Game Description

Storm Over Arnhem was the first in Avalon Hill's Impulse series games. It was designed by Courtney Allen who also designed the innovative Up Front system and was published in 1981. The design was so successful for AH that the same system was used in the follow-on games of Thunder at Cassino, Turning Point: Stalingrad and Breakout: Normandy. Peter Perla used a variation of the game system for Spearhead's The Bloodiest Day (Antietam).

Storm Over Arnhem is an area movement game of the British Red Devil paratroopers and attached units trying desperately to hold the bridgehead at Arnhem for 4 days from the larger German assaulting force. It is 8 turns long and features Allen's innovative impulse system where the players alternate impulses during which they can either fire or move groups of units located together. When both players pass sequentially (choose not to move or fire any units), the turn ends.

The mapboard is graphically striking, consisting of 30 full-colour areas surrounded by five zones (A-E) representing the outlying regions around the town. The units are mostly platoons in size and each turn is 12 hours.

Victory points are gained only by the German player for holding the 6 core VP areas and for capture of some initial British-held areas before the conclusion of Turn 3 (to preclude an abandonment of all but the core VP areas by the British player!) Overall, the British player is the strategic defender, the German player the attacker. The number of VPs garnered by the German after 8 turns indicates the winner and margin of victory.

Details of this PBEM Game

British: Eric Pass
Germans: Cliff Bekar

This is Cliff's first SoA game. I have played two incomplete PBEM games, neither getting past the second turn. In my first two aborted games, I found the Series Replay of a SoA game in Generals V19#1 & V19#2 very helpful. Cliff has read these as well!

We are using the Danish Dieroller ( to generate the die rolls for the game.

Events so far

British Setup
The initial setup for both sides is quite constrained. Coloured dots are present on the British units and map areas to indicate where units may be placed. As well, all of the British VP areas must contain at least three units. One of the variable areas is #11 which extends into the German starting area. I started one of my two 6-X-1 AT Guns here to get a possible shot at any armour in adjacent areas. I also have a fairly heavy force in area 7, 2 platoons of A Co (6 units) and the A Co HQ.

German Setup
The German setup is constrained by the fact that no more than 5 SS units and 3 SS armour units may be placed in any single area. This ensures that the initial German force is quite dispersed. Of particular importance is the location of the 10 Rec HQ which can call in 3 different artillery strikes. Cliff placed this unit in area 10, a less aggressive placement as it is only adjacent to area 11. A more aggressive placement would have been in area 15 for example.

Turn 1
There were no random events this turn. Since the British player starts with the Tactical Advantage and the setups are done simultaneously, there is often a free-for-all in the first couple of impulses as the players blast away at revealed targets of opportunity. For example, there was a juicy 6-3-10 in Area 14 adjacent to my AT Gun in Area 11. So for my first impulse I blasted away at it at a 6:4 (Attack Value: Defense Value) but only got 1 Casualty Point (CP) forcing it to retreat to Area 25. Cliff then pounded away with his superior artillery for a few impulses with little effect. In impulse 16, the Bohlt 3rd Company (9x3-5-5) moved from Zone A to Area 8 to apply some pressure along the river followed by most of the other training company (6x3-5-5 + the 2nd Co HQ) moving from Zone B to Area 15 in impulse 18. Satisfied with his moves, Cliff passed and I quickly passed as well ending Turn 1 in 21 impulses.

Turn 2
The Random Events gods are kind to Cliff in Turn 2! A DR of 4 is rolled, modified to a 5 as I still hold the Tactical Advantage. Cliff maxes out the dr to get 3x3-5-5 HzrKG reinforcements placed committed in Zone E. I decide discretion is the better part of valour and pull all troops (1x2-8-4, 1x4-7-5,1xAT Gun) out of 11 to 6. The AT Gun only has a movement of 1 so it is easy for it to be pinned and unable to move. Cliff uses his artillery right off the bat and gets 2 1CP results which I cover by retreating single platoons back from the front line. In Impulse 10 Cliff scores a good result firing 9:9 (11:6 DR) from 15 to 16 and scoring 5CPs! I kill a 2-8-5 Co HQ and retreat 2x4-7-5 from 16 -> 17. A battle for control of 11 ensues. In Impulse 12 Cliff moves a 2-6-5 in from Zone A. I retreat it on a 1CP result from 6 in Impulse 13. Cliff moves another 2-6-5 in from Zone B on Impulse 14 and follows up with a big move of 3x3-5-5 moving from 8 -11 -16 to take advantage of my losses in Impulse 10. I fire back at them with 3x4-7-5 still in 16 and get 6CP eliminating 2 of them. Cliff continues to apply pressure building up an SS presence in areas 11 and 8. I push back but am unable to prevent Cliff's foothold. Our units exhausted, action shifts momentarily to areas 24 & 26. Cliff moves 3x3-5-5 1/1 into area 24 and 3x3-5-5 2/6 into Area 28. I KIA 1x3-5-5 in 24 and cause another to retreat but Cliff's objectives of moving adjacent to my units is being achieved. Flushed with success, Cliff tries a very aggresive move in Impulse 38 bringing 3x4-6-6 + 1x3-3-10 from 12 to 6! This shows the importance of area 11. If occupied, it denies the German player the ability to attack the British inner VP areas. Rather than fire at them, I move 3x4-7-5 in from area 4 to try and take them out in Close Combat. Cliff brings in two armoured cars (1x3-4-10, 1x3-3-10) to stiffen the area in Impulses 42 & 44. The turn winds down with fire exchanged in areas 24 & 6. The only notable result is a 7CP result for me on area 24 which KIAs 2x3-5-5 and forces a third to retreat to 26. This bodes well for me when Close Combat rolls around. Cliff passes on Impulse 62 and I agree, passing on Impulse 63.

