Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Counterpane » 30 Oct 2008

Flight of the Golden Pheasants
by Richard Crawley

As the Red Army closed in on Berlin, many of the officials of the Third Reich began to look for ways to escape the on-rushing twilight of their gods. Some had long planned escape but others, blinded by their faith in Hitler's genius or hopes of wonder weapons, stumbled unaware into the sudden, desperate need of a way out.

For the Soviets, the death throes of the Great Patriotic War were a last chance to inflict on Nazi Germany some measure of the horrors earlier visited on Mother Russia. The drive for revenge competed with a natural anxiety not to die in the last few days of the war in the hearts of the men and women of the Red Army.

Our scenario depicts those desperate days. I have moved the action to the fictional German city of Kreisgau an der Mesel. This allows us to take some liberties with the details of history and geography. If you have models specific to suitable parts of Berlin, feel free to return to the capital.

Game Play
Much of the game is about hidden movement so a referee is pretty much de riguer for this one. You might want to consider using markers to represent unspotted units and mixing in some dummies too. In an ideal world all of these markers could be small dioramas depicting civilians.

I have formatted the scenario for Arc of Fire. These rules work well for this kind of scenario because they handle spotting in a unit-to-unit way that is particularly suited to a game of hidden movement.

AoF uses TAC scores to distinguish between units with differing levels of training and general tactical competence. Generally, highly trained units will have scores of 4 or 5 whilst untrained militia and civilians will be 7 or 8.

However, in this case, the main use of TAC scores for many units will be to make the Mode changes they need so they can hide. TAC, then, on this occasion will also reflect group size, familiarity with the city, and ability to melt into the general mass of the populace.

Flight of the Golden Pheasants would work well as a participation game (or perhaps as a “whole club game”). To get the number of players needed around the table I'd suggest playing at Arc of Fire's larger scale.

Forces
It is the night of 31st April 1945 and Soviet forces have begun to break into the eastern suburbs of Kreisgau and der Mesel. As leading Red Army elements push through the rubble-strewn streets, SS punishment squads move to round up deserters, and the Golden Pheasants scatter in the darkness.

Each force listed has a TAC score for the unit as a whole and a Morale score for each figure. As always with AoF low is good (4 is the best) and high is bad (8 is the worst) for both of these scores.

The Golden Pheasants
The following sections suggest a number of personalities of Nazi Kreisgau who now wish to escape the city. More can easily be added to suit the number of players and the time available.

Each section includes the unit's TAC score and the equipment and morale scores of the figures (“L” denotes a Leader). In addition each unit has a starting point and a destination. Units may move by any route between the two points.

The Gauleiter (TAC 8)
Gauleiter........Pistol.......8L
Secretary........-.............8
2 Guards.......SMGs........7

Gauleiter Lohmann is equivalent to a city Mayor in the Nazi state’s hierarchy. He must avoid capture so he can continue to lead the fight against Jewry and Bolshevism. He is accompanied by Fräulein Dienst, his secretary.
Start: Rathaus, Exit: Hitlerallee (by aircraft)

The Physician (TAC 5)
Dr Falsch..........-..........7L
Frau Dr Falsch....-..........8
2 Children.........-..........8

Herr Doktor Falsch is the personal physician to the Gauleiter of Kreisgau an der Mesel. He is now regretting his decision to remain at his post so long – the Soviets are closing in and it may already be too late to get his family out of the city.
Start: Clinic, Exit: Garage

The Gestapo Chief (TAC 7 )
Kessler........Pistol.............4L
Adjutant......Pistol.............6L
6 Guards......SMGs..............6
Truck

Standartenführer Kessler is the head of the Gestapo in Kreisgau. Parked outside his office is a truckload of artworks, fine wine and gold bullion.
Start: Gestapo office, Exit: Any road west or south

SS Death Squad (TAC 7)
Leutnant.........Pistol...........4L
6x SS-Männer....SMGs...........5

As the edifice of the National Socialist state collapsed, ever more brutal demonstrations of the fate of deserters became common. The Leutnant is determined to find and publicly hang any deserters in Kreisgau before they further sap the people's will to prevail.
Start: Police station, Exit: None

The General (TAC 5)
General............Pistol..........4L
Adjutant...........Pistol..........4L
Driver..............SMG............7
Mercedes staff car

Wehrmacht General von Blick has been ordered to take command of “Army Group Mesel” (probably a grotesquely exaggerated title for a ragged collection of undermanned units). He needs to get through the city to join his new headquarters.
Start: Any road north, Exit: any road south

The Volk
By April 1945 most German cities had been terribly badly bombed. Their populations had fallen drastically and were predominantly female, most men having been drafted into the Wehrmacht or for labour purposes.

