Command Ops: Operation Thunderclap AAR

Tim Williams at Ranger X3X has created a new Marines estab file for use with Command Ops.  To play test the estab he has created two scenarios Operation Thunderclap and Pressure Cooker.  Both are set in an alternative history where Japan has fallen and the Soviet Union has collapsed and US forces have realigned to shift the Marines to the Western Front.

In Thunderclap you are in-charge of the 3rd Marine Division and the advance airborne units that have dropped before your column to secure the vital Arnhem and Nijmegen bridges.  Taking these bridges and exiting your Marine force off the northern edge of the map will give you a needed victory in the fight against the Axis.

Scenario And Estab Thoughts:

Securing the Arnhem bridge proved easier for me than the Nijmegen bridge.  In an interesting twist, the Poles jump first near Nijmegen and lead the attack there against a mixed KG of German forces.  They also need to secure crossings over the Maas-Waal canal west of Nijmegen ahead of the Marine forces.

At Arnhem a mix of US and British airborne units secured the bridge.  Securing the crossings west of Arnhem is the real key though because the German units in the city won't give up easily and can easily block your Marines from exiting at Apeldoorn, which is about 15 kilometers north of Arnhem.

It's a race against time and I found myself routing my Marines far to the west of the main highway to avoid German units once I crossed the Rhine.

For me personally this scenario was a challenge, as it was the most units I have ever controlled in a Command Ops game. To keep up I found myself mentally reminding myself to constantly check different sections of the battlefield.  At points during the game I wished I had an egg timer so I wouldn't forget to look someplace else.

At four days long, this scenario was just right in terms of length.  The Marines are an excellent blend of mobility and firepower.  They were able to overcome everything in front of them (though the bulk of the fighting was with airborne units).  I highly recommend downloading the new Marines estab file. I am also going to tackle creating a scenario using them.

The key to having any chance of your Marines exiting to the north are these rail bridges, ferries and bridges to the west of Arnhem.  
The exit objective calls for a mix of infantry and armor.  Watch out for blocking units from your German AI opponent.  This one to the north cost me the objective!
I inflicted heavy casualties on the Germans but was unable to exit enough troops north to achieve victory.  I also held the Nijmegen bridge but wasn't awarded the victory points. 


RangerX3X said…
Glad you enjoyed the scenario and found it challenging.
Doug Miller said…
Great AAR Chris! The game play in this scenario seems more mobile and fluid than most. I'm now very interested in the Marine TO&E, which I admit I'm not familiar with at all.

You and Tim sure are cranking out the scenarios.I need to grab them so I'm ready for next burst of Command Ops play.
Chris said…
Doug it was a challenge and worth downloading and playing. I've been trying to think about a good use of the Marines estab on a map I can create.

I like Tim's alternate history (Soviet collapse and Japan surrender) and I am trying to think about where else the Marines might be deployed in Europe. The Med seems obvious but where is the big question.
RangerX3X said…
It would be grossly premature for me to say anything is concrete or that I am in anyway working in any official capacity with Matrix or Slitherine (which I am not), but I can say that I would suggest staying away from the Pacific Theater altogether (at least for the next several months), and if you were to venture there I would not waste any time on Saipan.
Chris said…
Sounds good Tim! I will stay in the west. Was thinking about deploying them in Italy wih a marine landing behind one of the German lines