Thursday, 15 June 2017

Operation Breeyark ( Part 1)


Operation Breeyark!
&
Operation Gral

The Boys are back in Town! After successfully completing the liberation of The Village of Saint Hommlet, you, and your plucky men have been tasked with, not one, but two missions of extreme importance to the Allied invasion: Operation Breeyark and Operation Gral. Grab a copy of ‘The Keep on the Borderlands’, and let’s roll!

Operation Gral/Grail
It’s D-Day plus 21, making it the 27th of June 1944, a mere six days after your lightning swift raid on the village of Saint Hommlet to eliminate Battle Group Muller, free the POWs from the clutches of the villainous SS, and take out those pesky 88’s. Outstanding!

Allied HQ has received reports of a secret weapons facility deep inside Nazi Germany, and of a mysterious SS affiliated HQ, almost mythical in stature. They are approximately 88 kilometres east of Dortmund (in the province of Westphalia) in a town called Wewelsburg. Both targets are but a stone’s throw away from one another.

Wewelsburg,  made infamous by the leader of the SS, Heinrich Himmler... for it is here that this once innocuous chicken farmer, now infamous butcher, has created the spiritual heartland of his beloved SS. He has adapted an ancient keep into a Gral Kastell/Grail Castle of supernatural proportions, where it is said the devil himself arises from an ancient circle of power called the, Black Sun. The circle is in a crypt that’s rumoured to house the ashes of dead SS member since its fiendish and barbaric inception. There are  supposed to be chests filled with the Death’s Head rings of fallen members, and there are lurid tales of human sacrifice and bacchanalian orgies taking place to mark the important dates of the SS/Nazi Calendar.  The mythology is based on the Arthurian legends with Himmler seeing himself as the King and his men as Knights of the Round Table. In other words, the Castle, a simple training school for SS cadre since the late 1930’s, has been imbued by Himmler­­ ­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­­ with spiritual hokum to separate him, and his men, from the hoi-polloi of the dull, drab, grey, Wehrmacht.

Himmler's Black Sun. 

The Allies realise that if the Fuehrer dies, then this madman will more than likely be his successor. That’s why he has to go. Also, they’re given to understand that a last meeting/feast will take place here on the evening of the 30th of June. It’s rumoured that Himmler himself will be the Master of Ceremonies along with a party of high ranking Reichsf├╝hrung-SS (Reich leadership SS).

 Your mission is simple:
Infiltrate the castle, kill Himmler, and all of his SS underlings.

 As for the rest of them? That’s up to you and your team, but there isn’t a lot of compassion going around for these jackbooted murderers, especially after everything you and your men have seen and the SS are not known for surrendering. If you have the time, interrogate them, and see what information they can give you, but this operation is more about sowing fear into the heart of the enemy, disrupting the chain-of-command, and letting them know that no matter where they are, that they’ll never be safe. If you stumble across large caches of files and other Intel, then find a secure spot in the nearby forest and bury them until they can be retrieved by High Command. You must not let them fall into Soviet hands.

Operation Breeyark

Approximately 2.5km from the Keep, as the bullet/crow flies, is a launch site for experimental V2 rockets that has so far been used against England to deadly effect. However, the Fuehrer has instructed them to be launched into the ranks of the allied invaders instead. They've  switched the rocket from the V2, to the larger V4, that is capable of carrying more than 1800kg of HI-explosive. Also, Hitler has also had them re-engineered to be able to unleash deadly plumes of Tabun and Sarin gas upon landing. This is a last ditch attempt to hurl the invaders back into the sea. A further 1km west, through the pine forest, is the weapons testing, and scientific research facility known as the Caves of C.H.A.O.S (Capable of Harming and Obliterating Silently).
There is a test launch of six rockets scheduled for the evening of the 1st of July at 8.00pm.


Your mission is
·         Destroy the Launch Site
·         Retrieve and bury all relevant scientific data until you can get it to the advancing allied forces.
·         Capture and imprison all scientists who are working on these projects
·         Protect any and all civilians or POWs who have been enslaved and forced to work here
·         Eliminate any threat of them launching further V4 rocket attacks into allied lines.
·         Eliminate ALL resistance.
·         In what order you accomplish Operation Breeyark is up to you, just as long as you get it all done and stop that gas-filled rocket from reaching Normandy!