German Communists (TAC 5) (self-activating unit)
Hans.............Pistol, red flag.......6
Lotte ............Sword, red flag.......6

Elderly brother and sister Hans and Lotte Linkermann have survived the war in Kreisgau despite being active communists distributing underground literature and writing subversive slogans on walls. Now they are keen to greet the advancing Red Army.
Start: Player's choice, Exit: None

Edelweiss Kommando (TAC 6)
Karl..................Pistol........5L
3 Youths.............Pistols.......6
3 Youths.............Knives.......7

Small, leftist-inspired Boy Scout groups remained secretly active in Germany throughout the war. This is one such group. As the war machine swallows up increasingly younger victims they have been forced underground. Now the SS patrols to round up deserters represent a real threat and the time has come for action.
Start: Any cellars, Exit: None

Deserters (TAC 5) (self-activating unit)
Emil..............Pistol.............5
Franz.............Rifle..............8
Louis................-................6
Jan...............Knife..............6
Karel................-................7

In the ruins of most German cities, small knots of deserters and escaped slave-labourers await the end of the war. Survival is their only aim as SS patrols seek to round them up.
Start: Any cellars, Exit: None

Volkssturm Panzerjäger Team (Tac 7)
Gefreiter........Rifle..........................4L
2 Boys............Panzerfausts................5
Veteran..........Panzerschreck, pistol.......5
Loader...........SMG..........................5
All figures equipped with bicycles.
Start: Rathaus, Exit: None

FlaK Detachment (TAC 8)
Obergrfreiter..........Pistol.......7L
6 Gunners................-..........8
8.8cm FlaK 18

By this stage of the war, the air defence of German cities consisted largely of anti-aircraft artillery, often manned by female crews. This team have been ordered to prepare to engage ground targets but have never been trained so to do. Their unit has no towing vehicle for the gun and only 2d6 rounds of ammunition left.
Start: Hitlerallee, Exit: None

The Bolshevik Horde
As darkness provides cover for the Golden Pheasants to begin their flight, so some elements of the Red Army seek to use it to move unseen through the streets. Although the main force has been ordered to halt for the night, some units push on, with or without the sanction of higher command.

Referees should consider adding more units of looters in particular as time and the number of players allow.

Soviet Looters (TAC 7)
Yefreytor........SMG.......................6L
7 soldiers........Bolt-actionRifles.........7
3 soldiers........SMGs......................7

The main Soviet force has halted for the night but some units push ahead in search of loot. More than one unit of this type can (and probably should) be used.
Start: Anywhere on east edge, Exit: same

Soviet Scouts (TAC 5)
Yefreytor........SMG....................5L
6 scouts.........SMGs...................5

This unit is tasked with intelligence gathering - pushing forward and capturing German prisoners for interrogation.
Start: Anywhere on east edge, Exit: Same place

Special Unit of Guards Miners (TAC 4)
Lieutenant .....SMG..................4L
4 Scouts........SMGs.................4
Gunner.........Clip-fed LMG.........4
Each figure carries four grenades.

This unit of special forces troops is ordered to reconnoitre the bridge over the Mesel river and if possible to seize and hold it, removing any demolition charges. Due to excellent training and combat experience, this unit uses the “limited spotting” rule – i.e. it is seen at half distance if in Defence Mode.
Start: Anywere on east edge, Exit: None

Soviet Tank (TAC 6, Morale 6)
T-34/85 tank with crew of 4

Soviet forces have been ordered to halt in the positions they reached at nightfall. Usually in city fighting tanks are withdrawn to a secure location but in this case the battalion commander has issued a no retreat order. A nervous crew fear attack from every dark corner.
Start: Within 12” of east edge, not on Hitlerallee


The Map Locations
The map is marked with various locations. Each place is important to someone. They may represent shelter, food, a chance to engage the enemy or a chance to escape the doomed city.
Image


1. The Cellars
Most of Kreisgau has been bombed and most of Kreigau's citizens have taken to living in the cellars of the remaining buildings.

