The barrage was tremendous, distance behind it was kept very well, as was direction. The men stood up to and kept behind the barrage like veterans. Just after the platoons had opened out a cloud of combined mist, smoke and dust started to rise. The fog rose so quickly that runners and platoons were lost. Enemy MGs on either flank opened up." - Maj. H. Macpherson, OC of „B‟ Company, Royal Scots Fusiliers
"My (tank) troop was sitting astride the Fontenay-Juvigny road facing east. The CO of the Hallams asked me to deal with a Panther holding up his advance ... At that moment two more Panthers appeared just south of the road." - Lt. Bob Hart of 'A' Squadron of the 24th Lancers
"The SS showed that they believed that thus far, everybody had been fighting like milkmaids." - Lt. Rudolph Schaaf
Operation Dauntless is a moderately complex wargame that covers the actions of the British 49th Infantry Division a.k.a "The Polar Bears" near Caen during Operation Martlet (called Operation Dauntless by the British at the time of the battle). Opposing these lads are elements of the 12th SS Panzer Division "Hitlerjugend" (Hitler Youth) and Panzer Lehr- elite panzergrenadier units. The goal of the British division is to seize the town of Fontenay, then press onward to secure the high ground near Rauray in time for the impending Operation Epsom, to be launched the next morning.
The game by designer Mark Mokszycki uses the same system as Red Winter, his game on the Battle of TolvajÃ¤rvi from the Russo-Finnish Winter War of 1939. The scale and key mechanics of Operation Dauntless are the same as Red Winter. Proposed future games in the series include Red Winter 2: The Battle of Ã„glÃ¤jÃ¤rvi, Guadalcanal Land Battles, Scottish Corridor: The Battle for Cheux, and the Breaking the Panzers expansion for Operation Dauntless, covering the German counterattack at Point 110 (all are working titles and subject to change).
The scale is grand tactical- 90 minutes per game turn, 425 yards per hex, and mostly company sized infantry units with platoon sized armor units. Gone are the Winter War specific rules such as ski movement and night raids, and in their place we have a more detailed armor/anti-tank subsystem. There are lots of tanks on both sides in this one!
Special rules for Operation Dauntless include: British creeping barrages, hidden German unit setup, the 12th SS Fanatical Defense Table, British sabot ammo, assault guns, combat engineers, troop transport, British air strikes, British "funny" tanks (including the dreaded bunker-busting Churchill AVREs with their 290mm "Spigot" mortars, Sherman Crabs, and the flame-throwing Crocodiles), infantry anti-tank weapons, German ammo shortage, and abstracted effects of the immense British opening barrage by 250 artillery and naval guns.
Optional rules include: minefields, mine removal, Luftwaffe nuisance raids (night bombings), inaccurate German rocket artillery (the infamous Nebelwerfers), German signal platoons, and rules for linking chronological scenarios into a single "mega-campaign."
Terrain is a mixture of corn and wheat fields, orchards, woods, hedgerows, and small stone farm houses and villages. The map covers the area from le Haut d‟Audrieu and Cristot in the north, to Monts, Noyers and Missy in the south, extending west to Tilly sur Seulles and beyond, and east to Le Haut du Bosq and the outskirts of Cheux. The Germans begin the game dug in, and they may place a limited number of strongpoint markers during setup. A handful of strongpoint hexes are printed on the map; these represent walled farms, chÃ¢teaus, and manors which are key to the German defense.
The Germans are on the defensive overall, but they are armed to the teeth with many powerful panzer formations- including Panzer IVs, Panthers, and Tigers- and will find themselves able to counterattack frequently and effectively. Some of the shorter scenarios feature the Germans on the offensive to recapture lost ground.
In general, the German infantry companies start with better Combat Strength and Ranged Attack values, relative to their British counterparts. The terrain heavily favors the Germans as well. But the British enjoy superior numbers, a more lenient recovery mechanic, and extensive offensive support from airstrikes and artillery. Furthermore, the German infantry companies are, on their reduced sides, inferior to the reduced British infantry. This simulates a key dilemma for the German combatants: excellent weapons and technology, but a desperate lack of manpower and supplies.
Operation Dauntless was designed for 2 players, but works very well solitaire.
•2.5 counter sheets of 5/8" counters (2 sheets of unit counters + ½ sheet of markers)
•1 Standard sized map
•1 Rule book (about 20-24 pages)
•1 Play book (includes scenarios, designer notes, and optional rules- about 36 pages)
•2 identical double-sided Player Aid Cards
•1 single-sided British Variable Reinforcement Card
•1 single-sided German Variable Reinforcement Card
•2 6-sided dice
•2 10-sided dice
Base postage cost: £5.00
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