Thursday, July 4, 2019

Retrieval at Felcamp An Operation White Box WW2 Adventure

Retrieval at Felcamp 
This adventure is a large battle set piece. It is potentially very lethal. I would imagine the characters would work best if at least 3rd level. A second PC to play would also be a good idea.

May 6, 1944
Five days ago, on May 1, the Resistance managed to obtain an important SS file and attempted to smuggle it to the allies. Before dawn toda, their agent, Michel Bede', was captured near Felcamp, a small (and fictional) village on the English Channel not far from the town of Fecamp, trying to rendezvous with an escape boat. Michel and the documents were captured and the boat was sunk by aircraft fire. Michel and the documents are being held in Felcamp until a special detachment of SS come to retrieve both prizes. They should arrive tomorrow.

Army Intel became aware of the failed extraction when they intercepted a coded German transmission. Operation Felcamp was immediately thrown together with available personnel, launch to commence immediately after dark. Intel wants those documents at all costs. The PC's and NPC's are the only available troops within the acceptable operation time frame.

At 2200 the PC's, accompanied by a mixed group of 22 Marine Raiders scheduled to be under training by British Commandos, will be flown in by C-47 transport plane under the cover of an air raid. They will follow behind air fighters and bombers who will be keeping the Luftwaffe busy somewhere far away from the drop zone. By 2230 the plane will be near Felcamp, the team will parachute two miles East of town, make their way into town, and do whatever actions they deem necessary to retrieve those documents at all costs.

Once the package is secured, they will make their way Northeast three miles up the coast to the proper map coordinates where they will pop a flare to signal the awaiting escape boat.

There is a Captain and Sergeant among the Marines and the Captain is the ranking officer on the mission.
WM's will have to decide how cooperative the Captain is with the PC's. He could be a tyrant or open to suggestions. Your call.

The Plan
The Marine Officers and the PC's pour over maps available before the flight. They have little time.

The Captain's plans are:

Phase One
Marine Unit One
The PC's will be joined  by the Marine Sgt and 10 marines. They are to sneak into the northern edge of the field just south of North Felcamp. From there they have a clear view of the machine gun nest at the middle of the map and the barracks. They are to take out the machine gun nest on the road, and the machine gun nest atop the barracks using the suppressed rifles or other means. The barracks has spot lights on all four corners of the fence.
Once the nests are managed Marine Unit One is to move to the western field, just behind the Barracks and prefab storage sheds. They will cross the darkened areas between two spotlights, and cut a hole in the base's western fence with bolt cutters, then enter and take out anyone inside. A search of the base will commence.

Marine Unit Two
The remaining 10  marines, led by the Captain, will hold position in the eastern field.

Phase Two
Twenty minutes after everyone moves out, the wire should be cut and Marine Unit Two will exit the eastern field and move into and sweep the north village.

If the Captain is cooperative he will listen to PC's suggestions to modify or come up with their own plan.

Current Intel on Felcamp shows a single squad of Wehrmacht guarding the town. A broken down WIrbelwind sits in a large garage. It was used for anti-aircraft and protection from attack by sea.
A full crew of five tankers are with the vehicle awaiting parts for repair.

It is believed that Msr Bede' is being held in either the north village or the barracks compound.
Special focus is given to these two locations.

Unfortunately for the PC's the Intel is bad, outdated. See Opposition below.

Felcamp was a sleepy fishing village that has been turned into a fuel depot for the German Navy (Kriegsmarine) patrolling the channel. The Wehrmacht have not been overly cruel as the Sergeant (Unteroffizier) in charge has a tight rein on his men. A few men were shot to show the Nazi's power over the villagers. This quieted any opposition and the villagers obey.

There are twenty Nazi's spread out amongst the fuel depot, barracks, the north village, and the south village. Two SS soldiers are with the prisoner and documents in the mayor's house, the large square house on the north of 4 on the map, with the red machine gun nest next to it. Their armored car is parked on the west side of the house. It is locked and keys are on the driver.

Machinegun nests are manned with two Wehrmacht, a gunner and loader for the MG42 (heavy machinegun) behind the waist high sandbags. Some may have a panzerfaust at the WM's discretion. All will have two to three hand grenades. Whistles and flares are used to alert other locations that something is wrong. An electric alarm is attached to the machinegun nest on the barracks as well as an electric alarm by the front door. 
The men however have grown complacent with their assignment and extra Wehrmacht. They usually take turns one on watch and one sleeping. 
There is a 50% chance both men are bundled up and asleep thanks to a bit of confiscated French brandy or wine. 

An SS Major (Sturmbannführer) and his Sergeant (Oberscharführer) driver accompanied by a squad of Wehrmacht (unknown to raiding party.) 
Their squad was the closest to Felcamp. Early in the morning they arrived in town to reinforce the small garrison at Felcamp and to protect the prisoner and documents.
The Major arrived in his armored car, the troops followed the tank on foot.

Three squads of Wehrmacht soldiers (thirty in total, twenty unknown to raiding party.) 
One was there to provide security for the fuel supply and ammo dump, the other two were attached to the SS Major for security. 

