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Bolt Action Scenario: Hell’s Highway Son’s Bridge

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Try this awesome scenario that Martin MacKay sent in to us! Even the hardiest of soldiers don’t dare to cross Hell’s Highway: Son Bridge!
Hells Highway Banner MC

Historical Context

September 17, 1944: Operation Market Garden, 101st Airborne – The 506th PIR had to capture the bridge over the Wilhelmina canal at Son and move further south to Eindhoven and secure four bridges over the Dommel River. They assembled quickly, marched towards Son but were met by a German 88mm gun in the center of Son which stopped the advance. The 1st Battalion tried to bypass the town on the west and flanked the German position, but they were stopped by two 88 mm guns positioned at the canal, which inflicted many casualties in the ranks of the paratroopers. The paratroopers of the 506th moved up the main road quickly, took out the 88 mm guns and forced their way towards the bridge. The enemy had halted the troops of the 506th long enough to wire the bridge with explosives and once the first paratroopers neared the bridge, they blew it up sky high.

Opposing Forces

This scenario is played between an attacking US Airborne force and a defending German Force. US and German platoons should be taken from the selectors provided. The German Player receives three 88mm Flak 36 Dual Purpose AA/AT guns at the start of the game for free. Try to keep the agreed upon points to close to 1000 or less.


Scenario 2
The table is set up to mimic the village of Son on the Wilhelmina canal. The German defender must set up his starting officer and infantry squad inside the village of Son, his starting Machine Gun team inside the Guard Tower, and the 88mm guns at their predetermined locations. The rest of the German units are placed in reserve.

The US attacker rolls a D3 to determine the number of entering units per turn, then must deploy those units within the US Airborne Deployment Area subject to the Combat Jump rules.

Special Rules

Hermann Goering Training Unit

The initial German infantry squad inside Son is a regular Heer Grenadier squad, but have a morale value of 10, but functions as a regular group in every other way. This squad also has the Fanatic rule and due to their Fallschirmjäger background, also do not suffer the -1 fire on the move penalty.

Rapid Attack

Due to the swift movement of the Paratroopers, the German Infantry can not fire on the first turn. All other units fire normally.

German Random Reinforcements

Starting on Turn 2, the German defender may begin to bring their units onto the board. German units start up to 6” from the edge of the board. The German defender rolls 1D3 to determine the number of entering units. However, on a roll of a 1; no units enter the board for that turn. The German player chooses which side of the board each unit will enter from, and a roll of a D6 for each unit to see where on which side of the board the unit will enter (refer to the map above).

88mm Gun Emplacements

The German defender starts with three 88mm Flak 36 Dual Purpose AA/AT guns that are set in predetermined locations in Son. If models are not available, use large tokens to represent the guns, and small markers to represent the crews.

Scenario 3
88mm Flak 36 Dual Purpose AA/AT Guns
Cost: None
Team: 7 men
Weapons: 1 Light Howitzer
Special Rules:

  • Gun Shield
  • Team weapon
  • Fixed
  • Flak


The US Airborne must eliminate the 88mm guns, and have units on both sides of the Son Bridge and be holding it on or before the last turn before the Germans can destroy it.

Game duration

At the end of turn 8, roll a die. On a result of 1, 2, or 3, the Germans have detonated the explosives they have wired to the Son Bridge. On a 4, 5, or 6; play one more turn. If the US Airborne has not reached their objective by the end of Turn 9, the Germans detonate the explosives they have wired to the Son Bridge.


At the end of the game, calculate which side has won by adding up victory points as follows. The German Player gets 2 victory points for each eliminated US Airborne unit. The US Player Gets 2 victory points for each 88mm gun captured or destroyed. The US Player also scores 1 victory point for each German unit destroyed. The US Player scores 5 victory points for securing the Son Bridge.

Airborne Platoons

To represent 101st Airborne units that were part of the mission, you can pick one or more platoons from the Airborne Platoon selector below. All units in this platoon have the ability to deploy using the Combat Jump rule. However, the entire platoon (or platoons), must deploy through combat jump. Also all units must be chosen at Veteran level, or at Regular if a Veteran option is not available.

Inexperienced units cannot be included in this platoon.

Airborne Platoon Selector

1 Lieutenant (First or Second) – Richard Winters may be substituted in as the Lieutenant
2 Airborne infantry squads
0-3 Airborne infantry squads
0-1 Captain or Major
0-1 Medic
0-1 Forward Air Observer
0-2 Machine gun
0-1 Sniper
0-1 Flamethrower
0-1 Anti-tank team
0-1 Mortar (light or medium)
0-1 Light anti-tank gun, light anti-aircraft gun or light howitzer

Richard Winters

Scenario 4
Cost: 195 pts (Veteran)

Team: 1 Officer and up to 2 other men

Weapons: Submachine gun, pistol or rifle/carbine

Options: Winters may be accompanied by up to two men at a cost of +13 points per man

Special Rules:

  • Tactical brilliance: Winter’s Morale bonus is +4 and the range of his ability is 12”
  • We’re paratroopers – we are supposed to be surrounded: all US veteran infantry and artillery within range of Winter’s morale bonus also gain the stubborn special rule – if forced to check morale when reduced to half strength, then they always test on their full morale value, ignoring any pin markers.


Combat Jump rules

Units that choose to, or have to deploy through Combat Jump are left in Reserve (even in scenarios that do not allow this). When they become available, instead of entering the table from the player’s table edge, they use the combat jump procedure below.

1. The landing and roll distance, the player controlling the unit performing the combat drop places a die to indicate where the unit is attempting to land. The player then rolls a scatter die and a D6. If the scatter die determines that the die must be moved (an arrow result), the die is moved the number of inches determined by the D6. If a perfect landing is made, re-roll the scatter dice until an arrow result appears. This will determine the direction the ‘stick’ will land.

2. When the final position of the marker has been established, place the first model of the unit in base contact with the die. Then place all other models in the unit in a ‘stick’ of models 1” apart and in a straight line behind the initial model. Any models landing in impassable terrain or off the playing area, are removed as casualties.

3. Once all the models have been placed, the unit immediately suffers one pin marker. The unit’s Order die is turned to rally and the unit’s turn is over (without actually executing a Rally order – this simply represents the airborne troops spending time regrouping). Enemy units in ambush can now fire against the unit as normal, if they wish to. In addition, all enemy units that are not in Ambush and have flak weapons can fire their weapons for free against the unit (just as if they were in Ambush) – this does not require an Order, but can be done only once per turn.

4. From the next turn the airborne unit can fight as normal.

German Reinforced platoon Selector

Starting Forces:
1 Lieutenant (First or Second)
1 Heer Grenadier Infantry squad (Regular)
1 Machine gun (in the Guard Tower)
3 88mm Flak 36 Dual Purpose AA/AT Guns (placed at predetermined locations)

0-1 Captain or Major
0-1 Medic
0-1 Forward Observer (either Artillery or Air)
0-3 Infantry squads
0-2 Machine gun
0-1 Sniper
0-1 Mortar (light or medium)
0-1 Armoured Car or Reece vehicle SdKfz 222, SdKfz 234/1, SdKfz 234/2 Puma, SdKfz 234/3, SdKfz 250/9, SdKfz 250/10 or SdKfz 250/11

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