Panzer Grenadier Battles on February 23rd:
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The Merderet Crossing
Airborne - Remastered #1
(Attacker) Germany vs United States (Defender)
Formations Involved
Germany 1058th Grenadier Regiment
Germany 91st Air Landing Division
United States 82nd "All American" Airborne Division

Overall balance chart for AirR001
Side 1 1
Draw 0
Side 2 1
Overall Rating, 2 votes
Scenario Rank: --- of 609
Parent Game Airborne - Remastered
Historicity Historical
Date 1944-06-06
Start Time 03:00
Turn Count 30
Visibility Day
Counters 95
Net Morale 0
Net Initiative 1
Maps 1: 13
Layout Dimensions 43 x 28 cm
17 x 11 in
Play Bounty 158
AAR Bounty 163
Total Plays 2
Total AARs 1
Battle Types
Bridge Control
Kill Them All
River Crossing
Urban Assault
Scenario Requirements & Playability
Airborne - Remastered book
Battle of the Bulge counters
Edelweiss: Expanded counters
Elsenborn Ridge counters
Fall of France counters

The 82nd Airborne Division's D-Day objectives included securing the Merderet River crossing at La Fiere. Holding the crossing meant keeping the Germans west of the river, denying easy access to the beachhead and holding the way open to cut the base of the Cotentin Peninsula. The division's three parachute regiments dropped on both sides of the river in the early hours of 6 June. Scattered by a poor drop, the troopers only slowly gathered in small groups. The race was between the small bands of paratroopers slowly finding each other and the Germans stirring as they realized that the long-awaited invasion might actually be on.


The struggle for the river crossing continued all day as gathering paratroopers were pitted against German reinforcements. By the end of the day the Americans tenuously held onto the bridge, but the surrounding hedgerows still harbored Germans.

Additional Notes

Map is available in Airborne, Airborne-IE, Airborne remastered (print edition) or the Woods & Hill accessory. Board 13 is also known as board 0201.

This scenario appears in Airborne/Airborne-IE and is playable with those components.

Display Relevant AFV Rules

AFV Rules Pertaining to this Scenario's Order of Battle
  • Vulnerable to results on the Assault Combat Chart (7.25, 7.63, ACC), and may be attacked by Anti-Tank fire (11.2, DFT). Anti-Tank fire only affects the individual unit fired upon (7.62, 11.0).
  • AFV's are activated by tank leaders (3.2, 3.3, 5.42, 6.8). They may also be activated as part of an initial activating stack, but if activated in this way would need a tank leader in order to carry out combat movement.
  • AFV's do not block Direct Fire (10.1).
  • Full-strength AFV's with "armor efficiency" may make two anti-tank (AT) fire attacks per turn (either in their action segment or during opportunity fire) if they have AT fire values of 0 or more (11.2).
  • Each unit with an AT fire value of 2 or more may fire at targets at a distance of between 100% and 150% of its printed AT range. It does so at half its AT fire value. (11.3)
  • Efficient and non-efficient AFV's may conduct two opportunity fires per turn if using direct fire (7.44, 7.64). Units with both Direct and AT Fire values may use either type of fire in the same turn as their opportunity fire, but not both (7.22, 13.0). Units which can take opportunity fire twice per turn do not have to target the same unit both times (13.0).
  • Demoralized AFV's are not required to flee from units that do not have AT fire values (14.3).
  • Place a Wreck marker when an AFV is eliminated in a bridge or town hex (16.3).
  • AFV's do not benefit from Entrenchments (16.42).
  • AFV's may Dig In (16.2).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Immune to M, M1 and M2 results on Direct and Bombardment Fire Tables. Do not take step losses from Direct or Bombardment Fire. If X or #X result on Fire Table, make M morale check instead (7.25, 7.41, 7.61, BT, DFT).
  • Closed-top AFV's: Provide the +1 modifier on the Assault Table when combined with infantry. (Modifier only applies to Germans in all scenarios; Soviet Guards in scenarios taking place after 1942; Polish, US and Commonwealth in scenarios taking place after 1943.) (ACC)
  • Tank: all are closed-top and provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable
  • Assault Gun: if closed-top, provide the +1 Assault bonus, when applicable

Display Order of Battle

Germany Order of Battle
  • Mechanized
  • Misc
  • Motorized
United States Order of Battle
  • Motorized

Display Errata (7)

7 Errata Items
Scen 1

When using Airborne or Airborne-IE, replace the LT COL in hex 0709 with the para BR GEN.

