Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Heraklion -- sides switch, results don't

So a few days after the first game the same opponent and I sat down for a refight of the Herkalion scenario from the Axis & Allies Expanded rules book. The last battle saw a handy British victory, despite the fact we made a set up error that favored the Germans.

Given that history I viewed my chances with some skepticism and events proved it to be warranted.

The error we made before involved overlooking the requirement that no German units be set up adjacent to each other. This was a heavy burden, as it essentially forced the Germans into a broad front attack. I thought I'd try to make lemonade from that lemon by planning on an enveloping attack on the village while the Veteran Fallschirmjaeger took advantage of his special ability to move while disrupted to head for the board edge victory hexes, which I though was the most promising route to victory.

That plan didn't survive the British setup however, as BOTH British heavy firepower units -- the Vickers and the Bofors, set up in the woods south of the pond to cover the entire open southern approach route. While this risked a quick elimination, it also seemed to make a rush across the open ground suicidal so long as they survived. The British set up the Bren gunner, the Aussie soldier and an SMLE rifleman on the ridge north of the village. Inside the village were the rest of the SMLE and the three Greeks.

I set up the light mortar in the small patch of woods in the north, the expert sniper int he bluffs and the MG-34 in the southern woods. The other troops set up on open ground ready to dash to cover -- two regular FJ and the hero in the north and the other FJ and the veteran FJ in the south.

Unfortunately for the Germans the British won the first few initiative rolls, which meant the Bren gunner was very useful suppressing the mortar until it could be killed. The sniper and the MG 34 took out the Bofors and Vickers, but it took until the end of Turn 2, which meant that there wasn't enough time for any Germans to reach to board edge victory area. Forced by lack of time to attack the town the German paratroopers made a valiant effort, but there were too many British targets and they found a lot of cover as well. Meanwhile the Germans continued to drop and by Turn 6 all that remained was one FJ, the sniper and the MG 34 team and no mathematical chance of controlling the village.

Overall this appears to be a tough scenario for the Germans. The point differential is misleading, because the Germans don't get to use their paratrooper SA. I'd add a couple more FJ to the OB or perhaps another MG team. Another possibility would be to give the Germans am Early War Stuka in support. This would be in keeping with the theme.

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