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Pontoon Bridges
A 'Panzer Grenadier' Optional Rule
By Alan Sawyer
November 2014

5.76 Pontoon Bridges (Optional Rule).

If both players agree to use this rule before the start of the game, each side may add as many pontoon bridge counters to its order of battle as desired. Each pontoon bridge counter must start the game loaded on a truck or wagon unit. A truck or wagon cannot load any other unit while transporting a pontoon bridge counter. Truck and wagon units may unload and/or reload pontoon bridge counters anywhere at any time, and loading or unloading a pontoon bridge counter costs all of the truck or wagon's movement points and counts as its entire activation.

It takes two full action segments for an ENG unit to build a pontoon bridge. An active, good-order ENG unit in a river hex may begin the process of building a pontoon bridge if an unloaded pontoon bridge marker is in a hex adjacent to the ENG unit at the time it activates and there are no enemy units in either the hex with the pontoon bridge or that with the ENG. Place a "MOVED/FIRED" marker on an ENG unit during each segment in which it builds a pontoon bridge. Building a pontoon bridge costs all of a unit's movement allowance and counts as its entire activation.

American-built pontoon bridge at Remagen, 1945.

In the first bridge-building segment, move the pontoon bridge counter out of the adjacent hex and place it under the ENG unit. In the second bridge-building segment, place the pontoon bridge counter on top of the ENG unit. At that point, the pontoon bridge has been built and it acts like any other bridge and can be used by both sides.

The ENG unit that created it does not have to stay in the hex with the pontoon bridge. The ENG can move out of the bridge's hex and the pontoon bridge will remain there for the rest of the game unless it is destroyed.

If, after the first segment of building the pontoon bridge but before the second, the ENG unit is interrupted by becoming demoralized or disrupted, firing on enemy units, participating in an assault as the attacker, or moving, the pontoon bridge marker is placed back in the adjacent hex from which it came. The two-turn process must begin anew in a future action segment.

Any infantry-type unit of either side may destroy a pontoon bridge. To destroy a pontoon bridge a unit must be good-order and must spend its entire activation in the hex with the pontoon bridge. When the unit activates, the owning player rolls two dice, giving a 2 modifier to the roll if the activated unit is an ENG. If the modified roll is less than or equal to the unit's morale, remove the pontoon bridge counter. Place a MOVED/FIRED marker on the unit that made the bridge-destruction attempt whether the attempt is successful or not.

Unloaded pontoon bridge counters that have not been built into bridges can be used by either side, and may be destroyed if an infantry-type unit moves into the hex with them.

You can download the special oversized pontoon bridge pieces here.

You can put them to work in Eastern Front.