At the end of my recent Operation Cygnet Campaign, Jon Freitag made a passing comment about wargaming Operation Mercury. I thought nothing of it but looking for something to read that evening, I picked out an Osprey campaign book on this that I'd bought at Colours many years ago. (My on going back problems mean that reading in bed is not as easy as before, so this sort of book is ideal).
Having flicked through it over several nights, ideas began to formulate as how best I might game this, given that it's something I've pondered in the past. Whilst the Osprey book is good, I felt I needed more information if I were to actually to give this a go. So after some searching on Google, I ordered Beevor's book.
|I picked this up for the princely sum of £2.46, inc p&p!|
The book was everything I hoped it would be and I very quickly read it through in a matter of days. Having finished it I remembered the following books in my library that had sections Crete. I haven't read them through in detail, but glancing at them they should provide another useful view of the campaign.
|Not one of his better books to be honest, but still a good read.|
|The same could be said for this!|
So with some reading done, my thoughts turned as to how best approach this as a campaign. Naturally there are plenty of options, from a purely historical re-fight through to a 'what if?' approach. Both have their merits and currently I'm toying with a mix of both. A few thoughts I've had so far:
- Do I try and play out the whole campaign, or just one of the major actions, with the other actions sorted out off board? The whole campaign is pretty unrealistic to be honest and would be best done via a boardgame. This naturally gives the option to zoom in on various actions that would transfer nicely to the tabletop.
- How best to replicate the actions of the Allies? The Allied C&C was pretty shocking from start to finish. Beevor's book is very useful in that it gives the Ultra decrypts upon which a lot of the decisions were based upon, especially the pre-occupation with a major seaborne landing. In BKCII terms, giving the Allies a CV 7 or possibly lower, would help replicate on field C&C, but at a higher levels some thought needs to be given to movement of reserves etc.
- How best to replicate the actions of the Germans? Again, some interesting decisions to be made here, with options for a concentrated Maleme drop as opposed to the dispersed one ordered by Goering, plus the issue of actually flying in the units over several days.
- The naval aspect was one that was well covered by Beevor and naturally favours off table resolution. I was surpised at how many ships the British lost later on in the campaign to pure air attack, which could be factored in to the attempt by the Germans to bring in their heavier materiel and re-inforcements by sea. Something to ponder on for sure.
I'm very much in the exploratory phase at present, but the recent reading has given me much to think upon. I know for sure that I would need to paint up more of my Fallschirmjager for this campaign, but luckily they are based and primed, so not too much of an issue if I got my butt into gear! I have plenty of other stuff in the pipeline already, but this is something I would hope to be able to play out in some shape or form come the Autumn and Winter when the majority of my gaming takes place.
So as my little grey cells whirr away, stay safe and keep healthy!