Thank you for the Rescue Options Dave and Frank, mine all involved a noisy demonstration, either a grenade into the fuel dump and one into another building or a grenade into each of the buildings that I knew had troops billeted in them, followed by an immediate assault on the Antiques Shop and hopefully rescue the two old Duffers, I mean Hero’s.
The most subtle option I could think of was to take Rachael Weiss hostage and use her to persuade the guards in the Antiques Shop to open the door and let us in.
In the end I rolled the dice to decide on the specific option and they went with lobbing a grenade at the fuel dump and then another one into the White Swan once the first had done its job on the fuel drums. Then assault the Antiques shop with everyone else.
Just to remind you of the layout of the town, the Rescuers are starting from Aunty Betty’s which is really Aunty Edna’s! There are enemy troops known to be in 4, the Antiques Shop, 5, The Fruit or Florist’s shop, 7, a House and 15, the White Swan. Guards or Sentries are located in North Gate, West Way and South Street. The 2 Hero’s to be rescued are in 4 the Antiques Shop.
The shop layout was unknown to me, but from the outside it looked like there might be a large showroom at the front with a door and window at the back indicating maybe 1 or 2 rooms, probably a kitchen and office? There were 4 windows on the first floor so 2 or 3 bedrooms and a bathroom, old buildings in a village probably had a cellar and maybe and attic or loft space.
Once I laid my cunning assault plan I rolled dice to see which of these rooms existed so even with a solo game there was a reasonable element of surprise for me in assaulting the shop.
I then rolled some more dice to decide where the rest of the enemy elements were located, the ones that hadn’t been discovered in the initial reconnaissance and finally we’re all set for the game to begin.
Sorry – not quite - In the game each element or individual only acts if they pass an activation roll, I’d decided that it takes 3 active turns to get dressed, clean their teeth, pick up their weapons etc, 1 turn to go downstairs and 1 turn to open the door and leave the house. So that’s going to translate into a minimum of 5 turns plus any inactive turns before each figure is out on the street, of course if the Rescuers enter a house they might encounter enemy cleaning their teeth or running downstairs etc etc.
Ok are you up to speed – Then I’ll begin.
Vaggers asserting his male authority said they needed a distraction, an assault crew, a cordon team and a back up team, he’s read Sun Tzu, Bunty suggested they needed a surprise as well as a distraction she’d read the Wiley Woman and they all thought hers was a good idea, especially when she suggested the surprise.
At the mention of grenades and explosions, Mad Patsy’s eyes lit up and she volunteered to go and throw them, Sally decided she must ensure Patsy threw them at the right time and at the right target so had to accompany her.
Once the fuel dump exploded Barbara using the shotgun as a door knocker would blow the back door of the Antiques Shop open and Spankers would rush in, followed by Barbara. At the same time Vaggers and Bunty would attack the shop from the front with Isabelle and Nicole providing covering fire from the flanks to try and stop the Afrika Korps and Italian sentries from interfering in the attack.
They knew the front door of the shop was locked but Bunty’s surprise should overcome that problem.
The game is a foot and with some appalling dice throwing for the Italian Sentries, it turned out that they were all wrapped up in their beds and there were no sentries set for this night, I imagine heads might roll when this fact is discovered by the High Command.
Turn 1 Patsy and Sally left for the fuel dump, you have to imagine it’s dark and visibility is only 12”, unless of course you are illuminated by a big fire, but more of that later.
Because they were expecting Italian Sentries on South Street, they had taken the bold decision to go the shortest route through the town to avoid them. Given more time they should have gone out into the country and headed through the fields and back lanes approaching the Fuel dump from the West but Patsy was wearing her new red shoes and refused to get them muddy so they took the short route. They went down the alley between the Antiques shop with the Gestapo billeted in it and the Florist’s Shop with the Afrika Korps billeted in it.
They were moving stealthily, half a normal move and checking to see if they created noise at certain points. There was one heart stopping moment when a tomcat howled but they made it through to High Street without incident.
That’s when they met Coco the Doberman, not a breed known for its cuddly and playful nature.
They now had two problems, time was slipping away with all this stealthy palaver and of course Coco might not want to play and be cuddled.
