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      Special Upgrade 4 Tech Tips   12/27/2016

      Hi all! Now that Upgrade 4 is out and about in large quantities we have now discovered a few SNAFUs that happen out in the scary, real world that is home computing.  Fortunately the rate of problems is extremely small and so far most are easily worked around.  We've identified a few issues that have similar causes which we have clear instructions for work arounds here they are: 1.  CMRT Windows customers need to re-license their original key.  This is a result of improvements to the licensing system which CMBN, CMBS, and CMFB are already using.  To do this launch CMRT with the Upgrade and the first time enter your Engine 4 key.  Exit and then use the "Activate New Products" shortcut in your CMRT folder, then enter your Engine 3 license key.  That should do the trick. 2.  CMRT and CMBN MacOS customers have a similar situation as #2, however the "Activate New Products" is inside the Documents folder in their respective CM folders.  For CMBN you have to go through the process described above for each of your license keys.  There is no special order to follow. 3.  For CMBS and CMFB customers, you need to use the Activate New Products shortcut and enter your Upgrade 4 key.  If you launch the game and see a screen that says "LICENSE FAILURE: Base Game 4.0 is required." that is an indication you haven't yet gone through that procedure.  Provided you had a properly functioning copy before installing the Upgrade, that should be all you need to do.  If in the future you have to install from scratch on a new system you'll need to do the same procedure for both your original license key and your Upgrade 4.0 key. 4.  There's always a weird one and here it is.  A few Windows users are not getting "Activate New Products" shortcuts created during installation.  Apparently anti-virus software is preventing the installer from doing its job.  This might not be a problem right now, but it will prove to be an issue at some point in the future.  The solution is to create your own shortcut using the following steps: Disable your anti-virus software before you do anything. Go to your Desktop, right click on the Desktop itself, select NEW->SHORTCUT, use BROWSE to locate the CM EXE that you are trying to fix. The location is then written out. After it type in a single space and then paste this:


      Click NEXT and give your new Shortcut a name (doesn't matter what). Confirm that and you're done. Double click on the new Shortcut and you should be prompted to license whatever it is you need to license. At this time we have not identified any issues that have not been worked around.  Let's hope it stays that way Steve
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      Forum Reorganization   10/12/2017

      We've reorganized our Combat Mission Forums to reflect the fact that most of you are now running Engine 4 and that means you're all using the same basic code.  Because of that, there's no good reason to have the discussion about Combat Mission spread out over 5 separate sets of Forums.  There is now one General Discussion area with Tech Support and Scenario/Mod Tips sub forums.  The Family specific Tech Support Forums have been moved to a new CM2 Archives area and frozen in place. You might also notice we dropped the "x" from distinguishing between the first generation of CM games and the second.  The "x" was reluctantly adopted back in 2005 or so because at the time we had the original three CM games on European store shelves entitled CM1, CM2, and CM3 (CMBO, CMBB, and CMAK).  We didn't want to cause confusion so we added the "x".  Time has moved on and we have to, so the "x" is now gone from our public vocabulary as it has been from our private vocabulary for quite a while already.  Side note, Charles *NEVER* used the "x" so now we're all speaking the same language as him.  Which is important since he is the one programming them

The Sheriff of Oosterbeek – A Scenario Design DAR/AAR

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One last post on my hazy idea...

I was thinking to use the variable range of time in arrival of reinforcements of single jeeps, maybe 3 or 4 in total, to be an indicator of them taking time to get unloaded, organized once on the ground and headed off to the objectives. Likewise on the German side, a similar variable time range in arrival of squads indicates Sepp Krafft finally realizing to spread out on his flanks, including north of the railway. Either side could head off early with less, get lucky and have it all in the beginning, etc. That is what I meant by the timing.

That sounds like no two playings of the scenario would be the same, which is not a bad thing. However, some players might object to having the outcome so dependent on chance. I say that not to discourage you—I think that's one I would greatly enjoy seeing—but to point out that you can't please everybody and it is folly to try. Take hold of your idea and pursue it as far as you can and then let the chips fall where they may.