In Close Combat, Cliff surprises me in Area 24, eliminating BOTH 4-7-5 C/7 in the area, even after I ask for a reroll! :( Demoralized, the British platoons don't even take any with them. Cliff will get 2VP here for the Perimeter Bonus removal by Turn 2. In Area 16, Cliff eliminates 2x4-7-5. I take the automatic kill on the 6-3-10 it's one of the most dangerous units on the board but miss on the screening attack. Area 6 is a wash as Cliff eliminates 1x4-7-5 and I take out the 3-3-10 9th Recon armoured car with a AT Gun shot.

So, after Turn 2, Cliff has garnered 4VP for Perimeter Bonus removals in Areas 11 & 24. Next turn, he may earn 1VP for removal of any other Perimeter Bonus markers then they are removed and he will have to earn VPs the hard way! ;)

Turn 3

I have a full six units in the Reformed Unit box so I receive a single 3-6-3 which I place in Area 5. The Random Event roll is a 7 minus 1 for Cliff holding the Tactical Advantage which results in no reinforcements for either side. Cliff hols the T.A so he starts with an all-out attack from area 8 to area 7. My units can not retreat here as enemy units occupy all adjacent areas, so all losses must be taken as casualties. He scores 7CP too and I eliminate 2x4-7-5 A/1 and 1x2-8-5 A Co HQ. That hurts. On Cliff's Impulse 3, he scores another 7CP with artillery on area 17. I eliminate 1x3-6-5 Fd Amb, 1x3-7-5 Tp.B and retreat 1x4-7-5 C/9 to area 5. The British forces are reeling! My AT Gun kills a 3-4-10 Armoured Car in area 6 in impulse 4; Cliff responds with a 1CP retreat of 1x4-7-5 to area 12 from area 11 forcing it to the outside because of the retreat priorities while I eliminate 1x4-6-6 LR/6 in area 6 in my impulse 6. The fighting is close and ferocious! Cliff finally gives up the TA on impulse 7 when his artillery fails to score a hit on area 17 again. It's a good call as the reroll causes 4CP and I eliminate 1x4-7-5 C/8 and retreat another 4-7-5 C/8 to area 5 which is becoming my recovery/reserve area. I hand the TA back on impulse 9 when Cliff gets yet another 7CPs. This time the good choice was mine as his reroll has no effect. Phew, dodged a bullet in area 11 there!. Things settle down a bit through the next few impulses. Cliff has a lot of NE so I Pass for my impulse. The TA changes hands a couple more times and in all cases the subsequent reroll has no effect. This is unusual as with-holding the TA from your opponent is generally a stronger strategy in the long run. I attempt to use my artillery on area 29 in impulse 26 but my access dr fails. In impulse 29, Cliff scores 4CP on area 6 eliminating 1x4-7-5 A/3 and retreating another 4-7-5 A/3 back to area 5. Cliff starts moving his forces up now into the holes created by his fire attacks; 3x4-6-6 AR/3 advance from 15 - 11 - 6 and my 2-8-4 2 Para HQ decides not to face them alone in close combat and retreats to area 5 as well. Impulse 35 sees another 3x4-6-6 LR/5 join the AR/3 platoon in area 6. More see-sawing and positioning occurs and action moves to the northern sector where Cliff tries to put pressure on areas 23 & 24. I try a couple of times with single 5-8-5 units in area 23 against committed units in area 24 (impulses 56, 58) with no luck. It's Cliff's turn to pass as I then make a couple of futile attempts to dislodge the 3x3-5-5 2/6 units Cliff moved in in impulse 59. I finally score big in impulse 64 as I burn the TA on a reroll and score 8CP eliminating all 3x3-5-5 2/6 in area 23. We pass consecutively on impulses 65 & 66. The fire/movement impulses are over and we move to close combat in areas 24, 16 and 6. In 24, the lone HQ is a lost cause and is automatically eliminated and doesn't take anything with it. In 16, Cliff screens his HQ and 4-5-8 PKzfw III but fails to kill anything, I eliminate 2 of the 3-5-5 2/5 screening force though. Lastly in Area 6, the AT gun kills the 3-4-10 AC Co and I bag 1x4-6-6 while Cliff eliminates the entire RASC platoon (3x3-6-5). However, no Perimeter Bonus or VP areas are solely German held so no VPs for Cliff this turn, the score holds at 4VP. The Perimeter Reduction bonus markers are now removed from areas 3,6,7 & 16 and Cliff will have to earn any further VPs by taking and holding the core VP areas.

Turn 4

Summary& Analysis

Turn 1
Turn 1 typically consists of the scattered German units trying to form up into larger assault groups for a Turn 2 attack on some of the initially British-held perimeter areas. If successfully held solely by German units at the end of Turn 2, they are worth a one-time award of 2VP each. (even if the British player successfully counterattacks in later turns). Cliff looks like he will be going after Areas 7 and 11.

Turn 2
Turn 2 is a Night turn with reduced movement point costs for entering enemy-occupied areas. This is a tailor-made chance for the German to close with the British troops in order to open a large offensive on Turn 3. Cliff does very well this turn, bagging 2VP for Area 11 (I had given this one up) but also surprisingly taking 2VP for Area 24 as well. I even used the TA to prevent this to no avail.

Turn 3
Turn 3 sees a large push on the eastern edge of the map as Cliff eliminates units in area 7, consolidates area 11 and battles for areas 6 and 16. A late thrust at area 23 is only parried when I score 8CP eliminating the 3x3-5-5 units assigned this task. No VP gain which is good so we move on to Turn 4.

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This file last updated 08/16/96.

This page is maintained by Eric Pass

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