One Panther tank and crew (Panzertruppe) and a broken Wirbelwind and crew. (10 crewmen total, Panther and its crew unknown to raiding party.)
The Wirbelwind threw a transaxle a week ago and barely made it into the shed before losing all mobility. The tankers  are waiting for replacement parts. They still have battery power and their turret works just fine if they need to shoot out of or through the vehicle shed.  
The Panther and crew are new and arrived midday for security. 

Probable Event Chain: 
1 PC's briefing and takeoff from airfield near Brighton, England 
2 Encounter with stray fighter plane over the Channel 
3 Parachute drop and move into Felcamp 
4 PC's begin search for Michel and the documents 
5 A group of the Marine Raiders wander into the minefield hidden on the west side of the village alerting the town to their presence if not already alerted.
6 The SS and the Panther enter the search for the Team 

A stray German fighter spots the transport plane and attacks. 

Final Preparations 
The PC's raiding party is briefed at the airfield in England. 
They have four hours to prepare for the mission. "At all costs" is given permission to not worry about collateral damage of civilians and property.
Grenades, two bazookas, and explosives are available for the PC's use. The Brass aren't fooling around and are taking no chances in case the WIrbelwind is operational.
Two rifles with sound suppressors are also available.
PC's are free to choose rifles, submachine guns, and pistols to their taste.

The Marine Raiders are each armed with Thompson SMG's, a .45 pistol, two grenades, and combat knives.The Marine Captain and Sgt. both speak French. 

At just prior to 2200, the team loads up into the Skytrain and wait for the air raiders to take off. They follow the raiders, several miles behind. 

Death Flight
The flight goes smoothly for the first twenty minutes. 
The raiders go on ahead and the C-47 veers off towards Felcamp. Unfortunately, at 10 minutes to drop, they are spotted by a stray Messerschmitt Bf 109 fighter over the channel. The plane sustained damage from the Allied fighters ahead of the Skytrain. It's nose cannon is empty but it's linked 13mm (large) machineguns have a few bursts left.

The fighter veers in raking the Skytrain from front to back with it's twin machine guns. 
The Skytrain is a sitting duck. Bullets rip through the fuselage and into the raiding party.
The damage is 2d6+2 and it attacks for five rounds.
1d4 Marines are hit each round and take damage. 
Each PC and the Marine Captain and Sgt must roll a 1d6. If a one is rolled that character is targeted. Attack roll is at +2 and the PC's have an armor class bonus of +2 from the fuselage.

After three rounds the Messerschmitt flies off towards whatever base it came from.
Blood sloshes around the hull of the ship as cold wind from dozens of bullet holes whistles in. 
The Skytrain is barely flying but can make its drop zone. The co-pilot and radio man are both dead. 

At the drop zone the raiders are free to leap from the plane to parachute in.
The character rolls a 1d20. On a one the chute fails to open. Do it again for the reserve chute. Don't roll a one again. 20d6 fall damage.

Getting to the ground requires a Dex check with a few modifiers.
Flat open area: +4 bonus
Rough/Rocky: 0 bonus or penalty
Forest: -2 penalty
Town/City: -4 penalty
Failure causes 1d6 damage as the trooper hits obstacles, etc during landing. If the roll fails by five or more points the trooper has a complication and turns an ankle (half move), gets hung up in trees or on buildings, etc. A natural 20 is a crit fail on the Dex check and the trooper takes double damage as well as a complication. 

On the Ground
Once on the ground and after getting their act together the surviving members of the raiders move out and cover the two+ miles as quickly as possible with their wounded.. 

There is no patrols out tonight due to lack of manpower and fear of Allied planes. The Nazis are huddled up and keeping their heads down in Felcamp. 

The raiders go through a small strip of light woods, coming upon a field of wheat on the East side of the village. They make their way through the wheat and emerge next to the north village proper where the Marine Captain confers with or gives order to the PC's. 

Phase One
Surviving Marines are split equally among the two raiding group and Phase One commences.
If all goes well and no alarms are set off, Phase Two commences and disaster hits.

Phase Two
Marine Unit One exits the western field and makes it to the wire. They begin to cut it with their bolt cutters. 

Marine Unit Two exit the eastern field, crossing over freshly dug dirt they do not see in the dark. The Captain and 1d6 other Marines step on landmines and are instantly killed, the blast waking up everyone in the area. Surviving Marines, shocked, hit the dirt and stay put. 

Alarms begin going off across the compound.

The Minefield
The surviving Marines and any PC's with them if the plan was altered get to traverse a minefield.
Each round each character moving must roll a 1d12. On a 1 to 4 the character has stepped on a mine. He will need to make a Dex check to stop and not set it off. If set off the damage is 2d6+2 damage in a 20' radius. Characters caught in the blast must make a Saving Throw or be unconscious for a number of rounds equal to damage taken x2. 

If a character is on the primed mine he or someone can try to disarm the mine or put try to put a weight on the pressure plate to keep it from blowing. A Dex check with a -4 penalty is required. If helped the penalty is -2. 
On a failure the mine explodes and the characters working on it takes full damage from the blast. 

