Review – Paul Koenig’s Market-Garden: Eindhoven Bridge from Victory Point Games
Designer – Paul Koenig
Art – Tim Allen
Victory Point Games has provided a review copy of this game
As I’ve mentioned on more than 1 occasion in this blog, I find Operation Market-Garden one of the most interesting areas to read about and game in the history of the 2nd World War. Ranging from the shear audacity of the plan to the utter failure of Montgomery to take on board solid intelligence showing that the German forces were in underestimated and in the wrong place for the Allied forces as well as the significant problems presented by 30 Corps having to travel virtually single file on roads on top of dikes and of course, the bridges. It was one heck of a risky operation which ultimately doomed the British 1 Para Brigade.
Well I’ve played a number of games on Market Garden and having played the first installment of Victory Point Games’ Market Garden: Arnhem Bridge, I looked forward to the new installment, Paul Koenig’s Market-Garden: Eindhoven Bridge, covering the Allies attempt to secure the bridges at Eindhoven.
This series hasn’t been treated to the new and improved components upgrade that VPG is bringing to their new releases. This actually makes sense so that all three games (Nijmegen Bridge is next) have the same look and feel. Typical VPG production of a card stock map, rules and die cut pieces. All in a ziplock bag. The artwork is good and functionally effective.
The sequence of play is very straightforward -
Paratroop Landing Phase – Paratroops enter the map edges as the landing zones are actually “off-map”. Some landings have to face German anti-aircraft fire and may end up landing in a weakened condition, having taken hits, or may not end up landing at all if damaged badly.
Support Phase – Day turns only, Artillery and Allied support markers are randomly allocated to the players to be used in battle
Operations Phase – Fighting formations are activated randomly through a chit-pull system so that you never know in what order units will be activated. Units may -
- Move at full movement allowance and conduct close combat (movement is subject to terrain effects and movement allowance limits)
- Make a Full Fire Attack if it doesn’t move (Fire combat is subject to terrain effects and previous Hits upon the Attacker as well as added Artillery or Air Support) Close combat requires 1 unit to enter an enemy occupied hex only if their is one enemy uit in the hex.
- Combine 1/2 movement including entering Close Combat, and conduct Mobile Fire Attack at 1/2 strength
Combat is resolved through comparing Attacker and Defender strengths fo a differential on the combat table to get a combat result.
Exclusive rules cover Reinforcements and Paratroop landings, Fire combat effects by bridges plus optional US Machine Gun Units.
Further optional rules cover Leadership which allows the player holding the Leadership advantage to do certain things to help their cause as well as Interdiction and Indirect Fire.
The rules are very straightforward and certainly on the easier end or Beer & Pretzels end of complexity which means you can get set up and playing quickly. This is not a deep gritty simulation and a good example of a gateway war game for new players.
As there aren’t too many units, the turns move quickly and the rules are easily implemented. I experienced no real issues understanding and playing.
I believe that there will be Campaign rules when the Nijmegen game is released.
The big difference in this particular game for me over the Arnhem Bridge game is that you have a little more flexibility in approaches to Eindhoven. You have a bunch of bridges to deal with as well which channel your movement. Even at the relatively simple level, you can gain an appreciation for the problem the Allies had in having to rely on the bridges which were effectively choke points where the Germans can focus their forces to make life pretty tough going.
Did it work for me?
Being a fan of this series from the Arnhem game, I would say that Paul Koenig’s Market-Garden: Eindhoven Bridge doesn’t disappoint. In fact, I think that this is a both a more interesting game and a more frustrating game as your Allied options aren’t great in terms of how to approach Eindhoven but tantalizingly enough to give you some pause as to where you deploy your forces to fight your way up the dike road network, only to be stalled at bridges which you must fight across. Its actually a tense situation for both sides as the Allies are in a hurry to get to the victory point locations and the German units which keep taking hits have to decide when and where to give up ground so as not to collapse altogether.
The design is tight and firm, the replayability is a bit limited, especially as your options for maneuver are few. Having said that, there are more than in Arnhem. Also if you are a serious war gamer, this is not going to be meaty enough for you. But as a lighter approach for those with less time on their hands and who like a broad brush approach without heavy detail, it works fine. I really enjoyed playing this game and can’t wait until the release of Nijmegen and having a go at the campaign.
Boardgames in Blighty rating – 8 out of 10
Nope, this isn’t a family game