The Megagame of
Operation Market Garden
This is probably one of the most well known battles of World War 2. The Allied Second Army - spearheaded by British 30th Corps was to conduct a great 'Forward Bound' to capture the Rhine bridges, with the assistance of a huge carpet of airborne troops. The successful capture of these bridges, and the route leading to them, would open access to the North German plain for the large and well equipped allied mechanised armies - possibly even bringing Germany to it's knees by the end of 1944.
We've all seen the movie, and possibly even read the books. It was a glorious failure - though 80% successful, the grand plan was not to be, and the war in Europe was to last another 8 months.
But may historians and analysts believe that it might just have worked.
This game allowed players to see just how close the battle could have been.
Teams. In this game players formed teams - each team commanding a formation from the original battle. Command levels went from teams commanding divisions, to teams commanding corps, and high command teams in overall control. Within the team, players worked together to ensure their formation was properly organised and supplied, that the enemy actions were monitored, and that the players at the next level up the chain of command were kept informed.
How the Game Works. The game was not a reenactment. What happened depended entirely on the actions and decisions of the participants. Some players were involved in a detailed pre-planning game run some weeks beforehand by email. In this planning the realistic constraints and opportunities (based on the original planning documents of the real operation) were applied to arrive at a plan for the operation. Click here to see the Allied planning briefings.
A week or so before the game, all participants were send briefings, with explanations of how to play, and their orders for the battle (based on the planning game in the case of the Allies, or on standing orders in the case of the Germans).
On the day, a Game Control team adjudicated the results of player actions using a set of operational rules, and reported back to player teams on the results of their actions.
AFTER ACTION REPORTS: Click here for some After Action Reports written by the participants (last added to 2 May 2004)
Game Roles. There were 21 teams of players, each team consisting of between 3 and 5 people. Groups were welcome to apply for a whole team, and werever possible, player preferences were met..
If you have any questions about how the game worked, email the game designer Jim Wallman
Historical Notes - some of the issues that were be examined in the game and links to related sites.