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I used to love the scenario editor in CMBO/CMBB, and knocked up about a dozen scenarios; but the editor works very very slowly on the Mac platform, so though I've tried, I haven't done much with it in CMx2.

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Originally Posted by ian.leslie

I am looking forward to reading about setting up and testing AI plans.

Yep, we will get to that :)

Excellent, no rush though I am looking forward to this all the way. I think doing this is a great idea and I look forward to lots of good discussion about all aspects of scenario design.


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Wow, this thread is starting to remind me of a recent college lecture I attended.

Now I was not one of the college students but an interested 48 year-old attendee.

When they got to the Q&A part I was livid to ask further questions when the college folks "seemed" disinterested or shy.

The lecturer was Richard Dawkins...

Eff it:


So, I now know having played it several times, GL Kiwi Soldiers is one of your scenarios. Did you author any other CMBN or CMFI scenarios or campaigns. I admit that info might elude me if it is in the designer's notes.

How long did GL K.S. take to design?

Umm, if you have been authorized by Webwing to offer any clues, what campaign do you author for CMBN OMG? Oosterbeek Campaign?

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Did you author any other CMBN or CMFI scenarios or campaigns.

Yeah, a few CMBN and CW scenarios - um. Hmm. Let me think. Platoon Patrol and CW 18 Platoon are similar to Kiwi Soldiers. Larger ones included Bois de Baugin, CW Evil Be Unto Him, CW Loamshires, CW NorMons, CW Seven Winds, CW Ubique, CW Valleys of Decision, La Valence, and Le Desert. I think that's it :confused:

I also designed and managed the 'Panzer Marsch!' and 'Courage and Fortitude' campaigns. I built some of the scenarios in those, and guided the others. I contributed a scenario to the 'KG Engel' campaign, under Normal Dude's direction.

For CMFI I designed and managed the Italian campaign 'The Fleeting Moment', and built most of the scenarios in it.

How long did GL K.S. take to design?

Oh, about 10 days, working up to maybe 2 hours per day on it. That was to the first useful version, then another couple of weeks elapsed occasionally dickering around and responding to tester feedback.

Umm, if you have been authorized by Webwing to offer any clues, what campaign do you author for CMBN OMG? Oosterbeek Campaign?

I've designed and am managing the German campaign. I'm trying out a different approach to unifying the battles in this campaign. And that's about all I'm going to say on that for the meantime :)

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The lecturer was Richard Dawkins

Neat! How was that? He seems ... well, he seems like a dick, even though I'm down the sciency stuff.

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Yes! Loamshires! I now remember, played that. I learned that is the fictional generic regiment for UK training purposes. As we might say in the US military, Joe **** the rag man.

18 Platoon, yes, obviously now so JonS-ish!

Platoon Patrol, OK, I see your style. Like a Led Zeppelin.

OK, 10 days times 2 hours. = 20 hours so about 2 days effort.

What? You got maybe a free Battlefront Beer coozy, leftover 1999 CMBO mouse pad, what else? It has gotta be a labor of love. Just joshin'. :)

Keep up the good work!

On with a real eye-opener of a thread.

JonS, JonS, you gotta go out there on stage!

"Oh, bloody hell!"

Please! Webwing has trouble with his costume.

A tad tight in the crotch.

Stall til we get it altered.

I promise, ahhh... five minutes MAX!

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I've designed and am managing the German campaign. I'm trying out a different approach to unifying the battles in this campaign. And that's about all I'm going to say on that for the meantime :)

How many sleeps to go....



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Regarding "persistent map damage (PMD) " and operations vs campaigns....

Steve says we will not get this. OK. End of story I suppose.

I would like to know what you think.

If you have already said something in some thread, I apologize.

Do you wish that the new CMX2 had the feature of PMD and we could replay on the same terrain?

You must have had to design your German campaign to never play twice on the same map less a building suddenly reappear intact after having been blown to smithereens before.

Or is there another workaround you employed that we could tap into as a tool in the toolbox?

