Sunday 6 October 2013

A New Project (5)

How time flies. It was nearly a year ago that this project began, and it was supposed to be all over by Christmas; (that sounds familiar). The target of Christmas 2012 has become Christmas 2013. Maybe I should stop having targets.

Anyway, real progress has recently been made, and yesterday I was able to set up the table and attempt a solo run-through of the scenario, to check how things would look and play. The captions to the photos will tell the tale. The whole setup is based mainly on the attack on Ypenburg airfield on 10th May 1940. Those unfamiliar with the blog should also note that the rules in use are Blitzkrieg Commander.

So this is how the table looks, at 6' x 6'. The airfield is the main objective, with the airport buildings and the bridge in the background forming secondary objectives. Fallschirmjaeger have landed to the north and south-west of the airfield. The grass 'runways' are for effect only - I believe the airfields in question were mostly just large grass areas.

With their high CV, the German paras closed quickly on the airfield defences. Here units from the south western DZ overrun the airfield command post.

Their colleagues from the North also attacked the airfield defences aggressively.

Move 3 and the first wave of Ju-52s lumber over the eastern airfield boundary. Things had gone better for the Germans than in the real attack and AA fire was light.

The first wave has landed largely intact. Having completed 4 moves of what is supposed to be a 12 move game, I had seen enough to be going on with. The full scenario involves Polish reinforcements competing with the build-up of German airlanding units for possession of the airfield and secondary objectives.

I was fairly happy with the setup itself, but the scenario conditions appeared to favour the German attack too strongly. In real life they received a bloody nose, with the inbound airlanding units taking heavy casualties from AA fire that had been largely unsuppressed by a scattered fallschirmjaeger drop. In fact, the Dutch eventually succeeded in retaking the airfield later in the day. So a few tweaks were needed to make the German air assault a bit more risky.

With only 8 model Ju-52s available, and 4 models in each airlanding wave, it is necessary to have rules whereby they are recycled for use in subsequent waves. This is mostly achieved by allowing them to take off again, just as they would have done in real life to avoid getting destroyed on the ground. I have settled on a simple 50/50 dice throw for a successful take off - apart from enemy fire, the airfield was boggy in places and there were friendly aircraft to avoid. I will also make an extra 40mm Bofors model available to strengthen the Dutch AA curtain. AA defences in the Ypenburg area were strong historically. When everything is finalised I will publish a full scenario with forces and map.

The only real problem is that this is a game needing a bit longer than a couple of hours in the evening. Organising the time, place and opponents to do the scenario justice might be tricky. I guess we'll see. No more target dates for the moment!


DeanM said...

Interesting project. BTW, I just noticed you are author of a book called Airborne Armour. Haven't checked it out yet, but I once served in the 3-73rd Armor of the 82nd Airborne Division. We had Sheridans that were air-droppable - our motto was the "Only Airborne Armor in he Free World" :) Best, Dean

Steve J. said...

Great to see that you have made some progress on this scenario Keith. Targets and deadlines are the bane of the wargamer.

IIRC the Dutch significantly reinforced their airfield defences, specifically with more AA units, following on from the Polish campaign.

As always happy to give this scenario a run out when you are ready.

Keith Flint said...

Thanks Steve. Will get some dates together and contact you via email.

Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Excellent - looking forward to the full game!

The Ferrymen said...

Hi Keith,
Nowadays, if you can get anything done, that is an accomplishment. And your kit looks really good, so it was well worth the effort. Kudos.