2. Police Station
Originally a Kriminalpolizei station, this building is now taken over by the SS.

3. Garage
A small Volkswagen, fuelled and ready to go, awaits in a ramshackle brick-built garage in the rear yard of a bombed-out office building.

4. Sewer entrance
A large, covered storm drain runs from this location to the western outskirts of town.

5. Covered Barge
This small river craft (feel free to vary depending on the type of model you have available) has been earmarked by one of the local dignitaries as a means of escape. They just need to get there and secrete themselves on-board.

6. Gestapo office
This hated address is part offices, part prison. Locals believe it has attracted heavy RAF and USAF raids to this part of Kreisgau.

7. Mesel Bridge
A fine stone bridge, designed by the architect Johannes Weibel in the eighteenth century. It has been wired for demolition but orders as to its fate have not yet been received.

8. Clinic
A sanitorium providing medical care to high ranking local Nazis.

9. Rathaus
A combination of town hall and local Nazi party offices.

10. Kaiser Wilhelm Research Institute
Before the war this institute was the site of some of Germany's most advanced research into nuclear physics. After this field was deemed non-Aryan science, funding was hard to come by and many of the best scientists fled the country. A small number of researchers have remained at work in the laboratories throughout the conflict. The Soviets will be interested in what they can extract.

Hitlerallee
This once-beautiful avenue through the heart of Kreisgau has lost its ornate lamp posts and its majestic plane trees. The only planes seen here now are the occasional Fieseler or Henschel light aircraft landing to deliver orders or to evacuate leading Nazis.
Last edited by Counterpane on 30 Oct 2008, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Counterpane » 30 Oct 2008

Sod it! It's taken me three fucking hours to get this posted and I still can't get the map to appear or the formatting to work properly. I'm going to bed.
:banghead:
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby SP> » 30 Oct 2008

am liking what I'm seeing so far
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Hupp nicht » 30 Oct 2008

This sounds great! Exactly the kind of game I enjoy, many groups with different objectives. :good: :hello:
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Michi » 30 Oct 2008

That really sounds good. Give another try to the map! :clapping:
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Counterpane » 30 Oct 2008

Map added successfully! Imageshack has changed the way it formats results. Added to an utterly crap internet connection and I was struggling badly last night. :scratch: :banghead:
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Counterpane » 30 Oct 2008

OK, some formatting done the hard way (with dots coloured to match the background!) more to follow.
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Richard B. » 30 Oct 2008

Very clever Richard, I remember we spoke about this scenario. I see you took my advice over the all female `88 crew too - nice figures those Battlefield ones :thumbsup:
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Fantasy Fixtures » 30 Oct 2008

Curse you, and others here, too. I am trying to remain on a budget in regards to my hobby stuff and you guys keep throwing out these cracking scenarios that scream "BUY THE MINIS, MAKE THE TERRAIN, PLAY ME...PLAY ME...YOU CHEAP SOB!!!!"

Good job.
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Counterpane » 30 Oct 2008

Thanks, FF, I try to write the kind of scenario I would like to read.

Of course it's fairly easy to adapt this kind of thing to suit the toys you do have. Literally - Lego would be a good way to produce suitable buildings. The scenario implies other units you could add too - that NKVD snatch squad looking for nuclear secrets or stolen art treasures, drunken Soviet troops looking for more schnapps.

There are other elements to the setting (rape of German women on a massive scale for example) that I avoided but that could be included if your happy with a darker portrayal of the situation.
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Piers » 30 Oct 2008

Deadly... and I think I have all the figures for it... Certainly got all my SD troops.

May convert that over to Ambush Alley... ;)
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Bob_Mackenzie » 30 Oct 2008

Counterpane wrote:OK, some formatting done the hard way (with dots coloured to match the background!) more to follow.


If you want it to remember the leading spaces put it between the code tags (see code button)
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Re: Flight of the Golden Pheasants

Postby Luis » 30 Oct 2008

the scenario looks very cool , thanks for posting
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