Recommend
13 
 Thumb up
 Hide
15 Posts

Wargames» Forums » General

Subject: The Bridge at Remagen - Great Story, but (so far), Lousy Games rss

Your Tags: Add tags
Popular Tags: [View All]
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I was just reading my most recent issue of "Armchair General" magazine (March 2013) at breakfast this morning, and there was a great article on the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen by the US 9th Armored Division. Once the Americans grabbed the bridge and a toe-hold on the other side of the river, the Germans attempted, without success, to push the Americans back and destroy the bridge. The bridge did eventually (10 days later) collapse, but by that time, a number of supplementary tactical bridges had been erected and there was no stopping the American advance.

As the title says, great story, but poking around the database here, not much in the way of games. There were four that I found on a quick search, and the only one with a hint of positive reviews was a little Minden Games solitaire offering. The other three essentially had from poor to awful ratings and reviews.
Remagen: Bridgehead on the Rhine, March 1945
Remagen 1945
Remagen Bridgehead: Americans over the Rhine 1945
Remagen Bridge

So, I ask - can an interesting game be made on this subject? Based on my reading, I think there could, but only with some variables introduced into the historical mix. I'm thinking that a variable German OOB would be one such item. Historically, the Germans had a very depleted 11th Panzer Division in Dusseldorf, which they attempted to use in the counterattack. It was too weak and undersupplied to be of much use. What if the 11th had been in better condition, and had some gas for its panzers' fuel tanks? What if there had been another one or two German mechanized formations near? Maybe a game could include a hidden, variable German OOB, and the American player would not know the strength of the German defenders or reserves? Also, a variable time limit on how long the American player has to get a certain number of units across the river before losing the game? In the real situation, one could almost say that the American "player" 'lost' the game, in that despite capturing the bridge and pushing across, the US III Corps commander, MG Millikin, was relieved of command by 1st Army commander General Hodges, due to Hodges' dissatisfaction with how Millikin handled the bridgehead. In a game on the subject, could the American player do better than Millikin, and avoid getting sacked by Hodges?

Thoughts???

5 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
K G
United States
Delafield
Wisconsin
flag msg tools
Movember
Avatar
mb
I think the critcism has always been that too many arbitrary limits are placed upon the Americans to avoid the Germans being completely smashed.

Enbarrassing story: I once bid on a copy of SPI`s "Remagen" because I thought it portrayed a battle for one of the Market-Garden bridges. Thank God I lost in the bidding!
9 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Tactical Wargamer's Journal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
desertfox2004 wrote:
I was just reading my most recent issue of "Armchair General" magazine (March 2013) at breakfast this morning, and there was a great article on the capture of the Ludendorff Bridge at Remagen by the US 9th Armored Division. Once the Americans grabbed the bridge and a toe-hold on the other side of the river, the Germans attempted, without success, to push the Americans back and destroy the bridge. The bridge did eventually (10 days later) collapse, but by that time, a number of supplementary tactical bridges had been erected and there was no stopping the American advance.


The main Allied effort on the Rhine was PLUNDER, the 21st Army Group effort, which included the U.S. 9th Army (though the GOC-i-C of 21 Army Group had so thoroughly enraged the CG of 9th Army that they reverted to 12th Army Group almost immediately after the crossings).

The bridgehead at Remagen was purposefully kept small, to act as a diversion for the PLUNDER operation at Rees-Emmerich. If the U.S. 1st Army had been unrestrained, perhaps that also would have played a part in things. But I imagine this aspect should be part of the discussion, and the force balances for any game on the subject of the Remagen bridgehead.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Kluvon wrote:
I think the critcism has always been that too many arbitrary limits are placed upon the Americans to avoid the Germans being completely smashed.

Enbarrassing story: I once bid on a copy of SPI`s "Remagen" because I thought it portrayed a battle for one of the Market-Garden bridges. Thank God I lost in the bidding!


Based on what I've of the games produced to date, I'd agree. That's why I think the only way to make this situation into an interesting game would be to add uncertainty into the German OOB and put an aggressively ticking clock on the American efforts. The straight-up historical situation is rather one-sided.

Another varible could be the American OOB. Historically, the Remagen operation was an ad-libbed one, as the plan was for the Americans to be prepared to support Monty's deliberate crossing operation, slated for March 23. Ike had only authorized five US divisions to cross the bridge. However, as the situation developed, more US divisions were alloted to the Remagen sector, in order to exploit the unexpected opportunity (by the 15th, 1st Army was authorized to operate nine divisions east of the bridgehead). Perhaps a game could introduce a variable allotment of US assets to the American player, perhaps contingent in part upon the level of success that the American player initially achieves.
3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Captain Nemo
United Kingdom
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
desertfox2004 wrote:
So, I ask - can an interesting game be made on this subject? Based on my reading, I think there could, but only with some variables introduced into the historical mix.


What about giving it a STORM OVER ARNHEM finish using historical units? You want something requiring skill rather than lucky die roll/chit pulls on the reinforcement table.
4 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
hammurabi70 wrote:
desertfox2004 wrote:
So, I ask - can an interesting game be made on this subject? Based on my reading, I think there could, but only with some variables introduced into the historical mix.


