After a bit of a layoff, it is time for a return to the battlefield. After the draw that ended our last Battle of the Blogs, Ian from Sugar Free Gamer and I are both ready to claim a victory and take the lead in what should be an ongoing series of battles. This time, we have decided to try a battle in an older title, recently updated. Specifically, we will be playing Combat Command: The Matrix Edition.
Here you can see the scenario we have selected on the in game scenario selection screen. We’ve chosen the historical battle of Heraklion, rather than the Heraklion2 scenario, which gives the Germans additional units. Given Ian’s obviously stronger commitment to the Commonwealth, I’ve taken the Germans for this scenario.
The battle for Heraklion occurred during the German invasion of Crete in 1941. In the historical battle, the Germans deployed paratroopers and attempted to attack from multiple directions. The Germans were successful in taking the western edge of Heraklion on the first day of the battle, but did not manage to secure any of their objectives by the end of the first day. Ultimately, Heraklion did not surrender for over a week after the end of this scenario.
I hope to avoid that outcome here.
Looking at the map, and at the objectives, I think the best move is to make a play for the airfield. This makes sense, of course, from a scenario design perspective. German parachute doctrine calls for the initial wave of parachute infantry to seize airfields to allow for reinforcements to come via air. The game rewards me for following the doctrine, so I will attempt to do so.
Here are the forces I have:
I have decided to land my troops in two, roughly equal, closely spaced groups.
The drops were targeted at the following drop zones:
The plan was to put my units on either side of the hill to the south of the airfield. Ideally, that would put me in a position to either quickly occupy the high ground, giving me a base of fire to support the assaulting troops. If the hills were already occupied by the brave soldiers of the Commonwealth, a quick landing may give me the chance to surprise them.
Those of you who know the history of parachute operations in a general sense, or perhaps those who have seen the second episode of HBO’s Band of Brothers, know what is going to happen next:
My troops are dropped far to the south of where I had hoped. Many of my companies are dispersed, and a few are missing entirely. By my count, 10 of my 14 combat capable companies have landed on map, meaning I am down several units of Fallschirmjäger. While my headquarters landed successfully, a couple of my companies are out of supply.
The landing has used up most of my troops movement points, so all that is left for this turn is to attempt to concentrate my forces, regroup the dispersed units, and prepare to launch an attack on the airfield.
Next turn, some action may actually take place. Also, there will be more shots and discussion of the interface and mechanics of Combat Command, which are actually extremely interesting. Check Sugar Free Gamer to see what Ian has in store for me.