By Peter Lloyd
Editor's Note: A number of older Panzer Grenadier products went out of print in late 2014. Here Peter Lloyd offers some substitute parts to keep our Airborne scenario book current for players new to the system. We left out the Airborne map to keep the download to a merely ginormous size; you can find it in the Airborne VASSAL module.
At long last, here is my second survival kit. My first survival kit was for Invasion of Germany. Airborne 3rd Edition is my favorite of the old scenario books. I asked Dr. Mike several times to keep Airborne in the product lineup. Unfortunately, the retirement of Battle of the Bulge, and other factors, probably made its demise inevitable.
Airborne began as the speckled sheep of the Panzer Grenadier flock. The map board was different, and incompatible with the other maps in the system. The American leadership split at the lieutenants, making them difficult to integrate the game's big brother, Battle of the Bulge. On the other hand, it contained an interesting mix of scenarios. The scenarios are mostly infantry based fights. Some are small brittle scenarios, as small scenarios tend to be. A couple are big push scenarios. Last there were a couple of weird probability based battles.
The game seemed to be coming to maturity when format changed to being a scenario book. As a book it suffered from dependence on too many discontinued, or soon to be discontinued games. The peculiar map remained with the game, but that was not a problem because it was used alone. Scenarios had been reworked and generally improved. There are a couple problems which persisted, these are addressed in the errata.
I assume that Airborne 3rd Edition is already owned. Elsenborn Ridge will be necessary in all the scenarios, and 1940: Fall of France boards are used in many others.
- The Airborne leaders on the attached countersheet are direct replacements of those in the original Airborne mix. They have been normalized to the standard Panzer Grenadier ranks.
- Airborne unit counters are supplements which would have been drawn from the Battle of the Bulge counter mix.
- The M22 “Locust” counters are an updated version of those in an earlier download from Avalanche press. (The M22 was slightly faster than the Tetrarch.)
- The U.S. Airborne 75mmPH is a pack howitzer. It was an option for the airborne corps as it was air droppable and could be carried by its crew. The drawback of the weapon was that it was not towable, though it could be loaded as cargo. In game terms this means it may not be loaded onto light vehicles (like the jeep) or prime movers. Otherwise it is the same as the standard 75mm field howitzer.
- Dropzone markers. The name pretty much says it all. (We had to scramble for pennies the first time I played.) The numbers are to indicate scatter directions.
- Strongpoint counters are the standard mix available from Avalanche Press.
- The general’s staff car makes its appearance in “D-Day: Behind the Beaches”. I created the counter to add flavor to the situation. It might be useful in DYO scenarios.
- The remaining German counters replace those which would have been drawn from games other than Elsenborn Ridge.
Errata & Suggestions:
Unless otherwise noted the use of the normalized airborne leaders provided in this survival kit is recommended for the leadership of the airborne formations. Supplement airborne leaders with those from Elsenborn Ridge as needed when playing the larger scenarios.
Scenario 13, “Georgia On My Mind”: The clauses of the surrender check are reversed. The basic sentence should read, “If the modified result is greater than the morale value of the highest ranking German leader, play ends. If the result is less than the leader’s morale, the Germans do not surrender, and the German initiative level is increased by 1.”
Scenario 17, “Third Time’s the Charm”: Change 1 CAPT in the second PARA group to a LT. Use leaders from Elsenborn Ridge for the 327th GIR leaders. (It is an unfair representation for the glider troops, but it works here.)
Scenario 18, “VII Corps Advances North”: Change 1 CAPT in the first PARA group to a LT. Use leaders from Elsenborn Ridge for the 325th GIR leaders.
Scenario 30, “Le Goulet”: Use leaders from Elsenborn Ridge for the 325th GIR leaders.
Scenario 25, “This is Not a Voluntary Proposition”: Use leaders from Elsenborn Ridge for the 325th GIR leaders. Replace board 9 with board 25 from Elsenborn Ridge, and reverse its orientation.
Scenario 31, “Advance Along the Douve”: Use leaders from Elsenborn Ridge for the 325th GIR leaders.
“Behind the Beaches”: Two of the drop modifiers are incorrect, they should be;
+1 in daylight (spotting range more than one hex)
+1 in the “Drop Zone”
The original D-Day: Behind the Beaches scenario can still be gotten from Avalanche Press.
The original Airborne Armor article allowed for air dropping tanks. To update that option, the Tetrarch and M22 tanks may be dropped parachute or delivered by glider (the British thought gliders were best), as per the Behind the Beaches and Nihon Silk rules (though they may arrive at the same time as gliders). Add another +1 modifier to the die for scatter losses if the unit lands in any hex other than clear terrain or field. If the modified die roll is 8 or greater the tank unit is eliminated.
Troops in the Ost Battalions joined the Wehrmacht out of a desire to not starve in a prison camp, rather than genuine support of the Nazi regime. Consider allowing demoralized units belonging to those formations to surrender when adjacent to an Allied unit if failing to recover.
You can download the Survival Kit right here.