On the 2nd and the 9th of August I will be running the OP kit campaign over the two evenings. 10 players will compete to see who is the best Tank Commander over the two evenings of play (6 games for each). As players will be nominally put into 'teams' the evenings will also determine if the liberation landings have been successful - which will feed into other OP events.
McTague winced as felt the front of his M4 tip over the edge of the ramp and enter the chopped up water... His crew had already witnessed one tank tip and disappear, the crew desperately escaping into the bullet strewn water. Hopefully the reason was not miscalculation on the LCT crew's part but a crater from the preliminary bombing that had fallen short. Fear passed over his face as the front hull seemed to go down and down - relief surging as he felt the tracks hit sand and start to dig, the days of waterproofing the hull paying off.
Vision was never good through the periscopes, today it was virtually non existent - the water, sand and constant MG fire saw to that. 'Preacher' the gunner sought out his target, a bunker that was covering the beach exit.
Bodies, wrecked tanks, sunk landing craft, the beach was littered with debris already. Geller, the driver, tried to hammer up the beach as the sand erupted volcano like around them...
Fase had been manning his 75mm anti-tank gun day after day, month after month. Life was good for the occupying forces, cheese, eggs and friendly locals, he hardly felt that there was a war on. Even when it came, and he knew it must, it was likely to be up the coast - not in his bit of Normandy, then what ever happened, would happen. It was the droning that woke him up - then the whistling and then the blasts. Blast after blast - his ears hurt, concrete dust was everywhere, flashes coming in the front slit... But no word from above, so he presumed it was just a bombing raid. He and his colleagues couldn't determine if it was plane droning that carried on or just their burst ears. At first light the dust was settling and he looked out...
OK... panic filled his mind, the invasion was here - and it looked like they had only chosen his little bit of Normandy...
"Loader, AP ... Fire"
FLASH, searing shards of white hot metal seemed to fill the hull compartment, ears rang, eyes blinded. McTague realised they had been hit, but not penetrated... Yells, blasphemy followed but they kept going, up towards the exit.
FLASH, Preacher wiped his front, wiped 'Angelos' off him... They'd been hit again, a solid lump of AP shot, white hot by the time it was through the armour, had gone straight through the loader, ricocheted around and started a fire in the ammunition storage. Scrambling through the escape hatches, the crew bailed out... But other tanks carried on!
Running over two nights the campaign will follow the first wave of landings and the action of the next day. Before any play, the commanders will be split into 2 teams - US/Brits and Germans. It matters not what forces they may actually be using but results will be used to form a narrative base for the OP kit as a whole.
Players will however be allowed/encouraged to submit 2 100 point lists - one for attacking and one for defending the beaches. If this option is taken however the player should use Germans for the defending side list. In this way there will be a more historical feel to most of the games.
Each player will receive the acrylic OP themed measuring sticks and four sets of terrain will be given out as prizes at the end of the 2nd nights play - these will be for:
Best Commander - the person who has won the most games.
Best painted/themed troop - what it says on the tin !
Best take out of the campaign - one shotted a Panther; then you have a chance!
Commander with most points at the end of the second Tuesday.
The first night will see the players playing the OP scenario twice; once as attacker and once as defender (against different opponents). However, the game will last 8 turns with VPs being scored on the 7th and 8th turn for the attacker. The defender can choose to use the bunkers, trenches and tanks traps instead of houses if they like - in which case the rules in the OP kit are followed for set up.
Following that the 3rd and 4th games of the evening will be one hour games and will be one of the missions from the rule booklet themed for Normandy. The defenders (determined normally) will be allowed to place the special terrain instead of the houses.
During the second night the games will all be scenario driven and these will be determined by the outcome of the first night - if the allies do well then the scenarios will be trying to expand the beach-head, capture important terrain etc etc. If the Germans do well on the first night then expect some counter attacks as they try and drive the liberators back to the beaches (this blog will be updated after the first night).
Non of the players have been playing long - and we have kit we can lend out, the rules are quick and easy to pick up. SO come and help D-Day succeed (or fail depending on your allegiance).