ASL Journal #14
ASL Journal #14 (MMP)

The Battle of Heraklion was part of the Battle of Crete, a major Axis airborne and amphibious operation during World War II to capture the island of Crete. It began on the afternoon of 20 May 1941, with German paratroopers of the 1st Fallschirmjager Regiment dropping near Heraklion port and airfield, facing fierce resistance from British, Australian, Greek and Cretan defenders.

The initial German attack failed, and the next day it was renewed with more intensity, but still could not overcome the Allied positions. The fighting then became a stalemate, as the Germans focused on securing Maleme airfield in the west of Crete, while the Allies prepared for an evacuation. On the night of 28/29 May, the Allied forces withdrew by sea, under heavy naval and air attacks from the Axis. The Battle of Heraklion was one of the most costly battles for the German paratroopers, who suffered very high casualties and were never used in such large numbers again.

Battle of Heraklion, Crete, May 1941

Another Frustrating Day (J227) takes place in the blue area marked “Three Greek battalions” on the map above. The German Fallschirmjager are pushing east in an attempt to capture the harbor in addition to connecting up with the elements of II Batallion, 1st Regiment that were dropped near Maleme airfield.

Ultimately, Heraklion resisted long enough for the Allies to withdraw via boats, and the city didn’t fall until May 28, 1941.

Check out these photos from the area during the battles:

ASL AAR: Another Frustrating Day (J227)

Module: ASL Journal 14 (magazine)
Scenario Publisher: MMP
Scenario Designers: Simon Spinetti & Andy Rogers
Date: May 21, 1941
Heraklion, Crete

Download the VASL .vsav setup file.
Download the VASL .vlog playthrough.

Scott’s Perspective:

Defender: Allies, mix of Greek, British, and Cretan partisans.

Greek Defense Plan

As is our system of playing, the loser of the previous ASL slugfest gets to pick the side of the next agreed-upon scenario. This time it’s ‘Another Frustrating Day’. And, yeahhh, Neal picked the side chock full of German Elites units and leaders up the wazoo … and stuck me with green Greeks with ELR 2. There will be revenge one day!!

But, one must forge on with the resources given them. The initial Greek/Partisan setup area is very restrictive, leaving me only a band 3 hexes wide to place all my units. The trick is using the Concealment counters given to me to the most effect. That being said, I used most of them in the center portion of my setup assuming Neal will try to drive up the flanks. My top flank is the shortest path to the VC buildings, so that’s almost a sure bet (if there is such a thing in ASL!).

My saving grace is having some 1st line and elite British platoons coming in to reinforce my incredibly soft Greeks. Hopefully, I can use the first group to cut off his paratroopers and try some blocking and harassing actions, because my only hope is to slow down the German Fallschirmjager. I have zero hope of actually stopping them. The 2nd British platoon of Elites I will use to secure the two east-most VC buildings and/or create annoying fire lanes to channel Neal’s approach. In my mind, it’s a foregone conclusion that the two western buildings are guaranteed lost, so I will focus on trying to hold the two easternmost VC buildings.

As Han was fond of saying: “I have a bad feeling about this.”

Neal’s Perspective:

Attacker: Germans (Elements of the 1st Fallschirmjager Regiment)

Fallschirmjager Attack Plan

Damn right I didn’t take those weak-assed, 2 ELR Greeks. You think I’m crazy? With the way I roll MCs?! My initial Greek defense would disappear faster than a box of donuts at a cop meeting.

My overall plan is pretty basic. Set up a kill stack (famous last words of all ASL players) and mark it “Opp Fire”. After I make my initial moves I will unload in the AFPh on any Greek/partisan units that choose to Defenseive Fire, thus stripping their Concealment. The moving units will flank up to the ocean (Mediterranean), the others will move through the south, hopefully cutting off and containing Scott’s Turn 2 British reinforcements.

I need to press hard for one of the back (east) buildings, because those are the part of the puzzle that this scenario poses. The west buildings look easy-peasy, getting one of the other two could be a real pain if I don’t move fast enough. But if I don’t I’m hoping I have enough firepower/units to just overpower his units to capture one of those buildings near the end. I need to be cautious of all the potential firelanes, getting across them quickly or avoiding crossing them. My Elite paratroopers have smoke exponent of 2, which is good but not great. I’ll try to use it as often as possible.

Even though on the surface the scenario gives a strong German look, we all know that when the dice start rolling things always go out the window. And even though I’m making fun of Scott’s weak force, the British platoons are nothing to scoff at. They will present a significant challenge if they can get established in the rear.

Let’s gear up and head out!


© 2024, N. Ulen & S. Rowland. All Rights Reserved. Please read the Copyright & Fair Use Notice. is not affiliated with Hasbro, AH Games, Inc., or MMP, Inc. Advanced Squad Leader is a trademark of AH Games, Inc.

N. Ulen & S. Rowland
Neal & Scott are just two dudes who have known each other since junior high school. We fumble our way through scenarios and make fun of ourselves doing video AARs of our ASL games. Almost all of our games are played on VASL.


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