On a dice roll of 6 Coco attacks savagely, 4,5 she barks and attracts attention, 1,2,3 she wants to play quietly. I rolled 1 and they pat the dog and move on. Does she let them go on alone, 4,5,6 she goes with them – oh no who thought of that!! I rolled 2 – whew, Coco roamed away into the night.
By taking their straight route through the town they’d avoided the Italian sentries on South Street but they were still expecting to meet the ones on West Way or North Street and would have to creep around them, however they were completely unaware of a pair of binoculars trained on them as the progressed along High Street.
They moved further along High Street looking carefully for the Italians they expected to be guarding the fuel dump but as we know, they are tucked up in bed.
That’s when the rest of the Rescuers started to move out in three waves.
First Bunty and Vaggers exited Aunty Edna’s and head away from the Antiques Shop!?! You remember Bunty is in disguise as Hazel and Vaggers is in disguise as William, of course you do, I’m sorry to mention it. They had to go furthest and set off first.
The second wave are Nicole and Isabelle who are acting as the cordon in Vaggers grand plan, that is if two Girl Guides can act as a cordon, anyway they are intending to take up their positions as the backup men or maybe women for the shock troops.
Isabelle in the red beret has taken up a position to enfilade the Afrika Korps as they emerge from House 7, I think that’s a French word meaning blow the sh*t out of them if they get in her line of fire but French is not my strong suit.
That’s when the shock troops emerge, Spankers has changed her bad habit of a nun for more informal leather jacket and blue pants and that could be a stolen Luftwaffe hat? Barbara didn’t bring along a spare change of clothes and is still wearing her blue beret and carrying the door knocker (shotgun).
You might begin to guess at the surprise that Bunty proposed as she and Vaggers climb in to Aunty Edna’s black Sportster.
There was a short squabble over who would drive, before Bunty slipped into the drivers seat – There was some talk about – well you’ve got the shotgun so I should drive but it was only whispered, after all these guy’s are professionals.
Moving as quietly as they can Patsy and Sally have passed the White Swan without waking anyone and they can’t see the expected Italians, who as you already know are tucked up in bed.
Patsy, trembling with excitement pulls the pin out of the first grenade as Sally wonders how long they have after pulling the pin before it goes BANG, Patsie with nerves of steel waits 1 move before she throws it at the fuel drums.
BOOM, her aim was good and the grenade explodes amongst the fuel drums with a loud WOOSH and she ducks back behind the big red…ish truck.
My intention then, was that Patsy would run across the road and break a window of the White Swan and drop the 2nd grenade in, causing further confusion if not casualties, then they would get out of town as best and fast as they could.
There was a slight flaw in my plan, because there wasn’t a roadside window for her to drop the grenade into and so she would have to use the main door window on High Street, but we’ll come to that in due course.
Spankers falls hard as she climbs over the wall but the Germans are all sleeping soundly and don’t hear her. Then there’s a loud explosion as the Fuel Dump blows up, the timing was off because they’re in not place by the back door but they’re not far away.
Bunty turns the key in the ignition and the model A Ford bursts into life.
Everyone else starts to count down to see how fast they can get out of bed, get dressed etc, etc.
The white rings indicate how many active moves everyone as taken so far.
Bunty puts the pedal to the metal as the saying goes and the small car accelerates into the corner.
Sally and Patsie roll dice to see how fast they recover from the concussive effect of the exploding fuel drums. It wasn't a good roll!
All the sleeping troops are now awake, more or less and the Italians being light sleepers, or maybe having guilty consciences are leading the way.
I expect you’ve guessed by now that Bunty’s surprise was to drive Aunty Edna’s Model A Ford through the front window of the Antiques shop, who needs a key to the door when you can drive straight in without knocking.
At this point I drew up the plan of the building based on the previous criteria.
The resulting crash left them more shook up than I’d hoped and if you can understand my shorthand from the previous picture there was a dice decision as to how many Germans might be sleeping in the Sales Room, I threw a 6 which meant 2 troopers. They were also a little shook up to find a car, no matter how small drive into their bedroom.
Barbara, blew the lock off the back door and Spankers charged into what turned out to be a kitchen area.
