Your old friend slaps you on the shoulder, "This is it, buddy. The U.S. Army. Go out, find some poor bastard, shoot him, then find some thankful girls who don't mind showing how much they appreciate you." The grin on his face was too contagious to ignore.
"Yeah, and those venereal diseases will help you cherish the memory for a long time, huh?" you joke back, elbowing him in the ribs.
New York harbor was crowded with ships, though that was normal even without a war going on. Steam and smoke billowed from stacks as they moved on their own power or were pushed by tugs to their appropriate tiers, mingling with the exhaust of countless others. Flags of almost every nation were here, though most flew the stars and stripes or the union jack.
As you climb aboard, you find you're not the only one excited. Almost everyone on the ship is in their fresh clean Army uniform, with a few bellowing orders here and there. Mostly everyone was just trying to find their way aboard and mingle before they had to go down into the stuffy confines of the ship below. And stuffy it was, since fresh recruits got 3rd class stowage on this ocean liner, pressed into service for the war.
As you look out over New York harbor, you're amazed by the brilliant, early morning sun. So much so that it takes you a moment to spot the dark silhouette until it's directly between you and the sun. You stare in concentration, trying to figure out what it is... before someone screams, "Torpedo!" You look down and there are two long shapes moving through the water, fast, towards the ship.
You run from the railing, but don't make it far before the torpedoes hit. The explosion sends you to the deck, temporarily making it impossible to hear. As smoke and dust obscure your vision, and your hearing returns, you hear people screaming in agony. In the distance, warships sound general quarters, but most are ambushed as they slumber in their berths.
The chaos is overwhelming, and somewhere in the confused mess is a sergeant bellowing orders to get up and fight. You miss most of his orders, but one thing sends chills down your spine... "Hurry up with those rifles! The Jerries will be on our ass in minutes!"
It's AD 1925, and the Great War has been on and off now for over 14 years. The Central Powers of Europe got lucky in the opening days of the war with their successful use of the Shlieffen Plan, which called for an invasion of France through Belgium, looking to take Paris in six days. The plan succeeded beyond their wildest hopes, with Allied resistance crumbling away in a matter of days.
As the war drug on, most of the fighting took place on the Eastern Front, with Germany fighting against Russia's massive armies. The numerically superior Russians were fighting a holding action against the Germans while Britain tried to rally support from any nations it could, going so far as to pull troops from her faraway colonies and sending them straight to Russia. The United States, weary of becoming involved, stayed neutral.
In 1919, the Bolsheviks in Russia began their revolution. Fearing the loss of the last bastion in Europe, Britain helped quash the rebellion and keep Nicholas II in power, with power later falling to Czar Olga in 1921, since Alexei died from hemophilia in 1920. Finally, after years of maintaining neutrality, the United States officially entered the war in August 1921, just seven days after Olga took the throne.
The U.S. response was ponderous at first, since the Army was tiny and the navy consisting of mostly of Roosevelt's famous Great White Fleet, though it was getting old by that point and no match for the German Armada. With a promise of naval cover from Great Britain, the United States sent the First Expeditionary Force to Russia in November, 1922, consisting of 20,000 men.
Their arrival in St. Petersburg was joyful, and they deployed quickly along the Eastern Front. The Russians used the American reinforcements to consolidate points that bad begun to weaken under withering German assault. Most of the Russians wanted to try and hold the Germans at bay, but Army General Joseph Kershing urged otherwise, and used his 20,000 men to push forward into German held Poland.
The offensive was slow to get started, but soon picked up steam. The Russians had to push forward to keep up with the Americans, but made decent progress in pushing forward. Poland, which had been invaded as the Russians fell back, welcomed the Allies as liberators. However, progress slowed on the other side of Warsaw in Spring, 1923, as the Germans formed a strong defensive line in the country.
As the war began to stall, President James Cox faced a Democratic Party eager to end the war and be done with it. At the urging of his Vice President, Franklin Roosevelt, he kept the US involved in Europe, even reinforcing it with another 50,000 men, to join the ranks of General Kershing's men.
Unknown at the time, however, the German Navy was preparing to launch the largest ever invasion, across the Atlantic and into the United States. The idea was that, since the United States was the cause for the recent problems facing the Germans in eastern Europe, a decisive strike to the industrial capabilities in New York, plus a devastating blow to the capital in Washington, would put the US out of action long enough to secure victory in Russia.
The German Navy left port on February 7, 1925, heading for New York City. Sneaking through the Channel under cover of night, the Germans regrouped in the North Atlantic some 20 miles south of Iceland, letting the new dirigible fleet launching from France catch up. Once the combined water and air fleet was assembled, the invasion was on.
On Wednesday, March 10, 1925, at 8:14 A.M., the first bombs fell on the unsuspecting New York City from the German super dreadnought Hohenzollern
launching the first 16 inch shells. The war had come to the United States.
The premise for this bleek alternative history is that Germany has done the unthinkable... invaded the US. Their goal is to take out the American ability to fight a war, but if they can take Washington, they might try and just conquer America. Most of the Army is in New York getting ready to head for Europe, while the Navy is scattered along the coast. There's not much in the way to stop them, except ordinary citizens.
Anyone who wishes to play can be either an American or German. Americans are allowed to be army or civilians, and civilians are allowed to get army weapons (since many are dead), but only those playing for the Army may have machine guns, and even then I must approve them. Germans must be Army, and they must have their machine guns approved too. Otherwise, a rifle must be bolt action.
For the army, you get a 1903 Springfield .30 bolt action with 5 round clip (American) or an 1898 Mauser 7.52mm (German).
I'll post a character sheet when I get back. Please don't hesitate to ask questions.