Sunday, October 30, 2011

Operation Mercury - Part 6

24 May
The Allies are starting to run short on supplies.  The Germans are faced with low supply in the Retimo and Heraklion sectors and are buoyed by the Luftwaffe’s continued interdiction to slow the Allies down.

The main Luftwaffe force goes after the Royal Navy and in Almivos Bay and the DD Kipling is sunk.  Two German convoys are headed for Retimo and in the early morning one gets through unscathed while the other is shot up losing a lot of its heavy equipment.  The amphibious landing is successful and the Germans at Retimo now have significant reinforcements and the battle for the airfield continues.

At Heraklion the Germans succeed in air landing some reinforcements as well.  The subsequent fighting is not so successful, but things have tipped in their favour. 
At Suda the Allies continue a fighting withdrawal to avoid being outflanked.
In the afternoon, the Allies, short on supply and even low in some sectors (except Suda which has its own problems), with the Germans holding Maleme airfield, a strong grasp on the Heraklion airfield and fighting for the last airfield at Retimo, having suffered excessive losses (well over 70 steps) beginning thinking of evacuation.
The Luftwaffe launch a massive attack on the RN as it attempts to interfere with the German naval landing in Almivos Bay, but are driven off by heavy AA fire.  The RN sink the German convoys, but it is too late as the bulk of the German reinforcements were already ashore.
The Germans drop some more reinforcements into Heraklion and airland troops at Maleme.
The Allies start to withdraw.  During the night the Germans start to follow up, but the Allied retreat has now commenced.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Stalingrad - Crossfire

On Friday I introduced Richard to Crossfire using the Stalingrad scenario, something for which I had purpose built the terrain.  The picture is old, but shows the full setup, all made up out of cardboard, litter and lots of glue and paint.

Having taken a bit longer to set up than I expected, i think I need to better mark on the cloth where the buildings go.

The other problem was being in easily telling which squad belong to which platoon and company.  It also didn’t help that the subtle identifies I had used read company/platoon left to right, rather than platoon/company which was how I had it in the OB; so a little refinement is perhaps called for.
The hidden movement works well and makes this a great game.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Operation Mercury - Part 5

23 May
The Germans are now short on supply in the Retimo and Heraklion sectors, but the Luftwaffe do their best to pin down the allies in these areas. The Luftwaffe’s main focus is the Royal Navy, but they were unlucky in attacking a RN task force in Almivos Bay.  However a German convoy was able to elude the RN and land troops in Candida Bay near the contested airfield.  These fresh troops drive the allies from the remaining parts of the airfield. (It is at this stage that I realise I have been conducting attacks with more than six stacking points, but I’m not sure it would have made a big difference and so decide to continue).
The Germans are closing in for a kill at Retimo, while at Suda they decide to work around the allies left flank, but it is slow going.
In the afternoon the Luftwaffe return and this time in Candida Bay the Stukas brave a lot of AA and sink the Calcutta and damage the Coventry and Jarvis. There is then a surface battle in which all the Italian forces are sunk, but with another RN ship going down, the Jaguar.
The Germans fight desperately to clear the area around the Heraklion airfield.  At Retimo their attacks go nowhere and the Australian counter attack is as equally ineffective as is a British attack at Heraklion.  The war of attrition at Suda goes in favour of the Germans.
German night attacks fail to make any progress and are driven off with heavy losses at both Retimo and Heraklion.   But at Suda the Germans are able to swing round the allied left.
An uncoordinated attack by the newly arrive Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders suffers heavy losses at Heraklion, but at Retimo the Australians break through and reunite with the troops holding the airfield.  The allies start to withdraw from Suda.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Leipzig Table B Scenario - Napoleon's Battles

The plan is to play these in the sequence B, A, D and C.

The first scenario, the attack on Lindenau, had already been played by Richard and the Austrians were able to shoot their way in fairly easily, so this time we decided that a double hit is required on a fortification. For our game on 9 September 2011, Richard took the French side.  All the figures are from his collection apart from some dashing Prussian Hussars dressed in black that were mine.

It took the Austrians until 11:00 to be in a position to attack and this can be seen in the two pictures, the first of the position in front of Lindenau and the second before Connewitz and Dolitz.

The Austrians attacked, seizing the two built up areas of Lindenau engulfing the Confederation of the Rhine brigade which was entrenched in between.

At Connewitz the Austrians succeeded in wresting control of the town from the French. Further to the south, although they had some success, the Poles proved to be of tougher stuff and drove off the Austrian cavalry that had so cautiously advanced through the heavy wood, going much slower than they needed.

French reinforcements arrived and threw the Austrians out of the northern part of Lindenau. The Rhineland troops held on as the Austrians continued to bombard away, slowly whittling them down.

These two pictures are from 13:00 after the French counterattack at Lindenau, but before reinforcements arrived at Connewitz.

Wurtembergers and then Italians were sent to recover Connewitz, but shied from the task.

The Old Guard appeared and retook the town, bundling the remaining Austrians back across the river with ease.

The Austrians pulled back at Dolitz, but at Lindenau weight of numbers took its toll and the French were pushed back to a final line of entrenchments covering the bridge over the Elster River.

The last pictures are from 16:30 and the end of the scenario.

This scenario really puts pressure on terrain (as you can see we had a few gaps in our river) and raised a few issues.

When is a brigade in a town compared to being deployed in a town? Is it in a town after occupying the position of any enemy it has dislodged?

Where is it placed? And if it takes up more space, is that right?

Do roads create a clear space in terrain so, for example, a battery can be unlimbered? Do roads negate terrain for movement? Or only if in march column perhaps?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Operation Mercury - Part 4

22 May

The Germans find themselves short of supply and unable to reinforce Heraklion as they only hold half the airfield.  They successfully interdict in the Maleme and Hearklion sectors and the Luftwaffe goes after the Royal Navy in Candia Bay sinking the Naiad. An uncoordinated attack on Hearklion airfield is easily beaten off by the Allies and there is a bloody stalemate at Retimo as the Germans get desperate.  A war of attrition is also occurring on the way to Suda bay. 
In the afternoon the Luftwaffe keeps up its attacks, sinking the Kandahar in a massed attack in Almivos Bay.

The German convoys set sail. 
There is further desperate fighting at Heraklion, but the Allies hold out.  Things are different at Retimo as the Allies find themselves surrounded and starting to run out of troops to defend the airfield.  An attempt by the Australians to breakthrough during the night is defeated.

Meanwhile on the approaches to Suda the German attacks are not well coordinated, but the recently arrived Mountain Division troops are starting to work around the allied southern flank.
The Royal Navy pounds the Germans around Retimo and Heraklion