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"And I have been lifted into the presence of Angels..."
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-donalfall, the Angel Project (ongoing)

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Playtesting the Weird War II draft from the steve jackson games pyramid playtest area (pyramid subscribers only - go on, do it. It's worth it)

Session 1. In RL - Saturday/Sunday 15/16 APR 2003

All my Weird War games are going to "rotate" between the five major powers. The yanks were first. The lads got to do the whole "gritty heroes" style of play, making 100 - point Riflemen, based on the template from GURPS WWII. The whole set up is semi-historical. No overt weirdness (yet) and the guys are almost in a historically accurate warzone. The choice was "easy" for the Americans as we've all watched Band of Brothers recently.

Bastogne and Foy - November 1944.

506th Rifles enter Bastogne and Foy, facing the German offensive on the Ardennes completely outnumbered. Soon, allied command will rush in troops via trucks and jeeps, but for the moment, only the 506th and one armoured face masses of Germans attacking the area. Soon after, even the relieving force gets surrounded for days. But for now, the 506th is practically on its own.

Just following a weekend pass to Paris (the guys weren't impressed with the french) elements of the 506th gets its orders to move east quickly to form a temporary line of defense with the rest of the 506th. Our Pc's get on the train as ordered and head into the bitter cold of the Ardennes. It takes almost a week for them to be consolidated with the rest of their division, a week spent marching and travelling. Also, they get to take in Bastogne, which is just seeing the start of the German bombing.

5th, 6th and 7th platoons are put into a line along to the east of Bastogne to await relocation to Foy. The Pc's (along with their sergeant, O'Brien) manage to screw up their minimal directions and end up close to German lines. Their Captain, Captain Black, turns up in the morning and relocates them. The get bawled out, but get to avoid combat patrol as they relocate. The patrols that do come back come back missing 7 out of 10 men. On a midnight walk up the line to give the guys in first platoon some stuff from Paris, the guys walk past about 50 German soldiers. The line is exceptionally fluid.

The guys go out on combat patrol in the following nights, and their squad takes it first casualty, Tony Danza, an unfortunate NPC. Snow is coming down thick and lightning explodes constantly. When the guys retrieve Danza's body from "No-Man's Land", Stornby (Pc, Medic) returns with a German casualty for interrogation and Dahl (Pc, "sniper") sees what looks like a massive bear wandering through the snow.

After a couple of days of this "hurry up and wait" the guys are finally taken to Foy. But not before running into a German Light Panzer detachment. The guys engaged the fringes of the German Infantry escort, who turn out to nearly all be Hitler Youth, between the ages of 15 and 17. Dahl spots his "bear" again, but now is sure it's a man. A man who's 8 feet tall and working with the Germans! Artillery strikes are exchanged, the Allied ones being very substandard, but enough to take care of the tanks. The guys also engage a German FO post and wipe them out on the quiet.

On route to Foy, they meet the Allied Armour division that will stand with them against the German horde. At Foy, they're even given a hot meal before carted out into the Black Forest and told to get fox holes ready. Shortly, the Germans come pouring out of the East. There's Hitler Youth, Waffen SS and Panzers everywhere. A very static battle begins, centred on the armour, but involving the infantry in spates. That night, most of the Pc's see Dahl's "Bear Man" and fire round after round into him - he was literally walking down allied lines. In the morning, all that can be found is massive stains of blood, frozen onto the snow.

Next - The Germans & Malta