(plloyd1010 on 2012 Feb 02)
Overall balance chart for 20

The reduced direct fire value of the Heer HMG became 5-5 starting with Fall of France.

(plloyd1010 on 2015 Jul 31)
Overall balance chart for 63

The morale and combat modifiers of German Sergeant #1614 should be "0", not "8".

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 527

Strongpoints are single step units and can be eliminated with X results like any other single step unit.

(Shad on 2010 Dec 15)
Overall balance chart for 527

The standard mix of strongpoints may be downloaded from Avalanche Press:

This is the standard mix found in Airborne, Airborne-IE, and Edelweiss Expanded. The strongpoint mix in Cassino '44 is different from that of other PG games.

(plloyd1010 on 2012 Feb 01)
Overall balance chart for 527 Strongpoints are affected by the terrain in their hex just like any other unit. Even though they can't move, they can attack using Assault Combat if an enemy unit moves into their hex. They may not dig in or benefit from entrenchments.
(rerathbun on 2014 Apr 21)
Overall balance chart for 54

The movement allowance on the counters in Airborne is misprinted. It should be "3."

(rerathbun on 2012 Jan 30)

Display AARs (1)

By the Skin of Their Teeth
Author rerathbun
Method Solo
Victor United States
Play Date 2012-11-18
Language English
Scenario AirR001

At Heat of Battle in New Orleans, I had the privilege of meeting a paratrooper from the 82nd Airborne who fought in this battle. He dropped on D-Day and his unit was detailed to hold the La Fiere bridge over the Merderet river west of Ste. Mere Eglise. They were supposed to be there one day, but had to hold out for four. The Germans attacked with three S-35 tanks and supporting infantry. The paratroopers fought them off with rifles, bazookas and a 57mm Anti-Tank gun. When they knocked out the three tanks, the Germans retreated.

The Merderet Crossing is an updated version of the scenario by the same name in the two previous versions of Airborne. The main difference is the reduced number of turns in the Remastered version of scenario -- 30 turns instead of 55. This greatly improves the balance of the scenario, since it gives the Germans less time to grind the Americans down.

I did play this scenario with two house rules. (1) The Germans entering the south side of the board had to enter west of hex 0109. (2) Due to flooding, the River was crossable only at the two bridges. I felt that without these two rules, the best the Americans can possibly hope for is a draw, since the Germans can hold back a unit and sneak it in on the east side of the river on the last turn.

Both sides spent the first couple of hours collecting and organizing their scattered forces. The paratroopers won the race. They drove a German platoon out of the village west of the road bridge and dug-in in the objective hexes before the Germans could counterattack. They were helped by the fact that the two strong points closest to the objectives were empty. (I placed the strongpoints randomly.)

The race to occupy the objectives was followed by a short lull in the action as the Germans organized their reinforcements and a few more paratroopers trickled in to the American positions.

Once the Germans got organized, they moved in to assault the American positions with armor and infantry. The Americans had morale and position, the Germans had combined-arms firepower. The assaults went back and forth, with both sides taking heavy casualties. The last hour-and-a-half consisted of increasingly desperate assaults, and luck was definitely with the paratroopers. The Americans barely held onto their positions for the win. I really think the Germans ended up just one turn short of pulling out a draw.

I enjoyed the scenario. There is a lot of die-rolling in the beginning, but I liked the tension as both sides tried to get organized. The scenario length seems about right. The Germans did have enough time to get all of their reinforcements on and into the battle (in my play only one mortar platoon didn't make it into the fight, and it was on the board.) Would have rated the scenario a '4', but it seemed to me to be heavily weighted toward a draw. Only luck at the end gave the Americans the victory, and it seemed the Germans would have an equally tough time getting the win.

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