Set amidst the turmoil of the Dunkirk evacuations, this adventure sets the heroes against more than the Nazi hordes. Sent into Dunkirk just as most of the British were leaving, the intrepid investigators are in search of a missing secret agent who has vital intelligence regarding a threat known only as Operation Needle.
It opens with notes from the author about the delights and dangers of setting an adventure against the backdrop of World War 2 - to catch the excitement and make a good game without trivialising a time when many good people lost their lives - before launching into the background of the adventure itself. Section D, the characters' employer, does not know much about what their missing agent has discovered but are convinced that it's something that they need to know, hence the mission with which they will be tasked. This is followed by details of what is actually going on, a foul plot indeed to drown the escaping British troops by arcane means. The scene is set well, with copious details of the real history of Operation Dynamo, the evacuation of Dunkirk, complete with atmospheric illustrations, a comprehensive timeline of events and a map of the Dunkirk bridgehead. Even before you get to the adventure proper, there is plenty of scope for encounters that may prove hostile, even deadly, to the unwary.
Next comes the actual adventure, presented as five 'episodes' which can be played through as appropriate based on character actions. Scattered throughout are options galore to enable you to cope with just about anything that the characters might decide to do. There are even a couple of different ways to get them involved - what if they are Germans? Or the more traditional academic sort of investigators rather than soldiers/agents? Although the real timeline for Dunkirk is provided it is recommended that the Keeper be flexible and fit it around the adventure, rather than rushing the adventure to accommodate historical fact.
There is plenty for the investigators to do during the adventure, and despite the setting much is 'traditional' investigative fare although there are of course plenty of opportunities to engage in combat. There's even the chance to get aboard a U-Boat, whilst the investigation should take them beyond the confines of the waking world into a very strange realm indeed. The options continue thick and fast, with notes as to how to handle any eventuality from them solving the adventure before reaching Episode 4 to what to do if they get captured...
Four pre-generated characters are provided for groups who wish to dive straight in to the adventure. On the rules front there are some new skills and spells which might prove useful during the course of the game as well as notes on shell shock and how to handle guardposts and skirmishes effectively. Several tanks and other warlike vehicles that may be encountered are presented. Finally, some in-character resources in the shape of the initial briefing pack and loads of handouts - all very atmospheric and looking the part.
It's an exciting adventure, blending the Mythos skilfully with known history and delightfully open-ended, with good support for the Keeper whatever the investigators do; it would be difficult to derail the adventure, even if they might end up changing the course of the war! Of such things are good alternate histories made...
[5 of 5 Stars!]