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Would I like CM to have more features? Well, sure. Unless you're Coco Chanel more is generally better than less :D

I'm fairly certain I never made a CMx1 operation, but I've been involved in about seven CMx2 campaigns now, so all my experience in that area is without PMD. If you're considering creating a campaign, then you just have to get over the fact that there isn't any PMD and move on.

Just like a scenario, I think it's really useful to spend a few days thinking about the campaign, what battles will be in it, what tactical problem(s) each battle has, and how they all fit together in some kind of narrative arc. All the campaigns I've managed have started with fairly hefty documents, with a page or three - incl maps - outlining each scenario, some pages on the core forces, and more on other peripheral information that's relevant to the campaign*. If you do that well, taking into account what CM can and cannot do, then PMD just falls by the wayside.

The only time this as really come up is the USMC campaign. The first battle is a beach recon, and the second is an amphib landing on that beach. The second battle uses the edge part of the first's map, and extends it further east. There is some assumed battle damage in the second battle, but the issue of re-appearing buildings was mitigated somewhat by going quite heavy on the battle damage, which means it's less likely that anything damaged in the first battle is all fixed up for the second. Related to that, the fewer buildings there are on the map, the better that approach will work since there's less to damage. Limiting the amount and calibre of artillery and heavy weapons can be useful too, since the player will be less able to cause any damage to begin with.

So, that's a couple of approaches which work well if used sparingly. You could also fit in other battles between uses of the same map, so the player is less likely to remember exactly what damage was left on the map after the first battle there, and also justifies the addition of more designer-created battle damage.

But I think the better approach is to design the campaign from the outset so there's no, or very little, requirement to re-fight the same area.


* looking through my notes just now, the design doc for the CMSF-UK campaign ended up being 34 pages, including appendices for things like ephemeris and a table of distances between battle locations.

Edit: How could I forget! School of Hard Knocks and University of Hard Knocks, from the Courage and Fortitude campaign, take place on exactly the same map about 12 hours apart. That one has very few buildings, none of which - IIRC - that the player is likely to demolish. So battle damage in that case is mainly a case of liberally sprinkling shell craters around for the second use of the map.

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I really need to play the Panzer Marsch campaign sometime. On that note, I've seen hardly anyone comment on it here, which seems mysterious to me.

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I appreciate your comments. For PMD, it is sad but true that you are correct when I think for myself as I get older I am damned to even remember the exact damage anyway. Even years back during operations say on CMBB there would be a knocked out T-34 in no-man's land and I most probably would not recall exactly who or how it was knocked out. I might recall it if it was very significantly accomplished. A single soldier with one of those steel hand grenade bundles or somesuch.

On with the lessons!

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For my 2 cents, I think you should try and pull off your new idea and NOT worry about the few folks out there who would camp out near the spawn points and pick off the new arrival Germans.

I've got my Martin Middlebrook Arnhem 1944 opened to page 326 to read the background on the Sheriff.

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For my 2 cents, I think you should try and pull off your new idea and NOT worry about the few folks out there who would camp out near the spawn points and pick off the new arrival Germans.

Yeah, it's tempting, and if this weren't one for the disk I'd agree with you. But because it is there's a few extra constraints as a designer. The risk of camping could make the design too fragile.

I've got my Martin Middlebrook Arnhem 1944 opened to page 326 to read the background on the Sheriff.

I really like Middlebrook as an author. He usually picks one quite small topic, then goes into it in great depth, and he also has the ability to use vignettes well to explain larger themes. Arnhem 1944 is a really good book.

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This thread motivated me to start making a second scenario for CMSF. My first try at the editor was rather uncoordinated and that meant making slow progress and that meant a bit to much frustration. The "1 - Outline Scenario" post ITT however helped to get started with a more systematic approach on scenario making and i am getting forward much faster this time. Currently i am testing AI plans, so i am really curious about the promised post on that topic :).

We'll get on to AI plans later on, but just quickly; getting the AI to attack competently is tricky. It's even trickier when the forces involved are small since each AI element is individually quite fragile. For my little scenarios I aim for "functional" rather than "challenging". That is, getting the AI to move forward with a modicum of coordination and in conformance to some overall plan that isn't boneheaded. That means that the player will generally win against an attacking AI* but I think that's ok.

