Impulse movement in the low countries
The Arnhem campaign
opened enthusiastically in Lampeter Hall with numbers slightly
but encouragingly up on last year's contest.
Monty's Gamble depicts in a quick playing area form,
an operational treatment of the campaign to bring an early end
to the struggle against Germany with a crossing of the Rhine
before the 1944 winter. The basic game readily playing out in
three hours makes it a natural choice for the tournament format.
Play for both sides has tightened up over the three years
since the game was released but there isn't any sign so far of
a game-breaking strategy favoring either side. The players opted
in equal numbers on the initial round to play the German or Allied
sides and there was little bidding for sides in the later rounds.
The balance of the results from twenty games confirmed this
with eleven German to nine Allied wins.
The first round brought some early upsets to the form book
with the game's designer and defending champion, Mike Rinella,
falling to the stubborn resistance of John Haas' Germans, while
your author and GM fell to the sledgehammer blows of Paul Nied's
The game has attracted some players across from the world
of Breakout Normandy but these players with their longer
experience of the area system by no means dominate the scene.
Monty's Gamble is generating it's own experts. Of the
four semi-finalists only one, Jim Eliason, is a regular BKN competitor.
As has become the tradition, the designer (many thanks) awarded
two additional prizes to the competition for the earliest German
reconquest of Arnhem and the earliest Allied seizure of Nijmegen.
These went respectively to Scott Moll clearing the Red Devil's
on a remarkable turn 18, impulse B and to David Long receiving
a consolation prize for his turn 19, impulse 1 routing of the
The Final saw David Long's Allies facing Jim Eliason's Germans.
The game had an inauspicious beginning for the 1st Airborne with
the key Driel bridge being blown and a couple of units spent
by flak. XXX Corps made a poor start also but recovered to clear
the road halfway to Arnhem on the first day. However Arnhem was
weakly held and German assaults destroyed the defenders shortly
after dawn on the second day. David's attempts to create a counter-play
withered in the face of cold dice. With German reinforcements
flooding across the Rhine to make Nijmegen impregnable, the allies
gave up the unequal fight and Jim Eliason had the tournament