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Wednesday, March 09, 2005


Saturday (I know I’m a little late with this – been ill and very busy!) Bob, Louis, and I ran a little Invasion of Crete action.

Rules were Flames of War utilizing the special rules from the Diving Eagles manual, Death from Above scenario.

Initially, my opponent (Louis) set up his 3 platoons or so in an ’L’ shape on one corner of the board.

Then we made our first mistake; I rolled for wind direction – placed my landing points on the table – then Bob realized we had done that in reverse! See, you can choose where you want to drop your troops, you can even have some advance knowledge of the disposition of enemy troops – but you can’t know the wind direction until you are on the D.Z.

So, I re-rolled for wind direction – and the direction came up the same!

I placed my two platoons of glider assault troops – a glider assault platoon and my GebG76 mountain guns – on the table. I rolled for them to land and they did wonderfully. No crashes and all stayed on the table!

Next, I lay out the drop zones for my paras. The Fallschirmjagers kicked their equipment canisters out the door of the Junkers, followed by the troops leaping to death or glory.

Initially my Mortar platoon landed partially off the table – so I removed the entire team and brought them back on as reserves.

Total casualties for the drop were three stands of infantry. Not bad at all!

Next, the pre-first turn action begins!

The gliders slide to a stop, the squad machine gunners open up on the unsuspecting troops nearby, and the glider assault platoon leaps out and into battle, just inches from the enemy.

Unfortunately, with only 2 teams per glider, the command team and two assault sections (1 squad) made it into contact with the enemy – the rest of the platoon was too far away.

With just the command team and two assault sections entering into assault against basically two platoons (1 infantry, 1 HMG), things didn’t look good – but the choices were, stay in place and receive full fire on the enemy’s’ turn or assault and try.

Try they did, but they were nearly wiped out and fell back.

Then turn one began.
The battle appeared to go downhill for my part, from the start. Though pinned and with limited fire, Louis Brits were able to focus their fire effectively and nearly wipe out the 450 point Glider Assault Platoon in just one turn. That’s nearly 1/4th of my entire force! OUCH!

Lady Luck intervened, as Louis had abominable to hit die, failed to roll for his reserves, and I made all my saves.

On my portion of turn 1, I rolled for reserves – and failed. I rolled for Air support, needing only a 3+ on a six-sided die – and failed. My HMG crew made it to their equipment canister

My Mountain guns unlimbered and set up, the rest of my troops began the sprint to their equipment canisters, and the Glider Assault platoon “unpinned” and passed their morale. Nice!

Turn two – Louis rolled for reserves – and failed. He fired at the remnants of the Glider assault platoon and finished them off. He fired on the Light Artillery platoon (Mountain guns) and hit them a few times – I made my saving throws.

On my half of turn two, the HMG crew, now with weapons began to sprint for an objective on the far side of the table from all of Louis’ forces. The infantry platoon on that side of the table went into the woods near the table’s edge, opposite the side near the objective, to provide cover for the Mortar Platoon – which I successfully rolled onto the table using the ‘reserves’ rule. I rolled for air before any of this occurred and failed. Again.

Louis kicked off turn three by bringing on the first of his reserves. Using the “scattered reserves” rule, he rolled to see where they would come on – unfortunately for him, his limbered 105 battery came onto the table directly in front of my set up and prepared HMGs. He lost the entire battery. For revenge, he began firing and advancing on Second Platoon, who was moving to take the objective on his side of the board. Casualties were light, but even light casualties hurt at this stage. He fired and advanced on the light arty again – and I made all my saves, again.

I rolled for Air – and failed – again. My light gun crew (7.6cm recoilless rifle platoon) made it to their canister and began to set up. The mortar team began the long trek to their equipment canister, while first platoon covered them.

Louis kicked off turn four by rolling more reserves on. He brought on the Bren gun carriers, fired them into the light gun platoon and wiped it out. His heavily hurting infantry platoon again fired on the light arty and managed to kill the observers and one gun. The other gun and command saved. His other platoons, including the HMG platoon fired on my second platoon and chewed them up pretty bad. They were now below 50% and I had to roll for morale – they were happy and stayed in place.

I rolled for Air and… got it! I aimed my single aircraft at Louis’ Bren guns. I killed one. My anti-tank gun (a 2.8cm anti-tank rifle!) fired on the Brens and killed another. The light gun fired on his advancing infantry – and missed. My mortars continued to move towards elevation nearer to the combat, first platoon began to sprint towards the contested objective.

Louis started turn 5 by rolling on the last of his reserves – a Matilda platoon. He opened fire on my light arty, killed it off. His Bren carrier made it’s morale roll and headed towards my HMG platoon, firing on it and killing 2 stands – that’s 50% - they made their morale roll! Second platoon finally took enough losses that it had to retreat off the contested objective (I failed my morale roll!) and Louis moved troops closer to the objective.

I rolled for air – and got it again! I dropped one attack on his Matildas – killing one, and the other attack went against his last Bren – and killed it. My mortars set up on a hill, just in range of his infantry; 1st platoon continued to sprint towards the sound of the guns, and 2nd platoon recovered enough to stand fast still contesting the objective. My HMG platoon was still sitting pretty, with no enemy in range on the far objective. Thus ends the game.

The game ended at the beginning of turn six: victory conditions were met by the attacker (me) having control of one of the objectives.

Just for giggles and grins, Bob had me roll for air one last time – remember, I only needed a 3 or better to get air support – and I failed again. Two successful rolls out of 6 is not good odds!

Louis and I both made some “silly beginner” mistakes and I hope we both learned a lot. I am grateful for Bobs’ patience and assistance in making this game happen.

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