To find the mines to get out of the field safely a character must go slow, no more than five feet per minute. Roll the 1d12 as above. If a mine is indicated the character can attempt to find it with an Int check. If successful he has found and marked a mine. If he has missed it, has no idea it's there, and the WM must roll the 1d12 again to see if he set it off. If he didn't anyone else moving through rolls the 1d12 normally to see if they hit it. 

The WM can throw all sorts of problems in the way.
The two men manning the machinegun nests may squeeze off a shot before they are taken out. They may also blow whistles, fire a flare, or set off the electric alarm on the barracks roof.
Random soldiers may be outside relieving themselves or smoking. They may have to be killed to get where the Units are supposed to be.
A hidden machinegun nest in the forest. It will open up possibly pinning down the raiders.
Guard dogs in the compound. They can injure raiders, alert the Nazis, drain valuable ammmo resources, etc.
A drunken villager wakes up and wanders into the line of fire.
The SS Major uses women and children as hostages.

Death and Destruction
When an alarm or the mine field is set off...
Two Wehrmacht Sergeants and three Corporals (Obergefreiter) emerge from the northern village and run towards the barracks compound.
Four Wehrmacht Riflemen (Oberschütze) emerge from their sleeping spots in the southern village. They move cautiously heading towards the barracks, using the buildings as cover. They are making their way around towards the rear of the barracks to sweep for infiltrators.
Two Wehrmacht Riflemen are guarding the fuel depot and will not leave their post at the machinegun nest on the roof. They will cover the north of the village.
Thirteen Wehrmacht (including one Sergeant) are sleeping in the barracks.
In three rounds a diesel engine roar to life in the large metal sheds next to the compound. In three more rounds the Panther will roll out. ready for combat.
Marine Unit Two is still stuck in the minefield and the three survivors take their chances to get into the firefight. 

The Panther has a spotlight on it's turret, and swivels it along the southern road looking for intruders.
They will first machinegun any opposition they find, saving the cannon for those hiding in field or forest. If damaged they do not hesitate to use the cannon.
A single Wirbelwind tanker lays near the door peeking out acting as a spotter for the vehicle. If any of the raiding party tries to enter the shed or attack it/the Wirbelwind the crew opens up with the quad 20mm guided by the spotter. The Panther can also use its radio to call for support.

The Thirteen Wehrmacht are stirring in the barracks building. 
If still alive the Marine Sergeant will suggest lobbing grenades through the open windows. 

After five rounds the SS Major and driver enter their armored vehicle and head towards the largest firefight to add fire support from the car's MG42 manned by the Major.

The Battle takes its course.

Survivors of the raiding party are treated as heroes. Food, water, wine, and medical treatment are thrown upon them. 
They find Michel locked in the Mayor's house and discover the documents, locked in a chest in the commandeered Mayor's bedroom. The documents are plans, in German and sealed with an SS symbol. The contents are left up to the WM to fit his campaign. 
The villagers offer a ride in a fishing boat to the pickup coordinates. Continued aircover and patrols in the channel allows them a quiet ride back to England.
The raiders may think to blow up the ammo dump and fuel depot before they leave.
The villagers desert the village heading to stay with relatives, friends, and sympathizers in nearby villages. Many are taken in by French Resistance members.

Mission completed.

Marine Raiders  
Captain (3HD): Submachine Gun, heavy handgun, knife, two grenades.
Sgt (2 HD): Submachine Gun, heavy handgun, knife, two grenades.
Page 87  OWB Base Rules (Allied Officers)

20 Marines (2 HD): Submachine Gun, heavy handgun, knife, two grenades.
Page 87  OWB Base Rules (Allied Soldiers)

3 Sgts (2 HD): Large Rifle, Pistol, two grenades, bayonet.
3 Corporals: Large Rifle, two grenades, bayonet.
Page 84  OWB Base Rules (German Officers)

16 Riflemen: Large Rifle, two grenades, bayonet.
8 MG crew: Medium machinegun, 1 large rifle, 1 submachinegun, 2 to 3 grenades, possible heavy RPG..
Page 83  OWB Base Rules (German Soldier)

Panzer Tankers
10 Tankers: Medium handgun.
Page 83  OWB Base Rules (German Soldier)

Major (3HD): Submachine Gun, medium handgun, knife.
Sgt (2 HD): Submachine Gun, medium handgun, knife.
Page 84  OWB Base Rules (SS Officer)

Page 83  OWB Base Rules

Armored Car
Page 63  OWB Base Rules (Armored car with medium machinegun.)

Wirbelwind (Medium tank.)
Page 64  OWB Base Rules 
Built on a Panzer chassis the vehicle does not have the Panzer cannon or machineguns. 
The turret has a quad autocannon (TR2.) This configuration gives the gunner a +2 to hit and damage is 2d6+2 per burst. The vehicle also has a bow heavy machinegun (F.)

Panther Tank
Page 64  OWB Base Rules (Medium tank.)
This vehicle includes a turret mounted spotlight.

Vehicle stats are also in Common Vehicles of WW2. Good stuff.
Check out OWB Tactical for more as well as a lot of extra rules for vehicle and personal combat. Fantastic.

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