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2 - Research

"It is a capital mistake to theorize before one has data."
Arthur Conan Doyle (via Sherlock Holmes)

Since the beginning of the CM franchise there’ve been three basic categories of scenario: historical, semi-historical, or fictional.

The boundaries between each are highly blurred, but basically a historical scenario consists of actual forces, fighting an actual battle, in an actual place, for actual objectives. These require a LOT of research, and even then the designer often has to take a lot of liberties to overcome deficiencies in either the CM scenario editor or in the level of detail that can be uncovered. Historical scenarios also tend to be of iconic battles which can make them very engaging for players, but because of that it’s often difficult to maintain any meaningful Fog of War (FOW). When discussing the battle to clear LZ N on the Groesbeek Heights, Colonel Eckman, commander of 505th PIR, said “We knew what we were going to do, when we were going to do it and what was coming, the enemy did not.” That knowledge disparity would be irrelevant when playing against an Allied AI, and impossible to duplicate in a HTH battle.



2.1: LtCol William Francis Kynaston “Sheriff” Thompson, Commanding Officer 1st Air Landing Light Regiment. From: Pegasus Archive website

It can also be surprisingly hard to find a CM-worthy historical battle. It’s easy enough to find examples of men shooting at each other, and killing and dying, but I think a good scenario needs more than that. Without some definite tactical problem, some definite and discrete engagement with worthwhile objectives, trying to create a fully historical scenario can leave me floundering around trying to mallet a square peg into a round hole.

Semi-historical tends to include some level of fictionalisation of the map, the forces, or the battle. It could be that the player was simply unable to find out exactly what forces were on “the other side of the hill”, or a decent map. It’s for this reason that a lot of scenarios start out as historical and end up being labelled semi-historical. Or it could be that I had a particular tactical scenario in mind, and used real forces and real locations to create a plausible, but fictional, battle. It could just be that I want to change something to make a real battle more interesting – altering something about the time of day, the length of the scenario (maybe compressing events that occurred over many hours into a much shorter scenario), the weather, the force sizes, and so on – to make for a better, more interesting, more engaging, and more fun scenario. This is why I’ve chosen to move quite strongly away from Historical scenarios and instead construct mostly semi-historical ones; there’s more freedom to create interesting battles. It is also much easier to control the information available to both sides, and therefore the effect of ignorance and FOW.

Fictional battles are just that, and give the scenario designer a lot more latitude to make things up to suit the battle they want to create. However, I firmly believe that fictional scenarios should be grounded in historical reality. For example, the location can be set roughly were the front line was at that date, and it’s easy enough to use real (or at least realistic) names for force elements. In a WWII US Army infantry regiment E, F, G, and H companies are always in 2nd Battalion, armoured infantry battalions were never organic components of an infantry division, and the weather in north-west Europe in late December probably isn’t going to be warm with dry ground and the sun rising at 0500hrs. While ”B Company, 2nd Armoured Infantry Battalion, 32nd US Infantry Division are fighting in the blazing heat of a sunny New Years Day in Poland” is certainly fictional, it isn’t a plausible briefing. I assume stuff like that sets player’s teeth on edge.

If the fictional back story is weak players will fill it in themselves, and if what they come up jars with what’s in the scenario they’ll be taken out of the moment and lose some enjoyment. But as long as the briefing and scenario are consistent it can make telling the story easier, since there’s less need to explain every element of the scenario – reasonably informed players will already know about standard company naming, and the climate in winter. Patrick’s Epic Mockumentary video AAR is a brilliant example of fictional story telling.

I tend go fictional when I have a definite idea for a particular tactical problem in mind, and don’t want to cast about to find something real to fit my circumstances. This how Platoon Patrol and 18 Platoon (in CMBN and the CW module) came about. I’ve little doubt that there were thousands of actions in Normandy that would broadly fit the setting of each of those two little scenarios, but finding detailed descriptions of battles that small is really difficult and I really didn’t see the point in even trying. I had a clear conception of what I wanted to create, and from there it was mainly a matter of setting it in a realistic context.