Overall Risks for both Missions

·         You and your team will be parachuted in on the night of the 28th of June. The drop zone is in the middle of a fen (area 1 on the overall map of the area) far from prying eyes and the annoying glare of searchlights. The planes will be part of a bombing run to Berlin to throw the Germans off your scent. You’ll have to stay hidden until you attack/infiltrate the castle to execute Himmler and his henchmen.
·         The area around the Castle is heavily patrolled, but they seem to stop at the edge of the fen preferring not to get their boots muddy. They use two, machinegun mounted, half-tracks, carrying twelve men in a vehicle. They also patrol on foot, first thing in the morning and last thing at night. There are also LP’s (Listening Posts) set up in the forests that are extremely well camouflaged and hard to spot. Each one has four soldiers, armed with rifles and grenades. Password is “Haben zee Bier?” They also have signal flares to alert the Keep of any danger.
·         You are so far behind enemy lines that you are the tip of a very, very, very, long spear… cut-off is actually more like it as all your buddies are still battling in Normandy, and here you are, less than 450km from Berlin and the Fuehrer himself!
·          What you jump with is what you have. However, you and your team are highly trained in speaking German, as well as using all German weaponry. You also understand the military etiquette of the SS and could pass muster as an SS trooper, or officer, at the drop of a Death’s Head Cap. A little chicanery may be the answer to getting inside the Castle with ease…
·         The weather is predicted to be inclement on the day of the banquet, with rain, and fog, blanketing the area. This means that you’ll have no air support, but then again, neither will the Germans.
·         Code word is Breeyark. Repeat. Breeyark.

The Team
(The same merry crew from our previous adventure, The Village of Saint Hommlet, with the addition of a sniper squad and two extra radio operators.)

•One Captain (Call-sign: Bugs Bunny)
•Two Lieutenants (Call-sign: Daffy, and Duck)
•Four Sergeants (Sleepy, Grumpy, Sneezy, and Dopey… but never to their faces)
•Four platoons of twenty five men
In addition to this are these specialists:
•Two mortar groups (a mixture of Smoke and HE rounds)
•Two Machine gun groups
      Eight Snipers ( Porky Pig is the sergeant in charge of them)
•Two Sappers (Mine detection, mine lifting, and demolition experience.)
•Three Radio men (one dubbed ‘Lucky’ by his friends. Lucky that he made it this far as they are usually the first to go)
•Three medics (Doc, Bones, and Wiley Coyote)
•One anti-tank squad (known as the Acme Falling Piano Tank Removal Company)
Once you have completed Operation Gral, you must complete Operation Breeyark.

(Now, I know that Operation: Whitebox, and The Front, don’t  really focus on mass attacking/ defending forces, but there’s nothing stopping you from rolling up a small, battle-hardened bunch of Special Forces characters and playing. This “game” is perfectly suited for that type of stealth and professionalism.)

Let’s Begin!
·         Roll a d4 to see where the players land. They are supposed to land on the position marked by number one on the map, but we always know how that goes…
·         The Keep is the Grail castle, the Cave of the Unknown is the V4 launch site, and the Caves of Chaos are the weapons facilities.






The Grail Castle/Gral Kastell

1) The Main Gate. Wooden, banded with iron. Two large sig runes branded into the wood (SS). Open during the day and closed just after dusk. The walls at the front have huge banners draped all the way from the battlements to about a meter from the ground. Both are of giant swastikas. Lots of traffic during the day. Troop transports, large trucks delivering crates and crates of goods for the upcoming feast. They travel east-west along the road at regular intervals. There is usually one driver and one guard, both Wehrmacht Citizen Guard i.e. old men, who have no desire to die for the Fuehrer.

2) Towers. Sandbagged machine gun positions on top of each one. One spotter with binoculars, one gunner. Three cases of spare ammo and one spare machinegun barrel. Troopers are armed with personal side-arms. Despite them being SS, there is a 35% that they may be napping.

3) An officious corporal, bearing a clipboard, is seated at a large wooden desk in direct view of the gate. He checks off the cargo arriving and tells the trucks where to go. In the desk drawer is a loaded Luger, a bar of chocolate, two bottles of purloined Russian Vodka and a small, smoked ham. There are several flagpoles all flying the flags of the Nazi Party and the SS Battle Standard.

