Sunday, June 5, 2022

Organising a Historical refight pt 6 : The New Zealand division on Crete 1941

In this post I'm going to discuss the rulles modifications that I made along with any comments I have about the changes. As its been 20 years there may/will be a few blank spots.

There were some rules modifications that I needed to make for the parachute drop at the start of the game. I went with a dice based system and I'll cover it in the next post on the actual game as it fits better in that story.

Each turn the German regiment commanders roll for close air support.

1 Nothing
2-3 1 stuka
4-5 2 stukas
6 3 stukas
-Germans may also call in a level bomber attack, but only against a town sector. Roll 4+ ( +1 on first day) and takes 4 turns to arrive. Attacks as per rules. Air attacks use the standard D10 and factors rather than the book method. Stukas and heavy bombers are armed with bombs only, and the bombing template is used.

The first bit makes perfect sense but I can't quite remember what the D10 story was. We did do a fair bit of experimenting with D10 but found that any percieved gains were rather illusionary and went back to D6. Now the next one has me a bit confused.

-Units that are within 18 inches of a fighter have their movement slowed. They may move faster, but are then attacked as normal ( any element moving in the zone is attacked. Not limited by the number of planes in the area.)

Now I can see what I was intending and it did have the desired effect on the tabletop but I can't remember how the fighters were alocated. Possibly each German commander got 1 per turn? 

Next up, modifications to the main rules.

-Players may organise attacks by companies only. These are given combat arrows and objectives as battalions. However, if they take casualties they must then pass a moral test. Failure results in 2 turns retreat back along the attack arrow that was drawn.
-Companies may be deployed in defence out of command radius of their parent BHQ. However, the company then counts as lost towards the battalion break point untill it returns to the command radius.

One of the weaknesses of Spearhead is that the company has no roll in the game (appart from attaching divisional assets). This at least gave them a use.

-German and NZ support units ( mortars, regimental guns) may either fire in the indirect phase, or may add 1 to any attack in the direct fire phase.

Again another option for battalion level assets. Personally I think that battalion suports that are 2-3 guns at battalion level should be used to add one to a combat in range instead of being combined at regimental level.

-German Troops who are counted as veteran do not gain a +1 in close combat. New Zealand troops in close combat gain +1. Other Allied units gain a +1 if they initiated the close combat.

The alies were short on ammunition and were more keen to engage in close combat. The Greeks only have a Def and AI of 4 but gain the +1 if they attack into close combat. This means they are brittle but keen which is backed up by the historical accounts. However they could only get an order change on a 6 and so were limited to attacking German stands that they could see.

-At nightfall, German units may withdraw into night positions. They may not move again until morning unless attacked. Dawn is 6am-7am, and Dusk 8pm-9pm. NZ troops moving at night may close assault platoons that they could not see at the start of the move, but must have started within 300M. Night vision is 100M.

The Germans were really not keen to wander around at night. The moving into close assault whichout seeing the target replicates the attack by 20 Battalion on the night of the 22nd of May towards Maleme airfield. if played the normal way the distance to cover would have been impossible (which is a factor that a surprising number of scenario writers for any rule set often fail to grasp).

NZ troops who destroy german elements in close combat, or within 100M of their position roll a D6.
1 No result
2-4 1 rounds fire at +1 ( captured weapons)
5    2 rounds fire at +1
6 capture air recognition flags. Element treated as german by german airforce. No penalties for movement etc.

My dim recollection is that the allied battalions had limited amunition (x turns) and any turn that more than Y stands in the battilion fired expended a turn of fire. Thus there was the chance to pick up and use German weapons (which the Kiwi's excelled at throughout the war). The air recognition flags were something that popped into my head as an interesting idea and becaame very important on the Sunday afternoon as we shall see...


  1. What an amazing project! It is fascinating to see the amount of planning preparation and work that goes into a large scale game like this. I have only just finished a set of rules specific for Little Big Horn (play testing still continues!) and that very small scale affair compared to yours is almost giving me sleepless nights! I am following this with great interest.
    Best wishes,

    1. It was 4-5 months of work but I don't recall any sleepless nights over it.
      Are you aware of a ruleset called Pony Wars now available from Baccus? Might be of interest to your project.