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Subject: Crete AAR 12-11-10 #1 rss

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This was the first game in my decade of S&T marathon. Crete is a do-it-yourself game, so I built my own set. My 6-year-old daughter drew the box cover. Notice how the British soldiers think of their children while the evil Germans only have the conquest of Crete on their minds...

Dan and I spent a few hours learning the rules so we could get right into playing.

Dan chose the British. We had a false start as we had not yet determined in multiple hexes could fight in the same combat (we determined they could.)

So, here is the British set-up and the disposition of German forces on turn #1. I opted for 6 drops near Maleme and 5 near Retimo, holding 2 back in reserve.

Those held-back battalions are great because they paralyze the British since he doesn't know where they'll strike. The German drop sites were all risky ones in the open where drift could blow battalions onto light British detachments. One of them, near Retimo, ended in the demise of a battalion at the cost of a small Greek unit, but this worked out as it gave the Germans more room to manuever.

I landed those two battalions the next turn East of Retimo, but they scattered leaving them vulnerable. Meanwhile, the pitched battle for Maleme airfield was on.

By Turn 3, the Germans had suffered some exchange results, but the British lost a bunch of battalions in a pitched battle, which temporarily left the airfield open. The paratroopers also managed to clear up the Retimo airfield allowing mountain troops to disembark in force.

On Turn 4, the British tried a last ditch effort to destroy the German forces near Maleme and suffered an exchange.

Unfortunately, that left the Maleme airfield open for a brigade of mountain troops to be offloaded. That pretty much spelled the end of the British forces on West Crete. Meanwhile, the German juggernaut near Retimo began its inexorable drive to the east.

By the end of the game, the British were only in control of Heraklion. The score was 135 (115 in unit points, 20 in objectives) to 85 (80 in unit points, 5 for Heraklion.) This was a bloodier battle than historically, and the Germans lost 8 battalions of paratroopers, bringing the decisive victory down to a marginal one.

Lesson learned--don't attack as the British unless you absolutely have to.
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