment. The interest I am receiving is helping spur me towards a finish!