Monday, 1 November 2010

Operazione C3 / Herkules - The invasion of Malta 1942

This game has now come and gone and, I think it it fair to say, it went rather well.  I blame the two week gap twixt game and report on a professional exam and a holiday (happily in that order!)

You may recall from previous postings on the subject that this was a 30-ish player map-based game dealing with the (fictional) Italian-led invasion of Malta and played at The Imperial War Museum Duxford on  Saturday 16 October.  The game was originally to have been designed and presented by the late Paddy Griffith, but a team of us took the project over following his death in June.

With the aid of Paddy's notes, much of the initial planning (starting in early July) was done by Jerry Elsmore and myself with most of the subsequent work being Jerry's.  Jim Wallman and Chris Hall were essential to the finished product and we were ably assisted by Chris Kemp,Richard Clarke and Adam Poole.  John Drewienkiewicz was also part of the team and as Generalissimo designed and wrote the Italian plan.

The facilities at Duxford enabled us to locate the teams in various rooms.   The Axis players - mostly Italians - were in the largest room with team tables for Regia Aeronautica, Regia Marina, Luftwaffe, High Command, Airborne troops, two Italian corps etc.  The Allied players were in the room furthest away and the umpire team in the middle.  I do not propose to offer a full report of the course of the game, partly as this has already been done by Bob Cordery ( and Phil Steele ( and partly that as Liason Umpire to Regia Aeronautica I only really saw the air and air landing side of the campaign.  I offer instead the following photos and will follow this with a report from the Royal Navy team's point of view - written by Paul Elton who has kindly offered to allow me to post it.

The umpire master map early in the game.

(Most of) the umpire team in contemplative poses - clockwise from centre left we see Alex Kleanthous, Chris Hall, Phil Steele, Jerry Elsmore (just), Jim Wallman (gesticulating!), Richard Clarke, Nick Skinner, Chris Kemp (showing his Regia Marina sympathies) and Tom Mouat.

The British command map  - Chris Hall is feeding back information to the players.

The umpire master map.  Althought the British units (dark green) seem numerous, many of them are coastal forts and AA units.  The bright green are Italians, pale blue Germans.

Folgore scrabbles to get a foothold in the southwest.  I wonder who just rolled the '1'.

The Italian bridgehead in the south.  At this point there was nothing between them and Valetta - but they didn't know that!
The north, near St. Pauls.  While the Axis have a lot of troops ashore they have no naval support or heavy weapons.


Paul said...

This looks like it was a very interesting game.
Shame there was no plastic!

Tim Gow said...

Paul - think it through. We've done all the research and have orbats and maps. Given that I have a plethora of 6mm and 20mm Italians do you really think you've seen the last of Malta on this blog? As I see it, the campaign could be fought out using Megablitz in and evening or as a series of games using NBC or similar. Watch this space - but not too closely - you'll go blind!