4) Cavalry Stable. 2d8 thoroughbred black chargers are housed here. There are always several grooms stationed here to look after the horses. There are huge piles of hay on either side of the open stable doors. The hay has been weighted down with dark green canvas that has numerous large stones attached to it. The hay piles are large enough to hide four men in each one. The grooms are not armed but there are scythes, shears, docking scissors and pitch-forks within easy reach. There is also a lit brazier and anvil where one of the grooms is repairing horseshoes.

5) An empty classroom. Several rows of wooden desks and chairs. There is a chalkboard on the northern wall where someone has kindly drawn a complete map of the keep.

6) Barracks. Bottom floor is where they store their footlockers (18) and heavy overcoats etc. 1st floor is the kitchen and dining room. 2nd floor is where they sleep, and the 3rd floor is where the watch commander is located. There are always six guards, on foot, patrolling the outer bailey, and another six up on the walls however, with the arrival of the Himmler and his men, all available bodies are painting, polishing, mowing, weeding, and getting the place ready for inspection. The number of guards has been cut to just two below and two above. They feel that because they are so deep into the Fatherland, no one dare attack them.

7) Officers Rooms. These are small rooms containing a bed, footlocker, wooden wardrobe, a small writing desk and a cast iron bath. During the day they will be empty and all have at least two spare uniforms in each wardrobe but no weapons, except razor sharp bayonets.

7a) Company Tailor. He is portly and hard at work repairing uniforms for the big day. He has a look of worry on his sweating, bespectacled face.

7b) Company Clerk. Up to his elbows in paperwork. He can issue weekend pass papers, work orders etc. He has a side line business in forging signatures, the Officer’s in Commanding in particular.

8) The Armoury. Steel doors, locked. Inside are weapons of every ilk from every nationality under the sun. The SS pride themselves on being to shoot just about anything. There are also numerous crates of ammunition, grenades, and explosives. The keys are kept by the Armoury sergeant but the door can be picked. He can be found preparing oil baths for a crate of machineguns that have just been brought back from the Russian Front.

9) Provisions and rations are stored here. Inside is enough food for a garrison, let alone a company, with more arriving every day. All top quality nosh. Wooden door, locked, one guard outside sitting on a milking stool but he has a nasty STD that keeps him running to the latrines next door at area 10.

10) Latrines, always full with about six or seven soldiers standing around talking and smoking.

11) Gestapo office. Jail cell and torture area inside. Large enough to detain several prisoners. There are two dead bodies on makeshift torture devices, and two Gestapo men playing cards, blind drunk on Schnapps. There are whips, chains, saws, thumb-screws, even an Iron Maiden in the room. There is a large wooden cupboard filled with maps, notes, Top Secret Files, regarding spying/traitors/maps etc. Would be of enormous benefit to the allies.

12) Same as number six, but with two men inside polishing their boots and talking. Next to them, on their beds are their rifles as well as their passes allowing them unfettered access to the inner bailey.

13) Execution Square. An idyllic stone fountain, intricately carved to resemble a flowering rose bush, is surrounded by death, and horror. Piles of fly-blown, maggot covered, bodies lie rotting in the sun. The west wall is pockmarked with countless bullet holes and it is obvious that this is where the firing squads take place. In front of the south-west wall are twelve wooden gallows, each with a body, swinging gently in the breeze. There are crows perched all around, feasting on the remains, of men, women, and children. The well is dry and the shaft is 30ft down. If someone were to climb down they would be able to crawl all the way to a wooden manhole cover just outside area 23. The tunnel is wide enough for one man to crawl with ease and is completely bone-dry.

14) Cells. Empty. Wrought iron chains attached to the wall. One wooden bucket for a toilet and piles of rat-infested straw on the ground.

15) Cells. Fifteen Russian infantry men on their last legs but willing to fight to the death with you.

16) Bathhouse for the rank and file. Will be empty as everyone is hard at work, spit-polishing everything.