Bois de Baugin (on the CMBN release disk) is a completely fictional scenario, but one that I like to think has credible setting. That scenario started off as a simple idea: "how would a mostly foot-based defence holding some hills do against a mostly mechanised attack through low ground?" It was based on some overall impressions I'd gathered about the 1941 Greek Campaign(!) and something I vague recall about the US Army being caught out a few times early in WWII because their doctrine called for the weight of an advance to be made along valley floors where mobility is much better, while German defensive doctrine called for the main weight of defence to be up on the hills where cover, concealment, and dominating ground are all prevalent. So that's what I made: a wooded hill on either flank with a low saddle and small hamlet in the centre. The US objectives focused on the mobility route, while German objectives focused on dominating ground.

It was only towards the end of the design process that I looked for somewhere to situate the battle. Since the action was broadly part of an advance against collapsing - but not yet collapsed - defence, it had to be shortly after Op COBRA started, but on a flank rather than directly ahead of the steamroller. A notional spot south-east of St Lo was selected, and some actual town and forest names chosen for landmarks. It was then pretty easy to pick some units that were actually in that area at that time using the 12th Army Group daily intelligence maps. All of that was then fed directly into the briefings and graphics.

For the CW module I created a set of fictional British (The Loamshires) and German (The Kingdom of Hannover Grenadier Regiment, a name recommended to me by a native German speaker) unit names, re-using then wherever needed. That saved time since I only needed to research the unit compositions once, it provided continuity between battles because the same names were being recycled, and since the Loamshires were always fighting the Hannover Grenadiers there were no issues about “but, actually, this British battalion never met this German unit, and on this date they were both 100 miles further west.” Also, since the higher level brigade, regiment or division to which they belonged are never described, I could freely - but plausibly - mix and match battalion types. (See the scenarios 18 Platoon, Loamshires and Valleys of Decision in the CW module.)

Despite all those fictional examples, I tend to create historical or semi-historical scenarios more often because I do enjoy broadly accurate scenarios based on real-ish events. It’s also easier in a lot of ways to create a compelling narrative based on real units and events, even if the story gets massaged to make the scenario I want.

So, what I look for when researching depends a lot on the type of battle being created. I find that ‘research’ tends not to be a single discrete activity, and instead gets tackled in layers – fairly shallow initially to get a broad overview and the main moving parts, then increasing in detail as time goes on. Sometimes, it’s incredibly narrow and focussed as part of another activity, like map making or force development. What is the name of this street or that farm? What letter sequence did this battalion use for its companys?

The Sheriff of Oosterbeek is going to be historical, so I’ll need to do more, rather than less, research. That’s cool – I like this bit!

For a historical a scenario I’m after details about the buildup, rather than course of the battle itself. That is; how did these forces get to be here, rather than what they did. This is because the course of the battle is represented by the scenario, and that bit is up to the players, not me. The designer’s job is to set the context and conditions at the point where battle is joined, and then step aside. The historical course of the battle should be just one of many possible outcomes when playing the scenario, it should never be the only one. So I look for forces, force sizes including anything that was absent for some reason, specific equipment used, any odd or unusual Order of Battle details, as well as specific times and locations.

I also want to know the basic course of battle, so I can get a time-and-space appreciation of how I envisage battle playing out, from each side, in general terms. This is important because it will affect everything from map size to scenario length to the objectives for each player. Then there’s any key features to include in the scenario, such as the weather or time of day, significant terrain, or an important force element.

Finally, I want to collect some mapping and relevant, important, or iconic imagery. The map is especially important. For Normandy we were spoiled with the excellent combination provided by the French Geoportail maps and the IGN 1947 aerial photo survey. Putting those both into Google Earth as layers provided an astonishingly good basis for any map, but neither extends its coverage as far as Arnhem. This is a basic truth for every theatre: each time CM moves location - from Normandy to Sicily to mainland Italy to Holland to Belorussia to the Ardennes to Germany - a new set of resources will need to be found and shared.