Unlike most rules, the ones I use determine that if someone moves into line of sight of an enemy there is a roll off to decide who reacts first. In this instance 2 reacts first and 1’s all react together or simultaneously if you want to be posh. Again because they are solo rules, it’s just to see who reacts first, then you test to see what your reaction is, it can mean you shoot at the enemy, or maybe duck back into cover etc but nothing is a foregone conclusion.
Anyway gun play was inevitable, Erika fired first and would have hit Vaggers in the right leg but luckily he was still sat in the car, stunned from the crash and the Model A Ford’s bodywork saved him. Bunty and Astrid fire simultaneously but Astrid’s smg jammed and Bunty snap firing back at Astrid winging her in the right arm, only a flesh wound but of course it caused her to drop the jammed Smg she was holding.
Bunty’s second shot missed, possibly because she was encouraging Vaggers to get his act together and return fire. It was all a bit of a mess in the Sales Room of the Antiques Shop and not going as planned in Aunty Edna’s Dinning Room.
Meanwhile back in the Fuel Dump area, Primo the Italian commander had woken with a start, hearing the explosion. As I said, he’s a smart cookie and he realised immediately what had happened and as he rolled out of bed he wondered how he would blame everyone else for the catastrophe. First out of his billet he saw Patsie and Sally highlighted in the flames from the burning fuel as they cross the road to the White Swan but not soon enough to open fire. The German’s inside the Swan were all downstairs and on their way to see what was happening outside, just then Sally broke the door window and Patsie dropped the grenade inside.
Eckehard went down in a spray of blood and bones, dying immediately, the resulting panic inside the building saw most of the troops stunned and some even running away. The main problem now for Patsie and Sally is that they can’t retreat into the dark as planned, because there is none now that the fuel dump is blazing so well.
Back with the main rescue attempt in the Antiques Shop, Spankers has stalled in the kitchen area but Barbara pushes past her and into the Showroom area, she sees Astrid reaching for the dropped Smg and opens fire with her shotgun, the blasts sounding incredibly loud in the confined space. Astrid is hit in the guts and left leg; she is out of the fight, too badly wounded to participate further.
Vaggers finally gets his act together, as he and Bunty exchange fire with Erika, she drops to the floor after taking bullets and buckshot to the left leg and right arm, but Bunty’s final shot to Erika’s head kills her outright.
There’s no let up in the action outside the Swan. Wolfgang Arnold pushes through the main door but Sally reacts first and plugs him with a well aimed shot, he goes down out of the fight. They need to get out of there now, before anymore more enemy emerge from the Swan or they are cut off by the Italians.
This is the predicament the girls are in. Out of picture but coming into sight from the far side (West Way) are Primo and his men. Nearest the camera is Meinhard Wenke and a couple of Italians and we know the Swan is still full of Germans.
Patsie and Sally are illuminated by the fire blazing behind the red-ish truck and they have no cover from a three pronged attack. They need to escape to our right but must force the enemy back before they can make a run for it.
Too late though as the Italians on the far side open fire but miss, Sally returns fire and her pistol runs out of ammo, her target doesn’t know this and the first bullet was close enough to make him duck back into cover. Primo also fires and also misses, Patsies return fire drives him back, wounded in the right arm he drops his pistol as he scuttles back to cover. That’s stopped the advance from the far side of town for the moment.
Nicole in the neat blue pork pie hat takes careful aim at the shadowy figures moving up the road towards Sally and Patsie, she fires and misses. Volpe dashes forward into cover but Wenke the Gestapo leader calmly draws his Lugar and fires back, fortunately he’s a poor shot and also misses.
Vito, who was just behind Wenke jumps round the corner to fire at Nicole but his wild shot is way off the mark, her return fire is not, chest and head and he’s dead. Wenke is sprayed with blood, stunned and is inactive. That looks like it’s stopped the advance from this side as well, maybe Sally and Patsie can make a run for it before another attack is mounted or Volpe recovers his nerve and moves out of cover.
Elsewhere in the town more Germans are leaving the warmth of their beds and coming onto the street, Rachael Weiss was the opponent the Rescue Plan overlooked. She moves cautiously along East Lane towards the fire, it’s dark but she spots Isabelle at 12”, this is long range for her automatic but she opens fire anyway.
