Saturday, April 8, 2017

OPERATION MERCURY: NAVAL GAZING

     I just got through Turn 3 of Operation Mercury, my first night turn. Not hugely eventful. The Germans continue to consolidate their forces and attack wherever the odds are good. They are especially eager to get an airfield, Maleme in particular. The sooner they can start flying in reinforcements (and supply), the better.
     The Allies get a bonus for attacking at night -- and they did with not so good results. They might want to go strictly defensive from now on. Those German paratroopers with their 8 Efficiency ratings are nasty tough.
     The losses for the turn: Germans -1 step; Allies -2. Most combat resulted in Fatigue for one or both sides.

The Heraklion Sector. The Germans are strong on both flanks. The airfield is to the right. Tough sledding here, though.
Naval Operations map, night of day one. A British task force bombards German positions near Maleme airfield. The rest of the navy awaits the German convoys. All units are undetected at this point.
Left-center of pic: The Germans take the city of Reitmo (6 VPs). Otherwise known as Low-Hanging Fruit. Australian troops have cordoned off the airfield.
Only some freak die rolls have saved Maleme airfield from capture. This is where the Germans are strongest. They have split the Allied defense in two.
My attempt at an overview. From left to right: Maleme, Reitmo, Heraklion. Wasn't Maleme a song by Rod Stewart?
German aircraft on search missions at first light of Turn 4. They can search 5 sea zones, but extra aircraft assist in three of them. 
All British task forces are detected, but one. Send in the Stukas!
INCOMING! Stukas dive from the clouds onto the Gloucester, a light cruiser.
The CL is damaged!
For the Allies, surface detection fails to find any Germans. An air search reveals one of the convoys. Gulp! Almost made it through! Incidentally, one of those markers is a decoy.
The ensuing surface action is not pretty. The convoy carries 11 steps of ground units. 5 are lost. The units in the top row are okay, those on the bottom are now indeed on the bottom -- as in Davy Jones' Locker. Yeah, THAT bottom! And that's with the Brits rolling poorly, too. And now that it has been detected, the convoy will have to endure another turn of this. Maybe it can hit the beaches with some supplies still intact. But I think its days (hours) are numbered.
On the bright side for the Germans, a DD is damaged in the battle. Two-of-three ships in TF B are now damaged. Back to Alexandria for repairs. Blood in the water for the Luftwaffe!

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