Friday, January 3, 2014

Disaster at Malme 20.5.41

'ere now, it's a 'einkil.  Messerschmitt!  'einkill!  Messerschmitt!  Ne'er mind, get 'em!

It was in fact, three flights of Ju-88s coming in to bomb the British (New Zealand) defenders around the airfield at Malme.  However, the Bofors were fully manned and ready, and in our Flames of War game, shot down/dispersed/drove off all the attacking bombers.


Wreckage littered airfield

Hill 107, overlooking the airfield
Approximately three companies of infantry, with two platoons of Vickers machine guns, two platoons of 3" mortars and two platoons of Bofor anti-aircraft guns awaited the German onslaught.  On the airfield were two objectives which the Germans needed to capture by turn 8 for a complete victory.  Given that the Allies were historically waiting for the assault due to Ultra intercepts, we dispensed with the usual para drop rules and allowed the defenders on Hill 107, the airfield, and the town of Chania to be fully capable.

As the skies filled with Ju-52s and gliders (literally) the carnage was horrible.  Eschewing an open and undefended area some distance from their objective, the Germans gallantly (foolishly?) landed in the heart of the Allied defense perimeter.  Some of their weapons canisters were even more aggressive, falling within the Commonwealth lines.

Alas for our game, some particularly hot shooting dice, coupled with God-awful saving throws by the Germans, meant that the game lasted one turn.  All three companies that dropped or landed were shredded or eliminated, and the Gebirgsjagers in the next wave were decidedly unenthusiastic.  It is rare that I've seen such a dramatic display of good and bad dice rolling.

1/144 Ju-52s and 15mm Gliders
So we reset the game and used the traditional 1st edition rules for drops.  The Falschirmjager para pioneers with their flamethrowers were lethal but limited in use.  In the end, although they did much better, there was no chance for victory here either.  And since we didn't inexplicably evacuate the high ground and airfield, the Allies held on.  Mentioned in dispatches are my Bofors platoon, that though driven off the field when down to their last stand, were absolute killing machines in both games.  Defying the odds to hit and survive themselves, till finally failing a motivation test.

Happily things were taken in stride.  Camaraderie and good food were enjoyed as well as a totally righteous win by my football team in a bowl game.  Next up, a trip to Spain using Empire.


1 comment:

  1. Ouch! Your group obviously loves Ju 52s and gliders. I've never seen so many on a tabletop. Looking forward to the Iberian Empire game. I assume that you're thinking of warmer climes what with the temperatures over there! Maybe a Heroes of Telemark scenario would warm things up. (I'm biased - a lot of it was filmed where I live). A bit of reverse psycology.

    Stay warm and best wishes