Alerted to the sound of gunfire behind her, Isabelle swings round and fires wildly. She’s a better shot than Rachael and using a Smg sprays more lead at her enemy, two bullets hit home, Rachael falls to the ground OOF.
With the two troopers in the Showroom dealt with, Vaggers is the first of the Rescuers to move, he sees 2 doors leading from the Showroom and moves to the nearest, it’s locked, not a subtle man he blows the lock to pieces with his shotgun but stops to reload before opening the door. He might not be subtle but he’s not stupid either.
Out on the street Horst Dankers had jumped out from the Swan doorway, he knew roughly where his enemies were and he and Sally fired together, she hit him in the head and stomach, he’s down, OOF but his return fire was deadly and she’s hit in the guts, also OOF. So not really deadly but pretty bad, Out Of Fight means just that, they are too injured to fight on. They can be carried but it takes a pretty strong and determined friend to do that.
Patsie, on her own now, and in a desperate situation, she quickly considers her options and they’re not good.
The first of the Afrika Korps troopers is just behind the truck on the left with more coming from the same direction, one lot of Italians has been beaten back but others are getting close. Sally is down and it will be difficult to carry her out, maybe even impossible.
Primo had recovered his Beretta and made another attempt to move closer to Patsie but his men refused to advance with him and her gunfire drove him back again.
Patsie is standing over Sally’s prone form, she has a dilemma. To see if she can pick Sally up in a fireman’s lift she has to test to see if she is strong enough to make the lift. She has 2 attempts and if she fails on the 2nd attempt then she just isn’t strong enough to perform the action at all. Of course if she stops shooting she can’t hold off her enemies, tricky.
On the far side of the road cross there is Wenke in the black coat in a gunfight with Nicole but by the wall is Volpe who is taking aim at Patsie.
He fires and misses, she spins like a top and snap fires back at him, also missing but his nerves are blown and he ducks back into the cover of the stone wall.
The gunfight between Wenke and Nicole is resolved in her favour and he’s OOF with a wound in the guts.
In the Antiques Shop Vaggers has re-loaded his shotgun, Barbara has gone through the other door from the Showroom and is standing at the foot of the stairs. Bunty is deciding if she should guard the window with the car sticking through it or follow Vaggers through the door that he is irresolutely standing in front of.
On the floor above they can hear footsteps, although it sounds more like Jackboot’s to the listeners below.
With a wild yell Vaggers bursts through the door.
“Down here old chap. Quick as you can, there’s no guards but we’re chained to the wall and can’t get out” That was Snappers voice or Vaggers wasn’t a Yorkshire man.
“Be right down old lad” he called.
“Come on old fruit” shouted Dougers, “it’s awfully stuffy down here and I could use a G & T as well, hope you’ve got some ice”
Bunty and Spankers were at the window now, exchanging shots with the Afrika Korps and Barbara was still guarding the stairwell.
This was the situation outside and troopers were moving in quickly.
There’s an old expression of surprise, which is “Well I’ll go to the foot of our stairs” I don’t know if this is a common expression or something more local to where I grew up….. But
As Von Strohelm turned the landing and started to descend the stairs he recieved a full load of buckshot from Barbara standing at the foot of the stairs and as he rolled all the way down he was heard to mutter “Ahh… now I understand it”. He dropped the briefcase at her feet as the two thugs upstairs retreated away from the landing.
Barbara was stuffing cartridges into the shotgun as fast as she could but no one came to the top of the stairs, then she grabbed the briefcase and retreated back into the Showroom.
With a brief respite from being shot at Patsie has reached down and pulled Sally up onto her shoulder in one fluid motion and is now staggering away from the action as fast as her new red shoes would allow.
You can just see Volpe’s hat in this shot, he’s still ducked down behind the wall and not recovered his nerve yet.
Fortunately for Patsie, he’s a bit on the nervous side and it’ll take a good dice roll to get him back into action.
Out on the High Street there’s a bit of a lull in the action, most of the Afrika Korps chaps decided they should fight from cover and had either pulled back to the far side of the street or further down it. Vaggers was freeing the two old Duffers from their wall chains and Bunty and Spankers were hiding behind the Ford and Barbara was still grabbing the briefcase or reloading or what ever.