The following is the list of resources I looked at for The Sheriff of Oosterbeek

Digital Sources:

* 1:25k maps of Arnhem and the surrounding area
(Search terms: 1943 Holland. This collection of 1944 maps is gold! These are the actual maps used during Op MARKET GARDEN, so any grid references in war diaries can be plotted exactly. They are also sufficiently detailed to provide a great overlay to use in the editor. Curiously the main road bridge, where Frost’s 2 PARA fought and Gräbner met his maker, is not shown on this map.)



2.2: Extract of 1:25,000 map [06 NW Arnhem]. From: Library of Congress website

* 1944 Aerial Reconnaissance Photos
(Many thanks to Broadsword56 for bringing this site to my attention! It shows a reference map of Holland and when you zoom in on locations you can see the flight paths of photo recon sorties conducted in 1944. Click on the images and to enlarge the aerial photos.)

* War diaries
(Includes war diaries for all 1st A/B Div units and attachments. The war diary for 1st AL Light Regt includes report by LtCol Thompson, both of which have a lot of useful detail for this scenario.)

* MLRS Books
(Search term: Arnhem. Although these documents are highly interesting, they don’t tend to have the kind of specific detailed information that’s useful for creating scenarios. For this scenario, I could probably have got away without using this.)

* US CGSC CARL digital library
(Search term: Market Garden. Also try Arnhem. Mostly US, but does have a lot on the British forces too. Useful for some timings, but like the MLRS Books material, it tends to be at a level that’s not detailed enough. For this scenario, I could probably have got away without using these.)

* Organisation of an Air Landing Light Battery
(I’m planning on having at least one of the Pack How batteries on-map as the German’s objective. This will provide the information I need to have the complete battery – not just the guns - properly laid out. The WW2talk site has excellent, CM-relevant details on all UK TOEs for north-west Europe)

* Google Maps:
(Arnhem in the area immediately around the bridge has changed quite a lot, but Oosterbeek less so, and G-Maps is really useful for road names, which are mostly missing from the 1944 maps)

* Wikipedia:
(The Arnhem article includes a highly detailed 2011 topographical map. Wikipedia battle articles tend to be too general to ever be of much use. They sometimes have some good maps, but those are invariably snagged from public online sources, and usually you’re better off using those directly rather than the filtered version at Wiki. Wiki articles can be good, though, as a pointer to sources.)

* Royal Artillery Units Netherlands 1944-45
(Nice resource on gunnery in the area, including a number of US units. Contains war diaries for many artillery units, including 1st A/L Light Regt, and 2nd A/L Light Battery.)

Books and Magazines:
* Bradbeer “They stood to their guns” (World War II magazine, Oct 2007) (Pretty general, and ultimately not really useful)
* Brooks “Black Tuesday” (World War II magazine, Sept 2004) (again this is pretty general, but it does have some really good maps)
* Ellis Victory in the West, vol.II, the defeat of Germany (again this is pretty general but with some really good maps)
* Kershaw It never shows in September (really good for the German side of the hill, with lots of relevant detail. If you can, get the hardcover because the maps are much better.)
* Middlebrook Arnhem 1944, the Airborne Battle (Brilliant for the course of the battle from the British perspective. This book really allowed me to get a good grip on the sequence of events.)
* Public Record Office Document Packs Battlefront: Operation Market Garden - The Bridges at Eindhoven, Nijmegen and Arnhem (some really interesting documents, but none were especially relevant to this scenario)
* Reynolds Sons of the Reich (Reynolds isn’t my favourite author, but this was still useful for identifying units and to lay out the sequence of events on the German side)
* Rossiter We fought at Arnhem (Has some fish tales, so needs to be treated with caution. Ok for the course of the battle from the British perspective, good for colour and some personal details. One of the guys, Pat Gorman, was in 11 PARA, and so was intimately involved in the background to this scenario)
* Ryan “A Bridge Too Far” (dated now, and too general – it largely glosses over the British defeat on Tuesday 19th, and in consequence covers Thompson’s actions quite briefly, although of course it was the appendix in this book which was the ultimate inspiration for the scenario)
* Zwaerts German Armoured Units at Arnhem, September 1944 (useful for confirming types and quantities of armoured vehicles present)



2.3: StuGs of StuG Bde 280 working in west Arnhem. From: Zwaerts, “German Armored Units at Arnhem September 1944”

(There is another book – Wilkinson’s The Gunners at Arnhem – which would likely have been excellent, but none of my local libraries hold a copy, Amazon and Book Depository are both sold out, and second hand copies are really spendy.)

