This may hit the CPO soon! Looks like an interesting treatment of the situation!
In May of 1940 the German army invaded Holland, Belgium and France. In a matter of a few weeks they rolled up the combined armies of Belgium, France and Great Britain.
The BEF (British Expeditionary Force) and other nearby Allied forces were forced to retreat toward the French coast, resulting in about 400,000 men being surrounded near the town of Dunkerque. Rescue operations commenced to evacuate these forces to England and Winston Churchill, the new Prime Minister of Great Britain, was hopeful that perhaps 30,000 men could be rescued from the trap. Admiral Sir Bertram Ramsay was put in charge of “Operation Dynamo”, the goal of which was to send ships of all sizes and shapes to evacuate these beleaguered soldiers from the beaches of France and Belgium.
Through skill, efficient planning and poor German coordination (along with some fortuitous luck), the operation was able to rescue an incredible 330,000 men from the pocket. A true military miracle had been performed and by doing so, the future of the Second World War was forever altered.
Miracle at Dunkerque is essentially a solitaire game, but also includes a two-player option. It is meant to recreate the tense situation within the Dunkerque perimeter during those last eight days in May and June 1940.
The game design aims to capture the spirit of the difficult decision-making challenges faced by Allied commanders as they attempted to extricate the remnants of Britain’s last field army from certain capture or death. Historically-based Event Cards drive the action and create varying circumstances each turn. The besieging German forces (army, air and naval units) are controlled by these cards, which are specifically designed to place constant pressure on the player.
Allied Player Actions must be allocated each turn for the defense of the perimeter, the creation of evacuee units and the loading of these evacuees from the beaches and moles to available ships and then sailed onward to the safety of England. You obviously cannot save all the Allied units, so you must choose who stays to fight and who shall attempt to escape in order to continue the struggle against the Nazis another day.
Miracle at Dunkerque is designed by Hermann Luttmann and developed by Paul Fish. Chris Hansen provides additional development and playtesting support. This is the same team that put together the popular game, A Spoiled Victory. However, Miracle at Dunkerque represents a significant enhancement and expansion of that original design concept. The map is more extensive, the player now controls actual naval units that travel back and forth across the English Channel (hopefully loaded with evacuees), more combat units are provided to both sides and the air campaign is now represented. And of course there is the priceless added value of the incredible Legion Wargames production team. But just as importantly, the game system has been honed and polished so that despite the extra detail and chrome, this larger, deluxe edition of the game will play just as quickly as the original did.
The ultimate goal of the Miracle at Dunkerque game design is to provide a different kind of gaming experience for the player – one that is both an evacuation management game and a tough, nail-biting perimeter defense and fighting withdrawal wargame. In any case, we hope that you find it a challenging, unique and fun game that gives you the feel for the nearly impossible position in which the Allied troops found themselves and the true extent of the miracle that occurred on the beaches of France that spring of 1940.
1 – 22” x 25.5” map, designed by Tim Allen
176 – 5/8” unit counters
50 – Event Cards
1 – Rulebook
1 – Player Aid
5 – six-sided dice