I forgot to mention that during the furious gunfight no one heard the green truck’s engine start, it’s being driven at breakneck speed along High Street, scattering Germans right, left and centre. No one knows who’s in it or its purpose, so no one fired at it, which was a bit of a miracle really.
In the distance Patsie has moved further along the road and will soon be hidden in the darkness, obviously she is moving slowly, encumbered as she is carrying Sally and so far Volpe has still not recovered his nerve, but the green truck will catch up with her very soon.
Liam O’Rourke the newspaper reporter emerges from his loggings. Giuseppie comes up behind him and shouts loudly in Italian. Liam is Irish and doesn’t understand Italian but he’s from Belfast and does understand threats and raises his hands and is arrested by Giuseppie.
Liam should have played a bigger role in the game but he was slow getting out of bed.
The Germans are regrouping for another attack. Axel, the last man out of the safely of the Florists decided to leave by the back door, he opened it carefully and saw Isabelle and Isabelle’s Smg, she is fast and very accurate and he was just too slow, she shot him in the head and he was dead.
Primo finally gets his troops to move forwards to glory, just as the green truck goes past, so they spray it with bullets, causing some damage but not enough to stop its mad progress.
Volpe is still ducked down but Silvano his Officer has finally got out of his billet and shouts for him to be a man, stand up and shoot Patsie in the back, something he resolutely refuses to do… stand up that is.
Silvano decides to do the job himself and even though it’s very long range and he’s not a good shot he manages to hit.
I rolled a dice to see who he’d hit and with a bit of good luck it was Sally not Patsie. Sally might not regard that as good luck but she was hit in the arm and is still alive and Patsie can still carry her.
Volpe finally recovered his nerve and stood up, he fired but rushed his shot and missed Patsie and Sally. Just then the green truck pulled up providing cover from further firing, a female voice from the cab shouted “GET IN” and as fast as they could, they did.
Meantime the Germans attacking the front of the Antiques Shop had taken a lot of casualties and were reluctant to storm the building, contenting themselves with putting a steady stream of gunfire into it. The return fire gradually diminished as the Rescuers made a staged fighting retreat. By the time the German troops realized there wasn’t any return fire, the Rescuers had left the building by the back door and were moving into the darkness and safety of the countryside, for the time being at any rate.
The green lorry was driven by Miss Scarlet who evaded all of Sally’s questions, although Sally was in a pretty poor state to question anyone, especially an Agent as resourceful as Scarlet.
Mad Patsie wasn’t interested in answers, she was just grateful they’d gotten out alive and not got mud on her new shoes, and although she had trouble with the right hand drive lorry, or truck as she kept referring to it, she got Sally and herself to the rendezvous point with Vaggers, Bunty and Spankers in one piece.
Miss Scarlet made her way back into Greater Snoring and reported back to her Boss….
If you read the original story, you will know that the Germans have landed in East Anglia and have created a second front in the invasion of Britain, will Snappers, Dougers and Vaggers, not forgetting Spankers and Bunty create a second front behind the German second front.
Would it be too confusing to have 2 second fronts?
Who is Scarlet’s Boss, did we meet him or her in Greater Snoring or did they remain in the shadows, what is Scarlet and her Boss intending to do in Greater Snoring, are they going to create a 3rd front!
Who knows or indeed cares.
In retrospect there were a couple of flaws in my plan and I think the Fuel Dump diversion didn’t achieve its aim. It roused the enemy 2 moves before the attack was ready to go in to the Antiques Shop, my bad timing, but I think that’s inevitable in this sort of attack.
Patsie and Sally should have gotten out of Dodge as soon as the fuel dump blew up, attacking the White Swan almost got them killed.
I would have preferred to attack from just the rear of the Antiques shop keeping my forces together but not knowing the layout I was worried that they wouldn’t get far enough into the building before getting held up. Also I’d no idea where Snappers and Dougers would be or if they would have guards in the room with them, that was all decided by dice as and when I got there, so I think a 2 pronged attack was a good idea. It was a bit melodramatic to drive through the window but what the hell, we all need a bit of melodrama, even though it almost went badly wrong.
Anyway, if you got this far – thanks for reading.