Saturday, April 1, 2017

VERY 'EAVY, NOT SO 'UMBLE

     Here's one that I don't think too many people have seen live: Operation Mercury, from 1994, a simulation of Germany's airborne assault of the British-held island of Crete in 1941. I released it from its time capsule today, and, after twenty+ years, I finally punched the counters and set it up.
    At six-feet long, it's a whale of a map! A lot of empty space, though. Many units clustered in small spaces, this one might prove difficult to play. Little hexes with a lot going on inside them spells trouble.
     The rules are anything but simple. There are two different types of ground combat, maneuver and assault. Assault combat is a kind of close assault, while Maneuver is more of your standard odds-based combat. Further complicating matters are several different types of air and artillery missions, plus some pretty convoluted naval rules which include ship-to-ship combat, bombardment, supply and troop transport and amphibious landings. Also, of course, paradrops and air landings.
     I'm probably forgetting some stuff, but one thing is certain. The complexity is far above the back-of-the-box claim of "Medium;" and while the solitaire suitability is listed as "Very High," it does have some hidden movement in the naval rules, so the "Very" might be overstating the case just a tad.
      But I'm excited to get started on this one!
1.5 km per hex, 8 hours per turn, Company level. Nearly 6' of gaming Nirvana.

Looking from Heraklion towards Maleme.
The main action, just before the Germans roll for Drift.
Heraklion and inset strategic naval map. I'd like to eventually land some troops on the little stretch of beach there to the left. Gotta fight my way through the Royal Navy first!
Closeup of the Maleme Airfield area, one of the German's main objectives.

2 comments:

  1. My friend and I plan to do this in miniature in 2018. Interesting battle.

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  2. Crete should be perfect for a small unit minis game. Looking forward to seeing the layout for that one!

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