That’s already a long list, and there are literally hundreds of other books and websites on Arnhem I could have looked at. The ones I’ve listed here those that actually describe my battle in some useful detail – rather than just talking about MARKET GARDEN in terms of “this division moved here, then that division moved there” – and which don’t merely regurgitate what I’ve already read in other books. Also, I’m mainly looking for the build up, rather than detailed descriptions of the battle itself. For most of these books this means only a few, maybe up to 10 or 15, pages are at all relevant. Still, I do need to remind myself from time to time that I’m not writing a thesis, and if I had to fall back on just one resource for this battle it’d be the brilliant Pegasus Archive website.

The main point to remember here is: Do enough, but know when to stop researching and start creating. As they say in my country, “less hui, more doey.”



2.4: A 75mm Pack Howitzer of the Light Regiment's "D" Troop dug in at Oosterbeek. Left to right: Gunner Miller, Gunner Davey, Bombardier Allsop, and Sergeant Prentice. Copyright: IWM BU1101. From: Pegasus Archive website

So, after going through all that, what did I learn? Well, the biggest thing I learnt was that my concept is flawed. Sheriff did stop the disordered withdrawal from Arnhem, and formed the paras and airlanding soldiers into a coherent defence in front of his guns in south-east Oosterbeek on Tuesday afternoon. But for various reasons the Germans weren’t following up closely and Thompson Force wasn’t attacked until some time the following morning. So as a strictly historical scenario, my idea of having the British appearing, setting up a hasty defence, then immediately fending off a German attack doesn’t work.

On the other hand, I now know that:

* the German force consisted of KG Harder, which was composed of 350-odd dismounted crewmen and administrative personnel from 9th SS Panzer Regt, supplemented by ~100 naval personnel, and grouped into three companies (plus additional increment of Alarm personnel on the morning of Monday 18 Sept). They were organised as a company of tank crews (high motivation, with low-ish skills?), a company of logistics folk (medium motivation, low-ish skills?) and a company of the naval bods (medium-ish skills, low motivation?). As an ad-hoc KG made up from non-infantry components, these guys will be very lacking in terms of heavier support weapons. KG Harder were supported by an armoured platoon with two StuG III and one StuH from the 280th Assault Gun Brigade.

* There was an artillery regiment supporting German operations in Oosterbeek – ARKO 191 with 10.5cm howitzers and 21cm Mörser(!) – but these weren’t really in play around Oosterbeek on the 19th and 20th. Instead German artillery support will be 8cm mortars.

* The British forces consisted of 1st Air Landing Light Regiment (23 x 75mm Pack How, in three batterys). Remnants of 1, 3, 11 Parachute Battalions, the 2nd South Staffordshire Air Landing Battalion, and maybe some Glider Pilots, all highly disorganised, and combined totaling less than a full battalion. Amongst this detritus was a platoon of Vickers MMGs (from the S STAFFS), three or four 6-pr anti-tank guns (probably from the S STAFFS), a 17-pr anti-tank gun, a bren carrier, and several jeeps.

* British indirect support by a small number of 3-in mortars (on map?), and of course the 75mm Pack Howitzers of 1st Air Landing Light Regiment, on and/or off map.

* Grid references in several of the war diaries pin the location down to a strip of terrain about 1km wide by 1.5km long wide along the Benedendorpsweg to the west of the rail crossing, which conveniently runs east-to-west.