What about giving it a STORM OVER ARNHEM finish using historical units? You want something requiring skill rather than lucky die roll/chit pulls on the reinforcement table.


I like the "Storm Over" thought - I think that might be a great system to use in a game on this subject. "Storm Over Remagen" - I like it!

I definitely think there's room for both skill and luck (or, perhaps, 'fortune') in a game on this subject (or pretty much any other war scenario). Everything we know about how the war unfolded was an 'unknown' to the commanders at the time. For example, we now know that the 11th Panzer was a spent, ineffective force, but it's not clear what the 9th Armored Division knew of this German force at the time. So, I'm not opposed to die rolls or chit pulls, because they are the best way of replicating that sense of the 'unknown' with which the commanders at the time had to cope.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Enrico Viglino
United States
Eugene
OR
flag msg tools
Slowed - BGG's moderation policies have driven me partially from here
badge
http://thegamebox.byethost15.com/smf/
Avatar
mb
desertfox2004 wrote:
Kluvon wrote:
I think the critcism has always been that too many arbitrary limits are placed upon the Americans to avoid the Germans being completely smashed.

Enbarrassing story: I once bid on a copy of SPI`s "Remagen" because I thought it portrayed a battle for one of the Market-Garden bridges. Thank God I lost in the bidding!


Based on what I've of the games produced to date, I'd agree. That's why I think the only way to make this situation into an interesting game would be to add uncertainty into the German OOB and put an aggressively ticking clock on the American efforts. The straight-up historical situation is rather one-sided.


This might make a very interesting solitaire situation.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pelle Nilsson
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This thread reminds me I have a copy of Remagen Bridgehead: Americans over the Rhine 1945 (ziplock version from 2012) that I have not yet played. Looking at the two comments on bgg they are both positive (ratings 7 and 8.8). Did the OP play this game and find it was not that good?

EDIT: Eh. Sorry, I'm blind. I noticed now that there was a mention about this game being the only one with positive comments.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Michael Dorosh
Canada
Calgary
Alberta
flag msg tools
designer
publisher
badge
Tactical Wargamer's Journal
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
pelni wrote:
This thread reminds me I have a copy of Remagen Bridgehead: Americans over the Rhine 1945 (ziplock version from 2012) that I have not yet played. Looking at the two comments on bgg they are both positive (ratings 7 and 8.8). Did the OP play this game and find it was not that good?


I own it as well. Given the source, and scale, I think we can all agree this is probably not going to ever be considered a definitive treatment of the subject. Not a slam on Minden, but it's a magazine game from a digest magazine. There's only so much one expects from these to begin with.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Pelle Nilsson
Sweden
Linköping
flag msg tools
designer
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Michael Dorosh wrote:
pelni wrote:
This thread reminds me I have a copy of Remagen Bridgehead: Americans over the Rhine 1945 (ziplock version from 2012) that I have not yet played. Looking at the two comments on bgg they are both positive (ratings 7 and 8.8). Did the OP play this game and find it was not that good?


I own it as well. Given the source, and scale, I think we can all agree this is probably not going to ever be considered a definitive treatment of the subject. Not a slam on Minden, but it's a magazine game from a digest magazine. There's only so much one expects from these to begin with.


I agree. But "lousy"?
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Eric Brosius
United States
Needham Heights
Massachusetts
flag msg tools
badge
My favorite 18xx game for six players is two games of 1846 with three players each.
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
I think the fact that the Remagen bridge was not destroyed and that the 9th Armored managed to capture it was a lucky accident---one of the things that happen in war. There's nothing particular about Remagen---there were many other bridges across the Rhine that could have been places the Allies were lucky enough to capture.

It's hard to make a game about a crazy, improbable stroke of luck. Compare this with Operation Market Garden, much earlier, which was a deliberate attempt to seize a crossing at one chosen spot. This makes a better wargame, though it was unsuccessful (and unlikely to be successful.)
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Stuart
United States
Los Alamos
New Mexico
flag msg tools
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
This sounds like an excellent small scenario for the OCS game Beyond the Rhine which, I understand, is scheduled to be put on the P500 list some time this decade.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Windsor
United States
Fort Worth
Texas
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Quote:
The main Allied effort on the Rhine was PLUNDER,


Aaargh. Now that be a worthwhile operational name fer sure. arrrh
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeffrey D Myers
United States
Albuquerque
New Mexico
flag msg tools
"Always rely upon a happy mind alone." Geshe Chekhawa.
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
Schwerpunkt: Volume 11 has an ASL scenario on the capture of the bridge.

See: http://www.aslscenarioarchive.com/scenario.php?id=58834 .
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Leo Zappa
United States
Aliquippa
Pennsylvania
flag msg tools
badge
Avatar
mbmbmbmbmb
peacmyer wrote:
Schwerpunkt: Volume 11 has an ASL scenario on the capture of the bridge.

See: http://www.aslscenarioarchive.com/scenario.php?id=58834 .


And as I just rediscovered, Panzer Leader also covers this in Situation 20, Remagen Bridge, which I and my buddy Dan played twice this evening!

3 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.