Exciting start of the autumn-winter season at our club: a Crete skirmish campaign. We played last Sunday the first scenario "Cementery Hill" and I will post today a battle report. I played on the Greek and Commonwealth side and therefore my comments are from this side of the hill.
Some reference information first: we play with "Troops, Weapons and Tactics" (TWT), one of the Lardies' sets that we have extensively used and trained since mid-2009. The campaign is based on the excellent Skirmish Campaigns series booklet "Crete-Stalemate in the East". As backgound reading (for those interested) I recommend Anthony's Beevor "Crete: The Battle and the Resistance".
Map features and Allied forces
As mentioned, I played the Greeks, made up of a sort of a motley crew of understaffed rifle sections together with the security troops attached to the Greek 6th Regiment HQ (camped in the Cementery), reinforced by a Bren gun team and a New-Zealander squad (4 rifles + Bren gun) that coincidentally camped across the valley in the southern-most area of the table. The Greek troops were "green" level, lacked powerful Big Men (mostly Level 1) and have no grenades.
The photo below is a view from th south edge of the table used for the game (6" x 4").
The Allied troops deployed first, hidden to the German player.
The New Zealand squad was deployed in foxholes in the large scrub area that can be seen in the photo above. Unknown to the Germans, they were not allowed to move beyond the line depicted by the dry river bed. Their mission was therefore to cause as many casualties as possible during the Geman paratroopers' landing phase and to try maintaining engaged as many troops as possible in the drop-zone area for as long as possible, weakening their attack on the north area.
As for the Greek forces (see photo below), a rifle section and the Bren team deployed along the cementery walls, another rifle section (8 men) in the light wood inmediately to the left and a third rifle section in the light wood to the left of the latter, along the secondary road.
The mission of the Greek forces was to maintain the cementery area under control.
Germans opened the game, its first wave of troops dropping...
..along with the supplies containers (white box in the photo below) at the bottom of the valley.
The German player initial landing was extremely accurate, fairly concentrated around the main road crossing the valley and almost with no casualties. The worst jump was undertaken by the platoon's HQ section, landing just in front of the New Zealanders' position in the southern scrub area.
Caught in the open and overwhelmed by the "kiwis" firepower, this German unit almost desintegrated in a couple of turns, surviving just the Big Man and the section's snipper. Miraculously both were able to disengage and moved towards the main group of German troops.
After the landing of the second wave of German fallschirmajager (also unopposed and with light casualties), the Germans spent several turns in the area gathering the content of the containers scattered around, creating the first serious trouble to the New Zeland squad when a support mortar (a light 60mm) crew found the ammo container and put some supressive fire on them.