* in terms of sequencing, the British parachute and air landing battalions had made a final – futile - attempt to break through to Frost at the Bridge in the pre-dawn hours of Tuesday 19th September. This attack had collapsed by about 10am, and from midday remnants of the five battalions involved were streaming back towards Oosterbeek. Thompson organised them – and coincidentally created the first piece of the Oosterbeek perimeter – during the afternoon of the 19th, and the first real attacks on Thompson Force (soon taken over by Major “Dickie” Lonsdale, and re-named Lonsdale Force) occurred on the morning of Wednesday the 20th.

I’m going to have to re-set my concept, but I’ve now got ample information to be going on with. I’ll do more detailed and focused research later as I need to.


2.5: Divisional insignia for 9th SS Panzer Division “Hohenstaufen.” From: Wikipedia website page on 9th SS Panzer Division

FUNFACT: did you know that the Dutch destroyed the Arnhem Bridge during the May 1940 campaign? It was rebuilt during the war, and only reopened in August 1944! That’s why there was the pontoon bridge between the road and the rail bridges – it was needed to carry all the road traffic between 1940 and 1944. This also explains why the road bridge isn’t shown on the 1944 map – it didn’t exist when the map was drawn! The bridge was destroyed again in October 1944 by the USAAF.

I didn’t know that, until now. Research! It’s fun!

There is a good annotated bibliography for all of Operation MARKET GARDEN here

Back to start of thread

Edited by JonS

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This thread motivated me to start making a second scenario for CMSF.

Excellent! CMSF could use some new scenarios :)

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OK, do it as the studio wants for the disk, then afterwards do the director's cut for the repository!

Actually, BFC are very hands-off in terms of official scenario content and design. I can only think of a very few scenario ideas they've explicitly nixed (for good reason, it might be added) in all these years. Sometimes they'll respond to an idea with "convince me," and if that can be done the idea is good to go.

Most of the constraints are more-or-less self imposed :)

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I just recently watched the movie "Theirs is the Glory" on Netflix - on line version.

A documentary/reenactment or the Battle of Arnhem. It was made in 1946. All the actors were actual 1st Airborne soldiers that fought in the battle. Historically very accurate. It lacked all the modern special effects. Some good shots of German armor, including a burning King Tiger. Filmed on site.

A bit of a rah rah patriotic movie. The horrors of war were depicted as much as they could be. Most of the actors/men had the thousand yard stare. A tribute to some brave fine men.

Highly recommended.

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Looking forward to this so many thanks in advance JonS :)

I have tried the editor but found the manual doesn't cover everything. For example, with the flavour objects, you have keys 1 -4 (if my memory serves me right) but the manual doesn't explain what they are for. I also find the briefings harder to do so will be following your progress with much interest. Hopefully then I can venture forth into the editor with renewed confidence. No pressure JonS ;)

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I don'k know if this can be of any use for historical scenario designers, but there it goes : http://www.worldcat.org. A worldwide library catalogue.

Just checked the book you could not get your hands on : here it is (please note that you can search for similar books by clicking on the items listed in the "Similar Items" section).

Truth is only one US library has a copy of it : Florida State University.

But 16 british libraries and 2 dutch do have one (including Arnhem's library ;)).

I'm pretty confident you could manage to have one lended to you through the Inter Library Loan service (ILL). It's not free of charge but it can definitely help you out.

But maybe you guys already knew about that ?

PS : I'm a librarian myself. Couldn't resist doing some propaganda :D

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Thanks J.H! Unfortunately, though, the nearest library with a copy appears to be Cairns, which is 4,000km away! :D

I do use ILL a lot, but oftentimes it works out only a little more expensive to just buy books, as long as it isn't too rare.

But, that does raise a question I'd meant to ask. My last post included a bunch of on- and off-line resources. Does anyone have some other useful links they can share? One I didn't mention, because it wasn't a lot of use for TSoO was Defending Arnhem, which is sort of the equivalent of Pegasus Archive for the German forces. Lots of CM-useful TOE information, and lots of narrative describing which units were where at different dates and times. Really handy for getting the right units into your battle.

Any others?

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