I played Will at the Defenders club on Thursday, using Rapid-Fire rules. Will had played the Corinth Canal scenario some while ago and still had all the forces, so that's what we opted for. As Will had played the Allies previously, we agreed he would command the fallschirmjaeger. We played on a 7.5x6 foot table with the Corinth canal running down the centre of the table, as per the scenario from the Rapid-fire site (http://www.rapid-fire-uk.com/300/corinth-canal/?osCsid).
The Germans start with 2 companies of glider landed engineers at the bridge and then they select two landing zones either side of the canal. Then the Allies deploy - a Greek battalion in Corinth town and a New Zealand Infantry battalion anywhere more than 20 inches from the bridge on the northern side. I chose to deploy the New Zealand battalion in an arc facing the bridge at the 20 inch deployment limit. One bofors battery was deployed with the New Zealanders and one on the hill outside Corinth.
When the German paratroopers landed, they chose the open area on the other side of the hill from Corinth for one battalion, where the troopers landed in a relatively tightly compact group, loosing one figure to bofors reserved fire, and immediately opened small arms and grenade attacks on the bofors gun in response, neutralising 2 crew. The other battalion landed immediately in front of, or around the New Zealanders. Reserve bofors fire removed three figures, while small arms and grenade attacks removed 1 bofors crewman, one MMG crewman and one figure from one of the dug in companies. In reply, the Greeks moved out of Corinth at top speed heading for the crest of the hill, while a reserve Kiwi carrier platoon waited at the board edge to see what would happen next. The Kiwis on the other side of the canal immediately got stuck in to the paratroopers, inflicting at least 10 casualties, while the mortar opened fire on the engineers, inflicting a casualty on the group on the nearside. Thus ended Turn 1, with the paratroopers facing the Kiwis already in a pickle and an epic confrontation about to erupt on the outskirts of Corinth between a regular Greek battalion, supported by a Kiwi carrier platoon and the other paratrooper battalion.
Turn 2 saw the paratroopers consolidate on their canisters and open up with all they had on the Kiwis, silencing the bofors and the MMG, but not achieving much against the dug in infantry. The PAK36 scooted across the bridge and took up position on the Corinth side. The engineers advanced towards the Kiwis to cut off a Kiwi company advancing through the nearby woods. Over on the Corinth side, the paratroopers consolidated on their canisters and removed another bofors crewman. In reply, the Greeks advanced into sight of the paratroopers while the Kiwi carriers skirted the base of the hill and came up on the paratroopers flank, making sure to keep out of sight of the PAK36. The Greeks silenced another handful of paratroopers. The Kiwis on the other side of the canal kept up withering fire on the other paratrooper battalion, whittling numbers down to a first morale test. Despite their elite status, a pinned down result meant they were keeping their heads down.
In turn 3, a Stuka flight appeared over Corinth and dive bombed the Greeks on the hill - to no effect. In the firefight on the hill, the Greeks lost 8 or so figures, while the paratroopers occupied the bofors position. On the other side of the canal, the pinned paratroopers inflicted very few loses on the Kiwis, although the engineers flamethrower removed 5 figures from the Kiwis in the woods. The Allies continued the fight on the hill, inflicting additional paratrooper casualties. To the north, 2 Vickers MkIV tanks appeared and advanced to within close range of the paratroopers around the bofors, while the Kiwis opened up with everything they had. The Kiwi 3" and 2" mortars fired on the engineers, eliminating all but the flamethrower in the first company. Surprisingly, the pinned paratroopers rallied.
Turn 4 saw the Stuka successfully bomb a Greek company, causing 3 casualties while the ongoing firefight took the Greeks to within 2 figures of a morale test. On the other side of the canal, the flamethrower, now consolidated with the second company, flamed the last of the Kiwis in the woods. The PAK 36 by the bridge inflicted heavy damage on one of the MkVIs. In response, the Greeks and Kiwi carriers kept causing losses on the paratroopers on the hill, while the Kiwi battalion on the other side caused further casualties to the engineers and surviving paratroopers, with one company advancing to close the range on the occupied bofors position.
Turn 5 was the decider. Further losses to the Greeks forced a morale test, which they passed with no offensive action. The Stuka attacked the MkVIs with no effect and then left the table having used all its armament. The battalion HQ company of the Kiwis took some minor losses to the paratroopers. Outside Corinth, a reserve of lorried Kiwi infantry arrived and headed towards the hill to join the firefight. The Greeks and Kiwi carriers inflicted more losses on the paratroopers. The MkVIs advanced to just short of the bridge and fired on the PAK 36 to no effect. However, the Kiwis caused losses to the paratroopers and engineers causing morale tests. In the resultant checks, the paratroopers had had enough and began putting their hands up and emerging from their positions. The engineers kept in the fight but with less than a company left, were in no condition to carry on the fight. At this point, the bridge exploded, presumably the demolition charges had been hit by MkVI fire and the whole lot had gone up. This meant the Germans could not achieve any of their objectives and the game was effectively over.
All in all, I found this a really enjoyable game. The confusion of the paratroopers landing on top of a deployed Kiwi battalion was the highlight for me, as the game could have gone either way at that point. Some better assault die roles for the paratroopers in the first turn and the Kiwis would have been in a lot more trouble. The landings against the Greeks were more successful initially, but the Greeks resolute advance and attrition kept them occupied throughout the game. The Stuka attacks also weren't too effective and again the outcome might have been different if the Greeks had taken more casualties in the early stages.
Thanks to Will for supplying the figures, scenery and for a most enjoyable game. Thanks to you too for looking.