17) Sick Bay. Two badly wounded soldiers, four orderlies, two Doctors can be found inside. There are sufficient medicines, bandages, and every manner of battlefield medical equipment a medic could dream of. There are twenty beds in all, ten to each side, with an operating room on the eastern most portion

18) What Gygax wrote works perfectly with this scenario so here you go, “INNER GATEHOUSE: This stone structure is itself like a small fort. The southern portion is only about 15’ high, plus battlement; the rear part is some 30’ tall, plus battlement. There are arrow slits in the southern section of course, and along the walls of the 20’ wide, 10’ high passage through to the north. This passage slopes upwards towards the inner courtyard. The heavy gates are double bound with iron and spiked. There are six guards on duty at all times (two inside the gateway, two on the lower battlement, and two on the upper…“ Beneath this area, and not keyed on the original map, is the main barracks for the soldiers, it doubles as a bomb shelter with steel doors that lock from the inside. This area is reached by a sloping passage that leads to the sleeping area. There are 30 cots, with footlockers, and small metallic wardrobes beside each bed. There are four toilets at the end of the room and another door that leads to more comfortable suites for the senior ranking officers. None are more lavish then Himmler’s. Use your imagination, then double it. That’s how gaudy and ostentatious it is. His chamber is reached by a guarded tunnel (four guards) that leads out into the main courtyard of area 21. If you need a map for the officer’s suites just use the map for the guildhall inside the module.

When you try and pass through the main gates here, a guard will come down from his vantage point to see your work pass/identification before allowing you entrance into the innermost sections of the Keep. Luckily he is bored, and busy, and waves most anyone through as long as they’re in uniform. He’s also fairly lax about inspecting the registered contents of the trucks passing through. On a roll of 1 on a d6 he will inspect the load-bed.

19) Guard Tower, the same as 6, and also empty.

20) Heavily sandbagged position, nine men, with three short range mortar pipes set on top with spotter, and a machine gun position. There are smoke rounds, incendiary rounds, and HE rounds. Several crates of each are stored on the second level of the tower, as well as extra belts for the machine gun. There are six makeshift cots set up on the 1st level with the sniper fast asleep in one. His rifle is next to his bed.

21) This close-cropped, grassy area is teaming with activity. There is a Brass Band marching up and down the middle of the field, rehearsing for the big day. There are scores of soldiers cutting the grass, pulling up weeds, laying down thick white lines of lime around the perimeter of the area. Then there are 8 tanks in the courtyard. Four Panther tanks are parked against the western wall between positions 20 and 23, and four Panzer IV tanks directly opposite them against the eastern wall. They are crawling with mechanics, and soldiers, polishing every available surface. In between the tanks are 88s, also being polished, primped and preened. This locales has 50 soldiers, 6 lieutenants, and 3 sergeants.

22) Two storerooms containing crates filled with spare parts for the tanks, as well as fuel, ammunition, for the tanks and the guns, brushes to clean the gun barrels, and tubs of grease. There are also spare overalls and communication headsets for when inside the tank.

23) Same as area 6

24) A huge camouflaged marque with trestle tables, chairs, and a gold-plated throne placed dead centre for where Himmler will be seated. The table has not been set yet, but white jacketed waiters are hard at work polishing mounds of silver cutlery and buffing champagne glasses.

25) Storerooms

26) Classrooms now turned into makeshift kitchens

27) Classrooms now turned into makeshift kitchens

28) Is not on the map, but place it between the two rooms marked 25. It is a secret trapdoor in front of a colossal painting of the Fuhrer that leads down into a massive stone crypt with the Black Sun on the marble floor. It is surrounded by twelve stone coffins shaped as knights in armour clutching swords in their hands with SS shaped shields at their feet. Inside are piles of ash, dog-tags, and Death’s Head Rings. The walls are decked with banners, flags, paintings, and the floors are covered in bear skinned rugs, and blood red carpets. There is an altar of camouflaged steel and armour plates from a Panzer Tank, covered in Germanic runes (they are of the SS motto), several SS daggers in a circle, seven Iron Cross First Class Medals and two red candles. A secret door in this room leads to a room filled with files, folders, scrolls, maps and other SS memorabilia. Under the altar is another secret door that leads to a well-lit, large bore tunnel(nine ft high, by nine ft wide) that goes all the way to the launch site (the caves of the unknown on the main map). It’s patrolled by a group of four soldiers, three with rifles and one with a flamethrower.

Part two of this adventure, covering the launch site and the Caves of C.H.A.O.S, will be up next week.