in ,

Operation Olterra: A WWII Adventure Game Based in the Campo de Gibraltar

Soraya Fernández | Photos: Fran Montes, ReachExtra

Algeciras resident, David Gutiérrez has released his new roleplay activity game “Operation Olterra”; an adventure / espionage game set during World War II in the Campo de Gibraltar and based on real events.

“One of the least well-known and exciting espionage missions during World War II in a location you would never have imagined: Spain”. This is how Códice presented their latest release “Operation Olterra”, a role-playing game created by Algeciras-born David Gutiérrez (also known as “Guty”). It is an adventure game based on the Gamma and Ursa Majour Commando groups of the Italian Tenth Submarine Assault Flotilla carried out in Gibraltar in 1942.

The mission was executed with Spanish approval despite the fact that it was supposed to have been a neutral country. As Guty told ReachExtra:

“Spain was supposed to have been a neutral zone, but nevertheless, there were missions that were well known to, and on many occasions facilitated by, the Spanish State. The Tenth Flotilla was out to destroy the allied fleet in Gibraltar. To do this, they used a ship known as “Olterra”, which had been scuttled in the Bay. The attacks were carried by manned torpedoes… crewed by two submariners to sink British ships stationed to control the Strait of Gibraltar.”

Once they arrived at their targets, the crews would abandon the torpedos and return to the Olterra, a damaged ship that was thought to have been abandoned, but was being used as a base for the attacks.

‘Guty’ spent eight months developing this game:

David Gutierrez Algeciras

“I researched the military operations of the Tenth Flotilla. I searched for interesting details to spice up the story. The game is fiction of course, but it is based on reality, on events that did happen. It was a very unusual episode in our history which I wanted to clarify, and I do not intend to apologise for anything.”

These secret operations inspired cinema producers as can be easily seen from such films as “Operation Thunder” in the famous 007 James Bond series, which starred the recently deceased Sean Connery.

Players will carry out ‘Operation Olterra’ from the perspective of a group of spies from the MAS Tenth Flotilla with Gibraltar as a target from the Campo de Gibraltar – which had become a nest of spies. The game mission revolves around preventing both allies and locals, who had been affected by the famine which took place after the Civil War, from discovering their plans.

Operation Olterra David Gutierrez Algeciras Game Campo de Gibraltar

You will also discover unknown aspects of Algeciras and delve into events which took place in Gibraltar during the Second World War. “You will experience a very peculiar episode of our area’s history first-hand by playing this game”, Guty explained.

The game is rated 16+, designed for up to five players and lasts around 3-4 hours each match. Each player will embody a character randomly selected by the roll of a dice: “People have a great time. It’s being played at Schools in Algeciras and with very good results because you can have a fun time while learning history just by playing the game, which is a magnificent way to learn.”

Operation Olterra David Gutierrez Algeciras Game Campo de Gibraltar

In order to play, you’ll need the manual, which comes with character sheets and some dice which can be purchased at specialised shops. “Operation Olterra” can be purchased at Shadowlands Editions or downloaded for free via

Two more games and another in progress

Operation Olterra David Gutierrez Algeciras Game Campo de Gibraltar

As a fan of role-playing games since his teens, Guty had discovered his passion for games at a cultural conference at the El Saladillo de Algeciras. Two years ago, he created his first role-playing game called “Savage Arena” which is based in a dystopian, apocalyptic future and is available through Verkami, soon to be released.

This game takes place in the year 2132: Overpopulation, savage capitalism and ecological abuse lead to a drastic climate change which “puts humanity in check”.

Then, he went on to develop “Jetas”, a humorous game which can also be downloaded on the abovementioned platform.

And now, Guty is working on a new role-play game which revolves around Mexican mythology and legends. We will have to keep an eye out for this one, but for now you can play as a spy during the Second World War in the Strait of Gibraltar with “Operation Olterra”.

What do you think?